Time will tell, as the players selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft prove (or don’t) themselves over the next several years. As it stands, the Green Bay Packers have seemingly solidified their cornerback group with the selection of Jaire Alexander. And rookie general manager Brian Gutekunst and his cohorts might just turn out looking like geniuses for the way they engineered the first round in their first draft go-round.
To quickly recap, the Packers traded out of the No. 14 slot. That pick was sent to the New Orleans Saints, who badly wanted edge rusher Marcus Davenport. In return, the Packers took the Saints’ first-round pick at No. 27, their 2019 first-round pick and a fifth-round pick this year.
Then Gutekunst traded back up to No. 18. That deal was done with the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle got No. 27, the Packers’ third (No. 76) and a sixth (No. 186). The Packers also brought back a seventh (No. 248).
So let’s look at trade value. No. 14 is worth 1100 points. No. 18 is worth 900. Let’s say the Saints pick at No. 26 in 2019. That’s 700 points. The fifth is at No. 147 — there’s another 32.2 points. That’s a total of 1632.2 points.
The 76th pick goes for 210. No. 186 goes at 16.6 and then add in No. 248 at one point. That overall total is 1405.6. It’s a net gain of 300-odd points.
And let’s look at the kicker. Although we were/are high as hell on Florida State safety Derwin James, who went at No. 17 to the Chargers, the Packers say they got the guy they wanted all along.
“Jaire is a guy that we targeted all along,” Packers director of college scouting Jon-Eric Sullivan said. “We liked him from the outset. He’s a good football player.”
We are not going to discount the possibility of rhetoric or “best-available” speak here. That said, Alexander was a hell of a player in college when healthy.
He had five picks in 2016. He’s blazing fast — ran a 4.38 40.
Downside? Was injured for much of the 2017 season.
In that sense, he’s made to play cornerback for the Packers. He’s also only 5’10”, which falls below the threshold the Packers have established for cornerbacks.
We know he will compete, though. Alexander was a shutdown-type guy in college, regardless of who he was covering.
The Packers are apparently looking at him as their slot guy, even though he played outside in college. That would likely make the starters Tramon Williams and Kevin King on the outside, with Alexander manning the middle.
We have no opposition to that. But are the Packers going to rely on Josh Jones at safety?
Defensive line: robust. Linebackers: fine, if they can stay healthy. Corners: looking nice. Safeties: uhhhhhh…
But, the Packers have picked up some draft capital with Gutekunst’s maneuvering. The trade was too good to pass up, they claim. As was said previously, the guy has brass balls. We can appreciate that.
Now let’s all hope Drew Brees either gets injured or rapidly regresses this coming season. If that happens, this trade could be amazing. That said, it’s already looking pretty sharp.