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.