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Joseph's Gems: Prospecting 15th Overall

With the Packers Locked in at 15th, a look at Possible Selections.

 

 

We're approaching Conference Championship Weekend as we look to lock in yet 2 more spots in the 2023 NFL Draft Order in the NFL's march to Super Bowl Sunday. I'm sure by now for most of you, the disappointment of the Packers' 2022 season has settled in. But it's time to throw that saddening situation to the wayside and take up a feeling of positivity as we are just a little more than 3 months away from the 2023 NFL Draft and the promise of great things to come from the next batch of future Packers' superstars. This is the final installment of "Joseph's Gems: Prospecting".

 

But before we get into it, let's recap where we left off:

 

Part 1 - Week 9

Quinton Johnston, WR - TCU: Do-It-All Prototypical X-Receiver

Michael Mayer, TE - Notre Dame: Receiving In-Line Tight End 

Paris Johnson Jr, OT - Ohio State: Franchise Tackle

Myles Murphy, Edge - Clemson: Wrecking Ball Pass Rusher/Run Defender

 

Part 2 - Week 15

Michael Mayer, TE - Notre Dame: Receiving In-Line Tight End

Brian Branch, S - Alabama: Versatile Back End Defender

Jared Verse, OLB - Florida State: Dynamic Box Defender

Paris Johnson Jr, OT - Ohio State: Franchise Tackle

 

 

So with the 3rd and final installment of "Prospecting", with the 15th Overall Pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers MIGHT select....

 

 

Michael Mayer, TE - Notre Dame

Since we last talked about Mayer I was REALLY disappointed he didn't play in the Gator Bowl against South Carolina, because that would have most likely solidified this pick (or boosted his draft stock further). I know this may seem like a pick I phoned in to the "experts" but Mayer will be a solid fit for this scheme and for an offense that may feature Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love, there's nothing like a Tight End that demands targets across the middle that you can essentially use as a "downfield checkdown". Barring an awful combine, the 1st Team All-American and this year's TE1 shouldn't have any lack of suitors in the Draft. In Part 1 when the Packers had the 9th Overall Pick I'd have said it was a matter of whether General Manager Brian Gutekunst wanted to take him in the Top-10 or potentially trade back 2-3 spots to get him with an extra pack on Day 2 or 3. At 15th, I'm just not sure if he's available if he shows up and shows out at the Combine or his Pro Day. Time will tell, but this is a "safe pick" that the Packers can sit back and watch this guy blossom into what I expect to be a perennial Pro Bowler at Tight End.

 

 

Paris Johnson Jr, OT - Ohio State

Since the National Championship, there's been a slight reshuffling of the OT rankings, and Johnson is trending toward the top. For me, he's always been OT#1 and will continue to be, barring a setback at the Combine or Pro Day. In the CFBP Semi-Final, I thought Johnson had a solid game, he didn't wow me, but given the elite talent on Georgia's Defensive Line, it did verify he needs to get stronger for the NFL. That's an easy fix for an NFL offseason conditioning program. Like Mayer before him, Johnson is a Junior so no Senior Bowl for him, and like we've seen over the past few years I don't expect to see him in an All-Star game in order to preserve his draft stock; which as of right now is a Franchise Starting Left or Right Tackle. I don't know what "rebuild" people are talking about, but if I'm Brian Gutekunst, I'm cleaning house on the offensive line. Newman, Rhyan, and possibly even Hanson can all go; keeping the enamored Zach Tom and Yosh Nijman as more than capable backups. With Matt LaFleur expressing that he wants David Bakhtiari back, it's only an issue of who's going to anchor the Right Tackle position, and Johnson can bookend that spot for 10 years with this pick (keep in mind Bakhtiari turns 32 next season). This is a deep OL class, and Gutekunst shouldn't be afraid to start from scratch with some new premium blood. Again, it doesn't matter if it's Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love, the quarterback needs a clean pocket, and the running game needs big, beautiful rushing lanes. Again, like Mayer, this is a "safe pick" you really can't be disappointed in a Tackle who can anchor your Franchise for many seasons to come.

 

 

Brian Branch, S - Alabama

The familiar Branch comes in at 3rd on this list, and he continues to not disappoint with his stellar play. The Do-It-All "Star" Safety had an impressive Sugar Bowl against Kansas State, with 11 tackles, a sack, and an interception....that's the production I expect him to continue to contribute in the Pros. The emergence of Rudy Ford and the resurgence of Darnell Savage put this selection at bay however, and with Branch's stock rising he may find himself a Top-10 selection depending on how the Combine and the All-Star Games shake out. But 15-23 is his prime value based on the draft order. Even with the Packers retaining Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage, this is a very "safe" pick, and it gives you soooo much flexibility in the secondary. I believe so much in the versatility of Branch that he could replace either Amos or Savage, but also he provides value from a nickel and dime perspective as well, which until Keisean Nixon arrived, the Packers have really struggled to find adequate talent to fill the backend of the secondary. For lack of better words, at 15th Overall, Brian Branch is the quintessential "Ted Thompson" pick, he provides competition at so many positions, while still increasing the quality of talent overall on the defensive side of the ball.

 

 

Jordan Addison, WR - USC

I tried SOOOO hard to resist plugging a WR in this slot but it's hard not to. If Aaron Rodgers is not in a Green Bay jersey in 2023, it likely means Randall Cobb isn't either. There's rumors (because I really don't believe any of them) that Allen Lazard might want to move on, which only makes sense given the market. This is a terrible FA WR Market, and a terrible WR Draft Class. Outside of some surprise cut candidates (looking at you Keenan Allen), there's not much to snatch up this year. WRs like DJ Chark, Mecole Hardman, and Noah Brown will command a hefty contract given the options otherwise to NFL teams. This is honestly the same strategy MVS pulled last year, as in other FA classes he'd have probably commanded only half of the $10M salary he finessed the Chiefs for. That being said, the Packers stand to field only Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Samouri Toure, & Bo Melton Week 1. While we believe in Watson and Doubs for sure given their successes from their rookie years, this offense still desperately needs an additional downfield weapon; enter 2021 Biletnikoff Winner Jordan Addison. Despite his struggles in the National Championship (which are certainly understandable) Quinton Johnston should still hear his name called Top-10, that's just how much separation there is between him and this underwhelming WR class. The next tier involves only two players, Addison and the Buckeyes' Jaxson Smith-Njigba. I went back and forth between the two, and what separates Addison from JSN is that he can line up anywhere on the field and he creates separation with ease. Smith-Njigba is a competitor, a "gamer", if you will, but unless he puts up a stout Combine, I'm not sure if he has the same impact in the NFL as he did at the college level as a pure slot man. I think JSN benefitted from some manufactured plays seeing that he had the likes of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave to keep the defense occupied on the outside. Addison has the benefit of major college production on two teams, two quarterbacks, two coaches, two offenses, in two conferences, reaching the conference championship in both the ACC and the Pac-12, falling just short of the College Football Playoff in 2022. The only knock here as to why the Packers (Brian Gutekunst) wouldn't select Addison is his size, measuring at a mere 6"0 and 175 lbs. However, the Packers have seen firsthand what a similar WR in Devonta Smith could do this season in the NFL, and maybe that changes their minds. If Gutekunst is still craving a 6'3+ WR, he better throw all the money he can at Lazard or trade up for Johnston, because he won't find a talented slot who can produce otherwise in this Draft with those kinds of measurables. Addison provides a credible threat lined up out wide and in the slot, and his natural, nuanced route-running will create separation before the quarterback even makes his read. He could benefit from an NFL offseason to put maybe 5-7 lbs on him, but from the jump I expect him to put up Cobb-like numbers. 

 

 

It's been a fun ride, but now, we move from prospecting to evaluation. We've got quite a few All-Star Games to watch, with plenty of talented players to "sift" through in the process. While I don't have anyone in mind that could particularly threaten either iteration of the quartet of players the Packers might look to select on Draft Night, that's where the "real fun" begins. We'll see evaluations left and right as players rise to the occasion, while others fall by the wayside. Still needing your fix from the Draft Industrial Complex, join me next week as we go from Prospecting to Sifting with the All-Star Games.

#GPG

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph has been an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers since 1997, citing an affinity for dairy products during his childhood and his favorite color, green. Born in Jacksonville, FL, Joseph currently is an Active Duty servicemember in the U.S. Armed Forces. Joseph considers himself a lifelong fan of the game of football, competing since his youth well into adulthood. When it comes to the Pack, Joseph is particularly impassioned about the NFL Draft and collegiate scouting process, and will contribute regularly on CHTV.com leading to that year's upcoming Draft. You can follow him on Twitter at @joeyreyallday.

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Comments (117)

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2023 at 03:17 pm

If Lazard and Cobb go. Wrs works.
But Mayer would be the selection.

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packerbackerjim's picture

January 24, 2023 at 03:23 pm

A way-too-early take:I’m ok with Mayer because he will do two things to improve the offense—blocking and safety valve for whoever the QB is. My other early target would be Skoronski. An LT for the next 10 years, unpleasant business decisions may be a consideration.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 03:41 pm

Skoronski has too short arms to be an NFL LT. He would probably fit best at Guard. Also, if we want to improve any position on the OL, it should be Center.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 04:30 pm

Improving the Center position is easy: Move Tom or Jenkins to Center. Or maybe Myers improves in his 3rd year to be the Center we hoped he would be. If only we had some decent coaching...

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LLCHESTY's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:17 pm

Agreed and thumbs up. These days there aren't a lot of teams playing their NTs at the 0 tech anymore. You see a lot more 1 or 2i where they can be the guards main responsibility, allowing the center to slide off and hunt a LB. That's Tom's wheelhouse. Myers has enough heft he can compete with Runyan for RG. Still like to see them draft an interior O lineman with some nasty by round 4. Short yardage is as much about attitude as anything else and they didn't show much this year.

As far as your 2nd point I thought Barry and Butkus would both be shown the door. At the minimum Steno needs to spend a lot more time overseeing the OL in minis and training camp. Some more half line drills in training camp wouldn't be a bad idea either. A new DC willing to push LaFleur to hold a few more physical practices would be a most welcome addition. Otherwise there really is absolutely no point in keeping the band together.

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beerandbrats's picture

January 24, 2023 at 03:34 pm

I hope the Packers select Michael Mayer as well! I was expecting them to pick up a TE in this past draft but they kept passing on them. It would be great for JL to have a trusted TE to grow up with!

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 03:40 pm

The TE class in 2022 wasn't great so I can understand why. This year, though, it is STACKED.

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Rarescope's picture

January 24, 2023 at 03:39 pm

Welcome back Joseph! I'm sure we'll get another one tomorrow, but for today I'm stoked to read about something other than which QB we will/should have next year :/

IRT our draft picks I often read how tough it is to judge TE talent. Draft the next Kittle or Gronk, should be easy, right? I do remember though in 2020 when our offense was on fire Tonyan was heavily featured. Gotta get that back from someone.

Drafting a franchise tackle might not be a bad idea now either. Get another year out of Bahk while the rookie beefs up - could do worse.

I doubt we get any of these guys though - calling it here first - 1st round pick is used on a long snapper :P

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dblbogey's picture

January 24, 2023 at 04:30 pm

I'm hoping we draft a franchise defensive coordinator.

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JosephR's picture

January 24, 2023 at 04:32 pm

You and I both brother.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 03:40 pm

Title Town needs a new Mayer - Let's go get Michael Mayer - the dude is INSANE!

Addison may be nice, but he is 175 lbs and cannot block. I cannot realistically see the Packers taking him. There are lots of good 2nd round WR prospects that I could see the Packers targeting, though. They could also trade down in the first and select Tennessee's Jalin Hyatt, a superstar deep threat, who, even though only 185 lbs, can block pretty well

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Rarescope's picture

January 24, 2023 at 03:49 pm

I tend to agree - with the 15th pick we're kinda in the middle. Either trade up to get someone we really want/need, or trade back a little for some more picks. Just saw a mock on NFL.com that looked like Mayer was going to the Pack but it was just their awful layout - they had him going to the Pats at #14. If that happens I'm going to be sorely disappointed.

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JosephR's picture

January 24, 2023 at 04:46 pm

I too am very much expecting Belichick to snatch Mayer at 14th; Patriots need additional playmaker but none more than a TE. It wouldn't surprise me if Patriots took Mayer and Washington/Kincaid.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 04:48 pm

Hmm, you think that the Patriots could go TE in round 1 AND 2? I think they have other big needs, like CB, WR, and RT, but that would be a very Bill Belichick thing to do.

In my view, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith are good enough at TE for the Pats when they are losing Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Myers in Free Agency. They need to address WR more in my opinion. But trying to predict what Bill Belichick does is like trying to predict the lottery, so we’ll see.

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JosephR's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:16 am

Hunter Henry had a better season with the Patriots than he did with LA, but he still has up and down production, he's also in the last year of his contract.

Jonnu Smith is a serviceable weapon but he has a tendency to disappear during stretches of games, and he carries a $10M and $11M price tag in 2023 and 2024 respectively. For a guy who hasn't eclipsed 300 receiving yards or multiple TDs since 2020 he's a definite cut/trade candidate.

Belichick has shown when it comes to the passing game, he doesn't care who's catching it, as long as somebody is catching it. I could see him easily pluck 2 TEs, especially given this week WR class.

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Rarescope's picture

January 25, 2023 at 08:48 am

Thanks for replying JosephR. Last year was the first time I watched live draft coverage and it was here on CHTV. I’ll never forget some rando posting a snarky comment about why they kept cutting to your analysis and then you nailed the next Packers pick. Nags ripping him a new one was pure gold :D

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 04:47 pm

Maybe we can use our 3rd round pick to trade up and jump the Pats!

If we do not get Mayer, Dalton Kincaid of Utah and Tucker Kraft of South Dakota St are both guys we could get in round 2, look REALLY good as well. Kincaid reminds me a lot of Kelce, and Kraft of Kittle. Lots of “K’s” here!

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2023 at 09:04 pm

You won't like Kraft if you watch the Colorado game.
But his Highlight reel is great.

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Rarescope's picture

January 25, 2023 at 08:50 am

You need a K in your name to be a star TE in the NFL. It’s in the rules. Never draft a TE without a k.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:31 pm

Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson, Mark Andrews, Kyle Pitts - You're Right!

I guess we can't take Mayer or Washington (we could take Musgrave if the "k" in "Luke" counts). Kincaid or Kraft it is!

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 04:58 pm

Thinking the Packers will draft a WR or TE in the first round is pure folly... Wasting time on either is just silly. OL, DL, OLBer, Safety is much more likely.

Brian Branch
Broderick Jones
Lukas Van Ness
Isaiah Foskey
Antonio Johnson
Nolan Smith

I don't profess to know who it will be, but you can bet it won't be a TE or WR...

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 04:59 pm

Not a huge fan on Johnson or Foskey. Smith we could probably trade down for and get b/c of injury concerns. Branch is great; I don’t know if we really need another OT like Jones. I like Van Ness a ton, but #15 would be too early for him. Maybe we trade down or bag him in the 2nd.

I don’t think we go WR. I think TE is a real possibility, as the FO has to be fed up with all of the years of second rate or mid-round tries to fix the TE position.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 05:07 pm

We have a while before the draft rankings will be sorted out and then after the combine they'll get sorted again. (Never fails to happen.)

Unless there is a total change in philosophy, there is no way we draft a TE or WR in the 1st round though. This I know.

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Coldworld's picture

January 24, 2023 at 05:37 pm

I have only just begun looking at TEs, but it’s immediately clear (pre combine) that there are some very interesting athletes and options beyond Meyer. The question I’d love to know is what kind of TE do we really want? The difficulty is finding one who’s a threat in the passing game and blocking and ready at both. What does LaFleur really want and would use?

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 06:25 pm

This is a good question; this year's class is stacked.

Mayer reminds me a lot of Gronk. He is a great blocker who runs a 4.6 40 at 260 lbs and is an amazing receiver as well. He could be the traditional, do-it-all TE.

Dalton Kincaid of Utah reminds me a lot of Travis Kelce. He has slipperiness after the catch and has huge hands. He only ran a 4.7 40, but his play speed is MUCH faster than that. He is not the dominating blocker that Mayer is, but he is decent in this regard, and has greatly improved on that during the 2022 season. He is more of a receiving-type TE. If the Packers got him, they would probably want to take another TE later that has more of a blocking skill-set.

Tucker Kraft of South Dakota St. is the Christian Watson of the 2023 TE class. He is incredibly gifted athletically, but sometimes isn't that refined technically and there are questions about how he will hold up against better competition outside of the FCS. For me, he is a boom or bust prospect. He is a good blocker, and is very fast as a receiver and is shifty, and can evade and run through tackles. How much of this is from FCS competition remains to be seen.

Darnell Washington of Georgia is probably as close to a Marcedes Lewis replacement as the Packers could get. This dude is a MONSTER. He is 275 lbs, but has a lean muscle frame and runs a 4.63 40. He has sure hands and is a reliable pass catcher who can out-match DBs to make the contested catch. He also has a QB rating when targeted of 111.2. He is a playmaker in space and is incredibly tough for other DBs to tackle. He does an incredible job of muscling through tackles, staying upright, and gets tons of yards after catch. That's not even the best part; the best is his blocking. He can take on first-round caliber EDGE rushers with ease, he did so against LSU's B.J. Ojulari in the SEC title game. He is like a 6th offensive lineman on the field, and can pancake just about any defender. There are some injury concerns around his ankle, though.

Finally, to round out the likely day 1-2 TE prospects there is Luke Musgrave of Oregon St. Musgrave is mostly a wild-card because he only played 2 games this season because of a knee injury. In those games, though, he looked incredible; he, like Kraft, is incredibly gifted athletically, and is a good blocker and exceptional receiver. He isn't very violent in his runs after catches, though, and doesn't break or make people miss tackles. He, also, is probably a boom or bust prospect.

Personally, I think Mayer, Kincaid, or Kraft would all be great options because they are the 3 TEs with the most versatile skill sets. For the other two, there is some injury concern as well.

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Coldworld's picture

January 24, 2023 at 06:43 pm

What do you make of Spann-Ford as a later round option and Arik Gilbert? Washington is a guy I will be very interested to see how the combine goes for.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:01 pm

Spann-Ford is staying at Minnesota for 2023, and we won't see him until 2024. I really liked him, though, especially as a blocker.

Arik Gilbert is transferring to Nebraska. As a Huskers fan, I am super excited about this. He will also not be in the 2023 draft.

I think it will be questionable whether Washington will even be able to partake in the combine. He injured his ankle against Ohio St. and was seen in a boot.

As a Huskers fan, I can also impart that our TEs Chancellor Brewington and Travis Vokolek could be intruiging 7th-round or UDFA options. Brewington can play off-ball TE, or Fullback, and Vokolek has been an excellent, reliable receiver for us. He may need to get stronger to improve his blocking, but he hasn't been terrible. I also saw that Austin Allen was added to the PS. He was a guy I was hoping the Packers would get in the 7th round, and I think he has super exciting potential to be a good #2 or #3 TE.

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Coldworld's picture

January 25, 2023 at 09:28 am

Darn, there go two interesting later options that I liked, though some development is needed. To be honest, I don’t think Meyer gets to us. At the moment I’m leaning towards trading back as a preferred option. The draft day could change that, but if it goes as currently thought I see better value in more picks as 15 looks like being out of the group that excite me most.

With our cap and holes, there are as good prospects behind as seem likely to be around at 15. If Washington drops as a result of injury I’d consider him in what I think is the LaFleur system as a blocker, check down outlet and red zone threat on day 2. That would allow us to take a move guy at some point as well ( hence my interest in Spann-Ford). This year 15 looks unexciting in January, but that can change as things develop and I dig deeper, that’s the fun of this.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:29 pm

Keep in mind if we trade Rodgers to the Jets, we would almost certainly receive the #13 pick in return, one ahead of the Pats. We could bag Mayer then, perhaps. Trading back is also a good option. We could also use our 3rd round pick to trade up from #15 as well, though.

I think #15 is a good spot - Brian Branch of Alabama is a guy we should definitely target.

There are some other later round value picks at TE. I think that whatever the skill set is of the TE we take in the early rounds (blocking, receiving), we should take one with the opposite skill set later. Here are a few later (rounds 5-7) round prospects:

Noah Gindorff, North Dakota St. - Blocker
Josh Whyle, Cincinnati - Receiver
Ben Sims, Baylor - A bit of both
Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan - A bit of both
Kemore Gamble, UCF - Receiver

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:02 pm

Best to secure two, maybe three? The room has to get better. I would bag Mayer and Kraft if available. Would LaFleur know how to use them?

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JosephR's picture

January 25, 2023 at 01:34 am

We said for years we'd never see an ILB in the 1st Round, and then we heard Quay Walker last year. Gutekunst is evolving, which is probably his best feature as a GM.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 25, 2023 at 01:02 pm

True story...

It is possible Gutey is evolving to the point he drafts a WR or TE in round one, because I watched he and TT pass on multiple ILBers over the last two decades. I've also seen them pass on every WR/TE in the first round for their entire careers.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:28 pm

What good is a TE if the QB doesn't throw up the middle to the TE becausethey are risk adverse?

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Coldworld's picture

January 25, 2023 at 09:50 am

How can one build logically if one doesn’t know who one’s QB is and perhaps that dramatically changes what we want from any given position?

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Leatherhead's picture

January 24, 2023 at 05:40 pm

The Packers don't take skill position players in the first. They've learned that you can get a guy on the second day who is just as good....like Jordy, Jennings, Davante, etc.

We do take defenders, and safety is a likely target.

Personally, I'd trade down. Right now, we have 4 picks in the Top 115, and with a little trading down, we could get 6 or more. That would give us several shots at getting a TE, WR, RB, OL who could improve the offense, even if we took a safety with our first pick.

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Coldworld's picture

January 24, 2023 at 06:41 pm

Moved to where I intended to post it :)

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 06:58 pm

RB is not necessary; they are a dime a dozen. Dillon, Taylor, Goodson plus one later-round guy or some guy off the free agent market will be good enough if our OL is good. WR and TE are legitimate needs.

I have heard you talk a lot about how the OL is a top need in the draft, but I can't seem to understand that? Our unit was volatile this year, but there are reasons for that. If we were to draft an O-lineman, which starter would they supplant? I do not think that there is a chance GB invests meaningful draft capital into the OL if Bakhtiari stays. Frankly, I don't think it is likely they invest good capital into OL even if Bakhtiari is cut. It is not one of our top needs, and here is why:

Let's examine each player individually on the OL for next year, and how their season went. i am assuming the Packers will cut/trade David Bakhtiari post-June 1st to save 17 million.

First up, there is Center Josh Myers, the weakest link on the OL. No matter how the offseason playe out, Center is the one OL position I could always see Gutey conceiveably using a 3rd-4th pick on to add some competition, as Myers was underwhelming this year, especially in the run blocking department. However, this is basically his rookie year, as he only played in 4 games last year because of a foot injury. Personally, I think we should give Myers at least one more year to see if he can improve any. If not, I am all for replacing him in 2024, but since we invested a 2nd round pick into him, I think we at least have to give him one more meaningful shot.

Next, there is Yosh Nijman. He is technically a free agent this year, although he can be easily retained via the RFA tender for 4.3m, not very expensive. I think the Packers have no reason not to do that. He was a great starter for the Packers, having a 63.1 PFF grade (4th among Packers O-linemen), and LED the NFL in run-block win rate, and was top-10 in pass block win rate for most of the season. He only allowed 5 pressures when playing LT, his main position, but did not do as well in the pass-blocking department at RT (predictably so, as he trained predominantly as a LT instead of a RT all offseason).
Also, remember that he was injured in Miami, and in the Lions game where he game up 2 sacks to Aidan Hutchinson, he was not at 100% (not at 100% at a relatively unfamiliar position against a star DE: not ideal). It was this game that got him out of the top-10 in PBWR - he ranked 9th before. He still did well in the Vikings game, though, and has been reliable throughout his career injury-wise for the most part. I think he's earned a starting spot, and having a full offseason to train at LT or RT or wherever he plays will certainly help him to get back to his usually-excellent numbers.

Then there's Jon Runyan. Similarly to Nijman, he struggled more, particularly in the run game, playing RG, a completely new position for him, as opposed to LG. He has also been a great starter and excellent find in the 6th round, as he ranked 7th out of 77 Guards in the NFL in pass-block win rate, and he will get better at run blocking after he can train in a full off-season at RG. I hope they keep him around.

Elgton Jenkins is rehabbing an ACL, explaining his struggles at RT, and should be locked in as our LG of the future. He did struggle more this year, but that is to be expected - he came back relatively early and still ranked #7 in run block win rate.

Zach Tom has showed incredible promise, as a revalation at OT, OG, and every other position on the OL. If he can get stronger in the offseason and combine that with his incredibly refined technique, he could become the next great Packers 4th-round LT.

While I think prioritizing the OL is a very good thing, I don't think we should do so in the early rounds. I am always a proponent of taking O-lineman with later picks no matter what the state of our line is, but I think we have bigger needs, like TE, WR, S, and OLB. At our current rate we will not have enough players to even assemble a roster at the positions of TE and S. Our WR corps is still very young and needs at least one more guy to pair with Watson, Doubs, and Toure. We'll be lucky to have Gary back by Halloween, but even so, who will be playing opposite him when he returns? Unless Enagbare becomes a sensation, I think he is a very good #3 OLB. Preston will likely be either cut or traded as a cap casualty (for 2023 and in the future) in the offseason, I think. We also need at least one more starting caliber DL, too.

Basically, in my view, the Packers' current OL has earned the right to train a full offseason at positions they were jettisoned into mid-season and get better at them. I think we can use some good day 3 picks on the OL though. We will use 2023 as a year to see how Myers, Nijman, Jenkins, Runyan, and Tom do - if any of them flop, then we can use our early round picks in 2024 to draft replacements.

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T7Steve's picture

January 25, 2023 at 11:08 am

PC500, " some guy off the free agent market will be good enough if our OL is good." If the O-line isn't good, what does it matter who we draft or get in FA? The O-line room might have the right combination already, but will the coaches put that combination on the field?

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:30 pm

Or maybe just trade a certain QB and pick-up a few high draft choices. I'd be all for that even if before the June 1st date and the cap hit.

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LLCHESTY's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:21 pm

I'm looking forward to watching Antonio Johnson's tape. Read a couple times he's a great tackler that could be around in 2nd round because he hasn't made a lot of plays on the ball. I'd settle for great tackling at this point. Savage and Stokes turtling against RBs got awful sickening this year.

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Coldworld's picture

January 25, 2023 at 09:55 am

We have got to do something about S. We can’t leave that late. It’s looking like being a void at this point. Someone has to start there. Ford is a decent 3rd. Savage isn’t a full time S in a Barry system. We can’t afford Amos or a decent FA. It’s asking a lot to get a good S in year one from the draft, let alone 2. One reason why trading back is appealing.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:14 pm

Move on CBs before safeties. They can move Douglas to FS and get a guy in rd one. Stokes is out half the season and would be a nickel, at best, when he returns. Cory Trice is a guy who can flex from CB to safety.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

January 25, 2023 at 01:17 pm

I like Branch at 15 and I’m a big VanEss fan; he reminds me of Aaron Kampman in his prime. That said, the guy I’m hoping is there and the Packers select is a WR: Quentin Johnston. I see a combination of the best qualities of Deebo Samuel and DK Metcalf. I think a potential superstar WR is worth rolling the dice for.
I’d also be happy to trade down; as usual, and the second round looks good again.
I’m opposed to a TE in the first, there are too many good prospects to waste it there, because I don’t see Mayer or any other as a sure-thing star.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 04:58 pm

In my opinion, the OL is not as big of a need as people think. Most of the struggles came from players having to switch positions (and Josh Myers).
For example, even though Nijman trained predominantly at LT he played RT for most of the season. Same with Runyan except for LG and RG. Jenkins too. Both players did worse at their new positions, so I think having a full off-season to train at RT and RG, respectively, will help a lot. Zach Tom will also get stronger in the off-season.
I think that a line of Tom-Jenkins-Myers-Runyan-Nijman would be very good (except for Myers, if he plays the way he did this season). He is still somewhat of a wild card, though, he’s only played basically one season.
PFF ranked our OL this season in the top 5. An off-season of training will only help.

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Coldworld's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:09 pm

If anything, I’d like to see us add a G. We have good depth at T, two players that can play C well (Tom and Jenkins). Runyon was a little disappointing this year but behind him we need to improve. I’m not sold on Myers at C or willing to rely on him at G. Nor am I going to rely on the light coming on for Newman and Hanson is not NFL quality. We need some depth and competition.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:11 pm

Runyan was disappointing only because he had to play a position he'd never played before in RG for over half the season, Give him a full off-season to train there and he'll be better. I do agree we need depth though. Mason Brooks of Ole Miss and Willie Lampkin of Coastal Carolina are two guys we could get in the 5th-ish roud

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Coldworld's picture

January 25, 2023 at 09:43 am

You may be right, but I’m not going to bet the farm on Runyon being a long term winner and we need depth. At this point Rhyan is not someone I’m counting and I don’t necessarily think Myers at guard is a guarantee. We need depth and competition at G that I don’t see us having,

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T7Steve's picture

January 25, 2023 at 11:25 am

I think 500 is right about going through camp together. They didn't get to practice together all year. With vet days and injuries, it was ridiculous. How do you know how to react to something you don't practice and get to know the guys beside you? Myers was the cog that caused the most problems. Runyon is still the one that doesn't get penalized. Tom needs work on his run blocking, but an off season in the weight room will help.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:20 pm

IDK if you're counting on either Walker or Caleb Jones, but one of them ought to be worth a dang? At OT or OG.

I wouldn't mind drafting an OT in the 4th and a OG in the 5th and another OT in the 7th, plus whatever UDFAs we bring in. I wish we had a better OL coach tbh.

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Coldworld's picture

January 25, 2023 at 09:46 am

I think both have potential to be steals from what I’ve seen. I’m really not as concerned at T if we keep Nijman, even if Bakh goes. The interior is a much bigger concern and particularly depth and, honestly, the coaching, going back to our last championship game.

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T7Steve's picture

January 25, 2023 at 11:30 am

Still would love to see Caleb beside Nijman in a jumbo package. We never run that, but I saw a version or it on every team that played this weekend. Brings us back to CWs coaching questions.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:35 pm

Maybe replace two starters. Get better. It would be a getting down to basics philosophy. I would still retain Bhak on a refi loaded with incentives.The Rhyan situation has me wondering about the O line evaluation from the brain trust. I thought they would try him at RT. He resembled Tauscher

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 06:46 pm

15 Brian Branch S | Alabama A
45 Rashee Rice WR | SMU A
78 Jack Campbell LB | Iowa B+
115 Tucker Kraft TE | South Dakota State A+
149 Roschon Johnson RB | Texas A
170 Joe Tippmann OT | Wisconsin A+
233 Moro Ojomo DL | Texas A+
236 Nick Saldiveri OT | Old Dominion A+
243 Cory Trice CB | Purdue A+
255 Jeremiah Martin EDGE | Washington A+
258 Elijah Higgins WR | Stanford A+

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:12 pm

I would go OLB at pick 78 instead of ILB. Roschon Johnson is probably not the best fit; we probably want a more skilled pass-catcher and someone who is a bit swifter. He resembles the style of AJ Dillon a lot. Other than that i like this one a lot.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:22 pm

Campbell can play both.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:23 pm

Really? If so, that’s awesome

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:47 pm

What I think would be more likely is Jack Campbell playing ILBer and Quay at OLBer on some plays, like Parsons... Tbh.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 08:27 am

Is he a 3-4 olb or 4-3 olb? Hawks run a 4-3 I know

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LLCHESTY's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:39 pm

33.
Darnell Washington
TE Georgia
trade icon

56.
Jalin Hyatt
WR Tennessee
trade icon

101.
DJ Johnson
EDGE Oregon
trade icon

102.
Andrew Vorhees
OG USC
trade icon

114.
Ronnie Hickman
S Ohio State

119.
Zacch Pickens
DT South Carolina
trade icon

130.
DeMarcco Hellams
S Alabama
trade icon

133.
Colby Wooden
DT Auburn
trade icon

157.
Habakkuk Baldonado
EDGE Pittsburgh
trade icon

162.
Charlie Jones
WR Purdue
trade icon

197.
Camren McDonald
TE Florida State
trade icon

211.
Aki Ogunbiyi
OG Texas A&M

221.
Viliami Fehoko
EDGE San Jose State

2024 CIN 1st

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LLCHESTY's picture

January 24, 2023 at 09:02 pm

Quite a few sites list Colby Wooden as an Edge but he's 6'-5" and 284 lbs. I think he'd be a nice 5 tech. He's really good at stunts and is a good run defender, put him on Gary's side and if Gary wants to crash inside Wooden can loop and set the edge.

From TDN:
"Wooden’s frame stands out as he battles in the interior trenches. He is a solid run defender with the potential to be greater. Currently, his full-body power works well to absorb contact versus the run and anchor down. Wooden has a strong push-pull move to displace blockers to free his pathway to the ball carrier. The combination of punch power and arm length allows him to soften those angles and maintain separation during one-on-one sequences."

From PFN:
"With his size and athleticism, Wooden can be dangerous on stunts. With his combination of strength and mobility, he presents a mismatch for displaced blockers. He has the lateral agility to quickly shade off initial alignments and manipulate attack angles. Going further, the Auburn DT’s lateral agility enables him to disrupt both inside and outside. He can cover impressive amounts of ground when stunting laterally with space to work with. On the outside, Wooden has the agility to spin out of anchors and rip around the corner."

Underdeveloped pass rush technique (aren't they all as rookies) but a running downs guy that helps shore up the run D in the 4th round? Yes please.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:53 pm

If he falls that low, then absolutely get him

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Coldworld's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:00 am

That seems pretty high for Washington. Although I like the pick, many seem to see him as late second and probably third.

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PhantomII's picture

January 24, 2023 at 09:54 pm

I was watching Rashee Rice. Seems like the possession WR we need but he's pretty good...so, I'll call it...he goes in the lower half 1st RD. I think you're right Gute won't pick a WR in RD#1...Because we really need one and a good TE also.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 08:28 am

Rice and Cedric Tillman of Tennessee are my favorite WRs in the draft. One of them would be an excellent complement to Watson

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2023 at 06:49 pm

I predict Tonyan will get resigned.
If the packers are at the crossroads.
Robinson should be the pick.
(if Available)

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:09 pm

We have so many needs, and RB is one of the least valuable positions in the NFL. The only thing worse than taking a round 1 RB would be a round 1 QB.

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:22 pm

Absolutely not. Robinson is a franchise RB.
Red Zone threat. He has everything!
Needs - You' re basing that on Rodgers leaving.
Draft: Look at the Size of the players!
Look at who gets Double Teamed.
Look who Might be leaving.
If Barry comes back.
Look for an edge player. Before Safety.
Safety at 15 is a waste.
I doubt they give up on savage.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:24 pm

Regardless of whether it is Rodgers or Love under center, we still have big needs at TE, WR, OLB, and S. Those are the 4 main positions we HAVE to target. Robinson is a luxury pick, something we cannot afford.

Brian Branch is an excellent prospect. If we go safety at #15, I would only take him. Antonio Johnson of Texas Tech is a bit unpolished.

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:46 pm

I won't argue TE. Because Lewis is ready to retire.
DeGuara could get cut to save a Mil on the cap.
(But not if they want a comp pick. )
And Davis is hanging by a Thread.
Next WR. You have to replace Lazard possibly Cobb.
Doubt they go with 5 Wrs.
Lets go safety next. Amos regressed per speed only.
Maybe an injury we don't know about.
Savage played better when he moved closer to the LOS.
Possible trade or rework of contract
Regardless he'll want out and force Gutey. IMO!!!
I wouldn't take a Safety early. It's a mistake like Savage!
And there is No polamala in this draft!
Easier to move a CB or keep what you got.
OLB. Yes with Gary Down. Expect a Edge /LB .
But what happens if you get an extra pick? 1-2.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 08:28 am

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Coldworld's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:37 am

Last year you were gushing about Goodson. Oddly, that was one I think you might have been right on. And yet you now want to spend high draft capital in a RB.

I am actually quite excited about a Dillon/Goodson tandem. Goodson is a more natural pass catcher than Jones too. A decent coach should be able to make both function well if Jones doesn’t return. We don’t need to spend high draft capital on a RB.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:32 pm

Took Dillion in round 2. Regardless whether AJ comes back a mid-round RB would be good.

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:43 pm

Dillion has Regressed. He's not a franchise RB.
He will run his but off this year to get the big pay-check.
And if he doesn't. He will be released.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:48 pm

Charbonnet from UCLA; Sean Tucker: Earl Jones; Chase Brown; Ibrahim later rounds.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:25 pm

Your prediction of Tonyan getting re-signed is just like many of your other predictions...

Just plain wrong, but we're all used to it by now.

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:51 pm

Was I wrong about Rodgers getting an Extension?
No.
Was I wrong About Watson-
NO.
Was I wrong about Jones DT.
No - He did make Rookie of the year.
The Only reason he dropped was because he was a NT.
You think I'm Wrong about Rodgers.
I'm Not.
Wyatt had trouble. But like I told you
He minded me of Worthy
and they better be careful of his knee.
Which worked out great for him.
He could be all the better for it.
Daniels was.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:58 pm

Rewriting history a hobby of yours? I really do admire your continued llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll BS

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2023 at 09:21 pm

Touche- by the way. I wasn't wrong about Higgins and Hurts too.

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Coldworld's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:44 am

If you fire a shotgun as often as you do then you will inevitably hit something.

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Dragon5's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:31 pm

Leverage the #15 by trading down numerous times, acquiring as many 2nds as possible. Use up the balance of selections to trade back up into the 2nd. Get 4-5 quality players that don't mortgage future drafts. Much will change as the combine validates athletic potential in the weeks to come.

tight end: Instead of Michael Mayer, go Dalton Kincaid
safety: Instead of Brian Branch (though legit), go Brandon Joseph
slot wide receiver: instead of Jaxon Smith-Njigba, go Kayshon Boutte

My fav mock thusfar has us taking 5 2nds without trading 2024 selections
37 Siaki Ika--DT
45 Kayshon Boutte--slot WR
52 Brandon Joseph--S
56 Andre Carter II--EDGE
61 Dalton Kincaid--TE

Said in the past, and will continue to say it till he proves me wrong, Gute is an average GM...if he can get comfortable being UNcomfortable (trading down), only then will he realize his potential to far exceed expectations.

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:55 pm

You won't need to trade down if Gutey makes
Trades. To get under the cap.
Your draft looks good. But the only way they take
Siaka. Is if they move Clark.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:27 pm

I like Kincaid a lot. I don’t like Brandon Joseph at all, he has been terrible against the run and when tackling. Remind you of someone? The entire Packers 2022 defense. JL Skinner of Boise St. is who we should target if we go safety in round two. He is a beast at 6’4, 220 lbs, he is a better tackler, better against the run, WAY more physical, and also snagged 4 picks. He is the complete package at Strong Safety, and he also has tons of upside.

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stockholder's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:56 pm

Ok - Their good. But you need to replace Lowrey
And Reed. I'll take the Trench first. Last in the NFL.
The DT from Florida is my pick.
He's the fit at RDT. Gervin Dexter 6'5. 303

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 07:39 pm

This one was a bit weird, but I think it would be interesting.

15 Jalen Carter DL | Georgia A
45 Antonio Johnson S | Texas A&M A+
78 Zach Harrison EDGE | Ohio State A
115 Tyler Steen OT | Alabama A+
149 Roschon Johnson RB | Texas A+
170 Keeanu Benton DL | Wisconsin B+
233 Jonathan Mingo WR | Mississippi A+
236 Elijah Higgins WR | Stanford A
243 Luke Haggard OT | Indiana B+
255 Jerome Carvin OT | Tennessee B+
258 SirVocea Dennis LB | Pittsburgh A

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:28 pm

I don’t think this draft would happen in real life….

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 10:33 pm

There's not one of Gutey's drafts I thought would happen in real life either.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:00 pm

15 Tyree Wilson EDGE | Texas Tech A
45 Darnell Washington TE | Georgia A+
78 J.L. Skinner S | Boise State A+
115 Nathaniel Dell WR | Houston A+
149 Byron Young (TN) DL | Tennessee A+
170 Wanya Morris OT | Oklahoma A+
233 Dee Winters LB | TCU A
236 Nick Saldiveri OT | Old Dominion B+
243 Tavion Thomas RB | Utah B+
255 Quindell Johnson S | Memphis B+
258 Keytaon Thompson WR | Virginia B+

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:32 pm

LOVE the pick of Skinner. Wilson is a guy we should bag if he falls to us; he has incredible upside and is one of the best run defenders in the class. I could almost see us trading up a couple spots for him if he falls to us.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:18 pm

15 Brian Branch S | Alabama A
45 Rashee Rice WR | SMU A
78 Tucker Kraft TE | South Dakota State A
115 Tyler Steen OT | Alabama A+
149 Kendre Miller RB | TCU B+
170 Joe Tippmann OT | Wisconsin B+
233 Moro Ojomo DL | Texas A+
236 Andrei Iosivas WR | Princeton A
243 Tyler Scott WR | Cincinnati B+
255 Jeremiah Martin EDGE | Washington A+
258 Robert Beal Jr. EDGE | Georgia B+

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 24, 2023 at 08:30 pm

I like this one a lot.

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Coldworld's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:20 am

I like the first 3 a lot. After that I haven’t done enough digging, but I’d add an edge earlier (I don’t expect Gary to be himself after he returns till ‘24). and possibly less WRs and another S. I’d go G more than T too, on day 3. I think Walker and Jones are keepers. Although part of me hates having to say it of any S at 15, getting Branch might be the biggest net improvement we could make at 15 over what we have now.

Rice is intriguing to me because he’s like Watson in that he not only has long speed but short area agility and suddenness: quick feet. I think he’s a risk to rise sharply though. He would allow Doubs to take more slot and to interchange routes. A starting lineup of Watson, Rice, Doubs, backed by Toure would offer a ton of possibilities, be fast, agile and interchangeable and actually have good blocking capabilities. Each one could go deep or over the middle at any time. That’s what we need to challenge Ds with. I’d pass on Lazard for that kind of mix any day.

Kraft needs some polish, but I like his physicality and I think he could be the type we hoped Davis would be—a guy who can get yards and block in line. How quickly he could assume that role is a fair question, but I think he can and I love his motor and attitude. This kid likes football and contact.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 03:46 pm

Cedric Tillman of Tennessee is the other WR I LOVE in addition to Rice. Kraft, as I said, is like the Christian Watson of TEs

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:03 pm

Baylor Cupp TE out of Texas Tech 6' 6" 250 lbs 4.55 ~ Has smooth body control, reliable hands and natural ball skills to adjust to off-target throws and make impressive catch.

Theo Johnson TE out of Penn State 6' 6" 260 lbs 4.54 ~ Soft, reliable hands center the big target for quarterbacks. Shields the defense and will let the ball into his pads to protect it when about to absorb a big hit over the middle.

Kraft at 4.77 is slower than both of the later round guys above.

Luke Musgrave TE out of Oregon State is 6' 6" 250 lbs 4.51 -

Plenty of TEs Gutey and company can sort through and find a good one. As a reminder, Kittle was a 5th round pick. Kelce was a 3rd round pick.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:22 pm

Kraft (and Kincaid) may run 4.7 40s, but both have a MUCH faster play speed - they look like they run 4.5s or even 4.4s on the field

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MooPack's picture

January 24, 2023 at 10:52 pm

Everything is predicated on Rodgers staying or traded. Everything else flows from that. Who is kept and who goes. Then we will know more about the true needs of this roster. This may be true of staff as well. For now, I'll stick with the GM/Coach speak that most everyone will be back. BS, I know, but we don't know yet.

GB picks as of 1/24/23:
1st - 15
2nd - 46
3rd - 79
4th - 116
5th - 150, 171
6th - 220
7th - multiple

I'm also sticking mainly with the 1st round. I haven't looked at too many beyond the 2nd. These are the positions, and three players at each, the Packers could most likely target in the 1st round into the 2nd.

Offense:
QB - No
RB - with caveat* - Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs, Zach Charbonnet
WR - Quentin Johnston, Jaxon Smith-Njiba, Rashee Rice
TE - Michael Mayer, Darnell Washington, Luke Musgrave
OC - No
OG - Peter Skoronski, O'Cyrus Torrence, Andrew Vorhees
OT - Paris Johnson, Broderick Jones, Anton Harrison

Defense:
DT - Jalen Carter, Bryan Bresee, Siaki Ika
Edge - Myles Murphy, Tyree Wilson, Isaiah Foskey
ILB - No
CB - Kelee Ringo, Joey Porter, Christian Gonzalez
S - Brian Branch, Antonio Johnson, Jordan Battle

Offense -
QB is pretty obvious in the first round. No, I can't see them spending a pick in the 1st.

RB is completely dependent on Aaron Jones. If he stays, no 1st round pick. If he goes, Bijan Robinson is in play. IMO the best offensive talent on the board and he is moving up. Maybe too far.

WR most likely won't be picked in the 1st, especially if Rodgers is back. Not enough time to develop in his window. Quentin Johnston will probably be gone anyway. Jaxon has an injury flag to me, but will depend on his combine quickness and speed. Rashee Rice would be one they could target in the 2nd. The other guys like Addison, Downs, Hyatt, and Flowers are too slightly built for typical Packers WR's. I'm going with my gut on that until they prove me wrong.

TE is a big need, but again, not sure they'd take one in the 1st if Rodgers is back. Development window, and it's not a position he
(or the team) has utilized effectively for a number of years. Mayer is everyone's darling. May not be there at 15. The others can probably be had in the 2nd. Washington is borderline 1st.

OC is a no. They have three guys that can play center. Myers, Tom, and Jenkins.

OG needs to be upgraded. Line doesn't have very good run push in short yardage time and time again. I like Runyan, but he is replaceable with better talent. Skoronski is going to be a guard. Arms too short even with his above average feet and technique. Defense players are getting longer and stronger each year and those arms are going to be a deficit on the edge. He would be a great story for a family Packer though. He is probably gone anyway. I like Torrence. He is an upward mover with size to push the line. Probably can trade down a bit for him. Vorhees is most likely in the 2nd.

OT depends on Bahk, but even so I could see them taking one of those three if they are available. Paris Johnson is probably gone. Broderick Jones is moving up. Tackles move up every year. He can also play guard. Right now he is right around that 15 pick. Harrison could be another slight trade down to get.

Offense summary: To me, based on need and who will most likely be there, I'd say Broderick Jones for now. He is the type of mauler at the attack they need. Mayer, if Rodgers is gone and he falls. Robinson, if Jones is gone and he falls.

Defense:
DT still needs a consistent run stopper to pair with Clark. Slaton and Wyatt really have to step up to convince me otherwise. Jalen Carter will be gone. Bresee had an injury flag and has been falling a bit. He might be there, but I'm going to pass on him. Ika is probably 2nd.

Edge is a big need. Gary is in recovery. Preston is getting a little long in tooth. Enagbare could be solid, but not sure more than rotational. Myles Murphy will be gone. Tyree Wilson is moving up and probably could be gone. Foskey would be a trade down scenario.

ILB is set short term. I see no need in the 1st round.

CB isn't a great need but they can never have too many. All three of those guys are right around 15. CB's are moving up as they do every year.

S may be the biggest need, again. Branch is an intelligent, tackling, stud that also plays slot. He is moving up fast. Hopefully not too far. Johnson and Battle are end of 1st into 2nd.

Defense summary: To me, based on need and who will most likely be there, I'd say Brian Branch. If Tyree Wilson falls, then it may be him, but it'd be close. Also, Is Barry back? If so, could be another 1st round defensive player wasted in a terrible scheme.

Overall for the 1st round pick at 15, right now, I think it comes down to Broderick Jones or Brian Branch. That is until some of those caveats kick in.

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stockholder's picture

January 25, 2023 at 06:29 am

Nicely done. But Center shouldn't be a No.
The IOL still could change.
And Myers has had trouble.
Hanson must be replaced.
John Micheal Schmitz 6’3” 320 Center
Is Huge and if he can pull/move.
I say he's a Possibility.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:21 pm

After the combine, Torrence will be a firm top 20 pick. Not many guards can be as effective as he is and move the way he does at 340 lbs.

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MooPack's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:55 pm

I hope you are right.

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Turophile's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:47 am

(JosephR quote) "I tried SOOOO hard to resist plugging a WR in this slot but it's hard not to."

So you are advocating them drafting a 175lb receiver, at just 6ft tall ?

Has JosephR not been looking at the kind of WRs the Packers have drafted. MVS, ESB, Lazard, Watson, who all have good height, or Doubs and Adams who have enough weight (205lbs for Doubs, 215 for Adams).

The Packers want either tall or at least powerful guys, that can block when required.

Resist that temptation for selecting a 175lb matchstick man WR, JosephR, resist it harder.

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JosephR's picture

January 25, 2023 at 05:15 am

The kind of WRs the Packers are known to go for don't really exist in this Draft. There are only 2 viable solutions and its no guarantee either will be around when the Packers pick. If you want a pure slot WR, this is the Draft to do it, but you won't find too many players who can line up anywhere like Addison, which increases his value.

Let's not forget Brian Gutekunst traded up for Amari Rodgers just 2 years ago, who was only 5'9 (To his credit, Amari was 200 lbs), and would struggle to block any DB with average length.

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Turophile's picture

January 25, 2023 at 06:18 am

Thanks for a quick reply Joseph.

I do think the four positions you chose for round one after week 15, (OT, TE, S, OLB/Edge) are all viable needs for the Packers at this time.

I suspect that even though I know that the Packers will surprise me with the early draft picks (as they always do), at least two of your four positional choices will be picks in the first three rounds.

If I had to pick just one guy for pick 15, I'd probably go with the Safety, Branch - historically the Packers really do like to get DBs with high (rounds 1&2) picks.

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stockholder's picture

January 25, 2023 at 06:22 am

Gutey traded up for Amari Rodgers. - right.
Now throw in Jalin Hyatt 6’ 185
Fastest Wr in the draft! He clocks under 4..3.
His tape is Awesome. Outruns everyone.

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Coldworld's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:52 am

Doubs and Toure can play the slot and go deep as well as going outside if needed. We need perimeter capable types who can move inside if needed but not primarily. There’s no slot so shiny and great that he makes such a huge net gain that he’d justify that kind of pick for us in my view. We certainly don’t need a slot only guy early.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 25, 2023 at 10:16 am

On the PFN Simulator this morning:

A trade with AZ. We give up #15, we get #34, 66, 103. That gives us six picks in the Top 115.

At #34, I take a defensive starter, JL Skinner, Safety.
At #45, I take Darnell Washington, TE. I don't know if he'll ever be a great NFL TE, but I do think he'll get his man blocked most of the time.
At #66, I took Cedric Tillman, WR. Maybe too early, but this is the WR I wanted to get on Day Two.
At #78, I took Warren McClendon, an OL from Georgia. He would clearly be no worse than our #7 offensive lineman.
At #103, I took Roschon Johnson, a Texas RB who would have started most places but was behind Bijan Robinson. Low mileage, big, smart, can catch and block.
At #114, WR Dontayvion Wicks. I'm assuming that Lazard and Cobb will not return, so we really only have 3 WRs returning.

After that, the Packers have 7 more picks remaining on Day 3 to load up the practice squad or search for a diamond in the rough. But with those six picks, I've got the offensive guys that we'd dress out.

QB: Love, his backup
RB: Jones, Dillon, Johnson
TE: Lewis (who has said he wants to return), Deguara, Washington. Tonyan, if needed.
WR: Watson, Doubs, Toure, Tillman, Wicks.
OL: Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Nijman, Runyan, Myers, Tom, McClendon, Rhyan, Walker.

That's it. That's our offense for 2023. Ideally, the only draft pick who played a lot on offense as a rookie. would be Washington, the TE.

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T7Steve's picture

January 25, 2023 at 02:28 pm

You don't look worried about the edge? Do you think they'll try to get a (have to be cheap) FA?

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Leatherhead's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:07 pm

Aren't Gary, Smith, and Enagbare all returning? Garvin?

I'm trying to fix the offense. We need some better blocking and some more skill position guys. That's where I'd go first.

You know, in this mock, I still have 7 picks left on the last day. This is just the front end, trying to get 21 good players suited up on offense.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:20 pm

Why are you all about offense when our defense, the highest paid unit in the league, finished 17th and allowed 5 yards per carry. That is unacceptable. Remember also Rodgers had a broken thumb and that the rookies take time to mesh. It also would have helped if MLF used Aaron Jones more.

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T7Steve's picture

January 26, 2023 at 07:24 am

I was just trying to get where you were going. That's a good direction. I'm always worried about the O-line the most.

I'm also worried about the pass rush we had (or should I say, didn't have) without Gary. Since we can't count on him being 100% next year' I think they need an upgrade to help Smith/Enagabare and the rotation. That's IF they have the steady Smith back (I hope). The back end looked good but can't cover for an unlimited time. Very concerned.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 25, 2023 at 05:23 pm

Probably bring in a couple UDFAs. Not that that is bad. We need cheap alternatives if we don't draft one.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 25, 2023 at 05:47 pm

Love Roschon Johnson...

Thinking we need to take at least one TE this year and one next year. There is going to be a decent class next year too.

Depending on if we trade AR12 and what we get, our draft could be special this year too, if we draft the right guys. Could get very interesting very quickly.

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stockholder's picture

January 25, 2023 at 07:31 pm

Skinner has trouble with blocks.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:37 pm

15: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
45: JL Skinner, S, Boise St.
78: Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa St.
115: Habakkuk Baldonado, EDGE, Pittsburgh
149: Alex Forsyth, C, Oregon
170: Robert Beal Jr, EDGE, Georgia
217: Robert Cooper, DT, Florida St.
224: Quindell Johnson, S, Memphis
233: Kemore Gamble, TE, UCF
239: Jared Wayne, WR, Pittsburgh
243: Lance Boykin, CB, Coastal Carolina

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 25, 2023 at 04:52 pm

15: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
45: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
78: Byron Young, DT, Alabama
115: Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss
149: Ali Gaye, EDGE, LSU
170: Jake Moody, K, Michigan
217: Noah Gindorff, TE, North Dakota St.
224: Jayson Jones, DT, Auburn
233: Xazavian Valladay, RB, Arizona St.
239: Dalton Wagner, OT, Arkansas
243: Adisa Isaac, EDGE, Penn St.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 25, 2023 at 06:32 pm

Fanspeak hasn't updated our Comp Picks yet...

15: R1 P15 EDGE Tyree Wilson - Texas Tech
46: R2 P15 WR Rashee Rice - SMU
78: R3 P15 S JL Skinner - Boise State
117: R4 P15 EDGE Ali Gaye - LSU
150: R5 P15 TE Zack Kuntz - Old Dominion
169: R5 P34 RB Tank Bigsby - Auburn
230: R7 P15 OT Trevor Reid - Louisville
233: R7 P18 QB Stetson Bennett IV - Georgia
240: R7 P25 WR Elijah Higgins - Stanford

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 25, 2023 at 06:49 pm

15 Brian Branch S | Alabama

45 Rashee Rice WR | SMU

78 Zach Charbonnet RB | UCLA

115 Tucker Kraft TE | South Dakota State

149 K.J. Henry EDGE | Clemson

170 Ochaun Mathis EDGE | Nebraska

233 Nick Saldiveri OT | Old Dominion

236 Tavion Thomas RB | Utah

243 Andrei Iosivas WR | Princeton

255 Jerome Carvin OT | Tennessee

258 Tanner McCalister S | Ohio State

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stockholder's picture

January 25, 2023 at 07:22 pm

@ 15 Trenton Simpson LB Clemson
@ 45 Nolan Smith. Edge. Georgia
@ 78 Gervin Dexter 6'5 30. Dt
@ 115 Andrei Iosivias. WR Prinston
@ 149 Hunter Lukepke FB NDSU
@ 170 Anthony Johnson CB Virginia
@ 219 Tyler Harrell WR Alabama
@ 237. Christian Young s Arizona
@ 240 Max Duggan. QB TCU

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stockholder's picture

January 25, 2023 at 07:34 pm

Simpson is the best Tackler in the draft.
Smith Falls do to injury. Can't pass him.
This is based on Rodgers coming back.

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