Packers Turn Focus to Offense on Final Day of NFL Draft
The Green Bay Packers added to their defense with their first four NFL Draft picks. But they turned their attention to offense with their final six selections.
The Packers knew their number one offseason priority was fixing the defense. They addressed those needs in the first four rounds of the NFL draft, but looked to bolster an already-top level offense on day three.
After taking Kevin King, Josh Jones, Montravius Adams, and Vince Biegel with their first four picks, Green Bay spent their final six picks on offense. Even more interesting? Five of those six selections were skill position players. The Packers dynamic receiving corps will have even more competition this offseason, while the running backs will be battling for big roles. Overall, three running backs, two wide receivers, and an offensive tackle joined Green Bay at the draft.
The Packers selected Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, and Devante Mays on the third day of the NFL Draft. Williams, selected late in the fourth round out of BYU, rushed for almost 1400 yards in 2016. At 6’1” and 212 pounds, he may not resemble a big back, but Williams can run aggressively. His style provides a nice counter to Ty Montgomery, which could allow him to assume an impact role as a rookie.
Green Bay used its second pick in the fifth round to take Jones out of UTEP. There, Jones amassed 1773 yards last season and scored 17 touchdowns. He’s more shifty than Williams, so the two could pair well together this season. It’s hard to justify keeping four halfbacks, so they’ll have to battle for a roster spot. However, it could end up that Christine Michael plays elsewhere if Williams, Jones and/or Mays play exceptionally well.
Mays faces the biggest hurdles to making the team. He played well at Utah State, but appeared in just six games last season due to a knee injury. Nonetheless, Ted Thompson showed his commitment to fixing the team’s biggest needs. Without Eddie Lacy and James Starks, Thompson drafted enough players at the position where one should help.
The Packers also added a pair of wide receivers to an already-stacked unit. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams are all locks to make the team, with last year’s UDFA Geronimo Allison also looking like a solid bet. But beyond that, it’ll come down to who plays best in training camp and the preseason.
Green Bay first took Purdue’s Deangelo Yancey in the fifth round. The former Boilermaker scored 10 touchdowns and racked up 951 yards on just 49 catches as a senior. That was good for a 19.4 yards per catch average. The Packers concluded their picks by taking LSU’s Malachi Dupre in the final round of the NFL draft. Both Dupre and Yancey have their work cut out for them, but they should challenge both Trevor Davis and Jeff Janis for a spot on the roster.
The lone offensive pick that did not go to a skill position player was used on Kofi Amichia. The offensive tackle out of South Florida won’t start this year, but he’ll have time to develop in the Packers’ system. After Green Bay added Jahri Evans earlier this week, the team’s ideal Week 1 line appears set. Amichia will have the opportunity to learn and improve to possibly fill that gap after Evans’ one-year deal expires.