Even with GM BRIAN GUTEKUNST being a bit more adventurous building and maintaining his team’s roster than his predecessor, the PACKERS are still an organization that builds primarily through the Draft. With that in mind, I am eschewing the option of trading Picks around in my Mock, but BRIAN will not be so conservative is my guess right now. So on we go…
Round 1, Pick 30 LAVISKA SHENAULT WR Colorado 6’1/227 (PP#30) I don’t have the team married to the concept of a WR at this Pick, but with SHENAULT available, I feel compelled to take him. Part of that is due to my assertion that he is reminiscent to a guy named STERLING SHARPE, who was a star in his day catching balls form Majik Man and a young RODGERS, before spinal issues forced his premature retirement. SHENAULT is a bit under the radar because he was hindered much of the 2019 season by a core muscle issue that he played through. Surgery has been performed, and doctors have cleared him as we draft him. He runs with power and good field vision after the catch (ala SHARPE), and is the guy you want with the ball in his hands on 3rd Down. His watered down stats for 2019: 56 rec- 13.6 ypc- 4 TD’s. During a healthier 2018 season, he caught 86 balls for over 1,000-yards. He’s not a burner, but after catching a couple of long hand-offs and baiting defenders to come up to cover him at the line, he breaks through contact and is off to the races. He was even their man taking snaps in a Wildcat formation on 3rd and short situations at Colorado.
Round 2, Pick 62 AKEEM DAVIS-GAITHER LB Appalachian State 6’2/224 (PP#61) This is the kind of LB the team wants to chase the ball and make plays, either in coverage, or closer to the line-of-scrimmage than dependable BLAKE MARTINEZ, and cheaper as well, for the next 3-4 seasons. AKEEM recorded 104 tackles including 14.5 TFL last season for State, plus 8 PBU’s and 1 INT in coverage. He has also been a Special Teams star for his team. He has nice 9 1/2″ hands. It’s best said that he has excellent range both in coverage and pursuit.
Round 3, Pick 94 BRYCE HALL CB Virginia 6’1/202 (PP#94) A bit of a twist here with a CB Pick that is more of a zone defender than a press-cover guy. A surgically repaired ankle injury limited HALL to 6 games in 2019, but he was cleared recently to return to full activities. He’s not a speedster with a 4.55/40, but his cover skills are solid. He is also very good at tracking on the ball and closing on receivers. In 2018 when he played all 13 games for the Cavaliers, in addition to 62 tackles, he also recorded 2 INT’s and 22 PBU’s. Yes 22 PBU’s! His instincts at finding the ball, whether in coverage or run support, is well above average. He’s also adept at anticipating a route or a throw. When asked to press cover, he uses his good size to get physical. He, like the two players taken ahead of him here, does indeed have pro starting potential.
Round 4, Pick 136 JACK DRISCOLL OT/G Auburn 6’5/306 (PP#144) DRISCOLL has an unusual resume’ in that he started two years for UMass, then transferred to Auburn and started his final 2 seasons for them. His arm length (33″) might indicate a need to move inside to OG, but there is a lot to like about his game to indicate that he should get a shot at RT first. He has 9 7/8″ hand size, and his 5.02/40 time reflects well on his ability to move those legs. He uses his hands effectively and actively. He also looks good shifting and mirroring defenders in pass-pro. Like the guy who plays LT in Green Bay, DRISCOLL has only one speed to his game and that is all out. However, his accountability in his assignments is consistent. His frame likely won’t accommodate weight gain, but they might be able to add some functional strength to his core in the weight room.
Round 5, Pick 175 DALTON KEENE TE Virginia Tech 6’4/253 (PP#173) It seems like more than a few talent evaluators believe that KEENE should have some serious upside in the right system and locker room. He has enough speed (4.71/40) to get some separation and nice 9 3/4″ hands at the end of 32 1/4″ arms to present a major target area for a vet QB like Mr. RODGERS. He is also able to block like an inline TE should. He was a 3-year starter for the Hokies. As a former HS RB, he can make some yards after the catch. He is a competitive player that gives good effort thru the whistle, and tracks the ball well while on the run. 2019 stats: 21 rec- 240 yds- 5 TD’s. He had a vertical of 34″ and a broad jump of 125″ at the Combine. Those are very good numbers for a guy weighing over 250 lbs. His 7.07 second 3-Cone is also not bad for a true TE. It was the 3rd fastest on the Combine TE group. He and STERNBERGER might provide the Pack with a solid young TE combo for years to come.
The Packers have 5 Picks in the last two Rounds of this Draft. Some of them could be trade bait to move around this year and/or next, but let’s pick some guys as if they keep them all.
Round 6, Pick 192 MARKUS BAILEY LB Purdue 6’0/235 (PP#194) Back in 2018 when healthy all season, BAILEY had 115 tackles.
Round 6, Pick 208 JOE GAZIANO DL Northwestern 6’4/281 (PP#203) The last DL they took from NORTHWESTERN was DEAN LOWRY. Not the same guy, but the same system under HC PAT FITZGERALD.
Round 6, Pick 209 TREMAYNE ANCHRUM OG Clemson 6’2/310 (PP#212) He was a 3-year starter for Clemson at RT. Short arms will force him inside. He has a huge, strong lower body, but can move in a short area.
Round 7, Pick 236 HARRISON HAND CB Temple 5’11/197 (PP#234) He’s not the fastest guy (4.52), but has some athleticism. At the Combine, he had a 41″ vert and 133″ BJ. 2019 stats= 59 T’s-5 PBU’s and 3 INT’s, with nice 31 3/4″ arm length.
Round 7, Pick 242 STEVEN MONTEZ QB Colorado 6’4/231 (PP#254) Lots of folks have figured out what a big arm he has. He tied for the fastest ball speed amongst QB’s at the Combine, 59 mph. He has 9 3/8″ hands. He is also a smart young man.
I would feel really confident that the players listed above would constitute a very strong and competitive Rookie group to bring into a Training Camp this Summer. Just what the Pack needs. But remember, I still have a gut feeling BRIAN G. will pull off a couple of trades.