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Packers First Round Draft Profiles: Should They Select Offense, Defense, or Both?

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Packers First Round Draft Profiles: Should They Select Offense, Defense, or Both?

As this series continues, I will open up the conversation about the direction the Packers should take in the first round of this year's NFL Draft.  I will provide three directions the Packers could decide to take and then give you my opinion on which direction I think they should go.  

In these scenarios, I will provide some draft prospects the Packers could decide to take in each situation based on need and where I think each prospect will land.  

  1. Offense: If the Packers decide to exclusively add players to their offensive unit in the first round this is a direction they could choose to take:
  • Round 1 Pick 12: T.J Hockenson TE, Iowa
  • Round 1 Pick 30: N'Keal Harry WR, Arizona St.

This scenario is pretty straight forward, arm Aaron Rodgers with every kind of weapon imaginable.  If the Packers ended up moving strictly in an offensive direction during the first round they could find themselves with the opportunity to select a 6'4 tight end who is a dual threat in both the aerial attack as well as the trenches, along with a receiver who is a tall athletic target who will be able to stretch the field alongside Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, Jimmy Graham, MVS, and Equanimeous St. Brown.  

With these first-round selections, the Packers offensive unit could very well have 7 legitimate targets for Aaron to throw the ball to, in addition to the rushing tandem of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.  Translation: The Packers could go from a lower tier offensive unit who was inconsistent in moving the ball down the field to an upper tier offensive unit who is able to consistently move the ball down the field.  

       2. Defense:  The Packers could choose to add to, and hopefully complete their defensive unit by selecting some intriguing options with each of their two first-round picks. I could see the Packers selecting from a handful of different players if Gutekunst decided to go all in on defense in the first round.  Here are my first round favorites should the Packers stand pat with the 12th and 30th picks:

  • Round 1 Pick 12: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
  • Round 1 Pick 30: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

This would be a very interesting scenario since Ed Oliver's skill set could potentially allow him to see some reps as an edge rusher in addition to his primary role on the defensive line alongside Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, and Dean Lowry.  

Devin Bush is another interesting option should he fall to the Packers at 30 because he can secure the middle of the field by rushing the passer, stopping the run, and dropping back into coverage.  

The duality of both of these players could give Mike Pettine a world of options when dialing up his exotic packages, and give opposing offenses a world of trouble when trying to gameplan against the Packers front 7.

       3. Offense and Defense: Since the Packers have 6 picks in the first four rounds of the draft, they could decide to take a more balanced approach early on and then load up on one side of the ball later in the draft should multiple high valued picks present themselves.  If the Packers did take a more balanced route in the first round and draft both an offensive and defensive player, here is how I think it could play out.

  • Round 1 Pick 12: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
  • Round 1 Pick 30: T.J Hockenson, TE, Iowa/N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona St.

This scenario would put the Packers in a position of flexibility for their remaining four picks in rounds 2-4, while still bringing in two day 1 starters on both sides of the ball who will significantly upgrade the team.  Ed Oliver would bring a new dimension to the Packers defensive line, making their front seven a force to be reckoned with.  

Hockenson or Harry would give Aaron Rodgers another young, big, and athletic target who will be able to make the Packers passing attack dynamic once again.  

Translation: This approach significantly upgrades the defensive line as well as the wide receiver or tight end position while providing replacement options for players who may not be back with the team next season.  This could also allow the Packers to select the best players available with their remaining four picks and move up at other points in the draft should an ideal situation present itself.    

There are obviously many different scenarios the Packers first round can play out.  As I've mentioned a couple of weeks prior, at the beginning of this series, trading the 12 and 30th picks for the 4th pick to draft Josh Allen would be my most ideal first-round scenario for the Packers.  With this in mind, I believe there is a 98% chance Brian Gutekunst will stand pat or trade down from the 12th spot.    

After looking over these scenarios, I really don't have a favorite because I think each will significantly improve the team.  However, if I had to choose a favorite first round scenario, I would probably go all in on defense and draft a tight end with the 44th pick and a guard or tackle in the third round. *Note- I prefer Oliver slightly over Burns which is why I did not include the latter in these scenarios.  

Sound Off:

Let me know your first round draft scenarios, and whether you had a favorite among the three of these.  I look forward to the debate and discussion. 


David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (118) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

packerbackerjim's picture

Tho I have my favorites, Gute and Co. will have their board ready, potential trades up and/or down, and a pretty good idea how their current roster will function. I support them right up until I don’t at which point I will let them have it with both barrels. I kid.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Good philosophy!

The TKstinator's picture

I’m not sure the offense could be top tier without upgrading the line.

Bear's picture

53 sacks this past year Ouch! If you don’t protect Rodgers the season is over.
If Bahk goes down we are in a very difficult position. We need to draft a quality tackle this tear.
T E talk is crazy, Finley in his six year career average 39 catches a season.

Guam's picture

I think the O-line was upgraded with Turner - certainly an improvement over the turnstile (Bell, McCray, Patrick) we had at RG last year. The starting five seems to be set although expecting Bulaga to play 16 games is unrealistic. I believe we need to draft for O-line depth, but I wouldn't spend one of our top three choices on a O-linemen who likely won't start and probably won't play much this year. I would prefer to see the Packers use two of their three picks in the 4th/5th rounds on developmental O-linemen.

GLM's picture

I agree, and I anticipate some wheeling-and-dealing, especially if the QB's drop, and there's a run on the elite players.

GBPDAN1's picture

"As I've mentioned a couple of weeks prior, at the beginning of this series, trading the 12 and 30th picks for the 4th pick to draft Josh Allen would be my most ideal first-round scenario for the Packers"

With all due respect, I'm glad you're not our GM. I would never trade our 2 first round picks for Josh Allen . The only 2 players worth giving up our 2 firsts (and move to 4th pick) would be Bosa or Williams . No other players would be worth it to the Packers. If we stay at 12, we will get a Pro Bowl player and will also land a good player to help fill the many needs on our team at 30. For example; Oliver and Harry would be better than just Allen

David Michalski's picture

I’d say watch him on film, he’s another player who can play multiple positions and can do much more than just rush the passer. Secondly, you would essentially only being giving up one of the first round picks because you would be bringing back a first round pick in return. A two for one deal which keeps the rest of your draft intact.

However, in these three scenarios I have mentioned Oliver and Harry, Oliver and Bush and Hock and Harry. I just think you all sell Allen short but that's my personal opinion.

jannes bjornson's picture

Allen is more diverse in his ability to rush and cover the flats. See when they put the pads on and play the real games who will stand out.

porupack's picture

Agree with GBDan. The sum of 2 players of 1st round talent is quite more than 1 single top five talent. Let's all agree and move on to different options, ok? :)

4thand10's picture

I think DK Metcalf is sold short. He did nothing but abuse the vaunted Bama. Harry did great against 6-7 win teams. The guy is not what we need, but he’s the next Calvin Johnson in my mind.

David Michalski's picture

He’s a great talent with an unstable spine, anytime you start your professional football career with a neck injury, I’ll pass.

TheBigCheeze's picture

I like the Oliver / Hockenson combo....but Hock will be gone before #30....

BradHTX's picture

That scenario made me snort in derision. There’s some possibility Oliver is available at #12, but maybe .02% chance of Hockfensteiner at #30.

David Michalski's picture

Remember, Harry was an option in that scenario as well. Also, keep in mind that Hock has been mocked by some in the mid-’20s and if for some reason he falls the Packers are in a position to trade up. Odds are the Packers will have to choose between Hock and Oliver at 12. (There are some recent mocks on that have Oliver going to the Packers at 12)

dobber's picture

Remember Harold Landry? Mocked to the Packers at 14 last year? Mid-round 2. Josh Jackson? Some called him the best CB in the draft (especially earlier in the process)....mid round 2. Mike McGlinchey...mocked middle of round 1 by most goes top 10 to SF.

In the end, we have no idea what GMs are going to do...what their strategies are, what they value. Draftniks have their boards and overviews of team needs but are usually not driven by team-building strategies. My prediction is that we'll be almost shocked by what's available to the Packers at #12...and that there will be equal 'high-fives' and gnashing of teeth at whatever BG does.

fthisJack's picture

i like the Oliver Bush scenario but i don't think either of them will be available at those spots. i also don't like Harry in the first. second round for WR or S.

porupack's picture

yes dobber...but I like to argue for things I don't really know about, more than argue about things I do know about. The first I call people clueless just for fun. The second, well, I call people clueless and really mean it.

The TKstinator's picture

Astute once again.

JakeDickerson's picture

There are always surprises in the draft every year, but that's part of what makes it great. Could not agree more with your comment. Can't wait for the draft.

Duneslick's picture

Fant maybe there at 30

CJ Bauckham's picture

12) White (Oliver? Burns?)
30) AJ Brown (Risner?)

I also am admittedly biased towards Thornhill and would take him at 30, if I'd had a few

GLM's picture

We may be able to get Thornhill in the 2nd...if not, there will be another capable safety on the board.

CJ Bauckham's picture

Agreed, GLM. 44 is where I have us taking him in my personal mock

dobber's picture

My prediction: people will be scratching their heads when the draft is done because the Packers will either go S late or forego the position altogether.

Guam's picture

We differ on that one Dobber. I think the Packers use #30 or #44 on a safety. If I had more confidence in Josh Jones, I might see it your way, but he just looks like more of an ILB than a safety to me. Where the Packers actually draft a safety will tell us what they really think of Jones.

dobber's picture

I'm just calling it a hunch. I think they need one, too, but something just says to me that we'll be surprised by what they do in that department.

Guam's picture

You might be right. Part of the equation is what they do with Tramon. If he moves to safety, the need to do something this year is less acute. This draft will be interesting...…!!

David Michalski's picture

Not necessarily since he’s in the final year of his deal. I’m suspecting they’ll go safety somewhere between 30 and the 4th round. I’d actually be shocked if they didn’t take a safety at some point.

buddrow53's picture

I want starters 1st day starters. I don't care to take a 1st rounder that takes time to make a difference.
3 down starters.

Defense front 7 and offense line depending who is there.

GLM's picture

Nothing wrong with that approach... :)

The TKstinator's picture

GB once passed up Ronnie Lott because they needed a quarterback; Rich Campbell.
Offense vs defense?
Just gimme good players.

dobber's picture

Rob-bie Bos-co <clap> <clap> <clap-clap-clap> !!!

ILPackerBacker's picture

Would it kill you to write about a draft that might actually happen?

If you want make believe and Hock at 30 is; or bush at 30 or even OLIVER (slim hope at 12) why not just take a couple of guys and eliminate doubt?

Bosa at 12 and williams at 30 unless the cards trade down for our 2nd rounder and we take Bosa # 1. Unless we trade the overall pick down to the Raiders for their three first rounders.

David Michalski's picture

So Charles Davis and Lance Zierlein of both have Ed Oliver getting mocked to the Packers at 12 but at this point the mock drafts are still at a plus or minus 7-10 picks on players. So take it easy there killer.

I’ve seen Harry mocked in the mid 20’s so my scenarios aren’t as unrealistic as you suggest. I’ll give you Hock at 30 will be tough but I have seen him mocked as low as 24 as well.

jannes bjornson's picture

Do they think Harry is more complete as a WR than Metcalf? Yes.
Some 4-3 people would not want Oliver because of his size, but 3-4 teams could play him like JJ Watt or inside.

GLM's picture


porupack's picture

ILBackerbacker: that one might not be too bad, but let's just take BPA.

Lare's picture

As needs (both current & future) always come into play with draft selections, in my opinion the current Packers needs are OL, RB & slot WR on offense and FS, ILB and DL on defense (depending on if they sign Wilkerson). Future needs are TE, OT and backup QB on offense and DL, ILB and CB on defense.

So it all comes down to Gutekunst, LaFleur and Pettine's opinions on what they need yet this year and Gutekunst's opinion on what players will be re-signed and/or let go next year. I don't see Graham, Daniels, Lewis, Bulaga, Williams, Wilkerson, McCray, Spriggs, Kizer and maybe even Martinez back next year so they will need to replace them either in this year's or next year's draft or free agency.

Any of the players mentioned would be welcome additions to the team, some to help produce this year and others to groom for major contributions next year.

That said, if I had to choose I'd say take the best ILB, DL, FS, OL, TE, RB, CB and WR available at each selection.

fthisJack's picture

i wouldn't forget about OLB just because we got the Smiths.

jh9's picture

DL at #12... OL at #30 ... the best available ILB or TE or WR or S at #44. For rounds 3-4 look for an RB, but draft the best available player at whatever position we haven't drafted yet.

4thand10's picture

“Packers needs are OL, RB & slot WR on offense and FS, ILB and DL on defense (depending on if they sign Wilkerson). Future needs are TE, OT and backup QB on offense and DL, ILB”

Agree with this 100%

stockholder's picture

Looking for a Rainbow? It's not on offense. Oliver is are pot of gold. But Bush should be the pick. The odds just don't look good getting a DT. Unless you use the #30 on Simmons. Taking advantage of Simmons just doesn't have that comfort level. Not when we know that our safety position was such a failure the last two years. So @30 I want Thornhill. His numbers are production. A player we can look up too. Next @44 I Still want more defense. But the protection of Arron Rodgers should be the priority. Take Lindstrom. Rsiner. Bradbury. And if their gone. Taking more defense Is about the future. Simmons fits here. Maybe Polite /Wilson. Regardless a lb is the pick. @75.and later: Offense then is the priority.

Old School's picture

Well, Gutekunst showed that he's willing to make moves before and might again, but IMO we don't NEED any offensive player bad enough to spend #12.

On defense, guys who can cover and tackle are really important. So are guys who can pressure and tackle. So you always need guys who can tackle, and cover, and pressure....

You can't have too much defense. Guys get beat up and worn down and if you can line up 11 good defenders who are mostly healthy then you've got a big advantage. Especially in December and January.

Put me down for more D. A Double Dose. Add two more guys to the defense.

The TKstinator's picture

And, I think the top 30 contains a lot more defensive players than offensive ones.

GLM's picture

All the simulations I have run show a preponderance of defense in the first, about 50-50 in the 2nd, and a lot of offense after that. That doesn't mean there aren't good defensive guys left after that, but teams will have to pick and choose.

Guam's picture

Yes, this is supposed to be a draft loaded with defense and I think that tilts the Packer's draft strategy in the same direction. You draft BPA and unless something funny happens with the way the draft falls, that should push the Packers into more defense than offense.

BradHTX's picture

I’ll take a double dose of D, too. I like double D’s.

OK, sorry. Inappropes...

But seriously, I agree. Unless one of the first rounders is a stud OT, I’d rather see Oliver/Burns/Bush and CGJ/Thornhill, and punt slot WR and TE to rounds 2-4.

GLM's picture

Count me in! Lol...and yes, two defensive players wouldn't be the worst thing...

Packer Fan's picture

I like how Packerswire did this. They chose 8 players that could be taken at 12. And then they have 5 more, presumably for pick 30. I think that most of those players will be available at 12 and 30. And they have Gunter, a DL visiting. Another young ascending player. I like what Gute is doing. Lots of options and I am looking forward to be surprised by the draft.

The TKstinator's picture

I’m also very curious how the new regime views the players already on hand. Do they think they need to add a bell cow running back? Do they think Tonyan can play a much larger role? Prospects at offensive line?
Again, all this is what makes this time of year interesting.

David Michalski's picture

Cheesehead TV>Packerswire

cheesehead1's picture

Agree, we need a stud or two on D. This is the highest pick we’ve had in years, Gute must hit a home run or two. I’d also go heavy on the O line. Gute disappointed in free agency last year IMO with older players. Hopefully LaFleur can get more out of Graham and Lewis, although I almost have to give Lewis a pass because he was under utilized. No matter what happens, have a great draft Gute and make these last two years a distant memory. I’m confident you can get it done.

Chemical X's picture

12: Oliver/Burns
30: CGJ

Definitely pass on receiver in round 1.

BradHTX's picture

Just said the same, before reading further. Have a “Like.”

Richard Smith's picture

Best D front 7 player or O lineman at 12 and I will be happy. Just please, universe, don't let it be a TE at 12. That would be such a waste of a high pick. I don't care what anyone says, history tells a nice story about TE's being taken that early. Take a look at the last 5 or so TE's taken early and who those team are. I'll start you off. The few I remember are Detroit, New York, Cleveland. There are a couple more, and those teams are perennial losers.

MikeS's picture

Oliver is strictly a luxury pick at 12. Hockenson will be long gone at 30. AR needs weapons and protection, TE, WR, OL. If they bring in Gunter there is no need for Oliver. Hockenson at 12, Thornhill or Adderly at 30. OL at 44.

Old School's picture

I agree that Rodgers needs weapons and protection, but IMO the Packers have quite a few weapons to move the ball and score points.

I look at skill position veterans like Adams and Graham, and 2nd year guys like MSV and ESB and Moore and Allison and think that's a pretty good start, and then you add in what Jones and Williams do from the backfield....I mean, you can only have 5 weapons on the field at a time, and if one of them is Marcedes Lewis that's only 4 other people.

The offensive line is fine as long as none of the starters misses any snaps, which will never happen. When you start looking at the #6 Roadgrader…..or the 7th, or the 8th...….on the line, how safe is your QB?

The BIG PLUS is that the Packer offense protects the ball. Rodgers is clearly the GOAT when it comes to not turning it over. Jones and Williams, our two principle running backs, only had 1 turnover between them last season.

If we have a defense that could get some turnovers, we could/should be best in the league in TO margin, and that's usually a real good thing.

Green Bay Grinders. Don't turn it over and play good defense.

porupack's picture

very nice, old school. good angle on the turnover security bit. In the past, I argued for a cluster approach toward Offense, I see your point here on the approach that turnover-generating D would complement the current offense and win the needed.

MikeS's picture

You missed the point on the OL. It is not fine. Look what happened last year. That line was like a sieve and AR was running for his life or throwing the ball away for lack of protection.

GLM's picture

You could also make the argument that Hock is a luxury pick at 12.

Old School's picture

Yeah. I do think he's gonna be a real good player. I kind of suspect that Fant will maybe be a little better/flashier early on, but IMO Hock is Grade A , Blue Ribbon guy .

But if we're talking luxury picks.....then why not our QB of the future, as insurance for now and the future?

GLM's picture

If the team were to take a QB that high, by the time Aaron is ready to retire, assuming all goes well, then that QB would be entering his second contract.

Also, how much is that player going to contribute, compared to some other player who might start a lot sooner?

MikeS's picture

The haven't had a TE worth anything since Finley.

Since &#039;61's picture

This is allegedly a strong defensive draft. In that case I would go defense at 12 and 30. Preferably DL and Safety. However, if the really good OL is there at 30 I would take him.

Win at the LOS is key to success in the NFL. Get the best DLs and OLs as early in the draft as possible. Next 4 picks, Safety, TE, Edge, WR. Then ILB and RB. After that depth for the OL. Thanks, Since '61

fthisJack's picture

either Risner or Linstrom should be there at 30. or one of the tackles might fall.

porupack's picture

That is clearly a departure from BPA, and I'm provocating a bit because of the frequency posters resort to 'just do bpa, please'. I guess I'd like your option to have an official 'name'. What is it? BPA per Group-of need? It certainly seems more realistic of what all GMs truly do; identify groups of need; ping the BPA, then check down to next.

Since &#039;61's picture

Porupack I'm not sure how I would name my option but what I'm trying to say is leverage the strenghts of the draft at the time you make a pick.

If there are quality defenders when your pick comes up take a defensive player. In a later round of you see good value at WR take a WR. If you can do that and fill the needs of the team that's great. But I'm not sure that can happen in every draft or in every round.

If a player like Oliver is there at 12 take him. If not, but a good ILB is there take him. We should always have spots on our team for good football players. It may result in someone being chucked during TC but that's true in any profession. The best stay and get paid, the rest move on. We just happen to be in a situation where we need better players in every position group either as starters or as depth. Thanks, Since '61

Gman1976's picture

Since we need help on both sides of the ball, BPA baby!

The TKstinator's picture

Absolutely. Great players make a great team.

Montana's picture


I like your defensive scenario best, we need to get back to a top tier defense like we had in 2010. Adding a TE makes sense but not in the first round...... take two defensive players at 12 and 30.

David Michalski's picture

Maybe draft Irv Smith Jr, Jake Sternberger or Andy Isabella at 44 if you take the defensive route?

draftpete's picture

There is a low possibility of Oliver being there at #12, great if he is, Ferrel, Burns, Sweat, Bush, Hockenson, Fant are all very possible. In which case a trade down would be of value ( Mia 13, Wash 15, NYG 17 come to mind depending on how the QB picks fall). Then take the best of the D mentioned, unless they are gone, then a TE. With the extra draft capital a trade up from #30 is very possible for any of those mentioned who fall or an OL or S (Dillard, Ford, Adderley). If we stay put at #30 then, again, an OL or S (Adderley, Ford, Risner, Thornhill). Then wIth the extra capital from the trade down we could target Simmons in prep for 2020.

I do like Bush over White due to his quick processing ability and am growing more into seeing him being a pick if most of the edge guys are gone at the first pick. We could take a TE later in the draft ( Smith Jr., Sternberger, Warring).

Getting Simmons as a luxury pick with the extra capital would be like getting 3 quality 1st rounders.

fthisJack's picture

i think the Giants might be hungry for the QB of their dreams at 12 and might give us the farm for that pick. do it and still get a great player and extra draft capitol.

dobber's picture

There are rumors that they're interested in Josh Rosen from the Cards (assuming the Cards to Murray as some think they might). That might change things dramatically.

David Michalski's picture

In all likelihood, it would take a conditional 2020 3rd-4th round pick to land Rosen so it shouldn't alter the 2019 draft or the 2020 draft too dramatically. The Packers would have to make the decision of whether or not it is worth a 3rd or 4th round pick for Rosen to ride the bench and learn under Aaron for the next 3-4 years.

MikeS's picture

Problem there is Rosen's contract expires the same time as Rogers. Then what? You give away pick(s) with nothing to show for it.

David Michalski's picture

You’d hypothetically have the 5th year option and could give him an extension similar to Aaron’s first extension after initially becoming the starter. This would be a longshot though with Aaron’s ego and could get testy.

dobber's picture

I meant that the GIANTS were interested in Rosen.

albert999's picture

They sure are having a lot of wide receivers in for pre draft visits?
need at least 1 OL high pick then fill in the blanks with the rest

fthisJack's picture

if you look at the draft history, they draft very few of the guys they bring in for visits.

4thand1's picture

21 days, 22 hours, and 20 minutes.

fthisJack's picture

i'm amped up for this one. i was all ticked off last year when they traded down and passed on James but i finally got over it and am kinda glad how it turned out now!

SpurgeonsCigar's picture

My own sense is to draft Hockenson with the 12th pick and followup with a DT like Christian Wilks from Clemson or Jeffrey Simmons Mississippi St or Dexter Lawrence from Clemson. Then followup with a WR like AJ Brown in the second round. There are so many ways to go. So exciting to have 2 Ones and a great second round pick. Safety in the third or trade up again into the second with your third and one fourth to get a safety. Just don't take a O Lineman until 4

fthisJack's picture

i like Risner or Lindstrom with 30 or 44 myself.

Don Guske's picture

OL OL and it won't matter who is in backfield or at WR

Jonathan Spader's picture

After all the OL can run and catch the ball too!!! ~~~~~~

EdsLaces's picture

Oliver/ Bush pick one ...Harry pick 2. Adderly/Savage pick 3...

JLab3's picture

I wish the team had given as much attention fortifying the offensive line as they have in drafting receiving targets for Aaron Rogers. The guy is going to be 36 years old, he's by far our most expensive and valuable asset, he's had significant injuries, our 'O' line is shaky at best, Brian Bulaga is an injury waiting to happen and doesn't need a rookie receiver who may or may not be able to run routes correctly. (We've got some of those now!) For my money I draft at least one offensive lineman in round one, preferably at pick 12. We're in a position to draft a plug-in fix for an obvious weakness and it's overdue. If not this this year when the hell do we do it?

CheesyTex's picture

Re "I wish the team had given as much attention to fortifying the offensive line as they have in drafting receiving targets for Aaron Rodgers".

I wish the team had better luck when they drafted Spriggs (2d round) and Madison (5th round). If only one or the other panned out, things would look much brighter.

GLM's picture

Or Sherrod, for that matter.

David Michalski's picture

If you want to go the o-line route in round 1, Risner could be available at 30. However, there is also some solid lineman that could slide to 44.

dobber's picture

Especially interior OL.

jannes bjornson's picture

I like Cajuste with the #44. Capable to cover LT and RT or go inside for a year. The #12 would go Oliver, Wilkens, Sweat, Hockenson or Dillard if they show up. #30 still wants to be their starting safety opposite Amos. I 've made my preference clear for Abram, a sure tackler and dynamic player.
I like the FS choices of Savage, Adderley and Thornhill but will they hold up physically?

porupack's picture

For the best response, I would defer to Ross Uglem who spent a great deal of research on the likely places to draft various positions of need. His work suggests rounds 3-4 are good for acquiring top 20 Oline players. Rounds 1-2 are good for top 20 Dline and OLB players.
So, does that influence your preference on pick #12 and #30? It did for me.

AgrippaLII's picture

With the moves Gutekunst has made in free agency to improve the defense it would be a real shame not to finish the job...he has the opportunity to get it done with his first three picks.

porupack's picture

That is solid. Similar to your point, I like the idea of focus on cluster to ensure synergy. So with the big investment in Smith pass rush, next; ensure no holes; invest big in S, and ILB, and IDL with 1st and 2nd rd talent, to strengthen your smith bet.
A piecemeal investment on Smiths, but not shoring the backend, is more likely to mean the smiths make a good, but not leveraged impact. Its all about leverage. Leverage, Gute, Leverage.

Ryan B Dub's picture

Offense. It needs help all over the place. Offensive line needs more than one addition of talent. FA got one, still need a few more. WR, RB, TE also will be needed to score points on the regular again. Defense needs work, but the offense has some glaring holes moving the ball, scoring, and protecting the quarterback.

Turophile's picture

Packers have positioned themselves so thay could go O or D in round one, it depends on where the value lies when the pick rolls around. Your third scenario is the best one for me. In the first scenario I don't like Hockenson at #12 (like him later though). In the second scenario I don't want an ILB at #30 (see below for my choices at #30).

My personal first round picks would be:
Edge Clelin Ferrell (at #12)
DL Jeffery Simmons (at #30)

I'd take Ed Oliver over Ferrell, but I think he is gone at #12. If he WAS there and was taken, no pressing need any more for Simmons at #30. Instead I'd look for a value OT. If no OT looks to be good value there, then both Iowa TE's and WR N'Keal Harry are in play. If THEY are all gone, it's FS Nasir Adderley. I like DL Tillery as well, depending on what the first pick was.

In short:
at #12 Oliver > Ferrell > Burns > J.Taylor > Wilkins > Sweat.
at #30 J.Taylor (should be gone) > Simmons > Dillard > Harry = Hockenson = Fant > J.Tillery > Adderley

dobber's picture

"J.Taylor (should be gone)"

Because he'll be a "walking man" on a "country road" to "Mexico" through "fire and rain" with "Carolina on his mind"

Turophile's picture

I'm a Napalm bomb, baby
Just guaranteed to blow your mind
Yeah, I'm a Napalm bomb for you, baby
Guaranteed to blow your mind
And if I can't have your love for my own
Sweet child, won't be nothing left behind..................................

It seems now lately, baby
Got a bad case steamroller blues.

He had a superb voice, dobber. Listen to him on 'Sweet Baby James'.

dobber's picture

I have such a hard time saying "draft this position at pick 12" and "that position at pick 30". The talent profile is already dropping off at 12, but the Packers are likely to have either a clear-cut top player on their board (just take him!) or a choice of a small group they like equally (look to deal down 2-3 picks or take the player that makes you better right now).

At 30, the talent profile has flattened out more and targeting a specific position becomes easier: it's much less likely that you're going to reach out of a group of 8-10 guys who profile similarly for the roster. Is it possible they pick the only dud out of that tier? Yup. But you just can't tell.

No pick or player comes with a guarantee, just an opportunity. Find a player you're convinced will be a star and pick him, BG.

stockholder's picture

If it's to good to be true. It probably isn't. A

CalPacker's picture

Am I the only one who feels like we're in an endless loop talking about these two first round choices?

To me, the the solution is to leverage either one of these picks--perhaps both--to draft down and address a multiplicity of needs in Rounds 2 and 3. The haul gets even bigger if we also package some of our later picks to move up into those same Day 2 rounds.

For instance, Miami/Washington may want to bid for #12 to get Lock, Houston may be willing to trade up from #23 to get Dillard, and Cincy may want to trade up to #30 to get Daniel Jones. Combined with a couple of trade ups later, we could be looking at 8-9 picks before the end of Day 2...

porupack's picture

Seems to me, it all depends on your assessment;
a) if you believe the team has a lot of holes remaining, then the strategy should be to leverage for more, rather than less picks. "Fill more holes, dammit".

b) if you believe the team filled the majority of holes after FA, and you now seek a few more 'difference makers', then either stay put, or trade up. Go for "quality vs quantity". "just get some playmakers, dammit".

c) if you feel we are set for 2019, and this draft is all about developing 2020, and preparing for the cap casualties; then strategic BPA. "Just stick to BPA, (or some bastard derivative of BPA), dammit"

ShooterMcGee's picture

I like Hakeem Butler more than Harry although they are similar in that they are tall and really fight for the ball. Hakeem is taller at 6'6" and throws tacklers around. Reminds me of Randy Moss. Taking him at 30 would be a steal.

stockholder's picture

I wouldn't take either. Defense Baby. Defense!

porupack's picture

Nice question and got me commenting way too much. But I liked the question....and particularly lean toward the one or the other in first 3 rounds, but not both in first 3 rounds. Figure out how you want to synergize with the heavy investment in FA, and shore that bet up with Draft, and place the bet that that unit is going to synergize earlier bets, and carry the team.

So, either put 3 top picks on offense or 3 top picks on defense.
If Offense; TE (if it adds a feared pass catch threat such as Fant), and 2nd round grade OL to secure Rodger's pass progressions...., maybe a WR with a skill set currently lacking....yeah, I'd respect that. The offense, with no weak links would be quickest 3 pick ticket to deep playoffs.

Or, a 4 pick D ticket to playoffs would be 3 of;
IDL (oliver and Simmons), and early pick S and Edge, or
ILB Bush and IDL Simmons, and S, or
Edge Burns, S and ILB
in first 2 rounds.
Any of those along with a 2nd CB (tradeup) or in 3rd should complete a turnaround D, and probably get deep in playoffs with a 4 pick D ticket.

I lean toward offense...betting that those 3 cure the Offense issues, and make Rodgers and the rest of Offense all that much better. I just like the idea to bet heavy on one unit, and be sure to get it done well.

Ferrari Driver's picture

We need difference makers to upgrade this team. Pick the very best guy available with both picks in the first round. Personally from the perspective a fan and not a knowledgeable General Manager, I would like it to be Oliver at 12 and Hockenson at 30. Might be wishful thinking though.

OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

Burns @ 12
Hock or Nkeal Harry @ 30
Safety or Oline @ 44 / 75

Ryan B Dub's picture

I really hope they get talent. Anywhere and everywhere. It’d be nice to see a Young tight end with talent who can do it all. It feels like forever since we had great at tight end, guard, safety, and back up quarterback. I know back up quarterbacks are extremely rare to be great. How about competent? Replacement at right tackle would be nice. Also if the New England team could have a beautiful slide to the bottom for a while. That would be nice as well. Go Pack!

pakmann's picture

The first round plays out where a target hopefully on defense falls. The Packers need to move and grab the lineman they have targeted. Hopefully the price to move up doesn't include #30 where the best defensive player available should be taken hopefully an edge rusher or safety.
I believe the defensive side of the ball is behind the offense and offensive lineman can be had in the later rounds where they can develop.

PAPackerbacker's picture

Offense or defense, does it matter? The Packers need help on both sides of the ball. A more realistic chance in the draft would be Hocklenson or Burns at #12. Then a good OL, like Ford or Risner at #30. Or maybe a top ranked safety like Adderley or Rapp, if they fall to #30. Oliver won't be there at #12 and I doubt Sweat will either. Would be great if they did. At #44 either AJ Brown or D'Andre Walker and at #75 Tre Lamar or Ridley. All good players and maybe a reach for some of them to fall where Green Bay has a chance at them. The Packers have a great chance of adding some top play makers to the roster this year that could start immediately and make an impact to the success of the team.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Special Teams guy at #12 !!

A Pickled Packer's picture

If Oliver is off the board I think they trade back a spot or 2 and address need at ILB then package what they get to move up from #30 to move ahead of New England and draft Hockenson. This is just one of many scenarios but I can envision Gutenkunst wheeling and dealing in round 1 like he did last year and outmaneuver the competition.

4thand10's picture

I would like to see Defense with the first pick. But I also want offense right after..specifically OL, RB , WR . Of those picks ideally a special teams burner...KR/PR because those plays take the wind right out of an opposing team. Shift momentum and do SO many other things.

Packman60's picture

I don't expect Oliver, White or Hockenson to be there at #12. I think they're picking either Burns or Wilkins. At 30 Risner would be my choice or an offensive weapon for Rodgers like Fant or A.J. Brown. There's a lot of depth at safety, Adderley or Savage would be great options at #44. Then either OT or TE in the 3rd. Hopefully, Cajuste or Howard at tackle or Steinberger or Knox at tight end. This draft would address most of their holes remaining after free agency. I would be very excited if they could pull this off.

slybull's picture

When you have a pick at or near the top of the first round the point is to draft a impact player. Impact players play impact positions the order follows the value of position and difficulty of finding that impact player . 1QB 2LT 3edge 4coverCB . Depending on evaluation and need QB should be out for GB hopefully there is a run on QB s and IDL the packs best hope is likely Taylor OT or Burns edge fall to 12 so the pack can add too there premium positions. Then at #30 BPA.

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