The name of the game for the Green Bay Packers in the most recent round-up of mock drafts is Trade, Trade, Trade. Both CBS Sports and USA Today have the Packers involved in a trade of some kind, one of which we’ll get to later, but there’s a move-down trade we’ll address in this piece.
The general consensus among these mock drafts also include the Packers using their first pick in the first round on a defensive player, most commonly an edge rusher. Adding pieces to the defense is key to having the Packers get back into the playoffs considering how many players on that side might be allowed to walk or get cut this offseason.
CBS Sports: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Muhammad Wilkerson has told The Athletic that he would like to return to Green Bay and another one-year prove-it deal would be beneficial to both sides, They already have Pro Bowl-level talent in Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark, and Montravius Adams can provide some stability in relief downs.
Adding Ed Oliver would be a great luxury for the Packers, though. As we saw last year, D-Line depth is important to Mike Pettine’s defense and losing Daniels for stretches and Wilkerson for the majority of the season really hampered their ability to win in the trenches. Oliver is an explosive athlete who could be moved all around the defensive line. Though he’s not an EDGE player, he can still get after the quarterback very effectively.
USA Today: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
USA Today’s mock draft has the Packers trading back two different times to accumulate draft picks, but still get a solid EDGE player who should probably be drafted higher. Burns is an explosive prospect who already has pretty solid technique. His ability to put his hand in the turf or stand up is enticing for the Packers’ 3-4 defense.
While Burns is a great athlete with good change of direction ability, he does need to add a little bit more size so he doesn’t get pushed around by bigger, more refined NFL offensive linemen. His length makes him a fun prospect, but if he adds weight, you have to hope that doesn’t impact his athleticism.
SB Nation & The Ringer: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
Meanwhile, there’s another EDGE in the state of Florida who could come in and make life difficult for opposing QBs in the NFC North. Polite will cut his teeth as a pass-rush specialist early on in his career, but once he adds a little more bulk, he should be able to become more well-rounded in defending against the run. He’ll also need to work on discipline in maintaining the edge during run plays.
His athleticism is freakish, however raw he may be. Polite has great burst and flexibility coming around the corner. Much like Burns, Polite has experience starting in a two-point or three-point stance which will be essential in Pettine’s defense.
Bleacher Report: Devin White, LB, LSU
It’s no secret that I was really high on picking up Roquan Smith last year. The Packers unfortunately didn’t get a shot at him with the Bears scooping him up, but I was enamored with the idea of how a sideline-to-sideline linebacker could open up more possibilities in Pettine’s defense. Devin White can be that type of player, but also a little more stout that Smith in terms of stopping the run and shedding blocks.
White’s closing speed is fantastic and watching him drop into coverage and effect plays in zone coverage would be a great compliment to the sure-tackler, Blake Martinez. The top-15 in these mock drafts is a fairly muddled mess of defenders with one or two quarterbacks sprinkled in, so it’s difficult to tell if the Packers would get another chance at a star-potential linebacker, or watch him picked up right before.