If you are a dedicated sports radio or sports podcast listener, you know the NFL draft is just weeks away. Draftniks have spoken ad nauseam about “QB1s”, “TE2s”, and about their “big boards”. While it can be a little much, it is still fun to try to predict who your favorite team will be taking. So today we throw our hat in the ring and take our shot. While we won’t be using much draft jargon, we will take a look at possible players for the Green Bay Packers draft picks.
The Green Bay Packers draft picks consist of ten selections in this year’s draft. While Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst possesses ten tries, there is a good chance he will trade one or more of them. But for this piece, we will play it out that the ten Packers draft picks will all be kept.
While most draftniks will talk about forty yard dash times and relative athletic scores, we are basing our predictions on what makes sense for the Packers. Or what we believe makes the most sense for them. Here is our prediction on the Packers draft picks for 2019.
First round, 12th Overall, Ed Oliver, Defensive Tackle, University of Houston
Before the start of free agency, arguably the Packers biggest draft needs were edge pass rusher and safety. But Gutekunst replenished those positions with the free agent signings of Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Adrian Amos. With these signings, the Packers can truly take the best player available with their top picks.
With that in mind, the first pick of the Packers draft picks will believe should be Oliver. The Packers have solid starters in ascending star Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels already at defensive tackle. But Daniels is entering the final year of his contract and there is a possibility that the Packers might let him walk next off-season. If that becomes reality, Oliver would seem a perfect replacement.
Even with the signings of the Smiths, an edge pass rusher might be an option here. But Oliver’s natural ability along with Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine putting extreme value on inside pass rush, Oliver would seem like a logical selection.
First Round, 30th Overall, Noah Fant, Tight End, University of Iowa
Currently, the Packers have Jimmy Graham, Robert Tonyan, and Marcedes Lewis at the tight end position. Graham and Lewis are both on the back nine of their playing career. Tonyan will be entering his second professional season but is very raw.
Fant, like Graham, is more known for his receiving skills than his blocking. But he is the type of tight end the Packers have needed for a long time. He is young and is able to stretch opposing defenses.
Second Round, 44th Overall, Nasir Adderley, Safety, Delaware
The signing of Amos helps the one Packers starting safety positions. But there are still questions about the other starting safety. Last season, Tramon Williams shifted from cornerback to safety when the Packers traded Ha Ha Clinton Dix. But it appears that he will be shifted back to cornerback this season.
Former second-round pick Josh Jones has struggled in coverage and might be a better fit at linebacker. With Jones ability at safety in question, Adderley, if available, would be an upgrade. He can play both in coverage and in the box. He also can be a contributor on special teams.
Third Round, 75th Overall, Tytus Howard, Offensive Tackle, Alabama State
Bryan Bulaga has struggled with injuries throughout his career. Like with Daniels, he will also be entering the final year of his contract. It appears that finding his eventual replacement will be on Gutekunst’s list in this year’s draft.
Howard is athletic and has played both at tackle and guard. While he played at a lower level college at Alabama State, he will need time to mature. If Bulaga can stay healthy this season, Howard would be able to sit and watch from one of the best.
Fourth Round, 114th Overall, Oshane Ximines, Edge Pass Rusher, Old Dominion
This is our favorite projection of the Packers draft picks. Ximines knows how to get to the opposing quarterback. While he will need to learn how to play the run better, he does know how to create pressure in the passing game. The signing of the Smiths should help, but their backups are still questionable.
Kyler Fackrell had a career 2018 season but until last season, he had struggled. Reggie Gilbert is the other backup. The former undrafted free agent was disappointing last season after a strong preseason. Ximines pass rushing ability would make him a nice piece in their edge pass rusher rotation.
Fourth Round, 118th Overall, Michael Jackson, Cornerback, University of Miami (FL)
Former second-round pick Kevin King has struggled with injuries in his first two seasons. Fellow former second-round pick Josh Jackson struggled with penalties in his rookie campaign. Rumors have been floated that he might eventually move to safety.
Jackson is a big physical cornerback like King. Pettine likes his cornerbacks to be physical. This Packers draft pick would be good value for Gutekunst and the Packers.
Fifth Round, 150th Overall, Bryce Love, Running Back, Stanford
Love was an explosive running back in his junior season at Stanford. He rushed for over 2,000 yards that season. But his senior season wasn’t the same. He struggled with injuries and didn’t match his junior season’s stats.
The injuries will be a concern. But if drafted by the Packers, he won’t be asked to carry the load like he did at Stanford. With Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams already in the fold, Love could come in and contribute when needed.
Sixth Round, 185 Overall, TJ Edwards, Linebacker, Wisconsin
The knee jerk comment about this Packers draft pick will be “homer”. But this isn’t about Edwards playing at the University of Wisconsin. Edwards might not be the fastest or biggest linebacker in the draft, but he knows how to make plays. With Packers head coach Matt LaFleur putting an emphasis on special teams, Edwards might be a perfect pick. We envision Edwards making a name for himself on special teams at first. But it wouldn’t be surprising, with his playmaking ability, that he eventually plays on defense.
Sixth Round, 194th Overall, Jalen Hurd, Wide Receiver, Baylor
Hurd is a very raw wide receiver prospect. He started out as a running back at the University of Tennessee. When he transferred to Baylor, he made the switch to wide receiver. He is big, 6’4″, which fits into what the Packers want at wide receiver. His former running back days has helped him become electric with his run after the catch ability.
Seventh Round, 226th Overall, Jimmy Moreland, Cornerback, James Madison
The Packers cornerbacks have struggled to create interceptions in recent history. But that wasn’t a problem for Moreland. In his four year collegiate career, he had 15 interceptions. Out of those 15, he returned six of them for touchdowns. He might be a long shot to make the roster, but it appears a seventh-round pick would be worth the risk.
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