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Packers Earn an ‘A’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Packers, who according to Kiper got an ‘A-‘ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

The Packers think they’re ready to compete for a Super Bowl in 2018, if Aaron Rodgers stays on the field, and if they can defend the pass. That was a major weakness last season — the Green Bay secondary couldn’t stop wide receivers. It gave up an NFL-high 21 touchdown passes to receivers. So new GM Brian Gutekunst went out and got two corners with his first two picks to address that problem, and I like both players. Jaire Alexander (pick 18) is an elite athlete and playmaker. Josh Jackson (45) led the FBS with eight interceptions in 2017. He’s a ball hawk, and I was really surprised that the Packers were able to get him when they did. Possible steal. They’re going to create turnovers. Kevin King had an injury-plagued rookie season and only started five games, but he’s a good player, too. That’s a talented cornerback group. I also liked third-round pick Oren Burks, who will likely play inside linebacker. He was versatile and consistent at Vanderbilt.

The best move the Packers made this weekend, though, was adding an extra 2019 first-round pick. New Orleans traded up from No. 27 to No. 14 to take Marcus Davenport, and Green Bay moved out of Round 1 (and then later moved back in by dealing third- and sixth-round picks to Seattle). That’s a huge chip to have next year, when the pass-rushing prospects should be better than they were in this class.

Elsewhere, J’Mon Moore (133) offers some receiving depth, and Cole Madison (138) reminds me a lot of what David Bakhtiari was coming out of college. That worked out just fine. JK Scott (172) was my third-ranked punter. Equanimeous St. Brown (207) is worth a late Day 3 pick as a talented but inconsistent wide receiver. The reason this class gets an “A” is the 2019 first-rounder it added from New Orleans. Now, that could end up being a very late Day 1 pick. I don’t care. I really like what Gutekunst did in his first draft.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/18 Jaire Alexander CB LOUISVILLE
2/45 Josh Jackson CB IOWA
3/88 Oren Burks OLB VANDERBILT
4/133 J’Mon Moore WR MISSOURI
5/138 Cole Madison OT WASHINGTON STATE
5/172 JK Scott P ALABAMA
5/174 Marquez Valdes-Scantling WR SOUTH FLORIDA
6/207 Equanimeous St. Brown WR NOTRE DAME
7/232 James Looney DT CALIFORNIA
7/239 Hunter Bradley LS MISSISSIPPI STATE

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