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2019 NFL mock draft: T.J. Hockenson slips to Packers at pick No. 12

T.J. Hockenson saw his stock rise considerably after the NFL Scouting Combine, regularly coming off the board in the top 10 of most mock drafts. However, he slips to the Packers at pick No. 12 in SB Nation’s latest projection.

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

With just over a week remaining before the 2019 NFL Draft begins, some of the ideas discarded early in the process have begun to resurface. Some well-connected NFL media members have publicly questioned whether the Arizona Cardinals will indeed draft Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall selection. Ed Oliver once again seems destined for a top 10 selection. And, as evident in SB Nation Dan Kadar’s latest mock draft, T.J. Hockenson could end up with the Packers at pick No. 12.

12. Green Bay Packers: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Offseason needs: Tight end, safety, defensive line, offensive line

The No. 12 pick in recent weeks has gone between Iowa tight end Noah Fant and an offensive lineman. But if Hockenson is available, he’s just the smart choice for the Packers. Aaron Rodgers has never really had a tight end who can do what Hockenson can do.

Tight ends rarely come off the board early in the first round, even coveted, versatile ones like Iowa’s Hockenson. Still, new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur could use a traditional “Y” tight end to great effect in his offensive scheme, especially as an edge blocker on outside-zone runs and tight-end throwbacks. Hockenson’s youth (he just completed his redshirt sophomore season) and the schematic fit make him a viable option for Green Bay this early.

30. Green Bay Packers: (via New Orleans): Garrett Bradbury, OL, North Carolina State

Offseason needs: Tight end, safety, defensive line, offensive line

It’s possible that the top guards in the draft fall this far. The position isn’t highly valued, first of all. Secondly, neither Bradbury nor Chris Lindstrom of Boston College were considered first-round players before the NFL Scouting Combine. That could ultimately benefit the Packers, who can get a starting lineman in the back of the first round.

The Packers don’t need a center, Garrett Bradbury’s primary position. However, his top-flight athleticism for an offensive lineman and his positional versatility make him a tantalizing choice for Green Bay at this spot. Bradbury could provide real competition at either guard spot immediately while allowing recently signed Billy Turner to spend his time, whether in 2019 or in the future, at right tackle. No matter how Green Bay reshuffled the offensive line, the unit would improve with Bradbury in it.