Andrew Billings, NT
How this guy is still here just perplexes me.
If you read our seven-round community mock draft here on Lombardi Ave, you know that I had him as the pick for the Packers in the first round, which I thought would have been a stroke of good fortune in itself.
Then when I was creating my own last minute mock draft, I went in questioning if I could even really have him even survive past teams in the mid-rounds without having to rig it in Green Bay’s favor for him; and even though I eventually had the chance to pick him there and ultimately reneged, it was such a hard choice.
Yet here we are, with Billings still sitting here for somebody once Day 3 begins.
Even with the addition of Kenny Clark — someone who understandably went with the Packers’ first pick, at least in part to his ability to play across multiple spots (which Billings cannot do; he’ll strictly be at the nose) — the defensive line could still use some more young beef.
If the season started now, we would likely see Mike Daniels joined by Letroy Guion and Clark as the 3-4 starters, with Datone Jones rotating between 3-4 DE and as a big OLB, and the suspended Mike Pennel set to join back into the rotation after his four-game suspension ends. Adding Billings to the mix would see him rotating into the middle on certain plays, with Clark and Guion able to both rotate along the other end spot when he’s in the game.
He has the power to eat up blocks in the middle and push back the pocket when he plays, and even if he is determined to not be ready for much action early on, as mentioned already the team can afford to bring him along slowly.
Making this move could turn the defensive line into the best group on the defense as soon as this year — even better than a secondary which ended last season ranked #6 in pass defense DVOA — and we have seen a litany of examples in recent years where a team is able to ride a dominant line to success. Teams like the Jaguars and Vikings built walls in the middle during the 2000s, the Giants rode terrifying fronts to preventing a 19-0 season, and the two Super Bowl participants could control everything in front of them with dominant line play.
Right now, this team has a good DL with potential; with Billings, the Packers could have one with the ability to reach the lofty heights of the teams I mentioned.
Forget his age, forget his supposed weaknesses. He’s the best player left; if he miraculously keeps falling, Green Bay would be wise to grab him.
Next: A good fit in Green Bay