The Packers had a big need at outside linebacker entering the draft. They didn't address the position aside from selecting Vince Biegel in the fourth round, however, so that's something they could target early in the 2018 NFL Draft. Clay Matthews is a famous star because of the commercials, but he really hasn't played consistently in several years, as it appears as though all of the injuries have taken a toll on him.
Rd. 2, Pk. 18
J.C. Jackson, CB, Maryland
The Packers almost have to keep picking cornerbacks until they get a talented one, right? It's amazing how bad their pass defense is.
Pick change; previously Kevin Toliver, CB
Rd. 3, Pk. 17
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Martellus Bennett has been mulling retirement, so here's a replacement if he decides to hang up the cleats.
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.
<i> 2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 12/24): Dawuane Smoot, DE </i>
The Packers grab a feature back for their offense.
In 2016, Chubb has averaged 4.8 yards per carry for 988 yards with seven touchdowns. He has five receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown as well. Chubb didn't quite have the speed and explosion that he had before his knee injury. Considering it is only about a year since he was hurt, that is understandable. <br> <br>
Prior to his season-ending knee injury in 2015, Chubb had picked up where he left off as a freshman. The sophomore averaged 8.1 yards per carry for 747 yards and seven touchdowns in his shortened 2015 season. In 2014 while splitting time with Todd Gurley, Chubb averaged 7.1 yards per carry for 1,547 yards with 14 touchdowns. He also caught 18 receptions for 213 yards and two scores. <br> <br>
Chubb is akin to a human bowling ball, rolling over tacklers and and being a physical force in the SEC. The 5-foot-10, 220-pounder is a powerful runner who also has the quickness to rip off yards in chunks. He also is an explosive track competitor. <br> <br>
<u> <i> Pick change; previously David Moa, DL </i> </u>
The Packers could use more pass rush off the edge. Here's a great fit. <br> <br>
In 2017, Armstrong has 35 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble and a pass batted. A NFC general manager told me that Armstrong continues to impress them. He was a big presence for Kansas in 2016 as he totaled 10 sacks with 20 tackles for a loss, 56 tackles and three forced fumbles. <br> <br>
The 6-foot-4, 241-pounder could use more weight for the NFL to be an edge rusher against pro offensive tackles. That would help him to get off blocks. Armstrong is extremely quick and athletic, but could use more strength. He would be a great fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker as well.
The Packers could have drafted an edge rusher high in the 2017 NFL Draft, but didn't take one all together. Green Bay could use a young edge rusher after losing Julius Peppers this offseason.
Landry (6-3, 250) had an impressive junior season as an edge rusher for Boston College, recording 16.5 sacks, 22 tackles for a loss, seven forced fumbles, four passes batted and 51 tackles. He contributed as a sophomore with 60 stops and 4.5 sacks. Landry would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
The Packers could use more pass rush off the edge. <br> <br>
Hubbard has 23 tackles, two sacks, 6.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble in 2017. Last year, he collected 46 tackles with eight for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two passes batted. While rotating into the game as a sophomore, he showed his potential with 6.5 sacks. Hubbard also had 28 tackles with an interception. <br> <br>
The 6-foot-5, 266-pounder has a great skill set, but doesn't produce up to it. Hubbard has a serious combination of size, speed, and athletic ability. Some team sources feel that Hubbard has been an underachiever and should have had a lot more production over his collegiate career.
The Packers have not really found that anchor in the middle of their defense since the retirement or hiatus or whatever happened to B.J. Raji. They have trotted out the likes of Mike Daniels and Letroy Guion, but those are their rare free agent pick ups who have done a nice job. However, they could do a whole lot better to take some pressure away from their edge rushers. Vea is an active and versatile interior lineman who has the weight to be a nose tackle, but also the quickness to work a gap. He would be a breath of fresh air at a position that was lacking for a team who's defense needs some new talent up front.
Last Weeks Selection: Courtland Sutton WR SMU