Dec 21, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Brigham Young Cougars running back Jamaal Williams (21) scores on a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Wyoming Cowboys during the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The Green Bay Packers started off Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft and then focused on the offense, but how did they do with their picks?
The Green Bay Packers didn’t make a first-round pick, and on Day 2 worked on adding to their defense, which continued on Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft early. After that, though, it was all about offensive depth, especially at running back.
For the first time in a long time, the Packers selected three running backs to battle for roster spots, two wide receivers and one offensive lineman. That all came in addition to their first selection of the fourth round — and the first overall selection of Day 3 — which stayed focused on the defense.
This is an excellent pick for the Packers as Biegel gives off the aura that he is just the type of hard-nosed linebacker they like to have on their roster. If Biegel is successful in the NFL he’ll do so by being strong on the Green Bay special teams, plus be a role player, but eventual starter within the defense when called upon.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com described Biegel as a “worker bee.” Easy to say, the linebacker will go 100 percent pretty much when he’s on the field and will be an edge rusher for the Packers.
As for his collegiate stats, Biegel (who was named after Vince Lombardi) during his senior season totaled 44 tackles (six for a loss) with four sacks, one forced fumble and one pass defensed. It should be an exciting experience for Green Bay fans to watch Biegel process with a defense that was in dire need of some reinforcements in their depth. Biegel provides that, and we’ll all get to see just how much he can improve on his game as he gears toward his NFL career.
The Packers used their first four picks of the 2017 NFL Draft on the defense. But with their second pick of the fourth round, they decided to add to their lackluster running back depth, and the first of three running backs they drafted was Jamaal Williams of BYU. Though he played all four years at BYU, Williams played in a total of 18 games his junior and senior seasons. This past year, he played in 10 games, finishing with 1,375 yards on 234 carries. He collected 12 touchdowns and even caught seven passes for 80 yards.
Though he’ll most likely be battling for a reserve role at running back, he should have a good chance to earn a roster spot behind current starter Ty Montgomery. Currently behind Montgomery on the Packers depth chart are Christine Michael and Don Jackson. Williams fills a much-needed position for the Packers, and it is said he can run between the tackles, which would work well with the outside rushing abilities of Montgomery.
Nov 5, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey (7) rushes with the ball after making a catch for a touchdown against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first half at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Playing in the Big Ten for four seasons has to help the professional progression of new Packers wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey as he faced some stiff competition in his four years against the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State defensive players who have been selected over the past few seasons. Yancey played in 12 games in each of the past two seasons, and this past year was his best with 49 receptions for 951 yards. He improved his yards per reception from 14.6 his junior season to 19.4 his senior season. Yancey finished with 10 touchdowns, which is how many he totaled during his first three seasons at Purdue.
The Packers are getting a player full of potential who broke out his senior season. Mark Dulgerian of NFL.com said Yancey will “need to earn his keep on special teams early.” That is a true statement, but if there is one team who seems to be able to find players who fit within their system, it is the Packers. It won’t be a breeze for Yancey, but he’s getting a good opportunity to make himself noticed by the Packers, and he’ll have to make the most of this chance.
The second running back taken by the Packers in the NFL Draft on Day 3, the Packers are seemingly going to have a big battle as to who is a part of their running back depth chart next season. Jones can make big-time runs and can catch the football out of the backfield as well. His numbers last season included 1,773 yards on 229 carries. He finished with 17 touchdowns, and also caught 28 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns for UTEP.
Jones might have not played in the strongest conference, but if a player is good, he’ll rise to the top of the depth chart. Being a player who is versatile with his speed as a running back and his abilities to catch the football, with the right coaching and patience with progression, the Packers might have found a gem with this pick, though it isn’t expected Jones will be an every-down player.
A team can never have too much offensive line depth, and South Florida’s Kofi Amichia will have a chance to work his way onto the Green Bay roster as a sixth-round pick. He could be a center, but Packers.com said Amichia predicts as a guard in the NFL. He’s a versatile player, as he not only played center in college, he was also a tackle.
This is a project player for the Packers, who currently have two former undrafted free agents in Lane Taylor and Don Barclay listed as guards on their depth chart. Being 6-4 and a little over 300 pounds, Amichia has the size to be productive for the Packers. Now it will be about progressing with the proper skill level to stay on the roster.
This was the third running back selected by the Packers on Day 3 of the NFL Draft, so it is no secret that the Packers are looking everywhere to make their depth better at the position. Last yea,r Green Bay battled massive injury issues at running back, and with a player like Devante Mays the Packers are going to see just what they have with the Utah State product. Mays has had some injury issues in the past, but with his strength (420-pound bench press) he’ll be able to make his presence felt by the Packers.
Mays will be very interesting to watch during Packers camps, as his final collegiate season was a wash with just 37 carries for 259 yards and three touchdowns due to a leg injury. When healthy and on the field, he carried the ball 165 times as a junior for 966 yards and nine touchdowns. Mays has his chance as the Packers are in desperate need of having reliable running backs on their roster so there isn’t a repeat of 2016.
The final draft choice of the Green Bay Packers on Day 3 was LSU wide receiver Malachi Dupre, who played in 11 games last season for the Tigers. In three years at LSU, Dupre totaled 1,609 yards receiving on 98 receptions, averaging 16.4 yards per reception.
Dupre will have an uphill battle to make the roster of the Packers, as he’ll not only have to battle fifth-round choice DeAngelo Yancey, but Green Bay also has solid wide receivers in the top three spots in Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. Dupre will have to be noticed, most likely for what he can bring to the Packers special teams unit.
WR,Green Bay Packers
The Packers loaded up at running back on Day 3 of the draft. However, it’s hard to hate much of what they did, especially in terms of value and the competition they were able to create.