There’s nothing like the start of a new football season and the NFL draft kicks it all off.
Sure, no games are played and it occurs five months before the season starts. Even so, the draft has a similar feel to opening day in baseball. Every player selected is a potential superstar, and if they are not a superstar they fill a need that will improve the team (note: this last part is not always true). There is always the feeling that this NFL draft class will springboard your team to a Super Bowl. In nine months we’ll find out if the players selected by the Green Bay Packers were the missing links to another Lombardi Trophy, but in the meantime let’s take a look at who they drafted.
Packers fans should feel good about this NFL draft. For starters, the Packers drafted 10 players in a 7 round draft. General Manager Ted Thompson’s ability to turn draft picks into more draft picks is an integral reason the Packers have made the playoffs every year since 2009. Of course, winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal and the Packers have not done that since the 2010 season. The biggest reason for this is a defense prone to inopportune collapses. Thompson recognizes this, which is why the first four picks were spent on defense.
The first selection (Round 2, overall 33) was Kevin King, cornerback from the University of Washington. Sam Shields missed most of last season and was released in the offseason, so nabbing a cornerback was a top need for the Packers. King was a Pac-12 honorable mention last season and ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine. That’s fast! Speaking of fast, the Packers’ second selection (Round 2, overall 61) Josh Jones, safety from North Carolina State, ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the combine. The Jones pick is also prudent given the upcoming free agency of Morgan Burnett. The Packers’ third selection (Round 3, overall 93) was Montravius Adams, defensive end from Auburn.
With their fourth selection (Round 4, overall 108) the Packers made one of their most exciting selections in recent memory: Linebacker Vince Biegel from the University of Wisconsin. It’s rare that the Packers will have a standout player from the Badgers on their team. Even better is a standout Badger that also happens to be a Packers fan. Bielgel was a leader of the fierce Badger defense and is a shoo-in to become a fan favorite.
After their first four picks the Packers made a 180-turn and selected only offensive players. These players are:
- Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU (Round 4, overall 134th)
- DeAngelo Yancy, WR, Purdue (Round 5, overall 175th)
- Aaron Jones, RB, Texas-El Paso (Round 5, overall 182nd)
- Kofi Amichia, C, South Florida (Round 6, overall 212nd)
- Devante Mays, RB, Utah State (Round 7, overall 238th)
- Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU (Round 7, overall 247th)
With Eddie Lacy in Seattle and James Starks being released in February, the Packers have a clear need for running backs. Though Ty Montgomery was a revelation at the position, he might not be a full-time solution. At the very least, by drafting three running backs the Packers added depth position that has been a frequent issue since the days of Ahman Green.
The draft is always a boost of football excitement. Now all that’s left to do is patiently wait until the season starts in September.