I have been thinking about what the Packers will do, and I think they are trading up. I know that goes against what the Packers have done in the past, but I don't see value at No. 14. There's value in the top 10, where I think you have 10 solid players. The middle part of the draft just seems weak. After the first 10 guys go, there's not much separating the next 20. That's why I trade up or down. My vote is up because the Packers are in four slots from moving into the top 10.
Here's the 3 guys I think the Packers target.
1. Quenton Nelson, OL, Notre Dame
I think he's a guard, and I think he'll go between 6 and 10. If he falls past the Colts, then the Packers start calling. You can plug him in at RG for the next 10 years. Big, strong, good footwork. I could see the Packers getting cute (like they always do), and moving him to RT. He'd probably be pretty good there. I know everyone is thinking pass rush and defensive back, but they need to protect the franchise (Rodgers), and they need to develop a running game. Nelson impacts this team more than any other player would on day one.
2. Saquan Barkley, RB, Penn State
I don't see what people see in Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, and Ty Montgomery. The latter is a WR. I love him in college as a slot WR. He needs to return to his roots. The other two are just guys. I hope I am wrong, but I think they are the equivalent to Jake Ryan. I wouldn’t get complacent here. You draft Barkley, pair him with Rodgers and Davante Adams, and you have your very own triplets for the next 5 years (the rest of Rodgers' career).
Additionally, Todd Gurley has made the Rams better on defense and offense. The same for Zeke Elliot and even Leonard Fournette. We can talk about the devaluing of the RB position, but that's not true. You find a stud RB, and it helps teams control the tempo of a game. The Packers need to get back to controlling tempo. They haven’t had that since 2014. Barkley helps in this area, especially on third downs. If he falls past the Colts at No. 6 (and I think he could if there is an early run on QBs), then the Packers start calling.
3. Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Fitzpatrick will go before the Packers pick. He’s too versatile and too respected of a college player not to come off the board in the top 10. The Packers have been trying to replace Charles Woodson since he left. Fitzpatrick can play outside CB, slot CB, or even safety. I think they would use him in a "roving" role that allows him to be around the ball. Imagine a defense with Fitzpatrick, Josh Jones, HAHA Clinton-Dix, Tramon Williams, and Kevin King. There's a lot of youth there (except for Williams), but a lot of potential as well. It might not be pretty all the time, but if those guys come together late in the year, then GB could produce a respectable defense.