NFL Mock Draft: Final expert predictions for Packers ahead of Round 1

Cooper DeJean
Cooper DeJean / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Mock draft season has reached its final stop. Tonight, the Green Bay Packers finally hit the clock and end months of mystery.

Will they upgrade the offensive line after losing so much experience in free agency? Will they add to the secondary? Predicting the Packers' pick is never easy, and they're just as likely to draft an interior defensive lineman projected to go two rounds later.

It has been quite the journey to get here. Earlier in the offseason, Iowa's Cooper DeJean emerged as seemingly the only prospect being mocked to Green Bay. Before long, the priority shifted to the offensive tackles.

But here we are, back where we started. The final expert picks are being made, and DeJean is again the overwhelming favorite across the board.

It makes sense. In his pre-draft press conference, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst had nothing but praise for the Iowa star.

"I think he's, obviously, a very good athlete. His ability to take the ball away is very impressive," said Gutekunst. "He's got some teams ability as well, so he's a very well-rounded player. I think he can do either. It's really going to come down to where you may need him."

Will Gutekunst select DeJean at No. 25? Several draft insiders believe so.

Final expert predictions for Packers in Round 1 of 2024 NFL Draft

Daniel Jeremiah, Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Daniel Jeremiah is one of the best in the business. Last year, he successfully predicted that the Houston Texans would select C.J. Stroud at No. 2 and trade up to No. 3 for Will Anderson Jr. He has Green Bay sticking at No. 25 and selecting DeJean.

It's understandable why DeJean is so popular for the Packers. As Jeremiah points out, his ability to play multiple spots would make him an incredible addition to the secondary.

Jeremiah writes:

"The Packers have loaded up on defense in recent drafts and they stay at it here. DeJean can play nickel back, outside corner and he could develop into a really good safety, as well."

Matt Miller, ESPN: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

ESPN's Matt Miller also has the Packers landing DeJean with their top pick, but he notes it was a tough choice between a cornerback and an offensive lineman. It's hard to have too many arguments with his pick, as most of the top offensive line prospects were off the board at No. 25, including Olu Fashanu, Troy Fautanu, Graham Barton, Tyler Guyton, JC Latham, and Amarius Mims.

It's unlikely the Packers would go for an interior lineman like Jackson Powers-Johnson in Round 1. Miller made the right call with DeJean.

Miller writes:

"It's a legitimate toss-up between cornerback and offensive lineman for the Packers, but with the run on tackles hitting in the early 20s here, I think they'd go get the most versatile defensive back in the class."

Trevor Sikkema, PFF: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

I mean, I love the pick, but it would be nice to have some variety. Just watch the Packers pass on DeJean at No. 25 now that he is being mocked to them by everyone.

Trevor Sikkema makes an interesting point about DeJean that hasn't been discussed often: his run defense. Green Bay consistently struggled to stop the run under Joe Barry, but the hope is that a new philosophy under Jeff Hafley will help turn things around. But that requires effort from everyone, including the defensive backs. DeJean would give them that.

Sikkema writes:

"He doesn't have much experience in press coverage but can succeed in that role. DeJean is likely the best run-defending cornerback in the class. There aren't many holes, if any, in his game."

Charles Davis, Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

What's great about DeJean is that we're now on the fourth straight mock with him going to Green Bay, but there's still something new to discuss about his game. If that's not proof of his incredible versatility, I don't know what is.

Charles Davis highlights DeJean's special teams value. He returned 31 punts in his final two seasons at Iowa, running one back for a touchdown in 2023.

Davis writes:

"I listed DeJean as a DB, instead of a CB, because of his exceptional versatility. He can run, cover, tackle, catch ... and return punts at an elite level, too. DeJean and All-Pro kick returner Keisean Nixon would give Green Bay extra special teams."

Matt Schneidman, The Athletic: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Would you believe it? A prospect not named Cooper DeJean going to Green Bay. Matt Schneidman made the pick for the Packers in The Athletic's final mock draft, and he made a great choice. With DeJean off the board three picks earlier, Schneidman has Green Bay landing one of the best offensive linemen in the class.

Graham Barton is an incredible athlete and can play anywhere along the offensive line. The Packers may give him a shot at tackle, even if he ends up playing guard or center. Love this pick from Schneidman.

Schneidman writes:

"The Packers appear confident in Rasheed Walker starting at left tackle, but there's more uncertainty at right guard and perhaps at center in the long term with Josh Myers entering a contract year. At the very worst, Barton can provide much-needed depth on the interior."

DeJean or Barton would give the Packers the perfect start to the draft.

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