Cooper DeJean draft projections: Will star defensive back fall to Packers?

Cooper DeJean
Cooper DeJean / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Cooper DeJean to the Green Bay Packers makes so much sense, but could it actually happen?

Almost every offseason, there's the prospect fans and analysts are in agreement on for the Packers. Last year, it was Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. In 2022, Chris Olave and Christian Watson were fan favorites. Other examples include Josh Jackson in 2018 and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in 2014.

This year, it's Iowa's DeJean.

If you've read a mock draft this offseason, there's a good chance it has DeJean going to Green Bay at No. 25 overall. And for good reason. DeJean checks every box while offering the versatility to play outside or slot corner and safety—all three are areas of need for the Packers.

"His footwork, ball skills and explosive athleticism make him an impactful outside cornerback — one with All-Pro potential," writes PFF's Trevor Sikkema.

There's no doubting DeJean's potential impact in Green Bay. The question is whether he will fall to No. 25 overall or if the Packers will have to trade up.

Consensus board lines up perfectly for Cooper DeJean to Packers in first round

The draft is unpredictable, and all it takes is one team picking before No. 25 to love DeJean, but there's a good possibility he falls into the Packers' range.

The Athletic's consensus board, which factors in rankings from various draft analysts, has DeJean at No. 25 overall. That's perfect for the Packers, who pick 25th in the first round. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has DeJean at No. 19 in his rankings, while NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah has him going 30th in his latest mock draft.

Remember, Green Bay has five top-100 picks, providing the flexibility to trade up. If DeJean is available at No. 20, the Packers could comfortably move up without giving away too much draft capital.

A trade from No. 25 to No. 20 might cost the Packers one of their third-round picks, but that's less of a hit to take because they have two.

The concern is that all five teams picking in front of Green Bay could consider selecting a cornerback or safety, making trading up more challenging. However, the draft is rich in cornerback talent, so DeJean might not be the only name to fall into the 20s.

It comes down to how much the Packers like DeJean. If they view him as a must-have prospect in the first round and would consider trading up, their odds of landing him increase dramatically. Based on rankings and predictions of various draft analysts, there's a good chance DeJean will be available around No. 20 in the first round, potentially even later. If he falls that far, Green Bay has the draft capital to move up (if necessary) to select the star defensive back.

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