Green Bay Packers: Re-drafting the 2015 draft class

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 07: Benardrick McKinney #55 of the Houston Texans celebrates a defensive stop on Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys in the second half at NRG Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 07: Benardrick McKinney #55 of the Houston Texans celebrates a defensive stop on Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys in the second half at NRG Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Re-drafting the Green Bay Packers’ 2015 draft class.

The Green Bay Packers‘ 2015 draft class is one of the worst in recent memory. Four years on, none of the eight players selected are still on the team.

That says it all.

Let’s revisit the 2015 draft and see how different it could’ve been for the Packers.

Round 1 (30): LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

Packers’ original pick: S Damarious Randall, Arizona State

With a need at cornerback, the Green Bay Packers selected safety Damarious Randall and moved him to corner. Despite putting together a solid rookie season with three interceptions, Randall was inconsistent as a starter and was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 2018.

In this re-draft, the Packers address the inside linebacker position, which was one of their biggest needs in 2015. Benardrick McKinney has been a key part of the Houston Texans defense. He’s missed only two games in four seasons and has 392 tackles, 10.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

A second-team All-Pro in 2016 and a Pro Bowler in 2018, McKinney would have been an excellent addition to the Packers defense.

Round 2 (62): RB David Johnson, Northern Iowa

Packers’ original pick: CB Quinten Rollins, Miami (OH)

Hindsight is wonderful. Entering the 2015 season, the Packers were confident at running back with starter Eddie Lacy, who had posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

Little did we know that Lacy would rush for just a combined 1,118 yards over the next two seasons and not be re-signed after 2016.

With the benefit of hindsight, the Packers select Pro Bowler and All-Pro David Johnson, who is now one of the best running backs in all of football. An excellent runner and receiver, Johnson could’ve dominated in the Packers offense.

Round 3 (94): DE Trey Flowers, Arkansas

Packers’ original pick: WR Ty Montgomery, Stanford

Just like this year, the Packers needed pass-rush help back in 2015. Look no further than Trey Flowers, who was selected seven picks after the Packers picked Ty Montgomery.

Flowers put up 21 sacks in three seasons in New England, and this offseason signed a five-year, $90 million deal with the Detroit Lions.

Round 4 (129): DT Grady Jarrett, Clemson

Packers’ original pick: LB Jake Ryan, Michigan

The Packers found a solid player at inside linebacker in Jake Ryan, but they could’ve hit a home run by selecting Grady Jarrett. It’s quite incredible that Jarrett hasn’t been selected for the Pro Bowl in his career, but he’s been such an important part of the Atlanta Falcons defense since they drafted him. So much so that the Falcons used the franchise tag on Jarrett this offseason.

Jarrett posted a career-best six sacks in 2018, and he has 14 in four seasons. He also posted three sacks in the Super Bowl back in the 2016 season.

Had the Packers still selected Kenny Clark in the first round a year later, they’d now have an impressive defensive line of Jarrett, Clark and Mike Daniels.

Round 5 (147): TE Jesse James, Penn State

Packers’ original pick: QB Brett Hundley, UCLA

It may not have been the greatest of tight end classes, but the Packers could’ve addressed a position of need by selecting Jesse James. James never posted more than 423 receiving yards in a season for the Steelers, but he would’ve been a solid fifth-round pick for Green Bay. James’ best work came as a blocker. According to ESPN’s Mike Clay, James blocked on 50 percent of his career snaps with the Steelers.

Round 6 (206): CB Bryce Callahan, Rice

Packers’ original pick: FB Aaron Ripkowski, Oklahoma

The Packers originally went with Aaron Ripkowski with this pick, but in this re-draft, they address the secondary by selecting cornerback Bryce Callahan, who would sign as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears. Callahan was a great addition to the Bears defense following the draft, and he signed a three-year deal worth $21 million with the Denver Broncos this offseason.

Round 6 (210): WR Tyrell Williams, Western Oregon

Packers’ original pick: DE Christian Ringo, Louisiana

Wide receiver wasn’t considered a major need in 2015, but looking back it would be hard not to select Tyrell Williams, who was also undrafted. Williams posted 1,000 yards for the Chargers in 2016 and has a combined 1,381 yards over the past two seasons. In Green Bay, Williams would’ve offered depth at WR and could’ve seen an increased role when the team moved on from Jordy Nelson a year ago.

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Round 6 (213): G Quinton Spain, West Virginia

Packers’ original pick: TE Kennard Backman, Ala-Birmingham

It always makes sense to add offensive line depth when possible, and the Packers use their final pick on guard Quinton Spain, who has started 48 games for the Tennessee Titans over the past four seasons. Spain would’ve been a backup in 2015 but had a chance to start in 2016 after the Packers surprisingly cut Josh Sitton.