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Packers 7-Round Mock Draft 2023: Rebuild or Reload?

  • Justin Melo
  • February 15, 2023
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The Green Bay Packers are entering the offseason in a precarious position. Their summer will be defined by what happens with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. General manager Brian Gutekunst’s approach to the offseason depends on Rodgers’ outcome.

The Packers’ roster requires upgrades regardless of what occurs with Rodgers. The safety position has been a sore spot for the Packers. They also require better depth at tight end, wide receiver, and all across their defensive line, too. Green Bay’s list of impending free agents includes Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan, Dean Lowry, Randall Cobb, and Adrian Amos, among others. They’ll have to address some existing and potential future roster holes once the initial wave of free agency is over.

With that being said and with plenty of moves still to come ahead of April’s draft, here’s what a seven-round draft for the Packers might look like if it happened now.

(Note: I completed this mock draft using the Beta version of our Mock Draft Machine 2.0, which you can access by becoming a TDN Premium member!)

Round 1 (No. 15 overall): Lukas Van Ness DL, Iowa

Gutekunst routinely ignores the general public’s perception of how the Packers should attack their draft. That was especially true when the Packers drafted Devonte Wyatt and Quay Walker in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness would continue Green Bay’s tradition of prioritizing high-level trench play.

Van Ness is a versatile EDGE defender that can reduce inside on obvious passing downs. Van Ness’ terrific functional strength allows him to convert speed to power at an impressive clip. Van Ness never stuffed the stat sheet at Iowa, but his performance ceiling is extremely high. He’d fit right into Green Bay’s philosophy up front.

Round 2 (No. 46 overall): Dalton Kincaid TE, Utah

The aforementioned Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis are set to reach unrestricted free agency. Neither Tonyan nor Lewis may return to the Packers in 2023. Green Bay hasn’t received high-end production from the tight end position in recent years. That could change by drafting Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid.
Kincaid carries first-round potential. Few tight end prospects can match Kindcaid’s intriguing mixture of athleticism, route-running, and ball skills. Kincaid is an absolute coverage nightmare for opposing safeties and linebackers. Kincaid would immediately develop into a go-to target for Rodgers or Jordan Love in Green Bay’s offense.

Round 3 (No. 79 overall): Keeanu Benton DT, Wisconsin

Few players improved their draft stock at the 2023 Senior Bowl like Wisconsin’s Keeanu Benton did. Benton entered Mobile with the reputation of a big-time run stuffer. But Benton proved he could rush the passer too. Benton elevated his draft stock at the Senior Bowl. Benton is a lock as a top-100 selection.
Gutekunst loves reloading his defensive line. Benton would feel at home rotating next to Kenny Clark inside. Benton would represent excellent third-round value.

Round 4 (No. 116 overall): Brandon Hill S, Pitt

The Packers have two safeties under contract through 2023 (Darnell Savage and Tariq Carpenter). Green Bay lacks clear-cut long-term solutions at the position. Enter Pittsburgh safety Brandon Hill into the picture.

Hill is currently underrated. Hill is an extremely physical and instinctive defender who possesses the range necessary to command the back end of an NFL defensive backfield. Hill has an extremely high football I.Q. His ability to quickly diagnose and trigger on the action that’s unfolding in front of him is impressive. Hill could start for the Packers in 2023.

Round 5 (No. 150 overall): Jayden Reed WR, Michigan State

Michigan State’s Jayden Reed was a big-time riser at the Senior Bowl. Reed was virtually unstoppable throughout one-versus-one practice reps. Reed is a prospect that simply gets open and makes plays on the football. The Packers always covet those types.
Reed has some minor size deficiencies at 5-foot-10, 191 pounds, which could slightly push him down the draft board. The Packers would be thrilled to draft Reed in the fifth round. Reed can play all three receiver positions. Reed could also impact the 2023 Packers on special teams as a game-changing returner.

Round 5 (No. 171 overall): Nick Broeker OL, Ole Miss

The Packers love versatility on the offensive line. Ole Miss’ Nick Broeker possesses extensive experience at left tackle and left guard. They drafted a similar type in Zach Tom last year, but could always have more multiplicity on game day. Broeker is an excellent lateral mover and athlete. He’s an easy projection for Matt LaFleur’s zone-based rushing scheme.

Round 7 (No. 234 overall): Nick Herbig LB, Wisconsin

The Packers have had a front-row seat to Nick Herbig’s unconventional talent. The Wisconsin EDGE has been extremely effective but is expected to make a transition to more of an off-ball linebacker role at the next level. Herbig lacks the size (6-2, 228) to play an every-down edge role, but possesses the motor and skill set necessary to play an impactful role.

Round 7 (No. 237 overall): Eli Ricks CB, Alabama

Jaire Alexander re-established himself as a shutdown cornerback in 2022 and Eric Stokes continues to progress forward. You can never have enough cornerbacks in today’s pass-happy league, however. Alabama’s Eli Ricks is a competitive man-coverage cornerback that would add depth to Green Bay’s corner room.

Round 7 (No. 244 overall): Ji’Ayir Brown S, Penn State

The Packers’ depth at safety is poor enough to consider doubling down at the position. Penn State’s Ji’Ayir Brown has been extremely productive as of late, racking up more than 120 tackles and 10 interceptions across the previous two campaigns. Brown is a pro-ready NFL prospect that could play in sub-package looks as a rookie.

Round 7 (No. 256 overall): Cameron Young NT, Mississippi State

Mississippi State’s Cameron Young projects as a two-down run stuffer. Young is a traditional nose tackle. That still carries importance in a division that contains three run-heavy offenses like the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and Minnesota Vikings. Young could make an early-down impact.

Round 7 (No. 259 overall): Aubrey Miller Jr. LB, Jackson State

Small-school standout Aubrey Miller Jr. proved he belongs among the top competition at this year’s Senior Bowl. Miller was a star throughout practice and in the game itself. Miller lacks conventional size but should develop into a special teams ace at the very least.

Written By

Justin Melo