The 2021 NFL Draft is just around the corner and it’s time for a Green Bay Packers mock draft. It’s been a quiet offseason this far, with the team focused on re-signing a few key players and largely staying out of NFL free agency. It shouldn’t come as a surprise given the organization’s draft-and-develop philosophy.
Many fans are likely still frustrated over the Packers draft picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Trading up for Jordan Love and spending a second-round pick on running back A.J. Dillon drew plenty of criticism. After dedicating much of their last draft class to building for the future, many in Green Bay are likely hopeful that general manager Brian Gutekunst takes more of a win-now approach this time around.
Every year, mock drafts will see the Packers spend their first-round pick on a wide receiver to help Aaron Rodgers stats soar and to strengthen a Super Bowl-caliber offense. But this front office places a priority on using their top picks at more valuable positions.
Green Bay will enter the NFL Draft with plenty of needs on both sides of the ball, but it’s important to weigh an organization’s philosophy. With that in mind, let’s dive into a seven-round mock draft for the Packers using The Draft Network’s draft simulator.
Latest Green Bay Packers mock draft for 2021 NFL Draft
First round, 29th pick: Christian Barmore, iDL, Alabama
There are few things Green Bay’s front office cares more about than the trenches. The Packers signed Damon “Snacks” Harrison late in the 2020 season to provide some interior help for Kenny Clark. For this defense to take the next step, Clark needs a running mate who can eat up blocks and create some interior penetration of his own. Barmore fits that description.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound defensive tackle ran an absurd 4.94 40-yard dash at his pro day. Teams already knew this was a powerful player with the size and flexibility to cause problems against guards and centers at the next level. There just aren’t a ton of defensive linemen of this size who can move the way Barmore does. He also comes through in the clutch, per Pro Football Focus, recording 12 pressure and eight stops during the 2021 College Football Playoff.
Imagine the decision offensive linemen will face when lining up against Barmore and Clark. Clark can cause problems with his own, but teams were able to manage him with two blocks. That simply won’t be possible if you add Barmore into the mix. With better interior pressure, plus Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith coming off the edges, Green Bay’s pass rush would be outstanding.
Second round, 62nd pick: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Green Bay re-signed Kevin King, a decision that angered many fans. While it might have come as a surprise, given he cost the team in the NFC Championship Game, it shouldn’t be. King gives the Packers an option to start opposite Jaire Alexander immediately and depth is crucial. With that said, Gutekunst must still add a long-term solution at cornerback.
Melifonwu, at 6-foot-3, offers the size and physical traits that Green Bay likes. In fact, he is quite similar to King coming out of college. The athleticism, arm length and overall traits fit into Joe Barry’s scheme. He lacks physicality, but that isn’t necessary from a zone cornerback. He can learn from defensive backs coach Jerry Gray, who has a great reputation for developing cornerbacks, before eventually taking over for King. If he stays healthy and progresses, we could be talking about an outstanding No. 2 cover corner.
Third round, 92nd overall: Walker Little, OT, Stanford
One of the Packers draft pick will be spent on an offensive tackle, likely coming on Day 2 at the latest. A five-star recruit in 2017, Walker Little instantly became a pillar on Stanford’s offensive line. A knee injury sidelined him in 2019 and then he sat out the 2020 season, choosing to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. A 6-foot-7 tackle with a 4.81 40-yard dash, quick feet and a great understanding of how to move in pass protection, Little is intriguing for so many reasons.
There are undeniable risks, given he has barely played football in the past two years. However, his talent is undeniable and the Packers have a great history with offensive linemen. If Little is available in the third round, Green Bay would happily draft him.
Third round, 98th overall: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
- TRADE: Green Bay Packers send 2021 fourth-round pick (135), 2021 fifth-round pick (173) and 2021 sixth-round pick (220) to the New Orleans Saints for 98th overall selection.
There’s a theme with our draft picks, betting on talent and taking risk. A few years ago, Dylan Moses was a consensus top-10 prospect. He then suffered a season-ending knee injury before the 2019 season and later decided to forego the 2020 NFL Draft to return to the Crimson Tide. Unfortunately, he still dealt with knee soreness and didn’t look like the same linebacker.
If the special athlete returns, two years removed from the injury, this is an impact player. Moses can explode to the ballcarrier, standing out against the run. He can plug right into the middle of Green Bay’s defense, becoming the inside linebacker this unit hasn’t had for years. Plus, with compensatory picks, trading up for him still allows the Packers to make plenty of picks on Day 3.
Green Bay Packers draft picks: Day 3 predictions in 2021 NFL Draft
- 4th round, 142nd overall: Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
- 5th round, 178th overall: Jack, Anderson, OG, Texas Tech
- 6th round, 214th overall: Malcolm Koonce, EDGE, Buffalo
- 7th round, 256th overall: Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee