SB Nation as a whole has been holding its writers' mock draft over the past several weeks, with each team's blog making the selections for their respective squads. This week, we were on the clock with the 62nd selection in the mock, the Green Bay Packers' second-round pick.
(Note: this is a different mock draft than the APC-only one, in which seven APC writers each take control of specific teams.)
With all of the top pass-rushers gone and most of the elite cornerback prospects also taken earlier in round one, we addressed the inside linebacker position in Round 1 by selecting Shaq Thompson and we had hoped that one of the second-tier cornerbacks would fall to the Packers in Round 2. Unfortunately, there was a run at that position in the 50s, and we aren't crazy about anyone else who's left at that position as a round two value.
Therefore, with the 62nd pick, we chose...
Nate Orchard, outside linebacker, Utah
Weight: 250 pounds
Combine 40 time: 4.80 seconds
Nate Orchard is the best edge rusher left on our board, and by a pretty decent margin. With both Nick Perry's and Mike Neal's contracts up after the 2015 season and Julius Peppers now in his mid-30s, the outside linebacker position is solid for this season, but a question mark beyond that. After Green Bay's struggles at safety in 2013 and inside linebacker in 2014, we'd like to have a replacement a year too early rather than a year too late.
Orchard would be able to rotate in and out during his rookie year before playing a bigger role in 2016, when one or more of those veterans departs. With his wide range of pass-rushing moves, he should spend plenty of time in the backfield of the Packers' opponents in the next several years.
Pairing Orchard with Thompson should give the Packers a nice inside-outside tandem in this draft. If the 2015 NFL Draft were to shake out this way, we would still expect a cornerback to be drafted either in round 3 or early on the third day of the draft.