Packers strengthen defense in 2022 post-Senior Bowl mock draft

Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s Super Bowl week, but for Green Bay Packers fans, we are in week two of the offseason. Hopefully, we are now moving on from the loss and can focus on the upcoming offseason, no matter how messy or dark it may be.

Our ‘Mock Draft Monday’ started as soon as the offseason began, with a post-playoff loss mock draft.

Mock Draft Monday 2.0 is a three-round mock following the Senior Bowl, an all-star game for college football players that showcases some of the top prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft. Barring a trade, the Packers hold the 28th, 59th, and 92nd pick in the first three rounds of the draft.

I used the mock draft machine from The Draft Network to complete this three-round mock draft. All scouting reports are also from The Draft Network as well.

It’s no secret the Packers are in a bit of a bind financially. There will be some very good players from the 2021 roster that will not be on the team in 2022. Unfortunately, I think De’Vondre Campbell is one of those players. After an All-Pro season, he is in line for a huge payday, one the Packers may not be able or willing to give.

If that is the case, they will have a huge hole to fill at inside linebacker. As we’ve all seen in the past, you can’t just plug any linebacker in. In today’s NFL, you need an athletic linebacker that can cover in the passing game as well as provide run support.

Nakobe Dean can provide pass coverage, can pressure the quarterback, and is also a solid tackler.

Some highlights from his scouting report on TDN:

"“He provides good value in the passing game. His instincts allow him to get in the passing lanes to secure off-target throws in the short-to-intermediate areas. He is adequate in man coverage but instinctive enough to get enough depth and allow the ball to bring him forward.”"

If the Packers can’t retain Campbell and Dean falls to them at 28, I would imagine he would be a very tempting choice.

You can read his full scouting report here.

In the last mock draft, I took Ohio State tight end, Jeremy Ruckert, here. I think tight end is going to be a big need for the Packers this offseason and with this tight end class being as good as it is, a second-round pick is worth it.

After his Senior Bowl showing, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Trey McBride is the best tight end of the class. He is a do-it-all tight end. He showed both his blocking and his catching ability at the Senior Bowl. If the Packers lose Robert Tonyan and/or Marcedes Lewis, McBride should be TE1 on their big board.

Some highlights from his scouting report on TDN:

"“This players versatility may be his strongest attribute. He is equally proficient at aligning at Y, F, H or FB. He also projects as a good core special teams player, as well.”"

You can read his full scouting report here.

Assuming the Packers will be going into 2022 without Za’Darius Smith and maybe Preston Smith as well, they are going to need to add some edge pieces outside of Rashan Gary. Gary is more than capable of being the Packers’ top pass-rusher, but he’s going to need some help, and I’m not convinced that help is already on the roster.

If Boye Mafe is available for the Packers at 92, they should be jumping up and down with excitement. Mafe was one of the rising stars at the Senior Bowl. After he had two sacks, a forced fumble, and three tackles for a loss, he was named the ‘National’ player of the game.

After his performance, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Mafe was a late-first to second-round pick.

Some highlights from his scouting report on TDN:

"“Mafe is an impressive high-motor player who pairs athleticism with effort. He has flashed most persistently as a high-motor player. I’ve watched Mafe chase down plays 40-plus yards downfield as the unblocked backside defender. Love the energy that he brings to the field.”"

You can read his full scouting report here.