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It’s time for a Green Bay Packers mock draft with the 2021 NFL Draft closing in. After a very quiet free agency and amid Aaron Rodgers contract drama, general manager Brian Gutekunst must come away with an outstanding draft class this year.
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.
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 our Packers mock draft using The Draft Network’s draft simulator.
Green Bay Packers mock draft: Trading up in Round 1, Day 2 targets
First round, 25th pick: Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL, USC
- Green Bay Packers mock draft trade: Pittsburgh Steelers send 25th overall pick for 29th overall pick, 142nd overall pick
The beauty of compensatory picks is what they allow you to do in the NFL Draft. Gutekunst has developed a habit of moving around in the first round, a trend that might continue this year. Seeing Alijah Vera-Tucker falling, the Packers use their fourth-round compensatory selection to jump up and grab him.
There are clear needs at right tackle and on the interior offensive line for the Packers. Elgton Jenkins, one of the most versatile linemen in the NFL, will fill one of the voids. Vera-Tucker can offer that same kind of versatility. He thrived at left tackle for the Trojans, receiving high marks in pass protection.
Vera-Tucker can start at left guard for Green Bay, shifting Jenkins to the inside. Another option, giving the rookie a shot to win the starting gig at right tackle. If he sticks inside, Pro Football Focus compared him to T.J. Lang and that’s a player this fan base would love to have protecting Rodgers.
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, 80th overall: Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State
- Green Bay Packers mock draft trade: Las Vegas Raiders send 80th overall pick for 92nd pick, 173rd pick and 2022 sixth-round pick
Green Bay needs help at inside linebacker, but one of the top talents is unlikely to fall on Day 1. The focus early on Day 2 would then shift toward cornerback, before circling back to linebacker in Round 3. With Pete Werner still falling, the Packers use one of their fifth-round picks to jump up for him.
Werner checks off a lot of boxes. He offers nice size as a 6-foot-3, 242- pound inside linebacker and his 9.52 RAS score is pleasantly surprising. He was an integral part of Ohio State’s defense for three seasons, largely making plays thanks to his instincts and intelligence. Werner is ready to start right away and will be comfortable dropping back in coverage when needed. Given Joe Barry’s history with linebackers, Werner’s potential impact is even better.
Fourth round, 135th pick: Walker Little, OT, Stanford
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 can live up to his potential, Green Bay will have the best offensive line in the NFL by 2022.
Green Bay Packers mock draft: Day 3 predictions in 2021 NFL Draft
- 5th round, 173rd overall: Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee
- 6th round, 214th overall: Naquan Jones, iDL, Michigan State
- 6th round, 220th overall: Tre Norwood, CB, Oklahoma
- 7th round, 256th overall: Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana Lafayette
What do you think about our Green Bay Packers mock draft? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for our coverage for all three days of the 2021 NFL Draft.