I liked Walt's pick in his trades mock of Jabrill Peppers. It makes tons of sense for Green Bay to get Peppers, but I'm not sure they would in light of his diluted-drug-test issue from the combine. I've heard that Green Bay loves Mixon and has done a ton of research into him in the leadup to the draft. The Packers could use a feature back and have the strong locker room, along with a small-town environment, to keep Mixon focused.
Mixon is an electric runner with excellent speed and the ability to rip off a long run on any carry. He became Oklahoma's featured runner as a redshirt sophomore with an average of seven yards per carry (168 carries) for 1,183 yards with eight touchdowns while sharing carries with Samaje Perine. Mixon also was a receiving weapon with 32 receptions for 449 yards with five touchdowns.
Sources have said that they think Mixon is a serious talent with three-down starting potential in the NFL. Some teams, however, already have ruled him out because of the incident from 2014 in which he punched a woman after she declined Mixon's advances. After video of the incident was released two years later, Mixon issued a tearful apology. Some teams have already removed him from their draft boards because of the character concerns.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
The Packers could use a cornerback upgrade, and I think they love Conley. The question will be if Green Bay is okay with the late-breaking off-the-field issues.
On Tuesday, news came out that Conley was the subject of a rape allegation. Two teams told me they thought it was bogus. Hopefully, they are correct for the sake of all involved. Another team said they thought it probably wasn't true, but they were very disappointed in Conley's lack of judgement and awareness to put himself in this situation. Regardless, the controversy could be damaging enough to cause Conley to slide in the 2017 NFL Draft, like La'el Collins or Laremy Tunsil in the past two years.
Conley recorded 26 tackles with eight passes broken up and four interceptions in 2016. He played well, and teams think he is a well-rounded player. The 6-foot, 195-pounder has enough size to start on the outside at the next level. In the NFL, Conley could fit in schemes that run zone, off man, and press man. He is a polished player who should be able to contribute quickly.
After some early issues, Conley had a solid 2015 season for the Buckeyes and improved as the year progressed. He totaled 49 tackles with two interceptions and five passes broken up that year. Conley has a good skill set, and he looks like a safe pick to develop into a quality starter.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Ryan Anderson, OLB/3-4OLB, Alabama
The Packers could use more edge-rushing talent.
Anderson (6-2, 258) was a clutch performer for Alabama in 2016. He supplied a lot of pass rush off the edge and also did well at setting the edge in run defense. Anderson totaled 61 tackles with 18 for a loss, nine sacks, three passes broken up, one interception and four forced fumbles on the season. In 2015, he put together a strong finish to the season, recording 37 tackles with 11.5 for a loss, six sacks and two forced fumbles on the year.
Anderson has versatile size and upside to develop. He would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Jaleel Johnson, DT/3-4DE/NT, Iowa
The Packers grab a some defensive line depth and competition.
The 6-foot-2, 309-pound Johnson has the skill set to be a difference-maker at the point of attack. He is strong enough to shed blocks, yet has the speed to close on the quarterback. Johnson needs to get more consistent and increase the tempo of his motor, but he racked up 7.5 sacks in 2016. He also had 55 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss and two passes broken up. In a number of ways, Johnson is a similar prospect to former teammate Carl Davis, who had first-round potential but slid to the third round in large part because of inconsistent effort.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Tyrone Swoopes, TE, Texas
The Packers added a tight end weapon in Martellus Bennett, but they could consider a developmental backup.
The Packers secondary has not been the best since they lost all their key players. They have however done their best rebuilding it since drafting Kevin King and Josh Jones last year, I think adding Joshua Jackson would be a big addition, especially with a pick this high in a long time, they should make the best out of it and select the thing they need most, which is a CB. If it's Joshua Jackson or Denzel Ward who is still available, they should not hesitate to select him.
Other Selections: Mike Hughes, Harold Landry, Dallas Goedert
Brian Gutekunst isn't heading for a nice, cushy spot in Green Bay; serious decisions are going to need to be made about the composition of this team which had one of its worst seasons in the Aaron Rodgers era. Do you try to reload an offense that can get Rodgers back on track? Do you address the holes on defense that were exploited all year long? How aggressive do you look for free agents considering the needs that Green Bay does have?
I believe that in spite of some investment already in the secondary in recent years, Green Bay will be looking to add a final, complete solution to the group in Denzel Ward. While Ward is probably an inch too short compared to the other CB's in this class, he's a dynamic play maker with a wingspan that seems longer than it ought to be, one who could become an immediate nightmare for the likes of Stafford and Trubisky.
Sources tell me the Packers could target linebacker or wide receiver help in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Green Bay has to improve its edge rush and run defense. Davenport could help address both issues. <br> <br>
Davenport (6-5, 259) possesses an excellent skill set with speed and agility. He has length and athleticism to play on the edge in the NFL, but needs to learn more pass-rushing moves. In 2017, Davenport notched 55 tackles with 17.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, four passes batted and three forced fumbles. He totaled 6.5 sacks as a junior after notching four as a sophomore. <br> <br>
Edge defenders with length, quickness, and athleticism are always in demand, so Davenport could go in the first round in a weak year at defensive end. Scouts from multiple teams have told me that Davenport is a good player and impressed them in 2017, but they thought the top 16 is too high for him. They think the back half of Round 1 is possible.
The Packers defense is seriously letting Aaron Rodgers down when he is healthy and proving how bad they really are now with him out. Clay Matthews is a folk hero in Green Bay, but in reality he is a shot fighter. With so many injuries and with the ferocity he plays with I think he is out of gas. He was never the most athletic and beat people with his energy. Now with a beat up body and less energy he is only good for a handful of solid games a year. Landry is a tad bit of an over hyped prospect in my opinion with how poor he is in the run game. However, thanks to this weak edge rusher class he is the last first round worthy talent and may go a lot higher than he should.
Last Mock Pick: Dorance Armstrong OLB Kansas
The Packers need pass rushers. Clay Mathews had a decent year despite still having to move between inside and outside linebacker, but good old Nick Perry went right back to being a below average OLB after signing his nice contract. It's a mess.
Key would be a higher pick if he had not gotten hurt and gotten fat. The fact they Key got so out of shape after this injury could be a red flag, but his upside is tremendous. He has the skills to be an upper echelon pass rusher, though he isn't naturally big enough to hold up against the run as a 4-3 end. He is a great fit in Green Bay's 3-4 scheme, though this pick could change if the Packers go with the 4-3 after FINALLY F***ING FIRING DOM CAPERS THANK CHRIST!