Packers Mock Draft 3.0: Worst-Case Scenario
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Call this the Worst-Case Scenario Mock Draft.
In my first mock as well as my second mock, I was able to select Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray with the 30th pick to plug a gaping hole in the defense. In fact, in my second mock, LSU linebacker Patrick Queen also was available. I’ve always thought that scenario was unlikely because three-down inside linebacker might be the toughest position in the NFL to fill.
In my latest mock, in which I played the role of general manager Brian Gutekunst and The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine took care of the rest, Queen went No. 4 to the Giants and Murray went No. 24 to New Orleans. Making matters worse, Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas and Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones went 23rd, 26th and 29th, respectively.
Here’s the breakdown:
First round – Wisconsin LB Zach Baun (6-3, 240): Baun had a breakout final season with 12.5 sacks, 19.5 tackles for losses and two forced fumbles to be named one of six finalists for the Butkus Award. An outside linebacker in the Badgers’ 3-4 scheme, he projects to an off-the-ball linebacker in the NFL. Former Badgers star Joe Schobert made a similar transition in the NFL and became a stalwart linebacker for the Browns. His versatility would make him a weapon for defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Also considered: I can’t say I loved picking Baun at this spot but I can’t say I was tempted by anyone else, either, other than LSU interior lineman Lloyd Cushenberry.
Second round – Baylor WR Denzel Mims (6-3, 215): For the second consecutive, I grabbed Mims, who caught 66 passes for 1,020 yards and 12 touchdowns, then went out and dominated at the Senior Bowl. He’s big, fast and has strong hands. Also considered: Notre Dame TE Cole Kmet and Auburn DT Marlon Davidson.
Third round – Mississippi State CB Cameron Dantzler (6-2, 185): Kevin King is entering his final season under contract, Tramon Williams is a free agent and who knows about Josh Jackson. Dantzler was coached by former Packers cornerback Terrell Buckley, who did a masterful job with Jaire Alexander. Also considered: UCLA CB Darnay Holmes, Wisconsin OL Tyler Biadasz and Appalachian State LB Akeem Davis-Gaither.
Video: Top 10 cornerbacks
Fourth round – Auburn OT Jack Driscoll (6-5, 294): Driscoll is athletic, intelligent and played in the best conference in football. Obviously, if Bryan Bulaga departs in free agency, offensive tackle will be a much higher priority. Also considered: Utah RB Zack Moss.
Fifth round – Texas WR Devin Duvernay (5-11, 210): Duvernay fills a massive hole in the slot. He had a monster senior season with 103 receptions for 1,249 yards and eight touchdowns. In an early-season game against LSU, he caught 12 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Also considered: Nobody.
Sixth round – Florida Atlantic TE Harrison Bryant (6-5, 242): Bryant won the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end after a monster season of 65 receptions for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns. Getting my No. 5 tight end at this point was a no-brainer. Also considered: Nobody.
Video: Top 10 tight ends
Sixth round – Wake Forest LB Justin Strnad (6-3, 235): Call this a nice insurance policy for the Baun pick because of Strnad’s coverage experience. Strnad’s four-year total was 244 tackles, 22.5 TFLs, eight sacks, four interceptions, 10 passes defensed and three forced fumbles. Also considered: Virginia Tech S Reggie Floyd, who seems a natural as the dime linebacker.
Seventh round – DT Raequan Williams, Michigan State (6-4, 303): I was happy to get Williams in the fifth round in my second mock. Williams started 42 consecutive games, was a two-time all-Big Ten first-team selection and a team captain. He had five sacks as a senior and 10.5 tackles for losses as a junior. Also considered: Memphis RB/WR/Ret. Antonio Gibson.
Seventh round – QB Cole McDonald, Hawaii (6-4, 220): McDonald dominated in the run-and-shoot attack with 8,010 yards and 69 touchdowns in two seasons as the starter. He’s a project from a fundamental and schematic perspective but he’s got the arm talent and athleticism. Also considered: Nobody.