Spending sprees have begun with the NFL free agency period kicking off this week. Surprisingly, the Green Bay Packers have led the way with four signings on the second day of activity, quickly upgrading the defense.
With free agency moves come updates to mock drafts across the country. Green Bay’s addition of two starting edge rushers fortified the position as much as it has been in almost a decade on paper, leading many to believe the Packers may not have to use a high pick on the position. Still, if the right player was available, could Green Bay add another pass rusher with the 12th pick? Or would they go in a different direction with an offensive lineman or tight end?
In my first mock of the draft season, I saw the Packers capitalize on the depth at the top of the edge-rushing board. Of course, trades are bound to happen on draft day, but are not accounted for here. Notes and comments on specific picks can be found below the table.
Shawn’s 2019 NFL Mock Draft, Version 1
|2||San Francisco||Nick Bosa||DE||Ohio State|
|3||NY Jets||Quinnen Williams||DT||Alabama|
|5||Tampa Bay||Dwayne Haskins||QB||Ohio State|
|6||NY Giants||Jawaan Taylor||OT||Florida|
|8||Detroit||Montez Sweat||DE||Mississippi State|
|9||Buffalo||D.K. Metcalf||WR||Ole Miss|
|12||Green Bay||Brian Burns||DE||Florida State|
|15||Washington||Garrett Bradbury||C||NC State|
|17||NY Giants||Johnathan Abram||S||Mississippi State|
|23||Houston||Andre Dillard||OT||Washington State|
|28||LA Chargers||Nasir Adderley||S||Delaware|
|29||Kansas City||Byron Murphy||CB||Washington|
|30||Green Bay||Greg Little||OT||Ole Miss|
|31||LA Rams||Jaylon Ferguson||DE||Louisiana Tech|
|32||New England||Jerry Tillery||DT||Notre Dame|
1. Green Bay - With the 12th pick, the Packers can’t let a player like Brian Burns slip by after having a remarkable NFL Combine. Green Bay could move Preston and/or Za’Darius Smith inside on passing downs to allow Burns to rush from the outside. Burns’ college experience standing up as a rusher, in addition to dropping back in coverage, becomes a valuable calling card with other pass rushers beginning to fly off the board. That’s why I went with Burns here for Green Bay, but Ed Oliver was a close second.
The Packers’ 30th overall selection becomes a little bit tougher to predict. Unless Fant or Hockenson are still available, Green Bay can probably wait until a later round for a tight end, and the speedy inside linebacker Devin Bush is already off the board. Offensive tackles are at a premium in this draft class and, while other players have received much more hype, Greg Little remains a potential starting right tackle for Green Bay once Bryan Bulaga’s time in Green Bay is over.
Here are some additional thoughts about round one:
2. Oakland - The Raiders have had a monumental start to the offseason with acquiring Antonio Brown. The move somewhat silences the crowd predicting a Metcalf selection. Instead, Oakland gets a top pass rusher, an immediate secondary helper, and an athletic space eater in the middle of the defensive line with three first-round picks. One has to believe Oakland would be overjoyed to add this crew in Mike Mayock’s first draft as General Manager.
3. Arizona - Kyler Murray number one overall? It could happen and no one of significance around Arizona has shot down the Murray hype and spoken up for incumbent Josh Rosen. While a player like Nick Bosa might be a more logical selection, Murray’s home-run potential, though he comes with risks, might be enough to sway the front office as Arizona starts over.
4. Minnesota - Yes, the Vikings’ luck with draft-day falls continues as they reel in Oliver, a versatile defensive fixture along the line. Size might be a concern about Oliver, but after losing Sheldon Richardson, Minnesota grabs another top interior linemen who slips to them, much like Sharrif Floyd.
5. Baltimore - Where does Josh Jacobs land? The Alabama running back has been mocked all over the place and the Ravens just signed Mark Ingram. But that should not stop the Ravens from getting a three-down back who can help in the passing game and creating their own Ingram-Alvin Kamara backfield.