Round 1, Pick 12: EDGE Jachai Polite, Florida
The Green Bay Packers’ biggest need is edge rusher. We’ll learn a lot about Brian Gutekunst’s confidence in the team’s pass rushers in the coming weeks. First, he’ll have to decide whether to re-sign Clay Matthews. And will Nick Perry be back in 2019?
But even if both players are on the 2019 roster, the Packers will still need to look for more talent at the position in both free agency and the draft.
Here’s the good news: not only could they have an excellent opportunity to address the position with their first selection of the draft, but also add one of the best players in the entire class. That’s exactly what I have the Packers doing with the 12th overall pick by selecting Jachai Polite out of Florida.
Perhaps Gutekunst will attempt to trade down from the 12th pick like he did in the first round last year. The Washington Redskins, at No. 15, could be a team to watch in a potential trade.
But in this mock draft they don’t take the risk of missing out on a potential Day 1 difference-maker on defense, selecting Jachai Polite, who had 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss this past season.
The Packers need to improve the pass rush, and here they make the perfect start to the draft.