During this week’s NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers built up assets to help construct the future of their franchise.
The Green Bay Packers came into the 2019 draft two years removed from the playoffs. The team’s needs in the draft consisted of better pass protection for Aaron Rodgers and adding some firepower to a one-dimensional offense.
They also looked to add depth to the defense with linebacker being their biggest need. This year’s draft was long in defensive potential and teams made the most of it through all seven rounds.
Round #1, Pick #12
Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
Gary is a very athletic player with abilities to be an exceptional player. But for one reason or another, he has been an underachiever thus far leaving several teams picking around him. I”m still trying to understand why they made this pick considering Chase Winovich, his teammate, had better stats and had more impact last year. He is a good choice but the value at No. 12 is too much.
Round #1, Pick #21
Darnell Savage, Safety, Maryland
What the Packers got wrong with the 12th pick they got right at 21. Savage is an impact player with ball skills that very few folks have in this draft. He can play man coverage and blanket the receiver, play zone coverage and use his 4.36 40-yard dash speed and quickness to switch from one receiver to another. At 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, he can play press and bump and run to knock receivers off their routes or use his 36-inch vertical leap to catch the ball at its highest point to take the ball away. He will be an immediate starter.
Round #2, Pick #44
Elgton Jenkins, Center, Mississippi State
The word on Jenkins is that he is a cerebral player with good instincts. He has the ability to reach the second level smoothly and control inside linebacker and his leadership of the line is an asset. He lacks the nastiness that an offensive line coach wants from his players and he is average when it comes to athletic ability. In one-on-one blocks, Jenkins can be defeated with the arm over technique and can be a victim of the bull rush due to being a bit slow off the snap. He also tends to fall victim to penalties.
Round #3, Pick #75
Jace Sternberger, Tight End, Texas A&M
Sternberger has a lot of upside to his game. He is a terrific route runner, has soft hands, and can make the tough catches in traffic. He’s not fast, needs work on run blocking, and getting into his pass routes when the defender is in press coverage. His pass catching ability and knack for picking up first downs will gain him reps in his first year.
Round #5, Pick #150
Kingsley Keke, Defensive Tackle, Texas A&M
Keke has a powerful upper body, explosiveness, and can diagnose plays quickly. He can line up at any position on the defensive line. He needs to gain strength in his legs to create drive, gain a nasty side and play with more attitude and be more explosive at the snap. However, he tends to take plays off. Keke will take a little time to adjust but will get reps and with work, he will have a chance to compete for a starting position going forward.
Round #6, Pick #185
Ka’Dar Hollman, Cornerback, Toledo
Hollman has above-average speed, fluid at changing direction, and has hand strength that can control receivers. The problem is that he lacks physicality, toughness, and technique when tackling. Maybe with NFL coaching and time on the practice squad, he can become an asset.
Round #6, Pick #194
Dexter Williams, Running Back, Notre Dame
Williams has very few things that he does well, but a laundry list of things he doesn’t do well. By playing behind a dominant line he can run and be successful, but he rarely breaks tackles for extra yards. He doesn’t show the ability to accelerate through a crease and runs upright. Also, factor in off-the-field issues; he missed the first four games of 2018 for violation of team rules, and in 2016 he was arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of a handgun with no license.
Round #7, Pick #226
Ty Summers, Linebacker, Texas Christian
Summers will have a chance to get reps in a base defense at inside linebacker, but he lacks coverage skills and has a history of injuries throughout his career. He is a sound tackler and could be a special teams player or spend time on the practice squad.