It’s always nice to end the home preseason games 2-0. What’s even nicer? Watching quarterback Aaron Rodgersreturn to Lambeau Field for the first time in almost a year. And because he’s Rodgers, it only took him one play to connect with tight end Jimmy Graham for an 8-yard score.
“Happy to get in, be productive and get out,” Rodgers said post-game. This may be the only time we’ll see Rodgers during the preseason and I’m more than OK with that. A healthy Aaron Rodgers is one of the biggest threats to opposing teams.
What else did we learn in Thursday’s game? Let’s take a look:
Green Bay might have a solid cornerback for the first time in a while this season. The Packers’ pass defense has been hurting, but with two offseason pickups, they may have a better chance this year. On Thursday, both free-agent addition defensive back Tramon Williams and rookie cornerback Josh Jackson returned interceptions for touchdowns.
The 2018 NFL Draft has been over for a few days now, and it’s given me a bit of time to research players I hadn’t known coming into it, and time to think about what our picks mean. We got to see new general manager Brian Gutekunst at work, and the draft gave us a bit more of a glimpse into his plans for our favorite team.
At the start of the draft, the Green Bay Packers had a league-high 12 picks. They made two trades in the first round and ended the draft with 11 picks that included: two cornerbacks, three wide receivers, one offensive lineman, one defensive lineman, one edge rusher, a punter and a long snapper.
So who ARE these new guys? Let’s take a look:
Jaire Alexander, cornerback, Louisville: EXCELLENT pick. The cornerback position is what I was hoping the Packers would draft first, and this is perhaps the best pick Gutekunst made this year. I think Alexander has the potential to become one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: Jackson is big – he’s tall and has long arms, which helped him complete eight interceptions last year. A very close second in terms of ability to Alexander. I expect him to see the field this season.
Oren Burks, linebacker, Vanderbilt: The Packers traded up in round 3 to get Burks. Starting as a safety, Burks has the potential and skill to play either safety or linebacker for Green Bay. I’ve read that there is concern about his consistency as a tackler, but he will most likely see a lot of action as a special teams player this upcoming season.
J’Mon Moore, wide receiver, Missouri: To be honest, I’m not sure the Packers will end up keeping Moore. While he had 10 touchdowns last year for the Tigers, I’m not entirely convinced he’s ready for the NFL just yet.
Cole Madison, offensive lineman, Washington State: I like him. I predict Madison will make the team as a starter on the right side of our offensive line this season.
JK Scott, P, Alabama: Let the competition begin! Scott was definitely the best punter in the draft. Who do you think will ultimately win the spot between Scott and Justin Vogel?
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, South Florida: Here’s another player that I’m not sure will end up on the team. He seems to need some work on running routes and passing. What grade would YOU give this pick?
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame: My favorite of the three wide receivers the Packers drafted. He’s FAST and I like that for Green Bay. I’m not sure he’s ready to be a starter, but I think we very well MIGHT see him in a game this season!
James Looney, defensive lineman, Cal: He’s fast which I like, but I’m not sure he’s NFL ready just yet.
Hunter Bradley, long snapper, Mississippi State: The best long snapper in the draft. Green Bay has Brett Goode, but we definitely saw issues early last year with the LS position. There were other positions I would have rather seen get filled at this point in the draft, but he’s a solid player, no doubt.
Kendall Donnerson, Edge, SE Missouri State: Another player that I don’t think is NFL ready at this point. Hopefully, he can become one during preseason workouts, because he is FAST and has great hands.
Overall, I give the Packers an A- for their draft picks. The excitement isn’t over yet though! Up next is undrafted free agency. Follow along with me on Twitter and here as we stay up to date with all the reported signings!
Talk all things Packers with Lucy on Twitter @Lucyrk78
Mock drafts. The mainstay of football media in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. Hundreds of journalists guessing who will take who and when. It’s a monumental job that, traditionally, most get very wrong. The inconsistency of NFL general managers and coaches make this a difficult task, and Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are some of the most unpredictable in the league.
Go ahead and ask a Seahawks fan who they think Seattle will take in first round. Doesn’t matter the year, you will get the same reaction – a laugh. With the exception of 2016 when they took offensive tackle Germain Ifedi, the Seahawks have traded out of their first round pick every year since 2012.
Both Schneider and Carroll covet having a lot of draft picks. They have become masters at finding good value in the mid rounds, and in this year’s draft, they don’t have many. Seattle currently holds a first round pick, but then has nothing again until the fourth round. Most teams would be happy with eight picks, but its because of where those picks lie that I can see Seattle trading out of that first round.