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2019 NFL mock draft: Packers target Jachai Polite, Noah Fant in first round

Once again, the Packers land a top pass rusher and an Iowa tight end with their two first-round draft selections.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have their shiny new head coach, and they will soon have a shiny new coaching staff to go along with him. After that, the team will turn have little else to focus on but free agency and the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft.

SB Nation’s draft expert Dan Kadar released his latest mock draft earlier Monday. It follows a familiar pattern for the Packers, who target one of the top edge rushers with their top pick and a tight end with their later Day 1 selection.

12. Green Bay Packers: Jachai Polite, DE/OLB, Florida

It’s evident the Packers need to use this pick on the player they consider to be the best pass rusher available. The way this mock plays out, that is Polite, the talented Florida pass rusher who had 11 sacks this season. Want a quick comparison for Polite? His gameplay reminds me of Trey Flowers of the Patriots.

Jachai Polite’s athletic traits will affect his draft stock considerably. He doesn’t have the length of some of the other top pass rushers, but he does seem to possess the top-shelf movement skills to make up for it. At leas to on paper, Polite seems like the kind of player who would thrive in Mike Pettine’s defense.

31. Green Bay Packers: (via New Orleans): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

After weeks of scrutiny for mocking Fant’s teammate T.J. Hockenson here, I’ll relent for now. That’s mostly because as of this writing on early Monday morning Hockenson has yet to declare for the draft. Fant is a nice option for the Packers in case Hockenson doesn’t go pro. He can be Green Bay’s version of Zach Ertz.

Soon after Kadar’s latest mock posted, Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson did declare for the draft. Expect to see this pick focus on Hockenson more in the coming weeks given the Packers’ need for a tight end with both blocking and pass-catching skills under new head coach Matt LaFleur.