Another priority for Gutekunst in the draft is to select an edge rusher early. The Packers need to get more consistent pressure on the quarterback. Muhammad Wilkerson will help add some interior pressure, and they will also rely on contributions from young players like Vince Biegel and Reggie Gilbert.
But Gutekunst also needs to find more talent in the draft, and early, as it’s not a deep class for edge rushers. In this mock, the Packers couldn’t pass up on Fitzpatrick in the first round, who not only was great value at No. 14, but also addressed a need. The downside is that the Packers would miss out on a couple of the draft’s top edge rushers like Harold Landry and Marcus Davenport.
In the second round, they select Lorenzo Carter.
While his production at Georgia has drawn some criticism from analysts — Carter had just 4.5 sacks last season — Jacob Infante of Draft Wire doesn’t believe it’s something to worry about:
"“They run a 3-4 defense, but their outside linebackers drop in coverage quite often. It’s part of the reason why Carter’s former teammate and current Chicago Bear Leonard Floyd only had 4.5 sacks in his final year in college.”"
Infante listed Carter as one of four prospects who could sneak into the first round.
Finding a superstar edge rusher in this year’s draft might not be possible, particularly in the second round, but I like Carter’s upside and believe he’d help upgrade a position of need.