Talent added to offensive side of the ball

With the Green Bay Packers sitting at 4-7 and their hopes on life support, there’s little to be thankful for this season in Titletown.

The 2023 NFL Draft is 155 days away, and it’s the perfect time for my latest mock draft, where Aaron Rodgers will give thanks this holiday season.

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12th overall pick: Paris Johnson Jr., OL, Ohio State

David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins and Yosh Nijman will likely play for other teams next season. Brian Gutekunst is unlikely to move on from all three of these players this offseason, but crazier things have happened.

Even if the Packers choose to bring one or both of them back, the Packers will have to address the offense this offseason. Enter Paris Johnson.

Ohio State has protected CJ Stroud’s blindside this season. He has allowed just eight pressures and zero sacks so far this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Johnson has good size and length (6-6, 315 pounds). The legs of the initial left puller are quick and the lower body has the flexibility to redirect the edge thrusts.

Before moving to left tackle this season, Johnson started 13 games at right guard last season for the Buckeyes.

“Johnson Jr. was an elite guard in 2021 and, as expected, an elite left tackle with exceptional athleticism who shined in every situation this season,” said BuckeyesWire.com writer Joshua Keatley. “Johnson is the best pass blocker in the country and has ideal size with great length, making him the best offensive lineman in the class. His versatility gives him a very high floor, but his ceiling is still that of an All-Pro level left tackle.”

The Packers haven’t drafted an offensive tackle in the first round since 2011. With question marks over the futures of Bakhtiari, Nijman and Jenkins, the streak could end on April 27.

43rd overall pick: Tucker Craft, TE, SDSU

The Packers currently have just one tight end under contract through the 2023 season (Josiah Deguara). Gutekunst should address the position early in the 2023 draft.

Tucker Kraft is a top-five pick in the class and could provide a shot in the arm for Green Bay’s offense.

At 6-5, 255 pounds, Kraft has the perfect combination of size and athleticism to go along with his natural passing ability. Kraft has solid hands and once brought in, he is a threat to play after the catch with his quickness and power.

Kraft is a complete tight end. He’s a weapon in the passing game and he’s a sound stopper. The Packers need a playmaker in tight ends, and the former high school running back could be an immediate contributor for Green Bay.

75th overall pick: Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee

The Tennessee wide receiver gives the Packers a big, physical wide receiver to pair with Watson.

Tillman is a long (6-3), physical wide receiver who can outrun defensive backs at the catch point. With his frame, he has a large catch radius and he has the body control to adjust to the ball while in the air.

“His greatest strength is his physicality,” said Ryan Shumpert, a contributor to Rocky Top Insider. “That physical ability helps him catch a fight.”

The Packers must continue to add talent to the wide receiver room. They seem to have the building blocks with Watson, Romeo Dubs and even Samory Toure. It would be somewhat surprising if Gutekunst didn’t add another wide receiver in the first three rounds of the 2023 draft.


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