The Packers have consistently shied away from drafting offensive skill positions in the first few rounds of the NFL draft. In this mock draft, the Packers finally address their lack of early-round offensive skill position players. This mock draft is all-in on the offense to give Aaron Rodgers more pass catchers (as many of them are free agents this offseason).
Using the mock draft simulator from TheDraftNetwork as a base, here is a 7-round mock draft for the Green Bay Packers.
Round 1, Pick 28: WR Jahan Dotson (Penn State)
2021 Stats: 91 REC, 1182 yards, 12 TDs. 6 rushes, 18 yards, 1 TD
The Packers have two WRs currently signed to the active roster, Amari Rodgers and Randall Cobb. Randall Cobb could become a cap casualty, which leaves the Packers with just Amari Rodgers. The Packers are attempting to bring back Davante Adams, but even with Davante, Rodgers needs pass catchers to spread the ball around. This is where Jahan Dotson comes in.
Dotson will bring a lot of speed to the Green Bay Packers, as he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash before the 2021 season. Dotson could be even faster now after his third-team All-American season. His speed with his route-running and catching ability will cause fits for defenses. He is being compared to Tyler Lockett; only Dotson is faster than Lockett.
Adding a Tyler Lockett-type player through the draft will allow Davante (assuming he’s brought back) to face fewer double teams. Davante will also take considerable pressure off Dotson, allowing Dotson to make explosive plays.
The only knock on Dotson is his size, but we’ve seen WRs of smaller stature do very well in this league. Dotson looks like a risk-free pick that could instantly improve the Packers’ offense, which struggled in the playoffs last season.
Round 2, Pick 59: TE Trey McBride (Colorado State)
2021 Stats: 90 REC, 1121 yards, 1 TD.
Davante Adams, Jahan Dotson, Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, and now Trey McBride? Opposing defenses will not be able to figure out who to guard on this offense. Robert Tonyan is an RFA but is also coming off a season-ending injury. Tonyan had 10 TDs in 2020, so some teams may want to take a risk on him, and with the lack of cap the Packers have, they may have to let Tonyan walk.
McBride was the best TE in college football season and is the number one TE in the draft. He’s a great route-runner and has reliable hands. The Packers haven’t had a reliable TE like that since Jermichael Finley. McBride is also a willing blocker, which is a necessity in LaFleur’s offensive scheme. The only problem is that he can’t consistently hold blocks. Luckily, there are many blocking TEs on the Packers that can show McBride the ropes.
Round 3, Pick 92: LB Damone Clark (LSU)
2021 Stats: 135 TOT, 77 solo TKLs, 58 ASTs, 15 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, 1INT, 3 PDs, 1 FR, 2 FF
Clark is the lone defensive player taken in the first three rounds for the Packers of this 2022 mock draft. The Packers are only rostering Ty Summers and Isaiah McDuffie as ILB currently, and that’s not a recipe for success. DeVondre Campbell and the Packers are working towards a deal, but he was a first-team All-Pro last season, so his price tag may be a bit too expensive for the Packers. Even if Campbell is brought back, the Packers consistently run out two ILBs, and Clark gives them a nice ILB2 to learn next to Campbell.
Clark can play at any LB position for the Packers, which gives the Packers a very versatile defensive weapon. It’s tough to find LBs like this in any draft. He can blitz and rush the passer effectively and is good in man coverage. His zone coverage leaves much to be desired, but ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti turned a struggling coverage LB in DeVondre Campbell into one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL last season.
Clark’s ability to tackle can also sometimes come and go. Luckily, Joe Barry has preached tackling since he arrived in Green Bay. In fact, because of Joe Barry, the Packers were the best tackling team in all of football last season. Clark’s tackling woes may quickly change under Joe Barry.
Round 4, Pick 130: OL Tyrese Robinson (Oklahoma)
Adding another versatile offensive lineman to protect Aaron Rodgers is essential, seeing as how many injuries that unit faced last season. In 2019 and 2020, Robinson played offensive guard for the Sooners and graded out as the best pass blocker on that unit.
This last season, Robinson was moved to RT due to team need. Robinson doesn’t have the strength to be an elite offensive tackle, but that can easily change with offensive line guru Adam Stenavich as the new OC. Robinson was the best OL still on the board in the mock draft, and he gives the Packers another offensive lineman that can play tackle or guard, similar to Elgton Jenkins and Billy Turner.
Round 4, Pick 139: WR Danny Gray (SMU)
2021 Stats: 49 REC, 803 yards, 9 TDs. 3 rushes, 40 yards
Another WR to give Rodgers another offensive weapon. Danny Gray has good speed and excels at beating coverage at the line of scrimmage. His release should only improve under the tutelage of Davante Adams, the WR with the best release in the NFL. He has a very similar build and skill set to Antonio Brown.
He sometimes struggles to secure deep balls and lets the ball hit him in the pads and chest instead of his hands. His small stature will keep him focused more in the middle of the field than on the outside.
Gray was also a good return-man in 2020, which the Packers have lacked for a while. In his junior year, he returned 9 punts for 180 yards, but he did not return any punts in 2021, his senior year.
Round 5, Pick 170: WR Romeo Doubs (Nevada)
2021 Stats: 80 REC, 1109 yards, 11 TDs
Doubs provides the Packers with a versatile WR that can line up in the slot or on the boundary. Like Gray, Doubs also provides the Packers with another return-man. Doubs has returned punts in all four seasons as part of Nevada. In his four years in Nevada, he returned 37 punts for 463 yards and 1 TD. That’s good for 12.5 yards/ punt.
Doubs does suffer from some concentration drops but still has the potential to become a strong WR2. Finding this type of potential in the 5th round is a draft steal. If he can improve his catching ability and lateral speed (he’s more of a straight-line speed guy), he could become a significant contributor for the Packers sooner rather than later.
Round 6, Pick 225: WR Tyquan Thornton (Baylor)
2021 Stats: 62 REC, 948 yards, 10 TDs
Thornton provides the Packers with another speed demon offense. The Packers haven’t had many speedy WRs other than MVS, but here they get a second WR who is projected to be a sub 4.4 40 guy. Thornton is a deep threat but is also just an explosive offensive weapon. He can take slants 60, 70 yards to the house. Not only is he an explosive weapon, but he can also block. We all know that WRs who can block are necessary for the LaFleur scheme.
Thornton has worked out with former NFL WR Anquan Boldin. Boldin was one of the more physical WRs to play the game, and his tutelage will only help Thornton become even more physical. The sky’s the limit for Tyquan Thornton, and he could turn into the steal of the draft for the Packers.
Round 7, Pick 246: S Smoke Monday (Auburn)
2021 Stats: 63 TOT, 44 solo TKLs, 19 asts, 9 TFLs, 2 sacks, 1 INT (returned for a TD), 5 PDs
A developmental pick for the Packers as Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage have the starting safety positions locked up. Smoke Monday will most likely start on the special teams for the Packers unless an injury occurs to one of the starters. Monday will immediately upgrade the special teams as he is a great tackler. He secures all his tackles and missed very few of them last season.
Monday is a strong run defender but doesn’t have the top-end speed to keep up with the speedier WRs in the NFL. He could become a situational player for the Packers in obvious run situations as has a quick trigger and loves to play up close on the line of scrimmage to disrupt plays in the backfield.
This draft would provide the Packers with four day-one starters in Dotson, McBride, Clark, and one of the late-round WRs (Gray, Doubs, or Thornton). Robinson also provides the Packers with great depth at each position of the OL except center. Smoke Monday provides the Packers with a strong special teamer and a potential starter at safety a few years into the future.
I know that four wide receivers taken in the draft is a little unlikely, but it gives the Packers an entirely new WR corps. If Davante is brought back, you will have four rookies and a sophomore year WR learning from the best of the best. These WRs were also best available at the time as RB isn’t a need for the Packers.
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