It’s officially draft season for the Green Bay Packers. With their 20-16 loss to the Detroit Lions, the Packers finished the season with a disappointing 8-9 record and will own the 15th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
It’s Mock Draft Monday, so let’s take a look at the results from my latest mock draft.
15th overall pick: Brian Branch, DB, Alabama
Tyree Wilson, Paris Johnson, Quentin Johnston, Peter Skoronski, and Michael Mayer all went off the board 10-14 prior to Green Bay’s pick. This leaves the Packers with the best safety prospect in the draft.
Plug him in the slot and prosper. Branch plays the Star position for Nick Saban and is one of the most versatile defensive backs in the draft. He can play in the slot, on the boundary or safety.
Branch is a highly instinctive player and a fluid athlete. He has the footwork and loose hips to man the slot position at the next level. According to Pro Football Focus, Branch allowed just two touchdowns in coverage this season and never gave up a play longer than 20 yards.
On top of his ability in coverage, Branch is an excellent open-field tackler and thrives playing close to the line of scrimmage. He finished the season with 14 tackles for loss and was credited with just three missed tackles.
Branch is versatile, athletic, a reliable tackler, and a playmaker. Add all those up and you get Green Bay’s first-round pick that could be a plug-and-play starter.
46th overall pick: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
Kincaid’s trump card is his ability as a pass-catcher. He’s able to create explosive plays with the ball in his hands.
The Utah tight end is a gifted athlete with the quickness to threaten the seam and make plays vertically. That quickness and athleticism show up after the catch as well. According to PFF, Kincaid finished the season with 397 yards after the catch this season.
“Kincaid is a well-rounded tight end that continues to improve in all areas,” Alex Markham, the publisher for UteNation.com said. “When he came to Utah, he was a pass-catcher. Now with three years in the system, he’s grown to be an effective run-blocker. He’s an every-down versatile tight end, you don’t need to take him off the field.”
Kincaid is a complete tight end that could step in from day one and give the Packers a dynamic playmaker at a position of need.