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Packers Land First-Round WR in Latest CBS Mock Draft

Packers Land First-Round WR in Latest CBS Mock Draft

-- It's been just over a month since the Green Bay Packers hired a new general manager in Brian Gutekunst. It's fair to say that nobody, possibly even some members of his own personnel staff, don't know what route he'll take in April's draft.

All the analysts and onlookers can do is conjure up some mock drafts and hope for the best result: whatever is on their wish list. Whether that be an edge rusher, a cornerback, an offensive tackle. All options are on the tables because the Packers, unfortunately, have a lot of needs.

One of them may or may not be the wide receiver position, which faced a steep decline in production with quarterback Brett Hundley at the helm rather than Aaron Rodgers, who went down with a broken collarbone in week 6, returned over two months later, then was moved back to injured reserve for the final two games of the season once the Packers were eliminated from playoff contention.

Davante Adams just received a massive contract extension before he could even sniff the open market, Jordy Nelson isn't getting any younger -- though, his worth would dramatically increase with Rodgers back at the controls -- and Randall Cobb is essentially one of the league's top slot receivers.

Needless to say, the Packers may need another threat on the perimeter, and with Nelson turning 33 in May and venturing further into the back end of his career, that position may be in more drastic need of a restocking than others.

That's why Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com mocked a first-round receiver to the Packers in his latest mock draft.

He sent Oklahoma State's James Washington to Green Bay at 14th overall, citing his similarities to Greg Jennings in terms of his playing style.

"Washington plays with shades of Greg Jennings," Trapasso wrote. "A scary deep threat who can also put his cleat in the ground and abruptly create separation on comebacks and in-breaking routes as a chain-mover."

Washington played four collegiate seasons for the Cowboys, surpassing 1,000 yards receiving in each of his final three. He also scored 33 touchdowns through the course of his final three years at the school and was named the Offensive MVP of the 2016 Alamo Bowl. He was a unanimous All-American and Biletnikoff Award winner in 2017, dubbed as the nation's top wide receiver.

At 6-0, 205 pounds, it's easy to see the comparisons to Jennings in terms of his size, despite Washington holding a slight advantage. However, his play on the field shows a striking resemblance to Jennings' sharp-cutting style as well.

The Packers haven't drafted a wide receiver in the first round since taking Javon Walker with their 20th overall pick in 2002. Under general manager Ted Thompson, they've had heaps of success targeting second-round receivers. In 2006, Jennings was taken at 52nd overall, Nelson was taken 36th overall in 2008, Cobb 64th overall in 2011 and Adams 53rd in 2014. 

Terrence Murphy, a second-round (58th overall) pick in 2005, also had the potential to be an intriguing prospect out of college before suffering an unfortunate neck injury four games into his NFL career.

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (58) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bure9620's picture

Do not see Washington as first round material. He lacks route running ability which the Packers cherish in WR. Do not see him as a 1st round talent at all for any team, I see him mid 2nd or later. Ridley imo is the only pure 1st round talent.

CheesyTex's picture

And this is a deep draft for WR.

And needs are greater at other positions.

And Washington will not be best player available at 14.

Colin_C's picture

Yep, how he get's his separation won't work at this level consistently. He may end up being decent, but it's going to take a few years of development. No earlier than the 3rd round for me.

Ridley on the other hand is the real deal. I see him as the perfect compliment to Adams. Legit deep ball threat. Apparently when the Bama defense would get too cocky in practice, the offensive coordinate would send Ridley on a fly, and he beat them almost every time.

Turophile's picture

Agree with the above posters that Ridley looks the best WR at the moment. He wont get out of the first round and could well be the first receiver taken. While i don't think that is a bad pick, there is one position group that has a greater need for the top pick.

For the Packers, I think pass rusher ranks above WR, when it comes to spending your most valuable pick. More than one of WRs Pettis, Ateman, Gallup, Washington, Sutton, Cain, Kirk, should be there at the Packers second pick. I quite like WR Michael Gallup, who was somewhat neglected, going to a smaller college after being injured in his senior high school year. He adds much needed speed to the Packers receivers and it isn't build-up speed, it's fast out of the blocks. He has ceramic disc brakes as well, when he needs to stop. He thrives on back shoulder throws (which Rodgers should love). He is a player on the rise, in terms of improving his game.

The first round is reserved for one of Edmunds, Davenport, Landry, Key, Okoronkwo, whichever the Packers like best (they all have issues of one sort or another, as most players do). Okoronkwo might be there in round 2, but the others could all be gone by then - that is how much in demand good pass rushers are.

The Packers cannot afford to neglect pass rusher until the last moment this year (like they waited before getting Biegel in the fourth round, last year).

A one-two punch of (for example) Landry and Gallup, could be great additions to get the Packers back to serious SB contention.

dobber's picture

"The first round is reserved for one of Edmunds, Davenport, Landry, Key, Okoronkwo, whichever the Packers like best (they all have issues of one sort or another, as most players do). Okoronkwo might be there in round 2, but the others could all be gone by then - that is how much in demand good pass rushers are."

Turo- the thing that you point out in this paragraph that really bugs me is the notion that the Packers might take, at #14, a player you're pointing to as potentially being available in round 2. Ugh.

Turophile's picture

That is because of the lack of consensus where these guys fit. I've seen Okoronkwo at about 8th overall. I've also seen him as a 3rd rounder (82nd pick).

The others also have a big variance. I've seen Landry listed at 10th or 11th (NFL Draft Days and Drafttek). I've also seen him at 39 and 43 (Dan Jeremiah and Walters). Davenport was 9th (Drafttek) and 35th (DraftWire and Walter's). It's all about how Gutekunst and his team see things.

dobber's picture

Absolutely. This is the issue with mocks...

Since '61's picture

Mock draft will probably change 8-10 times between now and April. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

At least.

Rossonero's picture

If Gutekunst takes a WR in round 1, then he'll need to submit to a drug test.

Turophile's picture

WR is not an awful pick (depending on who is picked) in round 1. I don't think it is the optimum position to pick (that is pass rusher), but it IS one of the BIG 4 positions of need (OLB, WR, CB, TE).

There are other needs as well, but they can be addressed later, with the exception of OT. If the Packers decide they must have a future starter there and they think Spriggs will never be that guy, then a 2nd or 3rd pick could be used there. I think they hold off on an early pick there, this year, but they may think otherwise.

As always, if a higher tier player (than the alternatives) drops to the Packers in any of those first three rounds, that can impact the positions drafted. Draft day trades can also affect who is taken, but they are impossible to predict.

dobber's picture

I'd argue that drug test would need to be 2-3 years down the road. Results will tell the story on the draft...and in whole, not just part and parcel.

worztik's picture

DOB... that goes to us being able to take a player who’ll make an immediate contribution. I feel that will have to be a CB or possibly a rush guy that can make a splash on day one!!! Just bein’ truthful...

Turophile's picture

Too short-term in your thinking Worztik. What IS important is the drafted players CAREER, not his rookie year.

Of course, it's nice if they do make a splash as a rookie, just don't count on it, and remember, DT Kenny Clark didn't look that special in his rookie year, until the last 1-2 games - now he looks awesome. Jordy took off in year 3 ........etc etc.

Madfan's picture

Wow! Frankly, I don't see it.

I won't take a 5' 10" slot receiver in the first round (see Senior Bowl for height) especially when there are edge rushers available. He is a good player, but there are others that could provide greater value and return, such as Edmunds, Davenport or Landry.

That mock is really a strange one top to bottom. Nelson drops to 11, James to 18 and Edmunds not even in the first round. Crosby may be an interesting lineman, but first round? I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Washington is 5' 11" flat. I don't want him at #14, but facts is facts.

http://draftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=132273&draftyear=2018&g...

John Kirk's picture

Would be thrilled with a WR at 14.

It's great to target guys in Round 2 but those are the guys who usually can't run. The speed guys from bigger schools with more polished talent or big production go in Round 1.

Drafting Davante in Round 2 was upsetting because he's the typical WCO WR we take. No diversification to our attack. Where's the speed element?

One thing to consider, if we took Montgomery in Round 3 after what we already had, why wouldn't we add someone this year considering what we have now? I mean a very high pick. Hard for me to believe they added 88 if they felt Adams was a star in the making with Cobb and Nelson already here.

Let's get a guy who has the tools and speed...for once. Harder to get it if you're not drafting 1st round WRs.

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

What a bad take. Rd1 WRs have the highest bust rate, of any position, over the last 5 years.

John Kirk's picture

QBs bust at an incredibly high rate. Are you disappointed with how Aaron turned out?

Upset with how Lofton and Sharpe turned out, too?

You want another defensive player bust just because he plays defense and we need it?

ALL positions have a high bust rate. Take the best player. If that's Ridley, I'd be ecstatic.

CAG123's picture

Come on Lofton and Sharpe as examples? When he clearly said in the LAST 5 years. Taking a WR in the 1st round we just be silly Rodgers had these same receivers last year and lead the league in TDs so it clearly doesn’t matter who they put out there. The Packers need help at edge rusher and that’s what they should target in the first. Sammy Watkins, OBJ, Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans were all taken before Adams and despite putting up some good numbers have a combined 4 playoff appearances and two of them aren’t even with the team that drafted them. So unless you’re saying Ridley can push the Packers into the SB it would just be a silly flashy pick.

John Kirk's picture

What defensive player drafted at 14 is going to "push the Packers into the SB"? Who?

I'm baffled by a person who says WR's have the highest bust rate so don't take one in Round 1. I'll take Mike Evans or OBJ or Brandin Cooks in Green Bay. Watkins and Benjamin, too.

Your criteria for a 1st rounder for the Packers is, let me get this straight...whether they can push the Packers to the SB? How's Ha Ha Clinton Dix doing with that? Damarious Randall? Datone Jones? Nick Perry? Kenny Clark get us over the top?

We've drafted a lot of garbage defense over the last 13 years in Round 1 that didn't help us win the SB. Clay and BJ helped but our 1st round QB helped more and FA Woodson, too.

I could just as easily go through the draft and do the exact same for EVERY position. The last 5 years worth of WR's have NOTHING to do with the Packers singular pick at 14. I would love a 1st round WR. The 3 I recall, Lofton, Sharpe and Javon Walker were all incredibly gifted. Much better than anything we have now. I have to wonder what you thought of New England winning the SB and going out and getting Brandin Cooks? The Patriots D was 25th when they won the SB two years ago and they got a stud WR in trade. How foolish. i guess it was a terrible move because that former 1st rounder didn't lead them to a SB championship even though he was hurt?

You take the best player to make your team in total as good as strong as possible. i'd LOVE Sony Michel in a trade down because I think he's a special player. I don't care that we have Jones whom I love there. Michel is a game changer. Tell me all the picks on D you think will reasonably be there on D who will propel us to the SB next year? Tell me who is a bigger game changer than Calvin Ridley at 14 on the defensive side? I'd rather trade up for Quenton Nelson than take another "solid" defender like Ha Ha at 14. Nelson may be the best player in this draft.

Can I ask what good drafting all these 1st rounders on D has done for our defense? Need picking leads to reach picking and those kill you. I truly hope Gutekunst has his Top 14 laid out on his board when it's time and picks the highest rated of those 14 when it's our turn no matter who that is. If that's Baker Mayfield...great. If that's Ridley...great. If that's Josh Jackson...great. Just don't go in drafting for need.

Off topic...how is that war room going to look this year? Will Ted be in it? There'll be no Eliot. Has Russ been in there before? I don't recall as i was never looking for him. Gutekunst has never done it and doesn't have Eliot to help him as those two sat side by side in past drafts. Will MM be in there? Who is the guy banging the phones for trade up/trade down scenarios?

fthisJack's picture

maybe a Derwin James or Roquan Smith could improve the D enough to get them to the SB along with FA and other draftees. i take the best player available regardless of position!

Dontworrygopackers's picture

derwin james is special

flackcatcher's picture

That is the big X this year. Who is in the draft room, and who gets the final say. While I believe it's Gutekunst who will make the call, how many cooks will be in his ear before he does. Besides, we do not even know what the Packers think their needs are in this years draft. We will know soon enough when they start bringing players in for predraft evals.

dobber's picture

In the past the Packers have used many of their predraft visits for evaluating fringe prospects and guys who could be signees as UDFAs. Here's the list from 2017...not exactly a bunch of household names.

https://www.acmepackingcompany.com/nfl-draft-2017-packers/2017/3/30/1511...

Might change under Gutekunst, but we'll see.

CAG123's picture

Where in my statement did I even imply that a defensive player would push the Packers to the SB? You’re the one making the case that the Packers should draft Ridley but for what purpose? Rodgers doesn’t need a first round receiver to succeed and never has and that’s actually the point I was making. Rodgers has had two MVP seasons and won a SB with guys drafted in the second round or later. So what exactly would be the point of taking a guy like Ridley? The Packers have had top flight offenses every year except 2017 and 2015 and still haven’t been back to the big game so it’s clearly the def that needs to start pulling its weight. So unless a guy like Ridley can come in and help Rodgers mask the deficiencies of the defense and push the Packers to the SB it would be a silly pick.

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

I want a DEF player because there isn't a WR worthy of pick #14. You clearly don't understand the value in this draft. So because Teddy stunk at drafting DEF in the 1st td, that means we shouldn't take BPA if he plays on DEF? There are at least 6-7 DEF players that are more valuable than any WR in this draft.
You're Lofton/Sharpe argument is a joke. You know who else is/was good at WR - Jennings, Jordy, Cobb, Davante. You know what they have in common?
The AR argument is also dumb. AR was the definition of BPA. Listen, if Quenton Nelson or Saquon Barkley somehow drop to #14, GB should sprint to the podium. I don't care if the pick is DEF or OFF. Apparently you do though.

John Kirk's picture

I clearly don't understand the value in this draft...but you do? This draft is incredibly weak on top end talent. Bad year for us to be picking this high. It doesn't feel much different than the mid to high 20's to me, but I clearly don't understand.

You misunderstand me. I want the BPA...I believe Ridley is more worthy of 14 than a guy like Josh Jackson.

What I'm reacting to, somewhat, is the crowd that is mindlessly saying draft defense...we need defense, just because our defense is terrible. That isn't how you draft to be successful. Ted drafted defense, defense, defense. Look at our defense. What does it have to show for all of it's high picks? It's horrific. Why? Look back at our drafts the last several years. Isn't it just manna from heaven that the exact position we needed just so happened to be what was there for us when we picked? Just the way it worked out as Ted would say? No. He was need drafting. NEED drafting year after year has made this D what it is...not very good. Ted went defense 9 times out of 13 with his top selection and the last 6 straight.

Are you sure you understand this draft? Even with all these QB's potentially going in front of us, that still doesn't guarantee a stud "can't miss" type defensive player at 14 because there really isn't one outside of the highly touted Chubb and Fitzpatrick and we're not getting either one.

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

It's actually a great year to be picking at #14, if GB can land Edmunds, Smith, Ward, or James in Rd1. Rd2 sets up perfectly for GB to land one of the top players at WR or TE.

If you think Ridley is worth #14, then you clearly don't understand the value in this draft, & you need to watch more tape. Go do your homework & come with a better take next time.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Don’t be safe and boring like TT.
We wanted change. Give Aaron Rodgers first round WR once in his playing career, once. He is 34.
WR would be a great pick.

dobber's picture

"Don’t be safe and boring like TT."

Be smart and have a plan. Sometimes that can look like safe and boring.

The TKstinator's picture

Will he be the second coming of James Lofton?

Handsback's picture

Think Sterling Sharpe...

Tundraboy's picture

I'm all for that. Greatest Packer WR, after Hutson of course.

The TKstinator's picture

Tall with speed; prototypical X receiver.

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

What a horrible mock draft. Matt Miller & Daniel Jeremiah are the guys you want to follow. Washington MIGHT be a top 5 WR in this draft (Ridley, Kirk, Moore, Sutton), but this draft is deep at WR & TE, & the Packers will be in the perfect position to get a game changer on DEF at #14. All Packers fans should be praying that we can land one of these 4 guys (in order)-

1) Tremaine Edmunds
2) Roquan Smith
3) Denzel Ward
4) Derwin James

Other names to consider -
Josh Jackson, Vita Vea, Rashaan Evans, Harold Landry, Maurice Hurst

Big Moe's picture

Agreed, I'm hoping for one of those guys at 14, and then trading up from round 2, into the back end of round 1 and getting a 2nd D stud. We have the draft picks to make a move, and this is a year to move up early, but hey I'll cheer for whomever they get, while praying they don't suck!

The TKstinator's picture

“while praying they don’t suck” : words to live by!

Nick Perry's picture

Edwards please!

Turophile's picture

Who is Edwards ?

The TKstinator's picture

Tremaine Edmunds’s “gentleman’s name”, in the spirit of Tony Plush.

stockholder's picture

From what I've seen on SBs mock. None of these guys make it to #14. Your other names to consider, are what the packers look to be ending up. Except Vita. Vita is gone at 13. And I'll bet Ward goes before James.

dobber's picture

If as many as 4 QBs go ahead of the Packers, I'd feel pretty good about the chances of one of those guys slipping.

Don't put your trust in mocks.

worztik's picture

Al... you almost make TOO MUCH SENSE... I love your “4”!!! Just agreein’....

worztik's picture

But flip the order!!!

mrtundra's picture

We need to pick the best player left on the board at #14, no matter what position he plays. That pick is bound to fill a need and should be an impact player that high in the draft. That 14th pick has to be reserved for the best player left on the board.

Dzehren's picture

History of TT GM tree- first year GM’s top 3 picks:
Schneider Russell Okung OT, Earl Thomas S, Golden Tate
Dorsey Eric Fisher OT, Travis Kelce TE, Knile Davis
McKenzie Tony Bergstromm OT, DJ Hayden CB, Menelik Watson OT, Sio Moore LB
Wonder if Gute will follow suite with OT?

worztik's picture

Ya just never know... do we????

Dzehren's picture

Exactly. Gute could draft any position other than RB with all the holes on this roster...

DD's picture

If Ridley is available I say yes. If not, edge rusher or ILB.

DD's picture

If Ridley is available I say yes. If not, edge rusher or ILB.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

We need to see about free agency first.
Personally I'd still like to go with a pass rusher with the 14th pick and a wide receiver with the second pick or tight end, however we do get 2 third-round picks so I guess a tight end in the third round would be okay.

Again this all depends on what we do in free agency I still wouldn't mind having Trey Burton tight end of The Eagles

Turophile's picture

People need to dial down an expectation that any draft picks can make a huge difference this year.

It is up to the second and third year players to make a jump. Rookie players need time to get up to full speed - they can do without unrealistic expectations.

EdsLaces's picture

D.....J....Moore.....

Ferrari Driver's picture

The Packers haven't been drafting in the first half of round one in quite a while.

We have plenty of needs with edge rusher being among the greatest. I simply hope the GM settles on the best player available in his estimation. We simply need to add "difference makers" and unless a team gets lucky the chance of getting one is significantly better in the first half of round one than in any other place in the draft.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

I'm still predicting (and HOPING!) that the Packers use #14 on Leighton VanderEsch. I really think he's going to be the next Clay Matthews.
I love Washington as a WR, though I see him as more similar to Sterling Sharpe than Greg Jennings. This year there are quite a few 5'11" RB-like WRs who need refinement of their route running, but I expect several of them to develop into top-notch pros. It's hard for me to predict which ones will "get it" as rookies; I'm hoping the Packers' scouts are better at that!

PatrickGB's picture

I agree with many of the posters here that he looks better at being picked later. He looks to be good but I want a pass rusher at 14 and unless some idiot GM makes a dumb offer to GB to move up in the draft (Like a first and high second and maybe more) I say, we stay where we are.

jww061356's picture

Ridley only if, Fitzpatrick, Ward, Edmunds, James and Landry are gone And please, no Davenport....I am sick to death of the "high upside" guys.

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