The Green Bay Packers are the Jesse Pinkman “He can’t keep getting away with this” GIF on repeat. Every time you think the franchise is due for a step back, they come out and punish the doubters. Last year, they were due for some serious regression, and Aaron Rodgers went out and won himself an MVP instead.
After drafting Jordan Love and hearing some rumors of discontent from Rodgers, everyone assumed Rodgers would be on his way out of Green Bay sooner or later. But now after one of his best season ever, it’s hard, as a Detroit Lions fan, to see the light at the end of this tunnel.
In our Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, it will be up to commenter MaizeAndBlueWahoo to keep our nightmares coming. As acting general manager of the Packers, MaizeAndBlueWahoo has the 29th pick in the draft, and there are a lot of directions they can go with the selection.
Before we get into the choice, see how the board has fallen thus far by checking out our POD Community Mock Draft tracker here.
With the 29th pick in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins.
Here’s MaizeAndBlueWahoo explaining the pick:
Packers fans want a cornerback. They’re laser-focused on a cornerback. They won’t like any draft, mock or real, that doesn’t bring them a cornerback in the first round. And two of their favorites, Greg Newsome and Asante Samuel, are sitting here for the taking. Almost every Packers fan would take Newsome here. Why an offensive tackle, then?
It’s not to zap Packers fans, tempting as it might be. Here’s the thing: Green Bay has cap problems. Massive ones. They restructured a bunch of contracts this offseason just to be able to re-sign their own free agents, or most of them anyway. They had to let All-Pro center Corey Linsley walk because they simply couldn’t afford to re-sign him, and, of course, they lost Jamaal Williams too. But all they did is snowplow the problem into 2022, when they will have eight players snarfing up over $160 million of cap space. Even if the cap goes up by $20 million from 2021, that would be 80 percent of their cap space in just those eight players. The Packers haven’t signed a single free agent from another team this offseason (as of when I write this, anyway) except for one: a long snapper.
This means they have no choice: they must address holes in their roster in the draft. There’s no other way. And while cornerback is a shaky situation, their offensive line is on the brink of disaster. Kevin King was an exceedingly unpopular re-sign in Green Bay thanks to his injury history and tendency to resemble burnt toast. But GB still has a warm body they can plug in at CB2 (even if he’s only warm from being torched by opposing receivers), and their management obviously has a higher opinion of him than the fanbase.
Issues abound on the OL, however. Linsley is gone, and All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari has a torn ACL and may not be ready to start the season. And there really is no RT, unless you count ERFA Yosh Nijman. Teven Jenkins is a right tackle by trade. He’s got better than prototypical size, is a road-grader in the run game, he’s physical and nasty, and is at least a capable pass-blocker. Jenkins isn’t likely to be a long-term solution at left tackle should Bakhtiari be out for longer than expected, but it’s possible he could step in there in a pinch. He could also slide inside to play guard (which may be his best long-term fit) and allow Elgton Jenkins to take over as the Packers’ starting center.
So while a cornerback would make the cheeseheads happiest, and a wide receiver might be Aaron Rodgers’s favorite idea, offensive line is such a need for Green Bay that a big reach isn’t out of the question in this spot, if there’s a run on OL for whatever reason. In this case though, it’s not necessary. Jenkins becomes an important building block, fills an instant need, and has the versatility to allow the Packers to take a best-five approach at rebuilding their line.
Erik Schlitt’s thoughts:
The Packers do have an obvious hole on the offensive line with Linsley departing and so adding an offensive lineman here has merit. The best two on my draft board are Jenkins and Alabama IOL Landon Dickerson. They both grade out similarly, so if upgrading the offensive line is on the agenda, it’s a matter of which one fits best.
One of the biggest attributes the Packers prefer on their offensive line is versatility. When Bakhtiari is healthy, he mans the left tackle spot without question, but the rest of the line needs to be flexible. Jenkins moving inside to center makes sense, Lucas Patrick can play either guard spot, and Billy Turner can play tackle and guard.
So the question becomes, do they want a tackle/guard combo player (Jenkins) who can challenge Turner for the right tackle position, or a player (Dickerson) who can play all three interior spots?
Of course, they could also grab Newsome here.
What grade do you give the pick?
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