The Green Bay Packers made quite a splash in free agency this off-season. General manager Brian Gutekunst upgraded the Packers roster by signing four free agents. The utilization of free agency by the Packers was well overdue. Each player signed will be expected to be contributors. But as most Packers fans know, the NFL draft is how the Packers build their roster. Armed with 10 picks, the Packers will look to bring in some young players to help bolster their roster. A lot will be written about how the Packers will use their top picks. But we will take a look at some late NFL draft prospects who might be on the Packers radar.
Possible Late Round NFL Draft Prospects for the Green Bay Packers
Don’t let this year’s Packers free agent signings fool you. While Gutekunst is showing he is his own man, you have to remember who he learned under. Former Packers general manager Ted Thompson lived and died with the “draft and develop” mantra. Not only did he utilize the NFL draft to the fullest, but he also did the same with signing undrafted free agents.
Gutekunst might not emphasize undrafted free agent signings as Thompson did. But he will utilize the NFL draft comparable to what Thompson did when he was in control. The top of the draft will be very important for the Packers. But so will the latter half. The Packers have six picks in the final three rounds of the draft. That includes two in the fourth and two in the sixth.
With those picks, the Packers will look to upgrade the offense, defense, and most importantly the special teams. Here are some names to keep an eye on in the latter half of the Packers draft. We have broken it down by offense and defense.
Late Round Prospects on Defense
TJ Edwards, Wisconsin, Linebacker
There are some players that are just good football players. Edwards would fit into that category. While he won’t blow scouts away by his size (6’1″, 242 lbs) or his speed, all he did at Wisconsin was make plays.
In his four year career at Wisconsin, he chalked up 215 solo tackles. Along with that, he registered eight sacks and 10 interceptions. Scouts have knocked his ability in coverage, although his 10 interceptions prove otherwise.
While it is doubtful that Edwards would be a day one starter, he does have the ability to contribute on special teams. New Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is putting an emphasis on special teams. Edwards could help bolster that unit that has struggled in recent history.
Jimmy Moreland, James Madison, Cornerback
In recent seasons, the Packers secondary has struggled in creating turnovers. That is one thing that Jimmy Moreland has thrived at.
Last season at James Madison, Moreland had five interceptions. Three of those he returned for touchdowns. Along with the five interceptions, he forced one fumble. In his collegiate career, he had an eye-popping 18 interceptions, returning six of them for touchdowns. Kevin King, Jaire Alexander, and Josh Jackson are at the top of the cornerback depth chart. If the Packers were to select Moreland, he would be able to sit and learn the NFL passing game.
Late Round Prospects on Offense
Bryce Love, Stanford, Running Back
In his junior season at Stanford, Love rushed for 2,118 yards and had 19 touchdown carries. Love wasn’t just a piece of Stanford’s offense, he was their offense.
But his senior campaign didn’t go as well as his junior season. While he still rushed for 739 yards and had six touchdown carries, he was hobbled by injuries. In fact, in his last game with Stanford, he tore an ACL. The injury will no doubt cause him to slide in this year’s draft.
While Love isn’t the type of running back that can carry the ball 20-25 times a game, he still could be a weapon in an offense. With the Packers already having Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, Love might be a nice complementary piece to the Packers running backs.
Grabbing a player such as Love in the sixth or seventh round might be a major get for the Packers.
Penny Hart, Georgia State, Wide Receiver
With Randall Cobb now with the Dallas Cowboys, the Packers might need a slot receiver. While the Packers have some young tall wide receivers, they currently don’t have a shifty wide receiver who has experience playing in the slot.
Not only did Hart thrive playing in the slot at Georgia State, but he also was a quality returner. Last season, Hart averaged 19.9 yards on kickoff returns and also 17.6 yards on punt returns. He returned one punt for a touchdown last season.
In his four-year collegiate career, he went over 1,000 receiving yards twice. He also had 19 receiving touchdowns.
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