The Packers need legitimate players out of the draft. Not necessarily starters, but players who can rotate in and make an impact. The team is so close to the salary cap that it’s unlikely it will be able to pull off a significant trade or signing midseason when an injury to a starter inevitably happens. It’s well known that the Packers’ third round pick is cursed (their best pick in that round over the past 10 years is Josiah Deguara), and the team has two fourth round picks this season. According to a draft trade-value chart from Over the Cap, if the team packages its third round pick and one of the fourth round picks, it could get another pick near the top of the second round. So, who could the Packers trade up for?
It’s certainly possible that Jones will be taken in the first, but since he’s a nose tackle from a small school, it’s also very likely that he would fall into the second where GB could pounce. Jones is an immovable object in the middle of the line. He would be able to take on double teams and allow Kenny Clark to play 3-tech. Taking him would go along way toward fixing the team’s run defense.
Jackson is a young bendy edge who showed at his pro day that he could potentially carry 270 pounds on his frame and stay bendy. It’s very likely that Jackson is high on the Packers board and if they don’t end up taking a third edge in the first round, they could very well try to move up to take him early in the second. Jackson would move the team one step closer to getting the four-man rotation at edge that the coaches want.
We know the coaching staff wants a competition at the right tackle spot and Lucas had over 2,000 snaps playing at an elite level there in college. Lucas also passes Gutekunst’s thresholds for the position and visited the team in the pre-draft process. He may be available for the 53rd pick, but don’t be surprised if Gutekunst chooses to be aggressive and move up to take him.
At the start of draft season, Burks was often mocked well ahead of the Packers’ first round picks. He’s now dropped out of the first round due to a bad 40, 3-cone and interview process. He clearly has the talent and blocking ability to become the Packers’ number 1 receiver at some point and Gutekunst may want to pair him with a smaller speed first receiver.
Pitre is a slot corner, which I don’t really think is a need, but Gutekunst surprises us every season so I figured I should include him. According to PFF, he led all defensive backs with stops last year and he had an elite run defense grade. Pitre would free up the coaching staff to move the defensive backs around. I’d like to see a base dime with Rasul Douglas and Darnell Savage as the two high safeties, Jaire and Stokes on the boundary, Pitre as the slot corner and Amos next to Campbell as linebackers. Throw in an improved front four and you could stop the run and pass with that lineup.
Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.