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Green Bay Packers May Scouting Report
Mike Hankes

I wonder if it is any coincidence that mental health awareness month (May) follows the NFL draft. In any event, this is the post draft report no matter how much mental strain it caused. I will take it by position after a few brief comments and see where this might all be heading. The Packers had 11 picks going into the draft and ended up with 13 players – thanks to trading down twice in the 2 second. What we know on offense this year is that QB Jordan Love is the starter, the 2 main running backs are RB Aaron Jones and RB Corey Dillion, and the two "incumbent" receivers are WR Christian Watson and WR Romeo Doubs. Everything else is up for grabs at this point – from our view point. It is likely a whole lot less confusing within the Packer organization.


At the quarterback position – as I stated QB Jordan Love is the starter. And the backup is QB Danny Etling. The Packers added to the group with the 149th pick overall in the 5th round, drafting QB Sean Clifford – Penn State, 6-2, 217. Clifford is Penn State career leading passer in school history with 10,661 yards and 86 TDs and the teams 4 year offensive captain. He also beat fellow draft pick QB Will Levis (who as Kentucky’s quarterback, was drafted ahead of Clifford) for the Penn State quarterback job. Clifford will need to learn the offense and its nuances. So he won’t be pushing for any regular season playing this season. Also, no undrafted free agents were signed.


At running back, in addition to; RB Aaron Jones, RB AJ Dillion, RB Patrick Taylor, and RB Tyler Goodson, with the 235th pick overall in the 7th round drafted RB Lew Nichols, Central Michigan – 5-11, 220. We will have to see if he is competition for Taylor, or a replacement for Dillion after this year. The Packers added a true full back, UDFA FB Henry Pearson, Appalachian State, 6-2, 249. It isn’t clear to me how he fits, but some have listed him as a tight end – maybe that is where he fits.


At tight end, the Packers have; TE Josiah Deguara, TE Tyler Davis, TE Nick Guggemos, and TE Austin Allen on the roster. I suggested that they would draft two. They did not disappoint. With the 42nd overall pick in the second round, the Packers drafted TE Luke Musgrave, Oregon State – 6-6, 250. And with the 78th overall pick in the third round, the Packers drafted TE Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State – 6-5, 255. UDFA TE Camren McDonald, Florida State, 6-4, 237, actually looked pretty good on tape. Camren looks like a good pass catcher. But the two draft picks, although different in body styles, are well rounded tight ends. And although the sample size is small, Deguara catches a much higher percentage of passes from Love than he did from Rodgers. All we can say right now is that there is a lot of competition at the position.


At wide receiver, the Packers have WR Christian Watson, WR Romeo Doubs, WR Samori Toure, WR Bo Melton, and WR Jeff Cotton on the roster. The Packers took 3 this year. With the 50th overall pick in the second round, the Packers drafted WR Jaylen Reed, Michigan State – 6-1, 185. With the 159th overall pick in the fifth round, the Packers drafted WR Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia – 6-1, 206. And with the 256th overall pick in the seventh round, the Packers drafted WR Grant DuBose, Charlotte – 6-3, 200. All three are somewhat different receiving types. Reed had about the same combine numbers as WR Randall Cobb had, but he is a little taller and faster – he gets separation with speed. Wicks wins with route running and moves. DuBose is taller and wins with toughness. We will see how it shakes out. There were 2 UDFAs. WR Malik Heath, Mississippi State, 6-2, 213, and WR Duce Watts, Tulane, 6-1, 196. The video I saw of Watts was impressive.


Next is the offensive line group. Last time I indicated I didn’t think the Packers had a problem here – and there were no draft picks. There were 2 UDFAs. OG Chuck Filiaga, Minnesota, 6-6, 321, and OT Kadeem Telfort, UAB, 6-7, 322. I don’t have any hope for either of them.


On the defensive line the roster now consists of DL Kenny Clark, DL TJ Slaton, DL Devonte Wyatt, DL Jonathan Ford, and DL Chris Slayton. The Packers drafted two. With the 116th overall pick in the fourth round, the Packers drafted DL Colby Wooden, Auburn – 6-5, 284. And with the 179th overall pick in the sixth round, the Packers drafted DL Karl Brooks, Bowling Green – 6-4, 300. Both have ‘inside out’ versatility and specialize as pass rushers. UDFA DL Jason Lewan, Illinois State, 6-6, 293 was added also.


At inside linebacker they have ILB De’Vondre Campbell, ILB Quay Walker, and ILB Isaiah McDuffie and ILB Eric Wilson. There were no draft picks here. There was one UDFA added, LB Jimmy Phillips Jr, SMU, 6-1, 232. I know nothing about him.


At outside linebacker they have OLB Preston Smith, OLB Rashan Gary, OLB Kingsley Enagbare, OLB Jonathan Garvin, OLB La’Darius Hamilton, and OLB Justin Hollins. The Packers added one. With the 13th overall pick in the first round, the Packers drafted OLB Lukas Van Ness, Iowa – 6-5, 274. Along with the 2 defensive line picks maybe the Packers are looking to increase their Pass rush. There were two undrafted free agents: LB Keshawn Banks, San Diego State, 6-3, 251; and LB Brenton Cox, Florida, 6-4, 250. There has been some buzz about the Packers getting Cox, but I have yet to watch tape on him.


At cornerback they have CB Jaira Alexander, CB Eric Stokes, CB Rasul Douglas, CB Shemar Jean-Charles, CB Kiondre Thomas, CB Tyrell Ford, CB Benjie Franklin, CB Keisean Nixon, and CB Corey Ballentine. The Packers took one. With the 232nd overall pick in the seventh round, the Packers drafted CB Carrington Valentine, Kentucky – 6-0, 194.


At safety they have S Darnell Savage, S Innis Gaines, S Tarq Carpenter, S James Wiggins, S Dailin Leavitt, and S Rudy Ford. The Packers added one. With the 242nd overall pick in the seventh round, the Packers drafted S Anthony Johnson Jr, Iowa State – 6-0, 207. The drafted cornerback and safety look a lot like the same player on tape. Valentine played primarily corner back, while Johnson played multiple defensive back positions. Then they added UDFA S Christian Morgan, Baylor, 6-0, 200, and UDFA S Benny Sapp, Northern Iowa, 5-11, 200. Sapp is a big hitter on tape.


On special teams, with the 207th overall pick in the sixth round, the Packers drafted PK Anders Carlson, Auburn – 6-5, 220. Reports show he has a big leg, but is inconsistent beyond the 45 yard line. 90+ percent inside the 45, 70+ percent beyond the 45. Sorry, I don’t remember the exact numbers. Sounds like Crosby when he was young – but he got over it and perhaps so will Carlson. Nothing else changed on special teams.


Conclusion: Did anyone notice that the 3rd & 4th rounds could be called "the cheese" rounds? They drafted a guy named "Kraft" in the 3rd and a guy named "Colby" in the 4th. That amounts to 13 draft picks plus 12 UDFAs = 25 new players. How much of this changes anything remains to be seen. K Mason Crosby and S Adrian Amos remain in the wings should GB need them. TE Mercedes Lewis remains signed as well. Some Packer players want Lewis back. If he (at 38) no longer wishes to play, maybe they could bring him in to help tutor the young tight ends. Technically all three are free agents since free agency is over. If it were my fantasy draft today, I would consider drafting QB Jordan Love as a backup, RB Aaron Jones – the offense will still go thru the running backs, WR Christian Watson and WR Romeo Doubs – they should get the majority of wide receiver passes. Perhaps start Watson, and draft Doubs as a backup. Time will tell how much impact Reed will have. In Green Bay, the jury always seems to be out on the tight end, kicker, and defense – and for me that hasn’t changed. The Packer roster stands at 88 players – 90 is allowed. The roster has only 3 guys who are over 30 years old. A lot can happen between now and the time they will have to cut 35 guys (16 of whom could end up on the practice squad). With all these young players hopefully things go well. What could go wrong? Until next month…



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