Packer fans have proven to be resilient over the last 100 years. I’m pulling myself back together after Day One of the 2019 NFL draft. . .trying to revive my spirits. . .trying to gather back my focus.
We still don’t have a new wide receiver. Only two were taken in the first 32 picks, so opportunities still exist. Had the Packers stuck with pick # 30, instead of trading up, they could have chosen N’Keal Harry, who went to the Patriots at # 32. The other WR taken was Marquise Brown, a speedster from Oklahoma He went at # 25, four picks after the Packers selected safety Darnell Savage. In other words, the Packers could have taken the first wide receiver chosen with that pick, but they chose yet another defensive player instead.
On April 13 I posted an analysis of arguably this season’s top nine wide receiver prospects (Packers Will Have Their Pick of the Nation’s Best College Receivers). The next day I followed up with “Will Brian Gutekunst Take a Chance, or Play Safe?” Here are those nine receivers::
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside – age ?, 6’3”, 225#, Stanford
A.J. Brown – age 21, 6’, 226#, Ole Miss
Marquise Brown – age 21, 5’10”, 170#, Oklahoma
Hakeem Butler – age 22, 6’6”, 225#, Iowa State
Parris Campbell – age 23, 6’1”, 208#, Ohio State
N’Keal Harry – age 21, 6’2”, 228#, Arizona State
Andy Isabella – age ?. 5’9”. 188#, UMass
D.K. Metcalf – age 21, 6’3”, 228#, Ole Miss
Deebo Samuel – age 23, 5’11”, 214#, South Carolina
I’m now gun-shy about making any predictions concerning Packers’ GM Brian Gutekunst, but let’s at least assume there still might be a quality receiver available when the Packers make their selection at # 44. Marquise Brown, who I never saw referred to as “Hollywood” brown until yesterday, and N’Keal Harry aren’t available. That still leaves seven pretty fair receivers, and only eleven picks precede the Packers next turn. I’d guess that maybe three of the seven remaining top prospects will have been picked off when the Packers get to choose at # 44.
My favorites among the seven were D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, and Parris Campbell. Hakeem Butler would be okay, and Andy Isabella had perhaps the best collegiate career of them all.
Metcalf has ranged all over the mock draft lists. I really don’t see him being available to the Packers, but who knows. What interesting is that Metcalf is an athletic freak: huge, fast, and powerful. I earlier had speculated that Gutekunst was a risk taker, and he might be drawn to one with such a high potential, despite having a shortened college career.
I was at least partly right, because Gutekunst took a very similar risk when he chose edge rusher Rashan Gary with the # 12 pick. Like Metcalf, Gary is large and strong, and he’s freakishly fast and agile for one his size. But he, like Metcalf, is raw. Maybe Gute would again jump at the chance of getting an incredible athlete who needs developing, though it’s unlikely that this intriguing prospect will be available at #44. Metcalf is actually not a superior athlete, he’s a unique one.
Many thought that A.J. Brown was going to be the first wide receiver taken; he’s almost sure to go in one of the next 11 picks. If Metcalf, A.J Brown, and Harry all come off the board before the Packers pick, what’s left in the way of receivers? The two who would still hold my interest are Parris Campbell and Andy Isabella.
Campbell, had three fine years at Ohio State. He’s big enough at 6’1” and 208 pounds, but what jumps off the page is his 4.31 dash speed. Additionally, at age 23 he’s more refined and seasoned than most of the other eight. There’s a decent chance he might be around when the Packers go on the clock in Round 2.
The only other receiver on my list who holds some fascination for me is Andy Isabella. Most forecasters have him going in Round three, so he might even be around when the Packers choose at # 75. Isabella differs from most of the rest, in that he’s only 5’9” and 188 pounds. We usually envision a receiver of that size as a slot receiver – and Green Bay could use someone to fill the shoes of Randall Cobb. In his final year at UMass, Andy was a consensus All-American, and he also possesses 4.31 speed.
After Thursday’s dubious Packers’ picks I’d be fine with the Packers taking A.J. Brown or Campbell, or at # 44. I fear Isabella is too breakable for NFL play.
My cravings, however, seem to be poles apart from those of the guys at 1265 Lombardi Avenue.