The Green Bay Packers traded away their initial third-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks as part of a package to get the Hawks’ No. 18 pick. But the Packers had the most picks in the draft with 12. So general manager Brian Gutekunst, the wheeler and dealer that he is, threw two of those picks at the Carolina Panthers to trade back into the third round.
The pick he made there was Vanderbilt linebacker Oren Burks.
The Packers took Burks at No. 88. They gave up fourth and fifth-round picks to do so. Those picks were No. 101 and No. 147.
I might call this a curious move. Burks is listed as an outside linebacker, but he played inside for Vanderbilt in 2017. The Packers will apparently play him inside as well. That’s the curious part.
The Packers played safety Morgan Burnett as an inside linebacker much of the time he was on the field in 2017. He is obviously gone. However, the Packers also have Blake Martinez, who tied for the league lead in tackles in 2017.
We certainly wouldn’t call inside linebacker a need position.
The Packers did lose Joe Thomas during free agency. It appears the logic is the personnel boys think Burks could essentially fill the Burnett role. He played a hybrid role, much like Burnett during his junior season. He played safety as a sophomore.
Burks is 6’3″ and 233. Burnett is listed at 6’1″ and 209.
Burks has some athletic talent and leadership qualities. However, it seems apparent that not everyone was as high on him as the Packers were.
The combine numbers rack up like this: 4.59 40, 39.5 vertical, 18 reps on the bench, 131-inch broad jump, 6.82 three-cone, 4.15 20-yard shuttle.