With the first draft in the post-Mike McCarthy era, the Packers continued to bolster their defense in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft Thursday evening in Nashville.
After signing Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Adrian Amos in the offseason, the Packers used their 12th pick on the two-time first-team All-Big Ten defensive end out of Michigan, Rashan Gary.
Gary was the number one recruit coming out of high school in 2016, but the knock on him coming out of Michigan was that he never lived up to his potential—he finished with 9.5 sacks and 119 total tackles in three years in Ann Arbor.
Physically, however, Gary has the ideal defensive end physique—at 6’5”, 280, with 4.58 40 speed, he has the potential to impose his will on every play, and he showed glimpses of that potential while playing for the Wolverines.
There is certainly risk to this pick for Green Bay, but if Gary can unlock his motor down after down, Gutekunst will have found himself a future star.
The Packers will also pick 30th from their trade with the Saints in the 2018 NFL Draft.