If you’re looking for in-depth analysis of the NFL Draft you’re reading the wrong article. As closely as I follow the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers I’m out of my element when it comes to the draft. I don’t have much to say about the players because usually the first time I’m hearing about them is when their name is called by Roger Goodell. I just don’t spend that much time studying the secondary of Florida State. What I do care about is getting the gist of who the Packers selected. With that in mind let’s take a quick look at Green Bay’s 2016 draft class.
For the fifth consecutive year the Packers selected a defensive player with their first round pick. With the 27th pick in the draft Green Bay took Kenny Clark, a defensive tackle out of UCLA. This move fills a hole on the defensive line after the BJ Raji retired/went on hiatus.
In the second round the Packers traded their 4th and 7th round picks to the Indianapolis Colts to move up nine spots in the draft (from 57th to 48th). They used this selection to take Jason Spriggs from the Indiana Hoosiers. Springs started at left tackle for four seasons in Bloomington. In addition to playing left tackle, Spriggs is expected to buy coffee and chewing tobacco for TJ Lang.
The Packers used their next three picks on defense. In the third round they nabbed Kyler Fackrell, an outside linebacker from Utah State who played there under former Badgers coach Gary Andersen. The Packers used a fourth round pick on Blake Martinez, an inside linebacker from Stanford; and another fourth round pick on Dean Lowry, a defensive end from Northwestern.
Green Bay used their final two selections for offense. They took speedster Trevor Davis in the fifth round; Davis played wide receiver for the California Golden Bears and ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine. Davis will likely return kicks and – hopefully – be another deep threat on offense. With their final selection, the Packers used a sixth round pick on another left tackle, Kyle Murphy from Stanford. The Packers were decimated with injuries to the offensive line last season, so adding depth to this unit is a welcome sight.
In addition to being weighted towards defense, the Packers used the majority of their selections on players from the Pac-12 Conference – probably to the delight of former Golden Bear Aaron Rodgers. Martinez and Murphy will no doubt be teased by Rodgers for attending Stanford. The Packers’ draft was also heavily skewed towards high-profile academic institutions. It’s difficult to put together a draft class with a better academic pedigree.
As is the case with any draft, it will be several seasons until we find out if the 2016 class was any good. For the time being it’s safe to say the quality of this class will range from A+ to F-.
Moving away from the Packers, two Badgers were drafted. Outside linebacker Joe Schobert was taken in the fourth round by the Cleveland Browns. Fullback Derek Watt – the younger brother of superstar JJ Watt – was selected in the sixth round by the San Diego Chargers. He will be re-united with Melvin Gordon, whom he blocked for in Madison.