For the Green Bay Packers, it’s all offense in Round 1 of the latest With the First Pick mock draft.
The 2019 NFL Draft is just two weeks away, and Bryan Perez of With the First Pick has the Green Bay Packers making two offensive additions in the first round. In the mock draft, the Packers land TE Noah Fant and OL Dalton Risner on Day 1.
Selecting a tight end at No. 12 would certainly draw mixed reviews around Packers News, but Fant should absolutely be in consideration by Brian Gutekunst for the Packers’ first pick. In an ideal world, they’ll be able to trade down slightly and still select Fant, but No. 12 isn’t too early.
As for selecting an offensive lineman early, this would be a smart move by Gutekunst. Only this week we’ve found out the extent of Aaron Rodgers‘ knee injury last season, which was far worse than initially reported. As Rob Demovsky of ESPN reported, Rodgers played with a tibial plateau fracture and a sprained MCL.
Many players wouldn’t even be able to play with that injury, but Rodgers returned to the game and led a miracle comeback victory.
But strengthening the offensive line should be a priority to help reduce the risk of injury to the Packers’ two-time MVP. In the article, Perez writes that Risner has “Pro Bowl potential”, which would be music to the ears of Packers fans if he was the selection at No. 30.
The Packers have found success addressing the offensive line in the middle rounds, but it would be risky to assume the same approach will work again this year. Yes, they signed Billy Turner in free agency, and yes, Cole Madison returned this week, but Green Bay could decide to use an early-round pick along the line, and it would make a ton of sense.
Going offense twice in Round 1 might not be the most popular choice among fans, but in this mock draft they land a potential difference-maker at tight end, something the offense has lacked for far too long, and a potential long-term starter along the offensive line. Sounds good to me.