GREEN BAY – Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has been anything but shy about going to get his man in his two drafts in the big chair at Lambeau Field, making several moves last season to land corner Jaire Alexander in the first round and then again Thursday to move up nine spots and get safety Darnell Savage Jr.
He paid a heavy price to get Savage Jr., however, sending Seattle the No. 30 overall pick (which Gutekunst acquired last year in another deal) along with the No. 114 and 118 picks in the fourth round. As it stands at the end of Round One, the Packers have just six picks remaining – and one each in the second (No. 44) and third (No. 75) rounds on Friday.
With no fourth rounders left (as of now), let’s take a look at the best available prospects of Day 2 on Friday night, beginning with who is remaining off the PackersNews.com top 44 list:
Biggest need: Tight end
Why: The Packers have just three on the roster, and two (Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis) are 30-plus years old. Robert Tonyan is an athletic fit for Matt LaFleur’s new offense, but the team could use another well rounded talent in that room.
Best available: 38. Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama, 6-2 1/2, 242 (4.63). Just 58 catches in college, but one scout said he’s better after the catch than T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant.
Position to watch: Offensive line
Why: The tackles tumbled a bit Thursday with a heavy emphasis on defense early, with two of them going in the 20s and one at the end of the round. At this juncture there are a couple available that could fit the Packers after a year developing on the bench behind veteran Bryan Bulaga, or even an interior lineman that can add competition to that position group.
Best available: 6. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida, 6-5, 312 (DNP). He’s the rawest of the tackle prospects but he’s got all the measurables to be a great right tackle.
25. Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma, 6-4, 329 (5.21). Played both tackle positions, but might be able to play right away in the NFL if moved to guard.
33. Dalton Risner, T, Kansas State, 6-4 1/2, 312 pounds (5.30). Played right tackle, but he’s pegged for center or guard in the NFL.
35. Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M, 6-4, 303 (4.89). Played against great competition and can move people around. Should be able to play anywhere inside.
Don’t be surprised if…
They go for a running back. While Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have proven they can produce on the ground when healthy and given the carries – and can catch the ball – neither are refined route runners or smooth pass catchers out of the backfield. LaFleur believes in the multi-back offense, and it’s possible they find one they like that has such skills.
Who:David Montgomery, Iowa State. According to Pro Football Focus, Montgomery was the best in the class in missed tackles forced per attempt (0.39), was the best in pass drop rate (0%) and No. 4 with an “elusive rating” of 129.1. He caught 71 career passes for 582 yards to go with 2,925 career rush yards and 26 rushing touchdowns.
To round out the best available players on Friday, here is the rest of the PackersNews.com’s top 44 that are still on the board, regardless of position:
13. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri, 6-3 1/2 227 (DNP)
He has a big arm and can escape the pocket but throwing motion will have to be worked on.
24. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU, 6-2, 185 (4.37)
There are no sure things in the cornerback class. Williams is the fastest and has the ideal height and wingspan.
29. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington, 5-10¾, 190 (4.55)
Everyone is looking for corners and so someone will take a chance, even though he played only 20 games with the Huskies.
32. A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi, 6-0½, 226 (4.49)
In a draft not very deep at receiver, he could rise. Much more agile and versatile than his teammate D.K. Metcalf.
39. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida, 5-11, 210 (4.48)
Deep safety who had four interceptions and two touchdowns last year.
40. Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State, 6-21/2, 281 (5.12)
Filled the void when Nick Bosa got hurt last year, finishing with 13 tackles for loss and 8 ½ sacks. Might be a better 4-3 fit.
41. Jaylon Ferguson, DE/OLB, Louisiana Tech, 6-4 1/2, 271 (4.81)
Set an NCAA record for career sacks, but had combine invitation rescinded for a fight he was in as a freshman.
43. Greg Little, Mississippi, 6-5, 310 (5.33)
Protected Kyler Murray in high school and then started 29 games at left tackle for Ole Miss. His weight will need to be monitored.
44. Taylor Rapp, S, Washington, 5-11 1/2, 208 (4.74)
Lack of height and speed has really knocked him down, but he’s a smart football player who had seven sacks and seven interceptions in three seasons.