2018 NFL Draft: Green Bay Packers picks
The Green Bay Packers entered the NFL draft April 26-28 with 12 picks, including four compensatory picks and an extra seventh-rounder they obtained in a 2016 trade with the Buffalo Bills.
After a handful of trades up and down the board, Brian Gutekunst, in his first draft as the Packers' GM, ended up selecting 11 players, including five on defense, four on offense and two on special teams.
Here is a look at the Packers' picks by round. For complete NFL draft pick-by-pick updates, click here.
ROUND 1: No. 14 overall (trade with Saints)
THE TRADE: The Packers traded back from the No. 14 pick and received a first-round pick in 2019 for the No. 27 overall pick this year and a fifth-round pick (147).
QUICK TAKE (Tom Silverstein): Getting a first-round pick is a pretty big deal. But I'm really surprised (Packers GM Brian) Gutekunst didn't stick around to take (linebacker Tremaine) Edmunds. It's possible he knows that 2019 is a great draft. The Saints definitely paid a premium, but I'm shocked he passed up on (safety Derwin) James and Edmunds... This is what a scout just told me about the trade: "I’m a scout I love picks lol. Both are really good players but we all love picks. It’s risky for sure."
ROUND 1: No. 18 (trade with Seahawks)
THE PICK: JAIRE ALEXANDER, CB, LOUISVILLE
AGE: 21 HT: 5-10 1/4 WT: 196 40-yard dash: 4.38 HOMETOWN: Charlotte, N.C.
LOWDOWN: An instinctive corner with the ability to anticipate routes and the quickness to close on throws and make plays on the ball. His 2017 tape was uneven due to issues with a sprained knee, which could raise concerns over his durability because of his slender build. He played in only six games, starting five. Finished with 19 tackles and one interception. Had seven career interceptions in three seasons along with 15 pass breakups. Had 58 solo tackles and 19 assists. When healthy, he has the potential to become a second cornerback, but teams may view him as a full-time nickel corner who’s able to avoid the rigors of excessive run support. “I probably played 70 percent snaps at corner and 30 percent at nickel,” Alexander said. “I feel like I can play anywhere on the field. I look forward to doing both.” Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds at the combine. Had a 35-inch vertical and got 14 reps on the bench press. Also could add value returning punts. “He is going to be a guy who is really going to help us on the field,” said Jon-Eric Sullivan, the Packers’ director of college scouting. “We think he’s versatile. He can run. He’s a 4.3 guy. He’s got really good twitch and lateral agility. We think he can play inside. He is competitive and can tackle you. He can play both inside and outside. He is going to have to come in here and compete like they all do and get in there with the group we have now.” (Draft data via NFL.com)
THE TRADE: The Packers traded the No. 27 pick (first round) and gave up a third (76) and a sixth (186) to move up nine spots to No. 18. They also received No. 248 (seventh round).
QUICK TAKE: It was obvious the Pack wanted corner help when they made an offer for Chicago's Kyle Fuller earlier this off-season, which the Bears matched. Alexander should form a nice young duo with Kevin King, last year's Round 2 pick, though he struggled as a rookie. Injuries limited Alexander in 2017, but he picked off five passes two years ago. His return skills are a bonus. (Nate Davis, USA TODAY)
PRE-DRAFT ANALYSIS: Something of a forgotten man in 2017 after missing about half the season with knee and hand injuries, he put himself squarely back into the conversation of the draft's top corners with a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the combine and a smooth run in position drills. Alexander has the tools to thrive on the outside, but he might make a living in the slot given his penchant for shutting down underneath passes. (Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY)
THE TAKE FROM LOUISVILLE: Packers take Alexander with No. 18 pick (Louisville Courier Journal)
ROUND 1: No. 27 (from Saints, traded to Seahawks)
ROUND 2: No. 45
THE PICK: JOSH JACKSON, CB, IOWA
AGE: 22 HT: 6-0 3/8 WT: 196 40-yard dash: 4.56 HOMETOWN: Corinth, Texas
LOWDOWN: Jackson was a ballhawk for the Hawkeyes who led the nation with eight interceptions last season. He also was tops in the country with 26 passes defensed. Two of those interceptions came against the Wisconsin Badgers and both were returned for touchdowns in the Badgers' 38-14 victory Nov. 11. Jackson also had three interceptions in an upset win over Ohio State. His long arms (31 1/8 inches) help with his ball skills. At 6-0 3/8, 196 pounds, Jackson also has the size to joust with receivers at the line of scrimmage. However, a 4.56 time in the 40-yard dash raised questions about how his speed would translate to the NFL. "Strong, smart and can jam you at the line of scrimmage with those long arms," Packers scout Alonzo Dotson said of Jackson. He came to Iowa as a wide receiver out of Lake Dallas (Texas) High School and redshirted in 2014. He moved from receiver to cornerback in the spring before the 2015 season. "It was the best thing for me. I thought I would be a better corner," Jackson said. Jackson was a backup for two seasons before his breakout season last year. He also finished 2017 with with 48 tackles, a forced fumble, and a blocked kick. He had a 38-inch vertical leap and put up 18 reps on the bench press. (Draft data via NFL.com).
QUICK TAKE: Green Bay continues revamping its secondary after taking Louisville corner Jaire Alexander in Round 1. Jackson picked off eight passes last year, though he doesn't have a ton of experience at corner. His ball skills might also make him a candidate to eventually play safety. Has drawn comparisons to Richard Sherman, though Jackson (6-0, 196) isn't as big. (Nate Davis, USA TODAY)
PRE-DRAFT ANALYSIS: In his first year as a starter, he established himself as a dominant defensive back with a Football Bowl Subdivision high of eight interceptions. Jackson's rare ball skills and aggressive mindset could make quarterbacks hesitate when deciding whether to throw his way. The NFL's more refined route runners could provide a challenge for Jackson, who only transitioned to corner from receiver in 2015, and his pedestrian 40-yard dash (4.56 seconds) at the combine might be a slight concern for some teams.
RELATED STORY: Packers load up at cornerback, select Iowa's Josh Jackson
THE TAKE FROM DES MOINES: What the Green Bay Packers are getting in Hawkeyes cornerback Josh Jackson (Des Moines Register)
ROUND 3: No. 76 (traded to Seahawks)
ROUND 3: No. 88 (from Panthers)
THE PICK: OREN BURKS, LB, VANDERBILT
AGE: 23 HT: 6-3 WT: 233 40-yard dash: 4.59 HOMETOWN: Fairfax Station, Va.
LOWDOWN: Started at a new position for the third straight season in 2017, starting 11 of 12 games at inside linebacker after playing hybrid linebacker-safety position in 2016. As a senior, recorded career-highs with 82 total tackles and 45 solo, both of which ranked second on the team. Had a career-high 15 tackles against Florida in September. Ranked No. 15 in the SEC in total tackles. “I felt really comfortable being off the ball,” Burks said. “I feel like my game got taken to the next level and my production went up and was able to show off my athleticism. … I’ve always felt at home at linebacker.” Played in 45 games during collegiate career, including 40 starts. After his final appearance last season, ranked as the team’s active leader in total tackles (237), solo tackles (136), tackles for loss (15.5) and interceptions (5). Was on the Butkus Award watch list and was a third-team all-conference preseason pick as a senior. Redshirted freshman season in 2013. “Oren is playing inside linebacker for us,” Packers director of pro personnel John Wojciechowski said. “Pretty versatile. Started out as a safety, played outside linebacker and then moved to inside linebacker. He’s an athlete. He’s a very well-rounded individual. … he is athletic. He is going to be able to cover the field when he’s out there.”
THE TRADE: In a trade with Carolina, the Packers moved up to No. 88 in the third round while giving the Panthers a pair of picks: No. 101 (fourth round) and No. 147 (fifth round).
QUICK TAKE: Started out as a free safety, then played a rover position and then finished as an inside linebacker. He played all over the field at Vanderbilt and had 82 tackles, including seven for loss and a sack as a senior. Another player with speed and long arms who should be able to function in various roles. Burks is that intelligent player Pettine needs to run his defense. He'll probably be a dime ILB. Used to play safety. 4.59 speed.
ROUND 4: No. 101 * (traded to Panthers)
ROUND 4: No. 133 compensatory
THE PICK: J'MON MOORE, WR, MISSOURI
AGE: 22 HT: 6-2 5/8 WT: 207, 40-yard dash: 4.49 HOMETOWN: Missouri City, Texas.
LOWDOWN: Big, physical receiver who was ultra-productive in final two college seasons. Exceeded 60 catches and 1,000 yards as junior and senior, combining for 18 touchdown receptions in the two seasons. Averaged more than 16 yards per catch each year. Benched 21 reps at combine. Followed a disappointing 4.60 40 at the combine with 4.49 at his pro day. Impressive jumping ability, his 38-inch vertical leap ranked fourth among receivers at the combine. Arms are 32 7/8 inches, hands 9 3/8 inches. I think he plays closer to what he ran at his pro day. “He plays fast,” college scouting director Jon-Eric Sullivan said. “I think we had him at 4.49 at his pro day. When you watch him come off the ball, he can close space, close the cushion. He’s got a really natural, pretty gait. We were not concerned with his play speed at all, and when he ran that 4.49 at his pro day that kind of solidified what we saw on film.” Too often hunted the big play in college, leading to issues with drops. Dropped 12 passes as a junior. Temporarily lost his starting job that season because of drops. Quickly regained job, and drops were not an issue in his senior season. “I have to learn how to humble my eyes,” Moore said. “That’s how I’ll say it. I have to learn how to humble them. Because a lot of the problems I had was, I dropped easy balls. Which you’re not supposed to drop. It’s me trying to do something with the ball before I even have it in my hands, or me trying to figure out where the ball is coming before I can get it all the way in. it’s just something I’ve had to work on, something I’ve developed and something I work on every time I go out and work on my craft. So that’s a small hiccup that I’m over.” - Ryan Wood
RELATED STORY: Moore shows he can handle adversity
ROUND 5: No. 138 *
THE PICK: COLE MADISON, OL, WASHINGTON STATE
AGE: 23 HT: 6-5 WT: 314, 40-yard dash: 5.33 HOMETOWN: Burien, Wash.
LOWDOWN: Madison is lauded for his pass-blocking skills, playing in the Cougars' spread offensive attack. He started all 47 games he appeared in at Washington State, tied for second-most in school history. Madison started 13 games at right tackle and was named to the all-Pacific 12 Conference second team in 2017. At Kennedy (Wash.) High School, he played tight end as a junior (15 receptions) before becoming a three-star prospect as an offensive tackle as a senior. He was also an all-conference basketball player in high school. "Kind of a shooting guard, that whole deal. Had a jumper," Madison said. - Ben Steele
RELATED STORY: Packers add 'mean guy' Cole Madison to OL mix
ROUND 5: No. 147 (from Saints, traded to Panthers)
ROUND 5: No. 172 compensatory
THE PICK: JK SCOTT, P, ALABAMA
AGE: 23 HT: 6-6 WT: 204 40-yard dash: 4.83 HOMETOWN: Denver
LOWDOWN: John Kimball Scott made a name for himself as a freshman in 2014, when he was chosen first-team All-American by Sporting News, ESPN and USA Today. He ended up being a two-time Ray Guy Award finalist who played in three national championship games and won two titles in 2015 and 2017. Was rated as the No. 1 punter in the nation coming out of high school by Chris Sailer, who is regarded as one of the top private kicking coaches in the nation. Scott averaged 43.1 yards per punt during his four seasons at Alabama. “I’m a two-step guy,” Scott said. “My punt, the thing people notice about me is two things – I don’t ever come off the ground. Two, I get my leg pretty high up in the air, so those are the things that make me kind of unique among the punters in the country. I don’t come off the ground because I don’t need to since my leg comes up so high. I would say I use a lot of the leverage from my legs. Having long legs helps me get a lot of leverage through the ball.” - Scott Venci
QUICK TAKE (Tom Silverstein): Scott is the second rated punter in the draft, but I don't really get this selection. At least they didn't take him in the third (B.J. Sander). Talking to Ron Zook, you always got the idea that he thought Vogel was too inconsistent. I just figured that's because he was a rookie. But they must think this kid can be a difference maker. One thing about JK Scott. He can kickoff. That could be a factor in the Packers' decision. Packers are on the clock again... let's see if it's a long snapper to go with their punter.
ROUND 5: No. 174 compensatory
THE PICK: MARQUEZ VALDES-SCANTLING, WR, SOUTH FLORIDA
AGE: 23 HT: 6-5 WT: 209 40-yard dash: 4.37 HOMETOWN: St. Petersburg, Fla.
LOWDOWN: Has good size and speed for a receiver and the ability to stretch the field. A big-play wideout, with 26.4 percent of his catches going for 25 or more yards. Likely needs to work on his route running. Played two seasons at North Carolina State before transferring, catching 44 passes for 538 yards. Started all 13 games his first season at South Florida in 2016, when he ranked fifth on the team with 22 catches for 415 yards and tied for a team-high five touchdowns. Set USF single-season receiving records as a senior last year with 53 receptions for 879 yards and six scores. He had three 100-yard games in his final five contests, including 133 yards and a TD against Texas Tech in the Birmingham Bowl. His biggest game came against UConn in November, when he caught six passes for 152 yards, including a school-record 95-yard TD. “He’s smooth, he’s got elite speed,” Packers college scout Matt Malaspina said. “A fine athlete. A good kid. … A very loose, athletic, long guy with speed.” - Scott Venci
QUICK TAKE (Tom Silverstein): This kid can fly, but he might be a Michael Clark type. Caught a lot of deep balls, but he'll have to do more than run straight down the field in the NFL.
ROUND 6: No. 186 (traded to Seahawks)
ROUND 6: No. 207 compensatory
THE PICK: EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN, WR, NOTRE DAME
AGE: 21 HT: 6-4 3/4 WT: 218 40-yard dash: 4.48 HOMETOWN: Anaheim, Calif.
LOWDOWN: Tall and long receiver with room to add more weight. Ran impressive 4.48 40 at combine. Slipped to sixth round Saturday after saying NFL draft advisory board gave him a fourth-round grade. “I expected to go higher,” he said. “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed." Former college teammate of Packers backup quarterback DeShone Kizer. Caught 58 passes for 961 yards and nine touchdowns in 2016, his lone season as full-time starter with Kizer. Production dipped to 33 catches for 515 yards and four touchdowns last season. One of three receivers Packers drafted Saturday. “Competition only makes you better,” St. Brown said. “Especially me. So I’m not worried about it. It comes with the game.” - Ryan Wood
QUICK TAKE (Tom Silverstein): Had his best year when he was playing with DeShone Kizer in '16. QB play suffered in '17 and his numbers went down... One thing the Packers don't have to worry about is finding someone to change light bulbs around here with that wide receiver group.
RELATED STORY: Packers add another big target with Equanimeous St. Brown
ROUND 7: No. 232
THE PICK: JAMES LOONEY, DE, CALIFORNIA
AGE: 23 HT: 6-2 3/4 WT: 280 40-yard dash: 4.89 HOMETOWN: Lake Worth, Fla.
LOWDOWN: Played in 36 of possible 37 career games during his career, including 35 starts from 2015 to 2017. Was the only player from his team to participate in the NFL combine. Also was the only defensive lineman among the top 40 attending who finished in the top 10 in his position group in the six measurable skill tests. He finished second in the 20-yard shuttle (4.37), third in the vertical jump (35.5), seventh in the 3-cone drill (7.32), tied for eighth in the broad jump (9’5”), 10th in the 40-yard dash (4.89) and tied for 10th in the bench (28 reps). Had three tackles in the East-West Shrine Game. Had 130 career tackles at Cal, including 20.5 for loss, along with eight sacks, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and five QB hurries. An honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection in each of his final two seasons. Played at Wake Forest his freshman season in 2013, contributing a half sack, three tackles and a fumble recovery. His brother, Joe, is an offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys. “I think I have great quickness, a good body frame, that can transfer to the league,” Looney said. “Whatever the coaches want to do with me, I just want to benefit the team. … This is one of the greatest organizations in sports.”
QUICK TAKE (Tom Silverstein): Sounds like an inside guy similar to Wilkerson who can play inside or end. But he doesn't have pass rush ability, or hasn't shown it, and is relatively small to play the run. Big hands, but his arms are short. Not as tall as Dean Lowry, but seems somewhat similar. Really good athlete.
ROUND 7: No. 239 from Bills^
THE PICK: HUNTER BRADLEY, LS, MISSISSIPPI ST.
AGE: 23. HT: 6-3. WT: 240. HOMETOWN: Collierville, Tenn.
LOWDOWN: Earned a scholarship in the fall of 2016 and possesses the skills to snap at the highest level. Arrived at Mississippi State as a tight end, but became the primary snapper in the second week of his junior season in 2015 and was perfect since. Granted a sixth year by the NCAA and played the 2017 season after already having earned a degree. Played in 41 career games, went to a bowl game each year of his career and was part of the second-winningest senior class in school history. Will turn 24 on May 21. “It’s a dream come true,” Bradley said. “I always dreamed this day would come. Being a long snapper, it’s not something that happens often.”
QUICK TAKE (Tom Silverstein): Hunter Bradley played in the East-West Shrine game. So they liked him better than Tanner Carew, the long-snapper who went to the Senior Bowl. He was a tight end in high school. Didn't take over long-snapping duties until 2015.
ROUND 7: No. 248 (from Seahawks)
THE PICK: KENDALL DONNERSON, OLB, SOUTHEAST MISSOURI ST.
HT: 6-2 WT: 248
AGE: 22 HT: 6-2 WT: 248 HOMETOWN: Maumelle, Ark.
LOWDOWN: Took only one pre-draft visit, which was to Green Bay. Finished last season as the team’s third-leading tackler with 53, including 36 solo. Ranked second on the team in tackles for loss (13.5) and third in sacks (6). Led the team with three forced fumbles. Became a starter at outside linebacker in 2016 and played 10 of 11 games. Had 50 tackles, including a team-high 13 for loss. Was a two-star recruit while at Maumelle High School in Arkansas, where he had 120 tackles, recovered two fumbles and had 25 sacks as a senior. “I can put my hand down and rush the passer or I can drop, that’s what I did in college,” Donnerson. “They see me as a pass rusher. … whatever they ask me to do, I will do.”
* The Packers moved up 13 spots to Pick No. 101 in the fourth round, and they moved up 12 spots to No. 138 in the fifth round, after swapping selections with the Browns in the DeShone Kizer-Damarious Randall trade.
^ 2016 trade for linebacker Lerentee McCray.