Although they have plenty of needs — edge rusher and receiver among them — the Green Bay Packers are reportedly set on addressing their biggest weakness in the first round of the NFL draft. As it has been for several years, that would be defensive back.
The Packers reportedly covet Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward. Unfortunately, the Packers would likely have to move up to make that selection a reality. Ward is considered the top cornerback in the draft.
Ward is only 20 and he’s not huge — 5’11” and 191. He did, however, tear it up at the combine. Ward ran a 4.32 40 and recorded a 39-inch vertical. Essentially, a pure athlete.
If the Packers aren’t able to land Ward, they have reportedly narrowed in on Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson at No. 14. One of them will likely be available at that spot.
Fitzpatrick is 6’1″ and 201. He ran a 4.46 40 at the combine. Although most of us aren’t fond of the Alabama safety the Packers have, Fitzpatrick appears to have a bigger upside.
Unlike Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Fitzpatrick has a nose for the ball and it’s expected he can play the hybrid role Morgan Burnett played for the Packers in 2017, in the pros.
Jackson has long been connected to the Packers. He fits the mold of what they look for in a cornerback. Jackson is 6’1″ and 192. He ran a 4.56 40 and has a 38-inch vertical.
Jackson knocked down an impressive 27 passes in 2017.
The one guy who hasn’t been mentioned, who we love is Florida State safety Derwin James. Like Ward, it’s probable that James will be gone before the 14th pick. However, we can dream.
James is 6’2″ and 215. He ran a 4.47 40 and has a 40-inch vertical. He’s known as a leader and an athlete, two things which the Packers are lacking in.
All three of the players mentioned are expected to step in and start right away.
“PACKERS EXPECTED TO GO DEFENSIVE BACK IN ROUND ONE”
“Fitzpatrick has a nose for the ball and it’s expected he can play the hybrid role ”
Lol, here we go again…
Ward would also be my top choice too but they’d almost definitely have to trade-up.
I really believe Ward, Derwin James or Minkah Fitpatrick will be there at 14.
14 is a bit high for Josh Jackson. You could trade-back 3 or 4 spots & he will still be there.
That’s all they need another diminutive CB…
I’m talking under 6′ here.
Agree. This dude is an amazing athlete but hes gonna get his ass kicked until he adds weight and figures out how to play at this level. Jackson reminds me of every Packers CB who actually could play a little bit. Doug Evans, Tyrone Williams, Craig Newsome, Mike McKenzie, etc. Id probably go with him if he is still on the board.
Jackson is very good when the ball is in the air. Jackson to me is not a very physical corner when it comes to tackling, taking on blockers, or playing press man. Jackson appears to be best when playing off the receiver. I think Pettine would be happier with a more physical corner.
No one mentions Isaiah Oliver, but I think he fits better as a press corner. Oliver also does well when the ball is in the air, but not as well as Jackson. Oliver is more interested in tackling and taking on blockers than Jackson although both could do better.
Denzel Ward and Derwin James are actually worth trading up for, however, in order to do that, you’ll be giving up your second round selection along with your first at a minimum. So, knowing that to be the case, the Packers should be active moving their mid round selections in order to move back into the second round to target their next need guy. Those franchise changers are few and far between and the time to strike is nigh!
Cornerback…..batter up!!…3 years running…..3rd times a charm…..lol.
Gonna be another entertaining season.
OOPS….i mean…. as a caller said today on The Fan. “Dude, this is going to be the best draft class in history, we’ll get 3 starters out of this draft class easy.”
Hell yea!!!….Mix up a big ass pitcher of your favorite kool -aid, sit yourself down in your lazy Boy and watch the magic unfold.
Good times ahead Packer faithful.
In Gute we Trust. (yea, that’s right people, i said it first)
“Unlike Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Fitzpatrick has a nose for the ball”
…and why are we paying and not trading HHCD (to move up) then?
CB always seems to have the “Biggest bust potential” of any position in NFL along with maybe QB
OL has the least bust potential
In Kevin King & Mike Pettine I trust
OL has the least bust potential
Derek Sherrod and Jason Spriggs want to argue that point.
I looked at the odds of getting a Pro Bowl corner taken in the first 16 picks versus the last 16 picks in the first round. The odds of getting a Pro Bowler corner are about the same in the last half of the first round versus the first half. I think for defensive lineman it heavily favors the first 15 picks.