When your team drafts a guy who plays your position, you have good reason to be concerned about your professional future. When that draft pick is bigger, faster, rougher, more acclaimed and/or was a star at the college level, you probably didn’t get much sleep the last night or two.
Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis and Michael Clark must be looking haggard right about now. The Packers selected a trifecta of wide receivers and they’re all physically imposing. It’s likely that two of the team’s veteran receivers – vestiges of the Ted Thompson days – will have to be let go to make room for the younger players.
Tramon Williams and Kevin King are going to have to work hard if they are to secure jobs as starting cornerbacks. Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson are prototypes of what defensive coordinator Mike Pettine looks for in a coverage man.
Several of the defensive backs who’ve been hanging on for one to three years as Ted’s development projects will need to perform miracles in training camp if they are to remain in the NFL, much less make the Packers’ roster this time around.
The drafting of Cole Madison puts Bryan Bulaga’s status in jeopardy. Bulaga has been oft-injured, he is getting on in age and he’s overpaid at almost $7 million for each of the next two years – and the front office doesn’t seem to have great fondness toward him. The question is probably when, not if, Green Bay will release him: right away or if Madison proves himself worthy at training camp and in the preseason.
The former personnel guys made an absolute mess out of special teams. They’ve gone back and forth with punters and long snappers. No more: Gutekunst invested in Alabama punter J.K. Scott in round five and in a long snapper in round seven. Unless Scott is a bust in training camp, current punter Justin Vogel will need to look elsewhere for work. As to current long snapper Zach Triner, we hardly got to know you.
On the flip side, Vince Biegel, Kyler Fackrell, and also Reggie Gilbert and Chris Odom, must have slept like babies – the Packers made no concerted effort to acquire another edge rusher. I came around slowly to the realization that Brian Gutekunst and the boys were quite content with their current outside linebackers, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry and their backups. This draft, however, verifies that belief.
For the record, the Packers did choose an edge defender, Southeast Missouri State’s Kendall Donnerson, at pick 248 He’s your longest of shots among these 11 new guys to secure a roster spot. On the other hand, I see that had he been invited to the NFL Combine, he would have blown away most of the other edge players.
It’s yet another sign that the new front office is keen on athleticism. I’ll be rooting for young Mr. Donnerson after all.