As the week of the 2020 NFL Draft is finally upon us, the mock drafts that have been flooding your news feeds will only increase up until Thursday evening.
This article is no exception.
With a plethora of holes and areas for the Green Bay Packers to address, I took a stab at potentially seeing how the board may fall. Using the awesome tool that is The Draft Network, I ran through a full seven-round mock on GB’s behalf.
While this article will only detail the first three rounds, the draft fell in very interesting ways that were a bit unforeseen, including having a bunch of offensive weapons fall perfectly in GB’s lap.
30 – Kenneth Murray, LB
As many fans and pundits are aware, GB has been in desperate need of a field general at linebacker to help lead the defense while being stout in both the run and pass games.
Even with the early hype that has surrounded the top two ‘backers of the draft, Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray fell in the first round, and while GB may be hesitant to dedicate early picks yet again to defense, Murray is a solid fit for a position of need.
While receiver comes to mind as being one of the focal improvement points on offense, Murray’s talent was a big-time get for the end of the first round.
Sliding into the role of a rangy LB that can provide solid run and pass support, Murray has had tackling issues and play-recognition deficiencies while in college, and those issues will only become more evident in the pros. But by putting him on an established defense that offers a ton of role definition for the rookie, he should be a solid fit Year 1.
62 – Michael Pittman Jr., WR
In a way to help address the offense, a receiver or some sort of pass-catching threat will most likely be added early on in the draft. Michael Pittman Jr., whose name has been flying up draft boards, would be a steal if still around at 62.
The USC product has a solid combination of speed, agility, and wherewithal on a football field to put himself in the right position to make plays. While USC has been stuck in a bit of uncertainty in terms of their team’s performance, Pittman Jr. has been a solid catalyst on their offense and would be an immediate upgrade for this offense.
A 4.52 40 is no burner in any regards, but his 6’4” and 223 lbs. frame helps make up for that by being a solid vertical threat.
He underwent shoulder surgery at the end of 2018, but there seems to not be a real concern with that flaring up again. Facing issues in press coverage in terms of being unable to easily shake defenders, Pittman will need to learn the importance of physicality in the NFL, and would be a great selection if still there in the second round.
94 – Antonio Gibson, RB/WR
One of the fast-rising players that is garnering attention, RB/WR Antonio Gibson’s Memphis career has left a lot of NFL teams salivating about how they can work him into their offense.
While one unnamed team has been noted to have Gibson as more of a receiver than a back in the transition to the NFL, Gibson’s ability to be looked at for both speaks to his agility and what he can do with the ball in his hands.
A 6’, 228 running back in college, Gibson fits the prototypical size of a slot receiver, and his 4.39 speed backs him up there too. He was primarily used as a receiver in his senior season, but earned enough carries at running back to provide teams with a look at how he could become that special offensive weapon that is taking the league by storm.
Limited production (only one big year in college ball), a lack of consistency with getting out of breaks, and his lack of playbook versatility (mainly saw jet sweeps and stretch runs) could create some red flags for teams. However, his role in the GB offense would be just that, and he would (hopefully) not be counted on in a huge way in his rookie year.
If Gibson could become that guy who brings a sense of speed and game-changing play to the table for GB, all while developing a role in the offense to help take pressure off of Davante Adams and company, then he is doing the exact thing that the Packers would have drafted him for.
Later on, offensive line, defensive line, cornerback, safety, and linebacker all earned selections in some shape, showing that the later rounds carry big-time value as well for prospects that did not necessarily earn the necessary hype.
While the likelihood of this 3-round mock coming true solely rests on player evals done by GB’s front office, the chance of even being able to select one of these players should be high, especially based on the fact of how they could help improve this team from their first day, whenever that may be.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23