With the regular season complete, here’s a way-too-early seven-round mock draft for the Green Bay Packers.
The regular season is over.
While the Packers are now in the thick of the NFC playoffs, draft season is nearing.
Here is an early projection:
Round 1 (Pick 28): Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
The Packers went 13-3 in 2019. There has been a lot made about the “improved” defense. The unit isn’t really any better than the Dom Capers years, but just has a different cast of players. The biggest problem has been the team’s disappointing interior defense. It starts with Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry, who both have been incredibly inconsistent in 2019. Clark has been deemed one of the NFL’s rising stars for several years now, and he continues to disappoint.
Enter Javon Kinlaw. The Gamecock defensive tackle has been a terror the last two seasons and would provide a huge addition to the run defense. The Packers have used Lowry, Clark, and Tyler Lancaster inside of their two edge rushers in their base defense. Needless to say, the interior defense has been lacking, again.
Kinlaw would be an instant upgrade over Lancaster and has the highest ceiling of any defensive tackle in the class other than Derrick Brown.
Round 2 (Pick 60): Johnathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
It is possible that Taylor gets selected inside the top-60, but most evaluators have him ranked behind Georgia’s D’Andre Swift and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins. Taylor’s lack of receiving skills is likely going to hurt his draft stock, but his 6.4 yards-per-carry average won’t hurt in the slightest.
Taylor’s numbers at Wisconsin were pretty ridiculous. In 2019, he ran for over 1,900 yards and 21 touchdowns. He had four 200-yard games in 2019, including three straight in November.
While Taylor’s talent is undeniable, the Packers are making this pick with an eye to the future. Having committed a large amount of money to the four free agents the team brought in last offseason, future contracts will be harder to fit in.
In 2021, Kenny Clark will be a free agent. The Packers might still want to give him a mega-extension. But Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are also both hitting the market. Re-signing all three looks unlikely. Logically, Williams will be the odd man out, and having an experienced back with extreme talent and a year under his belt would help the Packers long-term.