It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! After the Saints drafted Kadarius Toney at 28, the Packers are now set to pick. The board fell in a less than ideal fashion, but the Packers still have a few intriguing options.
It’s time to make our pick for the Green Bay Packers in the APC Community Mock Draft! At 28, however, the Saints replaced Emmanuel Sanders by drafting Kadarius Toney. The Saints’ lack of depth at receiver was in plain sight last year when Michael Thomas went down, and a talent like Toney would’ve softened the blow. Although he only has one year as a primary option, Toney is a monster after the catch which will help if the Saints continue to heavily employ an intermediate passing game. Two game-breaking weapons like Toney and Kamara will certainly open up New Orleans’ offense.
After a long wait, the Packers are on the board. After last year’s draft was derided by analysts, it’s more clear than ever that the Packers won’t listen to outside noise here. Trading out of this pick, whether up or down, may be the best option at this point but for the sake of the mock, we’ll take a look at a few players here.
As Kris Burke pointed out in yesterday’s Cheese Curds, the Packers don’t have a single receiver under contract past this year. The most interesting option here is Terrace Marshall Jr. On talent alone, he would have already been gone but reports indicate that medical issues popped up at the medical combine in Indianapolis. They supposedly have to do with his lower body but without knowing specifics, it’s impossible to know the severity and whether it will cause the 6-foot-3 receiver to fall far. The Packers could also go for WR Elijah Moore from Ole Miss. He’s been gaining traction at this pick in recent weeks and it’s not hard to see why. He’s on the smaller side, but plays big and has the ability to make contested catches look easy with excellent hands. Moore could immediately slot in as a Tyler Ervin-like gadget in Matt Lafleur’s offense and push for the WR2 role as the season progresses.
As the Packers look to settle the future of the RT position and provide insurance in case David Bakhtiari is not fully recovered to start the season, Samuel Cosmi is a very attractive option. With experience at both tackle spots, Cosmi has three years of experience and is an athletic marvel. He can get to the second level with ease, making him a run blocking threat. The inconsistencies in his mechanics will show up as a rookie, but he has a great deal of potential as a high-level starter.
On the defensive side, the Packers need help at CB. It’s no secret that Kevin King is on a short leash after signing a 1-year deal this offseason. While he projects as the day 1 starter opposite of Jaire Alexander, Green Bay could use an injection of talent at the position. Enter Eric Stokes, the former high school track star from Georgia. Stokes was a second-team All-SEC selection in 2020, flashing his ball skills with four interceptions and four pass breakups. He will need to improve as a run defender quickly in the NFL so he isn’t targeted. While he excels in man coverage, he graded out poorly in zone coverage, possibly making him a poor fit for the Packers. But it’s possible the team falls in love with his excellent size and athleticism and makes him the pick at 29.
Finally, the Packers may look to beef up the linebacker spot by drafting Zaven Collins out of Tulsa. Collins could be a fun chess piece for the Packers and a steal at 29. With his ability to rush the passer and cover in space, he could line up at edge and shift Zadarius Smith inside or play a cleanup role that allows him to use his excellent athleticism to get downhill and attack ball carriers. He has no defined position but a weapon like this could elevate the Packers defense to another level as he develops. With all the prospects laid out, let’s take a look at the previous 28 picks in the draft.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
- New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
- San Francisco 49ers – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
- Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
- Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
- Miami Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
- Detroit Lions – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
- Carolina Panthers – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
- Denver Broncos – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
- Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama
- New York Giants – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
- Philadelphia Eagles – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
- Los Angeles Chargers – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
- Minnesota Vikings – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
- New England Patriots – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
- Arizona Cardinals – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
- Las Vegas Raiders – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
- Miami Dolphins – Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
- Washington Football Team – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
- Chicago Bears – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
- Indianapolis Colts – Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
- Tennessee Titans – Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
- New York Jets – Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
- Cleveland Browns – Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
- Baltimore Ravens – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
- New Orleans Saints – Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Let’s take a deeper look at the Packers choices at 29.
Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
Marshall was pushed firmly into the spotlight this year after Ja’Marr Chase opted out and did not disappoint. At 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, Marshall has the ability to sky for 50-50 balls and has an excellent catch radius. He posted 48 receptions for 731 yards and 10 TDs in 7 games this season, averaging 104 yards per game before opting out. Marshall has experience on the outside and in the slot at LSU, but looks most comfortable on the outside. However, his focus waned at times as he dropped 7 passes in 2020 and struggled to finish blocks. Marshall also recently had lower body issues pop up at the medical combine, leading some draft prognosticators to believe he’ll drop on boards. If a team gets Marshall to lock in and the medicals come back clean, he has the talent to be a lethal WR2.
Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
While Moore comes in notably smaller than the Packers’ typical preference for receivers (5-foot-9-½, 178 pounds), his athleticism and proven college production helps make up for it. No wideout in college football averaged more receiving yards per game in 2020 than Moore, who had 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns in just eight contests. He’s a burner, running a 4.35 40, posting a 36-inch vertical, and posting a blazing time of 6.67 seconds in the 3-cone drill. Moore also returned kicks and punts earlier in his career, bringing a bit of added value on special teams. If the Packers want a versatile receiver to play (and drastically expand) the Tyler Ervin role, Moore could be that guy; he has done that in college, but has also displayed an ability to make plays down the field with his blazing speed.
Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
In the RAS database, only one offensive lineman since 1987 has ever had a better overall testing regimen than Cosmi (that being Northern Iowa’s Spencer Brown, also in the 2021 class). Cosmi started at right tackle as a freshman then at left tackle for the last two seasons, and his athleticism and quick feet give him serious first-round potential. He has some inconsistency on film, but his physical tools will certainly give teams the confidence that he can develop into a high-level starter at either tackle spot.
Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Could six corners go in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft? If so, Stokes could be number six. Blessed with good size and elite speed (4.29 in the 40), Stokes broke into the starting lineup late in his redshirt freshman year and never looked back. As a junior in 2020, Stokes grabbed four interceptions, taking two of them back for touchdowns, and broke up another four passes. He also played on special teams early, blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown as a freshman. Stokes isn’t just a burner, either, as he shows great explosiveness and ball skills.
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
As a junior in 2020, Collins burst onto the scene and into the minds of scouts and draftniks alike. In 8 games, Collins racked up two forced fumbles, four sacks, and four interceptions (two of which he returned for touchdowns). At 6-foot-5 and almost 260 pounds, he’s big enough to play on the edge but fast and explosive enough to play off the ball, with a similar skill set to Anthony Barr in Minnesota.
With the 29th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select…
As you can see, the Packers have some extremely exciting options at 29, even if the board didn’t fall perfectly. All 5 of these options could play a significant role on day 1 and a few represent versatile chess pieces that the coaching staff could quickly fall in love with. We’ll be leaving the polls open all weekend, so you have plenty of time to read up on each prospect and choose the best fit. On Monday, we’ll return at 11 AM EST like usual with the Bills and then move on to the Chiefs at 4 PM EST. Make sure you vote here and on Twitter @acmepackingco and tell us in the comments who your pick is!