With just hours to go before the NFL Draft, all eyes are on the final mocks, where the experts predict what could happen over the next three days in Cleveland.
Since nobody has the time to read all of these mocks, I compiled the final predictions from the most trusted experts to see what the Green Bay Packers might do at pick 29.
Todd McShay (ESPN+)
Jamin Davis, ILB, Kentucky
“We’ve come to expect the Packers to defer to later in the draft for offensive playmakers, so I’ll project Davis here as a replacement for linebacker Christian Kirksey, who was released in February. Davis is one of my favorite players in the class and can impact many parts of the defense.”
While he may not be the offensive playmaker Packers fans and quarterback Aaron Rodgers are clamoring for, Davis does fill a major hole in the middle of the Green Bay defense. We all saw the value of having speed at the middle linebacker position in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl run. Devin White and Lavonte David ran the show, taking the pressure off all of the other defensive players.
Adding Davis to this emerging Green Bay defense will bring size and speed in the middle along with improvements in the run game, which the Packers desperately need.
Mel Kiper (ESPN+)
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
“This is the Round 1 receiver help for Aaron Rodgers. Bateman can play outside or in the slot. Don’t rule out front-seven help here, either. Offensive tackle Teven Jenkins could also be in play.”
This would be the dream scenario for all Packers fans.
Not only would they get a weapon for Rodgers, but they would grab him from across the border and be able to hold his success over both Vikings and Gophers fans alike. Bateman is an elite wideout with the ability to operate at the next level from both outside the numbers and in the slot. He is also sure-handed and can run crisp routes in conjunction with his top-end speed.
While the Packers could probably stave off the need for a receiver till Day 2 or 3, a player of Bateman’s quality rarely falls into your lap so late in the first round.
Daniel Jeremiah (NFL Network)
Dillion Radunz, OT, NDSU
“If Elijah Moore were to fall, I think the Packers would take him, even though it’s been 19 years since they picked a wide receiver in Round 1 (Javon Walker, 2002). With Moore off the board in this scenario, Green Bay finds a fit on the offensive line in Radunz, who is one of the most underrated players in the draft. He is very similar to David Bakhtiari from a size and athletic testing perspective.”
The Packers’ incredible offensive line was a big reason for their success last year, with David Bakhtiari and Corey Linsley earning All-Pro nods. But with Linsley gone to the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency and Bakhtiari set to miss the start of the season as he recovers from his torn ACL — plus the cap casualty of Ricky Wagner — the offensive line is set to be one of the biggest needs for Green Bay to address this draft.
Selecting Radunz would allow for the Packers to put Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins at center to be a temporary fix for the offensive line until Bakhtiari is healthy. His return would allow Radunz to move to right tackle and give the Packers two top bookend tackles.
Peter Schrager (NFL Network)
Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
“Moore could be the fifth receiver taken in Round 1 or be an early Day 2 pick. I think the 20-to-32 range makes sense. And yes, the Packers grab a WR in the first round for the first time since drafting Javon Walker 20th overall back in 2002.”
While he is on the smaller side at 5’9″ and 178 lbs., Elijah Moore’s talent is undeniable. He carved up SEC opponents last season, averaging 149 yards a game. Moore would likely man the slot at the NFL level due to his size restrictions, but he would feast on opposing nickel corners with his incredible speed — his 40-yard dash was clocked at 4.35 — and his superb route-running skills.
He would also take pressure off Davante Adams and allow him to get open much easier to create a more free-flowing offense for head coach Matt LaFleur.
Charley Casserly (NFL.Com)
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
“Brian Gutekunst jumps at the opportunity to fill a big hole in the middle of Green Bay’s defense before going to work on finding a weapon for Aaron Rodgers in Day 2.”
This is similar to my train of thought. When the wideout class is so stacked in both Days 2 and 3, why reach for one in the first round? Instead, the Packers opt for a linebacker who can serve as the heart of their defense for years to come.
Zaven Collins offers the Packers the full package at middle linebacker. He can rush the passer on blitzes and drop back in coverage to match up against opposing tight ends.
He will also help the Packers in the run game as he plays downhill, attacking ball carriers at the hole with bone-crunching hits.
Charles Davis (NFL.com)
Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama
“Concerns about past injuries may come into play, but Dickerson’s a Day 1 starter who would allow Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins to permanently settle in at guard, where he’s dominant.”
Much like Jeremiah, Davis believes the Packers would be best served by grabbing an offensive lineman in the first round. Where they differ is what specific positions they should focus on.
Davis argues for finding a permanent spot for the versatile Jenkins and selecting help at center to compensate for the loss of Corey Linsley. This would give the team some long-term stability on the offensive line — and the best center of this class in Landon Dickerson.
This pickup would remedy the Packers’ need for an interior lineman and allow them to capitalize on the wideout depth that this class has to offer on both Days 2 and 3.
Bucky Brooks (NFL Network)
Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
“The Packers’ lack of depth on the front line was exposed during the playoffs. Mayfield is a natural right tackle with the potential to play inside or outside at the next level.”
Here Brooks references the NFC Championship where Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul took advantage of a Green Bay o-line that was missing star left tackle David Bakhtiari. The Packers need to beef up the front five and add players who can contribute Day 1 on a team with championship aspirations. Mayfield allows for just that at the right tackle position, and he would start opposite Bakhtiari for years to come.
Brooks also mentions Mayfield’s ability to play more than one position. Combine that with the positional versatility of Elgton Jenkins and Billy Turner, and the Packers might have the most flexible offensive line in the league.