In Brian Gutekunst’s first draft class as the general manager of the Green Bay Packers, he struck gold in the first round by pulling off a trade for Jaire Alexander while also bringing back a future first-round pick.
From that point on, the draft class quickly went downhill for the Packers.
Outside of picking wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the fifth round, the 2018 draft class after Alexander hasn’t turned out to be a particularly strong one for the Packers.
With second-round pick Josh Jackson traded to the New York Giants earlier this week, the draft class looks even worse.
Alexander, MVS save Packers’ 2018 draft class
This draft class will always receive a positive grade due to Alexander and MVS.
Alexander took just three seasons to become an All-Pro and Pro Bowl cornerback and one of the best in the league at his position. MVS improves each year and is now one of the league’s top deep threats — he led the NFL in yards per reception in 2020.
But without those two players, this is a draft class to forget for Gutekunst and the Packers. Below is the full list of the team’s 2018 picks with players still on the roster in bold.
- Round 1: Jaire Alexander, CB
- Round 2: Josh Jackson, CB
- Round 3: Oren Burks, ILB
- Round 4: J’Mon Moore, WR
- Round 5: Cole Madison, G
- Round 5: JK Scott, P
- Round 5: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR
- Round 6: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR
- Round 7: James Looney, DE
- Round 7: Hunter Bradley, LS
- Round 7: Kendall Donnerson, OLB
Yes, six players remain on the Packers’ roster three years later. But that doesn’t mean many of the picks were good ones.
Burks had a nice preseason opener and has been a key special-teams player but is yet to make an impact on defense in the regular season. Hopefully this will be the year Burks reaches his potential, but for now he just needs to secure his spot on the 53-man roster.
Scott has been up-and-down since entering the league. Did the Packers need to spend a fifth-round pick on a punter?
St. Brown made 21 receptions in his rookie season but has just seven since. His place on this year’s 53-man roster is very much in doubt.
Bradley remains the Packers’ long snapper this season but he’s perhaps lucky to still have the job after a tough summer. Considering players like Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay, wide receiver Allen Lazard, and cornerback J.C. Jackson went undrafted, using that pick on a long snapper feels like a waste.