Five Players for the Packers in the 2021 NFL Draft: Part I

Each Tuesday leading up to the draft, Maggie will highlight five new players that make sense for Green Bay.

Last year leading up to the draft I wrote a couple of pieces on later-round or likely to go undrafted prospects I thought made sense for the Packers. Those were really well-received (if you can believe the comments section, hi everyone!) so I thought I’d do the same thing this year. Instead of trying to target late round selections though, I’m just going to look at players whose fit I like for the Packers. 

This is also going to become a short series leading up to night one, so we’ll get through 25 players before the 2021 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 29th. You’ll likely get to read about some of these players in the 2021 Cheesehead TV Draft Guide, so make sure you grab your copy of that when it becomes available! I wrote about AJ Dillon last year and he ended up with the Packers, so let’s see if I get any this year. 

Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

Adebo is one of my favorite cornerbacks in this year’s class. While he opted out of the 2020 season, he was still a three-year starter at Stanford, compiling eight interceptions and 27 passes defensed in his career. He also led the Pac-12 in interceptions in 2019 with four. Adebo has excellent agility to complement his 6-1 frame with reliable hands from his time at wide receiver in high school. Per Pro Football Network, Adebo also broke the school record for total pass breakups at Stanford and was given first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a true freshman. Adebo had an elite relative athletic score (RAS) of 9.57 which aligns with the athleticism General Manager Brian Gutekunst tends to look for. 

Darius Stills, DT, West Virginia

Stills is an intriguing prospect at defensive tackle given he doesn’t have the traditional size to play the position. At 6-0 278lbs, he reminds me of Mike Daniels (6-0 291lbs) where he can use his shorter frame as natural leverage. A 2020 Consensus All-American, Stills had 23 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, and one interception in his time at West Virginia. He also has an impressive RAS of 8.17 which would have been a lot higher if not for his size measurements. He tested with great explosion, great agility, and elite speed for the defensive tackle position. As he develops at the pro level, he’d be a great rotational piece capable of pushing the pocket and disrupting the quarterback. 

Brenden Jaimes, OT, Nebraska 

Jaimes fits the mold of a traditional Packers lineman given he was a starting left tackle for three seasons at Nebraska. At the NFL level, he has the ability to play either right tackle or on the inside at either guard spot, which he did for some reps at the Senior Bowl to showcase his versatility. Draft analyst Tony Pauline describes Jaimes as someone who “plays with a nasty attitude and attacks assignments. Also works well with linemates and shows excellent recognition.” The 6-5 300lb lineman has already met with the Packers virtually, so he could be a versatile addition to the o-line room next month. 

Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois

If you like players that would have set Combine records, then you’re going to love Josh Imatorbhebhe out of Illinois. His 46.5” vertical would’ve been a Combine-best had it happened in Indy and not at his pro day. Imatorbhebhe is an athletic freak at 6-2, 218lbs, tossing 24 reps on the bench press with an 11’ broad jump. While he’s not the most agile prospect, he has all the physical tools to be productive at the next level while he works on his route running. At Illinois, Imatorbhebhe had 55 receptions for 931 yards with a 16.9 yard average and 12 touchdowns. In 2019, his 19.2 yards per reception average ranked third in the Big Ten. 

Chris Evans, RB, Michigan

At 5-11, 211lbs, Evans would provide another size dynamic to a Packers backfield that already includes Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. With an elite RAS of 9.84, Evans boasts fantastic explosion and agility as a runner with a vertical jump of 40.5” and a broad jump just over 10’. While academic issues kept him out of his 2019 season at Michigan, he still put up impressive numbers in his collegiate career. He tallied 1,795 yards on the ground with a 5.6 yards per carry average amassing 15 rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns. Evans stands out as a willing blocker in pass protection and was described by Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy as having “wide receiver-like ball skills.” He’d provide another wrinkle to Head Coach Matt LaFleur’s offense. 

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (30)

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mnbadger's picture

March 30, 2021 at 12:12 pm

I like them all, again. Was it just coincidence that they all come from the B10? Keep them coming. GPG

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MarkinMadison's picture

March 30, 2021 at 12:56 pm

Stanford. West Virginia. Might want to edit.

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tm_inter's picture

March 30, 2021 at 12:37 pm

I love your article, Maggie. Keep them coming!

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MarkinMadison's picture

March 30, 2021 at 12:57 pm

That would be an impressive group of late round picks.

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Titletown222's picture

March 30, 2021 at 07:35 pm

Adebo is likely a day 2 pick

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Stroh's picture

March 31, 2021 at 11:32 pm

They would all seem to fit in the 2nd thru 4th rds. If they came away with a couple of them in that area it could give the Packers the makings of a very successful draft.

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frankthefork's picture

March 30, 2021 at 01:14 pm

Nice ML. That could be a very good day 3 hual. St Juste at CB, Mc Kitty at TE, Rumph, Toney, Golston as DE/olb, Fehoko, Rodgers at WR are three more day 3's. Too many to list as value and talent in rounds 4-7; the best I've seen since 2006. More reason to trade back the first or second pick. GPG.

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Titletown222's picture

March 30, 2021 at 07:36 pm

100% correct

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Guam's picture

March 30, 2021 at 01:20 pm

The Packers already have enough guys just like Imatorbhebhe - tall, fast and strong, but not agile or quick. The Packers need somebody besides Adams who can get open quickly. Tampa had a fierce pass rush and the Packer receivers other than Adams just don't separate quickly enough to give Rodgers a window to throw to. I am not dissing MVS, Lazard or St. Brown as they have their place in the offense, but the Pack needs one more WR than can break a CB's ankles right at the line of scrimmage and get open quickly. I'm not a draftnik so anyone I suggest might be way off, but maybe a Rondale Moore in the later rounds - fast and quick with decent hands.

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Swisch's picture

March 30, 2021 at 01:27 pm

It seems like a lot of fans, including myself, are with you in wanting a twitchy and tough slot receiver who can move the chains on third down, a la Colt Beasley and Cooper Kupp.
At least that's how I read your comment, Guam. I hope I got it right.

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Guam's picture

March 30, 2021 at 01:37 pm

You got it right Swisch. And I think (maybe hope...) they should be able to get that WR without using a first or second round draft choice which I hope we spend on CB, DT and/or RT.

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Swisch's picture

March 30, 2021 at 01:52 pm

Kupp was drafted in the 3rd round, and Beasley wasn't drafted at all.
So maybe we pick a couple of guys for the slot after the second round, and see if at least one of them can help us as a rookie.
Plus, these guys can sometimes return kicks.

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Stroh's picture

March 31, 2021 at 11:35 pm

The RB in the article would seem to be a great fit as a twitchy slot receiver, particularly if he has WResque ball skills.

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dobber's picture

March 30, 2021 at 03:28 pm

Imatorbhebhe is a low-volume, speculative college WR. He's had some big yardage games but has never caught more than 5 passes in a college game, and only caught 5 once. Admittedly, the QB play at Illinois has not been great, but Imatorbhebhe is not a guy I want on day 1 or 2 of the draft.

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Stroh's picture

March 31, 2021 at 11:37 pm

He's the 2nd coming of MVS. Too redundant to be really useful, unless MVS isn't resigned.

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JQ's picture

March 30, 2021 at 02:25 pm

Thanks Maggie! It's always helpful and fun for me to read these prospect profiles since I just don't have the time (or inclination) to study up.

With 25 whacks it will be fun to see on how many you hit. As secretive as the Packers are about EVERYTHING, I wish you well on your Quest!

-jq-

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CoachDino's picture

March 30, 2021 at 03:04 pm

I like Paulson and Jaimes. Paulson is a Top 5 for Simms but not as high on other media CB rankings. I'd be happy drafting him as early as the 3rd (Due to it being like a 4th for the Packers)
Jaimes is also a great Developmental Player. He has special traits. If the Packers for some reason can't find an OT in the first 3 rds or so Jaimes is still a viable option although I see the Packers needing more of a NFL Ready OT due to Turner's ability and contract ,and Baks injury timetable.

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ImaPayne's picture

March 30, 2021 at 04:18 pm

Chirs Evans? Do you know football or not? He was a fumbler. When given the chance to play he was so so. Once in a while he got lucky but he was easy to bring down and really didnt show much other then turning the ball over.
Hey we can get about anyone in the fifth or later to back up dillon and jones, we dont need Evans. He isnt even a good running back.

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ImaPayne's picture

March 30, 2021 at 04:23 pm

My draft is best CB available in the first, Best receiver available in the second. Best ILB or run stuffer in the third. Best OL in the fourth. Best RB in the fifth, then fill in the holes the rest of the way. WHY?
1. Have to replace King who we let go next year.
2. Have to replace Adams who we cant afford next year.
3. Need a run stuffer and somone to fill holes on the O line.
4. Could invest in another runner or receiver because several are up next year and were not keeping any of them.
This would be Gutts draft, replace people we cant afford next year draft.

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Titletown222's picture

March 30, 2021 at 07:42 pm

Adams is being re-signed. There are no RBs that are free agents next year.

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Packman60's picture

March 30, 2021 at 10:57 pm

This thought process is way too simplistic. If you have needs at multiple positions you take the highest one rated on your board. If you had the #1 D-lineman valued to go mid 1st still available and that being a position of need would you really pass him up to draft maybe the 4th or 5th best cb in the draft who might be rated as a mid -2nd round pick?

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Duneslick's picture

March 30, 2021 at 05:05 pm

Much better than Nagler

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wildbill's picture

March 30, 2021 at 05:55 pm

Since I don’t watch college ball I really appreciate this kind of article as it gives me more insight on the draft

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stockholder's picture

March 30, 2021 at 06:38 pm

Very nice late picks. Wouldn't mind any of them.

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Minniman's picture

March 30, 2021 at 11:03 pm

I’m going with you Maggie on Josh “imatotalbeast ” Imatorbhebhe as a developmental WR - how could the Packers go wrong with a nickname like that

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Handsback's picture

March 30, 2021 at 10:57 pm

In the first two rounds, Green Bay will take the BPA. It could be the RB from Clemson or an OT from OK. St. or a CB. I think the guy they will be picking is none of them. Jay Tufele the 6-3, 315# DT from USC is a guy I see the Packers looking at. Essentially he's a Kenny Clark clone, by having movement skills that shouldn't exist in a man that size. We have read where many players will be picked different from what the Draft Experts are slotting them...Tufele I believe is one of those guys. Get the big guys early. If not a DT then the big OT from North Dakota St. He's 6-6 305# and has great feet. (remind you of our current LOT?) I know the Packers like their Oline guys from major conferences but might make an exception in this case. The one exception could be if a CB drops because of injury, like Farley.

In round 3 looking at an edge guy in Patrick Jones from Pitt. 6-4, 264#s and has the juice to really rush the passer.

I think in rounds 4-7 you may see a few of these names selected by the Packers:
Caden Sterns-Safety from UT
Michael Strachan - WR from University of Charleston. 6-5, 225 and flies (speed equal to MVS) but has great hands. Not as good of route runner as he could be.
Nate McCrary-RB from Saginaw Valley St. He's 6-1, 225# with very good hands and speed. Could see him as 7th round or FA pick-up.

Overall, I see an edge guy, OT, maybe 2 RBs, 2WRs, ILB, SS, and 2 CBs drafted or picked in FA. This year the FA market will be ripe with players with great skills, but not a lot of data. That will bring both heartache and joy depending on how they shake out.

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Stroh's picture

March 31, 2021 at 11:46 pm

You don't understand the Packers draft strategy. There is no chance in he'll its a RB. They will use Rd 1 on a premium position. Fot the Packers in this draft it comes down to OT, CB or DL at #29. That is if they don't move, which seems likely. But 1st pick will be a premium position especially considering their needs at those positions.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 31, 2021 at 05:29 am

4 of the 5 tested well at their Pro Day, according to MathBomb. He has nothing on Brenden Jaimes one way or the other. The Packers have historically paid attention to athletic testing. They should. The draft is how you fix all those times watching games in season where I've said the Packers need to get more athletic as a team.

With the exception of Adebo, they are all day 3 guys. Adebo is a strange case. He checks all the boxes for the spot but I'm not sure how I feel about guys that opted out of 2020. A part of me wants nothing to do wtih guys that opted out. Are they going to make other "business decisions" on the field? But that skrinks the talent pool considerably. So maybe it's dumb to think that way.

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Stroh's picture

March 31, 2021 at 11:50 pm

Opting out of a covid affected season is an ENTIRELY different type of business decision than taking on a RB. Could not be more divergent decisions. Come on man!

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HarryHodag's picture

April 01, 2021 at 04:14 pm

The Packers have 10 picks. I suspect Gute is going to trade up to get a starter at either CB or OT.

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