Packers mock draft 2019: Predicting picks, NFL Draft plan, sleepers for Green Bay

first_imgFinal thoughts:Jordy Nelson (2008, second round), Matthews (2009, first round) and Cobb (2011, second round) were invaluable pieces of the Super Bowl-contending Packers’ roster that gradually deteriorated. Gutekunst needs to deliver those type of pieces in this draft.Green Bay hit its areas of need via free agency, but this draft needs to come with a few difference makers that can help the Packers close the gap with the Bears and Vikings in the NFC North. A two-pick combination of Bush, White or Oliver on defense and Brown, Hockenson or Metcalf would be the next step in getting there. The 2019 NFL Draft is a pivotal point for the Packers, a franchise that lost the NFC North crown over the last two seasons.The Packers have a new head coach in Matt LaFleur, and GM Brian Gutekunst is tasked with building on the strong moves the team made in free agency. Now comes the NFL Draft from April 25-27, and Green Bay has two first-round picks and 10 picks overall to work with. Green Bay will have to address the loss of veterans Randall Cobb, Clay Matthews and Nick Perry in this draft. You can expect Gutekunst to keep that youth movement going.SN’s NFL DRAFT HQ:Iyer’s mock draft | Live pick tracker | TV scheduleHere is a look at how the draft might shake out for Green Bay.Packers NFL Draft picks RoundPickFirstNo. 12FirstNo. 30SecondNo. 44ThirdNo. 75FourthNo. 114FourthNo. 118FifthNo. 150SixthNo. 185SixthNo. 194SeventhNo. 226Packers’ NFL Draft team needs Linebacker: Blake Martinez has developed into a leader, but Jake Ryan left via free agency and Oren Burks struggled with injury issues as a rookie. This was a position Matthews frequented the last few seasons. A long-term solution is needed, and there are two coveted targets in the first round.Wide receiver: Davante Adams is a star, but what once was the deepest unit on the roster now counts on a little too much youth at the position. Geronimo Allison battled injuries last season, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown flashed their talent at times but also caught just 59 of 109 targets. Green Bay needs more from this group.Edge rusher: Kyler Fackrell’s emergence last year made it easier to let Matthews go, and Green Bay added Preston Smith via free agency. They still could use more help generating pressure off the edge, and this draft is stocked with talent.Tight end: Green Bay still has Jimmy Graham on the roster, and he was the second-most frequent target for Rodgers. This draft has depth at the position, however, and it would not hurt to give Rodgers another red-zone target.Interior line: The Packers signed Billy Turner from Denver, but this unit lacks depth each season and needs to protect Rodgers better. He took 49 sacks last season.Packers mock draft 2019 First-round plan:Devin Bush, LB, Michigan (No. 12) Martinez has one year left on his contract, and Bush was one of the best side-to-side linebackers in college football last season. He’s a hard-hitter who had 11 passes defensed the last two years with Michigan.Of course, this assumes LSU’s Devin White will be off the board. If the Packers can land either one of these linebackers who put on a show at the NFL Combine, then that would be a win for defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma (No. 30) Brown will need to fall this far, but “Hollywood” could come in and be that impact receiver in this offense. He averaged 18.3 yards per reception the last two years and would be the first receiver taken if not for a lisfranc injury that required surgery. It’s a risky pick, but one that could pay off if Brown falls into Green Bay’s lap.MORE: Full NFL mock draft for 2019Second-guessing that plan:Some mocks have the Packers taking Ole Miss receiver D.K. Metcalf, the NFL Combine superstar who will conjure up memories of Sterling Sharpe, at No. 12. If not Metcalf, Green Bay could take Iowa’s Dustin Hockenson or Houston’s Ed Oliver with its first pick. The Oliver pick would be a steal in that spot.From there, Green Bay could look at Clemson’s Christian Wilkins at No. 30 to increase depth on the interior around Kenny Clark.Don’t be surprised if…… Green Bay trades one of its first-round picks. There is depth at defensive line and edge rusher, and the Packers could fortify those positions on Day 2 and pile up even more picks. The No. 12 pick, in particular, could be sought after by a team looking to grab one of those pass rushers.The Packers have the flexibility to move up and down the board, and Gutekunst can take advantage of that.Day 2 plan:The Packers also have the No. 44 pick in the second round, and there is some late draft buzz on Missouri quarterback Drew Lock, who threw for 12,193 yards, 99 TDs and 39 interceptions with Missouri the last four seasons. Lock could learn behind Rodgers for a few seasons.If Green Bay waits on tight end — and that should be the plan — then Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger could be a value pick on Day 2. If the Packers do not take tackle Dalton Risner in the first round, then Washington’s Kaleb McGary could be the go-to pick on Day 2.Day 3 sleeper:Benny Snell, RB, Kentucky (fifth round) Snell averaged more than 5.0 yards per carry and had three 1,000-yard seasons in the SEC. He’s the perfect physical runner to complement Aaron Jones, who has struggled with injuries the last two seasons, and Jamaal Williams, who has been valuable in pass protection but averages just 3.7 yards per carry for his career.You saw the success C.J. Anderson had in Los Angeles. Snell could be that type of back in the new-look offense. If not Snell, keep an eye on Memphis’ Darrell Henderson, a multi-purpose back, or Stanford’s Bryce Love, a Heisman Trophy runner-up who dealt with injuries last season.MORE NFL DRAFT 2019: Dates, start time, full pick orderlast_img

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