Round 2, Pick 59: Jacob Phillips, LB, LSU
If the Packers don’t go with an inside linebacker on Day 1, it’s a position they should look to address in the second round. In this mock draft, Jacob Phillips out of LSU was still on the board.
Inside linebacker could actually be a greater need for the Packers than wide receiver. It’s a position the Packers have often ignored early in the draft, and they’re paying the price for it now. Blake Martinez is the best inside linebacker on the team. But while he makes a lot of tackles, he can also struggle in coverage and lacks speed.
Then add in the fact that Martinez becomes a free agent in the offseason. Due to his tackling ability, it’s possible another team will be willing to spend more than the Packers, making the position an even greater need in the offseason.
Second-year linebacker Oren Burks has played on just 6.5 percent of the Packers’ defensive snaps this season, according to Pro Football Reference. He could still develop into a starting linebacker in the future, but the fact he’s rarely on the field is concerning.
In the second round, I have the Packers going with Phillips out of LSU, who has 12.5 tackles for loss over the past two seasons, an interception and four pass defenses. Last month, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller ranked Phillips fifth among linebackers in the 2020 class.