Best & Worst Of Green Bay Packers Draft Class

Photo: © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers were a wild team to follow, man. There was so much uncertainty regarding how they'd approach the early rounds -- something we'll get into later -- and then the Drew Lock rumors in Early Round 2 that really made your head spin.

All in all, I like most of their approach here just as I liked most of it last year -- it seems new GM Brian Gutekunst has his head screwed on straight, and wants to build a competitor now, while he still has Aaron Rodgers (presumably at 100%). With the Bears likely to regress in 2019 and the Vikings still figuring out the best formula for new franchise QB Kirk Cousins, the NFC North is more wide open than people realize. If Rodgers is healthy, I think the Packers are in a good spot.

Round 1, Pick 12: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan

Round 1, Pick 21: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland

Round 2, Pick 44: Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State

Round 3, Pick 75: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M

Round 5, Pick 150: Kingsley Keke, DE, Texas A&M

Round 6, Pick 185: Ka'dar Hollman, CB, Toledo

Round 6, Pick 194: Dexter Williams, RB, Notre Dame

Round 7, Pick 226: Ty Summers, LB, Texas Christian

Best Pick: Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger

Sternberger's a full-on seam buster, and that's exactly what the Packers hoped they were getting when they acquired Jimmy Graham. Now, Graham hasn't panned out -- whether that's due to health or scheme or interest, I'm not really sure.

But with Graham likely out the door, the slate is wiped clean with Sternberger, who exploded onto the scene at Texas A&M with powerful routes, great hands across the middle, and nasty YAC toughness. Sternberger, like Graham, doesn't bring much as an inline blocker, but with his explosive receiving ability, you expect him to contribute as a flex/big-slot player who can win at all three levels. Sternberger gets a year behind Graham to dull the rough edges before stepping into a starting role in 2020.

Worst Pick: Michigan EDGE Rashan Gary

As I alluded to above, the Packers were one of the more interesting studies, with 12 and 30 in the first round and a ton of different directions to take 'em. Big free agent EDGEs in Za'Darius and Preston Smith were in the building, but more OLB speed wasn't off the table. Jimmy Graham has one year left in Lambeau (presumably), so an elite TE was rumored a consideration. Interior offensive line help has been needed for a while, and even an elite WR1 for the twilight of Aaron Rodgers' career couldn't be ruled out.

Rashan Gary is...not at all what I expected. The B- version of Za'Darius Smith, Gary is not ready to help the Packers in Year 1, doesn't fill a significant need on a team with good DL depth, and simply wasn't worth the 12 overall pick. That selection befuddles me further by the day. I can't find a clear path for Gary to even get on the field in 2019. This one is a mystery worth watching develop.

Best Day 3 Pick: Notre Dame RB Dexter Williams

Many have already marked this, but Williams is a good fit for Green Bay's current RB room and presumed offensive system with Matt LaFleur and Nate Hackett manning the controls. Williams is at his best as a between-the-tackles runner, with a runway to build up some vertical speed and good nastiness at the contact point.

The Packers are fully a committee team, with incumbents Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams also likely to be effective on LaFleur's zone concepts. Both are better, in my opinion, working laterally first and attacking defensive flow -- so Dexter Williams can likely take on a situational role in short-yardage situations and on power-blocking concepts.

Overall Grade: B+

It's tough to overlook the Gary pick, and I think Savage was just a smidge overdrafted, but overall I like the meat of the Packers' draft class. Savage-Jenkins-Sternberger-Keke should all be able to contribute in Year 1 -- as I'm sure Gary will -- and Hollman and Summers are both nice upside selections.

Most important: no WR selected. Equanimeous St. Brown hive, stand up!


Written By:

Benjamin Solak

Senior CFB Writer

Benjamin Solak is a Senior College Football Writer for The Draft Network and co-host of the Locked On NFL Draft podcast.

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