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APC Mock Draft 2018: Packers land an ideal slot corner with the 45th pick

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After landing Derwin James in round one, our writer for Green Bay keeps adding in the secondary in the second.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Louisiana State vs Louisville Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As of Monday, we had made it through the first third of round two of the 2018 Acme Packing Company Mock Draft, and Tuesday brings us the next batch of picks for the middle of the second round. In that group are the Green Bay Packers, who sit with pick number 45. With a few intriguing edge rushers with athleticism questions available, our writer picking on behalf of Brian Gutekunst finds a player who had a visit with Green Bay during the pre-draft process and who should be able to step in immediately and contribute.

Here are picks 43 through 53, and stay tuned tomorrow as we close out round two with a bit of a surprise for Green Bay.

2.43 — New England Patriots (Peter)

Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

After going all offense in the first round, the Patriots shore up their secondary here with a player who belongs in Day 1. Hughes brings a playmaking mindset to a cornerback group in desperate need one one with the departure of Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler the last two offseasons. It’s worth noting the Patriots, in this mock, took three players with possible interest/connection to the Packers as well.

2.44 — Washington (Owen)

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

A coup for the Redskins, somehow Derrius Guice falls into their lap at 44. Guice runs angry, and plays with a physicality that’s unmatched in this runningback class. Guice gives the Redskins the feature back they’ve lacked since Alfred Morris left, and Guice immediately becomes a difference maker in Washington.

2.45 — Green Bay Packers (Peter)

Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

Run the card to the podium. Jackson is the twitchiest cornerback in the draft and with the Packers secondary currently filled with bigger, stiffer corners, getting a fluid athlete like Jackson who could cover the slot was a no-brainer. Jackson has first-round ability, so getting him here would be a steal for the Packers.

2.46 — Cincinnati Bengals (JBH)

Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

Even before Vontaze Burfict received his latest multi-game suspension, the Bengals’ linebacking corps needed an influx of athleticism and playmaking ability. Texas’ Malik Jefferson offers both, scoring in the 89th percentile by SPARQ at the combine and leading the Longhorns in total tackles (110), tackles for loss (10), and sacks (four) during his final season in Austin. Jefferson has the frame and skill set to play both off the ball and as a pass rusher, giving new Cincinnati defensive coordinator Teryl Austin a versatile weapon at his disposal.

2.47 — Indianapolis Colts (Jordan)

Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

Orlando Brown’s combine was, in a word: terrible. And because of it, he should get pushed into the third day of the draft, but with all this draft capital accumulated for the Colts then they can take a chance on someone with upside.

His 14 bench reps at the combine is a little alarming, but despite that, he displays excellent strength on the football field in both run blocking and pass protection. He is a huge human being at 6’8”, 360 lbs and 35” arms, but he strikes me as a player that will need coaching to refine his technique. Any assistance along the offensive line is a welcome sight for Andrew Luck.

2.48 — Los Angeles Chargers (JBH)

Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

Philip Rivers turns 37 during the upcoming season, his 15th in the league. While the Chargers can probably squeeze another high-level season or two out of his herky-jerky delivery, the team has to identify a successor soon. A quarterback like Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph would probably have come off the board in the first round in most drafts, but the wealth of coveted prospects at the position pushed him into range for Los Angeles’ “other” NFL franchise.

2.49 — Indianapolis Colts (Jordan)

Arden Key, EDGE, LSU

Doubling down on the pass rushers here after grabbing Harold Landry earlier. Arden Key is a first-round talent, but this season he looked slow and had difficulty shedding blockers. He had a decent three-cone drill (7.16 seconds) at the combine, which was needed. His broad jump (117 inches) was just middling, though, and that lack of explosion was seen here and on the tape.

There’s also an air of mystery as to why Key missed time with the team during spring of last year and injuries to his shoulder and finger could have contributed to his slow 2017. Like Brown, though, this is an investment in potential for the Colts. If he’s able to develop into the an NFL starter that he was projected to in 2016, then the Colts have the building blocks for a solid pass rush.

2.50 — Dallas Cowboys (Shawn)

D.J. Chark, WR, LSU

Dez Bryant is out in Dallas and though the Cowboys added Deonte Thompson and Allen Hurns in the offseason, a young deep threat could be a tremendous asset for Dak Prescott. Calvin Ridley could be a sleeper pick for the first round, but Dallas opted to go best player available with a defensive tackle.

The Cowboys get their speedy receiver in round two by selecting Chark, who has had fantastic pre-draft workouts. The LSU product is far from a finished product, but presents excellent measurables to go along with the ability to separate from defensive backs and add value in the return game. The long-term potential of Chark makes him an intriguing top-50 pick.

2.51 — Detroit Lions (Tex)

Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State

After getting the top lineman from Michigan in round one, they pair him with a pass-rusher from Ohio State in the second round. Hubbard has ideal size for a 4-3 defensive end, and although he did not run well in the 40 at Ohio State’s Pro Day (a concern since their track is notoriously fast), he did show off exceptional change-of-direction ability at the Combine. With the rest of the top pass-rushers off the board at this point, Hubbard seems like a great value pick, particularly since he has been mocked around the end of the first round in many instances.

2.52 — Baltimore Ravens (Jordan)

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

Another receiver I love is James Washington and he’s going to a team that is perpetually in need of talented wide receivers. Washington is a talented wideout who can provide the big armed Joe Flacco with another deep option. He may only be 5’11”, but his speed and ability to go up and get the ball against defenders is what makes him a special deep threat.

Washington is built like a running back, so I don’t anticipate him having too many issues with press coverage. Because of this, and his ability to make plays after the catch, I’d really like to see what he can do on some end arounds and bubble screens. Baltimore may have found something with Alex Collins running the ball last season, so it makes sense to grab another pass catcher that can draw attention.

2.53 — Buffalo Bills (Jonathan B.)

Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford

The Bills have found a Middle Linebacker and a Quarterback in this mock already. While there might be issues with the offense, the main players are mostly set at the skill positions and this is not the spot for offensive line depth. With a strong defensive backfield, the Bills turn to bolstering their defensive front here. Harrison Phillips gives the Bills a physical presence on the interior. The Bills run defense suffered greatly after trading Marcell Dareus to the Jacksonville Jaguars. This should help stabilize the defense and give them someone who will see significant time on the field.

APC Mock Draft 2018

Pick Team Author Player Position College
Pick Team Author Player Position College
1 CLE Shawn Josh Allen QB Wyoming
2 NYG Jason Josh Rosen QB UCLA
3 NYJ Tex Sam Darnold QB USC
4 CLE Shawn Saquon Barkley RB Penn State
5 DEN Peter Quenton Nelson G Notre Dame
6 ARI (Trade w/ IND) Jordan Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
7 TB Jon B Bradley Chubb DE NC State
8 CHI Mike Tremaine Edmunds LB Va Tech
9 SF Owen Denzel Ward CB Ohio State
10 OAK Jon B Minkah Fitzpatrick DB Alabama
11 MIA Mike Vita Vea DT Washington
12 BUF Jon B Roquan Smith ILB UGA
13 WAS Owen Josh Jackson CB Iowa
14 GB Peter Derwin James S Florida State
15 IND (trade w/ARI) Jordan Harold Landry EDGE Boston College
16 BAL Jordan Marcus Davenport EDGE UTSA
17 LAC Jason Mike McGlinchey T Notre Dame
18 SEA Mike Isaiah Wynn OL Georgia
19 DAL Shawn Da'Ron Payne DL Alabama
20 DET Tex Maurice Hurst DT Michigan
21 CIN Jason Will Hernandez G UTEP
22 BUF Jon B Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
23 NE Peter Courtland Sutton WR SMU
24 CAR Peter Connor Williams OL Texas
25 TEN Owen Josh Sweat EDGE Florida State
26 ATL Tex Taven Bryan DT Florida
27 NO Jason Mike Gesicki TE Penn State
28 PIT Owen Leighton Vander Esch LB Boise State
29 JAX Mike Hayden Hurst TE South Carolina
30 MIN Jon B James Daniels C/G Iowa
31 NE Peter Kolton Miller OT UCLA
32 PHI Jordan Rashaan Evans ILB Alabama
33 CLE Shawn Jaire Alexander CB Louisville
34 NYG Jason D.J. Moore WR Maryland
35 CLE Shawn Martinas Rankin OT Mississippi State
36 IND Jordan Calvin Ridley WR Alabama
37 IND Jordan Isaiah Oliver CB Colorado
38 TB Jon B Holton Hill CB Texas
39 CHI Mike Billy Price OL Ohio State
40 DEN Peter Sony Michel RB Georgia
41 OAK Jon B Tim Settle DT VA Tech
42 MIA Mike Lorenzo Carter LB Georgia
43 NE Peter Mike Hughes CB UCF
44 WAS Owen Derrius Guice RB LSU
45 GB Peter Donte Jackson CB LSU
46 CIN Jason Malik Jefferson LB Texas
47 IND (trade w/ARI) Jordan Orlando Brown OT Oklahoma
48 LAC Jason Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma State
49 IND Jordan Arden Key EDGE LSU
50 DAL Shawn D.J. Chark WR LSU
51 DET Tex Sam Hubbard DE Ohio State
52 BAL Jordan James Washington WR Oklahoma State
53 BUF Jon B Harrison Phillips DT Stanford
54 KC Tex Carlton Davis CB Auburn
55 CAR Peter Justin Reid S Stanford
56 BUF Jon B Braden Smith G Auburn
57 TEN Owen Nick Chubb RB Georgia
58 GB (via ATL) Peter Christian Kirk WR Texas A&M
59 SF Owen Austin Corbett OG Nevada
60 PIT Owen Jesse Bates III S Wake Forest
61 JAX Mike Darius Leonard LB South Carolina State
62 MIN Jon B Anthony Averett CB Alabama
63 NE Peter Dallas Goedert TE South Dakota State
64 CLE Shawn Rasheem Green DE USC