Sports Illustrated projects the Green Bay Packers will select UCLA defensive lineman Takkarist McKinley in the first round with the 29th overall pick in their first post-Super Bowl mock draft.
SI writer Chris Burke also sent Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis to Green Bay in the second round, and Clemson running back Wayne Gallman in the third round.
Here is what Burke says about the three players.
“Atop their OLB depth chart for their final playoff game, the Packers listed three impending free agents (Julius Peppers, Datone Jones, Nick Perry) and a 31-year-old Clay Matthews Jr., capping off his least-productive NFL season. McKinley needs to be coached up, but he’s a high-motor player.”
“A Round 1 talent in late Round 2. Again, some of these cornerbacks have to slide. Lewis would be better outside than most think, but he can lock down the slot.?”
“The Packers just cut James Starks and Eddie Lacy can be a free agent, so they need help at RB – Ty Montgomery hasn’t shown the durability to be a 20-carry-per-game player. Gallman’s downhill style would mesh well with what Montgomery brings.”
Packers’ fans will certainly be happy if head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson look towards the defense early in the draft. Green Bay finished 20th or worse in several key defensive numbers last season:
- Points allowed (21st)
- Passing yards surrendered (31st)
- Interceptions (24th)
Meanwhile, McKinley racked up 10 sacks in 2016 as a Bruin, and Lewis totaled six interceptions in the past three seasons at Michigan.
On the offensive side, Gallman, a junior, rushed for 3,025 yards and 30 touchdowns over his last two years at Clemson. However, he did get held to just 46 yards in the national championship game against Alabama.
The 2017 draft runs from April 27-29.
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