Green Bay Packers Rumors & News

PFR’s 2017 Live NFL Mock Draft

The 2017 NFL Draft begins on Thursday night, and Pro Football Rumors is back with its second mock draft of the year. While our initial mock attempted to project what will happen in Round 1, we’ve taken a different approach for mock draft 2.0.

PFR editor Zach Links and I conducted this live mock draft on Tuesday morning, rotating picks and breaking down what we would do were we in charge of these selections. We posted each pick on Twitter, followed by a short explanation of our thought process on this page.

Here’s the complete mock:

1. Cleveland Browns (Zach) – Myles Garrett, LB, Texas A&M

I suspect this is the easiest pick either one of us will make all day. Garrett is the best pure talent in this year’s draft and the Browns would be foolish to go in any other direction at the top of the draft.

2. San Francisco 49ers (Dallas) – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Reports that the 49ers are considering a quarterback with the second overall selection stand out as a potential smokescreen, and instead San Francisco uses the No. 2 pick to bolster its defense. Hooker, who recently earned a full medical clearance following combine rechecks, has been commonly linked to the Chargers as a perfect fit for Los Angeles defensive coordinator Gus Bradley‘s scheme. But the 49ers are running the same defensive look as the Chargers under new DC Robert Saleh, and Hooker would give the team a centerfielder with the upside of an Earl Thomas. San Francisco’s plan to convert nickel cornerback Jimmie Ward to safety won’t stop it from adding Hooker, who is possibly the draft’s No. 2 overall prospect.

3. Chicago Bears (Zach) – Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford 

Dallas’ bold pick left my Bears with a golden opportunity. The Bears could go safety or cornerback in this scenario, but the talent of Thomas is too good to pass up. Thomas can be used on both the inside and outside of the Bears’ defensive line and I see him as one of the safest talents on the board.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Dallas) – Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

No, we didn’t forget the Jaguars used a top-five pick on Jalen Ramsey in 2016 and then handed a $67.5MM contract to A.J. Bouye in free agency last month. But one of Ramsey’s key selling points last year was his versatility: while he’s a shutdown corner at his best, Ramsey can man the slot, cover tight ends, and dabble at safety. As such, adding Conley doesn’t mean Jacksonville is facing cornerback overload, especially given that NFL clubs are in the nickel more than two-thirds of the time. Conley is viewed as a safer prospect than his Ohio State teammate Marshon Lattimore, and he’d give the Jaguars a Broncos-like secondary.

5. Tennessee Titans (Zach) – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

The Titans, arguably, get the best cornerback available in the draft even though they are the second team to address the position. No, we don’t have a ton of film to go on for Lattimore, but his combine numbers indicate that he could be a megastar. Few teams in the NFL would have a young cornerback duo like the Titans if they can pair Logan Ryan with Lattimore.Mitch Trubisky Instagram

6. Cleveland Browns (projected trade with Jets) (Dallas) – Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

In need of a franchise quarterback, the Browns send the No. 12 and No. 52 pick to the Jets in exchange for No. 6 with the intention of drafting Trubisky. It’s a slight overpay for Cleveland (at least, based on Chase Stuart of Football Perspective‘s draft value chart, which is likely what the Browns front offices uses), but it does the deal anyway to land a long-term option under center. Given that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is reportedly pressing the club to select a quarterback early — and the fact the Cleveland may still be considering Trubisky with the first overall selection — landing the UNC signal-caller at No. 5 for the cost of a mid-second-round pick is a move the Browns can’t pass up.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (Zach) – Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

In this scenario, it seems like Allen’s subpar workouts have led to a bit of a drop. His size (6’3″) is a bit of a concern, but he has the ability to be an effective defensive end while spending some time on the inside as well. Allen would look great lining up on the opposite end of Joey Bosa.

8. Carolina Panthers (Dallas) – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Sitting at pick No. 8, the Panthers certainly have options. General manager Dave Gettleman & Co. could go after a running back like Leonard Fournette or Christian McCaffrey, bring in a young edge rusher to play alongside veterans like Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers, or even reach for an offensive tackle given Michael Oher‘s health questions. With Ted Ginn Jr. and Corey Brown having defected via free agency, the Panthers need another wideout to pair with Kelvin Benjamin. Enter Davis, who topped 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Zach) – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Foster’s stock, by all accounts, is slipping after he turned in a diluted urine sample and got into an argument with a hospital worker at the combine. However, with other teams in the market for an inside linebacker (like the Jets at No. 12, for example), it would be somewhat risky to trade down into the teens and expect Foster to still be there. The Bengals have been willing to overlook character concerns in the past, so I see no reason why they can’t do the same here and land the Alabama star.

10. Buffalo Bills (Dallas) – Jamal Adams, S, LSU

While the Bills gave Jordan Poyer a four-year deal with $6MM in guarantees earlier this offseason, I’m still not convinced Buffalo views him as a definite starter. Those questions come to the forefront with Adams still on the board, and the Bills don’t hesitate to take the LSU defensive back. With ex-Packer Micah Hyde also in the fold, Buffalo can field one of the more diverse and flexible safety tandems in the league. Adams is viewed as a leader in the locker room, and has been favorably compared to former Cowboys All Pro Darren Woodson by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.

Read more

Packers Showing Interest In Joe Mixon

  • Joe Mixon has garnered the most interest from the Bengals, Vikings, Packers, and Jaguars, King hears. King personally wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bengals take the controversial running back with the No. 41 overall pick given the team’s past willingness to gamble on a checkered history.

Ted Thompson’s Frugal Approach Hurting Packers?

Packers GM Ted Thompson operates about as conservatively as any general manager in the league, and it is difficult to argue with the results, as Green Bay has qualified for the playoffs eight years in a row and captured a Super Bowl title in the 2010 season. But Thompson has recently come under fire for his recent poor draft record, and his decision to let T.J. Lang walk in free agency this offseason may have widened the chasm between the front office and the players/coaching staff.

Ted Thompson

As Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel writes, Packers’ coaches and players were “incensed” by Lang’s departure, and their anger might not stem solely from the fact that they lost a valuable member of the club. McGinn writes that Green Bay’s front office has a growing reputation in the league for being cheap, which has hurt the Packers’ image within the locker room and in the court of public opinion.

The Packers consistently roll over a significant amount of cap room from one year to the next, and today they sit over $22MM under the cap, which will in all likelihood allow them to carry over a great deal of money to the 2018 cap as well. As McGinn observes, Thompson is overly concerned that the NFL’s revenue-sharing system regarding network television and other endeavors might one day end, perhaps in the not-too-distant future. As such, Thompson believes that by saving money “for a rainy day,” he is protecting the franchise from a potential financial nightmare.

But even if last year’s ratings decline were a harbinger of things to come, and even if the league is forced to make dramatic changes in the way it does business, an immensely popular club like the Packers would have time to adjust and to preserve its financial well-being. So when Thompson fails to re-sign players like Lang — which, in a vacuum, is certainly a defensible decision — or when he fails to dip his toes into the deep end of the free agent pool from time to time, he opens himself up to criticism. Last year’s Josh Sitton debacle, when combined with Lang’s departure, has put Green Bay’s offensive line in a very precarious position, and now the Packers may be forced to draft a guard from a draft class without many top-tier O-line prospects when they could have been focusing almost exclusively on defense.

There have been recent reports suggesting that Thompson could step aside into a senior scouting position, but he does have two years left on his contract and vice president Russ Ball appears to share Thompson’s conservative thinking. It is therefore difficult to see Thompson leaving his present role until he is ready, but it is likewise easy to see how the team’s players and coaching staff could be increasingly frustrated with their front office.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Execs: Packers' 29th Pick Will Be Popular Trade-Up Spot

  • An NFL personnel man and a scout believe the Packers‘ No. 29 pick will be coveted among teams antsy to snag one a quarterback. “I think there’s going to be some action there at the end of the first round,” the scout said, via Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “With these quarterbacks, they need a five-year contract because they’re not ready. I think there will be a lot of movement coming up [into the first round]. With the depth of this draft at defensive end and safety and corner and tight end, I would be looking to trade down.” The personnel man added that the quarterbacks are going to “drive this draft.” With players like Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes expected to go before the Packers pick at 29, it’s conceivable talents like Davis Webb or DeShone Kizer could be coveted at the end of the round.

Opinion: Ted Thompson In Drafting Slump

  • After several years of superb drafting, Packers general manager Ted Thompson has slumped recently, writes Ryan Wood of USA Today. For instance, of the 21 players Thompson selected from 2011-13, only five are still Green Bay’s roster. Moreover, Thompson has found just three Pro Bowlers over the past seven years – a far cry from the seven he discovered during his first half-decade on the job.

Packers Retain ERFA WR Geronimo Allison

Geronimo Allison will be returning to Green Bay next season. ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky reports that the wideout signed his exclusive rights free agent contract with the Packers yesterday. It was reported back in March that Allison would sign the contract prior to free agency, so the deal apparently took longer than expected. The wideout will make the second-year minimum of $540K next season.

Geronimo AllisonThe 23-year-old joined the organization after going undrafted out of Illinois during last year’s draft. He was released by the team during the final round of cuts, but he subsequently joined the team’s practice squad. Allison earned a promotion to the active roster in late October, and he proceeded to play in 10 regular season games (as well as three postseason games) for the Packers. In those 13 combined games, Allison hauled in 17 receptions for 267 yards and two touchdowns.

Allison figures to compete with Trevor Davis and Max McCaffrey for the Packers’ fifth receiver spot. The Packers are also rostering wideouts Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, and Jeff Janis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Waive Makinton Dorleant

  • The Packers have waived cornerback Makinton Dorleant, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. Dorleant was arrested along with Chicago’s Deiondre’ Hall earlier this offseason, and charged with suspicion of interference. After going undrafted in 2016, the 24-year-old Dorleant spent much of his rookie season on injured reserve before being activated in December. He played in four games (primarily on special teams) before being placed on IR again.

Packers Could Trade Brett Hundley In Next Year-Plus

  • With Aaron Rodgers firmly entrenched under center, odds are the Packers will trade backup quarterback Brett Hundley over the next year-plus, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Green Bay’s hope is that it will be able to flip Hundley for a pick more valuable than the fifth-rounder it used on him in 2015. Hundley has since attempted 10 passes, all of which came last season, and is entering his penultimate year of team control.

Opinion: Sherman Makes Sense For Packers

  • Former NFL executive and current ESPN.com analyst Joe Banner sees the Darrelle Revis trade of 2013 as a possible comp for a Sherman deal. The Jets received a first-round pick in 2013 and a fourth-round pick in 2014 in exchange for the corner. Meanwhile, Sheil Kapadia huddled up with his fellow beat writers to figure out landing spots that would make sense for Sherman. The writers say the Saints, Packers, Titans, and Patriots all make varying degrees of sense.