The Green Bay Packers have plenty of defensive problems to be worried about entering the 2017 season. They also struggled to find a true running back last season, as they were forced to convert WR Ty Montgomery. Many fans were excited to see who the team would select with their first round pick in the NFL Draft, which held the first of its three days last night.
The team was expected to adress defense first and foremost though, with the most obvious holes coming at corner, where the Packers were torched all year long, as well as on the defensive line. To fill the gap, cornerbacks like Adoree Jackson of USC, Marlon Humphrey of Alabama, Gareon Conley of Ohio State and Kevin King of Washington were rumored targets for Green Bay. As for the pass rush, there had been a lot of noise about selecting former Badger linebacker T.J. Watt if he remained available at pick #29.
But as draft night proceeded, Green Bay must have noticed many of the big name corners they had been hoping for getting drafted ahead of them. In a surprising move, the team opted to trade away the 29th overall pick to the Cleveland Browns to get the first pick of the second round, 33rd overall and a fourth round pick, 108th overall.
While the 29th pick for Cleveland turned into David Njoku, a tight end from University of Miami, Green Bay sat and waited for the first pick on Day Two. Trading down four spots and receiving a bonus fourth round pick could certainly pay off for Green Bay, but only time will tell. Seeing another player they had their eyes on in former Badger T.J. Watt get drafted just after what could have been their pick may be a disappointment to management, but only they know who the team would have actually taken.
Watt was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers immediately after what would have been Green Bay’s pick at 30th overall, and will join his brothers Derek (Los Angeles Chargers) and J.J. (Houston Texans) in the AFC.
Green Bay could still select a stud corner tomorrow with Kevin King of Washington still available. Also, the team could opt for improving depth in the backfield with Florida State’s speedster running back Dalvin Cook still on the board as well.
Green Bay has eight remaining picks in the draft, three of which will come tonight… if they hold on to them. General manager Ted Thompson is reportedly open to continuing to make trades as the draft moves forward.
“We have the first pick tomorrow and the first pick on Saturday… for now,” said Thompson.
Only time will tell what the Packers do in the draft over the next few days. Regardless of who the team takes, it will be great to add young talent and look to build off of last year’s appearance in the NFC Championship game.