Pre-combine mock

57packer

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OK, time for a pre-combine mock. Starting to get a better feel for where guys will fall, but I’m sure I still will get many of them wrong.

Free agents
Tre Boston
– A solid safety option at a decent price. I don’t think either Earl Thomas or the Honey Badger are options for the Packers. I really think hard about paying Amos if he is available at something less than crazy money.
Shaq Barrett – can be part of an OLB rotation right away. (You can throw Markus Golden and Dante Fowler in this mix as well. Man I’d also look hard at Flowers if available and the money makes sense.)
James Carpenter – won’t cost much money, and is young and can give you a starting RG for several years. He is coming off a shoulder injury so there is some injury concern. Another option might be Quinton Spain who was with the Titans last year. ML’s familiarity with him might be a plus, it could also be a negative since Spain did not have a great season.

Retained/Resigned (UFAs)
Clay Matthews – has to come a lot cheaper ($3.5-5mil/yr) but still has a little in the tank and is versatile enough to play OLB and MLB. Anything more than a short-term team friendly deal at that price and I let him walk.
Bashaud Breeland – he’ll cost more than last year but is decent, younger depth for CB.
Muhammed Wilkerson – maybe. He’d basically have to be cheap with a low signing bonus. It would have to be cheap enough that you can easily cut him in camp if he’s not one of the top-4 DL.

Not going to deal much with the “cuts”. Looks like they are keeping Graham. Hopefully they cut Perry. I’d redo Travon or cut and re-sign at much less money if he's willing. I’d bring back pretty much all of the RFA’s and ERFA’s. No real money to deal with so all can be cut easily.

Draft (going to throw in some alternates just for more names to discuss)

Pick 12 – Jachai Polite - FLA. (6’2”-260#) Should be able to start right away and be productive. Has the athletic ability to do all the things asked of the OLB position. (Alternate – Brian Burns. Some might complain about another FlaSt guy after the Jamal Reynolds fiasco but that was long ago and a different guy.) I considered Montez Sweat and Clelin Ferrel, but both of them seem more like hand in the dirt type edge guys so might not fit as well unless MP is looking to make some changes.)

Pick 30 – traded to the NY Giants who want a QB at the end of Rd 1. Packers get pick 37 and 108. To me, not a big deal, because unless a couple of guys are there who might fall, I think the talent at 30 and 37 is the same. I don't make the deal if I think the safeties below will both be gone. I'm just thinking this is a likely scenario.

Pick 37 – Nassir Adderley - DEL. (5’11”=200#) Come on, with that last name and his relationship to Herb, he screams “Packers”. Some see him late in Rd 1, but he’s a little bit of a work in progress so could slide to early day 2. He fits with Tre Boston because Pettine seems inclined to use an extra safety to cover slot guys and Adderley can handle that while learning to play the back end which will take some time. (Alternate – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Probably goes earlier too, but is a similar fit and if available might be an even better choice.) The safeties might drop a bit in this draft because teams loaded up on good ones in the 2017 draft and there are a number of good FA safeties available. The lack of need might drop them a little, but both could be gone.

Pick 44 – Deebo Samuel – S.Car. (5’-11”-215#) I know WR is not a huge need, but the missing piece of the receiving corps is a better slot option now that Cobb is gone. Samuel is versatile enough to play in the slot and on the outside. He’s guy that can get open quickly and has some YAC ability. That is part of ML's offense - quick short throws to guys who can get open quickly, and get some YAC yardage.

Pick 75 – Micheal Dieter - Wis. (6’-6”-321#) For me it’s nice when a Wisconsin guy fits a spot and need. Dieter is versatile. He’s best at OG, but has looked respectable at OT and C. He gives you a legitimate back-up at C and allows you to maybe cut a marginal guy whose main value is his ability to back-up at OC. Dieter is mobile enough to handle the zone blocking ML wants to use and is a steady pass blocker. (Alternate – Conner McGovern. Another mobile OG who fits the scheme but isn’t as versatile.)

Pick 108 – Miles Sanders - PSU. (5’11”-211#) ML wants to run the ball and Aaron Jones seems too fragile for high utilization. Jamaal Williams is not a great fit running outside zone stuff so I want a second guy who fits better. Sanders can handle the scheme and is somewhat underrated because he only started for a year. (Alternate – Darrell Henderson. Another guy who can do what ML needs but would have to fall to get to this spot.)

Pick 114 – Dax Raymond – Utah St. (6’-4”-245#) A rising TE in a deep group of TE’s. Has more receiving ability than some people think and had a nice week at the Senior Bowl. (Alternate – Dawson Knox. ) Both of these guys are a little all over the board. I am counting on the idea that this draft is so deep in TE that a couple get pushed down. Only downside is that neither is a stout blocker so fit might not be the best but I think both can be coached to be better at it.

Pick 118 – Armon Watts - Ark. (6’4”-309#) An interior DL that doesn’t have elite burst but is able to get into the backfield with effort and technique. (Alternate – Keke Kingsley. An underrated interior DL with some pass rush skills.)

Pick 139 – Max Sharping – N.ILL. (6’6”-320#) Should be able to play RT but might need to move inside to OG. Not the highest ceiling but worth a look at this point in the draft. (Alternate – Tytus Howard. A small school tackle with some raw skills who’s been rising. Likely gone at this point in the draft. Higher ceiling than Sharping because some think he might be able to play LT.)

Pick 172 – Mark Fields – Clem. (5’10”-180#) Just to add some depth at CB. A little smaller than ideal but BG went with an undersized guy in Alexander, so maybe the “ideal” has changed a bit. Still has OK size and good speed. (Alternate – Jamal Peters. Another depth type CB but with size.)

Pick 184 – Kahlil Hodge - Buf. (6’1”-235) Not a great ILB group this year though there are a few top guys. Hodge replaces Jake Ryan and should be able to give you some help on special teams. (Alternate – Kendall Joseph.)

Pick 204 – Alec Ingold - Wis. (6’-1”-247#) Yup, I know that nobody drafts fullbacks anymore but this is just for discussion. Seems like ML runs more 21-personnel than most coaches so a fullback is likely to be part of the team. Ingold might be the best “true” fullback this year. Can block. Can run and catch the ball a little. Can play special teams. I don’t think with MLs offense, which makes what looks simple more complicated, that a battering ram FB with no other skills works as well as a more versatile guy. I think retired Packer FB William Henderson would flourish in this offense.
 

ChampionshipBelt

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57,

I like the FA options. Fill in a few holes to make us better and add depth but not overspending. Best way to go IMO.

Too many holes to fill to go crazy in FA.
 

GBP4EVER

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Passing on Polite he's way to much of a project to draft at 12. I want someone who is not a boom or bust pick at 12.
 

Backthepack4ever

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I love polite. The dude has a lightning 1st step and makes plays. Hes not the tallest but is said to have long arms. I dont see s project at all. Good offseason. Would be a nice haul. Adderly i think goes higher but we dont know
 

57packer

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GBP is kinda right, but to me all the edge guys have some issues.
  • Polite is a little short but supposedly has long arms to make up for it. He needs work on the non-pass rush parts of the OLB position.
  • Burns is a little light in the shorts so there are questions about how he'll hold up on the edge against pro tackles, and if he puts on 20lbs how does that affect his quickness.
  • Ferrell hasn't done as much from a two-point stance and will be an OLB project.
  • Sweat has no coverage skills at all and would be a total project at OLB.

Josh Allen might be the most complete and capable guy, but I doubt he gets anywhere near 12. I haven't looked much at the next level guys like Miller, Ximines, Collier, and Ferguson. I figure Polite's no more of a project than any of them. Allen is probably the safest, but to me anyway, they all have some athletic or schematic risks.

Adderley and Gardner-Johnson both could go earlier. I'm kinda just looking at the possibility of them dropping this far because most of the teams in the bottom half of round 1 don't really have safety as a big need. If guys are tiered similarly, they might pass on the position until later. The concern would be the Bears if they lose Amos. Safety would be front-and-center on their need list. Truth is that we probably need to take one of them at 30, and even that might not happen.
 

dannobanano

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I'm waiting for the Combine to finish before I make my next mock.

Pro Day's could further impact my thinking.

But, right now I'm leaning more and more away from Edge in 1st round. Address it in FA and it opens up lots of buffet options for picks 12, 30, 44.

tc(
 

Packinatl

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I'm waiting for the Combine to finish before I make my next mock.

Pro Day's could further impact my thinking.

But, right now I'm leaning more and more away from Edge in 1st round. Address it in FA and it opens up lots of buffet options for picks 12, 30, 44.

tc(
I think combine is more important than Pro Day. Pro days are more scripted and in a comfortable environment.
 

57packer

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Well, the Combine messed with the Edge rankings a little. I still think Polite can be a solid player, but between the interviews, bad testing, and IMO fake injury excuse, I'm not buying at #12. I think 30 or 44 are still possible as a reasonable range for him, but I'm kinda thinking the Packers will look elsewhere.

That leaves me questioning whether they should even use #12 on an edge guy with all the questions. Burns certainly tested well, but still not sure he can set the edge consistently which makes him a situational guy for the Pack and I don't know if you use #12 on a situational guy. I think he might be the safest option. Sweat is a beast, but again I don't know that he can drop into coverage so you have to tailor the scheme to not put him in that situation much, if at all, so is he a situational guy as well? Ferrell seemed like a 4-3 end to me and still does.

I'm thinking they need to wade into deep money waters and spend for edge help in FA, maybe re-sign CM3 to a modest deal, and then draft a later round developmental guy. Use #12 on an every down impact guy who fits - Devin White, Ed Oliver, TJ Hockenson, Juwaan Taylor are starting to look like better options, though they could all be gone . . . ugh! Do I dare say that even Greedy Williams and Byron Murphy are options though I sure as hell hope (and believe) a better option than another CB will be there at #12. If it's starting to fall badly I'd see if I can do a deal to move up a couple of spots.
 

ChampionshipBelt

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I hate to say this but with what has happened, if a difference maker is not at 12 I can see Gute trading back again. We will see.
 

dannobanano

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Well, the Combine messed with the Edge rankings a little. I still think Polite can be a solid player, but between the interviews, bad testing, and IMO fake injury excuse, I'm not buying at #12. I think 30 or 44 are still possible as a reasonable range for him, but I'm kinda thinking the Packers will look elsewhere.

That leaves me questioning whether they should even use #12 on an edge guy with all the questions. Burns certainly tested well, but still not sure he can set the edge consistently which makes him a situational guy for the Pack and I don't know if you use #12 on a situational guy. I think he might be the safest option. Sweat is a beast, but again I don't know that he can drop into coverage so you have to tailor the scheme to not put him in that situation much, if at all, so is he a situational guy as well? Ferrell seemed like a 4-3 end to me and still does.

I'm thinking they need to wade into deep money waters and spend for edge help in FA, maybe re-sign CM3 to a modest deal, and then draft a later round developmental guy. Use #12 on an every down impact guy who fits - Devin White, Ed Oliver, TJ Hockenson, Juwaan Taylor are starting to look like better options, though they could all be gone . . . ugh! Do I dare say that even Greedy Williams and Byron Murphy are options though I sure as hell hope (and believe) a better option than another CB will be there at #12. If it's starting to fall badly I'd see if I can do a deal to move up a couple of spots.
If the rumors about signing an Edge guy in free agency have any traction, then using the #12 pick on an Edge maybe isn't necessary.

My feelings will probably change from week to week up until the draft, but as of today I'd use the #12 on Hockenson (most complete TE in the draft), and my reason isn't just because of him. Pairing Hockenson with versatile H-Back Danny Vitale could create a lot of problems for defenses, especially with ML wanting running plays and passing plays to look exactly the same every time the team come to the LOS. A robust offense would be nice to see again in GB.

BUT.......................if Rashon Gary or Devin White are still on the board at #12.................well, Gute can find another TE later in the draft. ;)zipped
 
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