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By Mark Daniels
The Green Bay Packers had 10 picks going in, they have eight coming out of the 2019 NFL draft.
General Manager Brian Gutekunst gutted his two picks in the 4th round to climb up higher in the first to ensure their top rated safety didn’t get away.
Here are my thoughts on each selection.
Round 1 (12th overall)
Rashan Gary DE/LB Michigan
This guy better hit. First round nightmares are haunting the franchise. The number of first round picks on the roster before this weekend was four. Aaron Rodgers, Bryan Bulaga, Kenny Clark and Jaire Alexander and two of those four are still really young. First round picks not on the roster are Justin Harrell, Nick Perry, Datone Jones, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Damarious Randall, all taken since 2011.
Gary has been the biggest, fastest kid on the team since he was in grade school and at times, played like it. Eye popping athlete for his size but an “I’m the best one out here” attitude got him out of Michigan but it could run a coach or GM out of the NFL.
He has to deliver.
Round 1 (#21)
Darnell Savage Jr. S Maryland
Centerfield speed (sub 4.4) and a willingness to hit. Packers paid a steep price to climb 9 spots to get him. The 4th round has harvested plenty of excellent players in recent years (Sitton, Lang, Bakhtiari, Martinez). I like his game and he’s put Josh Jones on notice. Look for him to start alongside Adrian Amos this fall.
Round 2 (#44)
Elgton Jenkins OL Mississippi State
There’s the beef. The Packers offensive line depth has been exposed over the past couple of years. Don’t believe me? Ask Aaron Rodgers who has had his collarbone snapped and leg cracked in the past two years as the OLine shuffle has gone to cover for injuries. Jenkins will get a very good look at right guard to start and he just might stay there.
Round 3 (#75)
Jace Sternberger TE Texas A&M
A tall, smooth running target that can learn from two decorated veterans. Got lost in the shuffle going from Kansas to a Juco before having the one, big year with the Aggies but at least the Packers got younger at a position they needed to.
Round 5 (#150)
Kingsley Keke DL Texas A&M
Can never have enough bigs to push the starters and second teamers. Keke plugged the middle for year, lost a ton of weight and played defensive end where he piled up 7 sacks last season. He’ll push Dean Lowrey, Montravious Adams and Tyler Lancaster hard in camp.
Round 6 (#185)
Ka’Dar Hollman CB Toledo
More speed (4.34 at pro day) and a great story. No chance out of high school, working at a bread company and loading Dunkin’ Donut trucks while writing letters to colleges finally got him a call at Toledo. After sitting two years, finally got a shot to play and hasn’t looked back. In the pass happy era of the NFL, the more cover corners the merrier.
Round 6 (#194)
Dexter Williams RB Notre Dame
A drug suspension dropped him like a rock even though he led the Irish in rushing with 941 yards in nine games. Williams with strong support from his ailing mom (who he had move to South Bend and will to Green Bay), said he’s learned from the mistake and the Packers aren’t concerned. If he doesn’t make anymore, there may be a spot behind Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones for him.
Round 7 (#226)
Ty Summers LB TCU
Had a torn labrum in both shoulders that required surgery early in his college career but now doesn’t even play with a harness. Manned the middle in the Horned Frog 4-2-5 alignment until he was asked to play a little defensive end. Big time high school quarterback who loves the chess game of being across the line of scrimmage from one.