1-29 Kevin King/CB/Washington (6-3, 200, 4.43)
The first-round pick projection is considerably harder than it was last year. Last year it was clear that Thompson was going to look for big bodies on the defensive front, and only two players really fit the profile of how he’s drafted in the past that figured to be on the board. Those two players were Kenny Clark and Chris Jones. While there are many in the media talking about the Packers lack of a pass rush, the numbers say otherwise. The 2016 Packers finished tied for sixth in the NFL in sacks and were tied for twelfth in hurries. The Packers did lose Julius Peppers and Datone Jones, but Thompson aggressively signed Nick Perry and has two legitimate starters at outside linebacker and can back those two players up with Kyler Fackrell. I think cornerback is a far more pressing need and that’s the direction I see Thompson heading with the #29 pick. The Packer lost a good performer at nickel back in Micah Hyde and the only reinforcement that has been added is Davon House. House was so bad in Jacksonville that he was benched early in the year and only averaged a handful of defensive snaps per game over the last 3 months of the season. The rumors this morning are that Thompson loves T.J. Watt. While the Watt pick makes sense, I think Thompson will just have too many quality options at cornerback where he won’t move off that position.
And that’s what makes projecting the pick difficult. Marlon Humphrey/Alabama, TreDavious White/Louisiana State, Kevin King/Washington, Quincy Wilson/Florida and Chidobe Awuzie/Colorado all appear to be ideal candidates and as of last weekend it looked like any of these players may be available at #29. Due to the Gareon Conley situation, I think it’s safe to say that Marlon Humphrey will be one player that will move up the board and is eliminated from consideration at #29. I’d guess Thompson has Wilson stacked just below the other players due to speed (4.54 40-time). That leaves White, King and Awuzie. Thompson is known for loving size/speed players at cornerback (probably the main reason Davon House is back), and King has the height/speed (6-3, 4.43) advantage over White (5-11 ¼, 4.47). One thing that is interesting is that in the last couple of weeks many draftniks have reclassified Awuzie as a safety. Even though King also has a safety background, he seems safer to stick at cornerback. And getting into splitting hairs territory, Awuzie has solid but not great height (5-11 7/8) his vertical is only average (34 ½) and his arms are short (30 5/8), all of which creates a bit of uncertainty as to how he will handle bigger receivers on the outside.
I’m thinking chances are just about 50/50 that King is available at #29. If he is, I think he’ll be the Packer’s pick. If he’s not, I’d project Thompson’s choices in order would be TreDavious White/CB/Louisiana State, Chidobe Awuzie/Colorado, T.J. Watt/OLB/Wisconsin, Jordan Willis/OLB/Kansas State, Quincy Wilson/CB/Florida. And if Marlon Humphrey somehow slips to #29, Thompson takes him ahead of all the other mentioned players.
2016 stats = 14 games played, 44 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 13 pass breakups
2015 stats = 11 games played, 39 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 5 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovery, 1 forced fumble
Combine numbers = 6-3, 200, arm length = 32, hand size = 9 ½, 40 time = 4.43, reps at 225 = 11, vertical = 39.5, 20 shuttle = 3.89, 60 shuttle = 11.14, 3-cone = 6.56
Arrived at Washington in 2013 and did not redshirt. Played safety in 2013 and 2014 and moved to cornerback beginning in 2015. Missed three games in 2013 with a torn labrum and missed three games in 2015 due to a quad injury and concussion. No other major injuries. Started 8 games in 2015 and 14 games in 2016. Big, athletic guy that is surprisingly agile considering his height and can stay glued to receivers down the field. Should be much more physical considering his size. Willing but not an aggressive tackler. More of an “athlete” than “football player” at this point in time that was dramatically helped by his performance in Indianapolis. Was ranked #86 on the consensus board just prior to the combine and currently ranks #40. To my knowledge, there are no character concerns associated with this player.
2-61 Duke Riley/ILB/Louisiana State (6-0 ½, 232, 4.58)
As has become a common sight over the last few seasons, the Packers get to a playoff game against a team with a high-octane passing game and the inside linebacker proves to be a huge liability. There is no question that the Packers simply need to get faster at this position. Thompson will be likely looking at ILB, RB, OLB, OL with this pick but with Riley finally finds a player that can bring some needed speed to the ILB position.
2016 stats = 12 games played, 93 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 pass breakup, 1 fumble recovery
2015 stats = 12 games played, 24 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss
Combine numbers = 6-0 ½, 232, arm length = 32 7/8, hand size = 9 ¼, 40 time = 4.58, reps at 225 = 18, vertical = 34.5, broad jump = 10’2”, 20 shuttle = 4.21, 3-cone = 6.89
Only a one year starter. Experienced in 3-4 defense. Excellent athlete that shows good range on the field. Plus-player when dropping into zone coverage. Slow reactor against the run. Can run sideline to sideline but will often over-run the play. Extensive special teams experience. No injury or character concerns that I am aware of. Was ranked #114 on the pre-combine consensus board and is ranked #83 on the current consensus board.
Other solid possibilities at #61 = Ryan Anderson/OLB/Alabama, Chris Godwin/WR/Penn State, Cordrea Tankersley/CB/Clemson, Fabian Moreau/CB/UCLA
3-93 D’Onta Foreman/RB/Texas (6-0 ¼, 233, 4.45)
After the Texas pro day it looked pretty certain that Foreman would be picked in round two. As recent as a couple days ago I didn’t think there was any possibility that Foreman would make it to pick #93. However, the latest information seems to point to Foreman being available with this pick. McGinn does not have him included in his top 100 prospects (and he has 8 running backs listed) and neither does Mike Mayock. And even on lists where Foreman is ranked higher than #93, it’s not high enough to convince me that he’ll be gone by #93 (an example being Gil Brandt who has him at #88).
2016 stats = 11 games played, 323 carries, 2028 rushing yards, 15 rushing touchdowns // 7 catches, 75 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
2015 = 10 games played, 95 carries, 681 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns // 5 catches, 64 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
Combine numbers = 6-0 ¼, 233, arm length = 31 3/8, hand size = 10 1/8, 40 time = 4.45, reps at 225 = 18, vertical = 33, broad jump = 10’0”, 20 shuttle = 4.26, 3 cone = 7.21 (40 time, vertical, broad jump, 20 shuttle and 3 cone all from pro day workout)
One year starter. Missed two games in 2014 with a hand injury and missed two games in 2015 with a finger injury. Did not work out at the combine due to a left foot injury. Big back with speed and balance. Didn’t catch the ball much at Texas and reports indicated he did not catch the ball well in workouts. A known fumbler, fumbled about once in every 50 touches (average for running backs in this class is approximately 1 fumble per 88 touches). Mixed reports on his blocking. Huge upside potential but was just a one-year wonder at Texas. No character concerns that I am aware of. Was ranked #102 on the pre-combine consensus board and is ranked #100 on the current consensus board.
Other solid possibilities at #93 = Larry Ogunjobi/DT/North Carolina-Charlotte, Chad Hansen/WR/California, Shaquill Griffin/CB/Central Florida, Trey Henderickson/OLB/Florida Atlantic, Vince Biegel/OLB/Wisconsin
4-134 Adam Bisnowaty/OG/Pittsburgh (6-5 5/8, 304, 5.23)
Thompson got away from his usual offensive line type (rugged trench battler with left tackle experience) with the Spriggs pick last year, but I’m guessing he’ll probably go back to it this year. Bisnowaty was once thought of as a late third rounder but his stock really tumbled because he did not look good at tackle during the Senior Bowl week. However, reports indicated he did look good when he was playing guard and that’s how I think Thompson will view him, as a guard prospect first that could play some tackle if required.
Combine numbers = 6-5 5/8, 304, arm length = 33 7/8, hand size = 11 3/8, 40 time = 5.23, reps at 225 = 23, vertical = 29.5, broad jump = 8’0”, 20 shuttle = 4.94, 3 cone = 8.02
43 game starter at left tackle. History of nagging injuries (missed 4 games in 2013 due to a back injury, missed games in 2014 and 2015 with a high ankle sprain). Average to below-average athlete. Tough, aggressive and very intelligent. Matches up against power but can be over-matched with speed. Served a one-game suspension in 2014 (disciplinary, no further explanation was given). Was ranked #108 on the pre-combine consensus board and is ranked #173 on the current consensus board.
Other solid possibilities at #134 = Julie’n Davenport/OT/Bucknell, Jehu Chesson/WR/Michigan
5-172 Robert Davis/WR/Georgia State (6-2 5/8, 219, 4.44)
The wide receiver pick that Thompson makes every year.
2016 stats = 12 games played, 67 catches, 968 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdowns
2015 stats = 13 games played, 61 catches, 980 receiving yards, 6 receiving touchdowns
Combine numbers = 6-2 5/8, 219, arm length = 33, hand size = 9 5/8, 40 time = 4.44, reps at 225 = 19, vertical = 41, broad jump = 11’4”, 20 shuttle = 4.28, 60 shuttle = 11.48, 3 cone = 6.82
4-year starter. Great size and speed. Good at tracking the ball in the air and making plays down the sidelines. Route running needs work and isn’t an elusive player with the ball in his hands. Excellent across-the-board performance at the combine. Will play through nagging injuries. No significant injury or character concerns that I am aware of (father is a sheriff and mother is a deputy warden according to Nawrocki’s book). Not ranked on pre-combine consensus board, ranked at #224 on current consensus board.
Possible alternative at #172 = Avery Gennesy/OG/Texas A&M
5-182 Brendan Langley/CB/Lamar (6-0 3/8, 201, 4.43)
Developmental value pick. Considering all the issues the Packers had at cornerback last year they will keep at least six and Langley would make six.
2016 stats = 11 games played, 43 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions, 7 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble // 3 kickoff returns, 24.3 yard kickoff return average // 21 punt returns, 11.7 yard punt return average, 2 punt return touchdowns
2015 stats = 11 games played, 21 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 11 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovery // 4 catches, 51 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Combine numbers = 6-0 3/8, 201, arm length = 32, hand size = 9 ½, 40 time = 4.43, reps at 225 = 22, vertical = 35.5, broad jump = 10’3”, 20 shuttle = 4.21, 60 shuttle = 11.19, 3 cone = 7.06
Played at Georgia in 2013 and 2014. Transferred to Lamar. Played at wide receiver and cornerback in 2015. Moved to defense full-time and started 11 games at cornerback in 2016. Big, fast, tough and physical. Good hands and is aggressive at making plays on the ball. Was great as a punt returner in 2016. Looked dominant at a lower level of competition. However, he struggled badly during Senior Bowl week. Sloppy technique and required a good amount of “coaching up.” No major injury or character concerns that I am aware of. Not ranked on pre-combine consensus board, ranked #195 on current consensus board.
Possible alternative at #182 = Harvey Langi/ILB/Brigham Young
6-212 Pita Taumoepenu/OLB/Utah (6-1 ¼, 243, 4.67)
Thompson would like to take an OLB earlier than this, but the value just wasn’t there. There were some possibilities such as Ryan Anderson at #61, Trey Henderickson or Vince Biegel at #93, but I just felt that Thompson would like the projected picks more in those areas of the draft. I’m projecting a Taumoepenu pick here and the Packers would pick him as an outside linebacker, although in the long run I suspect he might fit best as an inside linebacker.
2016 stats = 13 games played, 41 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 3 forced fumbles
2015 stats = 13 games, 9 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Combine numbers = 6-1 ¼, 243, arm length = 32 3/8, hand size = 9 7/8, 40 time = 4.67, reps at 225 = 24, vertical = 28.5, broad jump = 9’4”, 20 shuttle = 4.33, 3 cone = 6.91
Defensive end/pass-rush specialist at Utah. Only started 7 games during his college career. Spent part of his high school years in Tonga and got a late start playing football. Excellent athlete with explosive ability. Fast and agile. Lacks size and strength. Very much an athletic project, could take time to fit into a defense but may be able to contribute to special teams immediately. Nawrocki notes that English is his second language, and the language barrier could slow his development. No major injury or character concerns that I am aware of. Not ranked on the pre-combine consensus board or the current consensus board.
Possible alternative at #212 = Ifeadi Odenigbo/OLB/Northwestern
7-247 Kai Nacua/S/Brigham Young (6-0 ¾, 205, 4.49)
2016 stats = 13 games played, 48 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions, 1 pass breakup, 1 fumble recovery, 1 forced fumble
2015 stats = 12 games played, 66 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 6 interceptions, 6 pass breakups
Pro day numbers = 6-0 ¾, 205, 40 time = 4.49, reps at 225 = 15, vertical = 39, broad jump = 10’7”, 20 shuttle = 4.14, 3 cone = 6.87
Two-year starter for Brigham Young. Playmaker with 14 career interceptions. Thorpe Award semi-finalist in 2016. Free safety that can play deep but is not afraid to come up and be physical. Excellent pro day numbers. No character issues off the field, but was involved in an all-out brawl at the end of the 2014 Miami Beach Bowl and was caught on camera striking another player in the back of the head. No major injury concerns. Not ranked on the pre-combine consensus board or the current consensus board.
Possible alternative at #247 = Chuck Clark/S/Virginia Tech, Aaron Jones/RB/Texas-El Paso