NFL Draft Grades 2019: Packers Winners And Losers
With the 2019 NFL Draft complete, let’s look at the winners and losers for the Green Bay Packers.
The 2019 NFL Draft is now in the books, and the Green Bay Packers have upgraded many positions of need.
With new additions in the draft, there will be competition for starting positions and spots on the 53-man roster this summer.
Who were the biggest winners and losers for the Packers in the draft?
Winner: Mike Pettine
Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has to love the offseason work on defense. After spending big to address edge rusher and safety in free agency, the Packers used multiple picks to strengthen key positions on defense.
Rashan Gary has the potential to become an excellent part of this defense, and playing next to Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith will take the pressure off early on. The Packers have finally committed to upgrading the pass rush, and they now have lots of talent up front.
The secondary is also loaded with talent. At corner, the Packers have young star Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Josh Jackson, Tony Brown and sixth-round draft choice Ka’dar Hollman. At safety, free-agency signing Adrian Amos will likely start alongside first-round pick Darnell Savage. Tramon Williams can play at either cornerback or safety, and Green Bay has depth at safety with Raven Greene and Josh Jones.
Gutekunst has put the pieces in place for this defense to step up in 2019. It’s now over to Pettine.
Loser: Lane Taylor
Lane Taylor has started 45 games over the past three seasons, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be the starter at left guard this year. Second-round pick Elgton Jenkins, free-agency signing Billy Turner and last year’s draft choice Cole Madison will all be competing for a starting job along the offensive line.
Competition is great news for the Packers, but Taylor will need a strong training camp to ensure he’s a starter in 2019.
Winner: Second-year wide receivers
One surprise was the Packers’ decision not to draft a wide receiver. This shows confidence in Geronimo Allison as the number two and the three second-year receivers who were drafted in 2018.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown and J’Mon Moore could all see increased roles on offense this year with Randall Cobb leaving in free agency.
Considered one of the team’s top needs entering the draft, Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur will be expecting the group of Allison, MVS, EQ, Moore and Jake Kumerow to ensure the Packers have enough production at receiver behind Davante Adams on the depth chart.
Loser: Muhammad Wilkerson
Muhammad Wilkerson ended the 2018 season on injured reserve and currently remains unsigned after becoming a free agent in March. With the Packers adding depth along the defensive line with fifth-round pick Kingsley Keke, and with Rashan Gary’s ability to play on the defensive line, it’s possibly a sign the Packers don’t intend to re-sign Wilkerson.
Winner: Run game
With the addition of Dexter Williams in the sixth round, the Packers have an exciting young trio at running back. Green Bay didn’t need to use an early pick at the position, but adding depth on Day 3 was necessary.
This pick could be great value as many draft analysts believed Williams would be selected earlier.
With Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and Dexter Williams in the backfield, Matt LaFleur has three talented running backs to work with, which will be important if the offense is more balanced than in previous years.