Green Bay Packers 2017 NFL Draft Recap
Hello Cheese heads,
Another year the Green Bay Packers come up short in the playoffs. The question is never their offense when it comes to competing. The defense has gotten younger and still trying to find an identity moving forward, but this year defensive coordinator Dom Capers hopes that his new ‘Nitro’ scheme will help give the defense the edge it needs. As long as Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback of this team they’ll be in the playoff conversation; however, its’ defense will determine how deep of a playoff run they can make. Some of the newly drafted players should assist the team this year, so let’s take a look on how they’ll contribute.
-2nd Round, Pick #33: Kevin King – Cornerback (Washington)
- Long time cornerback Sam Shields is no longer with the team, so adding to the Packers young core of corners was a necessity this off-season. Among all the projected corners to make the roster only one player (Davon House) has three or less years’ experience. Kevin King was on a very good Washington Huskies defensive unit last season. He’s taller than most corners standing at 6’3″ and has 4.43 speed. The Packers will utilize his height on the outside when going up against bigger receivers. The Green Bay Packers defense has lacked consistency in the last few years mainly because of the youth movement, but as they gain experience and a feel for the NFL game they’ll be a good defensive unit in the coming years. Kevin King will only add to the talented secondary that the Packers are quietly accumulating.
-2nd Round, Pick #29: Josh Jones – Safety (North Carolina State)
- The Green Bay Packers lost safety Micah Hyde during the off-season through free agency to the Buffalo Bills. The Packers needed to add depth and an eventual younger partner next to HaHa Clinton-Dix. Veteran Morgan Burnett isn’t getting younger and is going into his eighth year in the league. Josh Jones brings a good solid option behind the two starters and an aggressive player that doesn’t often let players catch the ball. Jones doesn’t make many big plays, but he’s a big guy with good speed. Once the Packers polish him into their mold, he’ll be a nice addition and make a good contribution to this Packers defense.
-3rd Round, Pick #93: Montravius Adams – Defensive Tackle (Auburn)
- With the releasing of veteran starting nose tackle Letroy Guion, a permanent roster spot has opened up. Guion is suspended the first four games of the season, so the Packers needed to fill his absence for a short amount of time anyway. Well, it appears they’re just going to replace him altogether. Montravius Adams steps in to have a chance to anchor the middle down for the Packers; however if Adams can’t take control of the starting position then he’ll be at least a back-up in a rotational role. Adams is a big dude and can control a line of scrimmage, but he needs to find a consistent motor to showcase his talents.
-4th Round, Pick #108: Vince Biegel – Linebacker (Wisconsin)
- The Packers defense has been their achillies heel the last few seasons and here they are selecting a fourth straight defensive player and now one at every level of the defense. The Packers grab a local kid in Vince Biegel. It’s not the Wisconsin linebacker fans were hoping for in TJ Watt, but they’re still getting a serviceable linebacker with good upside. Biegel can rush the passer or drop into coverage; he’s the whole package with good size and decent speed. His only downfall is a lingering foot injury. The Packers have two good outside linebackers in Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, but they’re both around the dreaded age of 30 and football teams seem not to like that number next to their age on the roster chart. Biegel might not start right away, but the best thing for him honestly is to come in a rotational role to give his foot time to fully heal and learn for the good veterans.
-4th Round, Pick #134: Jamaal Williams – Running Back (BYU)
- Looking at the Green Bay Packers roster you’ll notice the only running back on the team, excluding the fullbacks, is Ty Montgomery. Montgomery had a great ending to the season last year considering he was a wide receiver transitioning to a running back during the Packers push for the playoffs and during the post-season. He made plays both running and receiving the ball in what made the Packers offense unique. Well, those types of players can often be a one-year wonder type of trend and not ever amount to the same type of success the following season(s). Montgomery is a good player and has a chance to revolutionize the position; however, the Packers drafted three running backs in this year’s draft (spoiler). Regardless if those three runners were brought in for much needed depth purposes or to keep Montgomery from slacking on his starting duties, Jamaal Williams has his coaches impressed. Rumors are that he could at least split starting time with Montgomery to keep him fresh and healthy for the long season. The Packers excel at turning ‘no bodies’ into all-stars, even if it’s for a season, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a stud emerge outside of Montgomery in the backfield and as of right now the front runner is Jamaal Williams.
-5th Round, Pick #175: DeAngelo Yancey – Wide Receiver (Purdue)
- DeAngelo Yancey was one of the few bright spots for the Purdue Boilermakers. He was a big target that was able to take over games, or at least attempt to keep Purdue in them, during his time on campus. It is hard to see Yancey moving forward with the Packers this season though. Depending on the number of receivers they bring, Yancey could be the odd man out. Let’s say the Packers have five wide receivers on the final roster. Assuming Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and fan favorite Jeff Janis all make the final 53-man roster, that leaves one opening and a lot of players fighting for that last spot. Yancey has the talent to make a case for that final spot, but I’ll take the field over him.
-5th Round, Pick #182: Aaron Jones – Running Back (Texas-El Paso)
- The second running back selected in this draft class by the Packers. Aaron Jones was the do everything guy for the UTEP Miners. He ran for over 4000 yards in his four year career for the college while adding just north of 600 yards receiving with a combined 40 touchdowns. Sure he played for a smaller school, but sometimes those can be the impact players a team needs to generate a spark. Aaron Jones may not see the field all that much this season if everyone stays healthy, but when he gets his chance he’ll be hard to keep off the field in certain situations. Jones and Jamaal Williams could be the future one-two punch for the Green Bay Packers.
6th Round, Pick #212: Kofi Amichia – Center (South Florida)
- Drafted as a center, but on the latest depth chart the Packers have him listed as a guard. Kofi Amichia has played a variety of positions on the offensive line and as always, that versatility comes in handy and will give him an extra edge come roster cuts. Four of the five starters from last year are returning to the team and the team brought in Jahri Evans to fill the void left by TJ Lang, so it’ll be hard for Amichia to push for starting time; however the Packers lack depth on the interior offensive line, in which making the final roster that much easier.
-7th Round, Pick #238: Devante Mays – Running Back (Utah State)
- Devante Mays will keep the other three running backs honest and push them to earn their roster spots. Devante Mays has sustained multiple injuries throughout his career, but he showed glimpses of brilliance. I expect the Packers to have a fullback on the roster so that will just push Mays out of the roster bubble onto the practice squad for a chance at a spot next year. As of now he is a camp pair of legs for training camp and pre-season and could make it to the final waive of roster cuts in case of an injury, but chances are likely he’ll be cut.
-7th Round, Pick #247: Malachi Dupre – Wide Receiver (LSU)
- Similar to DeAngelo Yancey, it’ll be an upward climb to make the final roster. Malachi Dupre played against better cornerbacks on a consistent basis and still put up decent numbers. It’s always impressive to lead a South Eastern Conference (SEC) team in receiving yards and receptions two years in a row. Dupre isn’t going to outrun many players, but he’ll get you a key possession in crunch time if need be. Don’t think Dupre will make this year’s roster, but he and Yancey should stick around the practice squad to improve their skills and make a case for next year.
Ten draft selections and the first four on the defensive side of the ball. Each defensive pick was at a different position level on the 3-4 scheme defense the Packers obtain and all four should see early playing time. The next six selections were on the offensive side of the ball either to push the starters to play better or for depth reasons. Like I said, as long as the Packers have Aaron Rodgers at the helm they’ll be in every game they play and will be in the playoff mix, but the defense needs to improve accordingly to be in the Super Bowl conversation. Fans experience the lights turn on for some defenses during the off-season and the Green Bay Packers could be the team to flip the switch. We’ll see in the coming months, but until next time, have a great day!
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