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Packer Fans: Prepare for a Crapshoot Thursday Evening

To the extent one can render an educated guess as to whom an NFL Club is likely to draft, picking the round 1 choice is usually the easiest. This year, however, I’d say that all bets are off. There isn’t even any consensus on what position the Packers will choose when their chance, at selection number 30, comes up.

Often, you can get a clue to what a team is thinking by looking at which college prospects a team has interviewed, conducted a workout with, or otherwise met or spoken with. But even that doesn’t help much in this year of the virus. While the NFL Combine was successfully held, from February 24 through March 1, teams who didn’t schedule interviews by then probably have had a phone interview as their only option.

Still, most teams have by now managed to have some sort of “visit” with the players they are eyeing. One source that tracks such visits is walterfootball.com. At this writing, they’ve compiled a list of 43 players who the Packers have at least spoken with. Some meet-ups were at the Senior Bowl, the East-West Shrine game, the NFL Combine, a Pro Day event, private workouts or tryouts, or telephonically.

According to Walter Football’s list, here’s the breakdown, by position of players who have met with Green Bay: CBs, 11; LBs, 6; WRs, 5, Safeties, 4; RBs, QBs, DEs, and DTs, 3; OTs and TEs, 2; and Guards, 1. This of course gives us no clue as to what round the Packers think they might be drafted in. In fact, each year the Packers interview many players who they think will go undrafted – so they can pounce on them right after the draft concludes.

The visit list breaks down into 27 defensive guys and 16 offensive ones. One of the things that can be gleaned from the above info is that the Packers, like everyone else, are always on the lookout for defensive backs. The list suggests that Gutekunst and Co. don’t think they have great depth at any defensive position. The Packers appear to believe they are in good shape on the offensive line, and in pretty fair shape at running back and tight end.

The three quarterbacks who made the list are: Jordan Love (Utah State), Tommy Stevens (Mississippi State), and Kevin Davidson (Princeton). Davidson is projected as a seventh round choice, and Stevens as going undrafted. Love will probably be gone by pick #30.

LB Terrell Lewis

Feb 29, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Terrell Lewis (LB24) goes through a workout drill during the 2020 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Packers Top Choice?

 

Very few of these 43 players are viewed by experts as being first round prospects. Those few seem to me to be:

OT – Josh Jones – Houston – 6’5”, 319#

CB – Jeff Gladney – TCU – 5’10”, 191#

WR – Denzel Mims – Baylor – 6’2”, 208#

QB – Jordan Love – Utah State – 6’4”, 224#

LB – Patrick Queen – LSU – 6’0”, 225#

OLB – Terrell Lewis – Alabama – 6’5”, 262#

This list is all over the map: three on offense and three on defense. Predicting what GM Gutekunst will do is a real crapshoot this year.

The Packers would not bother interviewing such prime prospects unless they had some serious interest in them. It’s likely that two or three of them will have already been chosen by the time Green Bay gets to choose at #30, with the most likely ones being Jordan Love and Patrick Queen.

My sense about QB Love is the Packers interest is based on their thought that he’s a top-20 draftee, but he’d be an intriguing value in the event he’s still available at #30. I just don’t see the Packers in dire need of a quarterback, tackle, or cornerback. That leads me to believe the Packers are most focused on using that first choice on a linebacker or receiver.

Bear in mind that this is anything but a comprehensive list of the Packers best prospects. It is merely a look at positions, and a few individuals, that the team has shown enough interest in to have met with in some fashion.

Place your bets fans – and enjoy a very uncertain, but critical, few days in front of the telly.

Tags:
Rob Born

I’m with Matt: “You gotta make those chunk plays!”

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10 Comments

  1. Skinny April 22, 2020

    Im going with Jonathan Taylor at 30. Best player on the board. A steal at the bottom of the first round. Top 10 ability. Meets the speed and athletic analytics stuff the Packers supposedly now value. Here comes the backlash, lol.

    1. Ferris April 23, 2020

      They can convert him to CB or WR. They need another experiment!
      No way Queen is there at 30. Not after that Championship game.

  2. PF4L April 23, 2020

    Citing the fact our last offensive player picked in the first round was back in 2011 (Derek Sherrod)
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    I’ll be happy to go offense at any position in the first round. And i’ll add, it will be about G D time.
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    From 2012-2019, out of all players chosen in the first 2 rounds…13 were defensive players. 4 were offensive players.
    76 percent defense. 3/1

  3. Deepsky April 23, 2020

    Given the fact the Packers didn’t have success in landing a receiver or tight end, one would think they would lean heavily that way. I get the feeling though they are looking to future and will spend the first pick on a QB if one drops.

  4. Ferris April 23, 2020

    Bring in Jordy, Dez, and Calvin Johnson. Calvin Johnson is only 34. Jordy 34, Dez 31. It will be the former All Pro retirement tour. At least these 3 can catch.

    1. PF4L April 23, 2020

      Lol…Don’t forget Antonio Brown…..for depth

  5. Kato April 23, 2020

    Hard pass on Jordan Love. Not after his past season. If I had to guess, I am going with a linebacker, I am personally hoping for Kenneth Murray. I feel like the class is so deep with WR talent that guys at the bottom of the first aren’t much different than 3rd rounders. Unless they want to get real cute and trade up for one of the big 3, in which they will likely have to give up their 2nd and 3rd picks.
    ***********
    Not sure if it has been mentioned on here, but the Packers have been airing the 100 years Legacy Documentary on YouTube. Suffice to say, it has been really, really good

  6. Stiggy April 23, 2020

    Here is who the packers will draft (based on history)

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    Athletic Freak who will change positions – Aka Rashan Gary, Datone Jones, and the list of ever growing busts this front office produces in early rounds. I will say this is the area of the draft you pull the trigger on a pick like Rashan Gary because with some luck…you end up with a freak like Kenny Clark. Come to think of it… maybe Clark worked out because he DIDNT change positions

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    Best Player Available- This tends to be what organizations in this part of the draft do. It wouldnt shock me if they took an edge rusher, dl or a cb here depending on if there is a wideout run. Thing is….packers also need to prepare for impending departures like Kevin King. This is very draft dependent.

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    Trade Down- Im completely for this since Gute is fucking terrible at drafting and will need all the picks he can muster to be lucky.

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    Here is what the packers WONT do –

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    Draft a football player – They only care about measurables which is why teams like the ravens and steelers continue to pick 10 year pro bowlers in the 20s while we are stuck with shit tier players like Datone Jones. See…football players tend to be…well…good at playing football. They may not be champions of the bench press…or track stars…but they tend to produce regularly. Players such as TJ watt come to mind in this category. On a tangent…imagine if we had drafted TJ Watt simply for the fact it would have prevented us from pissing away a pick on Rashan Gary.

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    Draft for need- Packers do not draft for need in early rounds…which i frankly agree with. There is no sense in taking a round 2-3 tackle at 30 because you NEED one. Its a silly way to draft and you would be better off trading down (depending on your grade and scarcity)

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    With all this being said… and the uncertainty the draft provides here are my guesses for the packers pick today –

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    #1- Trade Down
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    #2- Austin Jackson – OT USC – Highly athletic lineman who didnt play particularly well last year. That has packers written all over it.
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    #3- AJ Terrell- CB Clemson – 6 2 corner with great measurables. I dont see him getting to the packers…but if he does…hes the type of player they will draft instead of trading down. Basically Kevin King Jr.
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    #4- Grant Delpit – Safety, LSU – His ratings are all over the board but hes the type of player the packers love to waste first round picks on. Super athletic safety who was once looked at as a potential top 15 type guy. Gute loves his athletes who dont perform and fall.

    Notice what i havent included? A wide receiver as I dont see the packers going after wideout talent in the first round. Given the depth of wideouts this year they will likely grade players outside of that group higher (assuming the top 3 are off the board when they draft).

  7. Howard April 23, 2020

    I think if WR- Jefferson is still around at 30 or with a small move up that is the pick. If Jefferson is gone and there is still a quality OT available without the name Cleveland attached, then that is the pick. I will trust that Milt Hendrickson will advise Gutekunst well on the best O- linemen (more than one) to select and were to select them. If neither of those two choices are available then I think the Packers trade into the early second and try to get Aiyuk or Claypool. If either of those two are selected, I still think a speedy slot type receiver is still needed later.
    The Packers ideally need to come away from the draft with, two receivers, two O-linemen, one NT type D-lineman, one CB or safety, one ILB, one TE or Claypool, and at least one RB.
    To me this should be an offense heavy draft with some defensive players to fill roster gaps.

    1. Stiggy April 23, 2020

      Everything you say makes sense howard…which is why it isn’t going to happen.

      Rashan Gary and Josh Jackson are the poster children for his lack of ability to select players who fit the packers scheme.

      Jackson was always going to be a zone player and Gary project as a 4-3 defensive end.

      I will be shocked if we don’t end up with an athlete who has proven little on the football field.