It’s time for another mock draft round-up, and this week’s picks find a number of talented defensive backs projected to go to the Green Bay Packers with the 14th pick. Let’s check them out.
Walter Football: Jaire Alexander, DB, Louisville
Walter Football is standing pat with Jaire Alexander. I won’t spend too much time on Jaire because we talked about him more in depth here. A few commenters on that post agreed with my sentiment of pick 14 being too high to consider Alexander.
The mock draft this is from leaves Roquan Smith going 19 to Dallas, Josh Jackson to Detroit at 20, Harold Landry to Tennessee at 25, and Rashaan Evans to Pittsburgh at 28, all of whom I would consider drafting at 14 well before Alexander. Never hope that a first-round player is a bust, but I’m just not sold on Alexander being the player that Green Bay needs in round one.
SB Nation & CBS Sports: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
In earlier mock drafts, Fitzpatrick has been going in the top-5, and his drop in two different mocks might be the result of other teams jockeying for QB positioning. This is a steal for the Packers if they’re able to get a talent like Fitzpatrick at 14.
Fitzpatrick is about as complete of a defensive prospect in this draft. He plays smart and rarely takes plays off. He played a lot of the slot position for the Crimson Tide which would benefit the Packers greatly. From what I saw in his games against Tennessee and Arkansas last year, he’s sneakily good at shedding blocks, a great skill to have if you want him sniffing out screens or helping seal off runs.
I’m not sure if it’s a product of scheme or the safety instincts, but Fitzpatrick didn’t play a lot of press coverage, allowing cushion to the receivers, so it remains to be seen how he handles that if needed. He’s not as athletic as Denzel Ward or a Derwin James, but his game tape speaks volumes.
The Ringer: Denzel Ward, DB, Ohio State
Where Fitzpatrick is a big defensive back at 6-foot-1, Ward is on the shorter side. He makes up for it by being an athletic freak though. His quick feet and agility allow him to be in a good position to make plays on the ball and will allow him to match up well with technical route runners.
The young man can hit too:
CB Denzel Ward a future Raider..? pic.twitter.com/pbgAMQ2Wkl— King Brian (@BFord_the_Great) March 20, 2018
Having Kevin King and Tramon Williams on the outside would allow Ward to learn in the slot and would add some much needed depth. I don’t doubt that he can add some more size and become a more physical defensive back. Ward here would appease many Packer fans once he got on the field.
Bleacher Report: Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
Another player perennially mocked to the Packers is the physical specimen: Marcus Davenport. Relatively new to football, Davenport relies a lot on his physical gifts than technique when it comes to rushing the quarterback.
SackSEER has Davenport projected to be the most productive pass rusher from this years’ draft, ahead of guys like Bradley Chubb and Harold Landry. He’s projected to have 29.5 sacks over his first 5 years. Of course, this is all conjecture because it will depend on how he’s deployed, if he develops on a consistent trajectory, and doesn’t get injured. The point they’re making, though, is that he has shown statistical signs and athletic profile to get that done.
His 4.58 40-yard dash at the Combine is exciting to think about as he chases down running backs and receivers who are supposed to be faster than an EDGE guy.