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

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

We’re under two weeks away from the 2021 NFL Draft! We’ve gone through 15 prospects already, and it’s time to add five more to your watchlist today. If you want to revisit the first 15, you can do that here. Let’s get to it! 

Ben St-Juste, CB, Minnesota 

St-Juste is an intriguing cornerback prospect because he’s 6-3. If the Packers are going to have 5-10 stud Jaire Alexander shut down one side of the field, it wouldn’t hurt to have a long, rangy corner playing opposite him. His wingspan measures over 80 inches, and while his 8.12 relative athletic score (RAS) doesn’t leap off the page like some of the other corners in this class, his elite agility numbers in the shuttle and three cone will keep him on Brian Gutekunst’s radar. St-Juste was the number one ranked player in high school coming out of Canada before attending Michigan his freshman year and transferring to Minnesota to finish out his collegiate career.  While he didn’t have any interceptions in college, he did have a strong showing his sophomore season with 10 passes defensed. His junior year, Minnesota deployed him as a big-bodied nickel rather than letting him man the boundary which likely had a negative impact on his draft stock initially since he played out of position. However, he did get an invitation to the Senior Bowl where he showcased his talents, even leading the National Team in pass breakups. 

Kene Nwangwu, RB, Iowa State

Nwangwu could very well be a priority undrafted free agent, but his speed and athleticism might push him into a late Day 3 selection. We’ve seen Gutekunst use his late Day 3 picks on developmental prospects with freak athleticism, and Nwangwu absolutely fits that mold. He has a RAS of 9.89, running a 4.32 40-yard dash with elite speed and explosion. At 6-0, 210lbs, he would bring another dimension to the Packers backfield. Nwangwu’s best season at Iowa State came in 2020 where he had 339 rushing yards for a 5.6 yard average and four touchdowns. While those numbers won’t leap off the page, his kick return ability and elusive speed could help him replicate the role Tyler Ervin vacated for Green Bay. As a returner, Nwangwu averaged 26.8 yards per return throughout his career and returned one kick for a touchdown as a freshman. 

Damar Hamlin, S, Pittsburgh

Part of the buzz surrounding the Joe Barry hire is just how important tackling is to his defensive scheme. And you might be thinking “tackling is important to all defenses!” but then I’d point you to Mike Pettine’s defense and you’d see where I’m going with this. Anyway, Hamlin is described as an “enthusiastic tackler” by Draft Network and that more than shows up when you watch his tape. The 6-0, 200lb safety was a four-year starter for Pittsburgh, amassing 275 total tackles with 10 tackles for loss, six interceptions, and 21 passes defensed. He played strong safety, in the box, and in the slot in college bringing that buzz word “versatility” back into the fold for the secondary. He plays well against the run and has good hands when the ball does come his way. On Day 3, Hamlin would be a great depth piece for a talented safety room given his ability to play just about anywhere. 

James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati 

Hudson is an ideal developmental prospect for the Packers if the team doesn’t select an NFL-ready tackle early. While only a one-year starter at Cincinnati, Hudson did play left tackle and put together some really good film. The foundation of his game is there, but he needs some polish developing his skills for the next level. Interestingly, he was actually a four-star recruit as a defensive lineman out of high school and didn’t make the transition to offensive tackle until college. The caveat here is his poor RAS of 3.83. That might take him off of Gutekunst’s board completely, but if Green Bay does take a chance in the middle rounds on Hudson, he’d have one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL in Adam Stenavich to develop his game under, and he’d also provide value as a swing tackle behind Billy Turner. 

Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech

With Tramon Williams retiring from the NFL, It might be time for Green Bay to have another Williams from Louisiana Tech on the roster. In his career with the Bulldogs, Williams had 108 total tackles with 19 for a loss and 10.5 sacks playing primarily as a 5-technique. Draft Network’s Joe Marino says “I believe his best chance in the NFL comes in a defense that gives him opportunities to play on the edge on early downs with chances to rush from interior gaps on long and late downs.” Williams added muscle to his frame before the 2020 season which helped his NFL trajectory tremendously when he finished the year earning All-Conference USA First Team honors. He continued his draft climb with a stand out Pro Day, putting up some of the best athletic testing numbers of any defensive lineman in the class (RAS 9.96). At 6-3, 284lbs, Williams is a little bit of a tweener at the next level, but he brings rushing ability off the edge or from the interior which he did a little bit in 2020 for Louisiana Tech. 

 

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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 (14)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
stockholder's picture

April 20, 2021 at 01:22 pm

Nice Pick - Kene Nwangwu RB ISU. Really the heart and soul of the team.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2021 at 02:19 pm

Williams from L-tech is a good player and a five tech for a change.

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Starrbrite's picture

April 20, 2021 at 02:56 pm

I’m not familiar with any of these folks, but all appear to have interesting possibilities.

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Flatlander's picture

April 20, 2021 at 03:17 pm

I would like to get Rachad Wildgoose in the later rounds.

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Swisch's picture

April 20, 2021 at 05:14 pm

Good stuff from Maggie in this series.
This is where the Packers could send investigators to places like Iowa State and Louisiana State to talk to anyone from coaches to ball boys, and anyone else on campus the least bit relevant, about these guys as to their character and their dedication to football.
Actually, that seems an essential approach for any draft pick, but the later-round guys generally seem to be lesser known. How did these guys practice? How did they relate to teammates? How did they relate to others associated with the team in support capacities? Which ones at least made an effort at academics? When in doubt, pick the guys who seem motivated for excellence on and off the field.
I wonder who would be the best sources of information on campus for reliable knowledge of a particular player, as well as being totally honest in presenting their knowledge. Who do you go to get an authentic assessment of someone as a player and a person. Perhaps the ball boys.

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PF4L's picture

April 20, 2021 at 06:20 pm

Need proof Jordan Love is ready?

https://twitter.com/dairecarragher/status/1379216344546168841

BOOM!!!...done

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Duneslick's picture

April 20, 2021 at 08:46 pm

No defense on the field. Pitch and catch. 5 plays. How about the bad passes that are not shown. Does not tell you anything

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Alberta_Packer's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:00 pm

Thinking that you are being ironic - I gave you a thumbs-up.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 21, 2021 at 02:04 am

I think you have a chance for 1,400.

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PF4L's picture

April 21, 2021 at 07:59 am

LOL....yea baby!!!

I'm thinking 1,500, but i'd have to get busy.

Nothing gets accomplished without setting goals :)

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frankthefork's picture

April 20, 2021 at 06:44 pm

I Love the 5th and 6th round picks Maggie. Positional players with skills at a value, good solid backups.
More reason to trade back and get a few more picks in the 4th and 5th rounds for a Wr or two..

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Alberta_Packer's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:06 pm

Meh on St. Juste (and I'm Canadian). Purely a developmental project. Also no interceptions during his college career is not insignificant. As a kid from Montreal - I would be more enthusiastic if he was a hockey prospect.

Yes to Mwangwu - if his only role was initially to return punts and kicks - which has become a nearly extinct phenomenon in GB.

No to Hamlin - only because of his 40 time (4.59-4.60). If he was an LB sure but too slow for a safety.

No to Hudson. A 3.83 RAS is only slightly higher than an animated pylon / Dean Lowry.

Yes to Williams. He reminds me somewhat of Keke - undersized but athletic. Worth a day 3 pick.

So in summary - 2 yes, 2 no and 1 meh. Will our assessments be forwarded to Gutekunst?

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:17 pm

Williams will go late 2nd or early third. Solid movement and quicks for his size. The guys from Louisiana ( Lafayette) are also guys that can go 4th to 5th.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

April 20, 2021 at 10:09 pm

His draft stock appears to be on the rise but I think that Gutekunst won't pick a DL until the middle rounds.

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