ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 29: Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) during the Peach Bowl between the Florida Gators and the Michigan Wolverines on December 29, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This coming weekend the Super Bowl will take place in Atlanta. Once that concludes, the next big event on the NFL calendar will be the NFL Draft. While New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams fans will be focused on the big game, other NFL fans will have their eye towards the draft. Green Bay Packers fans are hoping that Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst can bolster the Packers roster through this year’s draft. For preparation of the draft, we caught up with our favorite draft expert, Daniel Parlegreco of DTP Draft Scout. Parlegreco studies possible prospects throughout the year. We had a chance to sit down with him and discuss what the Packers might do this April in the draft. Talking Green Bay Packers draft with Daniel Parlegreco of DTP Draft Scout.

Gutekunst and his staff will put in many hours in preparation for the draft. If they feel a player, no matter the position, can help the Packers roster, they will select that player. But for this article, we highlighted four areas: outside linebacker, offensive line, tight end, and safety, and asked Parlegreco which players might be in line for the Green Bay Packers draft.

LWOPF:

It appears finding a 3-4 outside linebacker will be at the top of the Packers draft wish list.  They possess the number 12 and number 30 (via a trade from the New Orleans Saints) picks in the first round.  If they go outside linebacker at 12 which outside linebacker prospect do you think they will target?

DTP:

If they go outside linebacker at pick 12, look for them to target Josh Allen from Kentucky. There is a possibility that he might go higher. But if he slides and is available, the Packers should gobble him up.  Not only is he a dynamic pass rusher, but he is capable of dropping back into coverage.

LWOPF:

Allen would seem like a perfect fit. Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine drops his outside linebackers into pass coverage quite a bit. But what if the Packers draft plan isn’t to select an outside linebacker at 12. Instead, what if target one at 30, who do you think could be there for them to select?

DTP:

If the Packers draft plan is to select one at 30th, Jachai Polite from the University of Florida would be a great pick. He possesses an explosive first step as a pass rusher. That ability led to him having a tremendous double-digit sack season for the Gators this year. He has experience standing up and is able to play in space.

LWOPF:

It appears that selecting just one outside linebacker in this year’s draft won’t be enough for the Packers. Clay Matthews will be a free agent this off-season and they might not re-sign him. Along with Matthews, the Packers might part with the oft-injured Nick Perry. Do you see any mid-round prospects that might be good value for the Packers draft?  Do you have any sleepers at that position on your list?

DTP:

One prospect I really like is Ben Banogu from TCU. I expect him to go in the third or fourth round of the draft. He is a loose-hipped pass rusher with elastic flexibility. Another name to remember is Christian Miller from Alabama. He possibly could drop due to his injury history. But he’s got a terrific NFL frame and good overall athleticism. D’Andre Walker from Georgia is another possibility. He’ll likely go a little later in this draft, but he definitely has the ability to get to the quarterback!

LWOPF:

It looks like it is time for the Packers to start to look for a possible replacement for offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga. How many tackle prospects do you have first-round grades on? If the Packers were to look for an offensive tackle at the end of the first round, who do you think they might look at?

DTP:

It depends on if you would consider Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford a guard or a tackle. He’s played both in college. But as of now, I have three first-round grades at tackle. Wisconsin’s David Edwards is a player they might target at the end of the first round. He isn’t an elite athlete but he’s a very good run blocker.

LWOPF:

One prospect that has caught our eye is West Virginia offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste. What can you tell us about Cajuste?

DTP:

Cajuste could be a guy the Packers target at the end of the first round. But my concerns with Cajuste is that he played in an “air-raid offensive system” where he didn’t have to hold up for long periods of time. Also, he’s had multiple knee surgeries on the same knee. A solid prospect with injury concerns.

LWOPF:

It appears that the tight end position is very deep in this year’s draft. Selecting a young tight end appears to be on the Packers draft list. If they choose not to spend a first round pick on a tight end, who might the Packers be left with in the second or possibly the third round?

DTP:

Tight end is a real deep position this year. They could go in so many different ways if they go in the second or third round. Dawson Knox from Mississippi and Irv Smith Jr. from Alabama should both be available in the second round and are both tremendously athletic tight ends. Smith is a better blocker of the two. Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger is another guy that really knows how to operate in space and has terrific upside.

LWOPF:

Finally, another glaring need for the Packers is a safety who can play in pass coverage. Last season, they traded Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and then moved 35-year-old Tramon Williams from cornerback to safety. The Packers need an athletic safety who can help out in pass coverage. If they go outside linebacker, tackle, and tight end with their first three picks, which safeties do you feel will be on the board in the third or fourth round range?

DTP:

Two guys I’m very high on are safeties Mike Edwards from Kentucky and Darnell Savage Jr. from Maryland. Both are terrific coverage safeties that can come up and hit you as well. I expect them to be early day three selections that will be starters in the NFL. I feel that these two have incredible upsides.

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