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Packers Draft Review: Seeing the Draft Through the Coaches’ and Scouts’ Eyes

Packers Draft Review: Seeing the Draft Through the Coaches’ and Scouts’ Eyes

Every year we have a natural tendency to “grade” the Packers’ draft picks, usually by asking ourselves whether it was the person we would have taken at each spot. That’s fun for fueling debates with friends, but let’s be honest: neither we nor self-appointed media pundits are qualified to grade the Packers’ scouts and coaches. Our careers and reputations don’t depend on finding the right players to help the team win football games. Theirs do. Each spring they spend most of their waking hours thinking about who those players might be—and which ones the team needs most. 

The more informative question isn’t who we thought they should have taken at different spots, but why they took the players they did. Those are questions that can be answered, but only by trying to see the draft through the eyes of the Packers’ coaches and scouts. Here’s how they’d likely answer our questions about the draft this year.

*Going into the draft, what was the biggest priority on defense?

Help for the nickel package. With three-receiver sets now the norm in the NFL, defenses tend to play more nickel than base. The Packers were disastrous in nickel the past several years, unable to stop opponents from converting third downs regardless of yardage. New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine wasn’t going to put up with that problem. The Packers’ first three picks were defenders who will always be on the field in nickel, and they didn’t take another defensive player until seventh-rounder James Looney—who doesn’t fit Pettine’s base scheme, and can only play in nickel packages.

*Going into the draft, what was the biggest priority on offense?

Creating matchup problems. The offense bogged down often the last several years, with Rodgers playing matador in the pocket while receivers failed to shake cornerbacks. There two ways to solve that problem: (1) add an expensive free-agent or first-round receiver who can get open against anyone, or (2) collect a lot of lower-cost receivers who each specialize in getting open against a different type of cornerback. The Packers opted for the second approach. They drafted three receivers who each struggle against some types of corners, but victimize others. They give McCarthy options to mix and match each week depending on which cornerbacks are in the opponent’s lineup.

First Round

*Why did they take Jaire Alexander with their first-round pick?

Because Mike Pettine’s defensive scheme falls apart without good man-to-man cornerbacks, and Alexander was the best man cover cornerback available. He was probably even higher on the Packers’ board than Denzel Ward, who went fourth in the draft. Alexander is 15 pounds heavier, and Pettine prefers cover corners of that size—like he had on the Jets with Kyle Wilson.

*But what about Alexander’s height? Won’t teams just throw jump balls over him?

No. Alexander won’t be covering tall receivers who catch jump balls along the sidelines or down the field. Pettine has Kevin King (6’3” with a 39.5-inch vertical jump), Josh Jackson (6’0” with a 40-inch vertical), and Davon House for that. Alexander will be covering the Stefon Diggs types, shifter receivers that teams use on short and intermediate routes. He’s more perfectly suited for that task that anyone the Packers have had in a long, long time.

*But what about a first-round edge rusher? Are good cover cornerbacks really that important to Pettine’s defense?

Yes. In 2006, Rex Ryan’s and Mike Pettine’s Ravens defense was the best in the league, giving up only 12 points a game. No defense has done better since. Their signature strategy—frying QBs’ circuits by showing them pre-snap looks that didn’t match the defenders’ post-snap actions—worked to perfection. It caused quarterbacks to stop trusting their pre-snap reads and become indecisive in the pocket.

In 2007, with almost the exact same personnel, they fell to 22nd in the league. The difference? Their starting cornerbacks (Chris McAllister and Duane Starks) both got hurt and missed significant time. Opposing QBs didn’t need to rely on pre-snap reads. They just scanned the field for an overmatched cornerback, gave a nod to the receiver (just like Rodgers used to do with Jordy), and threw at him all game long. For the defense to work, Pettine must have cornerbacks who don’t give confused QBs an easy way out.

*If Alexander is so important, why didn’t the Packers just take him at 14? Why risk losing him with their down-up maneuver in the first round?

Because the risk was minimal, and the reward was significant. The Packers (like every team) put together pre-draft reports on other teams’ priorities and who they might be targeting to fill them. The teams who were then sitting at picks 15 (Oakland), 16 (Baltimore), and 17 (L.A. Chargers) didn’t need Alexander. The Ravens and Chargers are fine at cornerback, and the Raiders’ new defensive scheme prioritizes bigger bump-and-run corners.

Was it still a risk? Sure, another team could’ve traded into those picks to get Alexander. (The Bills traded into one of those spots to grab Tremaine Edmunds.) But the reward was substantial. In the down-up maneuver, the Packers effectively swapped a third-rounder this year for another first-rounder next year, a great value.

Second Round

*Why did they take Josh Jackson with their second-rounder? They already took Alexander!

Because the Packers had Josh Jackson as the top “big” cornerback in the entire draft, and his addition solves the Packers cornerback problems until 2021, when King’s rookie contract expires. The 6’3” King handles tall deep threats, the 6’0” Jackson handles medium-sized intermediate threats, and the 5’11 Alexander shuts down the smaller, shiftier guys.

To use the Falcons as an example, King would cover Julio Jones, Alexander would cover new addition Calvin Ridley, and Jackson would handle Mohamed Sanu. If he can avoid it, Pettine would rather not have Davon House, Josh Hawkins, or a 35-year-old, 182-pound Tramon Williams in man coverage against any of those guys.

*Why was Jackson the No. 1 “big” CB on the Packers’ draft board? He didn’t even play man coverage at Iowa.

Because Jackson has better tools for man coverage than any other big, outside corner in the draft. Man coverage on the outside requires a good vertical leap to contest high throws along the sidelines, and loose hips to change direction when receivers cut inside. Jackson has both. He jumps higher and has looser hips (measured by combine agility drills) than Minkah Fitzpatrick, Isaiah Oliver, Carlton Davis, M.J. Stewart, and Duke Dawson, the other outside corners taken in the first and second rounds. With a mid-4.4s 40-yard dash at his pro day, Jackson runs faster than most of them, too.

Jackson didn’t play much man-to-man coverage at Iowa, but there’s no reason to think he won’t do it well. Jackson was a former wide receiver himself, and he read receivers’ routes like a book last year. Further, while Pettine’s corners must be able to play man coverage, they don’t play tight man on every snap. There are plenty of short zones along the outside, and those are Jackson’s specialty. He had eight interceptions and 26 passes deflected last year, mostly in short zone coverage along the sidelines.

*Did the 49ers steal Dante Pettis from the Packers by trading up? Isn’t Pettis someone the Packers wanted?

No. As mentioned above, each team before the draft puts together their analysis of every other teams’ needs and possible targets, based on their schemes. Like most teams, the Packers try to feed false information into those other teams’ reports—primarily with their pre-draft visits and interviews, which are public information for the rest of the league. It’s to the Packers’ advantage to fool other teams into thinking that they’re looking for a certain player. Maybe a gullible team will jump right in front of them to draft one of those decoys, instead of a wiser team moving into that spot to steal someone they love.

That was the case with Pettis. Good front offices would know that the Packers had no interest. Pettis is thin and soft, and the Packers have never taken a receiver like that in the McCarthy era, at least in the first four rounds. (They’ve always drafted rugged receivers, like Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, James Jones, Ty Montgomery, Randall Cobb, and Greg Jennings, who was thin but tough as nails.) The San Francisco 49ers, however, have the worst front office in the NFL. In early 2017, meddling trust-fund baby owner Jed York scared off good GM candidates like Brian Gutekunst and Elliot Wolf, and wound up settling for the inexperienced John Lynch. His staff was snookered by the Packers’ smoke screen on Pettis.

Third Round

*Why did they trade up for Oren Burks?

Because Blake Martinez might be excellent in run-down defense, but he was toasted in coverage as the Packers’ nickel linebacker last year. Pettine’s scheming doesn’t work if there’s a weak link in coverage. Burks was the third-best nickel linebacker in the whole draft, and by far the best available after Darius Leonard was selected at pick 36. Burks is perfect for nickel packages, where he can cover or use his speed to blitz the quarterback through open gaps. The Packers couldn’t take the chance that he wouldn’t last until their next pick.

*If Burks has those skills, why didn’t he go earlier in the draft?

Because he’s probably not ready for regular duty in base defense, for the Packers or anyone else. Burks is a former safety who is still learning the position and physically growing into it, and he gets tangled up too often with blockers around the line of scrimmage. He’ll get better with time. Once Burks is ready to play in the base defense, he’ll take the “Will” inside linebacker spot and push Martinez to the “Mike” position, which requires slightly more size and skill in avoiding blockers.

Later Rounds

*Why did they load up with three wide receivers? Were they just hedging their bets and hoping one of them works?

No, they want to use all of them to create favorable matchups for Rodgers to exploit. In the slot, Randall Cobb can run circles around slower slot corners, but he can’t get away from smaller and stickier ones. Enter fourth-rounder J’Mon Moore, who at 6’3” can tower over mighty-mite slot corners the same way Jordy Nelson did when he lined up as a slot receiver. Moore has little experience in the slot—he was mostly an outside receiver in college—but he has the right tools to do it: toughness in traffic, loose hips, and run-after-the-catch ability.

On the outside, the 13-syllable combo of Marquez Valdez-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown offer complimentary skills. Valdez-Scantling is a pure burner with 4.37 speed, threatening big press corners with deep-ball disaster if they miss their marks. He’s less of a threat against smaller corners who can keep up with him, because he isn’t a jump-ball specialist. St. Brown is the opposite. He struggles with physical press coverage, but he can eat smaller cornerbacks alive with his jump-ball skills and 6’5” height. Each week, McCarthy can look at the upcoming opponent’s second-best outside cornerback, and choose the appropriate weapon to employ. (Opponents’ best outside corner will be covering Davante Adams.)

*Why did they take Cole Madison in the fifth round, instead of some of those highly-rated, bigger linemen?

Because Madison fits the Packers’ scheme perfectly, and the big road-grading linemen do not. The big linemen are good for deep-passing teams that use stationery pockets, like the Steelers. Their sheer size can form a wall around the quarterback while he waits for his receivers to get deep. 

But the Packers’ offense is different. McCarthy runs a version of the Bill Walsh offense, which calls for quarterbacks to move around to find better angles for short and intermediate throws. That requires linemen with the feet to create moving pockets. The Packers are looking for linemen who can shuffle and mirror the way basketball players do when they’re guarding someone who’s dribbling the ball. They don’t want sumo wrestlers.

Madison is a foot-shuffling expert, and he has plenty of practice; he started four years for a Pac-12 offense that threw the ball 55 times a game. Madison can play two spots where the Packers need help (right guard and right tackle), and his feet are much lighter than those of Justin McCray or Kyle Murphy.

*Why did they draft a punter? Wasn’t Justin Vogel decent last year?

He was. But if McCarthy and Pettine want to play match-up games with a bevy of receivers and cornerbacks on the roster, then that leaves fewer roster spots for the safeties and linebackers who serve as the backbone of special teams coverage units. And if the Packers are going to have reduced quality in those units, then they better have a punter who booms the ball high and forces fair catches. That is JK Scott’s specialty. He routinely hits moonshots with five-second hang times, and half of them were fair-caught last year.

*Why did they spend a draft pick on a long snapper?

Because they don’t have one, and it’s an important job. Screw-ups on long snaps lead to loose-ball scrambles, where defenders get a free shot at smoking Mason Crosby and the new punter. They also lead to missed field goals, bad field position, and fumble returns for touchdowns. It’s not a position where the Packers want to take chances.

*Why did they draft James Looney in the seventh round? What role is he going to play?

Looney doesn’t fit Pettine’s base defense. His arms aren’t long enough to control tackles as a defensive end, and he doesn’t have the strength and leverage to get low and wrestle with guards in the trenches. (In Pettine’s base defense, the three defensive linemen control blockers to keep them out of the way of the linebackers, who make most of the plays.) But Looney does have quickness and agility to be an interior rusher in nickel packages, where his job will be to shoot gaps to get into the backfield.

*Why did they draft Kendall Donnerson in the seventh round? He wasn’t even a star in the Ohio Valley Conference. Why not draft someone who can help the team immediately, and sign projects like Donnerson as undrafted free agents?

Because guys with Donnerson’s athletic gifts are hard to find, and they are hot commodities in undrafted free agency. Everyone is intrigued, and every team wants to bring them into camp to see if they can play. By spending a late pick on Donnerson, the Packers give themselves the right to check him out first. If he looks like he can play, great; the Packers have him locked up with a four-year rookie contract. If not, no problem. They’ll cut him and wait until next year’s draft—when they’ll use their two first-round picks to add similarly special athletes who’ve already shown they can play.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (183) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Johnblood27's picture

Pay the man Shirley.

Rack it!

Archie's picture

No doubt the Packers front office had a plan coming into this draft and executed it but is that a good thing i.e., forcing your will on the draft rather than taking it as it comes and maximizing long term value e.g., BPA.

First Round - Tremain Edmunds OLB/ILB no-brainer, nuff said.

Round Two - Christian Kirk WR - another no brainer

Round Three - Mike Gallup WR

Three instant starters who greatly improve both the offense and defense:
AROD gets two top young WRs that are super route runners; and, the defense gets a possible Hall Of Famer LB that is just turning 20 years old.

So w/o the trade-back, we kept our own picks on day 2 & 3 and we free those draft picks up because the LB and WRs issues are already addressed. Now we go after value and need at CB, OL, TE, pass rush etc..

Instead we take another undersized CB, a 2nd CB who has no man coverage skills/abilities and a LB who is a work in progress at taking on the run. And why? Because we pay lip service to BPA and impose a pre-designed plan based solely on greatest need. So en the end, Goot opted for the short term fix rather than the long term solution. Yes, he has NOR's first round pick next year but at the cost of a possible HOF LB. Edmunds is the equivalent of a top 5/top 10 pick, Alexander may be good but an undersized slot CB is not worthy of the same pick.

flackcatcher's picture

We been over this in the comment sections over the past three days Archie. The Packers had a plan based on the talent they saw, the needs they have, and what they thought was the strengths of this years draft. To their mind, this front office has successfully executed this draft, and has put their coaching staff in a position to win football games. What you and I think about what the Packers should have done in this draft is N/A. What they do with the players they have going forward is what counts now. Going to be an interesting season....

Spud Rapids's picture

Your analysis of what is the BPA vs. the Packers is going to be greatly different. And you assume Edmunds pans out... his weaknesses according to his draft profile would scare me:

Instincts are average and relies on athletic gifts
Can be a step slow to diagnose
Lured by misdirection

Those are 3 big ways to be out of position all the time in the NFL. I think he'll be a bust... can't teach instincts

Chuck Farley's picture

I beleive in bpa if your a team with little needs and just taking playmakers and proven talent. The pack, again for the umteenth year had way more holes to fill then draft choices. Again they force themselves to position almost out of round one to get a couple of prospects to fill holes. BPA.? You move up in the draft and get James or a top linebacker, but they cost money and some extra picks. The pack avoids round one mid round picks like the plague. The bpa,s are gone by then

Chuck Farley's picture

Don't call him Shirley.

Bearmeat's picture

Intriguing. It's possible the personnel/coaching staffs are thinking something very close to this. I also think it's pie-in-the-sky-optimism in the real world of pro sports. If you look back at any draft 3-4 years later, a hit on 3 picks to competent starter level is a win. Any more than that is a grand slam.

Also, with BG even admitting that trading up was a possibility, I seriously doubt that they had Alexander higher on their board than Ward or Fitzpatrick. I also doubt that all three WRs will make the team. Maybe two of them. Maybe.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Stoked about Eqi. Still not sure how he fell so far.

CheesyTex's picture

Probably Sr. year injury. Watched him at ND and he has all the tools to be the steal of the draft. If he has the heart... As my H.S. coach preached "yagottawanna".

56 Packfan's picture

McGinn said ESB has a "Lorenzo Ball-type dad." Want that headache on your team?

John Kirk's picture

I posted about this in the ESB thread. Looking for a reason he fell in the draft? There it is. We brought in 3 guys with issues teams shy away from...two social activist types in Moore and Burks and a guy with a father who admires Lorenzo Ball. I spent some time researching ESB's dad. He's going to be a whole lot of fun...

Brian went on and on about personality fit... I guess he's good with potentially divisive social commentary in the locker room and a guy who has a dad that might make headlines. Doesn't seem to fit with what Brian claims he was after but who am I to question?

WKUPackFan's picture

Wow Kirk, social activitist types? Oh the horror! That is really dipping into the bottom of the barrel in trying to stir up controversy. Have you missed the repeated requests to keep political rhetoric off this site?

Or maybe you are just trying to get back into your boy Finwiz's good graces. He stabbed you right in the back, after all the times that you defended his racism and homophobia.

John Kirk's picture

I didn't say I was worried about social activists. Oh, man, you're something else.

How is it going for Colin Kaepernick? Eric Reid? Why is that?

So, YES, social activism isn't a trait to be flaunted when desiring a job in the NFL. You should do some homework and look into Burks and Moore. If you don't think their pasts have anything to do with anything you're an ostrich with it's head in the sand.

Fin stabbed me in the back? Missed that. Did none of what you state. Again, you have a very warped twisted perception of reality muh man. I've never defended racism or homophobia here. EVER. I asked Fin to take down some things that were. That's being supportive of it?

WKUPackFan's picture

Previously you denied asking Finwiz to take anything down. You even denied knowing who posted the slurs.

You should learned from your previous comment from weeks ago being posted above. People remember the inconsistent positions you have taken.

John Kirk's picture

You're right...I'd forgotten who posted it. I'd asked more than a couple of people to take things down here.

The point is I asked somebody to take something that was offensive down. I've done it more than a couple of times here. How that makes me a racist or a homophobe is something only you could conclude.

What inconsistent positions? Forgetting that I cautioned someone specific to take down a post is inconsistent?

Email me or I'm done with your ridiculous allegations...

Again, [email protected] Let's get it over with. Right now.

WKUPackFan's picture

You say that you are not worried about social activists, but then you go on to give your hot take about their role in the NFL. Very consistent, well done.

John Kirk's picture

Personally, I'm all for it. That doesn't mean I think it belongs in the NFL or that I'm unaware of the climate in the NFL.

There is zero inconsistency save for your desperation to paint me a way you can't make stick.

stormin's picture

JK, didn't you say yesterday that drafting Burks was the right move , because all TT did was draft slow white guys to play that position?

John Kirk's picture

Not him specifically, but I did say that Ted liked slow white guys like himself where Brian prioritizes athleticism. I said that's a nice change from Ted...and it is.

So...No. I didn't say that. I did say getting athleticism into the middle was preferred to Ted's non athletic LB's.

Finwiz's picture

We're good.....I respect your commentary and the critical nature of it.

I just think you're being a bit to negative about this draft. Not a problem to disagree. Just to clarify, although it didn't seem like you needed any of that.

Carry on.

Finwiz's picture

Why don't you GROW UP and quit worrying about who's offending whom, and just post your thoughts, (if you have any) on the Packers?

Seems like ALL you want to do is come around here and stir up the sheet?
Grow up and post an non-vitriolic thought for once.

You're the one that interjects politics into almost every single post, because the innuendo just oozes from everything you write.

Oppy's picture

He's a "Lorenzo Ball-type dad" only in that he's pushing his kids to excel in sports (his wife drives the children in a likewise manner in academics- all three kids are 4.0 students and speak English, French, and German.. fluently.) I won't comment as to if that's healthy or not, but as far as Lorenzo Ball comparisions, there's nothing I've found that suggests mom or dad interfere with the coaches or teachers, or that they make decisions for their children beyond driving them to excellence. By all accounts, they have 3 happy, healthy, wildly talented, good kids and I see nothing about parents meddling in their schooling or coaching.

I'm happy to hear about whatever JK found in his research, I personally didn't see anything that spelled out problems or alarm for the Packers locker room or management.

John Kirk's picture

Did you read the quote supposedly from an NFC Scout that ESB said that he wouldn't play ST's? Nagler tweeted about it. That attitude comes from somewhere. Is it from his dad? I don't know, but it does come from somewhere.

Personality fits are us?

Minniman's picture

Thinking a little deeper about this, and not necessarily placing any veracity in the truth of the comments.

If he isn't willing to do anything as a rookie to keep on the team and take catches from one of the premier passers of the time, then that's some seriously poor advice.

Note to his dad - if this is true, watch Martavius Bryant (now of the Raiders) closely this year. He'd wanna make some plays or he'll be one of those talented pariahs that no-one wants on their team...... do you want that for your son

John Kirk's picture

For the record, I didn't say his dad told him not to play ST's. I reported the quote which was from an NFC Scout that he said he wouldn't play them. Go see Aaron Nagler's twitter time line.

I asked the question...where is that attitude coming from? It's coming from somewhere. Is it from his dad? I don't know. What I do know is his dad admires Lavar Ball per his own words.

Also, I know the Ball family was brought up to Brian last night in reference to ESB.

Draw your own conclusions. I think it'll be fun having John Brown around. I thought Greg Jennings sister was hilarious. I miss her.

Minniman's picture

point taken. I was just saying that this is most certainly not an organization that takes lip from even pro bowler

WKUPackFan's picture

Kirk has not spent any time researching anything. If he had he would have known the facts Oppy laid out, and would chosen another of the draft pick's fathers to have a hot take about.

After all, the important thing is to have a hot take about some draftee's family. It does not matter if the hot take is true or false, or what player or family member it is about.

John Kirk's picture

Did you watch Brian's presser? That's rhetorical.

You didn't. A question was asked of Brian if he was worried about the Lavar Ball stuff with ESB.

It's classic continually being hounded by posters who don't pay attention and told how I have it wrong when they're blissfully unaware. Be better.

Let an ESB quote answer this for you...Yeah, I didn't research. You are the site's biggest liar and stalker. You're the smallest man I've met on the net. You are relentless with your lies and attacks...

On his dad drawing comparisons to Lavar Ball:

“I could see that,” the former Notre Dame wide receiver and aspiring NFL target said for the record, regarding Ball, Friday at an NFL Combine media session.

----No, I didn't do any research at all...and no, I just made something up because that's what WKU needs to believe for some reason. We're different people, WKU. I'm sorry you aren't me. You shouldn't hate me because you aren't me but you do.

Here's an ESPN headline for you to google:

John Brown, the CFB LaVar Ball

John Brown who has 3 sons as top athletes comments on LaVar Ball, his philosophy on grooming student athletes, his thoughts on stretching in sports and self branding.

WKUPackFan's picture

Are you talking about Lonzo, Lavar, or someone named Lorenzo Ball? You are using them interchangeably.

Amazing timing, you just finished using the edit function to add over half of the content of the above quote as I was clicking on the reply button. Deceitful posting attempt foiled again.

WKUPackFan's picture

And then a second edit to add the three ESPN paragraphs. Anything else you want to add?

Finwiz's picture

WHO CARES if somebody goes back to edit a post? I'd rather do that, or see that, than have somebody add ANOTHER post saying essentially the same thing. I edit ALL the time for spelling or content - something I forgot to say, or to clarify.

I don't follow people around or take screen shots of what their original posts look like to even KNOW IF they edited a post. I'm trying to wrap my head around what kind of individual actually notices or observes what somebody else posts the 1st time vs. the edit, to make a judgement about it. That just seems warped and perverse in some strange way.


WKUPackFan's picture

There is nothing wrong with editing for misspelling or extraneous words. That is the reason for the edit function.

Editing a post to include several paragraphs of additional "content" is a different situation. That constitutes a deceitful attempt to make replies to the original content appear to be inaccurate. Nice job of admitting that you do that.

MITM's picture

Who is Lorenzo Ball lol

stockholder's picture

knee, didn't finish his combine tests, is my guess.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

There is no way to know if a prospect's known social activism dropped his stock in eyes of NFL GMs. If it did, they certainly would not admit to it.

John Kirk's picture

Oh, absolutely. Just like the collusion on Kaepernick and Reid. You think that will ever be admitted to? No way.

There is no way to know it, but it's not out there at all to believe it did. Actually, it would be out there to believe it had no effect at all considering the Kap and Reid situations.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Jackson didn’t play much man-to-man coverage at Iowa, but there’s no reason to think he won’t do it well."

Well, there is tape of him doing it poorly. But I do think it's plausible that he can be coached. After all his skills trajectory is on a pretty steep climb at the moment.

Ryan Graham's picture

I'm with you BPD. There is some clear sense in this line of reasoning that I liked and agree with, but it is pretty optimistic. A counter piece presenting the negatives, such as injury and tackling concerns from Alexander could be in order to bring a more balanced outlook, not to say I doubt this draft but I'm not sure it was perfect either.

Coldworld's picture

In fairness he is attempting to portray what the rationales were for making the choices that were made. He was not saying that the hopes will all be met.

Interesting article. Thank you.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

If I thought the article was a trifle glib in places or even disagreed with some assertions, I also thought it had an interesting point of view that the author laid out cogently. It had a nice logical narrative.

I really admire this article.

Nick Perry's picture

One thing is 100% certain. This team is going to become MUCH more athletic under Gutekunst.

jeremyjjbrown's picture


I always found it maddening that "drafting good football players" didn't yield guys who could understand the defensive scheme.

Coldworld's picture

Did Capers understand the scheme? Pretty Thompson didn’t in recent years

4thand1's picture

Pretty Thompson? Man crush?

Don Hutson's picture

Pros play chess, fan 'experts' and media talkers struggle at checkers. Great analysis!

Minniman's picture

......And Belichick plays 3-dimensional chess.

Agree, thanks for the analysis. Match this to the "mongol horde" article a couple of days ago and the big picture goes from black to at least blurry for us on the outside of the organization.

I can't wait to watch the preseason games to see how this all comes together.

John Kirk's picture

Yeah, buddy...and it's about time we moved away from the outdated thinking of Ted.

As for the piece... If Josh Jackson was thought of as the way he was portrayed in this supposed view from the scouts, there is NO way he's there at 45. None. He wasn't seen the way this piece says he was and that is why he was there at 45. The Jackson stuff wrangles me. I'm tired of reading nonsense about him. Pre draft was enough...I was hoping it was over but it isn't.

As for our top pick, where is the balance? It is quite possible we traded back up, lost picks, for a guy who is nothing but a nickel back. You don't take a nickel in Round 1. There is debate among scouts whether Alexander can play outside at all due to size. That is giving balance and perspective not one view. Where is Alexander going to play? Do the Packers even know for sure? They think he can play outside and inside. Much different than knowing that. The fact they drafted Jackson tells me they think of Alexander as a nickel. King and Jackson aren't playing nickel back. Those are two outside guys leaving Alexander where exactly? Nickel. This, of course, presumes that King and Jackson are good enough to start outside. May not be...and they feel Jaire has the dreaded versatility to play either place. I'm sure he well is the question. I think this kid is a nickel back, and will end up there... rendering our rare visit up higher in the draft wasted on a nickel. That's something you just don't do, but we have to see it first.

Nick Perry's picture

JK...I have to disagree with you John. Now I'll admit I was bummed a bit when the Packers passed on James/Edmunds when both there. But I also admit I didn't know a whole lot about Alexander because I thought he may have been to small.

BUT everything I've read suggest the complete opposite. I think Alexander can play both inside and out. He's MORE than strong enough to handle 95% of the WR's in the NFL should he play outside on certain formations and he'll obviously be great inside. Just look at the Passer ratings he allowed in 2016 AND in 2017 when he was hurt.

The Packers haven't had a Ball-Hawk since the days of Woodson and Williams. That's exactly what they got in Jackson. GREAT draft overall John!!!

John Kirk's picture

Who injected you with the kool aid, NP? :)

Hey, I'm happy for you that you feel as you do. It's a lot more fun than feeling the way I do for sure. I feel that way you do about a couple of guys but can't find the overall joy you have.

Have you read any actual scouts evaluations of him? The piece above is rife with leaps and conjecture that paints what was done in a very flattering light. It's dogmatic about things that are simply unknowable.

Let me ask you this because I see you as a bright guy... Where is Alexander playing if King and Jackson play outside? King and Jackson aren't nickel guys. If Jaire plays outside it's because Jackson or King aren't better than he is and neither of those guys are nickels. The overall fitment of the 3 top guys we have from the draft doesn't make much sense unless Alexander plays nickel. You used the chance at 14 to draft a nickel in a trade back up? These are fair questions that will get glossed over or ignored.

Did you think we had an answer at CB when we drafted T-Buck? Ahmad Carroll? T-Buck was infinitely more touted than Jaire or King or Josh'd he turn out? This notion that we're all set now because someone said these were the best guys is MEANINGLESS. King, Jackson and Jaire could be as bad as Rollins. That is the caution from me that you don't get from most here. I'm hated for being the common sense let's not be crazy on buzzed thinking guy.

How do you know the draft was GREAT? I've seen A draft grades turn to F in regrades 3 years later. I like a lot of what happened from Round 4 on. I hate the P and LS picks that you like. That LS has an injury history. We can't even draft a LS without an injury history. :)

I do think this D will be much better because I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mike Pettine. I couldn't be happier about him. He has all the high picks he can handle. When we're better because of him don't come back and tell me it was this draft that put us over the top.

This is kind of unrelated but notable at least to me... I read a piece from one of the NY papers that graded the drafts over the last 5 years not including last year. The Saints were ranked DEAD LAST. (we were stunningly rated 13th)... Look at the draft they had last year after being thought of as the worst in the league. It takes ONE great draft to turn it around. It is possible. Is this one the one for us? I'm not sold like you are but I hope you're right and I'm wrong.

4thand1's picture

I could read War and Peace quicker than a few of your posts.

Minniman's picture


Whats that great Winston Churchill quote:

"if I had more time, I'd have used less words"

worztik's picture

He sure can ramble when defending his rambling!!!!

Archie's picture

Alexander will play outside in base and the slot in nickel/dime. TW & DH for the dime. Josh Jones apparently replaces MB. HaHa gets one more chance to prove he's worth keeping around. May not be.

John Kirk's picture

If Josh Jackson and Kevin King start outside where does Alexander play?....NIckel. All 3 can't start outside. 2 of them aren't nickel is.

Cubbygold's picture

Yeah, idk how anyone argues against this. Alexander was definitely not brought in to play on the outside. It also seems that traditionally a NC isn't targeted in the first round, but hey, if thats gbs biggest weakness then it had to be addressed

worztik's picture


John Kirk's picture

Worzy...I apologize. Sincerely. I erred in ever engaging that hateful individual and a few others. I'm done with it. No more responding to my stalkers.

I hope you can get back to enjoying that sweet smell of liquid excrement I churn out here.

worztik's picture

Thanks, John, for your response! WKU has rubbed me wrong since I first, luckily, found this site! You can ramble and that’s fine but, the WKU idiot should pack his bags and move to_____________, fill in the blank guys!!! Anywhere but here... just sayin’...

Finwiz's picture

Could not agree more with any of this.

One of those people that get's offended by something someone says, and holds a grudge forever more because the beliefs don't match his own.

WKUPackFan's picture

My "beliefs" include the fact that all people's rights should be respected, regardless of their race or gender. I am very happy that my belief does not match yours.

Minniman's picture

Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde didn't do too bad cutting their teeth as nickel DB's at Green Bay - obviously Hyde also extending over into safety duties too.

GB knows all too well that slot receivers can dice you up....

I don't have a problem if King and Jackson patrol the borders and Alexander plays inside if it shuts down receiver sets.

Minniman's picture

3 receiver sets

Oppy's picture

I agree 100%.

I don't believe there is a DC in the league who thinks a great nickle back is worth any less than a great #1 / #2.

3 WR sets and hyper-athletic TEs are becoming typical on more downs than not in today's game. Your secondary is only as strong as the weakest link. Teams are desperate to keep 3 strong CB's on a roster.

dobber's picture

...and if that nickel back has the ability to swing outside and cover credibly on the perimeter? All the better. Just because nickel is his best fit and gets him on the field ATM doesn't mean he's not going to contribute on the outside.

Kubyskins12's picture

Since most defense's play nickel 80% of time I don't see problem with drafting nickel corner with 18th pick in 1st rd and getting 1st rd next year on top of it as a bad pick. Plus he may be little short for outside but he weighs 196 can jump and has long arms. I don't see him having any problem playing outside.

Duneslick's picture

My 2 cents worth King and Alexander outside in the base defense and Alexander in the slot in the nickel defense with Jackson and King outside

How often will we be the nickel. Should be every time the offense has no fullback. There will be 3 wr's on offense and we don't want to cover a wr with a lb or safety.

You rarely see FB'S used any more

Oppy's picture

" It takes ONE great draft to turn it around. It is possible. Is this one the one for us? I'm not sold like you are but I hope you're right and I'm wrong."

You also say in the previous paragraph:

"I do think this D will be much better because I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mike Pettine. I couldn't be happier about him. He has all the high picks he can handle. When we're better because of him don't come back and tell me it was this draft that put us over the top. "

So which is it? Do you really hope you're wrong about the work Gutekunst and the Packers did in this draft, and this is the one great draft that can really turn it around? Or is the truth that you've discounted the possibility these players could be difference makers, and nobody can tell you otherwise- because it can only be Pettine, the guy you love?

It's amazing to me you think people dislike your posts because you're 'the common sense guy.'

This post is a great example of what is referred to as intellectually dishonesty. I have a feeling it has something to do with a great deal of your dislikes.

John Kirk's picture

Oh, boy... Looking so hard for your aha! moment...

The one great draft speaks to the entire draft. Got it?

Yes, I hope the Packers are right and I'm wrong. I hope every single one of these guys are HOF'ers. I know that won't happen but that's what I'd like.

The Pettine comment was about who would have the bigger impact on our defense...Pettine or these draftees? When the D is better, I believe it will be because of Mike Pettine...not Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson or Oren Burks. Pretty simple, no?

Do I think Pettine is a difference maker? Yes. I've said so repeatedly here. He was my choice before he was the choice. I loved that guy at Cleveland. He's my kind of guy.

You do realize we drafted several players who don't play defense? Or, did you not consider that? Who did I want in this draft? What position did I think needed prioritizing? I liked Courtland Sutton and felt WR needed a big boost. I stated I liked 2 of the 3 WR's. I hope all 3 are HOF'ers. If we get what we need from them, this will be a fun year and couple that with Pettine being our DC this could be something.

Yes, don't tell me it was this draft that put us over on top...on defense. I don't believe in these guys like many of you do. I said I liked Round 4 on. Not 1-3. So, yes, I believe Pettine will be much more the reason the D is better, but I do hope I'm wrong and Jaire, Josh and Oren are HOF'ers. I've been adamant that I didn't like Josh Jackson for months.

To really simplify it for you...I believe in Pettine improving the D more than any players drafted even guys I would've preferred...and, yes, I hope every Packers player is a HOF, but I don't think that'll happen.

Oppy's picture

You are either a lousy writer or horrible revisionist.

I have already seen many, many, many examples of you quickly changing your tune to cover your backside, so I'll lean towards the latter.

You are so full of "aha!" moments, it's no chore to find them.

John Kirk's picture

Let's go with lousy writer. I understand your desire to do this, Oppy. I really do.

You haven't seen any examples of this. I know you believe you have but when you bring them to me they're quite easy to explain. Of course, you're not going to like my answers. What a surprise that is.

Sadly, we both know why you do what you do in regards to me. I'm sorry it's that way for you. I've spent many years of my life concerned about the feelings of people like you and have held back who I am because of how it's going to make someone feel. I stopped not long ago and I have learned that it doesn't go well. I'd have to literally pretend to be acceptable to you.

You, WKU and marpag1 have become a blight on this site with your lust to demean. Out of respect for the site, I'm going to do what I should've done a long time ago with people like you, and just ignore you.

From now on...

WKUPackFan's picture

Please try to post a coherent thought on your first try. Repeatedly adding multiple sentences through multiple edits within five minutes of the original post is not going to fool anyone.

Oppy's picture

John Kirk understands. He really does.

Nick Perry's picture

Personally I was SCREAMING for Troy Vincent instead of Buckley. Carroll was drafted by one of the WORST GM's the Packers ever had. Sherman was a decent enough coach, he was a rotten GM.

"I do think this D will be much better because I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mike Pettine. I couldn't be happier about him."

I can say with 99% certainty that Pettine was right there giving his approval when BG drafted both Alexander and Jackson. I also wouldn't pigeon-hole Alexander or even Jackson as solely nickel or outside CB's. Jackson has played in the slot as well as outside and so has Alexander. When you throw in King the Packers can will be able to handle ANY receiving group they face. 2 BIG outside receivers and a smaller slot receiver ...CHECK. One big WR, 2 smaller WR, and a monster TE...CHECK. Two big WR's a small WR, a monster TE, AND a RB who's a threat....Check, Check, Check.

I think the Packers improved tenfold in this draft which is all you could hope for. At the end of the day John I'm ALL IN on anything that keeps Pipkins or some of the other CB's who played at the end of the season for the Packers OFF the field and that's exactly what Gute has accomplished IMO. Obviously we don't know how any of these guys will REALLY work out, but I'm optimistic and not even cautiously so.

John Kirk's picture

You wanted that local boy didn't ya? :) I was excited by T-Buck and his promise of 22 interceptions. That was when I was a positive fan. I actually believed him. Bad on me.

You seem over the top excited about this draft. Does it factor in your delight at all that Ted wasn't the one making the picks? I can't think of a soul here who wanted Jaire Alexander pre-draft. Boy, that sure has changed post-draft. Funny how that works. :)

As for Pettine in the room...I don't know about that. Was Dom ever in the draft room? I don't recall him being in there but I'm not certain. Hard to believe he would be on board with Josh Jackson who doesn't play man like he likes to play. Seems like an odd player for him to be giving his approval on. If memory serves, Pettine had bigger CB's in NY. It seems odd he would want a smallish one now.

The only time in the last several years I was as fired up as you are was over the Aaron Jones pick. I was ecstatic. MVS is about as close as I got this year to that. Love the speed element. This guy doesn't have to get a lot of targets, or a ton of plays...just when he's in there he needs to fly down the field and make big plays or be a big decoy opening things up behind him. About as much as the middle has been plagued by slowness, so has WR, and it;s nice to see both addressed. To have a high 4.3 guy running down the field will be fun to watch.

What often looks one way on paper looks very different on grass. It's amazing how every pick in the first couple of nights is a great pick for every single team.

Mayock loves Jaire. It's funny looking back on 2015...Mayock had Randall and Rollins as his 1st and 4th best SAFETY prospects and we played both at CB. We listen to Mayock, apparently, save for position. He liked Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves in 2016. Lattimore and Conley last year.

The last 4 years his top rated were....

Trae Waynes, Jalen Ramsey, Marshon Lattimore, and our guy. I'm hoping Jaire is more Jalen and Marshon than Trae Waynes.

Nick Perry's picture

LOL...I'm sure a bit of my happiness is about Thompson no longer making the picks.

John Kirk's picture


John Kirk's picture

You wanted that local boy didn't ya? :) I was excited by T-Buck and his promise of 22 interceptions. That was when I was a positive fan. I actually believed him. Bad on me.

You seem over the top excited about this draft. Does it factor in your delight at all that Ted wasn't the one making the picks? I can't think of a soul here who wanted Jaire Alexander pre-draft. Boy, that sure has changed post-draft. Funny how that works. :)

As for Pettine in the room...I don't know about that. Was Dom ever in the draft room? I don't recall him being in there but I'm not certain. Hard to believe he would be on board with Josh Jackson who doesn't play man like he likes to play. Seems like an odd player for him to be giving his approval on. If memory serves, Pettine had bigger CB's in NY. It seems odd he would want a smallish one now.

The only time in the last several years I was as fired up as you are was over the Aaron Jones pick. I was ecstatic. MVS is about as close as I got this year to that. Love the speed element. This guy doesn't have to get a lot of targets, or a ton of plays...just when he's in there he needs to fly down the field and make big plays or be a big decoy opening things up behind him. About as much as the middle has been plagued by slowness, so has WR, and it;s nice to see both addressed. To have a high 4.3 guy running down the field will be fun to watch.

What often looks one way on paper looks very different on grass. It's amazing how every pick in the first couple of nights is a great pick for every single team.

Mayock loves Jaire. It's funny looking back on 2015...Mayock had Randall and Rollins as his 1st and 4th best SAFETY prospects and we played both at CB. We listen to Mayock, apparently, save for position. He liked Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves in 2016. Lattimore and Conley last year.

The last 4 years his top rated were....

Trae Waynes, Jalen Ramsey, Marshon Lattimore, and our guy. I'm hoping Jaire is more Jalen and Marshon than Trae Waynes.

worztik's picture

Didn’t Sherman bring in that expensive dick from NO??? Johnson??? What a mistake; that cost us dearly...

croatpackfan's picture

Nick, he is just affraid that Alexander will make his beloved WR (you know, the one he would give to Giants 5 1st rounds from the future) ridiculous. Ah that Odell....

baldski's picture

JK: How do you explain A-rod dropping all the way down to the Packers as he did when he was drafted? What was it - 24th pick ? None of those other teams saw anything of value there?

John Kirk's picture

Niners made a mistake. Pretty simple. The "Tedford Factor" loomed large as 5 other Tedford QB's were previously taken in Round 1 and all of them busted. Akili Smith, Joey Harrington, David Carr, Kyle Boller, and Trent Dilfer. That's a pretty imposing reason for caution when picking between two QB's at 1 overall. That stigma cost Aaron.

croatpackfan's picture

Only Niners?
What about rest of 22 teams in between?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

If slot corner is so unimportant, why did Woodson play there so much?

John Kirk's picture

I didn't say it was unimportant. I said you don't draft a nickel back in Round 1, especially when you're up high for the first time in a long time especially when you likely need 2 outside guys.

holmesmd's picture

Do you ever feel positive or optimistic about anything? You must love Nietzsche. SMH

Chuck Farley's picture

I agree. People forget, he played against so so qb`s who couldn't fitness the ball over his head to much taller receivers. Pro qb`s will be looking for his number often until he proves he can cover the big guys. Jackson didn't play man. We have no idea if his wonderlick score is slightly above a neandethal and learning is a new concept.
He was at 45 for a reason.
I do remember him being projected as mid first round so others learned something gutt didn't apparently. Without those two performing well, this is a bustomania draft

Lare's picture

IMO, the best way to improve the offense was to provide a solid starting OL and weapons other teams would have to game plan for.

On defense, improve the defensive backfield and provide for a better pass rush.

And finally, to give this roster some difference-makers and potential Pro Bowl caliber players.

I would say Gutekunst/Thompson only accomplished one of those tasks with this draft.

CheesyTex's picture

Agree, but maybe two tasks accomplished if punter can provide improved field position and roster flexibility (through less demanding punt coverage with improved hang time). Fingers crossed.

Ryan Graham's picture

JohnKirk I see what you're saying. I dont know that its right or wrong but I'm under the impression that Pettine feels comfortable playing either Jackson or Alexander in the slot depending on the matchup. I definitely see Alexander playing nickel over guys like Diggs and Tate, but Jackson would better matchup on paper against Fitzgerald than Jaire, no?

John Kirk's picture

If we don't believe as we're told that size isn't an issue with Jaire. :)

I feel you... but can Jackson play there?

Ryan Graham's picture

Ijust knew those questions were coming haha and honestly I dont have an answer for either today. I wanna believe Jackson can move inside using his instincts and ability to undercut routes to his advantage, might be a little rusty at first because it will require press man but I think he can grow into it.

I do think Jaire has the skillset to play outside if asked, probably wont ask him to do it much early on if at all, but hes got the cover skills. He does play bigger and stronger than 5'10" 195 lbs from what I've seen. But that injury history scares me, paired with our track record of DBs missing time. An "unwilling tackler" at any size or any position on the defense is never a good thing.

One thing I do know is that if Jaire isnt an excellent starter while Tremaine Edmunds and Derwin James project out as perennial pro bowlers, and they cant land a top level talent in next years first round or do something with the two first round picks, that trade will not soon be forgotten and it could taste very bad. I hope we dont have to worry about that.

John Kirk's picture

:) Of course they were... I don't understand adding those 3 guys. It's almost like they know King isn't any good. Otherwise, why "waste" your high draft capital on 3 guys who all can't start outside?

Lare's picture

I would not be surprised if Edmunds and/or James are perennial pro bowlers, I would be very surprised if Alexander and/or Jackson are also.

Nick Perry's picture

Get really to be surprised. ..... People thought the same about Vernon Gohlston too.

Cubbygold's picture

Yup, that dude was as sure a bet as any

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Josh Jackson's 3-cone and shuttle are good numbers, more than good enough to suggest that he can play the slot.

John Kirk's picture

Did he look smooth in the drills in Indy, though?

jh9's picture

By not drafting an edge rusher with the first pick, time will tell if that was the right decision. But to add a little balance...

Due to injury, Jaire Alexander only played in six games for Louisville in 2017
He is talented, but the last thing we need is another Nick Perry - a first round pick that sits out too many games because of an injury.

Ryan Graham's picture

Lare to be clear I dont really expect Jaire Alexander to be a perennial pro bowler, it's rare nickel guys are to begin with and I gotta assume that's where he will primarily play. The key in that trade is James/Edmunds vs. Alexander + next years NO first rd pick. I'll take the two competent starters over one of Edmunds or James. But as talented as Jaire is as a player he was quite the risk considering his unwillingness as as tackler and his injury history.

Lare's picture

I agree Ryan, I think Alexander will be very good as a nickel back. Not sure how Jackson will fare on the outside with his speed limitations.

I was really high on Edmunds, I think he could have been a transformative player for the Packer's defenses for many years to come. Unfortunately, we will never see if that was the case.

John Kirk's picture

That's a good point, Lare. When it comes to the draft a selection has multiple things that it affects while usually only one aspect is focused on and that is how the selected player fares. The other side is what about the guys you didn't pick and how they fare?

Taking it further, one of my big laments is the fact that we have been forced to keep taking CB's because we can't get it right. How many other Tremaine Edmunds might we have drafted if we weren't busy burning 7 of the last 10 high picks on DB's? What other positions might we have found a difference maker at?

This is why CB drafting is a trigger for me. God only knows what getting it wrong has cost us on the field and in way of who we didn't get to bring in because of the failures there. It's a huge thing. Just like trading out of 27 down to 18 losing 76 and then having to trade up in Round 3 and still losing 12 net places in the Round. I've tried spotlighting some of what has happened in this draft outside of...Great picks! I love this draft. Gute is a genius! We're getting great grades! I want to put the draft under a microscope....when many just want to admire the mural.

Nick Perry's picture

This was from PFF...

Day 1: Green Bay is one team with a real case for ‘winning’ the 2018 NFL Draft.

Day 2: The Packers erased any concerns we had of getting the right player at corner by snagging the No. 1 guy on PFF’s cornerback rankings to pair with the No. 4 in Iowa’s Josh Jackson.

What they said about day three of the draft and the overall grade of...Wait for it.... "Elite"!

Now all of this is obviously subject to opinion but at least PFF uses a grading system to help them come up with their rankings.

Green Bay snagged a Jordy Nelson replacement in Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown in the sixth round. St. Brown is a big receiver but moves well for that size and dropped just six passes in his college career. Cole Madison was a right tackle at Washington State, allowing just 22 total pressures across 827 pass-blocking snaps in 2017. He was projected as a guard by some, and should help Green Bay’s line regardless of which spot he plays.

Overall grade: Elite

They also mentioned how the Packers absolute KILLED it with Alexander and Jackson. Seems they liked the Burks pick too mentioning his athleticism and versatility make him more valuable at the next level.

Like I mentioned above the Packers got more athletic which is something they HAD to do. BTW... I'm happy as hell they drafted a punter and LS. Christ after last year LS problems EVERY Packers fans should be doing backflips!!

Mojo's picture

Agree NP on the long-snapper. If he's any good, he probably has a greater than 50% chance to make the roster with the mess we have at LS now.

Compare that to other seventh rounders who probably have less than a 10% chance. The only knock would be if you could have had him in free agency, but there he gets to chose his team.

dobber's picture

"The only knock would be if you could have had him in free agency, but there he gets to chose his team."

Someone here a year or two ago posted that 6th and 7th round picks are essentially prioritizing your priority UDFAs. That seems to hold up.

CheesyTex's picture

Great post Nick Perry.

jeremyjjbrown's picture


After being irate over trading 14, I am very happy with this draft. Happiest I've been since the Matthews/Raji draft. I hope TT is really proud of BG and feels good knowing the Packers appear to be in good hands.

My minor reservations are:

- I've not seen Valdes-Scantling extend and pluck the ball. I know the CTV report psted in that he does, but it's not on tape I saw.
- Josh Jackson has bad tape in press man. I expect they think he can be coached and/or used in some short zone Pettine employs.

Otherwise this is an awesome haul. Super excited about Equimentous.

Nick Perry's picture

"Otherwise this is an awesome haul. Super excited about Equimentous."

Me too. I was screaming for this kid in the 4th when they took Moore who is actually an exciting pick too. What I don't get s there's so much negative being posted about who the Packers drafted at WR. All three ran in the 4.4's and one in the 4.3's. All three are a bigger WR than the Packers normally take who bring a little something different from the other. BUT one common theme was they can all get deep. Something the Packers haven't done that well since 2014 when Jordy still had his legs.

Tundraboy's picture

Yes we could have the deep threats we need, and Rodgers should have. Needle back up NP.

croatpackfan's picture

Nick, you finally sounds happy. I'm glad for you... And for the rest of us that like this season Packers draft class...

Nick Perry's picture

LOL...Thanks Croat.

Since '61's picture

Nick - good job as usual. Thanks, Since '61

Bure9620's picture

Excellent article Matt, I have been trying to explain
our offensive line tendencies to Packers fans for years. All Packers linemen play tackle in college and have lateral quickness, agility and athletic traits, speciffically short shuttle times. They also hold blocks longer in the passing game, but as you say, they rely on pocket movement, and quickness can make it harder for less athletic DTs to penetrate gaps, also there tend to be less holding penalties (when you have the right players.)

Taking that one step further, this has an effect on the running game as well. With more lateral movement and with this zone blocking scheme there tend to be more cutback lanes and I have always felt the type of backs that fit this offense best are the 'one-cut' decisive backs. This also why I am a big Aaron Jones fan because his running style fits this offense perfectly. He can plant and go or slash at the second level. He is the best fit since Ryan Grant or Ahman Green IMO.

Tundraboy's picture

Excellent points. We haven't had the right RBs in years. None in recent memory that I can name.

Mike Rossmeier's picture

Even if not totally correct, with all the background information on Pettine, etc., this is a hell of an analysis, and exceeds most of what I've seen from the professional journalists covering the team.

John Kirk's picture

I agree with you on the professional journalists. We are subjected to a very very poor media covering the Packers. CHTV has a glorious opportunity to fill that huge void.

Sports media today is almost all opinion driven. The constraints on "state run" media render it almost worthless. This site doesn't have those constraints save for the personal bias that exists inside each of us. If this site finds it's objective voice, there's no telling what this site could be. It skews too much toward a feel right now, imo. My opinion is it should endeavor to be a fair and balanced voice not a rah rah rag. This piece is a glorious example...well done as for the thought put into it, but the thoughts were all one sided. No balance. We all know a lot of these picks are going to bust. The balance that is missing here that should be there is telling us why guys fell and the concerns on each player not just all the good things that caused the Packers to draft them. Piece comes off as a Packers promotional piece but I applaud the work put into it...just balance it out with the other views that are out there on these players.

Mojo's picture

To which JK I'll add I don't care for the condescending "we fans just don't know anything" tone. True, most of us fans get our info from the media but in turn...most of the media gets it's info from the scouts, personnel men and experts from around the league. Not just GB, but the entire league. They then build a consensus on who they believe are the best prospects by position and overall. And based on pro-bowls, performance and contracts they are right way more than wrong. I saw a list of pro-bowl players a few years back and the vast majority were picked in the first three rounds, especially the first.

So it's not just important to see how GB views a prospect, but more importantly and predicatively the entire league.

Coldworld's picture

JK: no matter how genuine it might be, after a while constant need to be angry and aggrieved loses its interest and any power to persuade. That’s a shame because you sometimes post insightfully.

This draft is likely not the best of all time but it’s also almost certainly not the worst in recent years or merely a clone thereof. The team is significantly better now on paper than it was on Wednesday. That’s enough for me to feel as good as I can about any draft from which not a single snap has been played by any draftee

John Kirk's picture

I get it, Coldworld. I see how you would feel this way. I have considered the other perspective and have actually lived in it for many years long ago. I still consider the other perspective. Do you ever consider how it must feel to me to see legions of fans buzzed up gushing and spinning everything pro Packer. The "positivity" is nauseating because it comes from nowhere and is underpinned by nothing. While what I post is perceived as negative, it's based on careful thought. You don't have to like the thought but I take the time to do it.

Here's what I would say about this viewpoint disparity...

I've been like you. I'm guessing you've never been like me. I've compared and contrasted each side of things. I can still do it today. I have found that being perceived as negative and being a slow thinker vs. a fast thinker (look it's a real thing) and "positive" is no comparison. The side that I'm on has been carefully considered over the years.

Would tell you that I don't believe if you were on my side of the perspective fence that you would ever go back to the other side of it. It's a lot less "happy", but it's a lot more genuine. I prefer harsh cold realities to warm fuzzied fantasies. It's the difference between choosing to get high or not. I've never been high save for at the dentist years ago and hated it. Endorphins are great so I get the desire to not want to be me.

dobber's picture

Scene from the Packers homers 12-step group...

John: Hi. My name is John Kirk and I've been rah-rah free for 6 years.

CHTV Posters: Hi, John...


John Kirk's picture

Oh, no...I'm not going back in dobs...ever. :)

Oppy's picture

Yet another post where JK explains he understands why the rest of us don't get it, he really does, because he's been there.

Rest assured, however, it couldn't be that he's just unduly negative, or even that he might be mistaken- because, he's put forth the kind of even-handed analysis before making his proclamations than none of the rest of us could have. That's the only possible way we could disagree- because we unenlightened are simply not brave enough or haven't the stoutness of heart it takes to face the harsh coldness of reality.

He understands.

But fret not! For John Kirk will shoulder that burden for us all! Yes, it is lonely and difficult, but even though he knows the comforts the rest us of too weak to see bleak reality enjoy, he would never turn back to the warmth our ignorance offers. Nay, he will stay keep the lighthouse of true reality, shielding us from the horrors of all decisions borne of Gutekunst's hand.

The burden is immense. John Kirk understands.

John Kirk's picture

I didn't say all of you. I'm not unique here. I'm minority for sure.

Question: Are there homers writing articles and posting on this site? Yes or No? Of course, it's... Yes.

What is a homer? What does it connote? I am not a homer, so I am different than you and I do see and understand differently...because I'm not you...not a homer.

This is from an article I love and you would probably hate:

If you’ve ever criticized a sports team in front of one of the team’s most passionate fans, you’ve likely been accused being a “hater” and had your argument quickly dismissed. It doesn’t matter if you presented objective evidence to demonstrate how you drew your conclusion — e.g., suggesting that an NFL quarterback is bad because his statistics are worse than any other quarterback — because, to these passionate fans, there’s no such thing as a valid argument against the teams they support.

---This article was written about the irrational homers that litter the sports landscape some of which are found right here. I'm the guy in the above paragraph who is the "hater"'re the "passionate fan".

WKUPackFan's picture

Question: Is there a fake former sports radio producer posting on this site?

Answer: Yes, John Kirk.

Question: Is there a person who desperately desires to be sports radio hot take artist posting on this site? Is there a person who, like so many others, listens to the hot take hosts and thinks to himself, "I can do that better" posting on this site? Is there a person who practices his hot takes daily in posts, but is just not quick witted enough to engage in the banter necessary to be on the air live, posting on this site?

Answer: Yes, John Kirk.

John Kirk's picture

Have you visited Twitter yet? No, I see. I've given you ample opportunity to see that I am who I say i am. You refuse to take it and continue with character assassination.


Honestly, are you okay?

WKUPackFan's picture

How about you just go ahead and post the link to that Fracassi tweet that you say verifies who you are?

John Kirk's picture

It reveals my real name. I told you to go look... I gave the date and the name of the last guy like you.

Searching twitter isn't hard. Not posting my real name. I'll leave that to you to do something like that.

Why is it so hard for you to believe that I did what I did? What will it change for you? It'll just give you one less thing to lie about.

Will you apologize? You've smeared me left and right.

Give me an email and will get this over today...

You can get to me at: [email protected]

WKUPackFan's picture

"Why is it so hard to believe that I did what I did?".

To the contrary, it is very easy to believe that you did none of it. And the point is that your being a fake strips all credibility from the millions of words you have spilled here. If you had simply posted opinions, instead of posting ridiculous hot takes and trying to bolster those with fake credentials, there would have been no problem.

John Kirk's picture

Oh, boy...

What are you going to do when you find out you've been wrong?

Shoot me that'll be over shortly after that. You don't want that though, do you? It's better to live in the lie than face the reality which is exactly what I've been saying about your ilk. It's going to kill you to learn the truth, so you won't push'll just continue doing what you're doing by mocking and stalking me.

The credentials are real. I wish they weren't.

WKUPackFan's picture

If you actually were a producer on the shows that you claim to have been your real name has been referenced on air thousands of times. You should have no problem posting a link containing that name.

There is an easy way to prove that you are not a fake. Post the link.

cuervo's picture

"The burden is immense. John Kirk understands"

That's a great writing Oppy...:)

Jersey Al's picture

Nail, meet head. Well done Coldworld!

Bure9620's picture

Kinda of yes and kinda of no, yes there needs to be more hard analysis for the Packers, yet I live in NE and the hot take media is even worse for some teams.

John Kirk's picture

More hard analysis? Where are you finding it now? I want to know because I want to read it. The only places I've found the kind of analysis that resonates with me is in Bob McGinn and Michael Rodney. Ironically, I don't go to either of their sites. I know of no other place.

I agree that trying to be hot take is awful. You can't force what isn't there, but if you believe it and can support it bring it.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The most important thing is to judge the action or substance of a comment of the Front Office and Coaches, and not the person who did it or said it. I don't like MM much but I hope I don't look at everything he does and says through that lens.

I agree that whatever GB does is given instant credibility by too many simply because GB did it. In support of taking Alexander at #18, many cited Mayock mocking Alexander to us at #14. They omit that Mayock's mock assumed that Ward, Edmunds, James and Minkah Fitzpatrick had already been selected, with Josh Jackson slipping to the second round. That is not great evidence for Alexander's desirability and merely comports with my own assessment that Josh Jackson would have been an underwhelming selection at #14, although he is a nice player. Jeremiah also mocked Jaire to us, but at least he had Edmunds still available as well, and he also had Josh Jackson slipping to round two. Reuter had Jaire go 24th with Hughes 32nd, Donte Jackson 37th and Josh jackson going 39th. Brugler had Jaire in the 2nd round behind Josh. Zierlein had Jaire going 20th.

Now, if folks looked at PFF and saw their grade on Jaire, that is well and good, assuming that said person doesn't regularly bash PFF. I prefer big boards because the mocks take team needs too much into account. Had we picked these two up with picks #23 and #31, I'd have thought that was fine. If you go looking, you can find someone who liked Josh, Jaire, Hughes, etc., at #14. I find Ben Fennel very credible and had he suggested that Alexander should go at #14 (or #18), that would have been persuasive. I always find Fennel a persuasive source, whether he agreed with me or not.

John Kirk's picture

For the record, I do not like nor trust PFF. TJ Lang was a vocal critic of theirs. I will cite them for those who do consider them relevant or trustworthy, but after reading who founded them I was anything but impressed. PFF does not know and can not possibly know the assignment of every player on a given play. They claim they can but they can't. Any grading method is subjective and is only as good as the quality of the data and amount of it it factors.

I think TJ Lang sums up nicely what I think of the site and he plays football:

TJ Lang does not care for Pro Football Focus.

In fact, he thinks the advanced analysis website is “absolute garbage,” especially when it comes to grading linemen.

“My opinion is there’s no way you can possibly accurately grade offensive linemen if you haven’t done that job before in your life. A lot of these guys, they’re not qualified to be grading NFL players,” Lang told the Valenti Show on 97.1 The Ticket. “A lot of the stuff I realize is pretty basic, obvious information. If I clearly just get whooped and let up a sack, you can say, ‘Yeah, that guy let up a sack.'”

Otherwise, he believes, the so-called experts are in over their heads.

“But they don’t know anything about identification, what offensive linemen are supposed to do. They think if a guy blitzes off the edge, that’s automatically the tackle’s block, but a lot of times that’s not the case. They’ve always graded me well, which I don’t mind, but I still don’t respect it,” Lang said.

Apparently, most NFL players feel the same way.

“I know most of the guys that I’ve played with absolutely hate it, just because it’s started to gain so much steam now where Sunday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, they’re actually showing stats up there for the players,” said Lang. “I think it’s absolute garbage and I think most players do.”

---So, when I read PFF said, or PFF had him as... I just shake my head. I do not care what PFF thinks.

cpitt's picture

Well done. Fantastic article. Gute crushed this draft on paper. It was unreasonable to think he could fill every hole in one draft. We would have been incredibly thin at WR next year if Gute hadnt done what he did. I could see Davis and Allison getting cut no question.

4thand1's picture

TC will be stressful. Nobody will feel safe after a guy like Jordy can be cut.

Kevin McDonnell's picture

I can’t express how much I enjoyed and appreciated this article. Learned some new things and you spelled out some things I knew but are difficult to explain to others... Thanks so much!!

Mojo's picture

"Our careers and reputations don’t depend on finding the right players to help the team win football games. Theirs do. Each spring they spend most of their waking hours thinking about who those players might be—and which ones the team needs most. "

And so did the GB experts in past years. Yet we find a roster coming into this year deficient in at least four positions. The Packers brass probably spent days going over how Randall and Rollins were going to satisfy team needs. Instead we had to spend the majority of our draft capital this year fixing that.

You can blame it on Ted, I'm sure with the help of his staff ( many of the same people still here), who probably felt they were getting Packer system fits during prior drafts too.

I don't know how many times I've heard a good coach with blue-chip players, adapts his scheme to accentuate their talent not the other way around.

Mojo's picture

One more thing, the author comments on why the Pack took Cole Madison over those "highly rated, bigger lineman." He states that he fits well with MM's scheme and moving pockets.

This might be a more of a critique of MM than the pick, but what is wrong with a big o-linemen creating "a wall around the quarterback while he waits for his receivers to get deep. " IIRC, Arods shoulder injuries came after he left the pocket before getting run down and slammed into the turf. And I'm guessing some of his soft-tissue leg issues stem from running around.

And as far as the pocket itself, I believe most of ARods dropbacks start in the pocket and when he scrambles out most of it is improvisation, not by design. Still, if the designed plays are meant for short to intermediate routes, then even a heavier road grader type o-lineman can hold the point long enough for this to develop.

Pure pocket passers like Big Ben and Brady have had enormous success (what eleven SB's between them).
And Brady feasts on the short-crossing routes even though he's in the pocket.

I always thought ARod would benefit from staying in the pocket more and getting the ball out quicker than he does. With his arm, accuracy and smarts he should chew up defenses. Give me the massive road-graders (helps with the run game too) and a nice pocket any day.

Matt Lynch's picture

Mojo, just wanted to respond to the theme of your comments. I get it - we all want the Packers to win, and all of us (and most writers of draft reviews) naturally start with the assumption that we know the right way for them to do it. In my articles, I try to cleanse my brain of that natural tendency, and start with a different assumption: that the Packers' coaches and scouts know their strategies and players better than anyone, and it's in their self-interest to add the players who will help them carry out their plans.

Do they make mistakes? Sure, on both players and strategies. (In hindsight, it seems like the NFL figured out Dom Capers' schemes long before the Packers decided to make a switch.) But they're better-situated than me or anyone else to know who can help them execute their plans. All I'm trying to do is figure out why they believed these particular players - above all others available at each draft slot - were the ones who would best help them win.

Mojo's picture

Thanks for the response Matt.

I get the premise of your article, it was to explain the question "why" GB took who they did.

My posts were not so much a critique of the article but a chance to get a few points across. I quoted a few passages as a starting point. I do that often when I comment on topics, but it was not meant to disparage your efforts.

John Kirk's picture

Especially after 2 broken collarbones and turning 35 during the season. He can't play like Aaron Rodgers used to play much longer...this year or next might be the last of what we're used to.

NitschkeFan's picture

John, often I agree with you but this type of comment comes from a "hater" not from calm rational analysis. You claim to want to see "balance" so you could have written "in recent years many QB's and athletes in general, have seen their performance continue at a high level into their late 30's. Maybe Rodgers will fit into that mold, or with 2 broken collarbones and a heavy dose of success due to mobility perhaps Rodgers only has one or two seasons of high level play left."

John Kirk's picture

Really? The comment on trying to protect Aaron and keep him in the pocket for his own good is a comment from a hater? He's had two long collar bone related absences. He's going to be 35. Do you think it's a good idea for him to run around like he does or would it be better for him, for his health, to stay in the pocket and get rid of it?

Sorry, this one drew ire. Not sure why?

Chuck Farley's picture

Ya one more broken collarbone and his trade bait goes into the toilet.

croatpackfan's picture

Despite some criticisms I've seen here, this is a phenomenal article. Thank you very much!

Tundraboy's picture

Yes it is.

rtuck80's picture

excellent article! i grade it an A+! i totally agree with some of it and learned a few things along the way!

Mark Gaedtke's picture

I really enjoyed this article. Thoughtfully written and thought provoking. This site is as good as anything I've seen for the Packer fan. Just signed up.

EdsLaces's picture

I just wanna say I saw that Jackson will rock the 37.....and it made me happy and sad at the same time haha.

I bleed green more's picture

The more I read the more I like. I read on another site that said the Packers had one of the best drafts of the 32 teams.

Allan Murphy's picture

Here i.packers draft pic's

Allan Murphy's picture

Here it is B- packers draft pic's ....

flackcatcher's picture

Nicely done Matt. As good overview as I read anywhere.

nstewart1's picture

Exactly the slant I'm interested in: what were the Packers thinking.

Of course, it's best case scenario - but this is what they're shooting for.

Rossonero's picture

Great article, I really enjoyed this piece.

One thing I am a bit concerned about is Jaire Alexander's "recurring knee issues" that kept him out of half the 2017 season.

What I don't want is another situation like Kevin King: by November, the injury is so painful and bothersome that his rookie year is cut short, he goes on IR and then has surgery.

Grandfathered's picture

President Mark is putting the same pressure on Mike McCarthy. Drafting Mike Pettine and Joe Philbin as possible replacements.

Tundraboy's picture

And what is wrong with being a Homer? The last thing I expect from sports in general, let alone us fans, is objectivity.

4thand1's picture

Homer was a great Greek poet who wrote the LLiad and The Odyssey.

Tundraboy's picture

Oh I know all too well. Read that and a lot of Greek epics in Western Civ. Jesuit education here.

dobber's picture

Homer likely didn't exist, and was rather a persona generated to represent the oral tradition that brought those epic poems forward. They're great reads, though, and I strongly recommend the Fagles translations.

croatpackfan's picture

Dobber! Do not do that. You ruined their beliefs. This was as you say kid that there is no Santa...

Tundraboy's picture


dobber's picture

Is also awesome! History of the Pelopponesian War is a great read.

John Kirk's picture

...and the best character on The Simpson's.

DetroitSUCKS's picture

Like most all of this draft. hoping one of those rec'ers can step it up be nice to go 4 wide against the Lions with Teeze slomo Tabor and garbage Lawson at cb

Since '61's picture

Matt - nice job with the article. Just getting some sense of the Packers thinking is helpful even if it is somewhat speculative.

For me I think the Packers have become faster and more athletic as a result of this draft. As for evaluating the draft I'll wait until after training camp to provide a preliminary assessment. We won't have a fair evaluation until we see the picks play in live NFL action.

As of now I'm hoping that the Packers have picked up 3 defensive starters with Alexander, Jackson and Burks.
Plus depth on the OL and speed at WR. I see the 3 receivers as rotational players unless one of them really stands out during TC.
If the punter and LS can play from day one and our first 3 picks become starters that would be 5 players in starting roles from this draft which would be quite a haul from any draft, plus 3 rotational WRs.
I don't see Looney or Donnerson becoming contributors but you never know.
Gute has been consistent in using every avenue available to add better players to the Packer roster. FAs, trades, the draft and trading draft picks. I think that Gute has done a solid job in his first draft. Time will either validate or nullify his efforts.
Thanks, Since '61

Cubbygold's picture

Now that we know the draft picks, any thoughts on how the rest of the available cap space is spent? Evans still is a possibility. I wonder how cheap eric reid is at this point?

flackcatcher's picture

Cap space for rookies is already budgeted in per the CBA. So the Packers knew how much they had going forward. TGR has done a great job explaining the cap here on CHTV. I think the Packers are close to what they think is their cap wall, based on the number of core veterans they asked to take pay cuts. Talking about creating bad blood among this core group is a risky move. As Gute gets older and with more experience, and with his core group, I doubt we will see this kind of move in the future. But, as we all know, this is all about QB1 and the need to add more flex into the cap.

dobber's picture

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Packers kick the tires on an OL and a S before OTAs. If there were a credible WR out there, I'd go that way, too. Some useful players are likely to be shown the door by other teams in the next few weeks now that the draft is done, and the Packers will have opportunities there.

Cubbygold's picture

Not saying im in favor of this, but i wonder what trades are on the table if gute dangles that NO 1st rounder

dobber's picture

Who knows...but I think he's pretty proud of that 1st round pick and will want to hang onto it. If he wasn't, I think it would've been gone on Friday.

pacman's picture

I've been quiet all off season because there was nothing to really talk about after the shakeup until now. So everyone seems to rate the Packers among the best drafts. SI had only one team rated with an "A+" - Patriots. Unbelievable!

I would have really liked a edge rusher. With a top edge rusher our current secondary would be fine. If new CB's work out, we should be ok too.

It will be an interesting pre-season. Anyone want to guess how many first half snaps Bret Hundley gets? I'm guessing "0".

It's going to be a very different looking team. But that's football.

Go Pack Go!

Cubbygold's picture

not only should Hundley get zero for pure lack of talent reasons... but I'm hoping the starters play more this preseason due to the new OC and DC. While those games don't mean anything, and there is the risk for injury, it's still valuable to work out the kinks against an opposing team that's actively trying to beat you. Maybe Rodgers and the offense doesn't need a ton of time out there, but the defense and Pettine could certainly use every snap they can get together

pacman's picture

Good point. But they won't risk that.

My guess is Hundley will not even make the practice squad. He had more than his fair chance.

I just hope AR has a huge chip on his shoulder this year to prove himself again. And of course that he took plenty of calcium during the off season.

dobber's picture

I don't think Hundley is eligible for the PS anymore. He was active every week in 2017.

Bure9620's picture

You are correct, he is not. Not much of a bargaining chip either

Chuck Farley's picture

I Shirley hope your correct, he sucks.

4thand1's picture

Hundley was a very good pre season QB, time to move on. With all these CB's and WR's they only go with 2 QB's.

Hawg Hanner's picture

Great write-up. Outstanding analysis.

tlbaumga's picture

Matt, loved this article. More please.
Trust the Packer scouts, Gutekunst and other coaches to do there job. We don't have a fraction of the information that they do. Let the professionals work and we can critique this draft the next 2 years.
Can't wait to see what Pettine does with our defense.

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