- Round 1, Pick #12: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
- Round 1, Pick #21: Darnell Savage Jr., S, Maryland
- Packers traded up from #30 overall and their two fourth round picks this year.
- Round 2, Pick #44: Elgton Jenkins, G/C, Mississippi State
- Round 3, Pick #75: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M
- Round 5, Pick #150: Kingsley Keke, DT, Texas A&M
- Round 6, Pick #185: Ka’dar Hollman, CB, Toledo
- Round 6, Pick #194: Dexter Williams, RB, Notre Dame
- Round 7, Pick #226: Ty Summers, ILB, TCU
Now that the 2019 NFL Draft is over I would like to go through the Packers draft and breakdown each player, and what the Packers drafting them tells me what the front office and coaching staff feels about this team.
First I have already given my thoughts on our two first round picks, Gary and Savage Jr., you can read my thoughts on them here.
Secondly, we can see the Packers only drafted two skill position players and no QB. Before the draft, many, many mock drafts, and experts had the Packers taking a WR in round 1 or 2, taking a TE in round 1 or 2, and drafting a QB as high as #30 overall. The most common pick there was Drew Lock from Missouri who went to the Broncos. Reportedly, the Broncos traded up in front of the Packers because they thought he would get taken at 44 if available for the Pack.
I was not surprised by this. After pick #44 when the Packers took and OL instead of one of the receivers available at that point, that told me Gute and LaFleur like what they have in the WR room with all that young potential. I saw a lot of complaining on Twitter, forums, and Facebook groups. I think people need to calm their tits and trust what we have. MVS and EQS showed a lot of potential, one more year with Rodgers is only going to help them move forward. Adams is an obvious stud and Rodgers loves Allison. Graham will be better with another year working with Rodgers, and at RB I would expect Aaron Jones and Jamal Willams to be more involved in the passing game. Our passing attack will be just fine this year.
With that said, let’s take a look at the rest of the Packers pick starting with round 2.
Round 2 Pick #44: Elgton Jenkins, G/C, Mississippi State
The Packers needed OL help. I said previously the Packers needed to go OL with one of their first three picks and they did. They need desperate help at G and who knows how long Bulaga will hold up. Billy Turner was signed in the offseason to play guard, but also to play RT if Bulaga goes down. Combine Turner with our fifth round pick from last year in Cole Madison, and now Jenkins – we have a solid OL group that goes seven deep. I think Lane Taylor, Jenkins, and Madison will all compete for that LG spot. Hell, throw Turner in there and those four will probably compete for the two guard spots. The Packers now have DEPTH on the offensive line, something they haven’t had for a few years.
Jenkins started 26 games at center for Mississippi State and most draft experts had him slate there, as the second or third best center in the draft. However, he did play guard his sophomore year which is where the Packers will play him. There was also a connection on the coaching staff to Jenkins, Packers new QB coach Luke Getsy was Mississippi State’s offensive coordinator last season and it sounds like he loves Jenkins.
This will be a common theme here, but the Packers filled a need here which is what you want your team do in the draft. Fill a need, and not over pay for the guy they want.
Round 3, Pick #75: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M
Tight End was a trendy position for the Packers to go after early on the draft. Many like Hockenson at #12 to them, or Fant at #30. Both those guys went top #20 so the Packers didn’t have a chance for either of those guy. Irv Smith JR. was available at #44 for them but after passing on him, it was clear TE was the biggest need for the Packers. They waiting until round three to pull the trigger on Jace Sternberger.
Sternberger only played one year at Texas A&M but he was very effective in the passing game averaging 17.3 yards per catch. He’s not the fastest (4.75 40 time at the combine) but his game tape shows him running away from many LB’s. Now in the NFL, many of those LB’s will watch him but he doesn’t need to be Travis Kelce for the Packers, although that would be nice. The Packers needed to add a young TE for Rodgers. They have Graham who still have some left in the tank as a receiving TE, Mercedes Lewis who better get used more this year as a great blocking TE, and another young guy in Robert Tonyan. Sternberger won’t be asked to start right away for the Pack which will help him develop.
At 6-4, 251 is not a huge TE in any sense but I think he can be the future starter at TE for the Packers – as early as this season, although I don’t think they’ll make that change with what they are paying Graham. The Packers have been looking for a quality TE receiving threat for a long time. Jermichael Finley was supposed to bet that but injuries, his problems with drops, and McCarthy’s offense hindered that. I thought Jared Cook was great and wanted the Packers to keep him but we didn’t and now were here.
I think LaFleur is going to have a lot of fun with this TE room. Sternberger is more of a blocker than Graham and can be used in run game situations. Later on in the year, don’t be surprised to see more two TE sets or even three TE sets in short down situations to really try and confuse the defense.
This pick, fills another need and that’s all we ask for in the draft. Fill a need with talent. Sternberger has a lot of talent, let’s hope the coaching staff brings it out.
Round 5, Pick #150: Kingsley Keke, DT, Texas A&M
Depth, depth, depth. You can never have enough on the defensive or offensive line and that’s what this pick was. I wanted a OL with the first three picks, I also wanted a DL in that span too. Although Rashan Gary kind fits that mold, he will play some DL for the Packers, Keke is truly a DT.
Let’s look at the Packers DL right now. Kenny Clark is a fucking stud and Mike Daniels is still very good. However, there is a good chance that Daniels is gone next year. After those two, the Packers have a lot of young guys or just solid backups: Fadol Brown (2nd year), Eric Cotton (2nd year), Tyler Lancaster (2nd year), James Looney (2nd year), Dean Lowry (4th year), Dean Simon (2nd year).
In their base package, that third spot on the DL is open for competition. I really liked what we saw form Lancaster at the end of last year, I think he can be a gem for the Packers. Outside of that, Lowry is the only guy who has done anything in the NFL but he is a backup. Right now though, Lowry is probably the third starting DL for the Packers.
Keke is 6-2, 288 lbs and was a pass rushing force last year. He had 7.0 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. He was up around 300 lbs in previous years but lost some weight and the Packers will feel comfortable playing him at DE or DT. Keke has a solid chance to be a rookie starter on this defense along with Savage at Safety.
Round 6, Pick #185: Ka’dar Hollman, CB, Toledo
This might be a surprise pick for some Packers fans but again, I liked it. The CB room is loaded with Kevin King, Tramon Williams, Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, and Tony Brown. So why take a Hollman here? Well for one he is a very athletic player who ran a sub 4.4 second 40 yard dash. Also, take a look at that CB room. Besides Williams and Jackson, the rest of those guys were injured at some point last year and Kevin King has yet to play more than like, six games in a row. If the CBs stay healthy, the Packers have lots of depth but I’ll believe that when I see it. I like the pick here because it’s a depth pick for the Packers, and a needed one.
Round 6, Pick #194: Dexter Williams, RB, Notre Dame
You can find RB depth anywhere in the draft these days, both Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams were later round picks for the Packers. They get another stud college RB in round 6 with Dexter Williams.
Williams is probably more close to Aaron Jones than he is Jamal Williams. Williams is the battering ram of this Packers rushing attack. Aaron Jones is multiple, he’s great running between the tackles, and outside. Both guys can catch the ball out of the backfield too. So why get another RB? Again, it comes down to depth to me. The Packers don’t have a #3 back and you always want to go at least three deep on game day.
Although he only ran a 4.57 second 40 yard dash at the combine, he was a big play guy for Notre Dame. In the highlight video below you are going to see a lot of long TD runs. As far as pass catching goes, he had 16 his senior year for 133 yards and 1 TD. Dexter Williams at 5-11, 215 is bigger than both Jones and Jamal Williams, but his style of running reminds me more of Jones.
Here I think the Packers took the best player on the board, and it also helped them out with depth. Williams, and especially Jones have dealt with injuries early on in their careers. Dexter will have to battle with Kapri Bibbs for that third RB spot on the roster.
Round 7, Pick #226: Ty Summers, ILB, TCU
With the final pick the Packers went back to defense and pick an ILB, a need many thought the Packers should address in the first few rounds. If the Packers don’t get rid of their two fourth round picks, I think an ILB gets taken there or with that 5th round pick but alas they waited and took Summers who at 6-1, 241 LBS ran a 4.51 second 40, had a 36″ vertical and put up 27 reps on the bench press. All those are better marks than Blake Martinez.
So again here this was a position of need. The other ILB spot opposite to Martinez is open for the taking. Oren Burks who was drafted last year failed to take grasp of the position, and Antonio Morrison who started for a good portion of the year is gone. The fact is, this other ILB position will probably not be on the field too much. In early down or obvious running situations, yes. But the Packers will play a lot of nickel with that second LB coming off the field and a CB or someone like Josh Jones filling in.
I don’t know why, but I have a sneaky feeling this guy is going to see the field over Burks. No facts or argument to back this up, just a gut feeling.
There is no need to “grade” or say this was shitty pick or this was a great pick. Now you can say a pick is “good” or not based on a guys potential and where you draft him, but to say a pick here or there is a waste right now is just stupid. You need to have patience and wait a few years before grading a draft.
Was Rashan Gary a reach? Maybe? Two months ago he would have been a steal at 12? If he’s a stud, then he is a steal. Was Savage worth moving up for? We don’t know. Hell and undrafted guy might be the biggest impact rookie for the Packers. We don’t know yet, so let the process play itself out and stop bitching and complaining. Trust the front office and the coaches. This group has not given us any reason to doubt them yet.
All in all I liked the Packers draft because they addressed needs without reaching for guys. They created depth and positions which need depth without reaching for guys. Positions like OL and LB which were our greatest weaknesses last year, now on paper look like a strength of this team through free agency and the draft. Things are looking up for Green Bay.
Go Pack Go.