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NFL Draft Preview: Mock Draft: Packers have options at WR, LB, DL, OL

It's NFL Mock Draft season!

With the NFL Draft getting underway Thursday, it's time to take our turn through as general manager and see what we come up with. We conducted 20 of our own mock drafts and put together the most common results below. We used this NFL Draft simulator; feel free to use your own and see how things play out!

Generally, the four positions we targeted were wide receiver, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, and linebacker, with the next tier of needs being running back, tight end, a second offensive lineman, and defensive back. At no point did we take a quarterback or seriously consider it, although in one of our runs, James Morgan was available in the fifth round.

First Round (#30 Overall): Patrick Queen, Linebacker, LSU: Any time Queen or Kenneth Murray of Oklahoma were available on the mock drafts we ran, we scooped them up first. Why not a receiver? Well, that's because the overwhelming depth at the position means that the Packers can find a playmaker with one of their next two picks. Green Bay's defense is solid on the edges, but up the middle, there's a need for someone athletic enough to not only play sideline to sideline, but get back in coverage and contribute on the occasional pass rush. Queen or Murray would be excellent choices, top-20 talent that could slide a bit due to the emphasis on other defensive positions. There aren't many impact players in this year's Draft at the position, so why not add one of the best here and upgrade the defense while at the same time considering the depth available down the board. Patrick Queen is the preferred choice given his skill set and football IQ. If the Packers go receiver here, it'll be a YAC machine like Brandon Aiyuk or Justin Jefferson, who both could be available here as well, or playmakers like Jalen Reagor or Denzel Mims. Big receivers who can run are not available after this pick, for the most part.

Others picked more than once: Denzel Mims, Wide Receiver, Baylor; Jalen Reagor, Wide Receiver, TCU; Brandon Aiyuk, Wide Receiver, Arizona State; Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU; Kenneth Murray, Linebacker, Oklahoma

Second Round (#62 Overall): Raekwon Davis, Defensive Lineman, Alabama: Much like the first pick, a few players kept falling to this spot, and made it hard to pass on them. Justin Madubuike or Russ Blacklock of TCU, Davis, and offensive tackles like Isaiah Wilson of Georgia and Lucas Niang of TCU. Whenever possible, we leaned defense given that the pool drops off sharply after the first couple of rounds; there's not much upside with later picks, and the talent level from the middle of the draft to undrafted free agent isn't as sharp of a drop as it is from the top half-dozen or so players to the rest of the class. Offensive tackles are also in short supply, but most of the players in this year's class are projected to play right tackle, and there are usually a few on the board once we hit the 4th and 5th rounds. In this case, Raekwon Davis represents a more athletic interior defensive lineman that can play in more than one or two roles, helping the Packers stay versatile on defense. It seems that this pick will likely go to either the offensive or defensive line, given that there are going to be plenty of skill position players available later on, and most of the lineman talent at the top-end disappears after about pick #75 or so fairly consistently.

Others picked more than once: Ross Blacklock, Defensive Lineman, TCU; Justin Madubuike, Defensive Lineman, TCU; Isaiah Wilson, Offensive Lineman, Georgia; Lucas Niang, Offensive Lineman, TCU; Marlon Davidson, Defensive Lineman, Auburn, Jordan Elliott, Defensive Lineman, Missouri

Third Round (#94 Overall): K.J. Hamler, Wide Receiver, Penn State: Finally, we tap into the depth of this year's class. Hamler does not fit the mold of a typical Packers receiver; Green Bay is looking for size and speed, whereas K.J. Hamler provides a lot of quickness and the ability to pick up chunks of yardage with the ball in his hands, but stands at only 5'9". Players in this spot like Van Jefferson, Tyler Johnson, Lynn Bowden, Bryan Edwards, or Donovan Peoples-Jones have the size, but the skill sets lean more towards boundary players without a lot of game-breaking explosiveness. We debated several receivers here, given that tackle has some depth in the fourth and fifth rounds with nearly double-digit players grading out in the same range and Green Bay absolutely needs an offensive skill position player in the top 100, but kept coming back to who can impact the offense the most with their ability. It probably won't be Hamler in real life; it's hard to imagine the Packers drafting anyone under 6' tall at any position. If any of the top dozen or so receivers in this year's class slide, however, they are all Packers targets, especially if the Packers spend their top two picks on defense or linemen... or quarterback.

Others picked more than once: Akeem Davis-Gaithers, Linebacker, Appalachian State; Saahdiq Charles, Offensive Lineman, LSU; Matt Peart, Offensive Lineman, UConn; Jack Driscoll, Offensive Lineman, Auburn; Donovan Peoples-Jones, Wide Receiver, Michigan

Fourth Round (#136 Overall): Charlie Heck, Offensive Tackle, North Carolina: This is a swing spot in the Draft. Following the logic so far, Green Bay has addressed a few critical areas with an injection of playmaking; they could do the same in this spot at running back or in the defensive backfield. However, one of the greatest needs is help at tackle, and there are several players who land in the mid- to late-fourth round. Green Bay can swing for upside like Trey Adams, Alex Taylor, or Hakeem Adeniji; there's others that have Jack Driscoll, Justin Herron, or Heck that have relevant starting experience. Heck is our pick given his bloodline and his ability to play either tackle spot. The Packers have David Bakhtiari and Rick Wagner anchoring the edges, but an upside choice with versatility at tackle in the fourth round could round out the position group nicely. Running back is not as deep this year, and if someone like Darrynton Evans, Eno Benjamin, or Antonio Gibson is still on the board, that could also prompt a quick decision to add some insurance should the Packers opt to not pay Aaron Jones or Jamaal Williams next offseason.

Fifth Round (#176 Overall): Justin Herron, Offensive Lineman, Wake Forest: Here's where the NFL Draft really opens up; Green Bay has six of the final 80 selections in this year's event so whatever they do with their fifth-round pick probably doesn't affect what they do later on. At this stage, the only "need" left unaddressed is at running back and interior offensive line; pretty much everything else is gravy at this point. Every mock draft simulation has been over-valuing quarterbacks, but there are probably a few serviceable backups left at this point; none are taken in our own mock, but they will be out there, especially where the Packers have picks. In this spot, we doubled down on the situation up front, where the Packers have only a couple of players under contract in 2021 and beyond; depth is greatly needed at this point. Herron will show up as a tackle on the NFL Draft ticker, but profiles more at guard in the NFL. Either way, the versatility is appreciated and needed, and Green Bay needs some talent to fill in behind their projected starters in 2020 either way.

Sixth Round (#193 Overall): L'Jarius Sneed, Safety, Louisiana Tech: Size and speed, that's the way of the Packers' defense. If Green Bay can't get its hands on a top-end talent like Grant Delpit in the first round, adding depth and speed on the back end later in the Draft is the next-best thing. Sneed might go a little earlier than mid-sixth round, but wherever the Packers decide to grab him, he seems to fit on paper.

Sixth Round (#209 Overall): Joshua Kelley, Running Back, UCLA: One-cut runner with decent speed. Green Bay's not looking for starter-level snaps in 2020, but depth at the position is needed with the top two running backs on the roster in contract years. Most of the other running backs in this spot are smaller, quicker types; Green Bay will want a hammer between the tackles.

Sixth Round (#210 Overall): Charlie Taumoepeau, Tight End, Portland State: Whether its Taumoepeau, Stephen Sullivan, Jacob Breeland, or any of the late-Draft-stage tight ends that profile as more receiver than blocker, the Packers will want someone behind Jace Sternberger (injured half of 2019) and Marcedes Lewis (blocking specialist) in 2020 and beyond that can develop and contribute occasionally. Taumoepeau is the TE we kept coming back to, given his athleticism. With Jimmy Graham now in Chicago, perhaps one of the pass-catchers here can fill in part of the role that Graham was supposed to occupy. Should be noted, Thaddeus Moss, the son of Randy, is a projected fifth- or sixth-round pick, and will warrant a mention if he's available in the sixth round when the Packers are on the clock.

Seventh Round (#237 Overall: Darnell Mooney, Wide Receiver, Tulane: There will be receivers who fall given the depth of the position; Mooney was one of the faster available players late in the Draft on most simulations, so we kept taking him or another skill position player with speed. Seventh-round picks are for depth and the occasional breakout starter.

Seventh Round (#243 Overall): Jon Runyan, Offensive Lineman, Michigan: Another NFL legacy prospect, Green Bay doesn't need to draft three offensive linemen (and probably won't) but Runyan would command a lot of attention as an undrafted free agent. With two seventh-round picks, the Packers can continue to add to their depth up front, and address some of the skill positions (where talent is more plentiful this cycle, especially at cornerback and receiver) with rookie free agents.

Photo: Getty Images

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - LSU v Oklahoma

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