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My One and Only Packers Mock Draft - 2016 NFL Draft

It's Draft Day! Continuing a yearly tradition, CheeseheadTV's Jersey Al takes his one and only stab at a Packers Mock draft.

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, every year on draft day I give you my attempt at a Packers Mock Draft. It's a combination of science, logic, reasoning and lots of black magic. My main tenet is this - try to determine what positions will provide good value in which rounds, sprinkle in a bit of need and then choose the player that best fits the Packers scheme and team personality.

 

So here we go:

 

Round 1:  Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA.  - For months I've been convinced a DT will be the Packers' first pick,  it's just a matter of who will be there. Sheldon Rankins will be long gone. While Andrew Billings would be my first choice, I would expect Pittsburgh or a even a team picking higher to take him. Clark would be a very nice consolation prize. The former wrestler and UCLA Team captain is big and strong enough, while still displaying quick feet, plays with leverage and has an assortment of well-developed moves to beat his man and make the tackle. Day 1 contributor. Alternatives: Andrew Billings, Vernon Butler.

 

Round 2: Shilique Calhoun, DE/OLB, Michigan State.  - The two-time team captain is an NFL-Ready prospect with three years starting experience against top competition. He's not a flash player so much, but he's consistent in all aspects of his game and would be an excellent replacement for Julius Peppers at the Elephant position. Alternatives: Bronson Kaufusi, Carl Nassib.

 

Round 3: Nick Vigil, ILB, Utah St. - This one would probably require a trade up (Packers #3 and #4 for someone else's higher #3). Fast, smart, all-over-the field type inside linebacker. Sifts through traffic and takes good angles to the ball carrier, where he will rarely miss a tackle. Undersized, but he more than makes up for it with aggressive play and football instincts. Alternatives: Kentrell Brothers, Tyler Matakevich. (I also like Deion Jones as an outside-to-inside convert, but he is likely to be off the board)

 

Round 4: Joe Haeg, OT, No. Dakota St. - I can't tell you how many mock drafts I've seen the last few weeks that have Haeg in this spot, but I'm no copycat. In my mock draft for the CheeseheadTV Draft Guide (written over a month ago), guess who I had here. So perhaps other Packers mock drafters are buyers of our Draft Guide (as they should be - and so should you! ... get it here). Anyway, Haeg would be a perfect depth addition to the Packers. He has played on both sides of the line displays very good lateral quickness and pulling ability - would excel in a zone blocking scheme. Could easily be moved to guard if needed and back up multiple positions. Alternatives: Kyle Murphy, (my sleeper tackle in this draft), Joe Dahl.

 

Round 4: Ben Braunecker, TE, Harvard - Ted likes smart and versatile players and this pre-med student meets those criteria. Yet another team captain (sense a trend here?), Braunecker lined up as an in-line TE, wide receiver, wing back, flex tight-end, you name it, he did it. Was probably the best athlete at tight end at the combine, and on the field, was a reliable pass catcher who was not afraid to make the tough catch. An excellent depth add at tight end with a big upside. Alternatives: Thomas Duarte, Jerrell Adams.

 

Round 4: Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose St. - I've often lamented the lack of a "change-of-pace" running back on the Packers, as well as lack of a dynamic kick returner. Ervin hits on both points. he's far from perfect - won't be a traditional 3rd down back with the Packers because his pass protection skills are weak, but he could be used in the backfield like Randall Cobb was. He also was used quite a bit as a receiver out of the backfield and his return skills are top-notch (took 3 to the house). Would love to have this guy on this team to bring a different dynamic to the offense, albeit mostly as a situational player. Alternatives: C.J. Prosise, Josh Ferguson

 

Round 5: James Cowser, OLB, So. Utah. - Here we have a small school demon, Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year, four-year starter and team captain (ahem...).  Cowser tallied 43 sacks and 80 TFL over four years, both All-time FCS records, Cowser is an explosive pass rusher, using a combination of both speed and power along with non-stop effort to get to the ball carrier. Should make it as a pass rush specialist and special teams ace. Alternatives: Travis Feeney, Victor Ochi.

 

Round 6: Darius Latham, DT, Indiana. - Moving away from the "model citizen, team captain" trend, Latham has had a few undisclosed issues that resulted in two one-game suspensions as a junior. Ted is not afraid of taking a chance on a guy who he feels is not a bad dude, but just needs some guidance he will get from veterans at his position like Mike Daniels. Latham is a very physical player, loves to beat up on his opponent and shows a controlled mean streak. Plays with the attitude Daniels always talks about the Packers needing. Alternatives: Vince Valentine, Alex Balducci.

 

Round 7: Eric Mac Clain, OT/OG, Clemson - Mac Clain (yes that's the correct spelling) is my sleeper offensive lineman in this draft. Mac Clain was the Rivals sixth-ranked TE prospect coming out of high school but volunteered to put on weight and move to offensive line which is where Clemson had a need. Started out as a tackle but eventually found his home at left guard and was named 2015 First Team All-ACC in his only year as a full-time starter. He's a high-character, team leader type (but not a captain) who is still learning how to play offensive line. A development project for sure, but one that could pay off in a few years. Alternatives: Lene Maiava, Reesa Odhiambo

 

UDFA's:  Ted will bring players in at all positions, of course, but his primary goal will be to find a UDFA to replace Sean Richardson in a backup safety/special teams role. 

__________________________

"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  

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Comments (35)

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RCPackerFan's picture

April 28, 2016 at 12:14 pm

If it fell this way I would be ok with it.

I have been on the Clark bus for a while. I think he is a perfect fit for Green Bay's defense. Plus add in that he is from UCLA, and Thompson has shown he likes players from certain schools.

3rd round, i would be happy to see Jatavis Brown if available.

4th round I would take Jerrell Adams over Ben Braunecker.

I would love to see them take Ervin. He could be the dynamic RB they have been lacking. Some other RB's that I would be to see them take are Paul Perkins and Kenyan Drake.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

April 28, 2016 at 12:22 pm

As much as I like Clark (Cali) I don't think he's going 1st round. I really don't understand the Calhoun pick. No more Nick Perry's, please.

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RCPackerFan's picture

April 28, 2016 at 12:27 pm

I have seen first round with Clark by a few. So I can definitely see it happening. Pete Prisco has the Packers taking Clark.

The thing with playing OLB in the 3-4 is your going to be getting a lot of guys like Nick Perry. Guys that have to convert over.

The biggest problem with Perry hasn't been his ability to convert to a 3-4 OLB. Its been that he hasn't been able to stay healthy.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:00 pm

What I mean by Nick Perry's is the stiffness. They don't look like pass rushers. I thought OLBs in the 3-4 were Pass Rush specialist.

It's not that I have anything negative to say about Clark, but for our 3-4 I don't think he should be a 1st. Now, if we ran a 4-3 and even half the line of the Rams -- this would be so much easier.

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RCPackerFan's picture

April 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm

I gotcha.

Perry showed some really good bend around the edge against Washington in the Playoffs. HE needs to stay healthy.

Yeah, some are. That pass rush specialist to me could and should be Jayrone Elliott.

But in the draft I would like to see one as well.

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Tarynfor12's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:05 pm

" The biggest problem with Perry hasn't been his ability to convert to a 3-4 OLB. Its been that he hasn't been able to stay healthy. "

Could we not say that his injuries, foot, ankle, hand, shoulder all come from his inability to use them properly in a 3-4 outside role as opposed to the use of each as a 4-3 defense end where his only asset was a bullrush, where hand speed/violence, ankle/foot bend and spin is lesser need than straight drive and the shoulder needing to have lower dips at lower angles than the straight drive bull rush. If those who support or still believe Perry is a 3-4 outside linebacker. ...please stop....I said no when he was drafted and still say it today.

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Evan's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:17 pm

"Could we not say that his injuries, foot, ankle, hand, shoulder all come from his inability to use them properly in a 3-4 outside role"

That strikes me as a very specious argument.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:26 pm

I just knew she was coming once I mentioned Perry.

Lol, ok. Ok.

So, you feel the same way about Perry as I feel for Joe Thomas.

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RCPackerFan's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:30 pm

How can you attack Taryn like that?

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Tarynfor12's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:49 pm

Only to one or any who dismiss easily the idea that an injury (s) are obtainable via inability to use the needed tools or the lacking of strength in the tools of the player. Perry meets both criteria and showing a flash once in awhile will not change the overall.

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Evan's picture

April 28, 2016 at 02:04 pm

I have a much simpler answer: it's football and injuries happen.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2016 at 04:49 pm

Forced me to look up the word 'specious'.

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RCPackerFan's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:31 pm

Perry has played well when he has been healthy. He has shown flashes of playing really well. But since his rookie year he has been hurt just about every year.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:39 pm

Lol. Just havin' fun.

I like Perry when he is healthy. But it seems like he can't stay healthy, so what good is he if he isn't dependable? What's more frustrating is we don't even know when he gets hurt. It's like he gets hurt on routine plays. I'm not saying he isn't tough, but it's become common with him. I'm assuming that's why TT didn't pick up his option and let him test FA. The same with Neal.

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RCPackerFan's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:43 pm

Didn't he break or severely sprain his ankle sacking Joe Flacco a few years ago?

Yikes..

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packerfan9507's picture

April 28, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Spartan fan here.

Calhoun could be good in Year Two after hitting the weights but like Worthy before him, he had a tendency to be inconsistent and disappear. He was more of a impact player than Worthy but I don't think that's an inaccurate summary.

I remember being excited for his potential but he didn't improve his game really and didn't turn heads later in his career.

He didn't move naturally in space either which doesn't lend itself to the move to OLB.

I wouldn't take him until R3 at the earliest, if at all, but rushers are rare and the Packers have need.

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JerseyAl's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:43 pm

Three-time All Big 10, three time Second Team All-American, Big 10 Defensive Lineman of the year. Perry was much more of a reach in Round one, but it was one I accurately predicted they had to take at the time.

Calhoun is disciplined, assignment-sure, and did have 10.5 sacks and 15 TFL this year. He's a two-time Captain and most importantly, he's a Jersey boy...

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dobber's picture

April 28, 2016 at 01:57 pm

If the draft were to pan out like this, I think it would be Calhoun that we would be using as our primary judgement of whether or not it was a good draft class. If he can learn to play in space, he has the potential to be a very good complementary piece to CMIII....or not.

I see a 4-3 DE, and only a very average one.

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Point-Packer's picture

April 28, 2016 at 02:09 pm

The draft drives me nuts.

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L's picture

April 28, 2016 at 02:37 pm

I'd be quite pleased with this.

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EdsLaces's picture

April 28, 2016 at 02:50 pm

Joe Shoebert????

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Packer_Pete's picture

April 28, 2016 at 02:57 pm

I think ted will surprise everyone and not take DT in the 1st since it is such a deep draft this year at DT.
But overall I could live with above draft class. Still think we'd need to take a OT higher than 4th round, just looking ahead at 2017 and knowing rookies at OL usually take a year to develop...

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olwig420's picture

April 28, 2016 at 02:58 pm

1.Vernon Butler, DT Louisiana Tech
2.Kenneth Dixon, RB Louisiana Tech
3.Nick Vannett, TE Ohio St.
4.Joe Haeg, OT, No. Dakota St
4.Jatavis Brown, LB, Akron
4.Kolby Listenbee, WR, TCU
5.Depth
6.Depth
7.more Depth

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 28, 2016 at 06:17 pm

If we are taking Kenny Clark, we should hope for a trade back while still getting Clark. I would not be all that thrilled with Clark, but he would do.

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sonomaca's picture

April 28, 2016 at 10:18 pm

Good call on Clark. I think the Pack tried to trade. They were under a minute before pick was in.

Ted LOVES Pac-12 players, especially those from the great states of Arizona and California.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2016 at 07:09 pm

Rams still haven't picked.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2016 at 07:11 pm

Still.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2016 at 07:15 pm

Jared Goff.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2016 at 07:24 pm

Carson Wentz.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2016 at 07:59 pm

Joey Bosa.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2016 at 07:59 pm

Ezekiel Elliott

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2016 at 08:00 pm

Jalen Ramsey

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2016 at 08:00 pm

Ronnie Stanley

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2016 at 08:00 pm

DeForest Buckner

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x24's picture

April 29, 2016 at 09:35 am

So far so good!

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