Despite the loss of Hollman and Williams, Packers' 2019 Class still looks strong.

Gutekunst's 2nd Draft Class still represents his best work as GM.

 

With Ka'Dar Hollman being traded to the Houston Texans for a 7th Round Pick next year, he becomes the first of the 2019 Draft Class to depart the team. As a Day 3 Pick out of Toledo, expectations for the former MAC leader in pass breakups were most likely tempered to be a quality depth piece in the secondary with the potential to start in a pinch. Unfortunately, Hollman struggled to get on the field throughout his tenure at Lambeau; being inactive for all but 4 games during the 2019 regular season, with no appearances during the playoffs. The 2020 season should have spelled promise for Hollman, but despite dressing for 14 regular season games, he only saw more than 20 defensive snaps twice all year, contributing almost purely on special teams and yet again held out of the postseason. For his initial investment of the 185th Overall Pick, Brian Gutekunst was able to recoup a 7th Round Pick from the Texans in a trade sending Ka'Dar to Houston.  Going into the 2021 season, I had hoped that maybe Ka'Dar might get some chances at Free Safety to push Will Redmond; hoping that a position change might improve his outlook for the team. That opportunity was shut down by 2020 7th Round Pick Vernon Scott and undrafted free agent Henry Black; who are both looking to make their respective marks on the defense in 2021.

Running Back Dexter Williams out of Notre Dame was the 2nd of the Packers' pair of 6th Round Picks in 2019; seen by most as the future RB3 in Matt LeFleur's offensive scheme that was predicated on multiple guys carrying the ball. While most would consider running back a position that has one of the more quicker transitions to the pro game, Williams struggled to see the field, posting only 17 total offensive snaps from 2019-2020 and a subpar 2.7 yards-per-carry. Although the news out of training camp was that he had shown strides of improvement, 2021 Mississippi State rookie Kylin Hill stole the show; a cold reminder that every new Draft Class is there to compete and take someone else's job. After Hill cemented himself as the clear No. 3 back, Williams became one of the final cuts to get the Packers roster down to 53.

Despite the departures of Hollman and Williams, the 2019 Draft Class remains Brian Gutekunst's best to date, producing instant starters in Elgton Jenkins and Darnell Savage. Jenkins has already added a Pro Bowl selection to his budding career while Savage has 6 interceptions in just 2 seasons. And we can't forget about Top-15 pick Rashan Gary, who after a rookie season with only 2 sacks and 3 hits on the quarterback, doubled his efforts in both categories with 5 sacks and 11 hits on the QB; and now seems poised for a monster year in new Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry's scheme.

We also can't forget about Texas A&M teammates Jace Sternberger and Kingsley Keke either....if they can shed their inconsistency labels this Power Five(see what I did there), might define the Packers successes for the next decade. Should former 7th Round choice Ty Summers find ways to contribute to the defense and not just on special teams, that would be the icing on the cake. With concerns that this could be Aaron Rodgers' last year in Lambeau, the 2019 Class might have just as much "input" as to how high the Pack can climb.

 

Joseph has been an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers since 1997, citing an affinity for dairy products during his childhood and his favorite color, green. Born in Jacksonville, FL, Joseph currently is an Active Duty servicemember in the U.S. Armed Forces. Joseph considers himself a lifelong fan of the game of football, competing since his youth well into adulthood. When it comes to the Pack, Joseph is particularly impassioned about the NFL Draft and collegiate scouting process, and will contribute regularly on CHTV.com leading up to that year's upcoming Draft.

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10 points

Comments (13)

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Packers0808's picture

September 02, 2021 at 08:52 pm

Dexter Williams has been signed by the Giants to PS.

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packer132's picture

September 03, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Drafts usually take a couple of years to evaluate, and 2019 looks good so far. Gary, Savage, Jenkins, and Keke have made an impact, and that is 4 of the top 5 picks. Its still early, but 2020 could be good also. Dillon, Deguara, Love, Runyan, Hanson, Vernon Scott, and Garvin may contribute this year and beyond. I am excited about the 2021 draft though. Of the 9 picks, 8 are on the roster with a few starting and others who will get a lot of snaps. Some teams just don't make good selections (Bears and Lions), and Packers pick at the bottom of every round due to their good record every year. People are worried about 2022 but I see a very deep, young, and talented roster for years to come.

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BubbaOne's picture

September 02, 2021 at 10:19 pm

Couldn't agree more re this year's draft class. Also add to the mix Heflin, Rivers and full seasons from 1st year players Deguara and Daffney. With the 8 picks makes contributions from 12 young players to a championship caliber team.
Can someone name a highly successful Packers team poised to have so many rookies/1st year players contribute the following year?

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stockholder's picture

September 02, 2021 at 09:55 pm

The Green Bay Packers have never been about personal achievements. That said," TT had some great drafts too." And we have had some great coaches. To be the best in the NFL. The " Team" has always come first. Wolf returned them to their glory years. He didn’t point to a draft. Cause a split. Pat himself on the back. And Got White and Favre. He knew the job was not finished until they were the best team in the NFL , " Again." Don’t you think the praise for Gute is a little pre mature? Pointing to this draft, the Roster, or even a trade. Still shows the job isn’t finished. IMO. That Again is really standing out more and more.

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King_James's picture

September 03, 2021 at 06:03 am

So are you saying that no GM (or coach or player for that matter) deserves praise until they win a SB? That would make for a very small list of ones that deserves praise.

And BTW I think it's much harder and a bigger sign of talent and ability to be consistently good then it is to be the best for one year. Example, nobody is talking about John Elway being a great GM because his team had one or two good seasons with a SB title. Just saying, SB titles can be fluky with the one and done playoff format, while consistency is not.

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stockholder's picture

September 03, 2021 at 11:30 am

Green Bay is called Title town. = A lot of money goes into scouting. So he does rely on others. I'm saying their job isn't finished until they do. BTW- the best team doesn't always win. But consistently good; is like don't expect better. No records will be broken.

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dobber's picture

September 03, 2021 at 01:29 pm

Is this some kind of new form of haiku I'm not aware of?

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Swisch's picture

September 02, 2021 at 11:13 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if Dexter Williams has a breakout season of 500 yards or more for the Giants, with a healthy yards per carry.
It was perhaps a tough call for the Packers to let him go.
I can see Aaron Jones and A. J. Dillon and Kylin Hill being ahead of Williams -- so the question seems to be Williams or Patrick Taylor?
That appears to be a tough call, as well. I think it may have been a good idea to keep both, but perhaps that was too many running backs.
What Williams has in his favor is more experience than Taylor and Hill, even Dillon.
With the pounding that running backs take, it's not a stretch to say we'll probably need at least four of them this season; and with this being an especially promising season for a Super Bowl, it may have been good to keep Williams for his experience over Taylor.
Same with the idea of keeping Reggie Begelton at wide receiver for his experience over Chris Blair. As I recall, both Davante Adams and Allen Lazard missed games last season, so depth could also become an issue at that position.
I don't know, though. Glad for other points of view.
***
What seems to be happening with the Packers at running back, wide receiver, and offensive line, is that there is an abundance of talent, although some of it raw, untested, and to be developed.
That's a good thing, and a credit to the front office.
It could be that the cutting of Dexter Williams was due to an embarrassment of riches at running back, and it would not be a poor reflection on the Packers if he does do well elsewhere.
I'll be rooting for Williams (and Begelton) to succeed with other teams in a way that doesn't really hinder the Packers, and perhaps even helps in beating contenders.

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King_James's picture

September 03, 2021 at 06:13 am

The Packers let go of Begelton because he offered no upside as I believe he's already 28 and has been a professional for 5+ years already, and is nothing more then a JAG at this point. This team barely plays more then 3 WRs at a time, so the need for a veteran #7 WR is very small. Can't blame them for going with the younger player with some upside.

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Coldworld's picture

September 03, 2021 at 08:03 am

They do have a lot of RBs on their roster and another on their PS. Williams probably will need injuries to get a shot, perhaps several. The problem with Williams was that, by the time he clicked, we had Jones and Hill who are similar players, however, while all can run the other two can catch much more reliably. The second problem is that Williams struggles to block. Maybe that’s less important in their scheme, but he’s the type of back who would really have benefited from better hands. Good luck to him, but Taylor is a better fit for depth as a hard yards option if Dillon can’t go. Williams might be a more dangerous runner, but fit is a big factor with depth choices.

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greengold's picture

September 03, 2021 at 06:47 am

Great Stuff, Joseph!
I remember your draft boards from the CHTV Draft Party this year, and it's good to see another draft nut jumping in here! I agree with you. If Keke and Summers bust out this year, that 2019 draft could prove to be one of BG's best.

It looks like Gutekunst kind of his his stride a bit in drafting players, with a lot of proving time left, of course. Those two players showing real development this year would be a good signal as to what we might expect from 2020 and 20201. Personally, I think he's a great evaluator of talent. He's had his misses, like all GMs do, but for the most part he's hitting pretty big.

Gary. Savage. Jenkins. Keke. Summers. Dillon. Deguara. Runyan. Scott. Garvin. Stokes. Myers. Newman. Slaton. Jean-Charles. McDuffie. Hill.

Wow. A lot remains to be proven, but, what a haul of talent. All with 2020 R1 Jordan Love waiting in the wings... developing according to plan.

We all can envision a good many of those players making major contributions to this 2021 season, which could prove to be very special. Let's hope for the best.

GPG

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Coldworld's picture

September 03, 2021 at 08:07 am

I wouldn’t cite Sternberger as a positive. He may or may not be on the roster in a month and at this point has underperformed his pick even from the most positive vantage point. That said, I agree, the returns on the 2019 draft look promising at this point.

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barutanseijin's picture

September 03, 2021 at 02:07 pm

Au contraire, we can and will forget about Sternberger about two or three weeks from now.

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