Final 7-Round 2015 NFL Mock Draft for the Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers currently have nine picks in the draft, which includes a pick in each of the seven rounds, plus two compensatory picks in the sixth round.
In this mock draft, I will be making one trade, but it won't be with my first-round pick.
Some have speculated that general manager Ted Thompson might trade down a few spots when it's time to make a selection at pick No. 30 in the first round. And he just might do that, but I believe that Thompson will hold on to that pick and select a player who is high on his draft board.
NFL scout Chris Landry only has 19 players who have first-round grades on his horizontal draft board at LandryFootball.com. That means the Packers will most likely be selecting a player with a second-round grade.
But the only grade that counts is the one that Thompson has on a given player.
Landry also has 45 players who have second-round grades and 34 players who have third-round grades.
In this mock draft, I will trade the Packers' second-round pick, which is selection No. 62 overall, for an early third-round pick and an early fifth-round pick. That trade will give the Packers 10 overall selections in the draft.
So without further ado, here is my final mock draft.
Round 1: Inside Linebacker Stephone Anthony (Clemson)
Weight: 243 pounds
In March, I laid out the reasons why inside linebacker Stephone Anthony should be the ultimate draft target for the Packers.
One reason is because the team's biggest weakness is at inside linebacker. The Packers released veterans A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones and let Jamari Lattimore leave as a free agent.
One of the starting inside linebackers for the Packers in 2015 will definitely be Sam Barrington. But the team needs someone to play next to No. 58, preferably a player who has the ability to be a cover linebacker in the nickel and dime schemes.
To me, the perfect choice is Anthony. He was a four-year starter at Clemson. He had 330 tackles, 34.5 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, three interceptions, 13 passes defended and five forced fumbles in his career as a Tiger.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Anthony put on quite a performance. He showed his quickness, as he ran a 4.56 in the 40-yard dash. He also leaped 37 inches in the vertical jump.
Anthony has the ability to be quick to the hole to stuff the run, and he has the athleticism and speed to drop into coverage effectively. He is also productive when he blitzes the quarterback.
Chris Landry recently gave me his latest take on Anthony.
"Stephone Anthony is another guy who has a little bit more versatility," Landry said. "He's got a little bit more size and he runs a little better. He's 243 and 6'2 ⅝".
"He can play in the 4-3 or the 3-4 as an inside guy. He's got speed. He's a little bit more of a flash player. He's a very effective blitzer. He's a little bit different in that regard that he can come on the blitz very well.
"He's really good on taking on [blockers] and using hands. Not real good on cover skills. I think instinctively, he's okay, but nothing special."
Tony Pauline of Draft Insider.net also said there is a big interest in Anthony from the Packers: "Staying with the Pack, I'm told they are very high on Stephone Anthony, who would fill a need at inside linebacker. Anthony had 16 official visits at the combine and the first team he met with was Green Bay. I was informed Anthony is a favorite of defensive coordinator Dom Capers."
Anthony thinks he will be an asset with the Packers, based on his comments to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
I think I'd fit well into that defense. I go back to my athleticism and my ability to play in space and run and cover guys. ... The game has transformed. Everybody wants to exploit linebackers with their slot receiver and the boundary No. 2 receiver on a "Mike" or "Will." So it's definitely a challenge and definitely a plus when you have guys who can do it.
In that same article, Dunne found out that the hard-hitting former Clemson linebacker grew up a fan of the Packers. As Anthony stated, "There was just something about Brett Favre."
Dunne also noted that playing for the Packers would be "a dream" for Anthony.
That dream just might come true on Thursday night.
Round 3: Cornerback Quinten Rollins (Miami of Ohio)
Weight: 195 pounds
If the Packers are looking for another Tramon Williams in the upcoming draft, there is a player who reminds me quite a bit of No. 38, who left the Packers this offseason via free agency.
That player is Quinten Rollins of Miami of Ohio. Why?
For one thing, there is the similarity in size. Rollins is 5'11" and 195 pounds. When Williams came out of Louisiana Tech in 2006, he was 5'11" and 194 pounds.
Both play faster than that on tape and with their performances on the field.
But the biggest similarity between Rollins and Williams is their ability to react quickly to a pass thrown in their direction.
While at Louisiana Tech, Williams had seven picks in two years.
Rollins had seven interceptions in the only year he played college football at Miami of Ohio. Before then, he was the starting point guard for the basketball team.
Chris Landry told me that he is very high on Rollins.
"The one guy that I want people to remember just for the future is Quinten Rollins of Miami of Ohio," Landry said. "He played one year of football. He was the starting point guard of Miami of Ohio's basketball team.
"This guy has got really natural instinctive qualities, even though he doesn't know what he's doing. This guy is going to end up being an outstanding corner at the next level. And I think you are going to get him at real good value in the second round.
"If he would have played like a couple or more years, we would be talking about a top-15 or top-20 pick."
Landry has a third-round grade on Rollins.
The biggest difference between Williams and Rollins is that Williams was never drafted, while Rollins will hear his name called on the second night of the draft.
Round 3: Offensive Tackle Ty Sambrailo (Colorado State)
Weight: 311 pounds
In 2014, the play of the offensive line was exceptional for the Packers. It was the best group of linemen the team put on the field in over a decade.
With the re-signing of right tackle Bryan Bulaga this offseason in free agency, the Packers will return all five starters again in 2015.
Besides Bulaga, there is left tackle David Bakhtiari, left guard Josh Sitton, center Corey Linsley and right guard T.J. Lang.
There is good depth on the interior of the line with Don Barclay, who can play both guard positions. He can also play right tackle in a pinch. JC Tretter would be the backup center and can also play guard.
The weakness in terms of depth is at the tackle position. If Bakhtiari was ever injured, Bulaga would slide over to left tackle, the position he played at Iowa.
Barclay would play right tackle, where he has had issues with edge-rushers in the past. That is why the Packers prefer Barclay inside. Tretter also played some right tackle last season while Bulaga was injured, and he also had some problems protecting the edge.
That is why the Packers need to focus on drafting a prospect in this draft who can play both offensive tackle positions. To me, a nice choice would be Ty Sambrailo of Colorado State.
Sambrailo reminds me quite a bit of Bakhtiari coming out of college at Colorado. Bakhtiari had the versatility to play on each side of the line, but he also needed to get stronger and improve his run-blocking. And that is exactly what he has done in Green Bay as a two-year starter at left tackle.
The same holds true with Sambrailo. He had 42 career starts for the Rams with most of his playing time coming at right tackle. He played left tackle at times in 2014 and held up well.
At the combine, Sambrailo showed that he needs to get stronger, as he had only 23 reps in the bench press. But he also showed that he has quick feet in his pass-blocking and can move to the next level with ease while blocking for the run.
Round 4: Tight End Jesse James (Penn State)
Weight: 261 pounds
Currently, the Packers have three tight ends on their roster. They are Andrew Quarless, Richard Rodgers and Justin Perillo.
Quarless and Rodgers combined for 49 catches and five touchdowns in 2014. Most of their production came on short- or medium-range pass plays.
The undrafted rookie Perillo did not catch a pass but showed promise in the preseason.
The Packers would like to add another tight end who can add a different dimension to their offense. A player who can do some damage down the seam on pass plays.
One interesting possibility is Jesse James of Penn State. James has a legendary name and also excellent size.
In his three years as a Nittany Lion, James had 78 receptions for 1,005 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Besides being a large, appealing target down the field, where he can "steal" a pass from defenders, James also has freakish athletic ability with his strength and speed, which was noted by Josh Moyer of ESPN.com.
James has bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times and has been timed at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
At the combine, James did not show the speed he has demonstrated in the past, as he ran only a 4.83 in the 40. James did have 26 reps in the bench press though, and he leaped 37.5 inches in the vertical jump.
James needs to become a better blocker, but he looks to have a promising future in the NFL.
Round 5: Linebacker Jake Ryan (Michigan)
Weight: 240 pounds
The Packers would add depth to both the inside and outside linebacker positions by drafting Jake Ryan of Michigan. Ryan played both inside and outside linebacker for the Wolverines in his four-year career in Ann Arbor.
Ryan had 41 starts, 267 tackles, 45.5 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, seven passes defended, one interception and forced seven fumbles in his career at Michigan.
His performance at the combine helped his cause, as he ran a 4.65 in the 40-yard dash.
The former Wolverine showed good awareness in pass coverage in college and was very instinctive in stopping the run.
Ryan made a number of stops behind the line of scrimmage and has proved himself to be a solid tackler.
Ryan was a team captain at Michigan and a coach on the field due to his many hours of studying film.
Ryan also stood out at the 2015 East-West Shrine Game.
Round 5: Wide Receiver Vince Mayle (Washington State)
Weight: 224 pounds
There is something about former basketball players that Ted Thompson likes.
Just look at last year's sixth-round draft pick Demetri Goodson, who plays cornerback. Goodson played three years of hoops at Gonzaga before transferring to Baylor, where he played football.
If Thompson drafts cornerback Quinten Rollins, he would be selecting another former basketball player.
Current Packer Julius Peppers played some basketball at North Carolina as well.
The same would be true if Thompson added wide receiver Vince Mayle of Washington State in this draft.
Mayle played some hoops in the past at Shasta Community College, but he became a quick learner and productive performer playing football at Washington State.
Mayle has great size and put up some outstanding numbers on the football field. In two years, Mayle had 148 receptions for 2,022 yards and 16 touchdowns.
At the combine, Mayle's workout was average, but his athleticism was obvious.
The former Cougar is still raw in terms of learning about the aspects of playing wide receiver, but between his size and talent, his upside is tremendous.
Round 6: Cornerback Justin Coleman (Tennessee)
Weight: 185 pounds
Due to the losses of Tramon Williams and Davon House via free agency, the Packers could possibly select two cornerbacks in the 2015 NFL draft, which is what I believe they will do.
In this mock draft, the Packers took Quinten Rollins early in the third round. Selecting a player like Justin Coleman of Tennessee later in the draft would also add to the depth and talent at the position.
Coleman was a player who stood out to me at the East-West Shrine Game. Coleman must have stood out to Ted Thompson as well, as Walter Cherepinsky of WalterFootball.com reported that the Packers met with Coleman at the event.
In his career as a Volunteer, Coleman had 157 tackles, 8.5 tackles for losses, 17 passes defended and five interceptions for 106 yards and a touchdown.
In the SEC, Coleman played against some of the biggest and fastest wide receivers in the country.
Coleman is a physical corner who likes to play press coverage, and his run support is solid.
At the combine, he posted a 4.53 time in the 40-yard dash and put up 20 reps in the bench press, which is a better-than-average mark for a cornerback.
Round 6 (Compensatory): Running Back Malcolm Brown (Texas)
Weight: 224 pounds
With the Packers deciding to pass on bringing back DuJuan Harris, the team is in the market to add another running back to back up Eddie Lacy and James Starks.
The Packers also have Rajion Neal on the roster at running back. Neal was an undrafted rookie free agent who was on the practice squad for the Packers last season.
Malcolm Brown of Texas could be another back the Packers add in this draft.
In his career as a Longhorn, Brown rushed for 2,678 yards and 24 touchdowns and caught 51 passes.
Brown had a good performance at the East-West Shrine Game and also met with the Packers, according to Cherepinsky.
At the combine, Brown showed nice athletic ability in the three-cone drill (6.86 seconds) and the 60-yard shuttle (11.32 seconds).
Round 6 (Compensatory): Defensive End Derrick Lott (Tennessee-Chattanooga)
Weight: 314 pounds
Even though the Packers re-signed both B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion in free agency to play nose tackle, the Packers still need to add some depth on their defensive line.
Derrick Lott of Tennessee-Chattanooga would certainly help out at the defensive end position. He has the perfect size to be a 5-technique in the 3-4.
Lott originally played at Georgia before transferring to Tennessee-Chattanooga. In his career with the Mocs, Lott had 14 starts, 114 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Lott showed good ability at the East-West Shrine Game.
At the combine, Lott had 30 reps in the bench press and ran a 4.99 in the 40-yard dash, which is not bad for a man his size.
Round 7: Quarterback Bryan Bennett (Southeastern Louisiana)
Weight: 211 pounds
I expect the Packers to select a quarterback in the 2015 draft, but that pick will most likely occur late in the draft on Day 3.
Currently, the Packers have three quarterbacks on the roster. They are starter Aaron Rodgers, backup Scott Tolzien and recently signed Matt Blanchard, who played his college football at Wisconsin-Whitewater.
One of the more interesting quarterback prospects this year is Bryan Bennett of Southeastern Louisiana, who is a candidate to be selected late in the upcoming draft.
Bennett has a strong arm and nice ability running the football. That is why he was recruited to play at Oregon, where 2014 Heisman Trophy Award winner Marcus Mariota eventually beat him out to be the starting quarterback for the Ducks.
In his two years at Oregon as a backup, Bennett threw nine touchdown passes versus three interceptions for 580 yards. He also ran for 365 yards and six more scores.
After he transferred to Southeastern Louisiana, Bennett tossed 39 touchdowns versus 19 picks for 5,522 yards in two years.
He showed off his rushing ability as a Lion, as he ran for 1,715 yards and 31 touchdowns.