The NFL Draft is just over a week away. The Packers, after a more aggressive free agency period than usual, still sit with plenty of needs. There is good news, though. Green Bay owns 12 picks in this draft, the most of any team. With that amount of capital, the Packers can address their needs in this draft. Here is a seven round mock detailing what next week could look like.
Round 1, 14 Overall: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
The Packers brought back both Tramon Williams and Davon House in free agency, but they also traded away Damarious Randall to the Browns. All this still leads to a big hole at the cornerback spot. In this mock, a perfect fit lands in their lap. Denzel Ward is the biggest corner, but he certainly packs a punch. He is extremely physical near the line of scrimmage, and has the speed to stick with receivers down the field. Add him to the current mix, and a duo of Ward and Kevin King could be very good down the road.
Round 2, 45 Overall: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
The loss of Jordy Nelson still rings in Packer land. After moving on from Jordy, another boundary receiver is important. Enter James Washington, the uber productive receiver from Oklahoma State. Many analysts were unsure of Washington until the Senior Bowl, where he showed he can win with his route running ability and his strong hands. He would be perfect outside with Davante Adams. Washington also runs a favorite route of Rodgers’ real well: the slant.
Round 3, 76 Overall: Josh Sweat, EDGE, Florida State
Finally, the Packers get around to addressing help along the edge. Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are still there, but they can use more athleticism on the outside. Athleticism is exactly what Josh Sweat brings to the table. He uses his speed to get good bend around the edge while also being a very good run defender. He probably won’t fall this far next week, but Green Bay takes advantage of it here.
Round 4, 101 Overall: Alex Cappa, OT, Humboldt State
At this moment, the right side of the offensive line is a big question mark. No one is sure exactly when Bryan Bulaga will return from his ACL tear, and Jahri Evans hasn’t re-signed after a solid season. The Packers are known for finding good offensive line talent later in the draft, and one falls to them right here. Alex Cappa wasn’t known much at all until the Senior Bowl. At the Senior Bowl, he dominated a lot of top pass rushers, showing his fleet feet and strength. He also has a bit of a nasty side, something teams should covet. He could come in and be the heir apparent to Bulaga.
Round 4, 133 Overall: Kemoko Turay, EDGE, Rutgers
More edge help is on the way for the Packers. After Matthews and Perry, who else do they really have? Kyler Fackrell likely isn’t going to pan out. Vince Biegel is in year two, so the jury is still out. They also have Reggie Gilbert, who could be a situational help. Kemoko Turay is a pass rusher who has flown under the radar, but people are taking notice. He uses his hands very well around the edge and gets around linemen with his quickness. Like Sweat, Turay will jolt the pass rush in a big way.
Round 5, 138 Overall: Fred Warner, LB, BYU
Right now, the only two true inside linebackers on the roster with significant snaps played are Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez. That duo doesn’t exactly overwhelm anyone. Martinez is a smart player, and he’s likely getting the headset on defense in 2018. Ryan isn’t exactly panning out, so the Packers get a later round gem in Fred Warner. Warner is a quick, instinctive linebacker who will be able to play from day one. He does a great job getting off blocks, something the Packers desperately need.
Round 5, 172 Overall: Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame
The Packers didn’t have much of a tight end group after they released Martellus Bennett. Luckily, they got aggressive in free agency and signed Jimmy Graham. However, Richard Rodgers is gone, so they could use some depth. Durham Smythe won’t wow anyone at the tight end spot, but he is a capable blocker and a solid pass catcher. He will fit nicely as the second tight end.
Round 5, 174 Overall: Justin Jones, DL, North Carolina State
This is purely a depth pick for Green Bay. With Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Dean Lowry on the interior, the group is already strong. Justin Jones will be a very nice add to that rotation. Jones showed up big time at the Senior Bowl, showing his lower body strength and ability to consistently move linemen.
Round 6, 186 Overall: Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan
Like pass rushers, the Packers cannot have enough corners right now. Darius Phillips would be a nice late round add for Green Bay. Phillips plays very physical and has the versatility to play inside or outside.
Round 6, 207 Overall: Dane Cruikshank, S, Arizona
More secondary depth is on the way here. Kentrell Brice and Josh Jones will have to step up this season, so adding depth to the safety position isn’t a bad idea. Dane Cruikshank adds versatility to the Packers secondary. He played corner and safety at Arizona, and he possesses very good coverage skills. He is rising as a prospect, so this is a steal here.
Round 7, 232 Overall: Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham
No one is sure what the Packers plan to do with Ty Montgomery this upcoming season. Even if he plays running back, the group could still use some depth. Chase Edmonds is a good all around player at the running back position. He could easily get snaps in year one.
Round 7, 239 Overall: Javon Wims, WR, Georgia
The Packers finish out their draft by adding another wide receiver. He won’t wow you with his size and speed, but Javon Wims was a reliable receiver at Georgia. He is a strong possession receiver who could develop in Green Bay.
Jake Schyvinck covers the Packers at Full Press Coverage. Follow him on Twitter here and the Packers account on Twitter as well!