Green Bay Packers 2019 NFL Draft grades
The 2019 NFL draft is over and of course people are quick to judge how teams did.
But who is kidding who — we all want to know what others think of the selections made by our favorite team now. And there are plenty people doing just this.
We’ve tried to compile as thorough a list of Green Bay Packers draft analysis as you’ll find anywhere on the internet, complete with a GPA for the first-round picks and overall draft. Without further ado, enjoy.
Andy Benoit of SI.com: B. “Everyone agrees: Gary has ton of talent, but he did not produce much at Michigan. Some coaches wouldn’t know what to make of that, but Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will take it. Pettine believes in aggressive, destructive defensive play. Instead of worrying about gaps, assignments and reads, his front seven players—particularly along the D-line—are instructed to kick the snot out of the man in front of them and let the action take care of itself. It’s also worth noting that Green Bay’s other young defensive linemen have developed well in recent years. The Packers presumably trust that young D-line coach Jerry Montgomery can help Gary hone his considerable raw talent.”
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report: B. “Gary fits best as a 5-tech defensive end (a 3-4 end if you are old-school) who often has a linebacker blitzing the edge from his side. That makes him a fine fit in the traditional Packers system. This is an odd pick from a need standpoint because Gary has similar skills to Mike Daniels and free agent Za’Darius Smith. Look for coordinator Mike Pettine to get everyone involved on defense. And the Packers wouldn’t be the Packers if they suddenly started drafting for need.”
Luke Easterling of Draft Wire: C+. “Adding young depth along the defensive line is a need, but there are bigger ones (inside linebacker, tight end). Gary is an incredible athlete, but injuries and inconsistency held him back. Can he reach his lofty potential in the pros?”
Walter Cherepensky of Walter Football: D. “I can’t really get behind this pick. Rashan Gary is insanely athletic and physically talented, but he was a huge disappointment as a player in Michigan. He also has some off-the-field concerns. There was speculation that Gary would fall to the 20s, which would’ve been a reasonable spot to select him. Not here, though. This is a major reach. If Gary couldn’t produce in college, why would that suddenly happen when he has an NFL contract?”
Dan Kadar of SB Nation: B-.
Danny Kelly of The Ringer: C. “This is a boom-or-bust pick for the Packers. Gary possesses a rare combination of size, explosiveness, and agility, and can rush from multiple spots on the line—but he will have to prove he can harness all that talent and turn it into production in the pros.”
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: C-
Steven Ruiz of For The Win: D. “The Packer just spent A LOT of money on edge rushers in free agency, so Rashan Gary won’t have to play right away and that’s a good thing because he’s raw. And by raw, I mean not all that good at football or productive in college. But Gary is a good athlete who could develop into an impact pass rusher with some good coaching. You usually see those players go later in the first round.”
Nicklaus Gray of The Tennessean: C-.
Darryl Slater of NJ.com: B+.
Yahoo Sports staff: C. “Good for him, bad for Green Bay. A high-maintenance guy who isn’t a pass rusher. Doesn’t strike fear in opponents. This has bust written all over it.”
Detroit News staff: B.
Nick O’Malley of MassLive.com: A or D. “His production fell a little bit below expectations in Michigan, causing some concerns of him being a bust. … But if this pick hits, it’s going to hit in a big way.”
Bryan Fischer of Athlon Sports: B. “The potential is certainly there for Gary to be a dominant force given his size, speed and power. Green Bay is known for its ability to develop and that might just be the place to get the most out of the talented (if inconsistent) player.”
Mike Farrell and Adam Gorney of Rivals: Farrell – B; Gorney – B+.
Loaded Box Podcast: B+.
GPA: 2.55 (with A from O’Malley) or 2.37 (if a D).
Andy Benoit of SI.com: B+. “His arrival could also stabilize some positions for guys, pushing rising 2017 second-rounder Josh Jones to the box as a dime linebacker and Josh Jackson to slot as a stout corner.”
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report: C-. “I like Savage, but he’s not the best player of his type on the board (Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram is better), and the Packers traded two fourth-round picks to select him. Also, they do need to freshen up their offense at some point. The Packers overthought this, even though their days of overthinking things are supposed to be in the past.”
Luke Easterling of Draft Wire: B-. “The Packers trade a pair of fourth-round picks to move up nine spots, and they land and an athletic playmaker for the back end of their defense. It wasn’t a steep price to pay, but this year’s safety class is too deep to be trading up for one. That said, he’ll make an immediate impact.”
Walter Cherepensky of Walter Football: F. “Darnell Savage is a second-round prospect who may have snuck into the bottom end of the first round. There was absolutely no reason to move up nine spots for him. He, or someone very comparable to him, would’ve been available at No. 30 overall. I wouldn’t have minded the Packers taking Savage had they remained at their own choice, but giving up resources for poor value is just a recipe for disaster.”
Dan Kadar of SB Nation: C+.
Danny Kelly of The Ringer: B. “Savage is one of the most fun players in this draft. The hybrid safety/slot defender is a muscled-up über-athlete who brings versatility and intensity to the Green Bay defense. Savage lives up to his namesake as a hitter; he’s a heat-seeking missile who flies downhill to make backfield tackles while showing off an innate ability to read route combinations and the quarterback’s eyes. … Savage ranked no. 56 on my board, so this is a little earlier than I expected him to go, and the Pack had to give up two fourth-rounders to move up to this spot, slightly dampening the value, but I like the player and think he’ll fit in well in Green Bay.”
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: B.
Steven Ruiz of For The Win: B. “He’ll make the Packers’ pass defense better, and that was clearly Green Bay’s goal for the first round. They had to trade up to get him but gave up only two Day 3 picks to do so. Not bad.”
Darryl Slater of NJ.com: B+.
Detroit News staff: B.
Yahoo Sports staff: C-. “They had to trade up to 21 to get Savage, who was 89th on our board? A nice player, but this is a questionable move by the Packers.”
Nicklaus Gray of The Tennessean: C.
Nick O’Malley of MassLive.com: C+. “This could easily pan out to become an A. … In terms of perceived value and excitement, it doesn’t grade well.”
Bryan Fischer of Athlon Sports: B. “One of the draft’s fastest risers, there was enough buzz about Savage that the Pack had to go up and get him. His speed is certainly evident and will help continue the re-tooling of the secondary by solidifying that safety spot alongside recently signed Adrian Amos.”
Mike Farrell and Adam Gorney of Rivals: Farrell – A; Gorney – B-.
Loaded Box Podcast: D+.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A. “Gary’s production wasn’t what you would have liked at Michigan and his off-field business interest turned off some teams. However, he has great athletic upside as a defender in the Packers’ scheme. Announced as a linebacker at the draft on Thursday, Gary can play outside or inside and gives consistent full effort. Green Bay had an extra first-round pick from a 2018 draft-day trade with New Orleans (No. 30 overall). The Packers traded up, though, and selected Savage, who fills an immediate need at safety. He will be an effective nickel defender and will pop ball-carriers whenever possible. Trading away two fourth-round selections (one of which was gained from Washington for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix) was fine given their multiple early picks this year.”
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: No grade issued, but Iyer labeled the Packers one of his Day 1 losers. “Defensive tackle Rashan Gary and safety Darnell Savage were both surprising directions for Green Bay, partly because inside linebacker Devin Bush was taken in front of the team and neither T.J. Hockenson nor Noah Fant aligned at tight end. There’s a lot of potential for both players in Mike Pettine’s defense, where they will get help surrounded by strong veterans. But it’s hard to know where both will fit to contribute as rookies and they need some time to convert their skills into real production.”
Andy Benoit of SI.com: Elgton Jenkins – B | Jake Sternberger – A.
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report: Elgton Jenkins – C+ | Jake Sternberger – A-.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: Elgton Jenkins – B | Jake Sternberger – B.
Steven Ruiz of For The Win: Elgton Jenkins – B+ | Jake Sternberger – B+.
Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports: Elgton Jenkins – B- | Jake Sternberger – B.
Kevin Manahan of NJ.com: Elgton Jenkins – B.
Walter Cherepensky of Walter Football: Elgton Jenkins – A | Jake Sternberger – A-.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A. “Green Bay finally used an early pick on the offensive line, picking up Jenkins, a strong and long player who played every O-line position for the Bulldogs. Head coach Matt LaFleur needed another tight end, and Sternberger turned out to be a nice value as a receiving threat in the mid-third round.”
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: Kingley Keke — C+ | Ka’dar Hollman — C | Dexter Williams – B | Ty Summers == B+.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A. “The Packers got a steal in Keke, who could become a starter. Hollman was a former walk-on who starred for Toledo. Depth at running back was a big need for Green Bay, so Williams will get a shot to play early.”
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report: Kingsley Keke – C | Ka’dar Hollman – Satisfactory | Dexter Williams – Questionable | Ty Summers – Satisfactory.
Walter Cherepensky of Walter Football: Kingsley Keke – B+ | Ka’dar Hollman – B+ | Dexter Williams – B+ | Ty Summers – A.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post: C-. “Using the 12th selection on pass rusher Rashan Gary is a risk. He’s talented, but his production at Michigan never lived up to his promise. Trading up to use the 21st selection on S Darnell Savage Jr. is puzzling. He has speed, and he’s a good prospect. But few had him rated so highly, and the Packers probably could have gotten him later.”
Pro Football Focus staff: Above average.
Nate Davis of USA Today: B-. “Kinda felt like a Ted Thompson draft with the priority on big guys and defense with the weapons for Aaron Rodgers coming later. First-round DE Rashan Gary seems like good value at No. 12 even if the defensive line and edge looked well stocked already. But trading up to No. 21 for S Darnell Savage might not have been necessary. Second-round OL Elgton Jenkins and third-round TE Jace Sternberger should make Rodgers happy.”
Andy Benoit of SI.com: A-.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A.
Darryl Slater of NJ.com: C. “We’re not sold on Gary, who has a shoulder issue. And the Packers should’ve taken Erik McCoy instead of Jenkins.”
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: B-. “The Packers under Brian Gutekunst dived right in for high-risk, high-reward players early, but they diversified their portfolio well with safer picks later in Jenkins, Sternberger and Williams. If Gary and Savage pan out, then this class will wind up being near the top vs. being slightly above average.”
Thor Nystrom of RotoWorld: D. “Bizarre Day 1, as Green Bay over-drafted the heck out of Rashan Gary, who never developed at Michigan with an NFL coaching staff led by Jim Harbaugh, and then use a second-first rounder on Darnell Savage when guys like Amani Hooker, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Deionte Thompson were available on Day 3.”
Dan Kadar of SB Nation: B-.