It’s been over a month since our last mock draft roundup, when for the second time in a row Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer was named the overwhelming favorite to be selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 15th overall pick. This time, we’re going to throw a new spin on the roundup angle: Not only are we going to track who writers project the Packers to draft in the first round, but we’re also going to track which players that analysts believe are going to be off of the board when Green Bay goes on the clock.
First, though, let’s take a look at who these mock drafts actually have the Packers taking. Below are the 10 recent mock drafts that we’ll be using as a baseline for this class:
- Chad Reuter, NFL.com
- Charles Davis, NFL.com
- Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com
- Charles McDonald, Yahoo! Sports
- Zach Kruse, Touchdown Wire/Packers Wire
- Kavin Hanson, Sports Illustrated
- Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports
- Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
- Tommy Garrett, Pro Football Network
- The 33rd Team Scouting Dept., 33rd Team
- 3: Michael Mayer (TE, Notre Dame)
- 2: Paris Johnson (OL, Ohio State)
- 1: Bryan Bresee (DL, Clemson), Dalton Kincaid (TE, Utah), Devon Witherspoon (CB, Illinois), Jaxson Smith-Njigba (WR, Ohio State) and Peter Skoronski (OL, Northwestern)
That’s right, Mayer is still the favorite to be taken by the Packers — at least according to draft analysts — but his lead is being cut into. For the most part, writers either think Mayer is going to be the pick or they tend to throw their hands up and select a player from a grab bag of the remaining highest-rated prospects, which haven’t really established a pecking order for Green Bay at #15. In the minds of draft experts, the options seem to be “Mayer” or “Other.”
Here’s where things get interesting, though. Now we’re going to take a look at the players who are expected to be off the board by the 15th pick. We’re going to break players down into three groups: players who were selected before the 15th pick in every mock, players who were selected before the 15th pick in over half of the mocks and players who were selected before the 15th pick in half or fewer of the mocks.
10 Top-14 Selections
- Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
- Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
- C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
- Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
- Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
- Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
Unsurprisingly, three of the top four quarterbacks and the top three defenders on the consensus draft board are not expected to be on the board at the 15th overall pick. Here’s the good news for Packers fans, though: These are the only for-sure-won’t-be-there prospects in the class, based on the 10 mock drafts we’ve taken a look at. Barring major off-field or injury concerns over the next month, you can assume these six players won’t be Green Bay’s selection at 15.
6-9 Top-14 Selections
- Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (selected in 9 of 10 mocks)
- Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern (9)
- Will Levis, QB, Kentucky (8)
- Paris Johnson, OL, Ohio State (7)
This list of four players are the prospects who were taken more than half of the time before the 15th pick, but not every single time. This is the group of players who could “fall” to Green Bay’s first-round selection. Unfortunately, they don’t really line up with the Packers’ positional needs. The offensive line is maybe Green Bay’s strongest unit on their roster and cornerback is arguably the second, as Rasul Douglas and Keisean Nixon are expected to play the slots in 2023. One variable is the question of if Douglas could convert to safety, where he spent a few snaps during training camp last season. If Douglas transitions to a new position, that could open up playing time at cornerback, which would help justify a first-round selection at that position.
1-5 Top-14 Selections
- Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (selected in 5 of 10 mocks)
- Broderick Jones, OL, Georgia (5)
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State (5)
- Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa (5)
- Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson (5)
- Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia (5)
- Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (4)
- Quentin Johnson, WR, TCU (4)
- Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State (3)
- Darnell Wright, OL, Tennessee (2)
- Jordan Addison, WR, USC (2)
- Calijah Kancey, DL, Pittsburgh (1)
- Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah (1)
The remaining 13 players were selected in front of the 15th overall pick in half or fewer of the observed mock drafts. Interestingly enough, some of the most frequently mocked prospects to the Packers aren’t included on this list. Brian Branch (S, Alabama), Michael Mayer (TE, Notre Dame) and Bryan Bresee (DL, Clemson) are all ranked in the consensus board’s top-25 players in the 2023 draft class but were not taken before the 15th pick in any of the 10 mock drafts. The list above, including Branch, Mayer and Bresee, is a reasonable group of “he should be there” prospects, in reference to the Packers’ first-round draft choice.
Let us know in the comments below who your favorite potential Packer is out of the second and third groups, as the assumption is that the first group will be gone well before Green Bay is on the clock.