10 players we love for the Packers in the first round of 2021 NFL draft

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Zach Kruse
·7 min read
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The Green Bay Packers hold the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2021 draft. General manager Brian Gutekunst could trade up or trade down, or he could stay put and take a player at No. 29 late on Thursday night.

While impossible to predict who will be available to the Packers so late in the first round, we can make some educated guesses. And like every year, draft crushes emerge after months and months of evaluating prospects.

Here are 10 players we’d love for the Packers in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.

WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Look, he doesn't fit the Packers' size thresholds at receiver, and he might do most of his work as a slot receiver at the next level. None of that should matter to the Packers. He plays big and fast, he catches everything, he wins after the catch and he wins down the field. The fit in the Packers offense is beyond perfect; give him all the gadget touches, run him on vertical routes from the slot and let him run away from people on crossers. He could have instant impact for the No. 1 offense in football. If you want a playmaker at receiver that can do a little bit of everything in the Packers scheme, Elijah Moore is the guy.

CB Greg Newsome, Northwestern

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Newsome checks so many boxes for the Packers that it won't be even a little bit surprising if they trade up to get him on Thursday night. He plays a premium position. He's super athletic (RAS of 9.66). He delivered a terrific final season at Northwestern. He's young (still only 20). He's scheme diverse. At cornerback, he has long arms and quick feet. Newsome could be the long-term starter opposite Jaire Alexander. Together, they could create a lock-down tandem. Sounds like an appealing proposition, even if Newsome's injury history is a little bit frightening.

OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State

(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Any Packers fans missing Bryan Bulaga at right tackle will love Teven Jenkins. He's a mean and burly right tackle prospect with similar size, agility and play-style as Bulaga, a stalwart for the Packers offensive line for years. Jenkins, who hasn't allowed a sack since 2018, is ready to play right away. And he'd immediately provide a physical presence to the run game. While older (23), Jenkins has the athleticism (RAS of 9.74) at a premium position that the Packers love.

WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

(AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

There would be real value in adding a dangerous slot/gadget receiver to the Matt LaFleur offense, but the Packers like their receivers in the traditional mold, and there's no better traditional option in the second half of the first round than Bateman. A gifted route-runner who wins at every level of the field, Bateman has been compared to both Davante Adams and Keenan Allen during the pre-draft process. The former Gopher star would be a deadly complement to Adams and a potential future Pro Bowl in the Packers scheme. He tested well and produced huge numbers at an early age. The Packers haven't taken a receiver in the first round since 2002, but Bateman would be well worth breaking the streak.

LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

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Did you love the idea of Josh Jones, the Packers' second-round pick in 2017, and were you sad when he busted as a player? Well, Owusu-Koramoah is the prospect for you. He's a super-charged version of Jones and a perfectly versatile defender for today's NFL. What's his defined position? Who cares. The Packers play so much nickel and dime, ensuring he'd be on the field and in playmaking positions all the time. His coverage ability and attacking mindset as the hybrid linebacker would be very valuable.

CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State

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The Packers' brass may knock him for his lack of size and elite athleticism, but he's experienced (three-year starter), has NFL bloodlines (son of long-time NFL cornerback Asante Samuel) and plays a style of cornerback comparable to Jaire Alexander. Also, the Packers talked to him several times leading up to the draft, signaling interest. Samuel broke up 24 passes over his final 20 games and was a lockdown corner over eight games in 2020. The Packers could play him in the slot early or groom him to be the eventual starter on the perimeter. His skill set fits both. Samuel could be a solid pro at a premium position for a long time.

DB Trevon Moehrig, TCU

(AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

The Packers have two excellent safeties in Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos, but NFL defenses these days typically require three, especially within schemes that employ safeties down in the box and in the slot. Moehrig could be the perfect third safety, given his dual-threat ability to play deep and in the slot. He takes away vertical routes as a safety and shuts down the short passing game from in the box. Few safeties at the college level made more plays on the football than Moehrig over the last few seasons. The Packers could play him deep, allowing Savage to handle more snaps in the slot. Or Moehrig could play the "star" role in the slot or the overhang dime linebacker. He might be a safety, but he could fill a couple of roles early in his career for the Packers defense.

DL Christian Barmore, Alabama

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The Packers' need along the defensive line is obvious and well-documented, and Barmore – who took over during the College Football Playoffs – might be the only interior defender worth taking in the first round. He is nothing if not disruptive, especially as a pass-rusher. The Packers may need a more traditional run stopper, but interior defenders that can rush the passer and create negative plays are so much more valuable. Offensive lines would have to account for him in the passing game, taking attention away from Kenny Clark and Kingsley Keke and the edge rushers – like Za'Darius Smith – that slide inside on passing downs. Barmore could be disruptive from multiple alignments.

CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

His history of back injuries is terrifying, but sometimes medical red flags create incredible opportunities for teams picking at the backend of the first round to get top-10 talents. That could be the case here for the Packers and Farley. His 2019 tape is incredibly good, and he's a freaky athlete with elite quickness and sticky man coverage ability. His playmaking instincts make him a magnet for the football. The medicals for Farley have to check out, but it'll be a great sign if the typically conservative Packers staff clears him. Farley and Jaire Alexander could form the most talented cornerback duo in football.

OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Taking Eichenberg might not earn rave reviews on draft night, but he's a safe pick and a reliable, high-floor player at a premium position, and he's probably ready to start right away at right tackle. He was a three-year starter at left tackle for Notre Dame – a school that has developed many high-end offensive linemen – and he improved each season. He's terrific in the run game and an easy mover in pass pro. He made 38 straight starts. Eichenberg could be an ideal replacement for Rick Wagner, keeping the Packers offensive line deep and versatile. Alabama's Alex Leatherwood was also considered for this 10th spot, and if USC's Alijah Vera-Tucker is available, he'd have to be a top option, too.

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