Packers 2023 NFL Seven-Round Mock Draft: Green Bay finally drafts player in first-round offensive skill position

The Green Bay Packers stumbled for the first time under head coach Matt LaFleur, missing the playoffs for the first time after becoming the first team in NFL history to win 13 games in three straight seasons. The team had a laundry list of injuries for a number of key players – NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, linebacker Rashan Gary, All-Pro linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and cornerback Eric Stokes — who helped break his historic three-year streak in LaFleur’s first three seasons.

The Packers started 2022 well, winning three of their first four contests, but then lost seven of the next eight games from Weeks 5-12, setting the tone for the declining year. Green Bay had a brief glimmer of hope after a four-game winning streak over the Bears, Rams, Dolphins and Vikings, but the Detroit Lions shattered those dreams by handing their division rival a 20- 16 at home in the regular season finale. It was a daunting performance in which the Packers offense couldn’t fend for itself, as fumbles and interceptions derailed potential drives.

With an 8-9 record, the Packers were an average team the first year without first-team All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, scoring 21.8 points per game (14th in the league). This was expected as Rodgers attempted to bond with rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, the team’s second- and fourth-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. The biggest disappointment has been the defense, which is expected to be one of the top five units with all first-round picks and money invested in that side of the ball. The unit allowed 21.8 points per game, ranking 17th in the NFL. The Packers have all of their own picks except for their sixth round, and have a few more picks in the seventh round, thanks to trades and compensatory picks. Here’s a look at how they should use those selections in the 2023 NFL Draft in order to get back on track.

1 (15)

WR Quentin Johnston


2 (45)

BY Felix Anudike-Uzomah

Kansas State

3 (78)

S Jordan Battle


4 (116)

DT Kobie Turner


5 (149)

TE Davis Allen


5 (170)

BY Viliami Fehoko

San Jose State

7 (232)

QB Clayton Tune


7 (235)

TE Will Mallory


7 (242)

WR/KR Derius Davis


7 (256)

RB Mohamed Ibrahim


Round 1 (No. 15): WR Quentin Johnston, TCU

The Packers have the longest drought in the Common Draft era (since 1967) without selecting a running back, wide receiver or tight end in the first round. The last time the Packers selected an offensive playmaker in the first round was 20 drafts ago when they took wide receiver Javon Walker 20th overall in 2002. That drought ends in 2023.

TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound pass catcher (TCU’s Pro Day measurements) who should be unanimously out of the board in the first round, had a clear opinion on whether he should being the first receiver selected following his performance at Pro Day on March 30, by simply answering, “Yes sir of coursewhen asked if he should be the WR1.

“I’m a 6-3, 6-4 receiver who’s able to create real separation at the top of my break in and out lanes and my post-catch yards are top notch,” Johnston said. “I set records in the Big 12 in my first year [his team-best 22.1 yards-per-catch average was the highest by a true freshman in Big 12 history [minimum 20 receptions] and my second year combined. So, I feel like it’s really huge. My elusiveness at the top of my run when I get the ball back and you know, deep ball is something I’m also really good at.”

If a team takes Jaxon Smith-Njigba from Ohio State ahead of Johnston, the Packers should absolutely seize the opportunity to take the most gifted wide receiver in the draft and put him next to Christian Watson – a 6-4 rookie whose nine scrimmage touchdowns were tied for fourth in the entire NFL among all wide receivers – and Romeo Doubs, whom LaFleur compares to Davante Adams. This will put Jordan Love in a great position to enter the Packers’ first year as the starting quarterback.

Round 2 (No. 45): OF Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State

Kansas State defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah travels to Green Bay in the second round to fill short-term and long-term needs. Right now, the Packers needed leading depth behind Gary and Preston Smith. Later, the 2022 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year could be invaluable as Preston Smith’s eventual long-term replacement. Anudike-Uzomah has the potential to become an excellent bag artist alongside Gary. He showed the potential to be dominant in 2021, when he recorded a career-high four sacks against TCU’s 2022 Heisman Trophy finalist Max Duggan.

Round 3 (No. 78): S Jordan Battle, Alabama

Adrian Amos, who was one of football’s best safeties in 2020, continued a downward trend in his decent game to have to be let go in 2022. Amos gave up six touchdown passes in coverage for the second consecutive season after allowing only two in 2020. He allowed a 102.8 passer rating in coverage as a primary defenseman, 17th highest in the NFL among defensive backs to play in at least 10 games. He is still in the free agency market this offseason.

Former first-round pick Darnell Savage also regressed to the point where he was benched and then reinserted into the roster to play in a reduced nickel role. He lost his place of safety to Rudy Ford, a player the Jaguars sacked on the day of the roster cut before the start of the 2022 season.

Jordan Battle offers the versatility of the Packers as he can move well into coverage in addition to being able to get up to the line of scrimmage to play the run. He’s also electric with the ball in his hands as three of his six interceptions during his Alabama career have been returned for touchdowns.

Round 4 (#116): DT Kobie Turner, Wake Forest

Turner could fall in Round 4 as he was 6-foot-2 and 288 pounds on pro day at Wake Forest on March 29. However, he has a nice variety of passing moves in his tool belt, plus he comes out of the line of scrimmage as well as any defensive tackle in this draft class.

Round 5 (No. 149): TE Davis Allen, Clemson

With starting tight end Robert Tonyan signing to the Chicago Bears and the soon-to-be 39-year-old tight end Marcedes Lewis unlikely to return to Green Bay in 2023, the tight end represents the thinner on the Packers depth chart. Allen, who weighs 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, is an expert in the jump ball, regularly performing contested catches. He should be plottable in attacking LaFleur.

Round 5 (#170): OF Viliami Fehoko, San Jose State

Fehoko, Mountain West’s 2022 Defensive Player of the Year, will likely fall in the fifth round due to his “tweener” tag, a bit big to be a defensive end, but a bit small to be a defensive tackle. He was also a redshirt senior, so age also comes into play. Fehoko’s 22 sacks over the past three seasons are tied for seventh in college football. A solid addition for Joe Berry’s defense to have depth along the edge, which they lacked in 2022.

Round 7 (#232): QB Clayton Tune, Houston

The Packers need to add a quarterback to back up Jordan Love, as Danny Etling is the only other passer on the roster at the moment aside from incumbent Aaron Rodgers. Tune is a solid quarterback with stable mechanics, an ability to move quickly through his route progressions, and he always keeps his eyes up for maximum field vision when he comes out of the pocket. It’s a developmental prospect, but Tune offers great value in the final round of the draft.

Round 7 (No. 235): TE Will Mallory, Miami

As mentioned above, the Packers need tight bodies. Will Mallory is one of the most polished receivers at his position in his draft. The reason he might drop in the seventh round is because he’s not very well equipped as a blocker with his 6-foot-4, 239-pound frame. However, Mallory has nice acceleration when going through his roads. Most of his receptions have come on friction routes and play-action concepts, something LaFleur’s offense has in clusters.

Round 7 (No. 242): WR/KR/PR Derius Davis, TCU

Derius Davis is speed. He tied NFC Pro Bowl returner KaVontae Turpin’s TCU school record for return touchdowns with six, five coming via punt returns and one on a kickoff return. His 4.36 dash for 40 yards at the combine solidified that speed as he threatens to score every time he touches the ball. The Horned Frogs also used him on screens, backhands and other quick plays to get yards in bunches, which could translate to the NFL. Green Bay has re-signed 2022 All-Pro returner Keisean Nixon to a one-year, $4 million deal, but Davis’ drafting could extend both of their careers. Davis could return punts while Nixon sticks to kickoffs. Davis also showed enough as a receiver at TCU to earn a slots receiver look.

Round 7 (No. 256): RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota

With Packers running back AJ Dillion entering a contract year in 2023 and Pro Bowl rusher Aaron Jones entering free agency in 2024, Green Bay would be smart to start developing affordable young talent in the backfield. Ibrahim was a good runner when it comes to vision and timing in Minnesota’s zonal running pattern, similar to what the Packers run. He also has a nose for the end zone as he has scored 37 rushing touchdowns in his last 20 college games. Getting a suitable scheme for running back this late in the draft is good value for Green Bay.

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