To put a bow on draft season, we’re sealing this up so we can look back and remember what we were thinking after some time goes by.
In 2018, the “big splash” (which was rumored to happen in the week leading up to the draft, but it doesn’t appear anyone knew what it would be or if this was actually it) was in round 1 where Gutey traded down from 14 with the Saints to grab their 2019 first rounder (which mayhave been a humorous situation). The Saints probably figure their 2019 pick will be a late one, but the Packers can’t pass up that value. It will be interesting to see where that pick falls and who the Packers get out of it. The Saints took Marcus Davenport, widely regarded as a project, albeit one with nearly unlimited potential. If he reaches it, history will look back on this move unfavorably.
After dropping 13 slots, Gutey packed his 3rd rounder and moved up 9 spots to take Jaire Alexander at 18. Alexander looks like everything you want in the prototypical corner except height and fans seem to love his cocky demeanor. Many fans were hoping for Denzel Ward in the 1st, but the Browns shocked everyone by taking him at 4. There were some late round picks swapped around, but the Packers basically traded their 2018 3rd for a 2019 1st to move down 4 spots.
In the second round, fans were very evenly and fervently divided on Harold Landry, a pass rushing prospect with an injury-riddled senior year. Many wanted the Packers to trade up to get him in the 2nd (including yours truly), but they stayed put and snagged Josh Jackson, another highly-touted corner. Fans unanimously approved of that selection.
In the 3rd, Gutey traded up for high-character, versatile linebacker Oren Burks. Many felt it was a bit high, with some filmniks going as far as to say he’s outright terrible and would never contribute beyond special teams. He was viewed as a Morgan Burnett box replacement that would allow Josh Jones to stay solely safety.
Still, all things considered, everyone was feeling good at this point… and then things got a little wacky.
On Day 3, the Packers had a chance at guys like Maurice Hurst, Shaquem Griffin, Tyrell Crosby, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, and Duke Ejiofor, all prospects expected to go much higher. The Packers took none of them.
They selected 3 physical specimens at receiver, E. St. Brown being the highest-touted, but he went third among them. The highest was J’Mon Moore, who ran a 4.6 at the combine (but ran better at his pro day and allegedly plays much faster). The other guy was Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who ran a 4.37 at 6’5″, exciting fans with his potential more than his production. Cole Madison looked like a bit reach as an OL, but there was a vocal minority that really seemed to like him. James Looney and Kendall Donnerson were your typical late-round flyers, but taking JK Scott as a punter in the 5th and Hunter Bradley as a long snapper – even in the 7th – seemed bizzaire. On the first day of rookie camp, the Packers cut incumbent punter Justin Vogel.
Overall, the players selected were all phenomenal athletes – heck, even the punter is 6’6″ (with a 31″ vertical, maybe he could play on a Hail Mary defensive set… no I’m not serious, but he may get some Janis comps). There was a lot of speed in the defenders chosen and agility scores were high across the board. It seems Gutey values athleticism.
Everyone was feeling pretty good after the daft, especially with the extra 1st coming next year, but no one was particularly excited about any of the day 3 picks.
Time will tell…
Review all of our 2018 draft coverage at our 2018 Draft Central page.