GREEN BAY, Wis. – The NFL Draft is almost here. The Green Bay Packers own the 29th pick of the first round. Here are five possibilities, with the help of four NFL scouts.
Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins: While one source said “the recent intel” is that Jenkins would be gone somewhere between No. 18 and No. 23, three others believed Jenkins would fall into range. He didn’t allow a sack the past two seasons and helped power Chuba Hubbard’s 2,000-yard rushing season. His tackle-guard versatility would provide key flexibility from Day 1 and an eventual starter at right tackle.
“If I was going to be the guy this year, I’d have to be a mother****** on the field, be a dickhead, be more aggressive than I ever was, and I took that personally,” Jenkins said at pro day.
Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman: The Packers were going to draft Brandon Aiyuk last year until San Francisco jumped ahead, so it’s not as if they have an aversion to taking a receiver in the first. There are four second-tier receivers: Bateman, Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore, Florida’s Kadarius Toney and LSU’s Terrace Marshall. Moore falls below Green Bay’s historic height standard, Toney has an injury history and off-the-field questions, and Marshall’s skill-set is repetitive to who’s on the roster. Bateman played 85 percent outside in 2019 and 67 percent in the slot in 2020.
TCU S Trevon Moehrig: The Packers could use an upgrade at the nickel position, where Chandon Sullivan recently re-signed. Well, does it have to be a corner? According to PFF, Moehrig’s snaps were split between slot (313), box (198) and safety (172). In two years as a starter, Moehrig had six interceptions and 26 passes defensed. Or, he could play safety and Darnell Savage could move to slot. “The more I watched Moehrig, the more I thought there was some Justin Simmons in his game, when comparing to my evaluation as Simmons came out of Boston College in 2016,” draft analyst Greg Cosell said.
Kentucky LB Jamin Davis: The Packers haven’t used a first-round pick on a linebacker since A.J. Hawk in 2006. From 2007 through 2020, those 14 drafts produced one linebacker selected in the first three rounds. Clearly, this is not a priority position. But Green Bay’s new defensive coordinator, Joe Barry, is a linebackers coach by trade. You know what else the Packers haven’t had at linebacker in forever? A racecar. Davis ran his 40 in 4.47. He had 102 tackles and three interceptions in the powerful SEC in 2020.
Trade out: If the top offensive tackles (including Jenkins) are off the board and the Packers aren’t enthralled with the injury histories of second-tier cornerbacks Caleb Farley of Virginia Tech and Greg Newsome II of Northwestern, they could get out of the first round. There, they could be enticed by a tackle (Texas’ Samuel Cosmi or North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz) or cornerbacks (Asante Samuel Jr. of Florida State or the Georgia duo of Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell).