The Green Bay Packers are, without a doubt, going to be looking to add to their wide receiver room in the upcoming NFL Draft. The player that many fans are clamoring for is Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and for good reason. Many scouts and analysts have dubbed JSN as the best wide receiver in this year’s draft. However, whether or not he will be available when the Packers are on the clock at pick 13 is up for debate.
With all the holes that need to be filled on the roster, trading away an extra pick to move up may not be wise. There are other options available at the position, though, and Jonathan Mingo is a name that deserves more attention.
The Green Bay Packers Should Draft Wide Receiver Jonathan Mingo
When discussing what wide receivers that Packers will be looking at, it is important to remember what their thresholds are. Typically, Green Bay drafts receivers that are over six feet tall, 200 pounds, and have 32 inch arms. The arm length is actually where JSN falls short for the Packers. His 31 inch arm length may disqualify him from their board, though exceptions can always be made.
One receiver that fits all the Packers’ thresholds, though, is Ole Miss standout Jonathan Mingo. He is a specimen of an athlete at 6’1″, 226 pounds, and has 32 inch arms. That being said, it is not just his physical traits that make him an ideal fit for the Packers offense, but also the way he plays the game. Here is an excerpt of his scouting report from The Draft Network by Ian Cummings:
- Carries rare mass at WR with ease and has an exceptional catch radius.
- Instant accelerator and twitched-up athlete, with snappy feet and short-area mobility.
- Rapid mover who can seamlessly carry acceleration through cuts and direction changes.
- Elite catcher of the football, with adept ball tracking, control, timing, and coordination.
- Routinely secures passes with hands and makes effortless high-difficulty adjustments.
- Flashes surgical foot speed, pacing, and sharp flexibility through breaks as a separator.
- Can accelerate into stems, eat up cushion, and use targeted physicality to break free.
- Plus-sized speed demon with long-track explosiveness to stack and separate downfield.
- Frame density affords him phenomenal contact balance, magnified by his physicality.
- Excellent run blocker who attacks defenders in space and drives downfield.
Areas for Improvement
- Route tree was limited at times, with frequent hitches, screens, and vertical concepts.
- Long speed might be slightly less than elite, sometimes failing to erase cushions.
- Is competent laterally, but doesn’t have elite stop-and-start ability in space.
- Hip sink and flexibility on deep comebacks can be underwhelming.
- Sometimes needs a couple extra steps to fully decelerate ahead of intermediate stems.
- Plant and drive footwork at stems can be more efficient at times.
- At times, tries to do too much after the catch, freezing and mitigating burst in space.
- Occasionally body-catches in space, which can be a potential source of drops.
- Doesn’t quite have elite hand strength in contested situations.
Mingo grades out as a potential top-75 prospect for me, and he’s in the conversation to be one of the top 10 WRs in the 2023 NFL Draft. I’ll be higher on Mingo than most, but all the physical tools are there for him to be a vital three-level component. Additionally, he has visible upside as a route runner.
It is worth noting that, in 2021, Mingo was hampered by a foot injury that stunted his development. While there are areas for improvement, his ceiling in the NFL is quite high while his floor is rather high as well. What is really intriguing is that Mingo is an excellent run blocker. Having receivers that can block in the run game is vital to the Matt LaFleur offense. Both Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are exceptional blockers.
Allen Lazard, one of the players the Packers need to replace, is widely considered one of the best blocking receivers in the game. Adding Mingo, who could be a better pass catcher than Lazard, would be an excellent step forward for the organization.
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