The Green Bay Packers have a few glaring holes that need to be addressed. One being edge/pass rusher, and the other being safety to help tag team with the young core of corners (Kevin King, Jaire Alexander, and Josh Jackson). The good news for Green Bay this year is that we have two first-round selections, the 12th, and the 30th overall picks.
Let’s take a look at the pass rusher that Green Bay should take at pick 12;
Jachai Polite, (Florida, Jr.) He is the favorite and should be. He stands at 6’2 which is undersized for an elite outside rusher. But Polite brings quick one-step explosiveness off the edge with 4.6 40 (yard dash) speed. Polite made a name for himself this past season registering 19.5 tackles for loss, adding 11 sacks and 6 forced fumbles. Jachai can step in and fill the shadows of Clay Matthews. He is a lot like Clay in more ways than one. Both Matthews and Polite have great body control and a relentless motor to get after the quarterback/ball-carrier. At Florida, Polite used two distinct pass rushing moves; the first being a subtle inside jab move which is used to set up the ensuing blocker before using his speed to explode to the corner and dipping around the edge containing the outside. His second noticeable trait is that of an inside spin move that was made famous by Hall of Famer (HOF) Bruce Smith and future HOF Dwight Freeney. Jachai uses these explosive movement abilities to not only rush the passer but to disrupt the running game. With all that being said, his undersized frame will be the determining factor to see if he can take on blocks head-on at the NFL level. Even if he lacks pure power as some others possess in this draft class, Polite brings that eyebrow-raising speed off the edge, and fluid change of direction of skills that will be a handful for NFL lineman. Adding Polite to Mike Pettine’s 3-4 scheme could be something special. If this is the right fit, Polite may have the makings of defensive rookie of the year. Jachai is the pick Green Bay needs to spark this defense, in doing so it will take pressure off the secondary.
Next, with a lot of speculation of what Green Bay should do with the 30th pick, the best one is to draft a safety to help shore up the secondary. They’re few articles out there stating the Packers should draft an Iowa tight end or possibly trade this pick for Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro Wide Receiver Antonio Brown (I think a 2nd round pick could get him).
Nasir Adderley, the Safety from Delaware, is someone that the Packers should target in this draft. He is climbing up a lot of mock draft boards since his strong showing at the senior bowl last month. The 5’11”, 201 pound Second-Team All-American safety is considered one of the top 5 safeties in this year’s draft class. He finished his senior year with 87 tackles, 8 pass deflections, and 4 interceptions. Not mind boggling stats, but this kid can flat out ball. He would be bringing his 4.5 speed to an already impressive speedy secondary tandem of Jaire Alexander (4.38) and Kevin King (4.43). Before this past season started there was speculation that since Nasir played in the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision that he lacked true competition. But as the season wore on, his highlight reel spoke for itself. Besides his overall speed and quickness, Adderley brings a few great skill sets to the table, that the Packers are in desperate need of at the safety position. He has great range to get from one zone to another and isn’t afraid to contest throwing windows. Nasir has good length and definitely excelled in the single high position and showed near perfect form tackling who can wrap up and drive through a ball carrier. (Something the Packers struggled with the past few seasons with Clinton-Dix and Kentrell Brice). This is something that caught the eyes of NFL Scouts and at the senior bowl it showed against some of the nation’s top players. Even though Nasir wasn’t thrown at a whole lot last season, over the course of his career, he has regularly shown that he can make the plays at the point of catch. (If you need an example see his one-handed interception from 2017). This is the style of playmaker the Packers have missed since the Nick Collins/Charles Woodson era. Overall Adderley’s best traits is what Green Bay is sorely missing, even if his one weaknesses coming into the draft is man coverage, the rest of his game makes up for it. Definitely the type of player the Packers could plug in and see great results and be this year’s Jaire Alexander.