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Greg's 2024 NFL Draft Favorites

Who do I like for the Packers heading in to the 2024 NFL Draft?

This is it. Tomorrow starts the 2024 NFL Draft. The Green Bay Packers hold 11 picks to start the draft and I emphasize that "start" part as I fully expect some moves to be made whether up or down via trades. Every draft is important but with the youth of this Packers team and the somewhat unexpected success they had last year, this year holds a little more weight. If Brian Gutekunst hits on even half of those picks getting 5-6 more quick contributors, this team could turn into an NFL powerhouse fairly quickly. 

For the first time in what seems like forever, the consensus first-round choice among fans isn't just one position. There are favorites, but I don't see the social media meltdowns occurring when the Packers unsurprisingly don't choose a certain position as much as what's happened in years past. But of course, we know it'll still happen in some fashion. I share some of these favorites, but I've tried to avoid getting my hopes up just to be disappointed. 

Instead of a mock draft, I've decided to drop some of my favorite players heading into the weekend regardless of whether or not I feel they could be on the clock for the Packers. So let's get to it. 

Cooper DeJean - CB/S - Iowa 

What? I agree with just about the entire fan base that it would be great to get Cooper DeJean? You don't say! But unlike some of those who may flip their coffee tables if we don't get him, DeJean is a bit of a pipe dream for me. He was a favorite of mine even heading into Day 1 of free agency where I thought he would be a great compliment to Xavier McKinney before McKinney even put pen to paper with the Packers. DeJean is a ridiculous athlete with great closing speed who has experience at corner and safety and isn't afraid to make the big hit on a pass-catcher when necessary. You know how they say receivers who can't catch become defensive backs? Well, this isn't true for DeJean as he has tremendous ball skills racking up seven career interceptions in college.  Gutekunst likes those versatile athletic freaks. DeJean may not be there at 25, but I wouldn't count out trading up from 25 to get him. 

Amarius Mims - OT - Georgia

I think I've mentioned Mims 2-3 times already in the last few weeks in some way shape or form. The 6'8, 340 lbs Tackle is just an absolute athletic freak. Great hand placement and footwork to help push through contact, and he can wear down power rushers purely with his size alone. The big knock with everyone for Mims though is his experience of only having eight career college starts. Mims will of course be a bit of a project for a year but after that, I think he could be a great tackle in the league. He's got a first-round grade and he could still be there at 25 for the Packers, but it will be close. 

Kool-Aid McKinstry - CB - Alabama

The Packers have had McKinstry in for an interview twice in this draft process. He has great closing speed on crossing routes and can blanket receivers with close coverage. The ball-hawking defender does a great job tracking deep throws and also displays a great skill set for knocking or punching the ball away if a receiver does get his hands on it. McKinstry will likely be a late first-round pick. 

Graham Barton - OL - Duke

Barton is a very versatile offensive lineman who can play anywhere. With the Packers always emphasizing versatility on the line Barton is a great fit. He does a great job of exploding into blocks off the line and follows through with great body control. I could honestly see Barton playing anywhere on the Packers offensive line, inside or outside, but they may have to go up to get him before 25. 

Tyler Nubin - S - Minnesota

Well, this is my first questionable favorite. Nubin's RAS score was, well, terrible. He scored a 2.91 out of 10. Which is a red flag for a RAS enthusiast like Brian Gutekunst. But Nubin has great ball skills and has shown good flashes in open-field coverage. He uses his longer size to make tackles better against cutting ball carriers and has shown great backfield discipline to not get beat easily. Despite that low RAS score, I think Nubin could still be a pretty good Safety in the league, however, I would wait till the mid-2nd round to take him. 

Junior Colson - LB - Michigan

Colson is an inside linebacker with great speed and explosiveness that would complement Quay Walker in the middle of the field. Colson is always where he should be on the field and displays great upper-body strength and balance when battling against blocks. Another second-rounder that could be in play for the Packers.

Edgerrin Cooper - LB - Texas A&M

I like Junior Colson, but I might like Edgerrin Cooper a bit better. Cooper also possesses elite speed and can dodge traffic en route to the ball carrier. A problem for the Packers lately has been tracking down runners quickly, especially mobile Quarterbacks. I still cringe at the fact that we let Tommy DeVito run for 71 yards. Well, Cooper does an excellent job recognizing both before they have a chance to do any damage and does the damage himself. Cooper may be a mid-second to early third-round pick for the Packers. 

DeWayne Carter - DL - Duke

Finally, I'm getting to the player on the cover of this article. DeWayne Carter is a dawg, he plays with intensity and never quits. He will likely be asked to play a one-gap scheme with the Packers and that is where he excels. Does a great job getting off the snap with force and often wins the leverage game. He could be used as an interior lineman or end. For the most part, I see Carter listed as a 4th or 5th-round pick, but I could honestly see him being a day 2 pick for a very intrigued team.

Jonathon Brooks - RB - Texas

Finally, I'm getting to an offensive skill position. Brooks may be a selection for me almost purely based on the bargain he could end up being. If not for a torn ACL in November, Brooks could be a mid-late 1st round running back. He should be available for training camp for any team looking to select him where he falls which could be the late 2nd-early 3rd round. With the Packers looking to find a longer-term running back, I wouldn't mind them taking a shot at Brooks if he's available in that area. He has excellent quickness and feet making cuts and has good vision for finding open space. He also possesses good hands to become an asset in the passing game. With a little time behind Josh Jacobs, Brooks could reach feature-back level. 

Kiran Amegadjie - OT - Yale

At 6'5 323 lbs, Amegadjie is another one of those big-bodied athletic linemen that could be in play for the Packers in the 3rd round, maybe even late second. He has some of the longest arms in the draft which assist him in pass pro where he's light on his feet and able to challenge rushes quickly. He is also a bulldozer in the running game as he clears running lanes with force. If the Packers go defense in the first round, like they seem to have done almost every year for the last decade-plus, I could see Amegadjie being in play on day 2 for the Packers.

Michael Hall Jr. - DL - Ohio State

Another intense defensive lineman, Hall has a quick ability to beat out single blockers and also uses that quickness to avoid double teams using an arm-over technique to avoid blocks. As said before Hall is an intense player who may be high on my list of favorites due to the fire he brings to every play. We want our defenders to be loud and aggressive, so Hall could be a good option for the Packers in the 3rd round. 

Tanor Bortolini - OL - Wisconsin

Finally, after feeling just un-clean talking about a Buckeye being one of my favorites in the draft, we're getting to some Badgers. Every year I can't help but have a Badger or two in my "wants" column. Bortolini fits a need for the Packers as he is a versatile lineman playing both Guard and Center. He's also an excellent run-blocker who uses core strength when facing bull rushers. Bortolini learned to pave the way for running backs at a college that seems to churn out linemen and backs by the dozen, so he could be a good lineman to put in front of Josh Jacobs or any young running back selected in the draft this year. The Badger may have to wait until the fourth round to come off the board but I think he could be a good depth player to eventual starter in Green Bay. 

Braelon Allen - RB - Wisconsin

And of course, Braelon Allen. It seems like every year that the Badgers have a feature back in the draft, the Packers have a running back need. If the Packers want to build a bully of a running game next to Josh Jacobs, Braelon Allen could be a great pick in the 3rd or 4th round. Allen can be physically imposing bouncing off tackle attempts as he makes his way into the defensive backfield. He may not have a great burst through the line at first but he still has the speed in the open field to pull away from defenders. Allen is also a good pass blocker and will be only 20 years old for the majority of the 2024 season, so that bodes well for a team taking a chance on him with hopes of a second contract at a younger age down the line. 

So there you have it. There are several other favorites I have but I can't mention them all without making this article too long. Your answer is as good as mine for who the Packers will truly pick this weekend, but if any of the players above end up wearing Green and Gold at the end of it, I think they could have a great player on the roster for years to come. 

 

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Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to CheeseheadTV as well as PackersTalk. Follow him on Twitter @gmeinholz for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.

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5 points
 

Comments (18)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Sapgooey's picture

April 24, 2024 at 12:13 pm

BRING THEM ALL!!!! 🤣💚💛💚

-2 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

April 24, 2024 at 12:31 pm

Some very good players. This should be a good draft for Gutey to sit tight in the first 2 rounds and let the first 3 picks funnel down to him.

I will be absolutely shocked if Gutey selects Mims in the 1st round. Boom or Bust extraordinaire selection. One of the few 5 Star HS recruits on Planet Earth and he hardly plays at Georgia until finally cracking the starting line up in his 3rd year? Then only 8 starts due to ongoing injuries? Then only plays RT. Then calls it a college career and declares for the draft?

I think Gutey likes steak over the Mims sizzle. I would question his work ethic, motivation for job, and whether he has been so idolized for his massive size and athletic ability, he is a giant coaster. I don't think he would even be the 5th T on the Packer's depth chart. No versatility. And not even a potential swing T back up, never having played the Blind Side in college.

Draft a prospect that works hard, displays continuous improvement, leads by example and has multiple seasons of production. There are a host of those listed above by Greg.

6 points
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Cheezehead72's picture

April 24, 2024 at 12:56 pm

I am not convinced Barton is worth where he will be picked.

I would pass on Braelon Alan as he has fumbling issues and I am not conviced he can take the NFL beating.

I am really high on Nubin and Colson.

What no love for the Long Snappers

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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

April 24, 2024 at 01:22 pm

We need to improve at LS though. How many of the missed FGs and extra points included a snap so bad that the holder worked miracles to get the ball in position barely before the kick? How many were in position but the laces were still the wrong way? I don't have that data, but it was lots.

Maybe #17 would have missed all those kicks anyway, but I think the snap contributed to the problem.

3 points
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murf7777's picture

April 24, 2024 at 03:09 pm

Allen also has played with injuries all three years. They are all tears and pulls. Hope they don't take him.

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splitpea1's picture

April 24, 2024 at 12:59 pm

We don't need to be doing any moving up in the first round. There's plenty of versatile players and athletic freaks to be found without doing so. If there is any temptation, hopefully it will be cost-prohibitive enough to erase it--this goes especially for Mims. McKinstry and Barton seem to be realistic options without trading up.

Colson over Cooper easily--I'll take the steady guy with solid tackling ability.

I also believe Nubin could be worth a shot later on, but such a low R.A.S. probably sent Gute recoiling in horror (actually with some reason, because only one safety with a score that low has made the Pro Bowl since 2011 (Mathieu), and the average Pro Bowl safety has a score of 6.81--those numbers come courtesy of a writer named Peter Bukowski).

Michael Hall, Jr.? Nah. Too many questions about fit, run defense, and endurance. I wouldn't mind seeing Kris Jenkins, but whether or not the Packers want to spend a second round pick on the DL is another matter.

5 points
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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 24, 2024 at 01:29 pm

I’ve come to the belief that taking Payton Wilson at 41 and whoever is the best LB left at 58 is the way to go. Cooper? Colson? Gray? Whoever, as long as they are our backup to Wilson and Walker.

Then take safeties at 88 and 91. With two picks at LB and S we greatly increase our odds of hitting big on one and have a solid backup as well.

I want an OL or CB at 25.

3 points
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WD's picture

April 25, 2024 at 02:09 pm

Well stated PackEyed. We have no idea what Colsum tested because he refused to participate in the combine or in his pro day. Tells you all you need to know. Meanwhile Payton Wilson won the Butkus award as the top LB in college in 2023. He has been cleared medically. If you don't risk it, you don't get the biscuit!

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murf7777's picture

April 24, 2024 at 03:14 pm

Of course there are plenty of athletic freaks, there are every year, but, if you didn't trade up you wouldn't have received Clay Matthews. Alexander, C. Watson, OR Jordan Love, etc... I know more picks are more fun, but getting the right high level player is more important. Trade up or trade down, you can bet Gutey will be working the board.

1 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

April 24, 2024 at 05:44 pm

Supposedly Nubin was around 85% back when he did the testing. If the Packers believe he's a better athlete than he showed I could see them taking him. He probably would have gone higher if he didn't test at all.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 25, 2024 at 07:53 am

Teams go off scouted play speed much more than the chattering classes if the prospect was one on their radar. He probably shouldn’t have tested. He’s a wild card because we don’t know what teams really think.

Remember, GB grabbed Reed because they thought his combine 40 was significantly misleading based on their scouting and they were proved correct. Nubin’s profile is much higher, and it’s likely more teams have watched him closely. Obviously they have more health information than we do.

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WD's picture

April 25, 2024 at 02:03 pm

Cherry picked highlight films make Colsum look great. In fact I like everything I have seen. It is what I have not seen that makes him a risk. To be specific any combine scores. We have only projected forty times on him ranging from 4.58 to 4.72. With that much risk you might as well take Payton Wilson. When healthy he is clearly the v best. So the least risk is Edgerrin Cooper. If both Cooper and Wilson are both gone i still would be leery of Colsum. Not only did he refuse to be tested at the combine but at his pro day as well. WHY?

0 points
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HarryHodag's picture

April 24, 2024 at 02:32 pm

I have refused to fall for the draft hype with this year being very bad. A good example is J.J. McCarthy. When the season ended he was considered a good quarterback within a winning program loaded with talent. Suddenly he's the second coming of John Elway. This year continues what I call the 'Kiperization' of the draft. Mel and his contemporaries have a unique ability to make players look like something they're aren't yet.

You have to keep in mind these are 21-22 year old young men who did well in college. But like high school isn't college, college play isn't the NFL. A seeming sure bet often turns into a pumpkin at midnight. The 49'ers were so in love with Trey Lance they traded away the farm to draft him. He's now buried behind Dak Prescott in Dallas, while the last player selected in one draft was the 49'ers quarterback in the Super Bowl.

The core of any team is drafting in rounds 2-5. If Gute got an offer to trade back and to pick up an extra pick or two in those rounds he should take it. Long term the player is less costly. Think Jayden Reed who might be on his way to being one of the top receivers in the NFL. Remember the chuckling about the Packers not drafting a wide receiver in the first round? No one is laughing now.

A first round pick should be an instant difference maker(with one exception being quarterback). If Cooper DeJean is gone(and instant difference maker) then trade back. You can get an excellent offensive lineman in rounds 2-5, a linebacker, running back, corner.

Sorry to dump on the parade, but reality is a better place to live in than "Kipertown".

8 points
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murf7777's picture

April 24, 2024 at 03:20 pm

There are times it makes a lot of sense to trade up....One of many perfect examples is Jordan Love. Sure, there are duds, but you have to trust your research. I would say the Packers over the past 3 decades have shown to be a very good drafting team, whether they trade up or down which you will probably see Gutey do just that a couple of times.

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Turophile's picture

April 25, 2024 at 01:30 am

I haven't been hearing this draft is bad, not overall bad. Like most years, it is good in places and poor in places.
Very good at OT and WR, good at QB and CB, pretty decent at IOL. Poor at RB, ILB and Safety - though there are several safeties and RBs that I like (not so many ILBs, though).

I completely disagree with the 'Cooperization' or bust, at pick 25. Any of him, Fautanu, Newton, Murphy, Barton, could be there and they all seem worthy of that draft spot, to me.

As for trading, the Packers could go up or down in the draft depending on who is available as the draft unfolds and where they are on the Packers big board. Trade up, or down, or stay put, they could all be winning strategies on the day.

2 points
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Turophile's picture

April 25, 2024 at 01:25 am

Lots of guys I like on Greg's list.
I'd add to them:

Troy Fautanu OT (Probably gone before pick 25)
Jarrian Jones (slot corner, round 4)
Kris Jenkins (if there at 58)
Renardo Green (outside corner, round 3)
Blake Corum (RB) and Marshawn Lloyd RB at 58 or 89)

1 points
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gsd3's picture

April 25, 2024 at 04:07 am

If they wanted to take a big swing, since Indy wanted Watson for Taylor this past season, I would offer Watson and a 2nd for #15. Virtually all the sims indicate Indy would accept it.

-1 points
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stockholder's picture

April 25, 2024 at 06:41 am

Truthfully - Other than DeJean - No Thank You.
I see 1 contract and done.
They are not the stuff legends are made of.

-2 points
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