Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone injury ended the team’s eight-year streak of consecutive playoff seasons. Also coming to an end is Ted Thompson’s 12-year tenure as general manager, giving way to former director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst as the lead decision-maker.
2017 illuminated a myriad of flaws Rodgers covered by his presence alone. Unlike the division-rival Vikings or Super Bowl champion Eagles, the Packers were unable to overcome the loss of their quarterback.
The Packers now face an offseason with holes to fill both offensively and defensively. Retooling around Rodgers is a must for Green Bay to get back to being a contender in an NFC that features several up-and-coming teams.
Using the FanSpeak On The Clock Mock Draft Simulator, here is one realistic scenario that would make sense for the Packers.
Round 1, pick 14: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
The Packers’ offensive line was decimated by injuries throughout last season. The tackle position will be fine with a healthy Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari. Lane Taylor is a reliable blocker at one guard spot, but 34-year-old starting right guard Jahri Evans is a free agent. The ideal player to step in is Wynn.
He is a powerful, technically refined blocker who is exceptional at establishing his body position and staying square. He knows how to leverage his hips and accelerate his feet to win as a run blocker. His experience at left tackle in college speaks to his pass blocking upside. He is a true plug-and-play prospect.
Adding Wynn to mix could provide Green Bay a top-five offensive line in front of Rodgers, who must be protected.
Round 2, pick 45: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Goedert is one of the premier small-school talents who will be available in the 2018 NFL Draft. From a receiving standpoint, he is a perfect fit for the trajectory of today’s NFL tight end with the ability to line up in-line, flexed, wide, or out of the backfield.
A nuanced route-runner, Goedert knows how to create separation by winning early in routes to set up his breaks. In terms of ball skills, Goedert is dominant at the catch point with his ability to elevate and adjust to the football while attacking it with a “my ball” mentality. His hands are outstanding, and he knows how to win consistently in contested situations.
Tallying 164 receptions for 2,404 yards and 18 touchdowns over the last two seasons, Goedert is the dynamic receiving tight end who can take Green Bay’s offense to the next level.
Round 3, pick 76: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE, Oklahoma
He’s not the tallest edge defender, but more importantly, Okoronkwo checked in with 34.5-inch arms at the Senior Bowl. A twitched-up pass rusher with exceptional burst, Okoronkwo tallied 29 tackles for loss and 17 sacks across his final two seasons at Oklahoma.
The Packers’ pass rushers are more powerful, technically oriented rushers; Okoronkwo brings a speed dynamic to complement them.
Round 4, pick 110: Holton Hill, CB, Texas
The Packers allowed a quarterback rating of just under 100, so improving the secondary is a must, especially with Morgan Burnett’s, Davon House’s and Demetri Goodson’s contracts all expiring.
Hill has first-round talent but has some red flags off the field that could make him available early on Day 3. He is a physical corner who excels in press and zone coverage while offering good ball skills. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is known to be aggressive with his pass rushing schemes, so having corners who can be disruptive at the line of scrimmage is a must.
Round 5, pick 141: Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF
Averaging 20 yards per catch for 1,082 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017, Smith has been a dynamic playmaker for the Knights.
While he may not be overly explosive, Smith attacks the ball in the air with an alpha mentality and tracks it cleanly. He shows a high level of concentration and comfort when winning at the catch point.
That is exactly the type of skill set Rodgers and his pinpoint accuracy can take advantage of.
Round 6, pick 172: Poona Ford, DT, Texas
The Packers’ defensive line depth is underwhelming and the unit could use more competition. With Green Bay’s defense ranking in the bottom half of the league in both run and pass defense, the entire unit needs an influx of talent.
Ford is experienced playing multiple positions along the defensive line, which is necessary in Pettine’s defense. He has a stout anchor but also excels at penetrating gaps and working into the backfield. While he lacks ideal height, Ford can add to the Packers’ defensive line rotation.
Round 7, pick 206: Greg Stroman, CB, Virginia Tech
Coming from Bud Foster’s defense at Virginia Tech, Stroman has the upside to play inside or outstide. He has outstanding ball skills, good route anticipation, and is willing to play physically. He is a tad undersized and lacks long speed, but Stroman has a natural feel in coverage and can provide quality depth for Green Bay.