We were all in love with Florida State safety Derwin James going into the draft. Athletic, big hitter, alpha male that other guys followed.
Apparently, so were the Green Bay Packers.
James was projected to go in the top 10, gone well before the Packers picked at No. 14. That didn’t happen. James slid and was available at No. 14. We waited for the Packers to pull the trigger.
James says he thought his phone would ring and the Packers would be on the other end.
It’s 8:32 pm and Derwin James has two phones in hand, ready for them to ring.
The Green Bay Packers are on the clock, and based on his meeting with them and all he’s heard, he’s expecting them to select him with the 14th overall pick.
Then again, James fully expected to be taken in the top 10, thinking it was unlikely he’d get past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at eight.
Yet here he is, waiting.
James went three picks later to the Los Angeles Chargers. That anecdote comes from a lengthy story on James published on Chargers.com.
The Packers clearly had interest in James, but had more interest in acquiring another first-round pick. That’s what they did in trading out of No. 14 with the New Orleans Saints. That second pick will come in 2019.
When all said and done, the Packers would move back up in the first round and grab Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander. That’s not a bad consolation prize.
We won’t know how all of this maneuvering really works out for years. Maybe James is a seven-time All-Pro. Maybe Alexander is Fred Vinson. Who knows what the 2019 draft pick will be.
Those will be the three pieces that will be judged when we look back at the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft for the Green Bay Packers.