Packers Select Oren Burks in 2018 NFL Draft, Round 3

After trading back into the third round of the 2018 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Oren Burks, an outside linebacker out of Vanderbilt with the 88th pick in the draft.

Green Bay traded a fourth (101) and fifth-round pick (147) to Carolina to move up 13 spots in order to select Burks. 

Measureables/Combine

6-3 198, 233 pounds, 4.59 40, 39.5" vertical, 131" broad jump, 18 bench reps, 6.82 3-cone drill, 4.15 20-yard shuttle

Career Notes: 

In any other decade, Burks' lack of familiarity for any position for more than a year would force him into the "tweener" stack and he would be on his way. In today's game filled with hybrid players and sub-packages, Burks' background could make him more valuable. He needs to play with more consistency in diagnosing and tackling, but his athleticism, cover talent, and ability on special teams make him a developmental prospect with decent upside.

NFL.com Draft Profile

Scouting Report: 

A four-year starter at linebacker. Burks plays with a physical demeanor and head of steam, also showing the play speed to make stops on the perimeter. Overall, Burks has inconsistent tendencies, largely due to undisciplined technique, but he has the pedigree and physical traits worth developing. 

Draftscout.com Profile

Commentary: 

The Packers have needed a versatile inside linebacker for years and with Burks, they might have found that guy. Of course, Blake Martinez has come in but Green Bay needs another guy inside that can play all three downs and Burks has the potential to do that after playing outside linebacker and safety at Vanderbilt.

Burks finished his Vanderbilt career with 228 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and five interceptions. He also forced a fumble, recovered two others and registered 21 passes defended. 

In his first draft, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst is being aggressive and with all this Day 3 picks, it would have been foolish not to. The Packers have now filled some important needs on defense but still need to address the offensive line, edge rusher and wide receiver.  Yet, through three picks, Green Bay has three potential starters right away. 

 

 

 

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Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Comments (78)

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

April 27, 2018 at 09:28 pm

yessss!

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HankScorpio's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:28 pm

An ILB that can run is something the Packers have not had for decades. Today's NFL is all about speed. A 4.59 ILB is the modern evolution of the position.

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John Kirk's picture

April 27, 2018 at 11:28 pm

Brad Jones ran a lot faster than this guy, Hank.

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John Kirk's picture

April 28, 2018 at 12:55 am

Down vote more truth but this time from NFL.com:

+++A defensive end/linebacker hybrid, (Brad) Jones flew under the radar until running the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds+++

BTW, Oren Burks has a great SPARQ score and I said prior to this draft that Brian seems to love SPARQ score. Jaire and Josh also have excellent SPARQ scores.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 28, 2018 at 10:12 am

Brad Jones ran a 4.54 forty at his pro day, while Burks ran a 4.59 at the combine. I always add .05 to pro day times, so IMO the times are the same. Burks is a better overall athlete.

Jones: 33" vert, 119 broad, 4.21 shuttle, 6.75 3 cone.
Burks: 39.5, 131" broad, 4.15 shuttle, 6.82 3-cone.

Again, I add time to pro day timings, so the 3-cone is about the same. The vertical and the broad greatly favor Burks. Jones had 19 reps while Burks did 18. Brad Jones did have a reasonably good NFL season as a starter.

I like Burks just fine. Thought we might be moving up for Noteboom, which would have been fine as well. I am not a draftnik, but either would have been good.

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flackcatcher's picture

April 28, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Agree. Only add Burks has quick burst and a second gear, something that Jones did not have. Like the pick for its upside long term.

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CJ Bauckham's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:30 pm

Merry Christmas, Pettine... Do your thing

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sonomaca's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:33 pm

Knew he was linked to Packers. A BLM big mouth on campus. Hope he doesn’t start complaining about Green Bay. Just shut up and learn your new position.

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Sam Freeman's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:39 pm

What is this even about? Nonsense

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Coldworld's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:06 pm

Everything I have read suggests exemplary character

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Qoojo's picture

April 28, 2018 at 10:55 am

Yep. The key word in sonomaca's comment is BLM. Basically, he doesn't agree with it, so this is bad pick in his mind. Obviously, he isn't very bright.

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Oppy's picture

April 27, 2018 at 11:16 pm

Wow... "Yes, massa!"
You have got to be kidding me.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

April 28, 2018 at 03:34 am

I don't care if a player is left or right, as long as they leave that stuff outside their workplace--like the rest of us have to. Martellus Bennett was incredibly divisive, both on the team and with the fanbase. An utter disaster.

It isn't good to tell half your fanbase how stupid and evil you think they are. Your fanbase--ALL of your fanbase--are the clientele for your business, and they ALL deserve players who represent ALL of them in that workplace known as the NFL.

I love this pick. I really do. But do I worry about this player disrespecting half the fans? You bet. Regardless of a player's politics, we watch football to unite as one behind the Green and Gold, not to be reminded of our social divisions by players who use their public positions to take sides and hurt feelings.

I suspect this guy will be a vicious hater toward half the fanbase, not caring who he offends. I hope I'm wrong, because I love this pick. He's my kind of player.

I only hope he treats me with the same respect in his workplace as I'd treat him in mine. Unfortunately, I think the chances of that are very, very low.

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PresidentRaygun's picture

April 28, 2018 at 11:12 am

You sound like a snowflake

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GBPDAN1's picture

April 27, 2018 at 11:40 pm

Well, anything that will help our pass D I like. If he can cover TEs, RBs and pass rush on pass downs, it's a good pick. Obviously, Pack was high on him to trade up and giving one of 4 - 5th rd picks isn't much of a loss. But, it seems he would have been there at the 1st pick in the 4th...and end of the 4th...and 5th rd?

Would have liked to trade our 4th , 2 - 5ths and a 6th to move up higher in the 3rd instead of this.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

April 28, 2018 at 03:37 am

I think he would have been taken soon after we took him.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 28, 2018 at 10:14 am

Me too. The other guy I thought might be in play when we moved up, Joe Noteboom, went with the next pick, IIRC.

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Bearmeat's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:33 pm

Not the edge rusher I wanted. But having someone to pair with Martinez inside will be nice.

They must really think that Jones is going to be the box safety this year. I always thought he'd be a helluva WILB.

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AgrippaLII's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:34 pm

This draft just keeps getting better and better. They just traded away two more picks to draft a player in the third round who is ranked 406 on DraftTek's Big Board. Could have drafted this guy for nothing later!

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sonomaca's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:42 pm

Good point. Always wondered what triggers the trade up impulse.

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Oppy's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:46 pm

He was also ranked 79 on Mayock's big board.
Maybe seeing these guys play is a good idea.

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HankScorpio's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:46 pm

Maybe, just maybe, none of the 32 NFL teams are using DraftTek's Big Board.

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ricky's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:44 pm

Are you suggesting the teams know more than us fans? Heresy!

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AgrippaLII's picture

April 28, 2018 at 12:24 am

I'm saying they could've gotten him with the first pick in the 4th round and kept the 5th round pick they just threw away.

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Oppy's picture

April 28, 2018 at 01:09 am

I'm saying that if the Packers didn't take him where they did, he would have been gone the very next pick.

See? Now I'm just as right as you are, because I said it, so it is.

The hard part to comprehend is that neither of us will ever know.
Shivers.

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AgrippaLII's picture

April 28, 2018 at 02:35 am

I doubt it. A bunch of OT's got picked after this pick...which is what I thought the Packers moved up to do. The only OLB picked was by the Bengals who drafted an LB/S hybrid O'Daniel? from Clemson at #100. The same type of LB/S hybrid Burks is. If the Packers wait they can get one or the other at #101. It was a dumb move.

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John Kirk's picture

April 28, 2018 at 02:53 am

Listen to Brian's presser, Oppy...it'll become clear why Burks was selected. It falls along the exact same lines as to why this team drafted Richard Rodgers. Panic in seeing the board "thin out" as Brian stated. This guy wasn't picked because he was BPA...he was picked because Brian saw the talent at that hybrid LB thinning out on the board. It doesn't mean he thought Burks was a great player, just that guys like him were drying up and he needed to get one. That is what a reach is and why we drafted Richard Rodgers...TE's were going off the board, we felt desperate and drafted out of panic.

Also, listen to Wilde ask Brian about drafting 3 straight defensive picks. It's pure gold and seriously one of the best questions out of Packers media in forever.

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HankScorpio's picture

April 28, 2018 at 07:28 am

" It falls along the exact same lines as to why this team drafted Richard Rodgers. Panic in seeing the board "thin out" as Brian stated."

One man's "panic" is another man's "decisive action". It's fun to offer instant analysis of draft picks. I read a lot of it. But ultimately, none of it matters once the pads go on.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 28, 2018 at 11:22 am

“Once the pads go on”
As long as their level is appropriate.

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Nick Perry's picture

April 28, 2018 at 05:07 am

DraftTek isn't a very good site for accurate information friend. I've never quite seen a site miss on where they project a player to go than DraftTek.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 28, 2018 at 10:19 am

Remember that Drafftek's big board reflects what should be, not where they think those players will go, and don't consider fit. Their mocks look nothing like their big board.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 28, 2018 at 08:13 am

Mayock had Owens ranked #79 overall. So he would say the Pack got great value.

I’d put Mayock over Drafttec any day.

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HankScorpio's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:38 pm

The NFL.com bio on Burks reads like an ILB that is good vs pass but isn't good at taking on blocks. But playing behind Daniels, Clark and Wilkinson is going to create some freedom.

Even if it doesn't playing pass is more important than playing run.

I said before the offseason began that one goal of it was to make guys like Jake Ryan and Brett Hundley expendable. With the Kizer trade and this pick, that is two guys that don't deserve roster spots that probably won't get them, IMO.

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sonomaca's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:46 pm

Ryan really isn’t a bad player. Burks used to be a safety. Packers attempt to get on hybrid linebacker train.

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HankScorpio's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:12 pm

That's what I mean about the evolution of the position. ILB is moving away from the sure tackling run stuffer type. Maybe you keep one guy like that (Martinez) but definitely not two of them.

The position needs to be able to handle guys like TEs and RBs that can function at a high level in the pass game. Teams have been playing big safeties there because they have the coverage skills required and the run game issues simply don't matter all that much. The coverage stuff is becoming a non-negotiable point. If you don't have it, you can't be an every down ILB.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:46 pm

I've gotten a few dislikes just for suggesting that Ryan might be on the bubble depending on the draft because his cap hit has ballooned to $2.02M.

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Ryan Graham's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:00 pm

GreatReynaldo I apologize on behalf of those who dare defend Jake Ryan...

Burks is an upgrade on Joe Thomas and Jake Ryan. nice pick.

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Coldworld's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:12 pm

Ryan is worth defending and I doubt he is gone. He is an asset in the later season games and against run first teams.

That said, I am pleased to see we have found a cover capable ILB. That’s a piece we don’t have. We now have a second player that seems to fit the Jones mold, but perhaps more linebacker first than Jones.

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HankScorpio's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:22 pm

Yeah, he's a good Big 10 old school football kind of guy. That'll draw some admirers. But that's not today's NFL.

I'm with you. Ryan's cap number puts a big target on his back.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 28, 2018 at 10:24 am

I like Ryan. I think he is an NFL player. If he doesn't make GB's roster, I would expect him to land on another team's 53-man roster. Remember when I wrote it, I thought we might be drafting Smith or Edmunds, and might double dip at ILB on day three. Martinez, Smith, Josh Jones (?), pushes Ryan down the depth chart. Just sayin....

It is just that when I see a cap hit of $2.02M, the bean-counter in me at least takes note. I just can't help it.

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MITM's picture

April 28, 2018 at 01:17 am

He's good at taking on blocks, just not getting off them lol. But hey, that can be coached, its a good start that he at least is willing to stick his nose into a blocker in the first place being on the lighter side.

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John Galt's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:40 pm

Draftek rates Burks as the 408th player in the draft . That means he would have been a free agent,

I said earlier, the draft is a crap shoot, please don't trade up

Again, could he work out? Sure but does anyone here think he couldn't have been picked up without giving up (2) draft choices rated higher? This guy is 233 lbs. and he's rated as a pass rusher?

Just really curious - mystified.

https://www.drafttek.com/2018-NFL-Draft-Prospect-Rankings/Top-College-43...

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Oppy's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:46 pm

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000928186/article/mike-mayocks-2018...

#79.

So, like I said above.. how about we see these guys in pads running with pros?

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rtuck80's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:26 pm

helpful hint: don't ever read draftek

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cpitt's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:41 pm

Sounds like a developmental player with a ton of athleticism. From his youtube vids it seems like he just needs a few years and some good coaching on his technique. Prob won't make any impact this year.

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cuervo's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:47 pm

It's called special teams........

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rtuck80's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:28 pm

he could likely contribute right away against teams that like to pass to RBs and TEs... which is most teams now

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sonomaca's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:47 pm

True.

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Coldworld's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:16 pm

With out a doubt, but the trade up would suggest that Pettine wants more than that. Certainly sub package contribution this year would appear the minimum expected level of contribution based on the circumstances of this pick

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cpitt's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:42 pm

Wish they had traded up for Michael Gallup but we'll see...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:47 pm

When they traded up, Noteboom and Burks came to mind. I am fine with this selection.

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sherrmann1806's picture

April 27, 2018 at 09:52 pm

once again, in my eyes......this draft has been a mixed bag at best!! nothing against this burks kid but.........they could have drafted not only an outstandind replacement for the departed morgan at safety but have gotten an elite stud potential multiple probowl safety in Harrison here.........instead they go for a admittedly solid but by no means exceptional lb that they probably easily could have gotten in the 4th or even 5th round in Burks! Whats more, they give up a 4th and 5th to do so!!! once again,,,,,,,,,,,frustratingly mindboggling!! I once again need to take excedren for the headaches i seem to keep getting everytime the packers do these kinds of moves!
That being said, over all, the jackson pic coupled with the Alexander pic from yesterday has REALLY solidified the defensive backfield. or atleast the cornerback part of it........if they had landed Harrison, it would have been an awesome slam dunk! instead the work the packers did this night was overall on the positive side! also by no means great!

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Coldworld's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:21 pm

Wasn’t an obvious pick for me, but neither is Harrison as obvious a pro bowler to me or any of the teams. Were he so he would have been gone in round one, likely top 5.

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AgrippaLII's picture

April 28, 2018 at 03:04 am

I agree with you. They could have got a LB/s hybrid at pick #101. If not Burks then O'Daniel from Clemson. Same type players with similar numbers. The only way this move would've made any sense to me was if they grabbed an OT before the run on Tackles began...as for the first two picks...I feel all they've done is fill up a couple of CB roster spots at the expense of letting better talent at other positions slide by.

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HankScorpio's picture

April 28, 2018 at 06:42 am

"They could have got a LB/s hybrid at pick #101. If not Burks then O'Daniel from Clemson."

Actually, no they could not get either one of those at 101. Both are gone now. O'Daniel was the last pick of rnd 3. And despite what DraftTek says, Mike Mayock's estimation of Burks actual value was much closer to reality.

It should not surprise anyone that the amateur draftnik services are behind the evolution that the pro ranks are going through. 7 of the 10 LBs drafted so far can run the 40 better than 4.6. That's a feature, not a bug.

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shystr's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:18 pm

Okay. First, I expected an OLB as an edge-rusher.

HOWEVER, it looks to me like Burks was drafted to cover a long-standing weakness the the G.B. defense, which was pass defense against RBs catching the ball out of the backfield, and big, physical tight ends catching the ball and gashing the Pack D (Martellus Bennett when he was with Chicago comes to mind. Also Kyle Rudolph with Minnesota. Several others).
Maybe, just maybe Mike Pettine had a voice in this, and put in his "wish list" for a fast, rangy linebacker who can tackle, yes, but can also DEFEND THE PASS with big RBs and TEs catching the ball. Maybe these guys ARE NOT idiots? Maybe we should let Pettine build the defense his way?

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Coldworld's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:24 pm

My thoughts are moving in your direction. Also I think it may have been driven by the need to provide cover for Jones in the hybrid role (or vice versa), and we had none with Burnett gone.

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rtuck80's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:35 pm

THIS I agree with

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HankScorpio's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:47 pm

Coverage skills for ILB is becoming so important that teams are playing Safeties in that role to meet the real-world demands that are being placed on position.

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Oppy's picture

April 27, 2018 at 11:22 pm

Makes a lot of sense, but then again, maybe Pettine heard this guy has a great recipe for orange bundt cake in his back pocket.

But seriously, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Stop the bleeding.

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Tom Brunhart's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:20 pm

Interesting to read about the negatives of GK wheeling and dealing two picks to get the ILB. Not only has the draft been solid at the very least....WE STILL HAVE AN EXTRA 1 for next year. That’s Fricken. HUGE. Two number ones can do a lot of good things!!! Go pack!!!

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Packerpasty's picture

April 28, 2018 at 11:58 am

as we wave goodbye to Arod in a couple of years...once again it seems its up to Rodgers to make the offense better than it is...give him some help once of these years please and don't bring up our new old tight end, who may or may not have much left in the tank...we still have the slowest group of WR on the planet, the third pick should have gone offense, not a panic move up for a "tweener"..

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Bure9620's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:29 pm

I understand the infatuation with Burks and why BG likes him, I get it, Iike the athleticsm, hes smart, but I find it hard to believe he was BPA. If it turns out he cannot cover TEs, is he really a 3rd rounder? Seems more of a project, 5th or 6th rounder maybe. We traded up? Gurantee he would have been there tomorrow. I'll take a wait and see on him. He smells of combine practice hero to me.

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Lambeau West's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:34 pm

As a shareholder, Gutekunst I have signed off on the picks.

I find it funny how the armchair folks question someone that studies hundreds of hours of film , meets these guys in person, talks to coaches, etc.. and somehow we know more then the Packers front office folks do.

Secondly, until these guys play in a game, there's no point in making any judgments.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 28, 2018 at 10:35 am

When folks write this sentiment, they mean that armchair GMs can agree with the GM but they can't disagree. I never see this stuff written when everyone thinks the GM did a bang-up job. If all we can do is wait 3 years, then there is no point to comment sections.

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Since'61's picture

April 27, 2018 at 10:49 pm

Maybe the Packers finally have a player who can cover the middle of the field. He and Josh Jones together can be really effective on third and longs which every QB we play seems to convert to a wide open receiver in the middle of the field. Too soon to say our defense is getting better but it is getting faster and better prepared for the offensive approach which is continuing to evolve during this era of the NFL.
I think we 're seeing the influence of Pettine with these picks, although it would nice to throw a few picks Philbin's way tomorrow. Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

April 27, 2018 at 11:08 pm

Meh. Then again RRodgers was a 3rd rounder so maybe it will work this time.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 28, 2018 at 10:41 am

The third round is always interesting. A team can draft excellent athletes and land really good players (Finley, Burnett, James Jones, Monty if he can stay healthy, Spitz to a lesser extent) or get guys who do little (Thornton, Hodge, Rouse). That is true for all rounds in a way, but third rounders often have enough oomph to get some excitement going, since the team is not just taking a flyer on a H/W/S guy in the 7th.

That's just me I guess. I always looked at the 3rd as a boom or bust round.

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MITM's picture

April 28, 2018 at 12:04 am

Excellent pick. What isnt getting enough mention is that he is 6 foot 3. An ILB like Martinez needs a complimentary guy same as a power RB needs a lightning to his thunder. Jake Ryan who I happen to think is an above average defender vs the run is too similar to Martinez only less of an athlete. Burks is the lightning to Martinez thunder. He is the guy we have needed for a long time at 1 of the 2 ILB spots. Bonus points for having played in the SEC vs the best possible competition. If you dont like the pick then I have to disagree. You dont trade up to grab a guy in the 3rd round who is only going to play special teams. Pettine is a well respected defensive mind and he wanted this guy and you will see why. Also this allows Jones to take over permanently for Burnett and Pettine will also get the best out of him there with his 4.4 speed. Burks is going to be a significant contributor, and all of a sudden on passing downs we have a 6'3 guy in the middle and one on the outside (King) . If not for stealing Jackson this would be my favorite pick thus far.

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Cubbygold's picture

April 28, 2018 at 06:47 am

So on passing downs he'll be out there instead of martinez?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 28, 2018 at 10:43 am

Nice post. Good points.

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Cubbygold's picture

April 28, 2018 at 06:45 am

So this guy is the potential replacement of jake ryan right? But doesn't pettine rarely play a base 3-4 and prefers to have more dbs on the field? So were more likely to see clay, perry ,martinez, king, TW, alexander, haha and jones.

Or is he competing for martinezs job?

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 28, 2018 at 08:27 am

Depends on the opponent. Pettine will potentailly have have a different starting D and a different playbook every week.

He devises a plan to best attack an offense using his guys strengths in a variety of roles.

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Archie's picture

April 28, 2018 at 07:37 am

Common theme to GBP's picks through R3: coverage & ballhawking. Next year we get either pass rush or offense. Year after that, we get what we don't get next year. Gutey can't correct a 5 year debacle overnight, nobody could, except maybe Bill Walsh and he's dead. So beginning 2020, assuming 12 is still around, Gutey's resurgence will begin. Did I mention it is nice to have a GM again who can express himself? God TT was awful.

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Cubbygold's picture

April 28, 2018 at 08:33 am

Would be nice if next year he's able to move up with those two 1s and get a chubb/Garrett type of player

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stockholder's picture

April 28, 2018 at 10:28 am

I wouldn't trade them and I wouldn't move up. The next draft will be about replacing some starters again. The secondary has new life. And keep in mind that we tried to sign the bears CB. Think about how many first rounders become busts too. Trading picks only works if you want a guy. You lose value and you lose others that may blossom.

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stockholder's picture

April 28, 2018 at 10:47 am

It's time you guys realize we lost a WR. WE got TTs FAs. (Allison & Clark) We had a 5 and 7 WR picked last year and they didn't make an impact. Burk took the place of a what should have been WR. He's a fill in. When you have Gallop, Chaulk, St. Brown, Moore, going into the 3rd round. And you spent two draft picks on a fill in, it's a questionable acquisition. Yes Burk is a promising kid. He's replacing Thomas, that should have been replaced by TT. But Davis, & Allison , have not shown us that they can replace Nelson. Somebody is missing the boat. The Wrs are a TRain wreck, and you can't pin your hopes on Cobb( next FA ) Adams,( feast or famine) and graham. (AGE)

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Packerpasty's picture

April 28, 2018 at 12:00 pm

well said..."wait till next year"..

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