Just a short while ago, fellow contributor Jim Weidner graded my seven-round Green Bay Packers mock draft. Now, it is time to return the favor. There are a few major differences. The first one is Jim did not get involved in speculating the value of an Aaron Rodgers trade that New York Jets GM Joe Douglas assures us is imminent. Still, without having the details more readily available, discretion may be the better part of valor. With the draft a few weeks away, here we go.
Seven-Round Green Bay Packers Mock Draft
The Packers have some serious holes to address. The team became suddenly very young in the receiving corps. The Defensive Line lacks depth and the Safety position needs urgent attention. After a few years of just trying to keep the contention window open a little bit longer, the team has a problem with age.
First Round, 15th Overall, Wide Receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
Nothing to nitpick here, this is the same pick I made. Clearly genius. But seriously, it gives the Packers a chance to have Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson on the outside and leave JSN in the slot. Unclear if he could run an outside spot in this offense since he really only ran out of the slot at Ohio State. He is a route-running technician who could function very well in a Matt LaFleur offense featuring shorter, concise routes.
GM Brian Gutenkunst has a personal incentive to make things work with Jordan Love and work early. Loading up on the pass catchers is going to be a part of that philosophy.
Second Round, 45th Overall, Edge, Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame
Jim says: Isaiah Foskey is my draft crush this year. Preston Smith isn’t getting any younger and the Packers need to find a young pass rusher to play opposite Rashan Gary. With Gary coming off an ACL tear and Smith getting older, Edge is a position of concern. Kingsley Enagbare did a good job in spots last year, but the Packers need to look for a high-end pass rusher.
Foskey gives you plenty to love. He is a player who produced at Notre Dame. He had 10 sacks as s junior and 10.5 as a senior. He has played a lot in the last three seasons. Still, three of his sacks this season came against UNLV in a blowout. One sack in that game and two others were the last plays of the half on rather obvious, long set-up plays. He has a great ball get-off and incredible athleticism.
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 3, 2023
Foskey has great athleticism but seems to play at a level under what he measures. His bull rush tends to lose steam quickly and his hand work needs improvement. Putting him with Gary could help him learn these things, but he does have plenty to learn. In a draft where Adetomiwa Adebawore and Felix Anudike-Uzomah could be available at this point, I think this might be a bit much.
Third Round, 78th Overal, Tight End, Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State
Love this pick at this place. I have previously stated how poorly first-round Tight Ends tend to perform early on. Getting someone of Kraft’s ability in the third round is a great addition. He also makes a better fit than the bigger names like Dalton Kincaid and Luke Musgrave. Kincaid and Musgrave are more of a Y Tight End while Kraft (as well of Sam LaPorta) can fit into an H Back role for this team. This is far more in line with what Matt LaFleur tends to do with his Tight Ends. In this Packers Mock Draft, this is a much higher value than getting Kincaid in the first.
Fourth Round, 116th Overall, Safety, Jartavius Martin, Illinois
This is another pick where I think Jim has found very good value. As Jim says: Adrian Amos looks like he will be moving on and Darnell Savage is just down right bad. What makes matters worse is that Gutekunst picked up Savage’s fifth year option. Jartavius Martin has good speed and range. It is a weird draft board as most of the highest regarded Safeties seem to also lack pure athleticism. Brian Branch and Antonio Johnson both posted RAS scores below the “Average FS” mark. Illinois was lucky enough to have two very athletic safeties (Sydney Brown as the other). Martin is fast and seems to have a good nose for the ball. The one major concern I have is that, while he is not scared of contact, he is not a good tackler. He comes in high and does not wrap up well.
Should push for starting time. If not, he will be a clear special teams contributor.
Fifth Round,149th Overall, Center, Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan
With this pick, Jim is seeking to bolster the interior line. As Jim put it: Olusegun Oluwatmi had a standout season for Michigan last season. He appears to have the athleticism to play other positions. This is all true. Oluwatimi won both the Rimington Award and the Outland Trophy in his year at Michigan.
Some plays from Michigan center Olusegun Oluwatimi vs. Penn State
Accomplished center who transferred to UM from Virginia in 2022…Was a consensus All-American, and won both the Rimington and Outland trophies last season pic.twitter.com/gWS6heuZgk
— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) April 8, 2023
This is an experienced Center who has played on big stages against great competition. Getting a possible starter in the fifth round is a great pick. He can play Guard if needed and finding players who can play up and down the line is something Gutenkunst values as well.
Fifth Round, 170th Overall (Compensatory pick), Running Back, Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota
Jim makes a concession here:This one is going against Gutekunst’s grain. Mohamed Ibrahim is on the smaller size and he doesn’t have a very good RAS score. However, he is a very solid running back and was ultra-productive at Minnesota. This is all true. Ibrahim reminds me very much of former Wisconsin Running Back Brent Moss. He had a combination of size, strength, and speed that was enough to be productive in college when he is featured, but he does not have anything to hang his hat on in the pros. Brent Moss was the star at Wisconsin, but teammate Terrell Fletcher is the one who had the star speed that led him an eight-year NFL career.
Ibrahim had 867 carries and played five seasons at Minnesota. Feeling that he might fill an A.J. Dillon role ignores how Dillon has a much greater strength profile than Ibrahim. Ibrahim also lacks the speed that could aid him. Add on that he had 22 receptions in five seasons and there is little to give him a fifth round grade. He was a volume back. He lacks the athleticism and speed to make him a valuable special teams contributor so he really lacks value compared to players like Deuce Vaughn, Isaiah Bowser, or Evan Hull. This Packers Mock Draft is taking past production over future value with this selection.
Seventh Round, 232nd Overall, Cornerback, Rejzohn Wright, Oregon State
Jim is looking to add size and physicality to the Cornerback room. Wright fits the bill in this regard. While he did not do any testing, he plays with speed. Jim opined: He played in a pro defensive scheme at Oregon State and has the attributes to develop into a nice boundary NFL cornerback. All this is true. The one concern I have is that he seems to shy away from contact a bit. Oregon State kept himself on the boundary and on the left side of the defense. He played off the line a lot and plenty of zone. He seems to have the tools to play the press and did fairly well when asked to do this.
The biggest thing is this is a seventh-round pick and he has tools. He could benefit from time in the same room as Jaire Alexander and getting these skills. His size and speed should make him a possible special teams contributor as well. Late picks like this would need to find a role to fill without starting. This is a decent value pick with a big upside in this Packers Mock Draft.
Seventh Round, 235th Overall (from Los Angeles Rams), Inside Linebacker, Aubrey Miller, Jr., Jackson State
Small school prospect. Jim’s insight was: He should become a very good special teams contributor, which is why I have him going here. Jim indicated that was a highly rated high school star, but he was a 3 star target according to ESPN and 247. Miller started off at Missouri and did not get a lot of production. He transferred to Jackson State to play out his senior year and covid year there. He put up some good numbers and was the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year. His low RAS score gives me pause too. Seems unlikely that he makes this team or has the athleticism to produce on special teams.
Aubrey Miller posted a RAS of 4.22 (out of 10.0). Even the “average LB” is a 5.11. He appears to have run a 4.7 second 40 at the Jackson State Pro Day. While he is a willing hitter, he is going to need versatility as well. Someone like Trevor Nowaske, Saginaw Valley State, could be a more interesting option at this late place.
Seventh Round, 242nd Overall (from Jacksonville Jaguars), Defensive End, Tyler Lacy, Oklahoma State
Jim: I think there is a chance they might address defensive line sooner. But I think Lacy is a very good value pick. He needs to get stronger, but he has a good base to add strength.
This is a “lottery ticket” type pick. Lacy is a little small for a 3-4 Defensive End. He played at a listed weight of 295, but showed up at the Combine at 284. He was able to make some pressure in the passing game, but as a Defensive End in this system, he is going to need to be bigger. That is especially true knowing the Packers rely on two down linemen quite a lot.
ln looking to add some defensive line depth, someone like Oklahoma’s Jalen Redmond or Penn State’s P.J. Mustipher would be better fitting for the system. Still, it is a seventh-round pick.
Seventh Round, 256th Overall (Compensatory pick), Safety, Chamarri Conner, Virginia Tech
I actually love this pick. Another athletic safety. He posted a 9.16 RAS, including a 4.51 second 40. Additionally, he put up good numbers at Virginia Tech. He led the ACC in tackles in 2020.
Getting a player who is a multiple-year starter in a major conference and so incredibly athletic is a steal.
Not much top end talent either… But I like a couple guys late like Daniel Scott & Chamarri Conner. Good guys to let develop while they contribute on special teams. Thoughts on them?
— B.J. Monacelli (@bjmonacelli) April 8, 2023
In general, Jim does a great job of finding safety talent in the back half of this draft. Think there is a great possibility of Conner being a contributor on special teams and possibly pushing for playing time on a team in search of new Safety talent. When making a seventh-round selection in a Packers Mock Draft, pulling out possible value from developing players is a huge key to success.
Main Photo: Adam Cairns – Columbus Dispatch – USA TODAY NETWORK