Predicting which way the Green Bay Packers will turn in the opening round of the 2021 NFL Draft is no easy task.
After all, few projected the Packers’ decision to go quarterback in the first round a year ago, especially after trading up to do so.
The consensus early in the offseason seems to be that cornerback is the team’s top need. That doesn’t mean they will, or necessarily should, address the position with their opening selection this April.
As the first mock draft roundup of the year shows, there are many different directions the Packers could choose to go in when they hit the clock for the first time.
NFL Spin Zone, Randy Gurzi
Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
After watching Devin White’s performances in the middle of the Bucs’ defense this season, including in both games against the Packers, it’s easy to imagine the possibility of finally making the position a priority. Perhaps Joe Barry, a linebackers coach for much of his career, will agree.
In this mock draft, NFL Spin Zone’s Randy Gurzi puts the focus on adding a talented player to the Packers’ defense. And in Alabama’s Dylan Moses, they’d be getting a playmaker who can make an immediate difference.
With the First Pick, Cory Kinnan
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Packers ranked No. 1 in scoring offense in 2020 but there’s no doubt they can get even better with more help for Davante Adams. With the First Pick’s Cory Kinnan has the Packers adding Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman on Day 1.
Bateman only played five games this past season but in 2019 he put up 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. It’s never a bad idea to give Aaron Rodgers more targets.
NFL.com, Chad Reuter
Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
When Brian Gutekunst thinks the Packers have a positional need, he’s often aggressive in trying to fix it. He did it in 2018, the last time cornerback was top of the offseason to-do list, and landed All-Pro Jaire Alexander in the first round.
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter sees Green Bay addressing its biggest need in the first round, selecting Syracuse cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu, a replacement for free agent Kevin King. In 10 games this year, Melifonwu defended six passes and intercepted one.
CBS Sports, Chris Trapasso
Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports also sees a need in the middle of the Packers’ defense with the team drafting Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton. I like it. Bolton had eight tackles for loss, five pass defenses, and two sacks in his final year at Missouri. With Bolton joining Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin in the middle of the defense, the Packers would have a talented, young group at inside linebacker.
The Draft Network, Kyle Crabbs
Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
While not as exciting as drafting a wide receiver, I love the idea of getting help up front. If the postseason taught us anything, it’s that you need to be strong on both the offensive and defensive lines.
Green Bay’s offensive line was excellent for most of the year but an injury to David Bakhtiari caught up to them in the end. Bakhtiari will be back in 2021 but if center Corey Linsley departs, some reshuffling could be in order across the line.
Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network has the Packers adding tackle Teven Jenkins out of Oklahoma State. A possible long-term starter with Bakhtiari, giving the Packers a great combination.