The Green Bay Packers used their first two picks on defensive backs for the second time in three years. After selecting Kevin King at 33, they snagged NC State safety Josh Jones at #61.
While safety may not have represented the Packers’ biggest need, their pass defense definitely needed improvement. Green Bay added another piece to the secondary in safety Josh Jones late in the draft’s second round.
Jones has the ability to fill the role that Micah Hyde held on the team. Josh Jones developed into a versatile player at NC State, which once again is a trait that Ted Thompson values highly. He can move around in the secondary, and even believes he can play a hybrid role at linebacker when needed.
During his time in college, Josh Jones became a fearless tackler who wasn’t afraid to hit hard. That aggressiveness will add some fire to the Packers’ defense, but scouts warn that he needs to be careful not to over-pursue looking to punish ball carriers.
Jones stands at 6’1” and posted an impressive 4.41 40-yard dash time at the combine. His biggest asset is definitely his athleticism. That should allow him to contribute in one way or another as a rookie. Jones’ speed, agility, and plus ball skills can make him a staple in Dom Capers’ defense.
Drafting King and Jones with their first two picks showed the Packers’ commitment to improving their pass defense. They also took two defensive backs in 2015 in Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins. Green Bay likely hopes that King and Josh Jones can step in and replace the losses of Sam Shields and Micah Hyde.
The Packers demonstrated their desire to reload last year’s porous secondary. It now falls on King and Jones to show their commitment to helping turn it around. They have the potential, and the journey to proving their worth starts now.