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Packers Select EDGE Kendall Donnerson in 2018 NFL Draft, Round Seven

Packers Select EDGE Kendall Donnerson in 2018 NFL Draft, Round Seven

With their seventh-round pick (248th overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select EDGE Kendall Donnerson, Southeast Missouri State.


6’2”, 248 lbs., 4.48s 40-yard dash, 40” vertical, 131” broad jump, 7.03s 3-cone


Donnerson was a four-year contributor at Southeast Missouri State. The Arkansas native tallied 53 tackles (13.5 for loss), six sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception and three pass deflections his senior year. That production earned him All-Ohio Valley Conference first team honors in 2017.


SCOUTING REPORT: Athletic linebacker with next-level size and speed numbers. Breaks down well, effectively defeats blocks and quickly locates the ball carrier. Stays with assignments, moves well about the field and shows good recognition of coverage assignments. Somewhat effective out of a three-point stance. Forceful, explosive and plays to his size.



Par for the course with seventh-round selections, Donnerson entered the draft with major questions. He’s an extremely gifted athlete but is very raw. He’s described as a lottery-ticket kind of player, who, if coached in the right way to harness his physical tools, could become a steal. Lottery tickets aren’t often winners, but the trend continues of first-year GM Brian Gutekunst selecting players with outstanding size and athleticism. Donnerson is no exception.


Matt Kelley is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter via @hustleandheart1

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (30) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Wiscokid's picture

If only we can harness that athletic power for good.

MarkinMadison's picture

Things I like about this draft: picking up an inside LB who can cover. This is a 3-4 defense (????), you need LB who can be play-makers. But under TT the Packers largely neglected the ILB position.

Things I don't like: constantly waiting until day 3 to address the pass rush. See above.

dobber's picture

They didn't address the pass rush.

Bearmeat's picture

They did address the pass rush. His name is Mo Wilkerson. They should have done more to address it, but perhaps that would have proved impossible.

The only thing I can think of is that they paid Fuller waaaay more money so the Bears couldn't/wouldn't match, then used the Jackson pick to move up and grab Landry. I don't think that would have been wise.

dobber's picture

I agree on Wilkerson. He's the only real upgrade they made to pressure the QB since Biegel came off the PUP last fall, though. Some people are sour on Jackson, but I have a hard time being that way at pick #45. For a guy some scouts had in the conversation as the top CB prospect in this draft, great value.

It could be that in sitting down with BG and MM, Pettine told them to prioritize cover guys and that he could make it work with the hodge-podge of guys he's got. I'm just saying that Donnerson's ticket to the roster is as a core ST player while he learns how to play football. If they expect him to be much more than that before year 3, I suspect they'll be very disappointed.

Someone earlier pointed to one of the WR draftees and said, "Jeff Janis?" No...THIS guy is Jeff Janis.

John Kirk's picture

What was that video? The first 4 plays had nothing to do with Donnerson. I don't think any of it had to do with him at all. Made KU players look good.

Donnerson is a guy to get excited about. Guy is a real athlete. GIve him to Pettine and let's see what Man Mike can do with this kid. I like ceiling more than floor in the draft. This kid's is vaulted. Most exciting pick in the draft right there with MVS for me.

Coldworld's picture

Huge upside. Great way to spend the 11th pick. This guy would be in the upper first round if it were on measurables alone.

If he can learn enough to just play on obvious rush downs it would give us a boost worth having. Great Pick.

Almost fast enough to be a gunner. Wouldn’t that be a sight for returners ...

Samson's picture

This guy may very well have a problem making any NFL 53-man roster come September. --- There are reasons he ended up in the 7th round. --- 32 NFL teams passed on him many, many times.

Coldworld's picture

Obviously, so go for high ceiling type and see if that ceiling can be harnessed to contribute rather than a plodder who has an upside as ST depth. Good end of 7th pick at a position where limited situational contributions by pure but raw athletes are possible on D or on ST.

holmesmd's picture

That’s a silly comment. Provide evidence. He went to a small school. So the hell what? I’ll take GB’s personnel Dept.’s opinion a million times before yours.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Samson, that's true of every player in the 6th and 7th rounds.

Are you saying we shouldn't draft in those rounds?

dobber's picture

I think this kid is very much a PS candidate. Stash for a year, teach him to play football, and see what he can do in 2019. He's the epitome of a late pick to get a guy you didn't want to fight over as a UDFA.

As for Coldworld's earlier comment: if he can play to his timed speed, he's plenty fast to be a gunner.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It seams like there may be a distinct difference in strategy between TT and BG in the later rounds. TT went more of Size Speed exceptions who where productive college football players. BG appears more attracted to big fast athletes in the later rounds. Those are pretty damn good metrics for a 250 pound guy.

Coldworld's picture

TT seemed to me to look for players he thought might have been played out of position. Gutenkunst seems to at least pick players who have played the position for which we drafted them (except tackle guard perhaps)

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Yeah, I think drafting college tackles is ok. But as far as defense, I don't like drafting zone corners to play press man, and I really don't like converting OLBs. It just takes too long or doesn't work out too often.

I think I am ok with Jackson in round 2, that is worth it.

Minniman's picture

This pick to me has special teams player all over it. Get upfield fast and thump the return man. If he develops into something more - happy days - if not, then special teams it is.

I'm not placing too much stock in this fellow playing true defensive snaps until I see how Mike Pettine and Winston Moss reshape the defense and linebackers.

I'm not sure if it was Dom Capers scheme or Moss' instructions, but I've not been impressed with the recent play of the GB linebackers, or the teams ability to find diamonds in the rough and coach them up - a la the offensive line - I don't think that they were horrible, just not great

Chuck Farley's picture

To me we have a draft full of what it's. This is a terrible draft. When the gm announces they are passing on talent and concentrating on guys who play multiple positions due to grass and snow causing injuries I say, you kidding right. No he obviously wasn't. This will go down as an historically bad draft.

John Kirk's picture

LOL...this is one of my knocks on Brian. He flat out said that they value versatility and personality fits ...that rules over pure talent. We passed on James and Edmunds because of personality fits. I understand it...not sure it's wise, though. Coming off Damarious they're super sensitive to getting another wacko in here. The thing that was a bombshell was his spiel on versatility...He drafts planning for injuries so they don't end up "jammed up". So, he bypasses better talent that is more versatile and passes talent for guys with better personalities. I think we've done this for years and the cumulative effect of years of this philosophy is a roster devoid of the talent it should have.

You're right...there isn't a single player that is close to a sure thing save for maybe the punter and LS. No sizzle. Poor use of trades after hitting the homer of landing Saints 1st.

I said it above...this draft reminds of a few here lately and they did go down as very bad drafts. Pettine may save it... I have to keep telling myself it isn't Dom these players are getting molded by.

stormin's picture

Why don't you go troll somewhere else Kirk, you are just an asshat putting down the Packers !

egbertsouse's picture

Why is it that whenever someone posts who hasn’t just drunk a gallon of green and gold kool aid they are labeled a troll and get attacked? He has expressed some valid criticisms in my opinion. If you just wanted to hear your own point of view spouted back, go to the Packer website.

John Galt's picture

Agree that drafting philosophy is weird, but I like the two corners and I think one or two the receivers may surprise you. Agree on LS and P - I actually like those picks. Just looked at free agents and nothing popped out there at all.

Minniman's picture

In fairness to Gute re injuries, how many recent seasons have been cruelled due to injuries to a\many critical niche players.

Note, this isn't a comment about who he selected - its way too early for that - just that they are evolving to consider injuries etc as a relevant and significant enough variable to consider and plan for...... right or wrong

Coldworld's picture

I see this as a classic clean out draft plus a ST restock.

Our CB pipeline was close to collapsed. Our receivers, after years of complacency from TT had no pipeline and was, The very raw Clark aside, largely slow and made up of similar types of players plus a wafer thin returner. That won’t get it done.

This draft, in my opinion, sets the basis for the next few years at our 2 most depressingly bare positions. I am very happy with it even knowing that most draftees take time or never meet the hopes for level. We have more physical potential now, more speed and more variety of play styles.

As to rushing, let’s see what Beigel and Gilbert can do and, perhaps as importantly, how Pettine goes about it.

I’d say this was a great draft on potential. May not be realized but one can not know how these things pan out for two or three years. What Gutekunst did was to try to clear out the moodiest cupboards and create a genuine upgrade their remaining contents: CB, WR, ST.

Not bad for one draft. Unproven on the field? Inevitably! But a good, highly rational strategy.

holmesmd's picture

Didn’t Martinez have one of if not the highest tackle total in the league? I liked Thomas as a dime backer but now Dallas will. Clay & Perry are good when healthy. VB essentially red shirted his rookie year and Gilbert came on pretty strong at the end of last year. Ryan is serviceable inside. I think Fackrell isn’t that good but the group as a whole isn’t all bad

Tundraboy's picture

"Those are pretty damn good metrics for a 250 pound guy."

Exactly, how can that not be harnessed to be a valuable addition to this team? , I'm much more optimistic now that with the coaching change we can better root out productive players and accelerate development. New Year, better player fits, complementary skills, and a simpler system may mean significant improvement. Nowhere to go but up.

4thand1's picture

We got the players the rest is up to the coaches.

4thand1's picture

Speed speed speed.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture


Coldworld's picture

I would love to see it. Scare the heck out of returners to see a beast like that coming full tilt. Fumbles and muffs. Nice to dream.

Like to see if he could play on punt/kick blocking teams too.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I agree with all that, and I'd also be interested to see if we use one of our tall rookie receivers with speed off the edge to block kicks.

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