Running Back Love
The Packers had 7 picks in one day, and almost half of them were running backs. I can understand picking 2, but I really didn’t see 3 coming. I would have also understood a 3rd running back as an UDFA, but I never would have thought 3 would be DRAFTED. Crazy.
This is surprising to me mainly because Ted hasn’t invested that much in this position before. Check out his entire previous history of running backs (not including fullbacks):
2007: Brandon Jackson/DeShawn Wynn
2010: James Starks
2011: Alex Green
2013: Eddie Lacy/Jonathan Franklin
In his previous 12 drafts, he only selected 6 running backs. In one afternoon, he got 6 years of players in the span of about 100 draft slots! Also, the theme from the day 2 draft picks was versatility. He did it again on day 3, except this time they were all at the same position! Check out the versatility/body differences:
6’0″ 212 lbs – Slasher
5’9″ 208 lbs – Good pass catcher
5’11” 230 lbs – Size/Power
It will be an interesting battle at running back. Perhaps the IR or Practice Squad will be used for some of the players. No matter what, let’s hope they don’t have a shortage at the position this year.
LB Vince Biegel
I love rooting for players that play with all their heart. On top of his outstanding effort, he’s smart and team oriented. I know that people wanted Watt, but I’ve seen scouts say that Biegel is as good or a “safer” pick. He has a track record of results and Watt was a season and a half. When it comes to measurables, they are quite similar. TJ is 6’4″ 252lbs and Vince is 6’3″ 246lbs. Vince was a tick faster in the 40 as he ran 4.67 compared to TJ’s 4.69 time. Watt is ascending though, and deserves the higher pick. I still think Vince is a good player, and it will be interesting to me where they use him. He is an OLB, but he can create mismatches by lining up inside like Clay does. I think he can be a decent player in the NFL, though I’m not convinced he’s worth #108. I hope he proves me wrong. No matter what, I’m looking forward to cheering for him.
RB Jamaal Williams
This guy is so much fun watching run between the tackles. He has good balance and doesn’t go down easy. He secures the ball and has a nose for the end zone. He doesn’t have great speed, and he has some injuries in the past (including a concussion). He violated strict team rules, but knowing how much the Packers scrutinize character, I don’t think this will be an issue. His one cut style is exactly what McCarthy wants and if he stays healthy, he is capable of being a starting workhorse for the team. I think he’s a virtual lock for the final 53.
WR DeAngelo Yancey
This was a bit of a surprise for me. He wasn’t very high on ANY publication that I saw. Ted has a great eye for receivers, and if he spent this high of a pick on him, they must really like him. He does have good size and production. I think they envision him for more of a downfield/big play kind of a role. I personally would have rather had Chad Hansen, but he went between the Jamaal Williams pick and this one. I’ll trust Ted. The receiver battle is going to be tough this summer.
RB Aaron Jones
If you haven’t watched the “Path to the Pros” on Aaron, you might want to give it a watch (2017 Path to the Pros: Aaron Jones). This is the kind of character the Packers look for. He is talented, and he gives them the multi-dimensional threat. Of the 3 running backs they drafted, I think he’ll be the best 3 down back. I really like the player and he was on my list of guys that I wanted, he was just taken earlier than I was hoping for. I still like it and strongly hope me makes the 53.
OL Kofi Amichia
Boy, they sure do like athletic college tackles. I’m pretty sure he will be a guard, and then he will immediately be in the mix for right guard. It’s noteworthy that he wasn’t ranked very high on a lot of the draft publications. They were in good contact with him before the draft, and he expected to have a good chance of making the team. It sounds like they could have picked him up as an UDFA, so they must really like him to spend the pick.
RB Devante Mays
Oh, the one-cut backs! Yet another back that fits exactly what Coach McCarthy is looking for. Devante has power and was on a trajectory to be picked much higher before he got injured last year. Taking a flyer on an injured player that fits your run style is worth a 7th round pick. Competition and depth are good, but big backs take a beating. My early prediction is that he doesn’t make the final 53 and has Practice Squad, IR or PUP in his future.
WR Malachi Dupre
I see this is as a really good value. LSU had quarterback problems, and it affected the receivers ability to make plays. I think he flew under the radar for his talents. That being said, he’s not fast (4.52), but he’s still reasonably athletic. At 6’2″ 196lbs, he’s not small either. I doubt they could have got him as an UDFA, so the pick makes sense. As I said before, Ted knows his receivers, and this one is very little risk.
While I was a little surprised at picking 3 running backs and 2 receivers, I do think the competition they are trying to create is a very good thing for the team. Christine Michael and Don Jackson may be on their last legs… not just with the Packers but maybe the league. They will give everything they have to make this team, and it is a good environment for everyone. The same thing is going to happen with the receivers. Jeff Janis and Trevor Davis may not make this team. Both may get a shot somewhere else, but it’s much safer to just make the team. It’s a healthy thing for them as well as the players that do make it. On that note, I wouldn’t have minded taking another corner. Either way, I don’t think Demetri Goodson makes the team this year.
What a great draft it was. I hope you enjoyed it!