The Green Bay Packers were ousted in the NFC Title Game in 2017 by the Atlanta Falcons. Unlike typical offseasons, Green Bay actually added talent via free agency with the addition of Martellus Bennett. The Packers run by Ted Thompson are an organization known for adding their talent in the draft which makes this year’s draft ultra important. For a roster that is lacking talent outside of Aaron Rodgers, what can we expect the Packers to do in the 2017 NFL Draft?
With the 29th overall pick, the Packers have to consider secondary help. Their corners were humiliated during the playoffs and likely held them out of an eventual Super Bowl appearance. There are a number of corners the Packers could consider. It’s really just a matter of which one falls to them. Marlon Humphrey could be a really nice fit in Green Bay. The Packers desperately missed Casey Hayward after he departed for the Chargers and Humphrey sort of resembles that mold of a tough SEC corner. Humphrey dominated John Ross in the bowl game with press coverage and has the closing speed to make up for mistakes (4.41 – 40 time). Regardless of what round they look for secondary help, the Packers are a team that should draft at least 2 of them.
In round 2 (61st overall) the Packers would be wise to consider an inside linebacker. Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan are nice players but aren’t long term answers. Green Bay also could keep Clay Matthews as a pass rusher long term if they can find a tackling machine in the middle. Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan could be that answer. McMillan always finds his way to the football recording 102 tackles in 2016. McMillan also has nice speed (4.61 – 40 time) and understands zone coverage assignments. McMillan could be the leader of the defense the Packers have been looking for.
The 3rd round could be the range in which the Packers address some of the recent offensive line departures. Guard T.J. Lang left for Detroit and center J.C. Tretter signed with Cleveland. Let’s grab a guy that can play both center and guard in the form of Pat Elflein. Corey Linsley, another former Buckeye, will likely play center or guard in one of those spots depending on the outcome of the draft. Elflein just has Packer written all over him as he plays with great balance and a low center of gravity. His thick lower body and wrestling background make him a great fit to pull in the zone scheme.
Later on in the draft, the Packers also have needs on the defensive line. The days of B.J. Raji creating havoc up front are long. Finding a late round gem to create interior pass rush can take this Packers defense to the next level. One player who could fill that void is Larry Ogunjobi. The small school player from Charlotte could be the steal of the draft who is dropping because of his tiny school. Ogunjobi had a great week at the Senior Bowl and really moved well in the drills at the Combine. Other players to consider in this range are Dalvin Tomlinson, Tanzel Smart, and Elijah Qualls.
Green Bay Packers 2017 NFL Draft Picks:
- Round 1, pick 29: #29 overall
- Round 2, pick 29: #61 overall
- Round 3, pick 29: #93 overall
- Round 4, pick 28*: #134 overall
- Round 5, pick 29: #174 overall
- Round 5, pick 39 (compensatory): #184 overall
- Round 6, pick 29: #214 overall
- Round 7: #249 overall