PFF gives Packers’ 2019 draft class ‘excellent’ regrade
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has received plenty of criticism this offseason, but it’s easy to forget some of his good work in the draft.
Take 2019, for example. Two years on from that draft class, it’s looking like a very good one for the Packers.
Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus has regraded each team’s draft class from 2019, and the Packers were given an “excellent” grade, which is the highest option. They are one of only six teams to be given this grade.
And it’s easy to see why.
The Packers drafted Elgton Jenkins in the second round, which is looking like possibly the pick of the entire class by any team. Jenkins has proven he can line up at any of the five positions along the offensive line and put in a strong performance. He deservedly made the Pro Bowl in 2020.
Darnell Savage was the Packers’ second of two first-round picks and could be a future All-Pro. He’s been a starter since Day 1 and his performances in the second half of last season were as good as any safety in football.
Renner notes that PFF loved the Savage and Jenkins picks when they were made, but what gives the Packers such a strong regrade is that “Gary has come on quicker than we anticipated”. He adds that Gary’s PFF grade jumped up from 55.8 to 68.1 over his first two seasons.
There’s no doubt that Gary played some excellent football down the stretch in 2020 and he should be a starter with Za’Darius Smith this season. It will be surprising if Preston Smith is still ahead of him on the depth chart.
It’s possible the Packers have hit on all of their top three picks from 2019, but they also added talented defensive lineman Kingsley Keke in the fifth round and key special teams player Ty Summers in the seventh.
We’re only two years in, but this is looking like a great draft class for the Packers.