Packers 2017 NFL Draft: Top five players at each position of need
By Dan Dahlke
Position of Need #7: Defensive Line
Position Outlook: I like the Packers young defensive line, even though they still have some growing to do. Mike Daniels is an impact player that brings it every game, and Letroy Guion is a reliable veteran run stopper.
Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry are just scratching the surface of their potential, but it often takes defensive linemen a bit longer than other positions to get the hang of the NFL game. Regardless, the small sample size we’ve seen this season has been encouraging.
Mike Pennel‘s future is a bit up in the air in Green Bay, given he’s about to serve his second suspension of his career. And, it’s a bit unclear how far Christian Ringo has really developed on the field. The Packers could use another player or two from the upcoming draft to provide more depth at the position.
Top-5 Defensive Line Prospects
1. Jonathan Allen, Alabama (6-3, 290)
2. Chris Wormley, Michigan (6-5, 303)
3. Malik McDowell, Michigan State (6-6, 280)
4. Caleb Brantley, Florida (6-2, 314)
5. Davon Godchaux, LSU (6-4, 299)
The Packers won’t have a shot at Jonathan Allen, who’s an exceptional interior defensive lineman and should be off the board in the first ten picks.
McDowell is a bit overrated, but he’s still a likely first-round talent. He has all of the physical tools to be a good player in the NFL, but his effort and impact on gameday has been inconsistent. He’s a bit of a boom or bust prospect.
Wormley is an ideal 3-4 defensive end at the next level. He has the strength, length, and size to take on blocks and two-gap. He holds a hard edge against the run, and he’s also an explosive enough athlete to generate pressure and get after the quarterback.
Brantley and Godchaux are both disruptive players at the line of scrimmage and can stay on the field on third down to generate interior pressure. Either player would serve well in the Packers two-down linemen nickel look.
Other Notable DL Prospects: Jaleel Johnson (Iowa), Vita Vea (Washington), Elijah Qualls (Washington), Lowell Lotulelei (Utah), Jarron Jones (Notre Dame), Montravius Adams (Auburn), Ryan Glasgow (Michigan), Carlos Watkins (Clemson), Charles Walker (Oklahoma)