How You, Our Readers, Feel About the Packers and the NFL Draft
In preparation for the NFL Draft, we surveyed Packers fans through our Facebook and Twitter accounts to hear what they thought about Green Bay's important three-day draft extravaganza.
We asked a wide variety of questions – here's what our wonderful readers had to say about the upcoming NFL Draft.
Packers shouldn't take a "one and done" approach to pass rush
If Green Bay elects to pass on taking a pass rusher with their initial pick in the first round, it's evident that Packers fans desire the team to make the position a point of emphasis as the draft continues.
Two popular pass rushers connected to the Packers in first round mock drafts – Boston College's Harold Landry and UTSA's Marcus Davenport – are options. If the Packers draft either Landry or Davenport, 72 percent of those surveyed want the team to add at least one more pass rusher later in the draft.
Fans hope help in the secondary comes in bunches
The Packers have done much to improve their cornerback position in free agency, bringing Davon House back on a one-year deal and signing free agent and former Packer Tramon Williams to a two-year deal. Both are closer to the end of their career than the beginning, though, and fans expect the team to make the secondary a point of emphasis.
Last year, Green Bay selected Kevin King and Josh Jones to help bolster their secondary. King struggled with injuries in his rookie season, and Jones may have been given too many roles in a defense known as one of the league's most complicated. Half of those surveyed expect the Packers to continue to add pieces at cornerback and safety, adding three new players through the draft.
Defensive reinforcements expected early and often
New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has said all the right things so far, and helped convince free agent corner Tramon Williams and defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson to join the Packers. An overwhelming 95 percent of those surveyed most want the Packers to address either the secondary or pass rush, showing a clear preference to upgrade the defense.
If defense isn't your persuasion, the remaining survey participants voted to upgrade the offensive line. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga is rehabbing another season-ending knee injury and likely won't be ready for the start of the 2018 regular season, and starting right guard Jahri Evans remains unsigned.
Drafting offense in the first round is offensive to most
General manager Brian Gutekunst and the Packers select fourteenth overall in the first round, a rare pick in the top half of the draft for a team that has continually picked in the twenties. The opportunity at hand for Green Bay to select a higher caliber player than previous years excites the fan base, but it better not be on offense.
Over half – 63 percent – would disapprove of the Packers selecting an offensive player in the first round. While it's unlikely that running back Saquon Barkley or guard Quenton Nelson are available at fourteen, wide receiver Calvin Ridley is likely to be on the board.
Denzel Ward's height not a concern for Packers fans
When asked which prospect the Packers should select with the fourteenth pick, those surveyed were in agreement on cornerback Denzel Ward from Ohio State. Ward is considered one of the top cornerback prospects in the draft, but is slightly below the athletic threshold the Packers hold to when evaluating defensive backs.
If Ward is either drafted or the Packers feel he's too short to play the position, the second-best option is Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. If Fitzpatrick is the pick, the Packers will pair him with fellow Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Quantity may be more valuable than quality in the NFL Draft
The Packers hold the most draft picks of any NFL team – twelve – before the start of the draft on Thursday. When former general manager Ted Thompson was in charge, he looked to draft day trades to move around to acquire players. Most expect Gutekunst to be aggressive in his inaugural draft.
Just how aggressive? Over 63 percent of those surveyed expect the Packers to wind up with nine or ten drafted rookies, meaning Gutekunst would surrender two or three picks to move around in different rounds.
Want more about the Packers and the NFL Draft?
We believe we've cracked the code on the Packers draft. Using historical data and identifying athletic thresholds, we can reasonably identify prospects at every position that the Packers could be interested in drafting. If you're up for some spoilers, take a listen to this week's episode of our Packers podcast, Blue 58.