Green Bay has eight picks entering Saturday in the NFL Draft. Now that the Packers have shored up the cornerback position, here's a few other positions they can target.
Here are the eight selections remaining:
#133 RD 4, #138 RD 5, #172 RD 5, #174 RD 5, #207 RD 6, #232 RD 7, #239 RD 7, #248 RD 7.
What a difference a year makes. With Jordy Nelson gone and no heir apparent to his spot on the outside, the Packers will either have to get creative with what they have or hope they can find a diamond in the rough in the back half of the draft or rookie free agency. Here's a few players who are available:
Texas Tech WR Keke Coutee: Not a large body, what Coutee brings is speed to the offense, particularly from the slot. Green Bay is currently lacking an obvious deep threat, so bringing in a player who runs a 4.43 40 could help in that aspect. The knocks here are strength and route-running, but the speed is there (per his NFL.com Draft Profile).
Penn State WR Daesean Hamilton: Hamilton is projected at slot receiver, which doesn't fill an immediate need in Green Bay. While his athleticism is fine, it's the intangibles that jump out, according to his NFL.com Draft Profile. Seems like the right fit personality-wise for a team like Green Bay, although the Packers' more pressing need is someone for the outside routes.
Missouri WR J'Mon Moore: A solid receiver with good production, but a history of drops. However, he's 6'3" and athletic, and fits the profile of a future starter, according to his NFL.com Draft Profile. He's not a stretch-the-field receiver, but has enough speed to make a big impact on a game.
Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown: A 6'5" target who runs a 4.48, St. Brown is one of the most interesting prospects still on the board. His background is an interesting read (check it out at his NFL.com Draft Profile). While he didn't rack up big games in college, he could be a project for a team that has the extra mid-round selections to see what they can do with him.
Clemson WR Deon Cain: The positives are that he's big, athletic, and runs well in routes. The negatives, likely the reason for his availability on Day 3, are that he's been prone to penalties, drops, and was suspended in college for failing drug tests, per his NFL.com Draft Profile. A 6'2" receiver with 4.37 speed is still a pretty interesting prospect, especially on Day 3, when teams can afford to gamble on upside.
Oklahoma State WR Marcell Ateman: Another 6'5" receiver who can help in a system that takes advantage of his size, but isn't a burner and won't blow by NFL defensive backs, according to his NFL.com Draft Profile. His best skill will be his size in the red zone, something he was adept at in college, and that should have him come off the board on Day 3.
Middle Tennessee State WR Richie James: Slot receiver type who is very athletic and had a ton of production in college, albeit against lesser competition than some of the other prospects here.
Florida State WR Auden Tate: Another 6'5" target but the knock here is his speed.
Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain: Here's our full breakdown of the former Madison Memorial Spartan:
Pittsburgh WR Jester Weah: Well, we're here, might as well cue up the other Madison Memorial Spartan in this year's NFL Draft:
Penn WR Justin Watson: Ivy League guy who ran a 4.4 40 and is 6-3, 225. One to watch as the fourth round moves along.
A perpetual need for the Packers, who have invested heavily financially into the spot with Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. Vince Biegel was injured for a portion of last season. It stands to reason the Packers will try to find at least one linebacker or edge type on Day 3.
Florida State EDGE Josh Sweat: Athletic, tough, and skilled, Sweat has plenty that teams are looking for in any player. However, he's available because of his injury history, according to his NFL.com Draft Profile, which means a GM would have to be comfortable with his medical tests.
Kansas EDGE Dorance Armstrong: Miscast as a 4-3 run-first defensive end his final season in college, Armstrong projects as a 3-4 OLB, which is what the Packers are looking for. The good news is that Armstrong has awareness and athleticism, but it's noted in his NFL.com Draft Profile that his poor 40 times are a concern for teams.
Central Michigan EDGE Joe Ostman: Competition level and straight-line speed are perhaps the biggest negatives in his NFL.com Draft Profile, but has the intangibles, production, and hustle that could make an impact as a situational player or special teams ace.
Auburn EDGE Jeff Holland: A big hitter with plenty of power, Holland projects well as a situational rusher, but almost exclusively in that role. He's not going to help in coverage, per his NFL.com Draft Profile, and isn't built like a prototype edge player. However, the drive is there, and punishes whoever has the ball.
Ole Miss EDGE Marquis Haynes: Fast and a decent tackler, Haynes is sort of the opposite of Holland. His size and strength will be what causes a drop here, and in his NFL.com Draft Profile, it's noted he's built more like a safety. Still, for a team requiring some help in the pass rush, speed is an important skill.
Oklahoma EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo: A case of effort and technique over pure athleticism and size, he lacks the build that teams seek on the outside, in the notes on his NFL.com Draft Profile. Still, it's hard to discount the want-to and production, and that's what makes him an interesting Day 3 prospect.
Utah EDGE Kyle Fitts: Injuries sent Fitts down the draft boards, but there's upside and that's the key word on Day 3.
Wisconsin EDGE Leon Jacobs: Would the Packers take a second Badgers edge player? His preview from BadgerSportsNetwork.com:
Washington State DT Hercules Mata'afa: Playing consistently against players bigger than him, Mata'afa earned a reputation for being the toughest player on the team and outworks just about everyone. Can he make the switch to the outside?
Stanford EDGE Peter Kalambayi: Size, speed, and athleticism are there, but not a whole lot of college production.
Tulane DE Ade Aruna: A converted basketball player, he's got the athletic traits to make it in the NFL, but is considered a project.
Other Positions Of Need
Offensive Line: A healthy run on centers in the second round depleted the talent pool somewhat, but a few interesting players still remain, including UCLA's Scott Quessenbery and Alabama's Bradley Bozeman... at guard, there's some very interesting talent still on the board. Oregon's Tyrell Crosby and NC State's Tony Adams could have been Day 2 picks, and there's a ton of small-school talent hanging out in the sweet spot for mining studs on the interior line, like Maine's Jamil Demby, Appalachian State's Colby Gossett, JAmes Madison's Aaron Stinnie,Stony Brook's Timon Parris, and Idaho State's Skyler Phillips... tackle is pretty deep in this year's class at this point, and a few Power 5 prospects are still out there, like NC State's Will Richardson, Ohio State's Jamarco Jones, TCU's Matt Pryor, and Pittsburgh's Jaryd Jones-Smith. However, in the later rounds, that talent pool dries up, so there could be a run on offensive tackles right away in Round 4.
Locally, we're rooting for Waunakee's Jacob Ohnesorge to get drafted:
Tight End: Only five tight ends have been drafted so far, but about a dozen could be drafted Saturday. The four that could go early will be Indiana's Ian Thomas, Miami's Chris Herndon, Notre Dame's Durham Smythe, and Stanford's Dalton Schultz. However, this position is more about scheme and less about grades or talent, so it'll be up to each team to decide if they need an athletic pass-catcher or a powerful run blocker in this slot. Wisconsin's Troy Fumagalli is somewhere in the middle, but was productive and is also a fantastic blocker:
On the subject of tight ends, fullbacks and H-backs are niche in offensive packages these days, but offers some flexibility on special teams and short-yardage plays, so former Wisconsin Dells star and Northern Illinois record-breaking tight end Shane Wimann might be in the mix late:
Quarterback: The Packers probably have their room set the way they want, with DeShone Kizer and Joe Callahan backing up Aaron Rodgers. On Day 3, there are a ton of non-Power 5 quarterbacks available, so if the Packers wanted a project, they definitely have the picks to go for it. Otherwise, of the Power 5 QBs out there, the biggest name is probably Ohio State's J.T. Barrett.
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