If your thoughts have understandably shifted to how the Packers are going to contend in the opening weeks of the 2017 season against fellow NFC powers Seattle and Atlanta, then this post will admittedly give you little imaginative fodder.
But if, like me, you have one-track mind set on the upcoming draft, perhaps the following will provide some value. After peering into Packer draft pick possibilities from rounds 3-5, we’ve finally arrived at the late rounds. Given Green Bay’s past successes, these late rounds are nothing to pooh-pooh.
Green Bay’s starting fullback, Aaron Ripkowski, and potentially starting right guard, Kyle Murphy, are both recent sixth-round selections. James Starks, another sixth round pick, played an integral role in Green Bay’s last Super Bowl triumph as a rookie. There are good players to be had at the bottom end of the draft, and loads more who stake their NFL claims as undrafted free agents.
Players around this part of the draft have to answer more questions than earlier selections. It’s part of what defines their late-round value. Some are weight room warriors, while others were highly productive despite lacking ideal speed/size/strength metrics. But drafting isn’t a science, and there’s no crystal ball that accurately projects a prospect’s future.
The following are some players who could make for great late-round value for Green Bay:
Keion Adams, EDGE, Western Michigan
Adams visited the Packers on Wednesday, so he’s definitely crossed their radar. If he was a top prospect he’d be long gone by round six, and it seems like a couple issues holding Adams back are lack of ideal size (he’s 6-2, 245) and the fact that despite above-average explosiveness, he struggles converting speed to power off the edge. There’s room for growth, though it’s a bit of a conundrum since he has tested well. The 4.68 that he ran in the 40 would make him the 20th fastest among EDGE players, and he posted an impressive 27 reps on the bench. The pool of players who could add some juice to the pass rush is shallow in round six, so consider a potential Adams selection good value late.
Jalen Reeves-Maybin, ILB, Tennessee
The list of things to like about Reeves-Maybin is a lot longer than the list of negatives. He’s an instinctive, athletic linebacker with solid coverage skills. Reeves-Maybin finds the ball quick and gets downhill fast. The knocks on him are understandable: he’s small (6-foot, 230 pounds) and is still recovering from a scary shoulder injury. With a clean bill of health and a larger build, he’d easily be a second round pick. Reeves-Maybin would be given time to grow into the position, to rehab his shoulder and build overall strength, before being needed to be called to action. He makes total sense as a sixth-round pick for the Pack.
Robert Davis, WR, Georgia State
Davis tests so well that it would seem that based on the measureables alone, he’s worth being picked higher than round six. He’s still incredibly raw, though, and will need a lot of work at the next level on route running. At 6-foot-3, 219 pounds he’s an imposing figure. Add to that good speed (4.44 40-time), strength (19 bench press reps) and uncanny ups (41-inch vertical and 136-inch broad), and it’s clear that he has the physical tools to succeed in the NFL. With Davis, the Packers would get another swing at a Jeff Janis-type tester who needs more positional molding, but who could contribute early on special teams.
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