The 2019 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching. The Green Bay Packers have a wide variety of roster holes to fill, most of which will have to be done via the draft. The team realistically could stand to have extra help at all but a few positions, but they do not have any glaring needs which they will need to reach for. As a general rule, I try to select players that I think the Packers would draft, but also sprinkle in some guys that I really like as prospects. It is worth noting that the Packers front office prefers to draft very athletic guys, so you may see quite a few in this mock. Lets dive in…
Round 1 Pick 12 – Montez Sweat EDGE Mississippi State
The Packers Recently hosted Montez Sweat for a visit. This likely means that they’re likely at least somewhat interested in him at pick number 12. Sweat opened a lot of eyes after running a 4.41 second 40 yard dash time at 6’6″ 260 pounds. He began to shoot up draft boards after the combine, and may not make it out of the top 10 picks.
He was a productive player at MSU after spending some time at Michigan State. There are possible concerns with his play strength and flexibility as an EDGE rusher, but his long frame could allow him to add bulk while playing behind the newly acquired pair of outside linebackers. Montez Sweat represents that top-tier pass rush prospect Packers fans have been clamoring for over the past few years.
Round 1 Pick 30 – AJ Brown WR Mississippi
Apart from Davante Adams, the Packers receiver room has a lot of question marks. We do not know exactly what to expect from Geronimo Allison. The three second year wideouts (Moore, Valdes-Scantling & St. Brown) are still developing projects. The roster also holds preseason favorite Jake Kumerow and fourth year wideout Trevor Davis.
I am of the opinion that the Packers should try to stay away from drafting a wideout after round 3 of the upcoming draft. Why? Because the team literally has 5+ young wide receivers that need opportunities. A player like AJ Brown could come in and potentially make an immediate difference, and maybe become a solid WR2 for the Packers down the road.
Brown is a big, strong wide receiver at 6’0″ 226 pounds. He ran a 40 yard dash at a respectable 4.49 seconds for a man of his size. He has a combination of size and agility that is rare. AJ Brown played a lot of slot receiver in college, but some see him as a player who could shift outside in the future. Brown would likely make an immediate impact as a slot receiver if the Packers selected him later this month.
Round 2 Pick 12 – Jeffery Simmons DT Mississippi State
A situation like Jeffery Simmons’ happens what seems like every year. A top ten talent sustains a serious injury late in the college process, making them fall down draft boards. In Simmons case, he also has some off the field baggage hurting his draft stock. Making this pick at 30 would be the ultimate draft bartering story for Brian Gutekunst. He would have traded down in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and turned the pick he received as compensation into a blue chip talent the following year.
The problem with Simmons is that he will likely miss the majority of the 2019 season. Mike Daniels and Dean Lowry are entering a contract year in 2019, and with all the free agent spending the Packers have done this offseason, it is not crazy to think that Daniels and Lowry could be playing elsewhere after this upcoming season. All that factored in, interior defensive line is actually a decently big need in this draft for Green Bay. The Packers may just be compelled to take Jeffery Simmons with their second round pick despite his injury because of his huge upside.
Round 3 pick 2 – Darnell Savage FS Maryland
*Trade Up from RD 3 pick 12 for a 2020 draft pick*
If the Packers have an immediate need that they would be willing to trade up for, it is safety. Savage is a rangy center field safety with a compact frame at 5’11” and 198 pounds. Darnell Savage is exactly the kind of athlete the Packers have loved to draft in the past few season.
I also believe Savage is exactly the type of safety that would pair well with Adrian Amos, so he can spend more time at strong safety. The Packers could use Savage’s coverage skills as a slot corner as well. Much like many undersized safeties, Savage may struggle in run support. His athletic profile and coverage ability could allow him to become an immediate starter in Green Bay.
Round 4 pick 12 – David Long LB West Virginia
Bear with me here. Some of you may remember me referring to Ahkello Witherspoon as the poor mans Kevin King back in 2017. A player with a similar profile that could be had a round or two later. At that time, I said I’d rather have Witherspoon in round 3 than King in round 1. Witherspoon has had the better career thus far, but i’ll let that play out a little longer before referring to myself as a draft guru. This year I consider David Long to be the poor mans Devin Bush. If you aren’t familiar with Bush, he will likely go in the top 20 picks, possibly as high as top 10.
While the players are nearly identical in height, weight & wingspan, I do not have athletic testing numbers on Long to compare to Bush. Both players are undersized but have the athletic ability to run sideline to sideline making plays. David Long resembles a Devin Bush on tape, but is clearly not as polished of a prospect.
Round 4 pick 16 Foster Moreau TE LSU
The Packers do not need a day 1 contributor at tight end, and they likely will not get one in Foster Moreau. Every team is looking for that George Kittle type tight end that didn’t get much usage in college but then explodes in the NFL. Moreau fits that mold, but I’m not ready to call him the next George Kittle.
Moreau was not used in the passing game much at LSU, but he was a good blocker for the tigers. His athletic profile is what has him shooting up draft boards. His SPARQ athletic score is tied for second among tight ends in this draft class, trailing just Noah Fant and tied with T.J. Hockenson. A solid blocker with a big upside as a pass catcher, sign me up for that.
Round 5 pick 12 Ty Summers ILB TCU
Blake Martinez is in a contract year, and while I see him staying put, the Packers cannot bank on it. They do not know what to expect from last years third round pick Oren Burks, so they could really use some talented bodies at inside linebacker.
Ty Summers is an average sized inside backer. He measured roughly 6’1.5″ and 240 pounds at the scouting combine. He tested as a relatively similar athlete to Oren Burks, but he seems to play slightly slower than his numbers would suggest. Summers play strength is certainly noticeably better than Burks’ was coming out of college however. Summers will need to be more instinctive as an NFL linebacker to reach his true potential. His immediate impact would likely be as a special teams ace.
Round 6 pick 12 Trey Pipkins OT University of Sioux Falls
This is kind of a long wait to pick an offensive linemen, but the Packers have a wide variety of holes to fill. The team was lucky enough to recently welcome 2018 5th round pick Cole Madison back onto the team. The Packers now have some competition at guard behind Billy Turner, which could make him more available to play tackle in a pinch.
Trey Pipkins is a small school prospect from the University of Sioux Falls. They have a pretty good program at USF, but Pipkins will have a big adjustment in talent at the next level. Much like a lot of small school prospects, he has the physical tools to succeed (6’6 309 lbs), but needs to refine his game. He’s really a guy who could develop into a gem of a day 3 pick, even if it means a year on the practice squad to start.
Round 6 pick 22 Justin Hollins EDGE Oregon
This a deep draft at EDGE. If the Packers are true to their board, I’d expect a few double dips at certain positions and maybe even a triple dip for the third consecutive year. Justin Hollins is a prospect with real potential and one of my favorite day 3 guys. The guy is impressive from both an athletic and size standpoint. He is 6’5″ and weighed in at 248 pounds. Hollins ran a 4.5 second 40 yard dash and also impressed in 3 cone, vertical jump & broad jump. His bend, speed, and length could allow him to develop into a real contributor in the NFL. He will have to become a more aggressive player at the next level to make an impact however.
Round 7 pick 12 Saquan Hampton FS Rutgers
Outside of Adrian Amos, the Packers do not have much talent at safety. Factoring that in, I could definitely see them taking a chance on a developmental guy like Saquan Hampton late in the draft. Hampton has experience at both safety positions as well as slot cornerback. He has prototypical size and range measuring at 6’1″ 206 pounds and could probably add more weight to his frame. In my opinion his best trait is his ability to track the football in the air.
Much like Justin Hollins, Saquan Hampton simply must play with more aggression to have any success in the NFL. Hampton has been a consistent special teams contributor throughout his time at Rutgers, which could play large into him making the 53 man roster.