Packers way-too-early 2022 three-round mock draft

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
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Round 1 (30): Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

According to Spotrac, Za’Darius Smith’s cap hit next year is $28.13 million. Preston Smith’s is $19.75 million. Both players only have one more season remaining on their current deals beyond this year, so restructuring isn’t an option. To lower the cap hits, the Packers will either need to release them or work out a contract extension.

Unfortunately, it looks a real possibility one of the Smith Bros. could be playing elsewhere in 2022. Perhaps both of them.

The good news is that Rashan Gary has stepped up and can lead the way for the Packers’ pass rush, but more depth would be required without the Smith Bros. According to ESPN, Green Bay ranks 26th in pass rush win rate this season.

The Packers could address the pass rush in the first round of the draft, and USC’s Drake Jackson could be an excellent choice.

Drae Harris of The Draft Network projects Jackson to be a starter in 2022, adding that he has “outstanding upside due to his length and athleticism on the edge”.

With Gary and Jackson, the Packers could have a new starting duo at outside linebacker for years to come. He would be a player for the future but could also contribute in year one.