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NFL Mock Draft 2019: Green Bay Packers pick a pass rusher

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With the 12th overall pick in the 2019 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Green Bay Packers GM Palaniappan K M selects ...

NCAA Football: Clemson at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State

The State

The Green Bay Packers are entering the kind of an offseason that’s unusual for them. Over the course of the past one year they have had a change in GM (finally), change in head coach and more importantly a change in their philosophy towards free agency. For almost the entirety of ex-GM Ted Thompson’s decorated tenure in GreenmBay they were known to be notoriosly quiet during free agency and were extremely adamant on building the team only through the draft. Well, did it work? In hindsight, yes. In reality? No.

The Packers are in line to pick 12th overall in the first round this year. They haven’t picked this high since 2009. Only the Patriots and Steelers haven’t picked 12th or higher in the same 10 year period. Despite being not as active as Patriots in Free Agency and not quite matching the quality of Steelers draft records the Packers still found them winning, year after year. So in hindsight their philosophy of Draft-Develop-Repeat did work in some capacity. Or did it really? No, not even close.

While drafting well is a proven recipe for success in NFL, it depends on one extremely major factor. Drafting well. Take a look at this. Since 2009, after Aaron Rodgers first year as a full time starter Packers drafted 9 first rounders. Among those 9 first rounders the number of Pro bowl honors these 9 players produced are is 1. Just One. Ha Ha (No pun intended). Nothing highlights their flaws in their drafting philosophy and Ted Thompsons outdated thinking more clearly than their 2013, 2014 and 2015 draft classes. They have a total have 3 players from these 3 years that are still are the roster. Only the Oakland Raiders have fewer (2). If we observed the performance of their defense in isolation over a period of time, it clearly exposed their drafting flaws. Since their Super bowl win in 2010 their Defensive ranking in points was 18.5. These aren’t numbers that are customary of a team that made the playoffs every single year from 2009 to 2016 (A records matched and bettered only by Patriots). Something had to give, right?

That brings us to the Packers QB and the Owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Aaron Rodgers. Its simply astounding to realize what Rodgers had done almost single handedly to keep Packers relevant and some, all these years. The one year they had a great defense Rodgers won them a Super Bowl. Recent reports on the rift between Rodgers and McCarthy sheds a lot of light on how dysfunctional things were in the GreenBay locker room leading uptown the firing of McCarthy. The publicly owned ownership not only did the right thing by holding on to Rodgers by making him the highest paid QB(as of this writing) but also went one step ahead to let Rodgers hire his own version of Tyronn Lue.

The Fix

A healthy Rodgers and a decent defense means the Packers are automatic Super Bowl contenders. While healthy Rodgers is certainly up to luck, building a competent defense is anything but. The Packers wasted no time in shoring up the defense in free agency with some big early moves. With Rodgers turning 36 they have to be aggressive and can afford to take some big swings in FA. Adding Adrian Amos, a top 10 PFF rated safety over the past 2 years, was their best offseason move. Additions of Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith to the wafer thin pass rusher group were also much needed signings, even though they may have overpaid for Za’Darius Smith. The amount of money they paid for a borderline average OL Billy Turner was a head scratching move, though.

Despite making 3 big splashes on the defensive side of the ball expect the packers to double down on the defense early in the draft too. It has been obvious for quite a while that building through the trenches is the only way for sustained success in the NFL. Having 2 first round picks certainly helps them in that aspect. Playing in a division which probably has the best QB group in the NFL, premium pass rushers can be the difference between winning the division and missing the playoffs. Khalil Mack’s impact on Bears success last season is a testament to this. For this reason i expect the Packers to take the best pass rusher available for them at 12.

The Move

Brian Burns is gifted with blue chip athletic ability for a pass rusher. Even though he is viewed primarily as a pass rusher, his athletic ability and speed can be put to good use in space as a hybrid outside linebacker. For the kind of hybrid 3-4 and 4-3 system Mike Pettine runs, Burns can be used as a Hybrid outside linebacker or a weak side Defensive end. He is just as good at winning on the inside as he is on the outside as a result of his counter moves.His effectiveness at using his length to keep the blockers away can be a very good asset in stopping the run. His thin frame and lack of mass can be a problem against some heavy offensive Tackles.


Incredibly flexible with the body.

Relies less on size and strength and more on burst and acceleration. Possesses great speed.

Extremely versatile due to his athletic ability.


Overall size and Build

Doesn’t possess an elite first step

Isn’t a great tackler, which could be a liability in run defense

The reason this pick works greatly for Packers is the versatility Burns provides with his athleticism. With Preston Smith, Brian Burns, Za’Darius Smith, Blake Martinez and Kenny Clark they will field a very potent front 7 accompanied by a young and talented secondary. Green Bay will finally have the looks of an above average defense.

Picking up an offensive weapon with the other first round pick will make this a great off season for Rodgers and the Packers.


Do you approve of this pick?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    (242 votes)
  • 48%
    (227 votes)
469 votes total Vote Now

2019 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Cardinals (Philliesandthebees): Kyler Murray

2) 49ers (SakPrescott): Nick Bosa

3) Jets (thealien2696): Quinnen Williams

4) Raiders (SisyphusNoMore): Josh Allen

5) Buccaneers (EAGLESBSU): Montez Sweat

6) Giants (ablesser88): Dwayne Haskins

7) Jaguars (20Safety_Hazards): Jawaan Taylor

8) Lions (89Tremaine): Ed Oliver

9) Bills (drc242): Jonah Williams

10) Broncos (ItownBallers22): Devin White

11) Bengals (Phoenix X Maximus): Cody Ford

12) Packers (Palaniappan K M): Brian Burns

13) Bengals (wildcatlh):

14) Falcons (Happy24):

15) Washington (roberticus0):

16) Panthers (Triumph McCloud):

17) Giants (KevinDont):

18) Vikings (Eagles701):

19) Titans (Big Schmoopie):

20) Steelers (J. Wil):

21) Seahawks (NickfoleonDynamite):

22) Ravens (GMinTraining):

23) Texans (EaglesRock94)

24) Raiders (SummersInVA):

25) Eagles (I Need a Username):

26) Colts (Nolo0oo):

27) Raiders (SLC Eagle):

28) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!):

29) Chiefs (Boxer Madness):

30) Packers (Kephas):

31) Rams (Matthieuck):

32) Patriots (Zett_66):

Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think the Packers should pick in the 2019 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.


Who should the Green Bay Packers draft at No. 12 overall?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Brian Burns
    (79 votes)
  • 50%
    T.J. Hockenson
    (191 votes)
  • 9%
    D.K. Metcalf
    (35 votes)
  • 2%
    Noah Fant
    (11 votes)
  • 10%
    Rashan Gary
    (38 votes)
  • 2%
    Clelin Ferrell
    (11 votes)
  • 3%
    Cody Ford
    (13 votes)
378 votes total Vote Now

2019 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft

1) Cardinals: Kyler Murray

2) 49ers: Nick Bosa

3) Jets: Quinnen Williams

4) Raiders: Josh Allen

5) Buccaneers: Montez Sweat

6) Giants: Dwayne Haskins

7) Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor

8) Lions: Ed Oliver

9) Bills: Jonah Williams

10) Broncos: Devin White

11) Bengals: Devin Bush

12) Packers: