The Green Bay Packers used Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft as a way to keep repairing a defense that was quite broken. How’d they do?
Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft should be deemed a success for the Green Bay Packers. In fact, the it should be looked at fondly by fans of the Packers because they might just be building a defense that can keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the offense.
The Packers used the second day’s three draft picks to make their defense better than it was at the start of this week by drafting Washington cornerback Kevin King with the first pick of the second round, then with the 61st overall pick they selected North Carolina State safety Josh Jones. The Packers wrapped up their busy Friday night with a third-round selection of Auburn defensive tackle Montravius Adams with the 93rd overall selection.
Green Bay has one of the top offenses in the NFL. Not only did they have an excellent second half to last season, but they reached the NFC Championship game after finishing 10-6 in the NFC North. The Packers used their offense to gain tough playoff wins against the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, who were the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC, but the defense wasn’t able to fend off the Atlanta Falcons.
As good as the Packers were on offense and with their strong second half to their season, the defense was a bit of a liability as they were 22nd in yards allowed (363.9) and 31st in passing yards allowed (269.2).
Looking at the picks from Rounds 2 and 3, let’s see what they can do and grade the selections for Green Bay.
Sep 12, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies defensive back Kevin King (20) intercepts a ball intended for Sacramento State Hornets wide receiver Shane Harrison (bottom) during the second quarter at Husky Stadium. Washington won 49-0. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Round 2: Kevin King, CB — Washington
Kevin King will only get better playing for the Packers, as he’s a very quick football player that will help the Packers from the first day. He should battle his way to a lot of playing time on a Green Bay defensive backfield that was full of injury last season.
The Packers lost Micah Hyde in free agency to the Buffalo Bills, so the Packers lost 58 tackles, one sack and three interceptions from last season. By losing Hyde, the Packers now have King who can put pressure on rival wide receivers and make the lives of the opposing quarterback tough with his coverage skills.
In 14 games with the Pac-12 champion Huskies, King finished his senior season with 26 solo tackles (3.5 for loss) with two interceptions and 13 passes defensed. The past two seasons, King has defensed 18 passes in 25 games, along with totaling 50 solo sacks and five interceptions.
“I am a playmaker, somebody who will go get the ball,” King said. “I think everyone wants somebody like that in the secondary.”
CB,Green Bay Packers
The Packers will be very happy with this pick. What makes it such a great decision to select King is the fact he can play in Week 1 and not just be on the field, but make a difference for a Packers defensive backfield that needed depth in the worst way going into Friday night.
Nov 12, 2016; Syracuse, NY, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack safety Josh Jones (11) breaks up a pass intended for Syracuse Orange wide receiver Alvin Cornelius (82) during the third quarter at the Carrier Dome. North Carolina State defeated Syracuse 35-20. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Round 2: Josh Jones, S — North Carolina State
If the selection of Kevin King was excellent, the same can be said for safety Josh Jones. In the same boat with King, the Packers defensive backfield needed depth and lots of it.
The Packers are not just building their defense for the current season, but for the future, and that is where Josh Jones of North Carolina State comes into play. Currently, the Packers depth chart has Ha Ha Clinton-Dix listed as the free safety and Morgan Burnett as the strong safety. But behind those two it is slim pickings for who will fill in.
In 13 games with NC State this past season, Jones collected 109 tackles, also with three interceptions and eight passes defensed. He also had one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. For his three-year career, Jones finished with 229 tackles (139 solo) with 8.5 for a loss, eight interceptions and three forced fumbles.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com says Jones brings the Packers a player who can play not only safety, but be productive at cornerback as well. Jeremiah said:
“Josh Jones is somebody that can play some corner and can also play safety. He tested extremely well. He’s another one that will hit you. He’s a real physical football player. … He’s a tremendous athlete and the Packers love cross-training guys, corners and safeties. Here’s another one.”
Jones was the third-rated strong safety by CBS Sports entering the NFL Draft, and the Packers gained the services of a player who eventually will make offensive coordinators have some sleepless nights before they face him.
S,Green Bay Packers
Expectations are high for Jones being a second-round selection, and this may end up being the best of all the Packers’ draft selections.
There are some mixed reviews on Montravius Adams and his overall effort shown throughout his collegiate career with the Auburn Tigers. There were reports that some scouts said he played with more passion in his senior season, while others said they “didn’t like him.”
“First and foremost, a powerful football player. He’s best as an area guy … There’s some dormant talent there and it can be developed.”
As stated, the jury is still out on Adams, and it will be a little while in his NFL career before we completely know what type of player the Packers received with what is the 93rd overall selection. At the combine, he ran a 4.80-second 40-yard dash, but did have 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Adams in his final collegiate season finished with 43 tackles (eight for loss), four sacks and one interception. He also had two fumble recoveries and one forced fumbles.
Adams could become a good core player for the Packers, but they most likely aren’t getting a game changer at defensive tackle either. With Green Bay, building their defensive tackle rotation is what they need, so this pick makes sense for them and should be a good defensive tackle in the Green Bay 3-4 defense if he plays like he did in his final collegiate season.
DT,Green Bay Packers
If Adams plays with the passion scouts said he did with his senior season, the Packers will have the player they believe they drafted, but not all scouts see him doing so this upcoming season.