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2017 Draft Class NFL Player Comps

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2017 Draft Class NFL Player Comps

The easiest way to explain a draft pick to fans is to compare a player to a curent NFL player.  I've been doing this for the last two years on (you can view 2014 here, 2015 here, and 2016 here).  They're never perfect and almost by rule, they're quite optimistic.  The reality is that all ten of the players that Ted Thompson selected aren't necessarily going to be stars, starters, or even role players.  

These comparisons are more about the things that these players excel and struggle with than it is a true projection of their NFL "ceiling".  As you can see in the previous two years' comparisons, sometimes these comps work out (HHCD, Linsley), sometimes they do not (Thornton, C. Bradford).

Round 2- Kevin King: Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks

Just because it's obvious doesn't make it wrong.  Sherman epitomizes a single-high corner.  He takes away his third of the field largely because of his inability to get beat deep.  They're both too tall (6'3").  Sherman is a much better player right now.  With that said, King is a much better athlete.  Even if he never gets to Sherman's level of skill (and he likely never will), his unreal athleticism could still make him a true number one corner.  No one played more "2-man" than the Packers last year.  King can help change that.

Round 2- Josh Jones: Mike Mitchell, S, Pittsburgh Steelers

Mitchell is another safety that might have been considered "overdrafted" because of height, weight and speed.  Mitchell ended up being a fine player, though never a superstar.  After a brief career in Carolina, Mitchell has found a full time gig in Pittsburgh as a safety in their 3-4 scheme.  As Capers' scheme becomes more diverse, I would imagine that Green Bay would prefer to use Jones in more diverse ways than Mitchell has been used in his career.  That said, both are super-aggressive athletes.  


Round 3- Montravius Adams: Jurrell Casey, DL, Tennessee Titans

Adams shares athletic testing numbers with Khryi Thornton and Justin Harrell, which of course terrifies Packers fans.  I see a player who is a good deal better than that, and will have no quarter when it comes to effort sharing a position room with Mike Daniels.  Casey is absolutely a best case scenario for Adams' career but what they share is positional versatility.  Both men are long enough to play all along the line and neither is strictly a run defender or a pass rusher.  If Adams plays like he did against Alabama, he'll complete Green Bay's defensive line rotation, no question.

Round 4- Vince Biegel: Clay Matthews, OLB Green Bay Packers

I don't think there's an easier comparison of any pick in this class.  From Justis Mosqueda: overlooked in a big time linebacker unit? Check.  Quietly elite athlete? Check.  Comes from a football family? Check.  His knock is "production"?  Check.  Wore #47 for a big time college football program?  Well that's my check.  The style of play is scarily similar.  Matthews and Biegel could become interchangeable, relentless pieces.  

Round 4- Jamaal Williams: Frank Gore, RB Indianapolis Colts

Neither Williams or Gore are elite athletes, but both succeed in the run game.  Neither player, especially in Gore's prime, goes down on contact or really goes down on any arm tackle.  Gore wasn't picked in the first two rounds, either, but has found a way to still be gaining NFL yards at age 33.  Williams may never be a home run hitter, but as Mike Renner from Pro Football Focus told me, he's going to create a lot of 2nd and 6s. 

Round 5- DeAngelo Yancey: James Jones, WR Retired

The second I turned on the tape for Yancey, I saw James Jones.  Yancey is thick for a receiver, the same way that Jones is.  They're both great after the catch and secure the ball with their hands.  Neither player is a body catcher.  That said, Jones struggled with drops early in his career, and it's possible Yancey will as well.  Their actual athletic testing numbers are frighteningly close.

Round 5- Aaron Jones: Warrick Dunn, RB Retired

Nothing would make the Packers happier than if Aaron Jones became the Warrick Dunn to Jamaal Williams' Mike Alstott.  Dunn was also diminutive and developed into an excellent pass receiving back.  The obvious differnece is that Jones went to UTEP and Dunn played at Florida State during a time that they were very, very good.  Jones provides a different style certainly than any back on the Packers roster, and therefore may just earn himself a roster spot.  After the releases of Don Jackson and Christine Michael it appears that's where Jones is headed.

Round 6- Kofi Amichia: Brandon Brooks, G Philadelphia Eagles

Brooks was another small school player who tested very well and played some tackle.  They're both shorter than 6'6" and project to guard in the pros.  Brooks is a very good guard in the pros.  Both of these players, despite being enormous human beings, ran sub- 5.00 second 40 yard dashes.  Brooks was a successful developmental player, something Green Bay hopes either Kofi or last year's 6th round pick Kyle Murphy will be.

Round 7- Devante Mays: Eddie Lacy, RB Seattle Seahawks

Mays and Lacy share a similar running style.  They also share 5'11" 235 pound frames.  Lacy obviously went to a higher profie university, and was drafted much, much higher.  The Packers now have two power backs in Mays and Williams, a do-it-all back in Montgomery and a scat back in Jones.  Mays might have to briefly earn his keep on the practice squad or on special teams if he can't jump Jones or Williams during camp.

Round 7- Malachi Dupre: Laquon Treadwell, WR Minnesota Vikings

I see a lot of the same strengths in Dupre and Treadwell.  I see a lot of the same weaknesses as well.  Neither guy really ever seems to be open, but it never really seems to be a problem (in college, a lot of things were a problem for Treadwell in Minnesota and his one catch for fifteen yards).  They both win contested catches all the time.  Treadwell played with a much better quarterback in Swag Kelly than Dupre ever did.  Two things make Dupre a better investment than Treadwell.  First Dupre was taken about 200 picks later than Treadwell was.  Also, Dupre ran a 4.52, not a 4.65, so there's chance he can be taught to separate.


Ross Uglem is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @RossUglem 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (24) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RCPackerFan's picture

Before reading this i had a few comparisons I had thought of for a few of the players.

Vince Biegel - Clay Mathews... He plays with the same type of motor/relentlessness that Mathews plays with. Basically same size and speed of players as well. I'm not saying he will be the same type of player as Clay, but Vince does remind me a bit of Clay.

DeAngelo Yancey - James Jones... Something about him just really reminded me of Jones. Which is probably what really attracted the Packers to him.

Aaron Jones - James White - New England. His receiving skills and quick change of direction reminds me of White. They are very similar size, have similar speed.

As far as the comparisons made in this article. Overall it seems like these comparisons are really good.

Duke Divine's picture

Tinkering Ted scheming again!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"The second I turned on the tape for Yancey, I saw James Jones." Me too, but JJ always had soft hands. I don't see soft hands on Yancey.

Film of Josh Jones looks like college film of Sean Taylor to me. Huge, strong, fast and likes to hit.

Finwiz's picture

JJ dropped A LOT of passes and had fumbles in those 1st couple of years.
He got better with ball security and catching the ball after that.
He didn't always have "soft" hands as you say. I remember it well.

dobber's picture

A whole lotta THIS!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

IIRC that was more of a concentration thing than a bad hands thing. To me they are different. I'd have to go back and look to say for sure.

MarkinMadison's picture

I see Montravius Adams as a liability against the run. Low measured strength at the combine relative to his size and position. If you look at some game tape he is not just neutralized by double teams, but frequently gets washed out of plays completely. Even against single blockers I didn't see a whole lot of plus plays. I definitely do not see him as a guy who can play the nose this year. He may not ever be a guy that can play the nose. I really think he will strictly be a passing down guy until he gets a lot stronger.

Amichia added 20 lbs. after the end of the season to get ready for the draft. It's impressive that he was able to add that much weight in such a short time and still run so fast. Seems like a good practice squad candidate for this year.

Ross Uglem's picture

"measured strength"? There's one "strength" drill at the combine and it's the bench press and there's nothing wrong with 22 reps. It's average for a defensive tackle. More than Glasgow, more than Godchaux, more than Jaleel Johnson. at worst it's average.

MarkinMadison's picture

I wish they did squats too. I think it would tell you something about lineman. On the BP among all DL, 29 did better, 14 did worse, 2 scored the same. So average, eh, is probably a little generous. If you could weed the DEs out I suspect the 22 would look worse. If you could focus on NT it would be poor. Anyway, in my view this guy lacks the bulk and strength to handle NT this year, and I still think he will be a liability against the run this year. If you disagree, that's fine.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Squats would be too big of a risk. Especially of injury on the other drills after.

MarkinMadison's picture

Put it this way. Lane Taylor and Jahri Evans both outweigh him by 20+ lbs. Corey Linsley put up 10 more on the BP and is within 5 pounds of his weight. And you want to put Adams in at NT or even 3-tech on a running play and see what happens? It won't be pretty.

Ross Uglem's picture

lol his PFF college run blocking grade was 81.0 in the SEC and he ranked in the top 10 in the FBS in run stop % playing almost exclusively 0, 1, and 3 tech. Him playing the run effectively is literaly all over his tape, specifically his senior tape. Bench press is an awful measure of functional football strength.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Yeah, watch him against Alabama. He takes on Double teams constantly in that game.

slit's picture

As much as a like the draft, as a whole, the Packers made a big mistake taking Adams over Jaleel. Jaleel will be an All-Pro by the time his rookie contract is up. The Vikings would be a damn scary team, if they had a QB.

Ross Uglem's picture

Yeah that 18th ranked defense by weighted DVOA that Rodgers put 38 on is really terrifying.

stockholder's picture

Kofi Amichi will never make the starting rotation. No meat or potatoes here. (Brooks is much more physical. )I see to much develop time wasted. Bust! Biegel , no way he's Mathews. (John Anderson.) Mays is iggy of Cinn. And Dupree has the best chance to be Antonio Freeman.

The TKstinator's picture

You don't think Kofi could supplant Matt Garza?

stockholder's picture

Garza is old. And Kofi was a bad pick. I could get a FA that could beat him out. The center and LT position, is the key to that whole line. I hope Linsey doesn't get hurt!

The TKstinator's picture

If you could get a FA that would beat him out, don't you think Ted could?

dobber's picture

I think Kofi is better suited for more of a long-relief role...

The TKstinator's picture

Thank you for playing along!

Ross Uglem's picture

There is unequivocally no such thing as a sixth round bust.

The TKstinator's picture


PatrickGB's picture

a good write up. Yet, I read somewhere that Kofi is projected to be a center. Perhaps, he should be compared with centers.

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