The wrap up of Brian Gutekunst’s first draft was… interesting.
After grabbing some top talent on Days 1 and 2, things seemed to go off the rails on Day 3.
It started with receiver J’Mon Moore in the 4th, who was taken over many other higher-ranked receiver prospects, despite having a huge issue with drops. Anyone wanna guess how many drops Aaron Rodgers will tolerate before he starts completely ignoring a young receiver?
In the 5th, they took receiver Marquez Valdez-Scantling, who most saw as an UDFA because, despite being tall and fast, the only route he knows is the fly pattern… sounds like Jeff Janis.
Then in the 6th they took their third receiver of the day with Equanimeous St. Brown (who I think I’ll just refer to as St. Brown in the future), who, oddly enough, was the highest-rated of the three. When the first two receivers were chosen, we kept wondering why they were taken ahead of this guy. He had a good year in 2016, then his production dropped when DeShone Kizer left for the pros. This might have been his most logical pick of the day and it’ll be interesteing to see him catch passes from his old QB in practice.
In the 5th round, the Packers took Cole Madison, an offensive lineman from Washington State. He was a basketball player, which usually translates to skill positions like tight end and receiver, but not necessarily offensive line. He has a reputation for playing a finesse game and was in a spread offense. He seems to fit the bill as a late round Packer project to maybe convert from tackle to guard, but Tyrell Crosby, a very highly-touted tackle who fell much later than projected (perhaps becuase he projected better as a guard to many teams) ,was still on the board went to Detroit later in the round.
In the 7th, the Packers took James Looney, a defensive lineman and Kendall Donnerson, an outside linebaker. Donnesron’s only predraft visit was to Green Bay, which meant they probably could have got him as an UDFA. Most 7th rounders could be had as UDFAs, which is why it usually makes more sense to take really big boom-or-bust guys like Holton Hill and Hercules Mata’afa (who both went UDFA to Minnesota), so that you can try them out to see if they are a boom without any competition.
Now, there were questions around a lot of these guys, but let’s be realistic: it’s day 3, everyone’s is just taking shots. There’s not a lot of consensus and if there are any diamonds, they are very much in the rough. I’m just offering my conjecture here, but what do I know?
Well, no matter how much leeway there is, I know this: You don’t take a punter in the 5th round! I know, he’s the next Ray Guy. It seems like every new GM wants to prove how smart they are by taking a punter that everyone else missed. Well, every GM except Ted Thompson. But very, very rarely do they prove worth their draft position. Maybe this one will, but I’m a skeptic. When I first saw the notice that they took “JK Scott, Punter,” I read it as “The Packers took Scott the Punter… Just Kidding!” I couldn’t believe that we’d take a punter higher than anyone since Mike Sherman.
But we did.
And then we topped it!
In the 7th round, Gutey took a long snapper. I know, it’s just a late throwaway pick. But still… You can take a flyer on some real players here. With a punter, hey, you’re right, he could go on to average 60 yards a game and we’d all be like “Wow, that was a brilliant pick, he even beat out our UDFA from last year!”
But what if we have an amazing all-world long snapper? What would we say then? “Wow, he’s as good as Brett Goode!”?
Day 3 is a a whole bunch of dice throws, I get it. But I want to throw dice on players that could have an impact, even if at a position where we already invested, like cornerback.
I don’t understand most of the picks, and I’m not supposed to, but drafting a punter and a long-snapper?
No one understands that.
Time will tell if Gutey’s the genius or if he just swung and missed.
For our complete draft coverage, please visit our 2018 Draft Central page.