As is the case at this time of year, mock drafts are flying in left and right as pundits and draftniks continue their analysis of college prospects eligible for the NFL Draft. On Thursday, ESPN's Todd McShay released a two-round mock that sees the Green Bay Packers address a couple of significant needs on the team's roster.
In round one, McShay projects the Packers to select defensive tackle Vernon Butler out of Louisiana Tech University. Butler's size would make him an intriguing candidate for the Packers' nose tackle position, as McShay notes:
At 6-foot-4 and 323 pounds, Butler has good overall strength, explosive upper-body power and above-average mobility for his size. His tape has flashes of Muhammad Wilkerson (Jets), but he needs to improve his consistency as a pass-rusher. With B.J. Raji taking a hiatus from football, the Packers need more depth along the D-line. The good news? There's plenty of depth in this D-line class to find a good option here or in Round 2.
McShay is certainly right in his comments that there is depth available in either rounds one or two. In fact, a player who we have seen mocked to Green Bay a few times in recent weeks is UCLA tackle Kenny Clark, who would have still been available for the Packers in round two based on this board.
However, with top tackles Sheldon Rankins, Jarran Reed, Andrew Billings, and A'Shawn Robinson all off the board by 27 (as well as the top two inside linebackers in Reggie Ragland and Darron Lee), Butler's selection makes a lot of sense. In fact, his size is almost identical to that of Letroy Guion (6'4", 322), and the two would both be capable of playing on the nose as well as the 5-technique end position.
With the 57th pick for round two, McShay turns his focus to the Packers' offense and finds a threat for Aaron Rodgers to use to attack the deep middle of the field: tight end Jerell Adams from South Carolina. Adams is the second tight end off the board in this mock, seven spots behind Arkansas' Hunter Henry, who he projects to Atlanta at #50 overall. McShay even calls Adams "one of the most underrated players" in the 2016 Draft, and notes his "big-play ability" as a reason for the pick there.
Would you be satisfied with these two selections as the Packers' first two picks?