GREEN BAY, Wis. – With eight weeks until the NFL Draft, here is our third mock draft. The first mock draft, honestly, wasn’t very good, but we have a no-mulligans policy. The second mock earned rave reviews.
This one? I liked grabbing multiple cornerbacks. Remember, not only is Kevin King headed to free agency but Chandon Sullivan isn’t likely to be tendered as a restricted free agent. Moreover, recent draft picks Josh Jackson (second round, 2018) and Ka’Dar Hollman (sixth round, 2019) weren’t even good enough to be active for the playoffs. I also liked getting two defensive tackles and two receivers, including one each in Day 2. I didn’t like my failure to get a running back, with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams headed to free agency.
This time, we used Pro Football Network’s simulator. PFN’s simulator proposes trades; we took the Miami Dolphins’ first-round offer.
First round (No. 29): Traded to Miami for No. 36 of the second round and No. 81 of the third round.
Second round (No. 36): Northwestern CB Greg Newsome. According to Pro Football Focus, all Newsome did was allow 12-of-34 passing while breaking up seven passes. On 15 passes thrown 10-plus yards downfield, he allowed one catch.
“I don’t like seeing receivers catch footballs,” he said late in 2020. He's not afraid to deliver that message to the man he's covering. “You can’t do all that talking if you don’t perform on the field,” Newsome said. “It really makes me lock in. I know they want to get me back for some of the things I’ve said.”
Second round (No. 62): Iowa DT Daviyon Nixon. The native of Kenosha, Wis., was a unanimous All-American, one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top lineman and the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year. He had 5.5 sacks and 13.5 TFLs in eight games. Iowa listed him at 6-foot-3 and 306 pounds.
Third round (No. 79): Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace. Wallace caught 198 passes and scored 26 touchdowns during his final three seasons. As a senior, he caught 59 passes for 922 yards and six touchdowns. Wallace is a quality route-runner and sure-handed threat who can win inside and outside. We’ve picked Wallace in all three of our mocks. Which, of course, means the Packers won’t select him.
Third round (No. 92): UW-Whitewater C Quinn Meinerz. Meinerz took the Senior Bowl by storm as one of the top performers. Maybe he’s not a ready-made starter but the Packers have other options to replace Corey Linsley.
Fourth round (No. 135): Texas A&M DT Bobby Brown. At 6-foot-4 and 325 pounds, Brown is straight out of Central Casting. He had 5.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for losses in 2020. Those flashes show the good sign of Brown. He needs to become more consistent, which is why he might tumble into Day 3. At the very least, he’ll contribute on running downs. Doubling up is important with Montravius Adams and Damon Harrison being free agents and Tyler Lancaster unlikely to be tendered as a restricted free agent.
Fourth round (No. 142; compensatory): Georgia LB Monty Rice. The Packers might have a solid combo with last year’s rookie tandem of Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin. But why settle for might? Rice is a fast, tough run defender who had 89 tackles as a junior and 49 tackles (including a career-high four for losses) in nine games as a senior, when he was a finalist for the Butkus Award.
Fifth round (No. 174): Western Michigan OT Jaylon Moore. Moore was a three-year starter at left tackle. With nimble feet made for a zone scheme, he could develop into the No. 3 tackle and potential starter. He anchored a line that allowed just seven sacks.
Fifth round (No. 178; compensatory): Michigan State CB Shakur Brown. Brown earned some All-American honors in 2020 when he intercepted five passes in seven games. He led FBS with 0.71 interceptions per game and tied for second in the Big Ten with nine passes defensed. He’s got some slot experience.
Sixth round (No. 215): Nebraska OT Brenden James. The need for tackle depth was evident in the NFC Championship Game. So, let’s take another shot. James didn’t allow a sack in 2020. He’s got the feet to be a quality offensive tackle, but his lack of length and a poor Senior Bowl hurt his stock.
Sixth round (No. 221; compensatory): San Diego State CB Darren Hall. Hall burst onto the national scene with one interception and 16 passes defensed in 2019. In 2020, he had a career-high three interceptions and six passes defensed. He’s a solid tackler who got some work at safety at the Senior Bowl.
Seventh round (No. 254): Arkansas State WR Jonathan Adams. Adams had 62 receptions for 851 yards and five touchdowns as a junior and 52 receptions for 737 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. At 6-foot-3, his size and hands make him worthy of a look. Remember, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown will be free agents next year, so developmental reinforcements are needed.