After selecting Lukas Van Ness with the 13th overall pick the Green Bay Packers start day two of the NFL Draft in need of playmakers for Jordan Love. Luckily for Brian Gutekunst, there are still plenty of talented pass catchers, particularly at tight end on the board.
“The board held up strong,” Gutekunst said. “I feel good about going into tomorrow.”
The Packers start the day off with the 42nd, 45th, and 78th overall picks. Let’s take a quick glimpse at the top players on my Packers Big Board.
Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Mayer has sticky hands that catch everything thrown his way. The Packers need to set their young quarterback up for success and adding a complete tight end like Mayer seems like a no-brainer.
I'm looking forward to watching Michael Mayer run this at 1265 Lombardi Avenue. pic.twitter.com/i2dioqdLXW
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) April 19, 2023
Brian Branch, DB, Alabama
Versatile, tough as nails, excellent in coverage, and only 21 years old. Branch would be a great addition to Green Bay’s defense and would be an instant contributor for Joe Barry’s squad.
Very appropriate that DB Brian Branch plays the “STAR” nickel position for #Alabama. Consistently makes NFL-level plays vs. the run and pass.
Was everywhere on the TAMU tape (finished with 9 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 PBU).
Love his clean footwork and athletic transitions in coverage. pic.twitter.com/CyXU5RzPwi
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 10, 2022
Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State
Whoa, impressive wingspan. Porter Jr is a long cornerback. The Penn State cornerback has 34-inch arms and an 80 ⅞ wingspan.
JOEY PORTER JR WITH THE INT!!!#CFB
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 3, 2021
Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Traits. Bet on the traits. Ringo is an athletic freak. A former track athlete, Ringo clocked a 4.36 40. The Packers can’t go through the NFL Draft without drafting a Georgia Bulldog defensive player. Right?
First INT for Kelee Ringo since his National Championship clinching pick-6 against Alabama.
You can see he's still learning, but that 6-2 frame, 4.3 speed and ball skills are why he is CB1 and projected top-10 pick. https://t.co/Ld883rjBFQ
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) November 5, 2022
Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
Washington is a monster. At 6-6, 264 pounds, Washington is an imposing figure on the gridiron. He’s a people mover with his power. Washington was a high-school wide receiver and has natural pass-catching abilities. He has strong, reliable hands.
He's not a dude. You're a dude. This is a man.
Darnell Washington is not a dude. pic.twitter.com/wicgv9kOSk
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) October 26, 2022
Keion White, DL, Georgia Tech
White has a unique blend of size and speed. He’s a twitched-up defensive lineman. He has a lot of power in his 6-5 frame and good length (34-inch arms).
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 19 Keion White
White is a highly athletic, powerful DL that would bring juice to Green Bay's pass rush.
Check out why the Georgia Tech prospect could be a target for the Packers in the upcoming draft.
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) April 16, 2023
Cody Mauch, OL, NDSU
A former tight end, Mauch is an athletic and versatile offensive lineman. He finished his career at Fargo as a 39-game starter with 37 starts coming at left tackle and two at right tackle. He has five position versatility.
Cody Mauch played LT at NDSU but repped at all five OL spots at @seniorbowl, proving he’s only prospect in 2023 draft with legit 5-position versatility.
Checkout the summersault finish👇. Big man athlete!
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 17, 2023
Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
To quote Lightning McQueen, Hyatt is speed. He’s faster than fast. He’s quicker than quick. He’s lightning. This past season, Hyatt led the Nation with 11 receptions of 40-plus yards. The former four-star recruit also had five receptions of 60-plus yards. The Volunteer wide receiver just has a different gear.
Jalin Hyatt is speed. The Tennessee wide receiver led the nation with 11 receptions of 40-plus yards this past season.
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) March 3, 2023
Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State
Standing at 6-2, with 34-inch arms, his length goes on for days. With his length, he chokes passing windows and gives the quarterback a small window to throw into.
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 52 Julius Brents
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) March 12, 2023
Tucker Kraft, TE, SDSU
Kraft is a complete tight end. He’s a natural pass catcher and in SDSU’s run-first offense, Kraft is an exceptional blocker. He lined up in-line and in the slot while he was in Brookings. At 6-4, 254 pounds, Kraft looks every bit the part of an NFL tight end.
— SDSU Football (@GoJacksFB) April 27, 2023
Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
LaPorta is a difference-maker as a pass-catcher. LaPorta is a well-rounded tight end. He’s a moveable tight end that could line up in the slot, in-line, or even out wide. He could step in immediately and provide an impact as a security blanket for Jordan Love.
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 7 Sam LaPorta
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) April 21, 2023
Gervon Dexter, DL, Florida
There is no denying the tools. The Gator defensive tackle has the length, power, and athleticism to develop into a dominant force along the defensive line.
Ian has the Packers taking Gervon Dexter. In the 1sr RD. Can't say I'd be upset about a DL of Clark, Wyatt and Dexter.
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) August 7, 2022
Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
If Musgrave is still on the board when the Packers are on the clock in the second round, it would not be surprising to see Gutekunst pull the trigger on the 6-5, 253-pound tight end with 4.61 speed.
Luke Musgrave in Green Bay?
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) February 26, 2023
Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern
At 6-1, 282 pounds, Adebawore may be viewed as a tweener. The “undersized defensive lineman plays with a junkyard dog mentality and his motor is always running.
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 68, Adetomiwa Adebawore
Check out what the Northwestern DL could bring to Green Bay's front seven.https://t.co/AAj8i88HuN
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) February 26, 2023
Keeanu Benton, DL, Wisconsin
Benton’s calling card is his ability to two-gap. He’s a stout run defender that can clog up running lanes. He’s got a powerful frame with long arms to stack blocks. His motor is always running and gives great effort.
I can’t say enough good things about Keeanu Benton. So much twitch in his 310+ pound frame. pic.twitter.com/Mv7GDHhpz9
— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) April 20, 2023
Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
Rice’s trump card is his ability to turn 50-50 balls into 80-20 balls. His tape is littered with leaping grabs over defensive backs. On top of that, Rice is a YAC threat and an eager blocker.
Rashee Rice. Future Green Bay Packer. pic.twitter.com/ZdnWfUcVa6
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) November 28, 2022
Matthew Bergeron, OL, Syracuse
Bergeron finished his career at Syracuse with 39 career starts under his belt. He started eight games at right tackle and 31 games at left tackle. The Syracuse offensive tackle has all the tools to develop into a team’s left or right tackle. Some teams may kick him inside to guard.
Went back to watch more of #Syracuse LT Matthew Bergeron and I’ve come away more and more impressed with his foot speed, grip strength and ability to reset his hands.
Athleticism was always apparent but he’s got a strong punch and quick hands to recover. pic.twitter.com/Yl2hMqhIKH
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) March 11, 2023
Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati
A track athlete in high school, Scott’s calling card is his speed. The Cincinnati wide receiver has an instant accelerator and track-like speed to win vertically.
Tyler Scott has the vertical speed to stretch defenses and the dynamism after the catch to be a threat. pic.twitter.com/wRBOPl3xkX
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) April 20, 2023
Antonio Johnson, DB, Texas A&M
With his size, versatility, and the energy that he plays with, Johnson could be an attractive day-two target for the Packers as they search for upgrades at the safety position.
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 21 Antonio Johnson
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) April 9, 2023
Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
Spears’ trump card is his ability to make people miss and create yards after contact. He’s elusive in the open and stays balanced through contact. According to Pro Football Focus, Spears had 1,052 yards after contact this past season and forced 63 missed tackles.
Tyjae Spears 5095 204lbs
Aaron Jones 5094 208lbs
Diverse Schemes – Mix Gap/Power
'Make You Miss' in Hole
Open Field Balance/Burst
Perimeter Juice to Edge
Pass Game – Get in Space++
Runs of 20+yds final season: Aaron Jones 20, Tyjae Spears 19 pic.twitter.com/jUO12wT0E0
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 10, 2023
Chase Brown, RB, Illinois
Brown is an outstanding athlete. It’s a big reason why he made an appearance on Bruce Feldman’s Freaks list. The Illinois running back put on a show at the combine. Brown clocked a 4.43 40-yard dash with a 1.53 10-yard split. Brown’s marks in the vertical (40) and broad jump (10-7) were both the highest among running backs.
IF Green Bay is forced to move on from Aaron Jones this offseason, Illinois RB Chase Brown could be at the top of the list for potential replacements. pic.twitter.com/cEu4e5mhEl
— Brennen Rupp (@Brennen_Rupp) December 9, 2022
Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
At 6-3, 213 pounds, Tillman is a well-built wide receiver. He looks great off the bus. He uses his frame well, outmuscling defensive backs at the catch point. He has impressive body control, with the ability to make catches through contact.
Cedric Tillman is a bully against press coverage.
Cedric Tillman is a bully after the catch.
I like Cedric Tillman. pic.twitter.com/1whxec3uGn
— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) April 19, 2023
Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
Johnson is a complete back that could have transferred to another team to be the lead dog. Instead, Johnson played second fiddle to Bijan Robinson and was more than willing to do the dirty work. Johnson is a pound the table for type prospects.
Bijan will be a 1st rounder, but he won't be the only Texas RB drafted in April.
Roschon Johnson is built for the NFL – special teams, short-yardage, 3rd down role, whatever your offense needs. Big time culture guy too. https://t.co/GOYncJH554
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) November 25, 2022
Trey Palmer, WR, Nebraska
Palmer, a former track athlete, won a state title in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. He set a Louisiana state meet record in the 200 with a time of 21.11. That speed was on full display at the NFL Scouting Combine when Palmer clocked a 4.33 40-yard time, which was the fastest time among wide receivers. Palmer has a different gear.
Trey Palmer (#3) ran a 4.33 40-yard dash.
But he is also able to create separation with footwork and lateral movement.
He can MOVE. pic.twitter.com/WNkJOrVT7V
— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) April 25, 2023
Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss
The Ole Miss wide receiver has an excellent blend of size (6-1, 220 lbs) strength, and quickness. That combination makes him dangerous in space. He’s a contested catch connoisseur and outmuscles defensive backs at the catch point. With his size and strength, Mingo’s ability as a blocker will get Matt LaFleur’s attention.