In the latest With the First Pick mock draft, the Green Bay Packers select TE Noah Fant and WR Deebo Samuel in the opening round.
Defense has dominated the early rounds of the draft in recent years for the Green Bay Packers. The same could be said of free agency this year.
What if the Packers break from the trend and use both first-round picks on offense, adding two talented pass catchers to a new-look offense that fell well short of expectations last season?
In his latest mock draft, Bryan Perez of With the First Pick has Green Bay improving its offense with both first-round picks, selecting Iowa tight end Noah Fant with the 12th overall pick, and South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel with the 30th selection.
Passing up on edge rusher Montez Sweat and defensive lineman Ed Oliver to pick a tight end first wouldn’t be an easy choice for general manager Brian Gutekunst, and likely not a popular one among many fans, but considering the impact Fant could have in Matt LaFleur’s offense, I’m all for adding a potentially elite tight end with their first pick.
The Packers need a big tight end who can stretch defenses vertically. Fant could do just that. A phenomenal athlete, Fant ran a 4.50-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, fastest among tight ends.
Perez was spot on with his analysis of the pick:
"“The Packers haven’t had a weapon at tight end like Fant in an extremely long time. He’s the kind of target who can win on all three levels of the passing game, and when combined with Aaron Rodgers, would be one of the highest-impact rookies in 2019.”"
Brian Gutekunst has proven time and again that he has a different philosophy than predecessor Ted Thompson. If he’s willing to be aggressive in free agency and make moves Thompson wouldn’t, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t consider selecting a wide receiver on Day 1.
The Packers selected three receivers in last year’s draft, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t add one of the top WRs in the class this spring.
After not playing close to his MVP best in 2018, perhaps down to the multiple injuries he played through, a fresh start on offense with a new scheme gives Aaron Rodgers a chance to bounce back in a big way in 2019.
And that’s why it’s also not a bad idea to break away from the usual trend and use two early picks on offense to ensure Rodgers has more talent around him this season.
An offense led by LaFleur and Nathaniel Hackett, featuring Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, Noah Fant, Jimmy Graham, Geronimo Allison, Deebo Samuel, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown would have a ton of potential.
Be sure to check out the great draft content over at With the First Pick.