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Packers Get Back Into Third Round, Take Oren Burks

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.

Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.



  1. Winterishere April 27, 2018

    Definitely felt like a reach, and not a best player available or needs pick. Makes me wonder if they were wanting key and got caught without a backup plan when raiders picked.

  2. Big B April 27, 2018

    Lack of commentary on TV was telling- no highlights, no reaction. Great. There were several OL who went in the next few picks and I would have thought that was a much greater area of need. I was all for packing up picks to move into the 3rd, but this is dubious. Hope I’m wrong.

  3. Howard April 27, 2018

    I have to say it is not a good start as an ILB when Brad Jones announces you as a Packer. Jones is bad luck, he could knock two of his teammates out of a game on one play without even being involved in the play.

    Burks must have been drafted for STs and as a coverage ILB. I don’t know how he played against all opponents, but Burks didn’t look good in the Alabama /Vanderbilt game tape against the run. It does look like Burks can cover and the middle of the field, along with the rest of the field is usually open against the Packers so Burks could help in pass defense.

    1. Winterishere April 28, 2018

      It was hard to find any highlights at all, eventually I did find some Alabama ones. He looked terrible.

    2. Icebowl April 28, 2018

      Seeing Jerry Kramer at podium was great. Any Dallas fans my age at draft must’ve cringed …..

      1. Howard April 28, 2018

        It was great to see Kramer at the podium. Any Packer fans at our age could only have a big smile.

  4. Cheese April 27, 2018

    The first and only award I saw mentioned for this guy -“Burks’ was named to the 2016 Allstate-AFCA FBS National Good Works Team for his work in the community.” No awards for his play on the field. Is Gutes trying to get someone to replace Jordy off the field? I wonder if Burks has ever hosted a softball game.

  5. Mitch Anthony April 28, 2018

    All that moving around to get to 88 and get a guy who would likely have been there at 101, or even at 147. This one is a little confounding. The first two picks were good. The moving around to get an extra 1st next year was a net gain and having Jackson fall as far as he did turned out. This seemed reachy.

    1. Icebowl April 28, 2018

      Good points…. Not making me feel good

  6. Big B April 28, 2018

    Still pissed about this the morning after. Two draft magazines had no mention of him at all except he was the #34 ILB in this class. That’s UDFA territory. Gute better be more profound than the pundits or this was a massive reach. Had we kept the first pick in the 4th we’d have had a shot at Crosby, Oregon OT who Gil Brandt had ranked as the 42nd best prospect in the whole draft. War room cam must have missed TT staging a momentary coup and mumbling into the phone, “Burks, Vanderbilt.” Fade to black.

  7. Sanguine camper April 28, 2018

    Gute must have thought Burks was the best 3rd down coverage LB left in the draft. Agree he reached and probably could have taken him in the 4th. He was drafted likely out of pure athleticism. He was moved around into so many positions in college that he lacks a feel for the game. My hunch is that Burks will be a coverage specialist on 3rd and long and that will be it except for special teams. He looks like an upgrade over Joe Thomas.

  8. Drater April 28, 2018

    Definitely smells of TT and giving me Kyrie Thornton flashbacks…trade up and reach for a player two rounds early

  9. Howard April 28, 2018

    If you think Mayock knows anything about draft prospects, Mayock had Jaire at 12, Jackson at 44, and Burks at 79 in his top 100.

    1. Kato April 28, 2018

      I tend to not respect “draft experts” but Mayock tends to be pretty knowledgeable