Grading the Packers 2018 Draft Class After Three Years

The old expression is it takes at least three years before you can evaluate an NFL draft class. With that in mind, it’s time to look back at the Green Bay Packers 2018 class and see how they are faring after three seasons in the NFL. This was Brian Gutekunst’s first draft as Packers GM.

Grades are based on a combination of expectations and performance so a seventh round pick that performs at the same level as a second round pick will receive a higher grade.

Round 1: CB Jaire Alexander

Alexander has developed into a shutdown corner in his third season and earned Pro Bowl honors in 2020 for the first time in his NFL career. Alexander is quick, tenacious and fast and has a strong ability to read plays and react to them quickly.

The former Louisville star did a great job of shutting down some top receivers this season and according to pro-football-reference.com, opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of just 67.4 when throwing to receivers covered by Ja’Money.

Alexander has a short memory and a ton of confidence and that helps the defense become more confident as well.

The only relative shortcoming in Alexander’s game right now is a lack of big plays. He had only one interception this season and one safety and both came in the season opener. He did add two picks in the NFC Championship Game, but to take his game to the next level, he needs to increase the number of turnovers and splash plays he makes.

Grade: A

Round 2: CB Josh Jackson

Jackson showed promise early in his rookie season but he has yet to establish himself as a bona fide starter in the NFL. Right now, he is the Packers fourth or fifth cornerback and he was a healthy scratch in four of the team’s final games this season and in both playoff contests. The coaching staff clearly doesn’t have a lot of confidence in Jackson right now and he was on the field for only 32 percent of the Packers defensive snaps this season.

Jackson’s lack of speed has been an issue at corner and opposing quarterbacks had a quarterback rating of 113.0 throwing to receivers covered by Jackson.

In three seasons, the former Iowa star has started 15 games with 10 of those coming in his rookie campaign. He broke up 10 passes in 2018 but has only two in the last two years. He has yet to intercept a pass in the NFL after showing good ball skills in college.

Jackson has been a disappointment for a second round pick and he may be approaching his last chance to make an impact on defense in 2021 when the team gets a new defensive coordinator.

Grade: C-

Round 3: LB Oren Burks

Burks showed promise in training camp as a rookie but injuries disrupted his development in each of his first two seasons and he has made precious little impact on defense.

The Vanderbilt alum has started four games in his NFL career and all of them came in 2018. This year, he made 21 tackles including one tackle for loss. He also forced two fumbles.

Despite an opening at the position, Burks has been unable to establish himself as a contributor at ILB. He played 96 snaps this season on defense.

His main contributions have been on special teams.

Grade: C-

Round 4: WR J’Mon Moore

Moore was the first of three wide receivers selected by the Packers in 2018. He played in 12 games as a rookie catching two passes for 15 yards. He had trouble learning the playbook and holding on to the football and never really established himself as a major part of the Packers offense.

Green Bay released him prior to the 2019 season. Since then, he’s bounced around, signing with the Browns and Texans practice squads. He has signed a contract to return to Houston for training camp in 2021.

Moore has a lot of talent but needs to be more consistent. As a Packer, his career never really got off the ground.

Grade: D+

Round 5: G Cole Madison

Madison had a rough time after the Packers drafted him. He sat out the entire 2018 season for personal reasons after the suicide of his college teammate and friend, Tyler Hilinski.

In 2019, made the team but never played in a game. He tore an ACL in practice in November and was placed on the season-ending IR.

This past season, the Packers waived Madison after he failed his physical as training camp was about to start.

One wonders what might have happened if Madison had been able to start his NFL career in 2018. As it is, he never got to play for the Packers in a regular season game.

Grade: Incomplete

Round 5: P J.K. Scott

The former Alabama star has been the Packers punter for three years now. He has averaged 44.6-yards per punt for his career, but his problem has been consistency. Scott has stretches where he struggles and then stretches where he has outstanding kicks.

He has had two kicks blocked in three seasons with the Packers and needs to work on getting the ball away a little quicker.

He also filled in on kickoffs this season when Mason Crosby was struggling with injuries and did an adequate job.

Scott has a live leg and if he can be more consistent, he can be the Packers punter for years to come.

Grade: B-

Round 5: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

MVS has outstanding speed and is a constant threat to score on a deep pass. MVS averaged 20.9-yards per catch this season, best in the league among qualifying receivers. He also caught a career-high six touchdowns.

Valdes-Scantling needs to get more consistent. His catch percentage was only 52.4 according to pro-football-reference.com and he dropped seven passes. If he can improve in these areas, he can provide the Packers with a true compliment to Davante Adams. Right now, he is a dangerous if inconsistent weapon as the team’s second or third receiver.

Grade: B

Round 6: WR Equanimeous St. Brown

EQ has good size and speed but injuries have hampered his development. He missed all of 2019 on the injured reserve and didn’t suit up this season until Week 6.

St. Brown finished the season with seven catches for 117 yards and his first career NFL touchdown in 12 games. For his career, he now has 28 catches for 445 yards.

The biggest issue for St. Brown is consistency. He had two drops on just 13 targets and never really rose above the fourth receiver on the depth chart this season.

Training camp in 2021 may be EQ’s last chance to show he can realize the potential he showed at Notre Dame.

Grade C+

Round 7 DE James Looney

Looney was drafted as a DE and played three games for the Packers at that position in 2018 after starting the season on the practice squad. He played 19 snaps on defense in those three games and nine on special teams.

In 2019, the Packers shifted Looney to tight end and he spent the season on the practice squad as he learned to make the transition to his new position.

The Packers cut Looney early in training camp this August.

Grade: C-

Round 7: LS Hunter Bradley

Bradley was drafted as a long snapper and he has appeared exclusively in that role for the Packers during the last three seasons. The Mississippi State alum hasn’t committed any major errors but does need to be a bit more consistent.

In three seasons, Hunter has three total tackles. He has become a reliable long snapper in his three seasons with the team.

Grade: B

Round 7: Edge Kendall Donnerson

Donnerson spent most of the 2018 season on the practice squad before being put on the active roster in December. He never got into a game and was waived during training camp in 2019. He has since spent time on the practice squads of the Raiders and Bengals but Cincinnati released him in November.

Donnerson never made any kind of impact with the Packers.

Grade: D-

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

NFL Categories: 
5 points

Comments (66)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
mnbadger's picture

February 04, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Thank you for the complete review. I have to question the C+ given to eqstb. His production matches Josh Jackson but he seems to have been given every possible opportunity to improve without doing so., draft location may give him the slack your grade represents. I do appreciate that you put it out there and give us a chance to opine. Bring on free agency and the draft. GPG

8 points
9
1
GilMartin's picture

February 04, 2021 at 12:37 pm

You nailed it, mnbadger regarding EQ's grade. He was drafted much lower than Josh Jackson and that is the difference. Both of them are running out of time to make an impact. Thanks as always for the comment, always good to hear from you.

2 points
2
0
Bearmeat's picture

February 04, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Yeah... I don't agree with much of these grades:

Jaire - A+. He's the man. Nuff said.

J Jackson - D - You don't draft someone in the round 2 to sit on the bench. He hasn't gotten on the field. And when he has it's been inconsistent (and that's putting it charitably).

Burks - F. B-B-B-ust. Day 2 picks are valuable. He's been given every opportunity to play and has played his way off the field at TWO positions.

Moore - F. Bust. He can't make it back into the league 3 years after being a 4th round pick. I've heard over and over again: "The draft is 4 rounds plus early free agency."

Scott - D-. You don't draft punters. And if you do, they'd better be All Pros. Scott... is not. He's not even a top 35 punter IMO. He shouldn't be starting.

Madison - I. Incomplete here.

MVS - A+. 5th round picks are advanced Free Agency. MVS has scary speed. He suffers from drops, but he's already wildly outplayed his draft stock, and still has room to grow.

EQ - B. He's been inconsistent, had mental errors, and injured a fair bit. He was also a 6th round pick and has already outplayed that draft slot.

Looney - C. IIRC he's on the Patriots Practice squad now? He's been in the league 4 years in several roles. Not bad for the 7th round.

Bradley - F. You do not draft long snappers, and if you do, they'd better be all pros. Bradley is below average. See, Scott, JK.

Donnerson - C - See Looney, Joe.

15 points
18
3
GilMartin's picture

February 04, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Those are fair grades, Bearmeat. Never heard the 4th round cutoff. I think your grade for EQ is a little high because of his lack of impact, although injuries have been part of the reason for that. Thanks for commenting.

4 points
4
0
Coldworld's picture

February 04, 2021 at 03:13 pm

You are closer in my mind, though I am harsher on EQ, where I’d go a C at this point at best. In contrast I’d probably give Bradley the same despite the wobble late this season. Scott, well o guess it depends on how you rate draft position, maybe C too.

None if those players are locks next season. After 3 years and flashes of talent it’s make or break now. Burks and Jackson are busts due to draft position. May not make camp.

0 points
0
0
Bearmeat's picture

February 04, 2021 at 05:33 pm

I think Jackson has a good chance to stick IF he can play well in whatever the new scheme is in camp. It's clear at the very least that he was a bad fit for Pettine's system.

1 points
2
1
Stroh's picture

February 04, 2021 at 08:46 pm

Keep dreaming. Jackson is terrible. 3 yrs and he's a useless bench player, not even capable of playing ST! I don't give a damn what scheme you put him in!

0 points
0
0
Bearmeat's picture

February 05, 2021 at 07:24 am

I will never respond to you seriously, Dan. Not until you learn tact. Have a nice day.

1 points
2
1
Stroh's picture

February 06, 2021 at 08:33 pm

I guess you mean, again. Since you actually responded.

Feel free to keep that promise.

0 points
0
0
GilMartin's picture

February 04, 2021 at 07:29 pm

I agree Burks and Jackson probably are on their last chance to show they can make it. I hope the new DC helps Jackson. With King likely going, the Packers would benefit a lot if he stepped up and could start. Thanks for the comment, Coldworld.

0 points
0
0
Stroh's picture

February 04, 2021 at 08:39 pm

Jackson is a F in every sense. Burks not much better but drafted in 3rd and being a strong ST player helps his cause. So his grade has to be considerably higher than Jackson's!

0 points
0
0
White92's picture

February 04, 2021 at 09:06 pm

I gotta say I agree with just about all of this Bearmeat

0 points
0
0
CoachDino's picture

February 05, 2021 at 03:51 pm

I see good points across the board.

Jaire - A+ Drafting the arguably best player at one of the most key positions is an automatic good draft class. _Debaatable statement on my part...

Jackson is a real disappointment and if he panned out he would of taken Kings spot by now. The Packers play plenty of Zone and that's supposedly Jacksons strength. He fooled the experts coming out, wonder if there's more behind it than he just was never that good

Same with Burks D+- He was a hybrid before it was popular - just never seemed to have the instincts or IQ to make it. Want much more from a 3rd pick than good ST player

Moore - D never a lock to make roster but was a disappointment

Scott - B - I'm not so down on Scott and the days of not drafting Kickers, punters and long snappers are over. With 32 teams vying for these guys if you want to ensure you have a competent player drafting is a good option. Just simple supply and demand, not my theory or observation. Or pay big money for the better free agents, saves money as well.

Madison - D - He didn't play - unfortunate

MVS - B+ - Anytime a 5th rounder can pay dividends like he has its a good thing

EQS - B - He made the roster and is a contributor

Bradly - B - Has been a starter from year 1

Looney/Donnersson - No grade - no expectation of even making roster as 6/7th rds

In the end is all about how you grade. Past the 3rd round if you make the team and are a starter its a B min even if your a C player in the league. Then take a look where in each rd the picked. Big difference picking 1-8 9-15 16-25 16-32

Hitting on Jaire is a jackpot - almost an automatic A The add EQS as a late rounder that starts and is a specialty weapon. Twp late rounders that are Special teams starters from day 1 (Is special teams important or not? If so than drafting is not a bad idea).

Then EQS as a contributor late is another plus

Overall Draft Value / Grade B+

0 points
0
0
t-wrecks's picture

February 04, 2021 at 12:33 pm

Thanks for the article. In my opinion I think if the player was so bad they got cut before year 3 that their grade should be an F. If they did nothing or next to nothing to help the team then that’s an F. That’s a complete draft bust in my mind. No matter the round they were drafted in.

Glad to see an article on this though. We’ve had some pretty unproductive drafts in the past 3-5 years.

6 points
6
0
GilMartin's picture

February 04, 2021 at 12:49 pm

Thanks for commenting, t-wrecks. I think it's a bit harsh to say if a player isn't on the team anymore after 3 years that their grade is an F. None of those players got high grades from me, but if they did contribute a bit, they got better than an F. You have to remember even good teams only hit on roughly half their picks. This was not our best draft but we did add one Pro Bowl players who is on the verge of greatness. Other than that, it was a disappointment.

1 points
1
0
t-wrecks's picture

February 05, 2021 at 09:40 am

Yeah that's fair, I can see what you're saying. Very true about maybe half of the draftees work out long term.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 04, 2021 at 12:48 pm

These are very charitable grades.
A+: Alexander - Stud.
D+: Jackson - Passer ratings of 106, 143, 113. Played badly.
D: Burks - Can't play. 3rd round special teamer-only.
F: Moore - Can't play. Never really did.
Inc: Madison - Never played. Nothing out of a 5th rd. pick.
C: JK Scott - inconsistent.
B+/A-: MVS. Nice return for a 5th rd WR. Needed Vertical threat.
C-: ESB. No STs, probably would have been cut with Funchess
F: Looney. Handful of def/ST snaps. No impact. Depth, arguably.
C-: Bradley. So-so snapper yet was drafted.
F-: Donnerson Zero ST/Def. snaps. No benefit to GB at all.

9 points
9
0
GilMartin's picture

February 04, 2021 at 12:53 pm

We're not that far off in some of these grades. I do give day three picks an easier scale as less is expected of them. Thanks for commenting Thegreatreynoldo.

1 points
1
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 04, 2021 at 01:39 pm

You're a good writer and I love that you stick around to respond in the comment section. It is very much appreciated!

5 points
5
0
GilMartin's picture

February 04, 2021 at 07:30 pm

Thank you, Thegreatreynoldo and thanks for reading my articles. That's always appreciated as well.

0 points
0
0
frankthefork's picture

February 04, 2021 at 01:16 pm

Like it Gil and TGR. This is accurate on facts. The one question is what deserves the + effort or ROI vs. the - no effort, bad draft pick area or no return on investment(draft place) at all?

0 points
0
0
flackcatcher's picture

February 04, 2021 at 02:38 pm

This draft is all on Gutekunst. Both the good and bad. He made the calls.

0 points
0
0
GilMartin's picture

February 04, 2021 at 07:34 pm

Absolutely. This was his first draft as Packers GM.

0 points
0
0
GilMartin's picture

February 04, 2021 at 07:32 pm

This was Gute's first draft as GM. Some things were out of his control like Cole Madison's situation. Some picks just didn't pan out. I hope some of these guys could still make bigger contributions next year. Thanks for the comment.

0 points
0
0
flackcatcher's picture

February 04, 2021 at 02:36 pm

Pretty fair TGR. Some (somewhat long) comments. Alexander has outplayed his draft position. He's a shutdown corner in a league where the shutdown corner has become more of a myth than anything else. I can't even imagine what his next contract is going to be like. Jackson and Burks are disappointments for not taking the next step, for not mentally understanding the positions they play. They will be on somebodies roster next year. If it is the Packers that will depend on what the front office sees long term. Moore was never ready for the mental aspect of the game. Never should have drafted, that was obvious early on. Packers were blinded by his physical tools. Both MVS and ESB have outplayed their draft positions and are core players in this Packer offense. If Funchess played then ESB would have stayed on the IR this season. Too much talent and past production to cut. For all the whining from fans about MVS, he is the No. 2 WR on this offense and draws bracket coverage. The Packers got to the NFC champ game because of his play. Impressive. Agree with Scott and Bradley. That a long snapper has to be drafted... (Don't get me started on ST. nope nope nope not going there :-)

-1 points
0
1
GilMartin's picture

February 04, 2021 at 07:34 pm

Thanks for the comments, flackcatcher and I think you're spot on. It's rare that a team drafts one STs player in a draft, let alone two. MVS is good and his speed is deadly, but if he can become more consistent he can really take his game to another level. Always good to hear from you.

0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

February 04, 2021 at 05:03 pm

Yeah, I'd agree with your grades more than the others. Part of it though is whether you grade based upon absolute performance or modify based upon draft position. I guess which flavor you pick depends on whether you are really trying to grade the GM or grade the player.

0 points
0
0
Stroh's picture

February 04, 2021 at 08:53 pm

Burks was drafted a round later and is a core ST player and a darn good one. Jackson has been and is useless and isn't even capable enough to be a gunner on punt coverage or covering kick. Jackson a HUGE F and Burks a D.

0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

February 04, 2021 at 01:14 pm

Alexander was a real good pick. I had wanted Lamar Jackson with that pick, but you can't be unhappy with Alexander.

Josh Jackson has been a dependable backup for three years. He doesn't start ahead of Alexander and King. He's not a nickel guy. I know that some people say things like "he can't get on the field," as a means of minimizing him, but the guys ahead of him are staying healthy and playing well. That's a good thing, just like when Rashan Gary couldn't get on the field last year.

He's been inconsistent because he's a young guy who doesn't get a lot of field time. I'd give this pick at least a C. It's an average Day Two pick. In fact, if you go to pro-football-reference.com and click on the 2017 draft, you'll see that his Career Value is at 7, which is as high or higher than about half the Day Two picks. He's an average Day Two pick. Average is not a D-, it's a C.

Even Burks, with an Career AV of 5 is as good or better than some Day Two picks, and Burks has been a disappointment.

Moore, along with MSV, EQ, and Kumerow...and then later Lazard and Shephard....were the new GM's plan to keep one decent, healthy WR on the field opposite of Adams, who is a star. After three years, MSV and Lazard have reached that point. Moore, and Shephard, and Kumerow are all gone. So rather than give Moore a F, I'd give this an A for the way they approached the problem. We were the #1 passing offense in the league. And MSV, from not being any good to an A. Classic.

I like JK Scott. I think he's got a great leg. He was hurt some this year and it showed. We punted 46 times this year, good for 26th in the league. Good. I hate punting. The two runbacks aren't the punter's fault. Personally, I'd tell the punter to hit it short and high and towards the sidelines. I hate punting, and I hate having punts returned against me. So I wouldn't give them the chance to do it.

Add in the extra first round pick in 2018 and I'd say that the 2017 draft was an A for Gutekunst.

-4 points
2
6
flackcatcher's picture

February 04, 2021 at 01:37 pm

Never thought the Ravens would completely change their offensive scheme for Jackson. You were right about him LH. Well done.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

February 04, 2021 at 02:27 pm

Remember that the O in Baltimore was floundering with a lack of talent and Joe Flacco at QB when they drafted Jackson. He was immediately the best athlete on that offense when he walked into camp.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

February 04, 2021 at 02:26 pm

Jackson is baffling to me. Whether it's just that he doesn't fit in the scheme or that he's regressing, it's hard to get a feel for what's going on with him. The press about him doesn't carry negatives--lazy, entitled, etc. But he's strictly an outside CB and really only sees snaps when King or Alexander is out. It's problematic that he's had a meaningful number of healthy scratches in 2019 and 2020.

0 points
0
0
flackcatcher's picture

February 04, 2021 at 03:10 pm

Jackson, had some bad breaks after his rookie season, mostly in the form of long term injuries. Set his progress back. The other is the league changed the pass interference rules again. Jackson is a hand fighter on a team that NFL game Refs call holding on more than most clubs. So much more, that the Packers had to change their entire approach to secondary coverage after the 2017 season. It is not an accident that both boundary CB were playing off coverage for most of this season. Game officials will not let Green Bay's CB or SS use their hands in coverage period. Jackson, who has really improved his footwork in coverage would get called for hand checking even when he was responding to the push offs by WR. The Saints game was a classic where he was victimized by the lazy calls of a side judge who couldn't keep up. Late in the season, Jackson became a healthy scratch because the referees were using him as a scapegoat in their missed calls. Not his fault that Pettine nor Gray could use him.

-1 points
0
1
Leatherhead's picture

February 04, 2021 at 03:56 pm

Jackson is the most dangerous player in the NFL.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 04, 2021 at 02:35 pm

Of the 32 picks, 6 had lower CarAV than Jackson. At least two of the 6 had horrible injuries and/or suspensions: Derrius Guice played just 5 games in 3 seasons due to injury and Breeland Speaks played his rookie year and then destroyed his knee in 2018, and hasn't played since. 4 of Jackson's 7 points came from his rookie year when he played 718 snaps even though he was bad because GB had no one else as King was hurt all the time (6 games, 304 snaps). Only 11 of the 36 third-rounders had a CarAv less than 7, and sadly one of those was Oren Burks. Jackson has played over 1,000 snaps in the NFL, but he probably could have used more reps.

Despite that, I think he has upside and would do better in a different system. Maybe Gray can coax it out of him. I'd support trading him to another team in return for another talented player who is having trouble finding the feet in the NFL. Change of scenery. But I judge on what he's done for GB, and that is bad.

The draft netted an all-pro, a #3 WR who is good at what he does, which is to provide a deep threat, and shoo-ins by drafting a Punter in the 5th and a long-snapper in the 7th. It netted a late first as well. I give Gute a B.

I always enjoy butting heads with ya.

1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

February 04, 2021 at 04:32 pm

You are comparing him to the second rounders, whereas I was talking about the larger pool of Day Two Picks. Regardless if you put Jackson on the bell curve, he’s still in that 2/3 in the middle. Towards the low end of average, but average. An average Day Two Pick.

Jason Spriggs. Abdul Hodge. Josh Jones. Montravious Adams, Brian Brohm......Josh Jackson is an average Day Two Pick. I’ll stand my ground on this.

I guarantee you if he were released, he’d be picked up quick.

-1 points
0
1
TarynsEyes's picture

February 04, 2021 at 01:28 pm

Outside of Alexander and MVS, who may become an actual asset, there isn't one player that could not have been replaced with no regrets, therefore besides the two mentioned the draft class is an F.

2 points
5
3
Leatherhead's picture

February 04, 2021 at 01:37 pm

Seven guys on the 53 of back to back Division winners is an F?

-3 points
1
4
TarynsEyes's picture

February 04, 2021 at 02:26 pm

The team winning is more about over-coming the 7, and not the 7 making it a winning team, and even that wasn't enough as witnessed recently.

2 points
2
0
Leatherhead's picture

February 04, 2021 at 04:36 pm

Every single person counts in a team.

0 points
0
0
TarynsEyes's picture

February 04, 2021 at 05:14 pm

Yes, they have to total 53.

1 points
1
0
Stroh's picture

February 04, 2021 at 09:06 pm

That's a Fail in itself. It's not about what the team accomplished in spite of... it's about performance and productivity. Jackson can't play on Defense or ST. Burks at least is a core ST player and on the active roster

1 points
1
0
freddisch's picture

February 04, 2021 at 01:53 pm

Gil, you must be grading on a curve, all the D minuses should be F’s

2 points
2
0
flackcatcher's picture

February 04, 2021 at 01:54 pm

When comes to the draft, I only ask do they get on the field or not. If they get snaps, or become core players, then it is up to how the coaches see them, and how they fit into the system and scheme on both sides of the ball. After all, these are elite football players before they get drafted, and the line between making an NFL roster is so thin... Bottom line, did this draft help the Packers become one few with a realistic chance to get to the Superbowl. Yes they did. Then this draft is successful.

0 points
1
1
dobber's picture

February 04, 2021 at 02:20 pm

I tend to agree on contributions. Moore, Madison, Donnerson...never saw the field for more than a handful of snaps, and for those who DID make it on the field, the snaps weren't meaningful. They're F's. I can buy the argument that anyone drafted in the 6th or 7th who makes it out of two camps is not an F, so maybe that saves Looney.

1 points
1
0
TarynsEyes's picture

February 04, 2021 at 02:41 pm

Perhaps the coaching and FO need to recognize quicker those players that don't grow quick enough, and retain them for too long a period with denial.

I'll use my favorite player, Nick Perry, as an example. His first 4 years was a nightmare, less the blind-optimist, and the FO gave him an extension, over-paid, and waited for three more years to become the hoped for OLB, less a player of above average ability. His failure and a prediction of mine day one, was proven when GB released him, finally, and IIRC, not one team brought him in for a tryout, and he still hasn't been. I believe the Draft and Develop gives the Packers the best path to any and every level of success, they just have failed over-all and the couple of FA signings have offset that, but it's still something they need to be better at, along with accepting a players' failure to grow in a more timely manner. It's a need, not an option anymore.

1 points
1
0
flackcatcher's picture

February 04, 2021 at 03:40 pm

Well, I never rate drafts in a vacuum. The Packers are forever building. "Draft and Develop" is not a cliché with this organization. They have no choice, it's the only way they can be successful in this league. So the only way to look at the players as a whole is to look at what the Packers have done in the past drafts. This front office is very sensitive not only who they draft or sign as free agents, but how they are 'coached up' after. Most players fail in the NFL because they are in the wrong system in the wrong time and place. The Packers do better than most in their failure rate simply because they are more careful than most teams. (Or luckier maybe. The line between good and luck is sometimes like life, pretty thin...)

0 points
0
0
Stroh's picture

February 04, 2021 at 09:20 pm

The salary cap and revenue sharing allows the Packers to operate in any manner they wish! It's be no means a necessity that they are a Draft and Develop team. That stopped being the case when Lambeau was renovated as well and now with Titletown District becoming a cash cow, it's even less necessary.

0 points
0
0
TarynsEyes's picture

February 05, 2021 at 11:08 am

What does the renovation and Titletown being a cash cow have to do with anything? GB is still limited to the salary cap, and the Draft and Develop is still the main path because of the lack of desire for FAs to go to GB. The FO can't use any money from Titletown to sign players and neither can Jerry Jones from Jerry's World. The only thing Titletown and merchandise sales does for GB is keep them from withdrawing more money than they put in toward the profit sharing to make the salary cap equal to each team.

0 points
0
0
SwedeBayPacker's picture

February 04, 2021 at 02:18 pm

"The Vanderbilt alum has started four games in his NFL career and all of them came in 2018."

That's a Big Fat F right there. Is he made out of glass?

1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

February 04, 2021 at 02:23 pm

He's a core special teamer, but you have to ask what that means for a 3rd rounder and for ST groups that rate toward the bottom of the league. The fact that he was easily leap-frogged on the depth chart at ILB by Bolton last year, then Barnes and Martin this season, and was bypassed for Ty Summers in the NFCCG when Barnes got dinged is telling.

D.

2 points
2
0
Stroh's picture

February 04, 2021 at 09:24 pm

At least Burks is a productive ST player. Jackson isn't even capable of being a gunner on punt coverage or covering kick. Plus he was drafted a round later than Jackson. Burks a D. Jackson an unmitigated F!

1 points
1
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 04, 2021 at 03:03 pm

Many people's grades are surprising me, as I consider myself a generous grader, but my grades are lower than most: Alexander A+, Josh Jackson D, Oren Burks D-, J'mon Moore F, Cole Madison Inc/F, Scott C-, MVS A, ESB C+, Looney D, Bradley C, Donnerson F.

Overall, it's hard to give a bad grade to a draft that produced an All-Pro quality CB and the NFL's best-average-gain WR plus another (Bradley) starter. I'd give it a B+ because All-Pro CBs are worth their weight in gold.

Personally, I'd have picked Derwin James instead of trading down ( I was ecstatic then confounded) or after the trade-down, Leighton VanDerBusch. Both good picks, but not any better than Alexander.

0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

February 04, 2021 at 05:46 pm

Your grades are to high. Alexander is the only guy that earned a A. And set Gute's draft. Also I 'll include the Trade with NO. (A) The rest on this team are here only by the skin of their teeth.

0 points
1
1
Trapped-in-MN-BUT-GB-fan's picture

February 04, 2021 at 06:31 pm

I think it is pointless to try and grade defensive drafts in the last three years because Pettines’ system they were forced to play in.

0 points
0
0
jhtobias's picture

February 04, 2021 at 07:13 pm

According to these people who post on this site Green Bay can win the superbowl every year and they still would suck .. Go Pound Sand Arm Chair GM'S

-2 points
0
2
PF4L's picture

February 04, 2021 at 08:31 pm

1) Jaire Alexander....legit
2) Josh Jackson....2nd round pick, 3rd year...bust
3) Oren Burks....3rd year....bust
4) J'Mon Moore (D+?)....he was cut after 1 season....bust
5) Cole Madison....had a healthy interest in getting paid. Playing football?...not so much....F-
5) JK Scott...ultra slow kick mechanics....C
5) MVS.....52% catch rate doesn't improve much yearly, makes enough plays to stay on the roster...which is ok, until his contract is up. He's woefully inconsistent. How much are you paying him in his 2nd contract?
Grade: C
6) ESB....In 3 seasons, he's been on either the IR or the injury list 40 out of 48 weeks in 3 seasons. He has 28 receptions in 3 seasons...Grade: Where we goin here?
Looney........Nobody
Bradley........Really
Donnerson..Cares

0 points
1
1
Stroh's picture

February 04, 2021 at 09:36 pm

Not sure how Jackson gets a C-. He's been an unmitigated failure. A 2nd rd pick, after 3 years should AT LEAST, be a regular contributor, instead Jackson has been on the bench for almost the entirety of his 3 yrs. He doesn't even contribute on ST. Gotta give him an F.

Burks hasn't been much better, but was drafted a round later and in a strong ST player. I'd give him a D+, instead of C-.

Being a 5th rd pick, a big plat threat and close to being starter quality has to elevate MVS. He should garner a strong B+.

Late add on. The fact Gutey got an extra 1st rd pick, which turned into Savage raises the overall grade of this draft by at least 1/2 or more, letter grade.

3 points
3
0
White92's picture

February 04, 2021 at 09:18 pm

Thanks for putting this out there Gil. I just can't get over the fact a punter and a long snapper were taken in the same draft...blows my mind. It's almost like trading up in the first round to grab a guy to be inactive every week..

1 points
1
0
SterlingSharpe's picture

February 05, 2021 at 06:24 am

Why is J'Mon Moore a D+? What's the +PLUS for?
He's a flat F.
And speaking of PLUS, Jaire Alexander is an A+PLUS for sure.
Sad thing for me is this 2018 Draft was here in Dallas & we were at this draft up close & personal for every pick on days 2 & 3.

Also sad is this: think about that 3rd & prayer long pass to Chris Godwin last week where 5'10" Darnell Savage was right there for an int or at least pass breakup.

Josh Jackson should be a free safety which would take advantage of his skillset. I guarantee Godwin wouldn't have nudged Jackson outta the way & gone over him & caught that ball.

1 points
1
0
MarkinMadison's picture

February 05, 2021 at 08:12 am

"Josh Jackson should be a free safety which would take advantage of his skillset."

I've been arguing this for years. The Packers seem to have a talent for drafting safeties, with an apparent preference for safeties from Iowa. They just keep trying to make them be cornerbacks.

1 points
1
0
MemphoMike's picture

February 05, 2021 at 08:43 am

Great insight on all the players but I have to say that if you would have been my college professor, I might have gotten out of school in less than 6 years!;) Seriously, I think you're too forgiving on your grades. At this moment, this is not the draft you'd want to have a beer with Gutey and discuss....

I also think Jaire is a definite A++....with that said....

Josh Jackson- Round 2 pick with few good games in year one....routinely a healthy scratch thru most of 2020....He was projected in some mocks as a Rd 1 pick but teams ran away and dropped all the way down to the Pack. Maybe a new scheme will bring out his talent but so far he's not contributed like a 2nd round pick should. Grade- D

Oren Burks- Round 3- non-existent outside of ST, looks lost in every game where he's played LB....not good. He was supposed to be a sideline to sideline pass covering, tackling ILB machine, unfortunately this machine has been out of order since he got to Green Bay. I don't see the Pack resigning him. Grade- F

J Moore-Round 4 - Mid round picks are where you build your current/future roster- this WR is out of NFL- Grade F

Cole Madison- Round 5- See J. Moore comments above. Grade F

JK Scott- Round 5- You probably shook your head on draft day at this one.....well, looking back you were probably right with your questioning of this pick so high in the draft. I'll give him another year, but his inconsistency, especially in crunch time situations, is maddening. Grade- C (I'm being generous)

MVS- Round 5- Inconsistent but emerging talent. WR in the NFL is hard to play and MVS is developing and producing thru his gametime experience. If Jaire has a short memory, so does MVS. He's young, fast and resilient. Yes, his drops are frustrating but #17 took some time before he started tearing up the league. He grew up a lot this season and the sky is the limit for MVS. Grade B+

EQ- Round 6- RAS score phenom who isn't coming along as quickly as I hoped. Saw some action in 2020 after injuries held him back. Next year is going to be his tell-tale season. He looks so good when he's catching the ball....not so good when he drops balls that hit him in the hands....I need to see more good. Grade Incomplete

0 points
0
0
x24's picture

February 05, 2021 at 09:32 am

So what is the grade for Brian Gutekunst on his first draft as Packers GM?

Is there a "league" average against which we can compare? Across all 32 drafts- how many players tend to stick 3 years later? How many blue chips, how many busts?

0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

February 05, 2021 at 09:59 am

Jaire - I agree with the A. Would be A+ with a few more picks
J. Jackson - I’d give him a D based on what we’ve seen so far and the fact that he is in his 3rd season on the league. Very poor showing from a #2 pick.
Burks and Moore both get Fs. They have given us nothing and Moore is gone.
Madison - gets an F. He never played. As far draft capital is concerned that’s an F, regardless of the reason.
JK Scott - C+. He needs to become more consistent.
MVS - C+. He improved this season but he still has too many drops and he is not a very good route runner. His best attribute is his speed but after 3 seasons in the league he should be further along in his development as a WR
ESB - D. Again after 3 seasons his contributions to the team should be at a higher level by now.
Looney - F. No contribution while he was here
Bradley - B-. We almost never hear his name which is a good thing for a long snapper.
Donnerson - F. Another non - contributor.

My grades are harsher than most because I believe that draft picks are a capital resource in terms of building the team. If players can’t or don’t contribute that is a loss and in some cases a waste of resources/ capital. After 3 seasons we have only one starter from this draft. Fortunately Alexander is as an All-Pro shut down corner. After him we some decent NFL players but quite frankly we can be 13-3 with or without the remaining players including MVS. 4 are already gone and Burks and/or ESB could be after this season’s TC.

If we draft or acquire a legit #2 WR MVS could be pushed further down on the depth.

If not for Alexander this draft would be an F. As it is I give Gute a C- minus for this class. Thanks, Since ‘61

1 points
1
0
barutanseijin's picture

February 06, 2021 at 01:19 pm

Scott was drafted and yet is no better than the other guys they’ve had punting. Draft a punter and it’s not an upgrade? F-.

Same with Bradley. His snaps are a bit wild, contributing to missed kicks and other ST failures. You don’t draft long snappers, but if you do, they better be an upgrade. This guy isn’t. F-.

J’mon Moore looks like the classic case of overvalued measurables. Sub-UDFA level actual pro football ability. Try him out as a UDFA, don’t waste a pick on him. F

Did the Packers do their homework on Cole Madison? It looks like they didn’t. F

Jackson & Burks are bad, yes, but that happens. It’s one thing to make mistakes in the draft, another thing to keep them around. Why was Jackson on the roster this year? Burks does something at least. Is it enough to justify a roster spot? ESB has performed to his draft level so maybe a C there.

In sum, one all-pro and a bunch of stiffs. The all-pro is great but one of the problems with this team is lack of depth. You pay eventually ford rafting punters, LS & guys who can’t or won’t play. Bad draft.

0 points
0
0
chead76's picture

February 08, 2021 at 11:06 pm

What's it take to get an 'F' in this system? If a player doesn't make it to the field, (barring injury, etc.) that seems kind of 'F'-y, since the team basically wasted a pick (not to mention coaching, etc.) on that player. What more has to happen?

0 points
0
0