If the first four girls someone goes out with have blonde hair, there’s no guarantee the next girl will also have blonde hair, but the odds are pretty good. Everybody has a type – be it a high school senior looking for a prom date or a general manager looking for a college football player.
Brian Gutekunst has conducted only four drafts as GM of the Packers, but looking back on past Aprils, he does seem to have a specific type on each of the three days. Based on that history, we can at least make an educated guess as to which players might interest him on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
CB Jaire Alexander (2018)
LB Rashan Gary (2019)
FS Darnell Savage (2019)
QB Jordan Love (2020)
CB Eric Stokes (2021)
All four of the non-quarterbacks Mike Mamula’d the NFL Combine (click on the link if you need to look it up). They ran faster and/or jumped higher than at least 90 percent of the players at their respective positions. Based on that criteria, here are some of the workout warriors who could be of interest to the Packers if they keep their selections at Nos. 22 and 28:
WR George Pickens (Georgia) – Reminds me too much of Denzel Mims, but his size (6-3, 195) and speed (4.37) are enticing.
WR Christian Watson (North Dakota St.) – Very raw, but there aren’t many receivers who stand 6-foot-4 and run in the 4.3s.
TE Trey McBride (Colorado St.) – Could sneak into the first round thanks to 4.56 speed and the dearth of talent at this position.
OT Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa) – Physical player who probably won’t make it to 22 after running under 4.9 at 325 pounds.
OT Bernhard Raimann (Central Michigan) – Former tight end has good feet, but he could slip out of round 1 due to his age (25).
OT Tyler Smith (Tulsa) – Might not be ready to start for a year or two, but his ceiling is as high as any O-lineman in the draft.
DL Logan Hall (Houston) – Projects as a high-end starting 5-technique, and there are very few of them in this or any draft.
DL Travis Jones (Connecticut) – Probably should’ve been more productive in college, but he ran 4.93 at almost 330 pounds.
DL Devonte Wyatt (Georgia) – Overshadowed at Georgia, but he stole the spotlight at the Combine by running 4.77 at 305 pounds.
ED Arnold Ebiketie (Penn St.) – Raw rusher who’s only been playing football since the 11th grade, so there’s plenty of upside.
ED Drake Jackson (USC) – Fast rising natural pass rusher who’s been flying up draft boards the past two or three weeks.
ED Boye Mafe (Minnesota) – Flashes Rashan Gary-type skills at times, but he needs to be more consistent from down to down.
LB Quay Walker (Georgia) – Still raw, but he’s a 3-down linebacker whose skill set will remind you of DeVondre Campbell.
CB Kaiir Elam (Florida) – Needs to work on technique, but his mix of size, speed, and physicality could sneak him into round 1.
DB Lewis Cine (Georgia) – Very physical player whose stock began to skyrocket after he ran a surprising 4.35 at the Combine.
DB Dax Hill (Michigan) – Probably a slightly better prospect than Darnell Savage, who went 21st overall to the Packers in 2019.
ROUNDS 2 & 3
LB Oren Burks (2018)
CB Josh Jackson (2018)
OL Elgton Jenkins (2019)
TE Jace Sternberger (2019)
RB A.J. Dillon (2020)
TE Josiah Deguara (2020)
OL Josh Myers (2021)
WR Amari Rodgers (2021)
If Gutekunst had a tendency to go for the head cheerleader in round 1 of his first four drafts, he mostly had eyes for the debate team captain in rounds 2 and 3. Jackson, Jenkins, Sternberger, Deguara, Myers, and Rodgers certainly didn’t wow anybody at their respective Combines and/or pro days, but all six players enjoyed very productive final seasons in college. Based on that criteria, here are some of the players who could find themselves on Gutekunst’s radar come Friday night:
RB Isaiah Spiller (Texas A&M) – Similar to Jamaal Williams in that he does everything pretty well, but there’s no wow factor.
WR David Bell (Purdue) – Slow 40 (4.65) will drop him a round or two, but he’ll figure out ways to make plays at the next level.
WR John Metchie III (Alabama) – Not real flashy, but he’ll enjoy a better career than some of the receivers picked higher.
WR Jalen Tolbert (South Alabama) – Has the versatility to line up either outside or in the slot, and he plays faster than 4.53.
TE Greg Dulcich (UCLA) – Similar to Robert Tonyan, but he blocks a little better and is more of a threat down the field.
TE Charlie Kolar (Iowa St.) – Above-average athlete who uses his big body (6-6, 250) and big brain to find openings in a zone.
OT Joshua Ezeudu (North Carolina) – Poor man’s Elgton Jenkins who started games at three different positions in college.
OG Luke Goedeke (Central Michigan) – Won’t go as high as former teammate Raimann, but I actually liked his tape better.
OT Nicholas Petit-Frere (Ohio St.) – Terrible game vs. Michigan dropped his stock, but he should be a solid starter at right tackle.
OL Sean Rhyan (UCLA) – Physical player who started at left tackle, but he projects to right tackle or guard at the next level.
ED Josh Paschal (Kentucky) – Better football player than athlete, so he’ll need to find the perfect fit to maximize his potential.
ED Cameron Thomas (San Diego St.) – Not the greatest athlete in the world, but he plays hard and finds a way to be productive.
DL Zach Carter (Florida) – Probably won’t be a star at the next level, but he should be a solid starting 5-technique in a 3-4.
DL Perrion Winfrey (Oklahoma) – College nose tackle who’d project as a defensive end and dime pass rusher with the Packers.
LB Brian Asamoah (Oklahoma) – Lacks ideal size (6-0, 225) and speed (4.65), but he plays bigger and looks smooth in space.
LB Darrian Beavers (Cincinnati) – Decent athlete who made a lot of plays in college and will make a lot of plays in the NFL.
CB Kyler Gordon (Washington) – Ran much slower (4.58) than Kevin King (4.43), but he was a better player for the Huskies.
CB Roger McCreary (Auburn) – Not a great athlete, but he’s a physical player who should settle in as a solid No. 2 in the NFL
CB Damarri Mathis (Pittsburgh) – Not sure if he’s a corner or safety at the next level, but he’s competitive and very fast (4.39).
DB Kerby Joseph (Illinois) – Played some at wide receiver before focusing on defense last season, and he kept getting better.
LB Kendall Donnerson (2018)
DE Kingsley Keke (2019)
CB Ka’dar Hollman (2019)
DE James Looney (2018)
WR J’Mon Moore (2018)
WR Equanimeous St. Brown (2018)
LB Ty Summers (2019)
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (2018)
RB Dexter Williams (2019)
DB Vernon Scott (2020)
LB Jonathan Garvin (2020)
DT T.J. Slaton (2021)
CB Shemar Jean-Charles (2021)
LB Isaiah McDuffie (2021)
RB Kylin Hill (2021)
Of the 15 non-offensive linemen selected by Gutekunst on day 3, 10 ran 40s that were faster than the average at their positions (inside linebacker Kamal Martin was recovering from knee surgery and couldn’t run at the Combine or his pro day). In fact, most ran times that were much faster. Moore, Williams, Garvin, Jean-Charles, and Hill were the lone exceptions. Based on that criteria, here are some very speedy players who could find themselves Packers by the end of Saturday:
QB EJ Perry (Brown/4.65)
RB Trestan Ebner (Baylor/4.43)
RB Pierre Strong (Louisville/4.45)
RB Zamir White (Georgia/4.40)
RB Master Teague III (Ohio St./4.44)
WR Kevin Austin Jr. (Notre Dame/4.43)
WR Velus Jones Jr. (Tennessee/4.31)
WR Bo Melton (Rutgers/4.34)
WR Tyquan Thornton (Baylor/4.28)
TE Chigoziem Okonkwo (Maryland/4.52)
TE Armani Rogers (Ohio/4.58)
ED Amare Barno (Virginia Tech/4.36)
ED Carson Wells (Colorado/4.59)
DL Matthew Butler (Tennessee/4.98)
DL Eric Johnson (Missouri St./4.86)
LB Jake Hummel (Iowa St./4.50)
LB Kyron Johnson (Kansas/4.40)
LB Brandon Smith (Penn St./4.53)
CB Kalon Barnes (Baylor/4.23)
CB Tariq Castro-Fields (Penn St./4.38)
CB Kari Vincent Jr. (LSU/4.38)
CB Jaylen Watson (Washington St./4.48)
DB Dane Belton (Iowa/4.43)
DB Alontae Taylor (Tennessee/4.36)
DB Delarrin Turner-Yell (Oklahoma/4.47)