A shake up at the top of the draft board is causing ripple effects through mock drafts and NFL Twitter.
The New York Jets traded with the Indianapolis Colts to move up to the 3rd overall pick in exchange for the 6th overall pick, two 2018 second-round picks (37th and 49th overall) and a 2019 second-round pick. New York is looking for its franchise quarterback and was willing to give up a lot of picks to secure a franchise cornerstone.
And we can’t forget about the Buffalo Bills trading up to number 12 overall.
This is good for the Packers because a.) it pushes good defenders down the board and b.) it could cause other QB-needy teams to try and jump up, thus pushing defenders down further.
With a new draft order, let’s see how some mock drafts were shaken up and who is predicted to be available for Green Bay.
Walter Football and Bleacher Report: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
It’s certainly obvious to even the most casual Packer fan that the Green Bay secondary could use a little assistance.
Damarious Randall has been traded, Morgan Burnett was allowed to walk, and Davon House hasn’t been re-signed. That leaves Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, recently-added Tramon Williams and a bunch of young guys like Kevin King and Josh Jones.
While Jaire Alexander certainly showed out at the combine (running a 4.38 40), he’s just under the height threshold for what the Packers usually look for at corner (he’s measured at 5-foot-10-1/4” while the team’s minimum appears to be 5-foot-10-5/8). If he’s talented enough, the Packers might overlook that, but his injury-plagued 2017 is cause for concern.
At Louisville, Alexander played a lot of boundary corner and does have pretty good ball instincts. While combing through some clips, it really looked like he didn’t want to stick his nose in on run plays, which is worrisome. He looks an awful lot like a project corner that can’t be drafted too high:
Trying to finalize my opinion on Jaire Alexander.. Having such a hard time with this CB class.. pic.twitter.com/zkaqTlByPv— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) March 16, 2018
All corners get beat at some point or another, but I consistently found plays of Alexander getting beat despite his speed even if it didn’t result in a completion. His play is up and down, which could be a product of inexperience, but I don’t think the Packers can wait to find out what he could be.
CBS Sports: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
I’m afraid of this pick.
And not because he’s Matt Ryan’s cousin. More so because I think Quenton Nelson is the only lineman worthy of going in the top half of the first-round.
McGlinchey has an athletic background as a former tight end, but his strength will need to improve to hold up in the NFL. It’s hard for me to put him ahead of Connor Williams, whom CBS Sports doesn’t have in the first round (they have Nelson at 16 to Baltimore, too).
He’s quick on the line and his athleticism shows up in pads, but again, this feels like another project that belongs at a later pick. In 2011 and 2010 the Packers used first-round picks on Derek Sherrod and Bryan Bulaga, but Sherrod was at pick 32 and Bulaga at 23.
USA Today: Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
Marcus Davenport seems to be the only player consistently mocked to the Packers week-after-week. I get it. Pass-rush is important and the Packers could use it since their defensive backs were less than great in 2017.
With new addition, Muhammad Wilkerson, and a full season of Vince Biegel, I don’t think the Packers pass rush will be in that rough of shape as some may think, but if Davenport proves that he’s more than a combine warrior, he needs a look.
The man ran a 4.58 40-yard dash and his 124-inch broad jump is explosive. More recently he’s drawing some Jadeveon Clowney comparisons and I’m starting to think that it’s not too far off. Both have similar size and both tested roughly the same at the combine.
Davenport relies a lot on his physical gifts to get to the quarterback and that often times involves him just destroying offensive tackles.
Refining his technique and incorporating more spin-moves are all things he can learn with Clay Matthews and Nick Perry showing the way.
I’m less concerned with where a player competed at the college level. Davenport doesn’t have to be a day one starter, but having him rotate in to chase down QB’s would be a treat.
SB Nation: Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia
Frequent readers of the Mock Draft Round-Up know I have a soft spot for Roquan Smith. It isn’t lessened at all now that the Packers secured Muhammad Wilkerson in free agency.
The idea of having the fast ILB out of the Georgia shooting through lanes that are opened up by Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels and Wilkerson is an exciting one considering Pettine’s defense that emphasizes gap control. Smith can flourish in a Pettine defense much like Kiko Alonso did in Buffalo, and much like Deion Jones does in a different defense in Atlanta.
Both Jones and Smith have similar sizes and are more speed ILB than the traditional big, bulky MLBs we’re used to. Jones is a sideline-to-sideline backer, takes really good angles after diagnosing a play, and is fast enough to cover running backs.
Without Morgan Burnett in green and gold, it would help the secondary significantly if Smith could cover backs and tight ends instead of using Josh Jones or having other secondary players absorb that responsibility.