The Green Bay Packers are 7-2 and one of the NFL’s legitimate Super Bowl contenders, but it’s always draft season and the 2022 NFL draft is (only) 169 days away. This means it’s a good time for a mock draft. Here are the two-round results for the Packers:
30th overall pick: Myjai Sanders, edge, Cincinnati
In the 2019 NFL draft, the Packers selected edge rusher Rashan Gary with the 12th overall pick. Leading up to that college football season, Bruce Feldman listed Rashan Gary as the No. 1 Freak in his annual Freak’s list.
The strapped-for-cash Packers will most likely have to move on from Za’Darius and Preston Smith this offseason, meaning the Packers will be searching for a new running mate for Gary.
A player that they could target is a fellow freak, Myjai Sanders. The Cincinnati edge rusher checked in at No. 20 in Feldman’s list this season.
“A big force in the Bearcats’ nasty defense, Sanders came through with 10.5 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks in 2020, when he earned first-team All-AAC honors. The 6-5, 259-pounder from Jacksonville ran a 4.56 40 this offseason and an even more impressive 4.10 in the shuttle. Sanders also broad jumped 10-2 and had a vertical of 35 inches.”
The former three-star recruit has started 33 games for the Bearcats. During that time Sanders has racked up 22 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. Thus far this season he’s recorded just one sack, but his impact on the game goes beyond the stat sheet.
“Sanders leads the Bearcats with six quarterback hits and directly forced interceptions against Indiana and Notre Dame with pressure he created in the backfield. The advanced stats back up the eye test as well: According to Pro Football Focus, Sanders has 15 total pressures (sacks/hits/hurries) through four games.”
Sanders has the ideal NFL length and frame. He has long strides and quickly closes in on the quarterback.
A team can never have enough pass rushers and if the Packers were to land Sanders it would give Joe Barry a pair of athletic and strong edge rushers to get after the quarterback.
62nd overall pick: David Bell, wide receiver, Purdue
A year ago Packers’ Twitter was all aboard the Rondale Moore train. The athletic and diminutive Purdue wide receiver was a highlight reel waiting to happen.
Fast forward a year and the Boilermakers have another wide receiver that could make for a sexy Day 2 pick for the Packers.
David Bell earned Big 10 Freshman of the Year in 2019 after catching 86 passes for 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns. Bell added one rushing touchdown to his stat line.
In six games in 2020, Bell reeled in 53 receptions for 625 yards and eight touchdowns. Thus far this season, Bell has caught 53 passes for 786 yards and four touchdowns.
The former four-star recruit is a contested-catch connoisseur. Bell does a great job of high-pointing the football and outmuscling cornerbacks. He has an Inspector Gadget-like catch radius. According to Pro Football Focus, Bell had 63 contested catches during his career heading into the 2021 season.
The only wide receiver under contract for the Packers following this season is Amari Rodgers. Will the Packers be able to lock up Davante Adams? Will they bring back Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Allen Lazard? Randall Cobb has shown that he still has a little left in the tank, but will the Packers bring the fan-favorite back?
There is so much uncertainty surrounding the wide receiver position right now, that the only thing that we know is the Packers are most likely going to spend a day-two pick on a wide receiver in the 2022 NFL draft.