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Upgrading the Packers Fifty-Three: Part V, The Completed 2019 Green Bay Packers Draft Class-Fourth- Seventh Round College Prospects

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Upgrading the Packers Fifty-Three: Part V, The Completed 2019 Green Bay Packers Draft Class-Fourth- Seventh Round College Prospects

As this series of articles on how to upgrade the Packers Fifty-Three man roster during the 2019 offseason comes to a close, a brief recap of each of the installments is in order.  In the first installment of this series, I discussed the Packers cutting ties with underperforming players like Nick Perry and Jimmy Graham as well as restructuring the contracts of other players who are in the final year of their deals that have large salary cap implications in 2019.  

The second installment highlighted a few free agents that the Packers should consider targeting to immediately upgrade some of the deficient areas on their depth chart.  The next two installments discussed potential directions that the Packers could go in during the first, second, and third rounds of the draft to address areas of need that they did not address previously in free agency.  

The final installment of "Upgrading the Packers Fifty-Three" will focus on the final four rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft which will finally put into focus a preliminary outline of the first completed picture of how Brian Gutekunst and his staff could look to shape the roster heading into the 2019 season.

For the final four rounds of the Packers 2019 draft, I have highlighted twenty-seven prospects which would address the Packers depth chart in the areas that it has been deficient in 2018.  I think that Brian Gutekunst should look to add multiple players at these areas of need which is why my overall draft board, to this point, has leaned heavily towards positions in which the Packers need to improve.  The final four rounds of my draft board will continue to cement this philosophy as it will have an eye towards adding more impactful starters and role players to the position groups that I have suggested thus far.  

These are the fourth round draft prospects that the Packers should consider with the 107th and 111th picks in the 4th round: (*Note, my 2-3rd round big board had the Packers using their 3rd and 4th (107th) selections to trade back into the second round)

  • Andy Isabella: UMass, Wide Receiver
  • David Sills: West Virginia, Wide Receiver
  • Isaiah Price: Ohio St, Offensive Tackle
  • Zach Gentry: Michigan, Tight End
  • Dax Raymond: Utah St, Tight End
  • Darius Slayton: Auburn, Wide Receiver
  • Anthony Nelson: Iowa, Edge Defender/ Defensive Tackle
  • David Long: West Virginia, Line Backer
  • Chase Claypool: Notre Dame, Wide Receiver

Fourth Round Scenario if the Packers Do Not Trade the 107th Pick:

With the 107th pick the Packers Select:

  • Andy Isabella: UMass, Wide Receiver* If he stays under the radar

With the 111th pick the Packers Select:

  • Anthony Nelson: Iowa, Edge Defender/Defensive Tackle

*If the Packers do trade the 107th selection in a package to move back into the second round:

With the 111th pick in the NFL Draft the Packers Select:

  • Andy Isabella: UMass, Wide Receiver

Here are the college prospects that the Packers should take a close look at for their fifth-round selection (139th overall)

  • T.J Hockenson: Iowa, Tight End
  • Ryan Connelly: Wisconsin, Edge Defender
  • Carl Granderson: Wyoming, Edge Defender
  • Jalen Jelks: Oregon, Edge Defender
  • Dakota Allen: Texas Tech, Inside Linebacker

With the 139th pick the Packers select: 

  • T.J Hockenson: Iowa, Tight End

Here are the college prospects that the Packers should consider for their 171st and 180th selections (6th Round) in their 2019 Draft:

  • Alex Bars: Notre Dame, Offensive Tackle
  • Porter Gustin: USC, Edge Defender
  • Michael Jordan: Ohio St, Offensive Guard
  • Dillion Mitchell: Oregon, Wide Receiver
  • Trayveon Williams: Texas A&M, Running Back
  • D'Cota Dixon: Wisconsin, Safety
  • Sutton Smith: Northern Illinois, Edge Defender
  • Hjalte Froholdt: Arkansas, Offensive Guard

With the 171st pick the Packers select:

  • Alex Bars: Notre Dame, Offensive Tackle 

With the 180th pick the Packers select:

  • D'Cota Dixon: Wisconsin, Safety

This brings us to the Packers final selection which is the 202nd overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.  Here are some of the prospects that could be the final member of the Packers 2019 Draft Class:

  • Christian Miller: Alabama, Edge Defender
  • Bobby Evans: Oklahoma, Offensive Tackle
  • Andrew Wingard: Wyoming, Safety
  • Johnnie Dixon: Ohio St., Wide Receiver
  • Evan Worthington: Colorado, Safety

With the 202nd and final pick in their 2019 NFL Draft the Packers select:

  • Johnnie Dixon: Ohio St., Wide Receiver

The Packers 2019 Draft Class:

  • 12th Jachai Polite: Florida, Edge Defender
  • 30th Taylor Rapp: Washington, Safety
  • 44th Jaylon Ferguson: Louisiana Tech, Edge Defender
  • Trade the 75th and 107th picks for the 61st pick
  • 61st Beau Benzschawel: Wisconsin, Offensive Guard
  • 111th Andy Isabella: UMass, Wide Receiver
  • 139th T.J Hockenson: Iowa, Tight End
  • 171st Alex Bars: Notre Dame, Offensive Tackle
  • 180th D'Cota Dixon: Wisconsin, Safety
  • 202nd Johnnie Dixon: Ohio St., Wide Receiver

Areas on the Packers Depth Chart That Were Addressed Through This Mock Draft:

  • Edge Defender (2 picks)
  • Safety (2 picks)
  • Offensive Guard (1 pick)
  • Wide Receiver (2 picks)
  • Tight End (1 pick)
  • Offensive Tackle (1 pick)
  • One trade

I hope that you have enjoyed this five-part series on the ways that the Packers could look to upgrade their 2019 fifty-three man roster during the offseason.  As always, I want to hear your opinion of the final four rounds of my preliminary edition of the Packers 2019 Mock Draft version 1.0.  

-------------------

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 (58) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

NitschkeFan's picture

I guess where I disagree with your post David is with the emphasis on Defense yet again with our most valuable draft capital. I am very tired of the offense being permitted to atrophy while all our top picks go to the defensive side of the ball (yeah I know Spriggs was pretty high and a bust).

After EDGE at #12, depending on how Gute sees the value, I want two of the next three picks (30, 44, 75) on OFFENSE. Whatever combination of OL/TE/WR as Gute sees as appropriate value at that time.

As for rounds 5-7, I hope to be picking guys who can play special teams. Returners, kickers, gunners etc.

Of course all of the above may change if some needs are addressed through free agency before the draft!

Bert's picture

Totally agree Nitschke. Seems like we read (including here on CHTV) where the NFL has become an "offense first" league and we keep spending our top draft picks on the defense. Enough already. Let's get some good young talent on offense. Please.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

After watching the Pats-Chiefs game, I think the Chiefs could have won that game if they had a better defense. So, I’d like to see the Packers focus on defense and on offensive line with their top three draft picks.

jeepingmakooi's picture

Offense first means you need a defense to stay in the game and try to take away the ball... Rules shift towards the offense get better defenders to slow down that high power offense so you can stay in the games and win with turn overs vs every game being a shoot out..

porupack's picture

Nitsche, I hear you and think if pick # 30 went for TE, then that changes the whole look of emphasis re; Offense vs Defense. As with other posters, I agree that Hockenson won't be there in 2nd round.
So the top first or second TE should be considered for pick #30 (Hockenson or Fant).
I think high quality Safeties can be affordable in FA, to free up top draft slots....in this case for a reliable TE. Go get Earl Thomas from Seattle and pay that dude. Supplement with late round development safety.

Then I agree with David to go back to OLB/Edge with #44 to finally get this pass rush a decent investment and percentage chance with RD 1 and Rd 2 picks. This takes advantage of the strength of this draft with strong Dline supply.

I like David's trade up into second round for OG. Add at least another OG or OT in rd 5-6.

Then, quality RBs are available in Rds 5-6. Plus David's WR Isabella in Rd 4 would be excellent.

That is a pretty good investment in Offense; a first, second, 2 fourths, and 6th.

NitschkeFan's picture

Porupack, sounds good to me! If Earl Thomas is healthy and willing to come to the Packers that would be a nice addition. And as you wrote it frees up some of our top draft picks for use elsewhere.

Tundraboy's picture

Like Ferguson pick and Hockenson, but latter seems to be a dream that late.

Bill Atkinson's picture

No way T.J Hockenson is available in the 5th round, he is moving up fast on the draft boards.

HankScorpio's picture

Based on the opinion's I've read, it is more likely that Hockenson is gone by 30 than available #151 in the fifth. If half of what I've read is accurate, the Packers should seriously consider him at 30 or 44, if he's still available.

MarkinMadison's picture

Not sure how anyone gives this post a thumbs-down. It is flat-out the truth. Noah Fant was supposed to be the next great TE coming out of Iowa this year (and from a receiving standpoint he IS better) but Hockenson came out stole the Mackey Award right out from underneath his nose, netting more catches and more yards for the season by a healthy margin. I think maybe he came out a year earlier than he should have (just to prove he wasn't a by-product of playing with another great college TE), but for offensive schemes that want the TE to actually block, and not just be another wide receiver, he is a better prospect than Fant. His draft slot will probably be influenced heavily by his 40-time, but the lowest I've seen him ranked is as the #8 TE and #124 overall, and most draftniks have him in the top 3 for TE and project him to go in the 1st or 2nd rounds. Unless he has a bad combine I just don't see how he isn't gone by #80. He is a perfect fit for what LeFleur wants to do, and he would be worthy of a Packers selection as early as #30. I'd prefer if they got him at #44. If he is there at #76 and they don't take him I'll be questioning what they heck is going on over there.

CO_Brandon's picture

I don't think he pays to close attention to draft news.

dobber's picture

It's pre-combine. These 'expert' draft boards are all about to be thrown into an etch-a-sketch and shaken.

Any of these draft projections are more, in my mind, of a "what kinds of things COULD they do?" scenario. Enjoy it for what it is.

CO_Brandon's picture

There has honestly been. Something wrong with every article on improving the 53.

Guy's picture

Thanks for the prognostication! I like the Iowa TE Hockinson, but I think he is off the board by the end of the 3rd --no way we get him in the 5th. I'd like to know more about the Ohio State Offensive Tackle

jannes bjornson's picture

Hockenson out-performed Fant down the line, but both put up numbers for Stanley @ QB. Both guys should be gone by the end of the 2nd round.

Swisch's picture

Our first pick should be edge rusher, but our first priority should be protecting Aaron Rodgers with offensive linemen.
It may be very good if our first four picks were two edge rushers and two O-linemen -- although an outstanding safety such as Nasir Adderley, or a highly promising tight end could be a good addition in the mix at the top of our draft.
Even if we get a lineman in free agency, I'd draft three or so anyway.
Also, I'd really like to eventually get a scatback for kick returns, who could also play running back or receiver or defensive back -- a la Tarik Cohen, Tyreek Hill and Darren Sproles.
I still possibly like Trevor Davis as a returner, too, and possibly as a deep threat at wide receiver, who could also run sweeps -- if the coaches think he's up to it. However, I'd also like to try for at least one small, quick waterbug-type of player.
We need a new attitude to rock special teams that gets us field position and even points.
So, go need with the first four or five picks at edge rusher and O-line. Have some creativity thereafter, although no quarterbacks.
It seems speed is the future at just about all positions.

albert999's picture

Penny Hart
small and fast

MarkinMadison's picture

For a #12 pick all the true freaks will probably be gone, so you will probably have some flexibility to look at need a little more. All other things being equal, I'd rank the needs in tiers as:

1) Safety or RG/RT (might be able to prolong Bulaga's life a little by popping him inside to RG, so either way, this is why I love Cody Ford, he could do either.)
2) Edge or TE (Hockenson is the right fit for the Packers)
3) Slot WR or Scat Back (speed, speed, speed)

I think all of these have to be addressed in this draft. If they can get through the first three rounds and address 3/4 of my top two tiers, I'd call it a good draft.

Swisch's picture

Penny Hart seems to fit the part of scatback nicely.
It's fun to contrast his size with that of Cody Ford -- a difference of some 8 inches and 160 pounds.
Thinking about it, this draft will be fun to see how the Packers play their picks. It's a poker game of sorts estimating who is going to be available at certain points in the draft, and then balancing our needs versus best player available.
Even with offensive line as top priority, I guess it could be good to wait for the later rounds for one or two of them -- although it would be nice if there is an elite talent we could get earlier. Is Cody Ford a great mixture of size and speed and quickness and agility?
My priorities: (1) O-line; (2) edge rusher; (3) tight end; (4) free safety -- but the order of drafting these positions could vary widely and still all make for excellent drafts.
Plus, any free agent signings could make a significant difference in our draft strategy.
I guess all of this is what makes the draft so fun.
P.S. Another factor is evaluating the players we already have. I can't help but wonder if Josh Jackson may be that ball-hawking free safety we want, but it would be hard to pass up on a Nasir Adderley (who also may be great at returning kicks). It seems, at least for the Packers, there can never be enough defensive backs.

MarkinMadison's picture

If he can't quit grabbing then I think the change would do him good. He just may lack the top-end speed to feel safe running the sideline with his back turned to the ball at this level.

Madfan's picture

I like the pick of Hockenson since he seems to fit very well with the type of offense that I anticipate LaFleur wants to install. But, so many mock drafts have him going anywhere from 12 to GB to the second round. I'd like the know what would cause him to be available in the 4th or 5th rounds?

Isabella seems to be getting a lot of attention at the Senior Bowl practices, due to his route running and instant acceleration. I could see him adding quickness to the GBs WR room, but he surely would not have fit with MM's desires for WRs but I'll have to wait to see how he would fit with LaFleur's vision.

Even though I'm a Badger fan, I don't see value in Dixon at safety. Too small, too slow.

Round 1, pick 12 -- trade down and with traded pick Hockenson. The offense needs a production tight end that can block.

Round 1, pick 30 -- trade up with compensation for pick 12 trade and take Polite. Polite will likely drop similar to Landry.

Round 2, OL -- I'd consider Dieter, but there are others. Benzschawel doesn't seem to me to have the quick feet to pass block and fit into an outside zone scheme.

Round 3, S -- looking for names

I need to learn about others, but somewhere I'd select a pass catching fullback in Day 3.

I'm going to assume GB picks up an OLB and a S in free agency.

PAPackerbacker's picture

I'm sure the Packers latest hire from the Ravens, Milt Hendrickson, will have be an integral part of the drafting process in Green Bay now. He did well as a scout for the Ravens. I'm hoping he can bring that same skill set to the Packers and get them on the right track to success again. Time will tell.

Lare's picture

Both LaFleur and Hackett ran run-heavy schemes last year. I look for Gutekunst to address that with emphasis on the OL, blocking TE's and durable running backs in the draft and free agency.

An effective running game keeps Rodgers playing until he's in his 40s.

Holecrap's picture

Hope your wrong. Pass first run third.

Holecrap's picture

Hope your wrong. Pass first run third.

The TKstinator's picture

“your wrong” is exactly that.

dobber's picture

"Both LaFleur and Hackett ran run-heavy schemes..."

Yes, but to me that showed that they were using the pieces they had. They didn't have an ARod to work with...not in Bortles (who finally got benched) and Mariotta. The Titans and Jags aren't teams that were configured to win shootouts.

I think we'll see the Packers select/sign the kinds of players you talk about but more out of need (a run-down OL, weak/ineffective TE group, lead RB who can't stay on the field). There was a nice piece the other day (I can't remember where) talking about the trend in RBs who are fast to the edge: Gurly, Brieda, and others. I wouldn't be surprised if they pick a back in the draft if they go for a burner.

CO_Brandon's picture

Hockenson is being discussed as a top 15 pick and Isabella hasn't been under the radar in months.

Holecrap's picture

If your going to improve this team, get rid of the dead wood, put together a two year plan to replace and rebuild with skill players. If the plan is to become a running team, may as well bring back Mike. That plan failed.

Gort's picture

MM had a plan to run the ball?
Hmmmm, never saw that coming.

stockholder's picture

You have a good draft. 6 weeks ago. What may surprise you is this:
The easiest position on offense may be the receiver. DEs are easy too . Tough:
Linebacker: 3.5. ...
Lineman: 3. ...
Running Back: 3. .
Within a particular game, wide receivers, defensive backs and offensive linemen are the positions most likely to receive medical attention on the field or even get carted off. (Set At DBs! ) Big mistake Not filling RG last year. It also sheds light on what happened to the OL last year. So I'm changing some of your 4th rounders to OL and later. I'm staying pat on picks late. So- of the guys you have; 108, Beau Benzschawel is dropping! 112, Prince RT 140. TT would never have taken an injured player. Yet things are changing. Bars played RG and is the pick here. Now RBs #172 and up. Why? Injuries, position toughness. So T. Williams or a RB/KR. Again small school guys can play here. Safety in mind. Dixion NO. Rapp No. He's a good player, but will have trouble. We take Nasir Adderley instead. @30. Ferguson is good. But many are saying," he's a 3rd down trick only now. " 3rd rd. @76 2nd Rd @44= TE here. Fant. If the packers don't take a TE here it will be a mistake. Their all coming out this year. Last @12 I think trade down for Polite. But Simmons is the better pick. (Injuries! ) And Dt control the trench. Players mentioned. 12 Polite 30 Adderley, /Not Rapp 44 Fant? 76 Ferguson, 108 Beau Ben 112 Prince 140 Bars 172 T williams.

CheesyTex's picture

"TT would never have taken an injured player". As I recall, TT used a top pick for Will Harrell.

stockholder's picture

NoBody knew he had a bad back.

MarkinMadison's picture

Everybody knew Justin Herrell had a bad back. That is why everybody was shocked by the pick.

stockholder's picture

He was cleared. But it was in his past.

MarkinMadison's picture

I think you're right. There were a number of injury concerns with him, which definitely made some people view it as a reach pick, but people weren't specifically talking about his back. My bad.

"Grade: C- The Packers didn't reach for need but still filled needs with their top-two picks. Both will start and I believe both will impress. ...Barbre and Rouse could tip this grade way up, but if Harrell can't stay healthy it's a huge setback."

Gort's picture

IMHO, it is an exercise in futility to try to put names with draft positions, especially in the 4th through 7th rounds. I reviewed the summary of draft choices and my conclusion is that there is not enough emphasis on big guys. The teams that made it deep into the playoffs all have strong O-lines. Games are won in the trenches and that is where the 2019 draft needs to go.

Community Guy's picture

before Senior Bowl and before Combine, i am not sure it makes sense to have a big board.. there are so many variables and evaluations to make. for sure, it makes no sense to do anything but a very rudimentary mock draft.. simply to get a sense of who, and where, teams might draft with their initial picks.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I really like how this post talks about options for every pick.

albert999's picture

This kid in the 2nd round
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina: He's stacked two really good days together. He probably had the catch of the day on Wednesday on a double move -- it was a back-shoulder throw and he adjusted for it to make a really athletic catch. He reminds me a lot of the Panthers' D.J. Moore, who was selected 24th overall last year. Samuel might not go in the first round like Moore did, but I think he's a second-round pick who'll be a really good asset with his ability to run routes, catch the ball and also run the ball. -- Daniel Jeremiah

Also Penny Hart....small fast slot receiver like Edelman

Handsback's picture

Samuel would be great as a slot receiver. I don't think he slides to the third round so he would have to be taken maybe earlier then he's slotted.
Watch the 6th round for a TE/Hback in Alex Beck from UT. He played a lot as a FB but in reality he's like 6-3 250# catches the ball and hits the crap out of people. Exactly a pick the Pack needs. Versatile guy out of the backfield that can line up as a TE....very good safety valve receiver.

albert999's picture

Haven’t heard of Alex Beck?
I’ll check out some video
Thanks

albert999's picture

Is it Andrew Beck?

Hugo Teles's picture

In position 12, ed oliver, if he fall, was perfect. in position 30 Montez Swet or Jachai polite was the ideal. on the 2nd round my choice was Tyler Rapp Safety. 3 and 4 round round an offensive line, TE, WR. And 6 and 7 round defense again Linebacker and other edge a SSafety

Hugo Teles's picture

In position 12, ed oliver, if he fall, was perfect. in position 30 Montez Swet or Jachai polite was the ideal. on the 2nd round my choice was Tyler Rapp Safety. 3 and 4 round round an offensive line, TE, WR. And 6 and 7 round defense again Linebacker and other edge a SSafety

RCPackerFan's picture

One player on day 3 that I would really target is Andrew Van Ginkel from Wisconsin.

I think he is one of those guys who is going to turn it on on the next level. I see him as an ascending type of player if put in the right scheme. Which GB plays a very similar scheme to what UW plays.

He has really good pass rushing ability, has speed and can drop into coverage.
He is a guy that I would love to see develop in GB.

Johnblood27's picture

UDFA

RCPackerFan's picture

My guess is he will be a 5-7th round draft pick.

A lot will depend on how he performs testing.

I would definitely use one of our current 6th round picks on him.

dobber's picture

I think he could get drafted...a GM or scout (and I can't remember who) once said that the only difference between a 6th/7th round pick and a UDFA is preference. I think he's limited, though. He's a try-hard guy, who's lean and doesn't look like he has the frame to add mass, which means he'll have to play in space. He had trouble getting off blocks and was nicked up a lot (although he didn't miss a lot of games). I don't think he's going to test well enough to overcome that.

albert999's picture

I think this is a really good call for AGV!!!

albert999's picture

Sorry AVG

porupack's picture

David, loved your work and how you presented the cadre of options at each round, and then your pick.

I fully agree with your strategy to downplay pure BPA and target BPA around the 3-4 top needs of the team. Kind of hybrid...but pragmatic.

I think a FA is easier to fill a void at Safety position than at other positions of need, and not terrible costly relative to others.
FA at TE nor OL for example hasn't worked out the last few years.
Therefore, my question to you: unless your pick #30 Taylor Rapp is a highly probable difference maker that makes the whole back end significantly better and at same time to be an anchor for years to come, I suggest that pick #30 goes to get TE Hockenson, or another Edge/OLB. Target safety in free agency like Earl Thomas. Pay that man.

Then pick #139 can target OT Isaiah Price or OG Michael Jordan

Then keep Alexl Bars OT or Traveoyn Williams RB for
6th round.
(yeah....that could be 3 Oline picks in keeping with Gutekunst 2018 where he drafted 3 WRs and 2 CBs to fix a nagging deficiency.

Swisch's picture

Yep, let's corral as many o-linemen as possible.
What do people think about Landon Collins vs. Earl Thomas?

fthisJack's picture

I say stick to your board. draft BPA. we need good football players not reaching for a guy because of need. look how the Randall/ Rollins picks turned out. if OL is number one on your board at 12 ...take him. if a LB is at the top at 30 grab him. if they are close then its either/or. do this through at least the first 5 rounds and get the best football players you can get regardless of position.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

The best all around TE TJ Hockenson going at the #139 pick? Please.

Stychomatic's picture

Defense primarily on individuals putting consistent and constant pressure on the quarterback, TE and depth along the OL line are key in this draft. On a side note Hockenson from Iowa will never make it to the 5th round. Just my thoughts in overview. Enjoyed much of your analysis, thanks!

MikeS's picture

Polite at !2; Fant at 30; OG at 44. Landon Collins in FA. Trade 3rd rd and 4th(107) to get back into the 2nd round for a good tackle. Andy Isabella at #111(2nd Pick)

stockholder's picture

The Detroit lions have the same needs. Edge ,Te. They pick #43. TE for sure ahead of the packers. The smart thing is to trade up from #44.

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