Another week has passed, which can only mean one thing: A new batch of mock drafts. Since our last mock draft round-up, the Green Bay Packers have opened up a new hole on the defensive side of the ball — as they traded cornerback Rasul Douglas (and a fifth-round pick) to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a third-round draft choice.
Will the loss of Douglas change the way-too-soon prognostications of what the Packers will do in April? Let’s take a look at some of the picks that Green Bay was awarded in recent first-round mocks to answer that question.
Joe Alt, OL, Notre Dame
: Notre Dame OL Joe Alt currently has a 89.9 PFF grade. Making him the offensive lineman in the entire country -— The Irish Tribune (@TheIrishTribune) November 2, 2023
Is Notre Dame OLU? ⬇️
: Brandon Sloter of Getty Images pic.twitter.com/Zgw4Z8reYe
Notre Dame has had a somewhat disappointing season this year, but one player who is living up to the hype is Joe Alt, the 6’8” son of former All-Pro tackle John Alt. The younger Alt is a good athlete who thrives in pass protection, where he’s been nearly flawless this season. He was also the most popular pick to the Packers in this batch of mock drafts, being selected by the team four times. If you want a comparison for Alt, think of a longer Jake Matthews, who has been holding it down at left tackle for the Atlanta Falcons since 2014.
Olu Fashanu, OL, Penn State
If your NFL team needs an OT, the Ohio State-Penn State tape is appointment viewing.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 31, 2022
LT Olu Fashanu (6-6, 320) is ridiculously talented for only 19 years old. One of the best NFL prospects in CFB.
✅Play strength pic.twitter.com/Jl275cBb7C
The two mock drafts that gave the Packers Olu Fashanu, funny enough, were both via CBS Sports. Fashanu is considered the top tackle prospect in the class, but it’s becoming a closer race with how Alt has performed as of lately. Fashanu took over for now-Packer Rasheed Walker at left tackle for Penn State, where he’s dominated since winning the starting job. Last year, he was maybe the most surprising underclassman to return to school. At the moment, Fashanu is ranked fourth on the consensus draft board, so don’t go assuming that he’ll be there for the Packers on draft day, depending on how the team finishes out the season.
Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
Kool-Aid McKinstry is the Best CB in College Football pic.twitter.com/IT6acD02xD— Alabama DieHards (@DiehardsAlabama) August 10, 2023
Along with the two top tackles in the class, one defender was also awarded to the Packers multiple times in mock drafts this week: Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry. As an Alabama prep, McKinstry was considered a five-star recruit and decided to stay home for his college career. He immediately saw the field for the Crimson Tide as a freshman, which means the recently-turned 21-year-old will be a three-starter when he likely declares in January. As a true sophomore in 2022, he was voted a First-Team All-SEC defensive back for recording 15 passes defended. On top of his play at cornerback, McKinstry is also a talented return man — bringing in 34 punt returns for 390 yards during his Crimson Tide career. He is considered the top pure cornerback in this class, as many project Iowa’s Cooper DeJean to play safety at the next level.
Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado
Here come the weird ones. From here on out, each of these players received just one Packers selection in mock drafts. Shedeur Sanders is the son of Deion Sanders, NFL Hall of Famer and Colorado’s head coach — who swears that Shedeur isn’t going to declare for the upcoming draft. Since starting the season off hot with Heisman-caliber performances, Sanders’ Buffaloes have lost five of their last six games, with their only win coming by three points against a 2-7 Arizona State team. Through nine games, Sanders has also taken 45 sacks. There’s a wide-open race for who the third quarterback off the board in April is going to be, as USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye seem to have locked down the top two spots. I highly doubt that Sanders, who is ranked 32nd on the consensus draft board, would end up going as high as sixth overall as PFN projects here.
Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
Keon Coleman vs Southern Miss— Draft Prospects (@draft_prospects) November 3, 2023
3 receptions, 48 yards, 1 touchdown
Check out full game below! pic.twitter.com/24ix7sPKo1
Both Rome Odunze (Washington) and Keon Coleman (Florida State) are the heart and soul of their offenses. If the Packers want in the receiver market but miss out on Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., neither would be a bad choice. At the moment, Odunze ranks third among Power 5 players in receiving yards.
Meanwhile, Coleman is a big-body receiver who has an amazing nine receiving touchdowns on just 38 receptions. With how the Packers’ passing game is consistently stalling due to missed catch-point opportunities, I wouldn’t be surprised if they look at Coleman as a solution to a problem. He also came to Florida State via Michigan State, where he was teammates with Green Bay’s rookie second-round pick Jayden Reed.
Taliese Fuaga, OL, Oregon State
In a loaded 2024 tackle class, Taliese Fuaga of Oregon State has been a massive riser. Terrific blend of power and athleticism at 6-6, 330. pic.twitter.com/rB8E5Fac46— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) November 6, 2023
J.C. Latham, OL, Alabama
loving the feet from the big man RT JC Latham (#65) in this clip pic.twitter.com/Xca2rjNURW— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) July 19, 2023
Amarius Mims, OL, Georgia
Georgia OT Amarius Mims over the past two seasons:— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 4, 2023
234 Pass Block Snaps
Zero Sacks Allowed
Zero QB Hits Allowed pic.twitter.com/h5tSIO65PX
After Alt and Fashanu, the most popular tackle names in the class are going to be J.C. Latham (Alabama) and Amarius Mims (Georgia). For whatever it’s worth, they both play right tackle and not left tackle, unlike Alt and Fashanu. Both were super recruits before starting their SEC careers, but they couldn’t have a more different set of bonafides.
Mims first came on the scene when he started at right tackle against Ohio State in the last college football playoff. Prior to that point, he was just a rotational lineman for the Bulldogs. This year, before Georgia ever played a high-caliber opponent, Mims ended up leaving the lineup with an ankle injury that required surgery. He’s a relative unknown with a few glimpses of special play, while Latham has been a full-time starter since he was a true sophomore.
Taliese Fuaga is a name that seems to be rising up draft boards. Pro Football Focus is leading the way on him, mocking the 33rd player on the consensus draft board to the Packers at seventh overall. There are questions about whether Fuaga will play tackle or guard at the next level, but he currently plays right tackle for the Beavers. He’s a people mover with nice feet, but his motor is a little up and down.