As the Green Bay Packers move closer to picking a full-time replacement for Mike McCarthy, the 2019 NFL Draft comes into focus as well. With that in mind, SB Nation’s Dan Kadar has released another mock draft. In it, he sees the Packers selected two pass rushers.
12. Green Bay Packers: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
The Packers are still in search of a head coach, so it’s challenging to lock them into players based on system fit. If defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is retained by the next head coach, he’ll push for a pass rusher. Florida’s Jachai Polite is a logical choice, but Ferrell is closing his Clemson career strong.
Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell hasn’t garnered as much consideration for the Packers as other pass rushers such as Jachai Polite and Montez Sweat, but he has a longer track record of success. Ferrell started every game for the Tigers over the past three seasons, notching no fewer than 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks in all of them. He reached a new level of domination in 2018, registering career highs in both categories (18.5 TFLs and 11.5 sacks).
Like many college edge rushers, Ferrell spent most of his time working from a three-point stance. That certainly doesn’t preclude him from transitioning to an outside linebacker role in Mike Pettine’s defense assuming the Packers’ defensive coordinator remains in place under the next head coach. However, Polite and other prospects do have that experience and might transition to the NFL faster because of it.
31. Green Bay Packers: (via New Orleans): Brian Burns, DE/OLB, Florida State
It wouldn’t be the worst idea for the Packers to double up on edge rushers in the first round of the draft. Burns is more of a standup rusher than Ferrell, and can be moved around a little more.
Selecting Brian Burns would give Green Bay its second ACC pass rusher of the first round. That might seem like a lot of investment in one area of the roster, but the defense has struggled to organically generate pressure off the edge for several years.