The 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone. The days after are usually days of reflection, and days of imagining the draftees playing for your team. Some fan bases are thrilled, and some think they blew it… again. Packer fans are a unique bunch. There are those who will hold up signs that say “In Ted I Trust” and those who think Ted should have been gone years ago. Fortunately, this was a draft that every Packer fan should be able to get behind.
When you’re 31st in pass defense, something needs to be done. The Packers traded out of the first round to pick number 33 and they made good use of it. Kevin King is now a Green Bay Packer, and he brings a perfect skillset for the Packers. In a press-man heavy scheme, the 6’3” corner should thrive. His size, athleticism, and ability to find the football are traits the Packers sorely needed, and they went out and got it. With Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, A.J. Green, and heralded rookies JuJu Smith-Schuster and John Ross on the schedule next year, the defensive backs will be tested repeatedly.
People are torn with this pick. Everybody understands its value, again, Green Bay was 31st in pass defense, but to some it seems like Ted Thompson is just drafting for the future, instead of for now. What I mean is, with Morgan Burnett’s contract ending after this season, Jones could be his replacement. While all of that is true, Jones still has something to bring to the table this season. He’s an interchangeable safety, a lot like Micah Hyde, and he loves to hit people. When you can play multiple positions on defense, Dom Capers will find a way to use you. Jones really has an opportunity to show us something this season.
This is a very interesting pick. From a need standpoint, it’s necessary because some of our defensive linemen are struggling to stay on the field due to suspensions. From a player standpoint, we may have either gotten treasure or fool’s gold. Todd McShay put it this way,” Watching the 2015 tape, I thought he was a Day 3 pick. Contract year, though, in 2016, and he was awesome this past year. He was disruptive; he dominated some good interior players. I thought his tape this year, compared to last year, was completely different.” Having someone like Mike Daniels on the line can hopefully get him to provide the kind of effort he needs to stay consistent and produce in the NFL. He also has to battle some past demons in the minds of the fans. Mock Draftable is a website that compares the combine/pro day performances and stature of coming up draft picks to past platers. Here is who Adams’ compares the most closely to:
It’s not fair to Adams that we are immediately comparing him to those two, but no one can deny that it leaves you with a sour feeling.
Something that happens a lot during the draft, fans get really bent out of shape when their favorite NFL team doesn’t draft players from their favorite college team. (I’m guilty) T.J. Watt is a perfect example, many fans were very bothered when Ted traded back from #29 and Watt was taken at #30. I get it, T.J. is a special talent and Pittsburgh saw that. We could have drafted T.J. Watt, and we passed. Pass rusher is a big need and we just let the best one available pass in such a deep corner draft? What is Ted doing? Then the first pick in the fourth round came in. It all made sense. The Packers do love a Wisconsin OLB, it just wasn’t Watt. It was Vince Biegel. How much do they love him exactly? They loved him more than Dalvin Cook and Carl Lawson, a stud running back and the perceived best OLB available. Biegel is very instinctual and one of the most relentless players I’ve seen put on a Badger uniform. If BIegel can stay healthy, he will be getting after the quarterback for a long time in the NFL.
The Running Backs
This surprised a lot of people, three running backs in one draft, for what reason? Competition. Ted did say that they needed add more running backs and they went for it. First to come of the board was Jamaal Williams from BYU. Williams will remind fans of Ryan Grant with how he runs the football. He’s not explosive in any area but good at everything. He’s a big back at 6’0” 212 and he is a one cut and go type of player that is perfect for the zone blocking scheme.
Next, was Aaron Jones out of UTEP. Jones has a chance to be the sleeper of this running black class if he can stay healthy. He’s 5’10” 208lbs (He’s also been listed at 5’9” but I’ll help him out) and he set El Paso on fire last year. Jones finished third in FBS with 1,773 yards and 20 total touchdowns, three of them were receiving. He’s a quicker than fast kind of running back, that can also be a threat in the passing game.
Devonte Mays was the third back taken by Green Bay. He is an absolute bowling ball. At 5’11” 230lbs he loves running through tacklers. He gets that shoulder low and blasts through everybody that is coming at him. He ran a 4.5 40 yard dash and had a 40.5” inch vertical showing that he’s more than just a big back. Being the last one taken may put a chip on his shoulder, and I wouldn’t want to get in his way.
With Don Jackson and Christine Michael no longer being a part of the Packers’ plans for the future, Ty is the lone back. These 3 are fighting to be the next guy in line. Let the competition begin.
The signing of Jahri Evans made it so that Ted didn’t need to draft T.J. Lang’s future replacement in this draft, but he might have gotten him in the 6th round. The skillset isn’t there yet; he would have been taken much earlier. The athleticism is through the roof, though. At his Pro Day the 6’4” 297lb Amichia ran a 4.99 40, had a 33.5” inch vertical, and 32 225lb bench reps. Amichia is an absolute monster tackle that’s going to get kicked inside, and if he can pick up on the schemes and intricacies of being a guard he can be very valuable depth and an eventual starter.
The Wide Receivers
Again, this is more competition. Trevor Davis, Jeff Janis and Geronimo Allison have some company in those last wide receiver spots. Deangelo Yancey was taken in the fifth round and he’s a vertical threat. He isn’t quick enough to shake guys and get open underneath but his size, frame, and ball skills make him someone to worry about downfield.
In the seventh round, the Packers got a steal in Malachi Dupre. Some had Dupre as a third or fourth rounder and he had a long wait after those rounds. This is strictly a best player available pick and it was a no brainer that late in the draft. Dupre is a relatively average athlete, for an NFL wide receiver, but he looks fluid while doing everything. He has great hands and great size at 6’3” 196 and wins at the point of attack. Dupre isn’t your normal seventh rounder that you never hear from again, he’s going to make some noise for Green Bay.
All in all, this is a draft to be excited about. The Packers answered questions in the secondary, got a pass rusher, o-line depth, and made it so that there is a lot of competition to surround Aaron Rodgers. It’s unlikely that every pick is a hit, but what the Packers did was smart. Defense was the biggest need so you use your highest value picks on defense, and on the offensive side they went quantity over perceived draft quality. They drafted 5 skill position players and are going to let them compete to be a Green Bay Packer, and the cream will rise to the top.