Round 5, Pick 172: EDGE Leon Jacobs, Wisconsin
I had to find a way to get a Badger on board at some point in the draft. The Packers have too many picks and too many needs on defense, and there are too many former Badger defenders in this draft for the Packers not to take one. Troy Fumagalli was an option until the Packers signed Jimmy Graham, and he may still be, but I don’t think he’s as fun or adds the depth that Jacobs does.
Jacobs was a stud at the combine. He blew away the 40-yard dash and showed agility and burst in every timed drill he ran. The downfalls for him are his size and technique. Size cannot be taught, so that’s a downfall, but the technique can be. Disregarding the fact that he’s a Badger and most fans would love this pick for that reason alone, he’s a freaky athletic and that’s always something worth taking a chance on.
Jacobs wouldn’t be asked to do much early on behind Nick Perry, Clay Matthews and potentially Harold Landry. If forced into action at a position that requires relentless effort, I’ll take my chances with an explosive athlete like Jacobs.
Round 5, Pick 174: DT Poona Ford, Texas
Ford is simply a pick for depth here. He’s a big body and super powerful, but lacks ideal size for the position, which will have him fall in the draft. The Packers have a defensive line group that should produce and make work for the rest of the defense easy. If there’s ever a time to take a chance on a guy it’s here.
Ford will have time to develop and wouldn’t be required to play early on. His weaknesses seem related to technique and lack of versatility. I would expect Ford to develop into a rotational piece on the line the same way I expect Montravius Adams to. Taking depth at any position this late only gives you a better chance to hit on them. Like Jacobs, I like Ford because he’s physically impressive. The rest can be worked on later.