In a draft so weak on outside pass rushers that there was only one consensus stud in the first round — N.C. State’s Bradley Chubb, who went No. 5 overall to the Broncos — nfl authentic nike jerseys Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst didn’t have one that he deemed worthy of taking with any of his first 10 picks. He bypassed the edge rusher position until his 11th and final selection — No. 248 overall — when he finally felt the value was right and took Kendall Donnerson, an outside linebacker from Southeast Missouri State.
Yes, Gutekunst drafted another linebacker, Vanderbilt’s Oren Burks in the third round, but the Packers view him as an inside player and not an edge rusher.
“I wouldn’t use the term bypass,” Gutekunst said after the draft. “We tried to let the board come to us like we always do. If it’s not there, it’s not there. And the value of the players that we picked were just higher-valued players than the pass-rushers that were on the board.”
The debate over whether poor cornerback play or the lack of a consistent pass rush hampered the Packers’ 23rd-ranked defense more last season can rage on, but it’s clear Gutekunst felt the better value was in the cornerback market. He picked Louisville’s Jaire Alexander in the first round (No. 18 overall) and Iowa’s Josh Jackson in the second (No. 45).
It marked the sixth and seventh times in the past five drafts that the Packers used a first- or second-round pick on a defensive back. All remain on the roster except 2015 first-round pick Damarious Randall, who was traded to the Browns in March, but only safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has made a Pro Bowl.
It prompted one NFL personnel executive to tell ESPN’s Mike Sando: “I just want to know how many years Green Bay is going to continue to burn high draft capital on the defensive backs before the defense becomes formidable against the pass… They play s—ty defense. Give them credit for trying, at least.”
The Packers haven’t put the same resources into the edge-rusher position. Kyler Fackrell, new nfl nike jerseys a third-round pick in 2016, remains the highest pick they have used on that position since 2012’s first-round pick Nick Perry.
“The reality is we drafted 11 players,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said shortly after the draft. “Player acquisition is still going on as we speak and it will continue all the way up to training camp. So I get it. Pass rush is something that we want to add more competition to and hopefully that will be answered as we move forward.”