Green Bay Packers Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Solid Starter

Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn – Round 3
The Packers moved on from Datone Jones this offseason, so adding some more defensive line talent in the early rounds made sense. The 6-foot-3, 308-pound Adams has a first-round skill set with tons of ability to beat NFL offensive linemen. He could end up being a steal for Green Bay as a third-round pick.

In the pass rush, Adams is dangerous. He is a fast defender at the point of attack with the ability to fire his gap. Adams uses strength to push off blocks and can close in an instant on the quarterback. Adams has the burst to fire by guards into the backfield and the power to bull rush through linemen. He has natural build to manhandle offensive linemen and toss them to the side. Adams was very consistent at winning his one-on-ones at the Senior Bowl and was good all week.

Adams’ run defense needs to improve for the NFL. He struggled playing a two-gap technique in 2015, and his run defense looks best when he fires his gap to get upfield. Scouting sources had this to say about Adams, “Can physically do what he wants but his block ID is poor, gets earholes when he has to play static. Can’t anticipate what’s coming, similar to Robert Nkemdiche. Same type of ability and issues. Adams is a good character kid. He isn’t lazy, just still figuring it out.” Thus, Adams needs to develop his instincts, anticipation, and run-defense technique to be a well-balanced three-down defender.

The Packers have other talent on their defensive line to help Adams in the form of nose tackle Kenny Clark and impact-making defender Mike Daniels. Adams could form a nice trio for Green Bay in its 3-4 defense. With a lot of experience at Auburn, Adams should be able to compete quickly, and I think before long he’ll be a solid starter for the Packers.

2016: Kenny Clark, DT
2015: Damarious Randall, DB
2014: HaHa Clinton-Dix, S
2013: Datone Jones, DE

Most Likely To Bust

Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU – Round 4
There wasn’t a player who really stood out to me as having serious bust potential in the Packers’ draft class, but I could see Williams having issues with speed for the NFL. Williams is a thick, power runner who might have problems hitting the hole before it closes in the NFL.

Williams is a tough back who played well for BYU last season. He was a powerful rushing presence in 2016, averaging 5.9 yards per carry for 1,375 yards with 12 touchdowns as a senior. Williams had only seven receptions for 80 yards. The 6-foot, 211-pounder is a physical back who is capable of picking up yards after contact, but he doesn’t have great speed for the next level.

The Packers also field a passing-driven offense, but Williams has not been much of a receiver. Considering the background of starting running back Ty Montgomery, Williams could have a hard time seeing the field with his limitations in the passing game. It wouldn’t surprise me if Williams is a solid backup for Green Bay but never ends up breaking through to become a starter in the NFL.

2016: Kyler Fackrell, LB
2015: Ty Montgomery, WR
2014: Khyri Thornton, DL
2013: David Bakhtiari, OT

Potential Boom Pick

Kevin King, CB, Washington – Round 1
During the leadup to the 2017 NFL Draft, I had King regularly mocked to the Packers as it looked like a perfect fit. Green Bay needed cornerback help badly, and the team exhibits a strong preference for big cornerbacks with length. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound King is massive, yet also has good speed and athleticism. He has the potential to be a No. 1 corner for Green Bay and a potential Pro Bowler.

In pass coverage, King thrives as a bump-and-run cornerback. He is big enough to be a press-man corner who manipulates the route that receivers can run after his jam. King could use a little more strength for jamming pro receivers, but he has god-given height and length to handle big receivers. King possesses above-average athletic ability to run with receivers downfield and uses his length to help him recover. With his leaping ability and long frame, King is able to extend to break up passes and close gaps to prevent completions. For a big cornerback, King has nice ball skills to slap pass away and also will make some difficult catches. However, he does have some issues with dropped interceptions.

King doesn’t always play up to his timed speed. He is a willing tackler, but could stand to improve his tackling technique for the NFL. While he didn’t always look like a nice fit for off-man coverage in the pro game from his tape at Washington, King’s impressive combine workout helped to illustrate that he does have some potential to develop off-man skills.

For the Packers, King could compete quickly on the outside, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he becomes a positive contributor right away. With talent in the front seven to help him, King has the skill set to be a No. 1 corner, and he could become a Pro Bowler for Green Bay.

2016: Blake Martinez, LB
2015: Quinten Rollins, CB
2014: Carl Bradford, LB
2013: Eddie Lacy, RB

Future Depth Player

Vince Biegel, LB, Wisconsin – Round 4
The Packers have spent a number of mid-round picks on the inside linebacker position in recent years, and it looked like they were starting to settle that position last year. In the 2017 NFL Draft though, Green Bay added to its depth by taking Biegel in the fourth round. The 6-foot-3, 246-pounder was a strong defender for the Badgers last year. He is a tough run defender who can contribute some pass rush. Biegel may not have the speed, athleticism, and pass-coverage skills to become a starter in the NFL. Still, he could be a good backup linebacker who also contributes on special teams. Biegel should proved the Packers with some solid depth at linebacker.

2016: Dean Lowry, DE
2015: Brett Hundley, QB
2014: Jared Abbrederis, WR
2013: Johnathan Franklin, RB

Walt’s 2017 NFL Draft Grades:

33. Kevin King, CB, Washington: A Grade
There was some speculation that Kevin King could’ve gone toward the end of the first round. I had him going No. 24 to the Raiders, and I thought he was a very realistic target for the Packers in the first frame. They could’ve taken him with the 29th pick, but they moved down and still filled a need by selecting a player at very good value. King has great size and athleticism, which is exactly what Green Bay looks for.

61. Josh Jones, S, N.C. State: A Grade
Here’s another talented safety to go in the second round. Josh Jones is a very athletic player whom I had going off the board in the middle of the second round. The Packers are getting with some solid value with Jones at this juncture. He also fills a need, as Green Bay lost Micah Hyde to free agency. He’s a very nice replacement for Hyde.

93. Montravius Adams, DE/DT, Auburn: B Grade
I thought Montravius Adams was going to be chosen a bit earlier than this, as he’s an athletic, interior pass-rusher. However, he struggles to defend the run and doesn’t have a very good motor, so I’m not crazy about this pick. I think it’s fine, as he can be a decent rotational defensive lineman.

108. Vince Biegel, LB, Wisconsin: B+ Grade
Vince Biegel seems like a nice pick for the Packers. They’ve needed inside linebacker help seemingly forever, and he could finally fill that void. He could also rush the passer in a pinch. I had Biegel going around this range, so Green Bay deserves a good grade.

134. Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU: B- Grade
Jamaal Williams is not going to run away from anyone, but he’s a powerful back who could become a solid goal-line contributor in a platoon. I had Williams in the fifth round, so the range is close to being correct. However, there were other running backs I would’ve chosen over Williams, including Marlon Mack and Jeremy McNichols.

175. DeAngelo Yancey, WR, Purdue: B- Grade
DeAngelo Yancey drew a lot of interest prior to the draft, so even though I had him in the sixth round, I’m not surprised that he was taken a bit earlier. Yancey struggled with passes at Purdue, but he tested well, so there’s upside. The Packers may need a replacement for Davante Adams next year.

182. Aaron Jones, RB, UTEP: A Grade
I like this pick a lot, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Aaron Jones becomes Green Bay’s starting running back at some point. He was productive at UTEP and displayed good vision, and then he went on to test at an extremely high level during the pre-draft process. He easily could’ve been chosen much earlier than this, so I think Green Bay got a steal.

212. Kofi Amichia, G/OT, South Florida: C Grade
With several guards hitting free agency after this season, I thought the Packers would address the position earlier than this. I also thought they’d obtain a better player than Kofi Amichia. I didn’t have Amichia getting drafted, and he wasn’t on my board. He played tackle in South Florida, but will need to learn a new position in Green Bay.

238. Devante Mays, RB, Utah State: C Grade
I liked Green Bay’s other running back picks, but not this one. Devante Mays has some upside – he posted a 40.5-inch vertical – but I didn’t have him anywhere close to being drafted. The Packers could’ve gotten him as a UDFA.

247. Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU: A+ Grade
It’s crazy that Malachi Dupre dropped this far. I’ve had Dupre slotted in the third round pretty consistently, though I did move him into the fourth frame at the end. There are some separation questions with Dupre, but one thing that is for certain is that at 6-foot-3, he’s a vertical threat in the end zone. Davante Adams will be a free agent after 2017, and the Packers could have Dupre replace him in 2018.

2017 NFL Draft Team Grade: A . Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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