The NFL draft order has begun to be set and the 2018 draft big boards are far from being set but if you look hard enough you can find enough general information to make it work. For my efforts I simply assume the Packers won’t draft in the top 10. Other than that, although the Packers could have around 12 draft picks next year, for our purposes I gave the Packers 1 selection in each of the 7 rounds.
Remember, this is an overreaction, NOT a prediction. So calm yourselves.
Connor Williams OT, Texas
The Packers couldn’t block Rodgers to save their lives. Rodgers was sacked a total of 4 times in week 1 and seemed to be on his back or running for his life on every play. That simply won’t do if the Packers want to have Rodgers around for any length of time.
Connor Williams is a 6’6 320 pound monster. As a run blocker, Williams has the third highest percentage of positive run block grades, meaning he simply doesn’t lose.
In regard to his ability to protect Rodgers, Williams gave up outside pressure once every 141 attempts. He’s pretty good.
Although the tackle position is set and round 1 picks are typically guys you want to start right away, the loss of Bulaga should show everyone the importance of depth at the offensive line position. Furthermore, the Packers need to build for the future.
Jordan Wyatt, CB, SMU
The Packers defense did hold the Seahawks offense to just 3 field goals but most of the production came along the offensive line and there were quite a few plays where the secondary got completely torched.
Fortunately, those mishaps were compensated for in the end but another quality corner certainly couldn’t hurt in the pursuit of building a quality secondary.
At 6’0 192 pounds, Wyatt is a speedster. He reportedly ran a 4.4 40 in high school. Now a college Junior, Wyatt has racked up 79 tackles, 6 pass deflections, 4 forced fumbles and 4 interceptions.
Although not staggering numbers, Quarterbacks are averaging a 69.4 passer rating when targeting Wyatt and he gives up an average of just 1.21 yards every time he takes a coverage snap.
So far in 2017, Wyatt has been fantastic. In his first game, Wyatt had 1 pick, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 touchdowns with a PPF grade of 91.8.
Wyatt Teller, OG, Virginia Tech
Although not necessarily less important, the guard position isn’t as hard to find a little later in the draft. Very rarely is a guard taken in the first and second round talent at guard are where you can find pro bowlers.
All that to say, despite being the third round, Wyatt Teller is one of the top guards in the class. A red shirt senior, Teller is 6’5 308 pounds of road grading domination.
Although he’s considered a top run blocker, in his three years, Teller has played a total of 1,264 snaps. In that time he has only given up 4 sacks.
The negative for Teller is his penalties. He has had 19 through 3 years, which is 13th highest in the nation.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
This isn’t so much an overreaction to how bad things are but an acknowledgement of how good they are. The Packers love tight ends and have a real hard time finding good ones. With Bennett and Kendricks already up there in age, the Packers need to keep actively pursuing their replacements.
As a first attempt, you can’t go wrong with the 6’6 252 pound Mike Gesicki. As a senior at Penn State, Gesicki has totaled 72 receptions on 114 targets for 918 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Although not a fantastic blocking tight end, Gesicki can stretch the field like none other. Gesicki was ranked 1st in the nation in both deep pass receptions and deep pass yards. He was also 5th in slot reception yards and 4th in overall yards per route run.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Similar to corner, this is a position the Packers can feel free to keep swinging at until they hit on someone. Although Jake and Blake might be solid this year, there is no indication they will be anything but average. That’s simply won’t do.
Our second Virginia Tech player, Edmunds stands a staggering 6’5 and weighs in at 236 pounds, resembling 2015 2nd round draft pick Benardrick McKinney.
Although a Junior, Edmunds has really only played 1 solid year of football. Although that could be seen as a negative, 2016 was a very solid year. He racked up 77 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 pass deflections and a pick.
So far in 2017, Edmunds already has 21 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.
Coleman Shelton, C, Washington
Why not, right? Similar to guard, centers tend to fall in the draft. Even though he’s projected to be drafted on the third day, Shelton is ranked 6th on PFF’s big board.
Another lineman known for being a great run blocker, Shelton, along with the other new additions, would give the Packers the ability to pound the ball down the oppositions throat which, in turn, should help Rodgers turn loose down the field as well as keep him a little more clean in the pocket.
But Shelton isn’t a poor pass blocker. In three years, Shelton has only yielded 4 sacks and 9 hits. He also ranks number 1 overall in pass blocking efficiency in a 3 step drop.
Bunmi Rotimi, EDGE, Old Dominion
Although Perry had a good night it was against a terrible left tackle. They are going to need more help. Although Rotimi doesn’t strike me as a prototypical 3-4 OLB, the Packers seem to be adding a lot of big boys at OLB, to the point where the defensive front is beginning to resemble a 4-3 front. Not sayin’ I’m just sayin’.
Be that as it may, Rotimi is stands at 6’4 and 277 pounds. Alright he’s a little big, even for Capers, but let’s get crazy with it. A red shirt senior, Rotimi 15 sacks, 11 hits, 56 hurries on 783 pass rush snaps. Good enough for 32nd in the country.
Better yet, this big ole boy is far more productive as a stand up OLB than he he on the ground. Although he’s more than capable of playing down in the NASCAR, Rotimi is ranked #1 in the nation in PRP from the 2 point stance.