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2017 NFL Draft analysis: Josh Jones fills Micah Hyde's void for Packers

Packers added an athletic, versatile piece to their secondary.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers entered the 2017 NFL Draft with holes in the secondary among other areas. However, few expected the team to grab two defensive backs with its first two selections.

With the 61st overall pick, the Packers selected North Carolina State safety Josh Jones. While the choice understandably surprised some, it does make sense given the team's needs. Do-it-all defensive back Micah Hyde left for the Buffalo Bills earlier in the offseason, leaving a void in an already undermanned secondary. Jones possesses a comparable skill set while offering more athleticism, producing one of the best 40-yard dashes (4.41 seconds), bench presses (20 reps), vertical leaps (37 ½ inches), and broad jumps (132 inches) among safeties in his draft class.

Jones doesn't just cover ground, however. Few players in the draft hit harder, giving the defense an violent presence in the middle of their secondary. When Morgan Burnett moves into the box to play linebacker, the Packers can move Jones into the vacated spot without losing much from a physicality perspective. Furthermore, with Burnett entering the final year of his contract, Jones could move into a starting role come 2018.

Jones certainly comes with warts. While N.C. State used him as a centerfielder, he doesn't always move into the right position when playing that role. Collegiate quarterbacks had success throwing him off with their eyes, an issue that NFL passers can more easily exploit. Jones also goes for the kill shot when a simple wrap-up tackle would suffice, sometimes resulting in missed tackles. Those issues could limit his field time as a rookie.

The Jones selection doesn't address a major remaining need for the Packers. The defense still needs help rushing the passer, both from the edge and along the interior. The offensive line could use an influx of talent with T.J. Lang's departure and Lane Taylor entering the final year of his deal. Obviously, the front office saw Jones' upside as too enticing given the alternatives still on the board. Now, they need to wait until the end of the third round to address them.