Much has been made of the Packers’ early-round needs heading into next month’s NFL draft. Green Bay holds four picks in the first two rounds. The consensus among many draft experts is the Packers will look to replace Davante Adams and MVS early. Mock drafts suggesting the Packers take a receiver early are becoming almost redundant. Everyone has an opinion, and much of it is just guesswork. Will Chris Olave be there at 22, or even 29? Will the Packers try to trade up to get into the top ten? This isn’t about any of that. It takes a deeper dive to look beyond those early picks. Rounds three through five are where the Packers can reload rather than rebuild. Less-than-obvious needs at offensive tackle, safety and tight end in the middle rounds could net the Packers some quality starters. They aren’t consensus first or second rounders. They are quality prospects that can fill the Packers 2022 draft needs.
Max Mitchell – RT, University of Louisiana
Max Mitchell, a third-team All American out of Louisiana played in 39 games for the Ragin’ Cajuns under Billy Napier, including 37 starts. Mitchell earned first-team all conference honors in 2021 at right tackle, picking up invitations to both the 2022 Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. His 6’6” frame and athleticism are a good fit in Matt LaFleur’s zone blocking ground game. Mitchell blocked for 49ers back Elijah Mitchell at for three seasons UL, and was graded 95.0 by PFF in the ground game for the 2021 season. Weighing in at 299 pounds, he’s light by NFL standards, but that’s fixable in NFL conditioning and nutrition programs. Given the Packers affinity for versatile offensive linemen, Mitchell could be a good choice if available at pick 92, in the third round.
Jake Ferguson – TE, University of Wisconsin
If Mitchell isn’t available, the Packers could look to the tight end position. Wisconsin sports fans know Jake Ferguson well. You also may have heard that he’s the grandson of Barry Alvarez. Wisconsin fans have begged the Packers to draft Badgers for years. Everyone remembers the night TJ Watt was selected…by Pittsburgh. Sarcasm aside, Ferguson is a legitimate NFL prospect at tight end and should be available when the Packers are on the clock at pick 92. Ferguson is more known for his blocking than his pass-catching.
Learning under Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis could make Ferguson a great understudy and future starter in Green Bay. Many have suggested the Packers will move to a run-first offense, something very familiar to Ferguson from his time in Madison. Some may roll their eyes at such a romanticized draft story for Ferguson, but this one makes sense. Not that TJ Watt didn’t, but eventually you have to move on.
Cam Taylor-Britt – CB/S, University of Nebraska
The Packers enter 2022 with two starting safeties in the final year of their contracts. Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage will both be free agents in 2023. Beyond 2022, there will be need at the position in Green Bay. Cam Taylor-Britt can fill that need in round two or three. Although he played on the corner at Nebraska, he could easily transition from corner to safety. The Packers currently have depth at corner, and Taylor-Britt is versatile enough to help in nickel and dime coverages. With his tackling ability and 4.38 40 speed, Taylor-Britt’s versatility could land him in Green Bay by day three.
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