The Green Bay Packers drafted two cornerbacks to kick the 2018 NFL Draft off. Then they added a fast inside linebacker. All this while managing to take the 2019 first round pick of the New Orleans Saints. Then they added three big-bodied wide receivers throughout the draft. What drew the biggest attention from Packers fans? Here’s the kicker… it was a punter: JK Scott from Alabama.
Green Bay Packers Punter Selection Draws a Crowd
A Year for Punters
There have been nine punters selected in the fifth round or earlier since 2012. Also, there have been 17 such selections since 2000. Still, this year saw three punters taken in the fifth round. The Packers did not even get this show kicked off. The Seattle Seahawks actually traded up to get Michael Dickson out of Texas. Immediately after the Packers, the Oakland Raiders selected Johnny Townsend from Florida.
Still, the run on punters did not get people to let up on the discussion.
Shock and Awe
“Tell me I’m mistaken when I see we drafted a punter in the 5th round.” That was a Sunday morning text I received from a dear friend. He expressed much of what I then found across the internet. In full disclosure, my little 12-year-old future general manager was also at a loss. If you think the internet is crazy, try to calm down a 12-year-old sports fanatic. I even got to see it on LinkedIn. “Long Snapper & Punter? You can’t be serious? Can someone explain this? Not very impressive selections.” (leaving out the names to not call out private citizens).
Of course, it would be ridiculous to give Twitter a free pass. Clearly Twitter had a take or two on the new Packers punter.
JK Scott is a good punter but Jesus Christ Vogel was good and you should never draft a punter
— JAIRE SZN (@EBrooksUncut) April 28, 2018
A punter? Yes, the Packers just picked a punter in the fifth round at No. 172: Alabama’s JK Scott. Packers went with an undrafted rookie Justin Vogel last season. While Vogel was solid, he never quite seemed to elicit much positive feedback publicly… https://t.co/3hS7Mmn27h
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) April 28, 2018
Maybe We Have Too Many Rules of Thumb
So, plenty of outrage over drafting someone who appears to be better than a starter on the Packers current roster. Punters seem more likely to stick on a roster than many of the other fifth-round positions drafted in the same area. What it all boils down to is we had a rule. We all knew the rule. Everyone knows the rule. Rules are what separate us from the animals. The rule says “no punters in the first five rounds.” If we just looked at the value of a good punter, especially for a team that gave up quite a few yards last year, maybe fans could all calm down a bit.
Just 10 years ago, everyone would have demanded more running backs from the draft. Now people are pretty sure they can find starting running backs in the third and fourth rounds. Sometimes, the rule changes.
It is nice that the worst things Packers fans have to freak out about is someone in the fifth round.