A disappointing end to the 2021 season, Super Bowl hopes on the line for 2022, a so-far crazy offseason with Davante Adams being traded, and Aaron Rodgers coming back. This is what the Green Bay Packers have gone through since the calendar turned to 2022. Now, they look to the NFL draft to improve their team so they can go on another run to the Super Bowl.
The Packers are looking to reload the roster using the draft, with the Davante Adams trade getting them another pair of first and second-round picks to play with. Most notably, Green Bay has a lot of holes at wide receiver, interior D-Line, edge rusher, and safety.
1.22 (22 Overall)
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Burks seems to roughly be a combination of Deebo Samuel and AJ Brown. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst prefers big, powerful wide receivers, and Arkansas’ Treylon Burks fits the criteria well. He is 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds and ran a 4.55 40-yard dash. Moreover, he is not the quickest wideout in the class, but he does have game speed, which is obvious on tape. Burks possesses all of the qualities that a No. 1 receiver should possess. He is no Davante Adams, but, with his footwork, he is a proven route runner who can handle anything.
1.28 (28 Overall)
Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
Boye Mafe, an edge-rusher out of Minnesota, looks to be amongst the best options for GB’s second pick of the night. He is, first and foremost, a bizarre athlete. Mafe has an explosive first step, similar to Rashan Gary. He’s demonstrated on film that he can be a good backside pursuit player. Boye is not a polished player out of the gate, but he showed flashes of potential in the Senior Bowl. His combination of unusual explosive measurables and average fundamentals might create a perfect storm of quick improvement if he receives focused skill work at the pro level. However, as a rusher, his footwork is ordinary, and he lacks the requisite intuition.
2.21 (53 Overall)
Nick Cross, S, Maryland
The Packers, with their first second-round pick, could turn to safety Nick Cross from the University of Maryland Terrapins. With the uncertainty at safety as Darnell Savage has not played up to the standards that Green Bay would like, as well as Adrian Amos potentially leaving the Packers next offseason, Nick Cross fits that mold perfectly as a developmental safety who can play in nickel and dime packages. On tape, he is a fast and explosive athlete with a 4.34 speed, 37″ vertical, and 10’10” broad jump at the Combine. Furthermore, Cross has exceptional sideline-to-sideline range, backpedals and flips his hips easily, can cover tight ends in man coverage, and is an eager tackler and tough runner.
2.27 (59 Overall)
Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
Daniel Faalele stands 6 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 387 pounds. He has 35-inch arms and an athletic upside that is as good as it gets for a tackle prospect. With the Packers’ uncertainty at right tackle entering the 2022 campaign due to Elgton Jenkins‘ torn ACL, the Australian can step right in and be the potential starter in 2022 and also in the future.
The biggest question is whether the Packers can keep Elgton Jenkins because he is a better fit at right tackle than at guard. Jenkins can play anywhere on the offensive line, but at right tackle, he can rank within the top-ten in the league.
3.28 (92 Overall)
Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
Cavaliers tight end Jelani Woods is a Combine freak athlete, measuring in at 6-foot-7, and also ran a 4.61 40-yard dash. The Ellenwood, Georgia native is a developing in-line tight end with excellent size and height. He has to keep improving his blocking strength at the point of attack. The Packers, in turn, possess a woeful group at the position, with Robert Tonyan coming off a torn ACL and being a free agent next year. Therefore, Woods can sit and develop, and potentially even start in 2023.
Also, tight ends are awfully familiar territory for the team at this stage of the event. In 2019, the Packers selected Jace Sternberger in the third round. This was followed by a Josiah Deguara pick in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
4.27 (132 Overall)
D’Marco Jackson, LB, Appalachian State
In 2021, D’Marco Jackson had 19 tackles for a loss of yards. Throughout his entire collegiate career, he racked up 630 special teams snaps. Jackson is exactly what you want in a fourth-round choice – a valuable depth piece for the linebacker corps of the reigning NFC North champions and a special teams contributor as well out of the gate.
Back End of the Draft
As for the rest of the Packers’ draft picks, I have them selecting Kyle Philips from UCLA in the fourth-round, Pick 140. Philips is a slot receiver with a limited range who has an above-average punt-return ability.
In the seventh round, I have the Packers selecting punter Matt Araiza from San Diego State. I do not expect Araiza to get drafted at that point of the event, but as a value pick, he is definitely worth it. DJ Dale from Alabama is the second seventh-round pick as he can provide some D-Line depth.
Finally, with the last pick in this mock draft, I have the Packers picking Deven Thompkins out of Utah State. Crazily enough, Jordan Love threw a touchdown pass to Thompkins in 2019. Deven seems like an undersized wide receiver at 5 foot 8, but he is very quick, running the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds. Overall, taking a flier on a speedy WR is a great way to end the draft.
4-Round Packers Mock Draft Recap
All in all, Green Bay gains a possible number one wide receiver to work alongside, a potential starting edge rusher to build, a future starting safety, as well as a future starting tackle out of the gate, a future starting tight end, depth at WR, RB, DL, and WR, and a possible starting punter to battle for a roster spot.
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