The first round of the 2018 draft has come and gone. If you would have told me earlier today that the Packers would have passed on both Derwin James and Tremaine Edmunds to trade back from pick 14, I would have laughed in your face. The Packers made not one but two trades in the first round. I wondered if they plotted to move back up when they made the trade with the Saints, and as it turns out Brian Gutekunst indicated that was their plan all along.
They moved back up to number 18 and the team welcomes Jaire Alexander as their newest cornerback, solidifying their depth chart at that position. The team essentially gained a 1st round pick next year and lost a 3rd this year to move back 4 spots. Gutekunst indicated after the round that Alexander was in play for the pick at 14, but was one of a number of players they had graded similarly so they moved back. They got the guy they wanted and more draft capital. I must say that I am a little bummed that the draft capital will be in next years draft, but the team got good return nonetheless.
With the need at cornerback or more specifically a cornerback that can play the slot diminished, the Packers still have a wide variety of needs to fill. The Packers now have the 45th pick as well as 2 fourth round picks and 4 fifth round picks. In this post, I’ll lay out 2 scenarios that could play out for Green Bay day 2 including the first pick of day 3.
Round 2, Pick 13 – Dallas Goedert, TE South Dakota State
This may be the most biased pick in the history of mock drafts, but It’d make sense for the Packers. To put it this into a little more perspective, I currently attend South Dakota State and have watched Goedert make all sorts of absurd catches like the one you see above throughout his career in Brookings. I’ve also met Dallas, a close friend also plays tight end for the Jackrabbits and knows him well. He is a big Packers fan and would love to be picked in this spot. I would certainly be on the waiting list to buy his jersey.
The Packers fill a hole in their tight end depth chart with this pick, and possibly eliminate the need to keep Jimmy Graham on the roster for his full 3 year contract. Goedert displays amazing hands, seriously if you haven’t seen his highlight tape go check it out . He can pick up yards after the catch and he is a willing blocker. Dallas’s game reminds me a lot of Travis Kelce. This would be an ideal fit playing for his favorite team and having Jimmy Graham to learn behind.
Round 4, Pick 1 – Fred Warner, LB BYU
The Packers stay put at the top of the fourth round to take 3 down linebacker Fred Warner out of BYU. You may recognize the UCLA quarterback he intercepts on the play above. Warner is outstanding in coverage for a linebacker, so much so that he was asked to defend the slot at times in college. He moves like a safety on the field. The Packers would then plan to pair Warner with Blake Martinez as a better coverage option. He may not offer as much in run support as Martinez, but he presents a big addition when you consider all the good pass catching running backs and tight ends currently in the league.
Round 2, Pick 13 – Harold Landry, OLB Boston College
Miraculously the Packers get a first round edge rusher mid second round. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported remained on the board late into the first round due to medical flags at the combine for his knee/back. The Packers get a player with a ton of pass rush talent.They hope to plug Landry in opposite Nick Perry so they can play Clay Matthews at inside linebacker primarily. In a sense, they fill two holes on that defense with one mid second rounder. I know plenty of packers fans, myself included, that would be ecstatic to hear Landry’s name called at 45.
Landry had 16.5 sacks and 69 quarterback pressures in 2016. He has elite agility and bend at his position. He’s not the greatest run defender when you run at him, but he is good at running plays down when not run at directly.
TRADE: Round 3, Pick 8 – Anthony Miller, WR Memphis
I think a trade back into the third round is all so very likely given the amount of draft capital the Packers possess. The Packers pounce on this pick and trade way up from the first pick of the fourth round to the 8th pick of the third. They send the Jets the first pick of the fourth and a package of later round capital.The Packer fill their need at wideout with a guy who reminds me a lot of Greg Jennings.
Miller is a guy who a lot of Packers fans like a lot, and I am one of them. He makes big plays like the one shown above. He is a smaller framed guy at 5’11” but he absolutely plays larger than that. Miller is a good athlete that can create after the catch. He is effective inside and out, which is important given the Packers need at outside receiver and Randall Cobb being in a contract year.