Grading the Draft - Green Bay Packers

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

As we got closer to the draft, we knew the Packers were going to select defensive back in Round 1 -- and we reported as much. The question was which one?

Round 1 (No. 18 overall): Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Round 2 (No. 45): Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

Round 3 (No. 88): Oren Burks, LB, Vanderbilt

Round 4 (No. 133): J'Mon Moore, WR, Missouri

Round 5 (No. 138): Cole Madison, OT, Washington State

Round 5 (No. 172): JK Scott, P, Alabama

Round 5 (No. 174): Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, South Florida

Round 6 (No. 207): Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame

Round 7 (No. 232): James Looney, DE, Cal

Round 7 (No. 239): Hunter Bradley, LS, Mississippi State

Round 7 (No. 248): Kendall Donnerson, OLB, Southeast Missouri State

UDFA: Jacob Alsadek, OG, Arizona; Parris Bennett, LB, Syracuse; Tim Boyle, QB, Eastern Kentucky; Austin Davis, OC, Duke; Raven Greene, S, James Madison; Naashon Hughes, LB, Texas; CJ Johnson, LB, East Texas Baptist; Tyler Lancaster, DT, Northwestern; Alex Light, OT, Richmond; Greer Martini, LB, Notre Dame; Kyle Meadows, OT, Kentucky; Filipo Mokofisi, DT, Utah; Marcus Porter, LB, Fairmont State; Kevin Rader, TE, Youngstown State; Conor Sheehy, DE, Wisconsin; Ryan Smith, TE, Miami (Ohio)

We mentioned before the draft that Minkah Fitzpatrick was the Packers’ target in Round 1. Once he was off the board, Green Bay made a few maneuvers and ended up selecting Jaire Alexander in the first. The junior is a terrific athlete but needs to improve his ball skills, especially his ability making plays with his back to the ball.

Josh Jackson was another player we mentioned the week before the draft as a potential Day 1 target for the Packers. They got their man, albeit in Round 2. Jackson has excellent size, ball skills and confidence in his game. What he lacks is speed, as he was unable to get under 4.52 before the draft, which was a concern. With the additions of Jackson and Alexander in addition to the development of Kevin King, Green Bay’s first pick in the 2017 draft, the Packers secondary is vastly improved.

The team then selected Oren Burks in Round 3, which surprised some but not us. We had Burks graded as a third-round pick throughout the process, and he’s a terrific run-and-chase linebacker who immediately improves the speed and athleticism of Green Bay’s inside linebacker unit.

J’Mon Moore is a nice-sized pass catcher with consistent hands and a solid game. He plays faster than his 40 time (4.57), and I expect the fourth-round selection to compete for playing time next season.

Green Bay had three picks in the fifth round and came out of the frame with a starter, a backup and a solid developmental prospect.

JK Scott was our second-rated punter who we graded as a fifth-round prospect, and he could be the starter in Green Bay this fall. He’s a tall, athletic kicker who only needs to get the ball off his foot a little quicker to complete his game.

Cole Madison should make the active roster as an inexpensive backup who can play tackle or guard.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling has the size and athleticism to play on Sundays and has shown an improving game. He must learn to play to his 40 time (4.37) and develop his route running.

Sixth-round pick Equanimeous St. Brown was overrated throughout the process. He’s a developmental prospect who needs a significant amount of work on his game.

The team had three picks in the final round, the first of which was James Looney, a major bargain. Looney is a hard-charging defensive lineman with size deficiencies. He doesn’t have great upside but will be a serviceable rotational lineman.

Kendall Donnerson was one of three players from Southeast Missouri State who I really liked. He’s an athletic pass-rushing linebacker with solid size and speed. I would not be shocked if he comes out of camp and makes the active roster.

Linebacker Greer Martini was a solid UDFA signing for Green Bay, as was tight end Kevin Rader. Both will likely end up on the practice squad.

Analysis: The Packers did a terrific job improving their defensive back seven and selected several players who will help them immediately. They also flooded picks at the receiver position and came away with at least one roster player and two potential practice-squad prospects. While they didn’t get any high-profile offensive linemen, Madison will be a serviceable backup who can play several positions. Grade: B