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Green Bay Packers 2017 NFL Draft: The Reasons Behind The Picks

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Green Bay Packers 2017 NFL Draft: The Reasons Behind The Picks

Another Ted Thompson draft and for much consternation he gets for being bland and boring, he sure knows how to squeeze every ounce of juice from the NFL Draft weekend.

Round 2, Pick 33 overall (From Browns): Kevin King, CB, Washington. All we heard was how deep this draft was and Thompson proved it right away by trading the Packers’ No. 29 pick to move down and then fielded offers for No. 33.  So Thompson played opossum and calmly took the No. 3 cornerback in the draft — much lower than anyone could’ve guessed. King is valuable for his versatility. He has proven that he can play press man or can also drop into zone, so Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers will be able to get creative with him. And at 6-foot-3, King is taller than Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs and Detroit’s Golden Tate. He is tied with Chicago’s Cameron Meredith. Even if King doesn’t start right away, he will elevate the play of third-year pros Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins.

Round 2, Pick 61 overall: Josh Jones, S, North Carolina State. You don’t want anyone to get behind your safeties and not many will outrun Jones as he ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at the combine — the fastest combine time on the Packers’ defense. Thompson got value here by getting more versatility. With defenses playing more nickel, he has experience playing a box linebacker. “I have great size to play in the box, great speed to back deep. So I’m just excited to get to work as soon as possible,” said Jones. He had six pass break ups, which was tied for seventh in the nation. The one thing that Jones must work on is tackling, as he missed 13 tackles last year.

Round 3, Pick 93 overall: Montravious Adams, DT, Auburn. Right now, Adams fills a need with depth. With Letroy Guion suspended for the first four games of 2017, the defensive line only has 87 combined starts among eight players — and that number is shared by Mike Daniels, Ricky Jean-Francois and Kenny Clark. Adams has the ability to win one-on-one battles, but he has also taken plays off, so inconsistency has been his major foe.

Round 4, Pick 108 overall (From Browns): Vince Biegel, OLB, Wisconsin. This was my favorite Packers’ selection. Biegel never got the love that outside linebacker teammate T.J. Watt got. But Biegel is a grinder. He has the energy of the late Junior Seau, and that’s not a stretch. He goes 120 mph on every play, which obviously leaves him open for getting exposed, but he also has shown good leadership traits as well. The thing the Packers like is that he had 52 quarterback pressures on only 255 pass-rushing snaps. That’s pretty remarkable. “I’ve done this for 19 years. I always watch how guys approach the game. I was very impressed with him,” said Alonzo Highsmith, the Packers senior personnel executive. With Biegel being from Wisconsin, the hardest challenge for him might be narrowing his focus and putting all of his attention on football.

Round 4, Pick 134 overall: Jamaal Williams, RB, Brigham Young. One of the biggest areas of concern for the Packers last year was running back. The lack of depth forced Ty Montgomery to leave his post as a wideout and be the team’s featured back. Once again, the versatility label is being thrown out. Williams had 5.4 yards per carry and also caught 60 passes last year. “We were a little bit surprised he was still there,” said Jon-Eric Sullivan, Packers director of college scouting. Williams is a little sledgehammer that churns out plenty of yards after contact thanks to a bevy of stiff arms and spin moves.

Round 5, Pick 175 overall (From Broncos): Deangelo Yancey, WR, Purdue. The wide receiver depth chart appears to be locked, but this move will add even more depth. Yancey is an experienced wideout that averaged 19.4 yards per reception last year. Yancey didn’t get invited to the combine, but still wowed scouts at the Purdue Pro Day with 21 reps on the bench. Yancey was mired in mediocre quarterback play in in West Lafayette, which is why it will be interesting to see what happens when he catches passes from Aaron Rodgers.

Round 5, Pick 182 overall (Compensatory pick): Aaron Jones, RB, Texas-El Paso. More versatility can be found with this quick back. Jones had a 6.3 yards per carry average and also added 71 receptions. Something that may hold him back is his fumbles, as Jones has nine in his career. “I did it all. Check-downs, screens, corners,” Jones said. The most interesting aspect of Jones is that he comes from a military family, which can be helpful for a rookie.

Round 6, Pick 212 overall: Kofi Amichia, C/G, South Florida. And just when you thought you got enough versatility, you’re given another healthy dose. “Tackles to guards, guards to center. We’ve had a lot of success with that,” said Packers general manager Ted Thompson. Amichia started all 13 games at left tackle for the Bulls, but will likely be asked to play guard for the Packers. The most interesting aspect of Amichia is that he scored a 31 on the Wonderlic.

Round 7, Pick 238 overall (From Broncos): Devante Mays, RB, Utah State. In the second game of last year, he sprained his MCL and high ankle sprain. “I was never really able to overcome the injury. Everything went down the drain,” said Mays. Coming from a small school combined with the injuries, Mays will have a large chip on his shoulder when training camp starts.

Round 7, Pick 247 overall: Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU. He’s a guy that can stretch defenses but also has a touch of versatility as well. He has been known to play both inside and outside. However, he has shown a tough time getting off the line of scrimmage. Was projected in the fourth round and the Packers got him with their last pick of the draft. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He is also nearing completion of a master's degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (29) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

On the face of things, this was TTs best draft since 2010. Of course, many fans across the country of most teams are saying that after this draft. The depth was INSANE!

That said, the only concern I have with this roster is the health of the LBs - both inside and outside. Fackrell has shown very little. Elliot is a ST guy. CM3 and Perry are always hurt. Our inside guys haven't shown anything more than occasional competence. They are good enough to be ok, IF they stay healhty. If not, that is the weakness of this team. For that reason, I would have preferred only 2 fliers (and not 5) on skill positions on offense. I would have preferred those resources have gone on another LB. I know we needed a RB and an outside HWS WR. But I'm not sure we needed 5.

But, all things stacked up, this team looks better on paper than GB has looked since 2014. Maybe even since 2011. The defense looks MUCH better.

The ball is now in your court, MM.

Rossonero's picture

Don't forget about Dean Lowry. I think Ted is banking on Lowry and Fackrell to take a step in 2017. hopefully we got a mid round gem in Biegel too.

Bearmeat's picture

Yep. He sure is. Don't know if it'll happen, but that's Ted's MO - and leopard's don't change their spots.

croatpackfan's picture

I'm sorry that you are in your half empty phase again...

Bearmeat's picture

Half Empty??? Did I not say above this is the best team on paper since 2014 or maybe even 2011? Considering how solid GB has been in that time, that's pretty high praise!

NO team in the salary cap era is perfect. This team looks to have potential issues at LB. That's ALL I said. It doesn't mean they'll go 8-8 and miss the playoffs.

Sheesh. Level heads, people.

zoellner25's picture

I like this draft, although I would have like to see one more LB (either inside or outside) and a TE.

gr7070's picture

ILB is a dying position, imo. Taking Jones was, essentially, taking another ILB. Either himself, Burnett or the UDFA from last year will play some "ILB" this year.

Safeties will be playing more and more "ILB" to where the 3-4 will eventually just be called the 2-5 or the Buffalo Nickel (you may use this term but give me the credit ;) ) or some such thing indicating that it's now a 5 DB defense and that 5th DB is more of a safety instead of the slot CB like the usual nickel.

Snake Plissken's picture

7070 is correct here and if we could see a little Deon Buchanon type usage out of Jones I think it will benefit out defense.
We have been forever looking for a "Cover LB'.... hell since Chillar.
This kid can play deep safety and sneak up to the line and cover both big TE's, backs and spy the mobile qb.

LayingTheLawe's picture

With Bennett, Kendricks and Rodgers there is not a 4th tight end making the roster unless he's a special teams maven.

dobber's picture

Don't forget Beau Sandland. They picked him up later in the season and put him on the PS. He might be better than RRod.

L's picture

I really like the UDFA ILB Cody Heiman. I'd love to see him prove worthy of making the 53.

Otherwise as you suggest Burnett and Jones could see some time there too.

Gman1976's picture

Thanks to all the Cheesehead TV staff for such great coverage. This is the 1st sight I go to for coverage of my beloved Packers. You do an amazing job.

Since '61's picture

As I mentioned in a post over the weekend the Packers added a substantial amount of versatility to the team with this year's draft picks. This article mentions versatility several times in describing why the Packers chose the players they selected. TT is on top of what will be a theme in the NFL for the next several seasons at least. Thanks, Since '61

the REAL Packman's picture

Great coverage ! Love the picks.. alot of young speed and depth for the Packers. Next Year they should have 12 picks and maybe more if they trade Hundley(he was on the block) I still think he gets traded before the season opener. They must have looked at a lot of tape on TJ and Biegel to decide to go with Biegel. I think Biegel is a little slow in coverage and a tad slower than TJ on the edge but TT and staff see more than I do so I can live with Biegel. I hope he lights it up!!! Very Happy with King, Jones (Great Pick) Montravious Adams(had him on my board as a 5th rnd pick, that makes at least one right pick every year since 1992) Williams will make people forget Lacey. Dupre was rated a 2-3 rounder in one publication. Driver was a 7th rounder. This is a very solid draft. The UDFA was just as impressive... the Punter Vogel should give Schumm a run for his $. There is some Oline potential as well. Job well done! Go Pack Go!!!

The TKstinator's picture

Do you really have your own board?

And maybe one of those integrated phone helmets too?

PackEyedOptimist's picture

I want to echo GMAN: CheeseheadTV has become my go-to-first Packers site, which is saying a lot, as I've gone to/preferred three other sites previously.

Between the draft and the UDFAs, there will be a lot of interesting competition this year. I thin that TT was truly taking the BPA during most of the draft, wile still sticking to his "Is this guy likely to take the roster spot of someone we already have?" approach.

Three RBs are a good thing, since Montgomery is the only reliable halfback on the roster, and injuries are extremely common at the position.

gr7070's picture

I don't see how the WR depth chart is remotely "appears to be locked". The only locks see are Jordy and Adams. I wouldn't be shocked in the slightest if Jordy, Adams, and Allison are the only 3 holdovers from a unusually large WR squad last year.

Cobb is way too expensive and not that good to be a true lock.

Absolutely no one else has shown enough to be comfortable. Alison is the closest thing to a roster lock, but could be anywhere in the bottom 3-X WRs.

WKUPackFan's picture

Cutting Cobb would be a $6.5 million dead money hit. Cobb has excellent field awareness. He's AR's #1 target on scramble plays. Cobb isn't going anywhere.

Finwiz's picture

Yeah I agree, they will NOT cut Cobb, unless they would somehow get him to renegotiate, they will pay him. I think they like his talent enough to let him play out the contract. I believe they think his lack of performance was more related to injury than anything else. Now the next contract?
He won't get the same money because of durability issues - at least not here.

stockholder's picture

I still don't see Adams as a lock. In Fact I would trade him before he becomes a free - Agent. If TT could trade him that would be awesome. He's got Cobb another year. And the packers did honor Peppers contract. But the scary part is dumping sitton. Seems several Packers may have been on the trading block. Hundley was offered, and some teams were interested. My thinking is Janis was too. But I think it's interesting on Davis? Somebody has to go. So would they have traded anybody if they didn't get their CB and a safety. And then backed off on Hundley. Needless to say we still could use another LB. So Jatavis Brown? That was the guy TT passed on and took Davis.

worztik's picture

Stockholder... did you mean Lange??? Sutton was last year... and I hate to disagree with your reasoning but, Peppers was productive like Cobb, the difference being the money for the return on investment!!! Peppers was worth his contract... Cobb is overpaid. We can't even trade him with that contract! TT panicked when Oakland showed interest in Cobb and he got burned! So much for his draft and develop!!! I don't see drafting CB and S when we just did that 2 years ago?
TT needs to go!!!!!

worztik's picture

Sitton

HankScorpio's picture

WR will be very interesting position. Jordy is getting up there in age, Cobb has underperformed his contract, Adams and Janis are in contract years. We don't know if Allison will build on 2016 or go the Jarrett Boykin route.

We could be looking at a very different group of WRs very soon.

I'm glad they brought in some new faces to the room. WRs typically take 2-3 years to develop so better to get that started now with so much uncertainty on the horizon.

worztik's picture

HS... I agree!!! I like both of our WR draft picks this year!!!!!

stockholder's picture

I think he should have changed his 5th,6th and 7th picks. First the value was DTs in that 5th round. So No to the 5th WR, Yancy. Second I would have drafted the aLL-American Levin in the 6th first, before Amiicha(Bust) . Williams I call this a draw. He'll be good,but I would have drafted Jake Butts instead there. (But we did want a RB.) Myself I would have moved the 5th round picks, and not traded back. Demond King and Butts were steals. Not to mention the DTs. Both WRs will be on the PS and risk being stolen.(Remember Davis WR is back) I think they will keep all the RBs before the Wrs on the roster. Who would have been better than another WR? TTs picks could have run this way. K.King,Jones,Adams,Biegal,Butts, Godchaux DT,Jones Rb ,Levin, Rochell De, then Mays. No Wrs.

Donster's picture

Is the Jeff Janis experiment over with TT picking Deangelo Yancey and Malachi Dupre? Janis has had plenty of time to become a very good receiver, but still can't run his routes properly, and Rodgers doesn't seem to trust him. Can being a good special team member continue to save him? I doubt it. He needs a really good pre-season to stay a Packer.

stockholder's picture

Janis will be gone. <I think it's because A-Rod doesn't.> And I think he'll want out. I would if I was in his shoes.

Snake Plissken's picture

Janis is close to an All pro ST player.
You don't throw a top 5 gunner in the league on the junk pile
His WR snaps are secondary.

Somedumbname's picture

Being a ST stud only gets you so far. Janis isn't continuing to develope as a receiver. In case of injury, we need competent replacements. If any of our new receivers show some promising talent, don't be surprised if Janis is cut. Davis may be cut as well if he doesn't make a second year jump.

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