It’s here! It’s finally here! That magical time of the year where we will finally know once and for all who will make up the 2020 draft class for the Green Bay Packers. In case you need that last-minute fix for one more mock draft article, we are here for you with not one, but two 7-round mock drafts! Packers writers Brian and Gavin go head-to-head with their mock drafts and analyses.
Brian’s Mock Draft
Round 1, Pick 30 – Isaiah Wilson, OT Georgia
The Packers take an extremely high upside tackle prospect with their first pick.
I considered choosing a wide receiver here, as it is a bigger need for the Packers. But with how deep the position is of prospects in this year’s draft, I decided to go with the massive tackle out of Georgia. At 6’6″ and 350 lbs., Wilson is very mobile and has the raw power to excel in both the run game and in pass protection. He’s still a bit raw with his hands and his overall technique, but the Packers can afford to wait for him to develop.
The Packers signed Rick Wagner to be their starting right tackle this upcoming year, but Wilson’s massive upside makes him an enticing bookend fit with David Bakhtiari at left tackle for years to come.
Round 2, Pick 62 – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR Colorado
Green Bay skips the opportunity to draft a wide receiver in the 1st round, but doesn’t pass the opportunity to draft arguably the most intriguing wide receiver in the entire draft.
Shenault Jr. possesses the kind of physical ability you want out of a future #1 receiver–big, strong, and tough, both as a receiver and as a run blocker. Not only is Shenault Jr. physical, but also fast. He has the straight line speed to burn even the quickest corners playing press coverage, while also possessing the quick-twitch ability to make defenders miss in short yardage situations. He has great hands and will contest any passes thrown his way. He’s extremely versatile, as he took reps as QB in the Wildcat and produced 7 rushing TD’s in his last two years in college.
There are two knocks on Shenault Jr. First, there is injury concern with him, as he dealt with some nagging injuries during his time at Colorado. Most recently, he underwent core muscle surgery after participating at the NFL combine. Second, despite his freak physical traits and fantastic upside, he lacks the production that you would expect. He produced only 764 receiving yards and four TD’s last year at Colorado. This shouldn’t be an issue, however, as this can be chalked up to his injuries and being in a dysfunctional offense at Colorado.
The Packers could be drafting perhaps the best wide receiver in a talented draft class in the 2nd round, making him the steal of the draft.
Round 3, Pick 94 – Malik Harrison, ILB Ohio State
The Packers address another need on their roster by selecting Harrison.
Listed at 6’3″, 246 lbs., Harrison excels as a run stopper. He sheds blocks with ease and can naturally sniff out runners at or near the line of scrimmage. He projects as an early-down linebacker at the outset of his career, as his coverage in the passing game could use some more development. However, with time, Harrison has the capabilities of being an every-down starting linebacker in the NFL.
Round 4, Pick 136 – Reggie Robinson II, CB Tulsa
The Packers address an underrated positional need with a tall and physical corner prospect.
Robinson II has the size needed to play on the outside in the NFL, and could see time in year one as a rotational player with the Packers. He’s an excellent run defender and tackler from the cornerback position, and his ball skills stand out on tape. His technique and footwork needs development, but Robinson projects as a starting outside corner for the Packers by year 2 or 3, which would be a steal in the 4th round.
Round 5, Pick 175 – Jack Driscoll, OT Auburn
Green Bay doubles down along the offensive line and selects a mobile lineman with this pick.
Driscoll is one of my favorite late-round prospects in the draft. He started every game at Auburn in 2018 and 2019 as a grad transfer from UMass. He fits well with the Packers zone running scheme, as he is laterally quick with solid footwork. He’s not the longest or the most powerful lineman, but could develop as a versatile tool along the O Line who could eventually play some guard in the NFL.
Round 6, Pick 192 – Jacob Phillips, LB LSU
The Packers select Patrick Queen’s fellow linebacker teammate here.
Phillips was extremely versatile at LSU, playing both inside and on the outside. He probably projects more on the outside, at least early in his career, as Phillips has a quick first step as a pass rusher, and struggles some in pass coverage. Phillips can provide value at special teams initially and could see some time as a situational pass rusher with the Packers sooner rather than later.
Round 6, Pick 208 – Raequan Williams, DL Michigan State
The Packers take a flier on a defensive lineman with some upside.
Williams is versatile and athletic. At 6’4″, Williams could play along the interior line, or as a DE in the Packers’ 3-4 defense. He could be a valuable rotational piece along the defensive line for the Packers in the future.
Round 6, Pick 209 – John Hightower, WR Boise State
The Packers take a speedy wide receiver prospect in the 6th round.
Hightower’s speed is legit, and could provide Aaron Rodgers with a downfield threat down the line. As of now, his inability to catch the ball consistently makes him a long-term prospect with intriguing upside.
Round 7, Pick 236 – Jared Pinkney, TE Vanderbilt
Green Bay takes a tight end that has some value both as a short yardage receiver and a run blocker.
While Pinkney’s route-running capabilities and straight line speed won’t wow anyone, he has fairly reliable hands, making him a potential redzone threat in the Packers offense. He has also shown willingness as a run blocker. 7th round picks are essentially lottery tickets for NFL teams, and Pinkney has the ability to see the field sooner rather than later.
Round 7, Pick 242 – Omar Bayless, WR Arkansas State
The Packers take yet another wide receiver with their last pick in the draft.
At this point Green Bay should look for a player who can contribute on special teams and/or draft someone with higher long-term upside. In Bayless, the Packers would be getting a wide receiver with solid hands and ball skills. At 6’3″, he certainly has the size to play at the next level. The Packers can’t do much better with this pick than to select a wide receiver prospect with the potential to develop as a starter.
Favorite pick: Shenault Jr.
If the team is able to grab Shenault Jr. in second round, that would be excellent value. Many perceived him as a first-round talent before the medical flags popped up. Assuming he checks out by Green Bay’s standards, he’d be a superb piece to add to Matt LaFleur’s offense. While I do think he has some work to go before he becomes a more well-rounded receiver, his insane athleticism and strength would make for a valuable contribution to the offense as a whole.
I’d still like for Green Bay to select a more natural, less beat up receiver in the later rounds if Shenault is the selection early on. Shenault Jr.would be more of an addition for Matt LaFleur than it would be for Rodgers.
Least favorite pick: Harrison
Personally, I think the third-round is too high for a guy like Malik Harrison. Fifth-round, even fourth-round I’d be more on board. I just don’t value a pure run-stopper at ILB, and I doubt the Packers front-office will either. Mike Pettine already has the three-down back wants in Christian Kirksey, and his base defense rarely supports another run-stuffing linebacker. Last season, B.J. Goodson assumed that role and saw the field for only 24% of snaps. Malik Harrison would see similar usage, though I do think he’d be an upgrade over Goodson.
If ILB is the pick in the third, I’d rather see a smaller, dime-backer type of guy. Curtis Bolton appeared to have the position locked up during the preseason. Akeem Davis-Gaither is my crush, and I also grabbed him in the third.
Gavin’s Mock Draft
Round 1, Pick 30 – Denzel Mims, WR Baylor
Green Bay doesn’t wait on the opportunity to get a playmaker for the offense.
It was tempting to take Jordan Love, a QB who would be a perfect fit in LaFleur’s offense, and a true successor to Aaron Rodgers, but the time to win is now Green Bay. Mims can grow into an excellent target alongside Davante Adams. He has the speed to be a deep threat, the size to be yet another big red zone target, and the physicality to grab the ball in the middle of the field.
Denzel Mims may take some time to get acclimated to the NFL. He can certainly rely on his incredible athleticism at the collegiate level, but his route-running chops will need some more refinement if he wants to truly maximize his potential. Luckily, he’ll be paired with one of the best route-runners in the league. It shouldn’t take long to see Mims develop into an even better player than he already is.
Round 2, Pick 62 – Justin Madubuike, IDL Texas A&M
Green Bay got excellent value getting Kingsley Keke in the fifth round last year, and now they’ll pair him with former teammate Justin Madubuike.
Madubuike is very versatile, lining up at the nose, 3-tech, and 5-tech in college. He would serve as an excellent chameleon for Mike Pettine. Madubuike has a violent, explosive first-step and is great at getting penetration.
Following the departure of Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark found himself with his hands full last season; Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster just don’t cut it. Madubuike needs to be more consistent with his reps, but he can certainly find himself on the field as a rotational pass-rusher early on.
Round 3, Pick 94 – Akeem Davis-Gaither, ILB Appalachian State
The Packers make a point to beef up the middle of the field on the second day of the draft.
Christian Kirksey is expected to be the new “Mike.” Pettine’s defense relies on providing the one true ILB with a smaller, speedy dime-backer. Davis-Gaither is a perfect fit. He’s a little undersized, but he has the speed to cover and blitz—traits that Pettine loves. Davis-Gaither would challenge the unproven Raven Greene and Curtis Bolton for the sub-package linebacker role. Davis-Gaither will be an immediate asset on special teams as well.
Round 4, Pick 136 – Darrynton Evans, RB Appalachian State
The Packers grab another Mountaineer in Evans, and surprisingly it’s a running back.
After the huge extension Christian McCaffrey received, Green Bay may be hesitant to offload money to Aaron Jones. The running back position is extremely volatile and with looming contract extensions for Kenny Clark and David Bakhtiari, the team needs to prepare for a new stable of backs in 2021. Darryton Evans is as close a player to Aaron Jones as you can find. He is an explosive accelerator who has some pass-catching chops. Evans would be a perfect fit in LaFleur’s outside zone-blocking run scheme.
Round 5, Pick 175 – Charlie Heck, OT North Carolina
The team finally addresses the right tackle position.
This is admittedly later than I wanted to find Bulaga’s successor, but the value wasn’t there in previous rounds. Heck is a huge, athletic prospect who is best in pass-protection. His 6’8” frame struggles to get leverage and his footwork could be cleaned up, but for the fifth round Heck has a good shot at being a solid backup to Ricky Wagner and potentially more in the following years. Still, the Packers would likely want to spend a high draft pick on the position in 2021.
Round 6, Pick 192 – Julian Blackmon, S Utah
Mike Pettine can never have enough defensive backs, and Blackmon is a versatile gadget to deploy in the secondary.
If not for his inconsistent tape, Blackmon would likely have gone much higher. Blackmon has good size, speed, and ball skills. He’s a solid tackler who can contribute on special teams, but his two years experience as a cornerback provides him with apt coverage ability as well.
Uncertainty lies at the slot-cornerback position, and Blackmon might find a niche role there. Blackmon will require some time to acclimate to whatever position he’s put in, but there’s a lot of potential here.
Round 6, Pick 208 – Nevelle Clarke, CB UCF
Again, the Packers buff up the secondary with another late round selection. Clarke is bigger than he is fast, but there is room to work on his game. Clarke might not amount to much more than a depth-piece, but Kevin King’s rookie deal expires next year. The team would be wise to pick up some late-round fliers at the position.
Round 6, Pick 209 – Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR Liberty
The Packers take a flier on a late round receiver here.
Antonio Gandy-Golden fits the bill for what Brian Gutekunst seems to seek in his pass-catchers: big targets with a huge catch-radius. Gandy-Golden’s tall frame of 6’4” led to many highlight reel catches over his collegiate career. That being said, he’s not very fast and has a slim route-running repertoire. Gandy-Golden will have to fight to make the roster in training camp.
Round 7, Pick 236 – Kamal Martin, ILB Minnesota
Kamal Martin is a late-round replacement for what the Packers lost in B.J. Goodson: a downhill thumper.
Don’t expect Martin to ever be used in coverage, but he’s a sound tackler who can attack gaps. At the very least, Martin should contribute on special teams.
Round 7, Pick 242 – Levonta Taylor, CB FSU
Again, the team looks to grab what they can in special teamers and bolster the secondary.
Like Blackmon, Taylor has experience wearing different hats in the secondary. He was hampered by injuries in 2018 and could be a late round gem because of this. Worst case scenario, he finds a way to get on the field through special teams.
Favorite Pick: Davis-Gaither
He complements Kirksey perfectly. Davis-Gaither provides speed and versatility in both the running and passing games. As a senior, he had 5 sacks, one interception, and 101 tackles. He has very good instincts and could become a special teams ace for the Packers immediately.
Least Favorite Pick: Mims
I hate to go with Gavin’s 1st round pick, but I am just not as high on Mims as others. He possesses excellent size and is capable of being a red zone threat in the NFL. However, despite his 4.38 speed at the combine, it doesn’t show up on tape, as he too often fails to create separation from defenders. I don’t completely dislike Mims at a prospect, but to me he would be a reach as a 1st round pick.