Dan Dahlke: LB Luke Rhodes, William & Mary
Previous picks: DT Kenny Clark, ILB Joshua Perry, DE Bronson Kaufusi, OT Caleb Benenoch, RB Tyler Ervin, OLB Aaron Wallace, WR Alonzo Russell
Even though the Packers took an inside linebacker in the second round, they’d be wise to double-down on the position and take a talented speedy linebacker, like Rhodes, with one of their day three picks. A former team captain at William & Mary, the 6-foot-1, 245-pound linebacker was a tackling machine in college.
While Perry is a thumping between-the-tackles run stopper, Rhodes is more of a run-and-chase defender who can make plays out in space and will swarm to the ball. While he’d bring speed and athleticism to the position, Rhodes could contribute immediately as dime or nickel linebacker on third downs. His ability to play in coverage is a strength to his game and something valuable he offers as a late-round selection.
Rhodes could also be a tremendous special teams player in coverage units. His motor, work ethic, and leadership on the field will make him a valuable contributor on a team as a rookie. He’ll get widely overlooked because he’s a small-school prospect, but Rhodes could be a great find in the draft.
Next: Ralph Mancini