Combine Participants Offer Packers Mid-Round Solutions at Guard

Offensive linemen worked out at the NFL combine on Friday. Who were the Packers looking at for right guard?

 

Offensive linemen may not be the most exciting prospects to watch, but the Packers certainly had their eyes on a few during Friday’s NFL Combine workouts. For right now, the most pressing need is finding a right guard after experimenting with both Byron Bell and Justin McCray. Bell was a late free agency signing that never really panned out while McCray is still a work in progress that will probably only amount to being a utility depth piece.  Hopefully, neither will be starting at right guard for the 2019 season opener but crazier things have happened. And after taking a look at the offensive linemen entering free agency, it’s becoming more and more conceivable that Green Bay will be starting a rookie at guard next season. 

From a glass half full perspective, it worked out well for the Indianapolis Colts last year, however, Quenton Nelson is a generational player. It is also hard to picture the Packers drafting an offensive lineman with their first pick when so much talent is likely to be left on the board. At some point, they will need to take lineman but historically the Packers have done well at finding mid-rounds gems they can plug-in right away along the O-line.

Listed below are a few that stood out during the combine and might be available to Green Bay during the middle rounds:

Michael Jordan, Ohio State

He looks like a tackle standing at 6-6, but Jordan projects to be an interior lineman in the NFL. He’s already built like a house and still has room to add more mass. Jordan started at both center and guard at Ohio State before entering the draft following his junior season. He showcased some athleticism at the combine finishing third in the broad jump and fifth in the vertical jump. Jordan left a little to be desired as far as strength is concerned after finishing with 19 reps on the bench press. However, you wouldn’t know it from watching his tape as he consistently won against power rushers. Jordan is expected to be a day two prospect with the possibility of being an early starter. If the Packers can land him during the third round it would be great value. 

Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas

Froholdt hails from Denmark and was a three-year starter for the Razorbacks. He has an athletic background as he started out on defense before switching to offense prior to his sophomore season. Froholdt also has experience playing center. He possesses a low center of gravity that comes in hand against the bull rush. His technique as a pass protector is good, good pad-level and hand placement but he isn’t known as a bully in the trenches when it comes to the run game. Froholdt had a solid combine ranking fifth in the bench press and three-cone drill, and seventh in the short shuttle. He will probably be an early day three guy with some fixable issues the Packers should be able to address. 

Phil Haynes, Wake Forest

Haynes is the top prospect from a deep group of offensive linemen for the Demon Deacons. He moved from tackle to guard early in his college career and quickly became a staple within the offensive line. Haynes has a high ceiling given his power, length, and nuances for the position. He packs a punch against rushers and has a lot of good traits as a run blocker. He finished third at the combine with 33 reps on the bench press and tied for seventh with a 31-inch vertical. Haynes will be a reliable player in the NFL for years to come and might be a late day two or early day three prospect during the draft. The Packers could do a lot worse than Haynes in 2019.

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (71)

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Lphill's picture

March 03, 2019 at 01:01 pm

Devin White 4.42 at the combine can’t pass him up if makes it to 12.

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Rak47's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:22 pm

Brian Burns cam in at 6'4 6/8 249 lbs and ran a 4.5 40 yd while absolutely destroying the agility and explosion drills. Montez Sweat did the same, while Jachai Polite came in and bombed the interviews and drills, also I read he looked overweight and blamed a hamstring issue on his poor 40 time.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 03, 2019 at 07:58 pm

Devin White did show amazing at Combine.

He would look fabulous in a Packer uniform along with about two dozen other players at the #12 spot. Sweat, Murray, Burns, Ferrell, Metcalf, Fant would also look great.

Want BPA!

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The TKstinator's picture

March 04, 2019 at 06:44 am

If BG really wants to be innovative for GB (thank you, Adrian Cronauer), he should try to choose all 24 at #12. Nobody’s ever done that before.
Goodell: “With the 12th pick in the 2019 NFL draft, Green Bay selects Devin White, AND TJ Hockenson AND Brian Burns AND Dalton Risner AND...”

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croatpackfan's picture

March 04, 2019 at 06:07 am

Packers will have enough Cap space for that? If yes, I'm all in for your suggestion!

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Mike Wendlandt's picture

March 04, 2019 at 05:29 pm

You absolutely can. Off-ball linebacker isn't a massive game-changer in this defense and while athletic, White has a lot of work to do.

If they were to take an ILB, it should be Devin Bush at 30.

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LambeauPlain's picture

March 04, 2019 at 06:10 pm

i agree. White can help transform the front 7.

Those 7 guys define the pass rush. Edge need is only a need if you have the other 5 guys ineffective.

They are not. And White with Martinez, Clark, Daniels, Fackrell, and maybe Wilkerson would create havoc in opposing QB pockets.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 03, 2019 at 01:15 pm

I didn't realize Devin White played guard.

RG is the least important position on the offense and we shouldn't draft one until the 5th round.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 03, 2019 at 05:20 pm

GB needs one who can start at RG for the first game in September. GB is going to or at least should be willing to pay for that, either by using a premium pick (rounds 1-3 for me) or buying one. Not thrilled with the FA guards, but there are a couple who might serve.

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stockholder's picture

March 03, 2019 at 05:48 pm

I don't see any changes coming to that OL. Bell may resign. Both Guards had injuries. Gute said he was happy with the OL. And they won't change things, so Arron Rodgers can stay in a zone. The sad part is back ups. Now everybody who gave me dislikes can go back and change them. I said Sweat would be better then Polite. Fant better then Hoek. And Bush should be the pick @30. The guys I mocked tore up the combine/ or were better then avg. Bush will be better then White. And Scharping better then Risner. Gute should take the feet that can move in small areas. So Lindstrom and Bradbury are the guards you want.

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Johnblood27's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:01 pm

wow stockholder. finally a cogent and worthwhile post. Bold predictions fo sho.

Please revisit your prognostications at a later date, keep a self score please. I would really like to pat you on the back for well researched projections should they prove out. I would not bash you for misses, everyone misses, even NFL GM's!

Thanks for your interpretations of the strengths and weaknesses of some of the available Packer possibilities.

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stockholder's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:24 pm

It's all about Better, Stronger, faster now. The packers have the capability to select the next offense Line for 10 years. The road to improvement is not a edge rusher. It's the trenches.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:39 pm

Pettine's defense in the jets wasn't elite EDGE rushers. It was DEs & CBs. Better safety play will also help.

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sonomaca's picture

March 03, 2019 at 09:57 pm

What do you do with Sweat? He’s got deficiencies as a pass rusher, but incredible long speed. Is he the world’s biggest safety?

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stockholder's picture

March 04, 2019 at 07:39 am

Trade Bait @12

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The TKstinator's picture

March 03, 2019 at 07:34 pm

Siragusa?

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Mvlc1's picture

March 06, 2019 at 11:12 am

Seriously? Did you watch the games last season? Most of the time ARod was running away from the right side of the line. BB is going to get injured at some point of the season, and Bell and McCray are not the answer. We have no depth on the right side of the line.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

March 03, 2019 at 01:22 pm

Montez Sweatt at #12?

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 03, 2019 at 02:48 pm

Yes, to Montez Sweat or Burns at #12.

Sweat set an all-time D-lineman 40 yard record at 4.41. The previous record was 4.40. He blew everyone away. Really like his size and length. Burns was in the 4.5's and very impressive too! Burns may have more bend and flexibility than Sweat.

Like Metcalf yesterday today was owned by Sweat. Amazing and believer! No to Polite who hurt himself after one 40 yard dash, or after watching Sweat and Burns run decided after his first run he wanted to further work on and improve his 40 yards at his Pro Day.

Guard discussion may be resolved by Madison and FA. If a draft choice nothing at guard till 4th round. I am completely ok if BPA at #30 or #44 to select OT.

Very clear the whole first 2 rounds of the mock drafts will be completely revised following the combine. Several guys who were not rated in top 5 or10 really jumped out. BTW, Fant before Hock. I predict Fant will be the first drafted. Very impressive at 4.5 speed and 20 reps at 225 lbs on bench. Great broad jump and vertical leap of about 40". Fant was significantly faster, stronger, jumped higher, and has better hands than Hock.

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PeteK's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:14 pm

Sweat got dominated by Risner in one on ones during senior bowl practices. Take the combine with a grain of salt because the real test is against an opponent where technique, composure and grit matter.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 03, 2019 at 08:07 pm

The Combine is just one measuring tool. Senior Bowl practices another evaluation tool but isnt real game situation without normal stunts and scheme.

Furthermore, Sweat is really long and lean at like 6'6" and 260 lbs. Very obvious he is going to fill out a lot more adding more muscle.

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Rak47's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:26 pm

When you consider Burns is only 20 years old and came into the ACC and dominated as a teenager I think he would be my choice. The arrow is pointing up for this kid, waay up! Will probably be the youngest player on any roster once the season starts.

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mamasboy's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:44 pm

Madison is done!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 03, 2019 at 07:46 pm

Does anyone know if he graduated? What his degree was in, or if he still is in school?

Reality is once the Packers stop paying him he has to go find a career and earn a living. That career is either going to be in football making excessive money, or heading into an office/worksite everyday. If nothing else heading into Corporate America or on a job-site every day has a way of grabbing your attention and making you re-evaluate your career goals. I know it sure did for me!

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The TKstinator's picture

March 03, 2019 at 09:28 pm

Beware Mike Mamula.
John Ross.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 04, 2019 at 07:53 am

"Beware Mike Mamula.
John Ross."

Neither Sweat nor Burns are coming out of nowhere after killing the combine. Both were highly regarded anyways. They have been seen as 1s throughout the process. The combine is confirmation.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 04, 2019 at 07:54 am

"Burns was in the 4.5's and very impressive too! Burns may have more bend and flexibility than Sweat."

I thought Burns' biggest combine moment was stepping on the scale and checking in at 245 instead of 225. And that was a huge moment for him. But he killed the drills, too. Sweat's amazing 40 is the only thing that is stopping everyone from talking Burns up.

Once people start pouring over the combine results, I think Burns is going to be seen as a sure top 10. I hope I'm wrong because outside of ridiculous falling from N. Bosa, J. Allen and Q. Williams, he's the guy I want in GB the most.

Given that, I'm warming to the idea of Jawaan Taylor or Devin White @ 12 and come back for D'Andre Walker or Jaylon Ferguson at 44/75. Plenty of draft simulations I've run have one or the other available at 75. But reality might = pick them at 44 or miss out (barring a trade down). I still think one of Hock, Fant or Irv Smith will be available at 30 and TE should be the choice there.

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stockholder's picture

March 04, 2019 at 08:11 am

Jawaan Taylor or Devin White @ 12 and come back for D'Andre Walker or Jaylon Ferguson at 44/75. None for me. I'd take J.Williams over Taylor. Bush will be better then White. Ferguson is a one trick pony. Good bet on the TEs. Bet they take Adderley before a TE. Especially in this draft. Right now I see Sweat @12. Then trading down and using a 1 and 3 to get burns. Gute gives up picks.! Alexander worked. So far. But he still used [email protected] And then two to get Burks. 3 @ 4. He's not afraid to dump picks or have other holes. Now that we fired MM. The rebuild is on. Will he dump picks?

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HankScorpio's picture

March 04, 2019 at 07:40 pm

Good stuff, Stockholder. I love it when people take a stand on guys. After yesterday, I would not be surprised to see others join your club that Bush will be better than White. He proved he's every bit the athlete White is.

For the record, my assumption is that Jonah Williams will be gone before 12. I'd take him over Taylor as well. Even tho he suffers from Bulaga's short-arm syndrome.

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GLM's picture

March 03, 2019 at 08:23 pm

If he's there.. he may go top 10, now.

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blacke00's picture

March 03, 2019 at 01:43 pm

Noooo... guard are not the least important position on the OL.
Guards are just as important as tackles. That thinking is bad. Guards pull in many running plays quickness and agility are important here. Control of the center of line of scrimmage is "THEE" most important thing. Good offensive tackles are great but if the center of the line line collapses the pocket is shot. How many times does this need to be said?

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Leatherhead's picture

March 03, 2019 at 01:58 pm

Blake.....RG is the least important position on the offense. That's why they don't get paid like tackles, or centers. That's why they get drafted later. Ron Wolf, who knows a lot more about football than you or I, often commented that you could find a RG pretty much anywhere. In pass blocking, they're part of a 3-on-2 unit.....OTs have to play in space against elite rushers who can end your QBs season.

In run blocking, they're blocking a guy in a phone booth quite a bit of the time. You've got big teammates on both sides of you.

Reconsider your belief that guards are just as important as tackles. They aren't.

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Minniman's picture

March 03, 2019 at 02:08 pm

While I'm not advocating when the Packers should draft the RG (outside of BPA), but if they are potentially going to spend more time out in a zone blocking scheme then you would appreciate a more athletic guard (as opposed to the "road grader" JAG).

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NJMagic's picture

March 03, 2019 at 04:14 pm

Disagree wholeheartedly. See what the best guard did for Indy?? They are easier to find because they don't have to play in space as often.... And so get payed less. BUT good guard play is crucial. See Packers 2018...

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 03, 2019 at 05:22 pm

Nelson isn't who turned around Indy. Andrew Luck's return is what sparked Indy. Nelson was fantastic at protecting luck but he was a small piece in what helped turned the Colts around. The FA pickup of Eric Ebron also had a big impact.

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Bert's picture

March 04, 2019 at 08:49 pm

Baloney. If you get a chance to draft a guy like Nelson you do it. Andrew Luck's return was enabled in a large part to his OLs ability to keep him off his butt. Nelson played a HUGE role in the improvement of the Colts OL.

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The TKstinator's picture

March 03, 2019 at 09:34 pm

Good O-line play is crucial, no doubt about it.
BUT LT’s are the most important, and USUALLY need to be drafted early.
After LT, then it’s RT, then center, then guards.

IF you HAVE to have a few JAGs, (and I’d say the salary cap forces every team to have some) where better than at guard?

I don’t mean pathetic, weak links, I mean JAGs.

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wildbill's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:05 pm

Agree with you on tackles being more important than guards but have to disagree about finding good guards anywhere as we sure didn’t find any last year.

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GLM's picture

March 03, 2019 at 08:24 pm

If that's true, why don't we have one on the roster?
Just sayin'...

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GLM's picture

March 03, 2019 at 08:25 pm

If that's true, why don't we have one on the roster?
Just sayin'...maybe it was supposed to be Madison. I guess we'll never know about that one.

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Lare's picture

March 03, 2019 at 05:40 pm

I'll bet the Packers wish they hadn't ignored the OG positions last season.

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Helmuemd82's picture

March 03, 2019 at 07:22 pm

They were high in McCray, drafted Madison, and signed Bell, they didn’t ignore the position they just got screwed with injuries and draft pick not showing up

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 03, 2019 at 07:47 pm

Remember the OL fiasco Ted Thompson's first year? Ouch!

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The TKstinator's picture

March 03, 2019 at 09:37 pm

That was also a salary cap problem with Wahle and Rivera.
(BTW, Rivera was a 6th rounder.)

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PeteK's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:19 pm

Guards get help on both sides while tackles are on an island one on one. However, you're partially right because they are all important as they work as a unit.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 03, 2019 at 03:26 pm

2nd time this week I've seen someone mention Phil Haynes as a later round IOL pick.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 03, 2019 at 03:44 pm

I think McCray is better than the writer gives him credit for. He was PFF's most improved Packer. The ceiling isn't Sitton or Lang but Lane Taylor. I'd like to see more OL drafted and developed for the future but I don't expect a rookie to contribute year 1.

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Roadrunner23's picture

March 03, 2019 at 04:32 pm

The Packers are best at drafting college left tackles and turning them into athletic
Guards which will be even more important in LaFluers zone scheme.
The Pack will grab a couple in this draft mid-rounds. Guys like McCray and Patrick will go the way of the dodo

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PeteK's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:21 pm

I disagree, both are going through the growing process and are too young to give up on. At the least they can be good backups.

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The TKstinator's picture

March 03, 2019 at 09:38 pm

Most colleges put their best lineman at LT.

Stay classy, Green Bay.

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Bure9620's picture

March 03, 2019 at 04:59 pm

How about Chris Lindstrom from BC? This guy is an athlete with some nasty. The Packers could likely grab him in the 3rd, a plug and play guy.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 03, 2019 at 05:20 pm

When is the last time a rookie started on the OL for the Packers? Linsley at center only because Tretter got injured. It'll be interesting to see if Gute continues that or breaks away from how TT ran the OL.

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Bure9620's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:00 pm

Darren Colledge or Spitz, also Mark Tauscher

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:17 pm

Darren College was 2006 highest player ever drafted out of the state of Alaska. That's a long ways to go back to show impactful OL play from rookies.

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Bure9620's picture

March 03, 2019 at 07:17 pm

You asked

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 03, 2019 at 07:49 pm

LOL

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PeteK's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:23 pm

Don't forget that excellent Thompson find, Bactieri( I think I just destroyed his name)

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:43 pm

David Bahktiari

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Minniman's picture

March 03, 2019 at 08:27 pm

Yep, the Persian Diversion was a rookie starter after Bulaga succumbed to injury at the family night game.

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The TKstinator's picture

March 04, 2019 at 05:27 pm

Bacteria.

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Minniman's picture

March 03, 2019 at 08:29 pm

He just had a good combine

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gary g's picture

March 03, 2019 at 05:36 pm

With the amount of excellent defensive prospects, I hope the pack picks defense with their first 3 picks. Unreal the amount of speed in this years draft . The right 3 picks could change our defense immediately. Go Pack

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ShooterMcGee's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:24 pm

Brandon seems to overestimate the draft stock of these guys. I am no scout, however, all the draft boards on the internet have these guys at 150 or later, which means they could be taken in the 5th round or later. Defense, OT, and a weapon or 2 should be the emphasis in the first 4 rounds.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

March 03, 2019 at 06:28 pm

Sticken with Hockenson!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 03, 2019 at 08:44 pm

I dont think you can go wrong with Hock but Fant clearly more athletic with more upside with possible exception of blocking. I think Hock slides from where mock drafts were putting him and Fant is chosen ahead of him. Fant is stronger meaning if he puts his mind to it he could be every bit as good of a blocker as he is stronger, faster, more explosive, and more athletic. Why more explosive? Because stronger in upper body and lower body. Can jump higher and further in broad jump which is how the NFL identifies explosiveness.

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MarkinMadison's picture

March 03, 2019 at 09:54 pm

I'd be interested in seeing Burns at the end of the first, but I don't think he'll last that long. Really haven't watched enough tape to say I'd be cheering if he got picked at #12. His game seems to be all length and speed at this point. But he's young and has room to add quality weight.

I don't see Fant lasting to #30 but there are four really good TEs in this draft. The Packers can afford to wait until #30 and get one of them.

An elite RG prospect can be had in round #3.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 04, 2019 at 03:25 am

I've read (the draft network) that Burns uses his hands well, has a variety of moves and a plan for his pass-rushing, while using his arm length to help disengage in run defense.

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IshpemingPackAttack's picture

March 04, 2019 at 08:07 am

I think that we need to stay away from Polite. He didn't seem to be handling the pressure very good at the combine. I know that he is just a kid but I don't think that it is a good sign. High draft picks are just to important this year.

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Tundraboy's picture

March 04, 2019 at 09:37 am

Oh yes. Not the right attitude I would be looking for.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 04, 2019 at 12:34 pm

I heard he wasn't very polite.

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BAMABADGER's picture

March 04, 2019 at 10:38 am

Would be Sweet if Sweat drops to 12, one can dream... I would take both Devins in a heart beat if they are available at 12 and 30. LB set for years and pass rush improved significantly. Speed and agility kills.

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