The Green Bay Packers have made a strong start to the 2018 NFL Draft.
The 2018 NFL Draft has been one of the wildest and most unpredictable in recent memory.
The Green Bay Packers, led by rookie GM Brian Gutekunst are right in the mix after the first two days and three rounds are in the books.
The selection of Jaire Alexander was popular among the pundits and fans alike. While the Packers got their man, they also executed two trades netting them the Saints’ 2019 first-round selection. Alexander immediately slides into the starting lineup, and gives special teams coordinator Ron Zook some options in the return game.
With pick 45 in the second round, the Packers double-dipped on cornerbacks and nabbed Iowa standout Josh Jackson. Because Alexander was already in the fold, this was no longer a position of dire need. However, with the highly-rated Jackson still on the board, the decision to add depth to the defensive backfield was a virtual no-brainer.
The Packers still desperately needed help in a few key areas despite solidifying the cornerback position. Left without a third-round selection, Gutekunst jumped right back in by trading picks 101 and 147 to the Panthers. With the Panthers’ third round pick (88 overall), the Packers drafted Vanderbilt LB Oren Burks.
Burks fills another position of need at LB, through maybe not in the most traditional sense. He is both athletic and versatile. Versatile enough, in fact, that he could play inside or outside in different situations – or even slide to safety. Burks also has the potential to be better-than-average special teams player.
Analysis and remaining needs
It is difficult to argue that the Packers scored an A+ with the first two picks, all while getting an additional first-rounder in 2019. Burks is an interesting prospect, but questions about fit and potential impact are valid. And was it necessary to move up from 13 spots to select him? Time will tell, but Gutekunst deserves high marks now for his work in the early rounds.
On Day 3, the Packers need to address the offensive line. Brian Bulaga is becoming a much less reliable option at RT due to his injury history and comparatively high salary. Jason Spriggs has not impressed much in reserve duty. The guards are inexperienced behind Lane Taylor. Someone like Will Richardson from NC State would be an interesting addition.
Getting Aaron Rodgers some receiving help must also be prioritized. Despite the addition of Jimmy Graham at tight end, the receiving corps is much thinner without Jordy Nelson. In the backfield, the Packers remain inexperienced, and questions remain around Ty Montgomery‘s role. Adding at least one offensive playmaker would round out this draft nicely.