Musings of a Mock Draft Maniac

With free agency set to begin today, we’re about to see a flurry of activity in the news cycle as teams shell out big bucks for veteran players testing the market. But as we head into the final month leading up to the draft it will be reports of draft prospect’s stock rising and falling, mock drafts, and a list of at least 50 draft prospects that won’t be there for the Packers at 30 dominating the headlines. 

It is a time for optimism. Everyone is undefeated. All teams have hope. It’s like putting together your birthday wish list and knowing you should get at least one or two of the shiny new toys you asked for, right?

I’m as guilty as anyone who gets swept up in the hype, it helps me get through the off-season. There is valuable information to glean during “Mock Draft Mania”, projecting a range of players who could be available where the Packers select in each round, we can use these indicators to predict what Brian Gutekunst might do if certain opportunities present themselves on April 23rd.  

  • Who will be available at 30?
  • Can the Packers wait until 62 to get an impact WR?
  • What targets should we keep an eye on during the mid to late rounds?

These are the questions I will try to answer by comparing four seven-round mock drafts I completed using The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine.

7 Round Mock Draft 1.0

February 23rd, 2020

#TEAMNAMELOCATION
30GBPKenneth MurrayLB, Oklahoma
48GBPBrandon AiyukWR, Arizona State
94GBPBen BartchOT, St. John
100GBPThaddeus MossTE, LSU
157GBPNick CoeEDGE, Auburn
201GBPA. J. DillonRB, Boston College

7 Round Mock Draft 2.0

March 2nd, 2020

#TEAMNAMELOCATION
30GBPZack BaumEDGE, Wisconsin
48GBPDenzel MimsWR, Baylor
94GBPJalen HurtsQB, Oklahoma
100GBPSoloman KindleyIOL, Georgia
157GBPTyler JohnsonWR, Minnesota
172GBPJustin HerronOT, Wake Forest
189GBPGeno StoneS, Iowa

7 Round Mock Draft 2.0

March 9th, 2020

#TEAMNAMELOCATION
30GBPJosh JonesOT, Houston
62GBPJalen ReagorWR, TCU
94GBPDavon HamiltonIDL, Ohio State
116GBPAkeem Davis-GaitherLB, Appalachian State
157GBPTyler JohnsonWR, Minnesota
172GBPLamar JacksonCB, Nebraska
189GBPQuintez CephusWR, Wisconsin
201GBPDarius AndersonRB, TCU

These are just three examples of dozens of mocks I’ve done, but they capture a few trends I’m seeing consistently. Armed with this info I look deep into my green and gold crystal ball to predict the Packers fate during the 2020 NFL Draft. 


A TOP LB WILL BE AVAILABLE AT 30

In all four examples either Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray or Wisconsin LB Zach Baun was available for Green Bay to select in the 1st round, with Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons and LSU LB Patrick Queen off the board.

In all but the third mock the ILB was the top-rated player on my board, the perfect scenario where positional need met value. As I said both Murray and Baun were there for the taking in the third mock, but having the opportunity to grab Houston OT Josh Jones was too good to pass up. Patience paid off, as I was able to steal Akeem Davis-Gaither in the 4th round.  

48 -52 IS THE SWEET SPOT FOR WR

The depth at WR will prove true and addressing bigger needs at 30 while still getting an impact pass catcher in the 2nd round is a dream scenario for Green Bay. 

That doesn’t mean Gutekunst can just sit on his hands and expect a WR to drop to him at 62. In all but one example I was forced to trade up to get the last remaining top tier WR. TCU’s Jalen Reagor did fall to 62 in my final mock, but my gut tells me the Packers will need to package a mid-round pick with 62 to move up and grab someone before it’s too late.

THE THIRD ROUND IS A WILD CARD

Things take a twist after the top 60 picks. Players you thought would be long gone are available, and guys you figured were mid round values are off the board. St. John’s OT Ben Bartch, Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts, and DT Davon Hamilton are all great examples of being true to your board and taking the best player available. 

I could not resist trading up to take LST TE Thaddeus Moss at the top of the 4th. He would be a wrecking ball in this offense, and it would really piss off Vikings fans. Sign me up.

EVERYONE NEEDS A DARKHORSE

And Minnesota WR Tyler Johnson is mine. Whether the Packers draft a WR with their first two picks or not, the value Johnson would provide in the middle rounds cannot be overstated. I believe he has the makings of a capable WR2 or a really good WR3 at the NFL level, while consistently being available in the 4th and 5th rounds. That’s bang for your buck.

Will things pan out this way? Your guess is as good as mine. With all the variables and uncertainty in the sports world right now and the impact current events are having on a team’s ability to attend pro days and player visits, I have no doubt there will be a few surprises along the way. In the meantime, I’m going to crack a beer and go do another mock draft. 

Cheers!
Ryan Bowman
@ryanbowmanPWW


 

 

 

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