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NFL mock draft 2019: Packers target offense after free agency

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With the Packers landing multiple defensive starters in free agency, their draft needs shift to the offense.

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The first week of the free-agency period saw the Green Bay Packers land three new defensive starters: safety Adrian Amos and edge rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. With those players now in the fold, the team can address other parts of the roster via the draft.

With that in mind, SB Nation draft guru Dan Kadar projected the Packers going in a vastly different direction in his latest mock draft.

12. Green Bay Packers: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

Offseason needs: Tight end, guard, defensive line

By signing a pair of edge rushers in Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith, the Packers no longer have a glaring need there. That opens them up to taking Fant with the No. 12 pick. They’ll have to pick him here if they want him. Chances are he won’t last until the team’s selection at No. 30.

The Packers decided to retain tight end Jimmy Graham after a somewhat disappointing 2018 season, but they still need more help at the position. Recently signed Marcedes Lewis can only contribute so much as he approaches his 35th birthday.

Enter Noah Fant, one of the two star tight ends from the Iowa Hawkeyes. He doesn’t offer the same blocking prowess of teammate T.J. Hockenson, but Fant could become the more dominant pass catcher in the NFL.

30. Green Bay Packers: (via New Orleans): Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College

Offseason needs: Tight end, guard, defensive line

If they Packers do land Fant at No. 12 it will be fascinating to see what they do with No. 30. Theoretically, an interior blocker could be found later in the draft. Maybe that would open general manager Brian Gutekunst to trading back and accumulating future draft capital. If a guard is picked in the first round, though, chances are that it will be Lindstrom.

The Packers did address the offensive line in free agency, signing former Denver Broncos utility man Billy Turner to a four-year deal. Even so, they could use competition for right guard in 2019 and another starter in the future given the possible departure of right tackle Bryan Bulaga after the season.

Chris Lindstrom might not become Green Bay’s next starting right tackle, but he could resolve some of their holes down the line regardless. A robust combine that saw him grade out as one of the most athletic offensive linemen in his rookie class and a background that includes extensive starting experience at both tackle and guard make him the most “Packers” O-line prospect in the draft.