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Offline Bob Fox

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Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft for the Green Bay Packers
« on: April 25, 2018, 08:17:48 PM »
Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft for the Green Bay Packers

By Bob Fox

We are now just one night away from the 2018 NFL draft in Dallas. Every NFL team has it’s draft board set up now.

This is because of all the hard work that the scouts and those in the front office have done, as they have scouted the bowl games, the all-star games (the East-West Shrine Game, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the Senior Bowl), the NFL Scouting Combine and finally the pro days.

Plus, each team has tried to utilize free agency to lessen the need at certain positions in the draft.

The Green Bay Packers under new general manager Brian Gutekunst certainly did, as he added players like tight end Jimmy Graham, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and cornerback Tramon Williams to the team.

The Packers also re-signed cornerback Davon House.

But with the good, comes the bad. The Packers also had to release wide receiver Jordy Nelson, which opens up a need at that position in the draft.

In this, my final mock draft, I am once again using the expertise of NFL scout Chris Landry. As I work through my thought process in selecting players for the Packers, I will utilize Landry’s horizontal draft board (best players regardless of position) and also his various positional draft boards.

Since my association with Landry began several years ago, I have had a decent track record in correctly picking some of the players who the Packers have picked. Yes, getting guidance from a very good NFL scout helps, but sometimes it’s a case of a blind squirrel finding an acorn.

No matter, the Packers have 12 picks in this draft. That includes their own in each of the seven rounds of the draft, plus four compensatory picks (one in fourth round, two in the fifth round and one in the sixth round) and another pick in the seventh round due to a trade with Buffalo.

Plus, because of a trade with the Cleveland Browns to acquire quarterback DeShone Kizer (for cornerback Damarious Randall), the Packers also switched picks with the Browns in the fourth and fifth rounds, which means that the Packers pick first in each round.

On Friday night, the second round pick of the Packers will be announced by Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Kramer.

In my last mock draft, I surmised that another draft might be forthcoming between the Packers and the Browns on draft day. I sincerely believe that is a very good possibility. It may not occur in the manner in which I think it might, but I see John Dorsey having more than one conversation with Gutekunst in the draft to talk about some maneuvering.

And it might not be the Packers trading up in that scenario, but instead trading back.

We shall see.

One of the other things that I see happening is the possibility of adding some former Wisconsin Badgers to the Packers this year.

And I’m not saying that because I’m a homer for the Badgers. It’s because of the relationship between new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine of the Packers and the defensive coordinator of the Badgers, Jim Leonhard.

I wrote about this possibility back in February. I said this in the piece:

Pettine was named head coach of the Browns because of his prowess as a defensive coordinator in the NFL. In five years at that position, four with the New York Jets under head coach Rex Ryan and one with the Buffalo Bills, Pettine always coordinated a top 10 defense.

From 2009 though 2012 with the Jets, his defenses were ranked first, third, fifth and eighth in the NFL in total defense, while in 2013 with the Bills, his defense was ranked 10th in that category.

There was one player who was a constant for Pettine, both as a coordinator and one year as a head coach. That player was safety Jim Leonhard, who is now the defensive coordinator for the Wisconsin Badgers.

Leonhard played under Pettine with the Jets from 2009 through 2011, then again with the Bills in 2013 and then finally with the Browns in 2014, which was Pettine’s first year as head coach.

Leonhard was basically the coach on the field as Pettine put out his defense. Not only that, but Leonhard put out one of the very best defenses in the FBS last season with the Badgers and a number of his former defensive players will be available in this upcoming draft.

Leonhard basically runs the same type of defensive schemes at Wisconsin that Pettine has used with his various teams in the NFL. That is why I believe you will see a Badger or two on the Packers next season. Maybe even more than that, as you will see in the draft below

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