Packers get Duke OL Graham Barton in Danny Kelly’s final mock draft

A review and breakdown of first-round predictions for the Green Bay Packers in final 2024 mock drafts from a few of the most prominent analysts in the business:

The mock draft: Danny Kelly, The Ringer

The pick: OL Graham Barton, Duke

The reasoning: “The Packers bolster the offensive line here, grabbing a blocking technician who brings the capability to fill in at multiple spots. Barton offers five-position versatility, with the frame and skill set to play either tackle spot, at guard, and even at center. The team continues to build a support system around quarterback Jordan Love.”

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Our breakdown: Barton looks like one of the best fits for the Packers in the first round. He might be best as a guard or center, and it’s fair to wonder if Brian Gutekunst would use a first-round pick on an interior blocker. But interior disruptors are becoming so valuable on defense, so why wouldn’t the value of those tasked with blocking them also increase? The Packers have a short-term need at right guard and a long-term need at center. Barton was a dominant college left tackle, and it won’t be surprising if teams give him a chance to survive at tackle at the next level. In so many ways, he’s reminiscent of Zach Tom, an elite athlete who played left tackle and center at the college level and now has five-position versatility in the NFL. Barton should be a high floor player given his athleticism and multi-position ability. This looks like a slam dunk pick at 25.

The player info

Graham Barton

Height: 6-5
Weight: 311
Age: 21
40-yard dash: 4.95
Vertical leap: DNP
Broad jump: DNP
Three-cone: 7.31
Short shuttle: 4.55
Bench press: DNP
RAS: 9.99
Pre-draft visit: No
Senior Bowl: Invited (DNP, injury)

Consensus big board rank: 25

Scouting report from Kelly: “Barton has a muscular, well-built frame and plays with light feet and good balance. He mirrors smoothly and quickly reacts to inside countermoves. He brings a quick, measured punch at the snap, shooting his hands into opponents’ chests to stun them at the point of attack. He has good balance to recover when he misses on his punch and does well to avoid overextending himself. He has a strong grip and latches on to opponents, consistently controlling the rep from start to finish. Barton explodes out of his stance in the run game and brings the fight to his opponent. He has quick feet and a flexible lower half that allow him to swiftly establish position, reaching and sealing on the backside to open up cutback lanes. He’s an athletic mover who effortlessly glides to the second level. He churns his feet to drive opponents off the ball and does well to keep them centered throughout the snap. There are times Barton’s punch lands wide, which allows opponents into his body and to establish leverage. He lacks length and struggles with speed off the edge—he oversets and opens himself up to inside countermoves—and it’s expected that teams will view him as an interior player only. He has limited experience on the inside (five starts at center as a freshman), so he may need some ramp-up time to make the move to center or guard.”

Draft profile from Lance Zierlein: “Reviewing Barton’s tape is a pleasurable experience in offensive line evaluation, as his tenacity and know-how are on full display throughout. Though he played at a high level at left tackle, center will likely be his NFL home. Barton is an explosive drive blocker with the body control and leg drive to keep opponents centered and finish the job. His hands are sudden, accurate and strong in both phases, but a lack of length will create occasional challenges on the next level. His fluidity creates an advantage as a second-level climber, and he’s highly capable in the screen game. Barton’s technique, toughness and athleticism are exactly what teams will be looking for from an early starter with Pro Bowl potential.”

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire