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Packers 2018 Draft Board Projection: Lots of wide receivers in play for Brian Gutekunst

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The Packers should have more than 20 wideouts worthy of consideration on their board, at least based on the players’ testing results over the past few months.

Maryland v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

This is the latest article in a multi-part series that will attempt to project what the Green Bay Packers’ draft board will look like at each position in the 2018 NFL Draft.

With Ted Thompson as the team’s general manager, the Green Bay Packers have been notorious in their rigidity in regards to athletic testing thresholds, at least at certain specific positions. One of those is the wide receiver spot, where the Packers have a well-established profile for the type of wideouts that they tend to select in the NFL Draft.

As a refresher, we look back to Justis Mosqueda’s excellent work before the 2017 draft to find the Packers’ necessary traits for wideouts. He broke them down as follows: height at least 5-foot-11 7/8, weight at least 188 pounds, 40 time of 4.56 seconds or faster, and 3-cone time of 7.08 seconds or faster.

Last year, one of the Packers’ two wide receiver draft picks, fifth-rounder DeAngelo Yancey, met all of these requirements. However, seventh-rounder Malachi Dupre fell more than a tenth of a second short on the 3-cone drill with a 7.19-second time.

This year, however, Brian Gutekunst has moved into Thompson’s spot as head decision-maker, and questions abound regarding how closely he will stick to his predecessor’s preferred skill sets. However, based on those desired traits and the qualities possessed by the players whom Gutekunst does select in this year’s draft, we may be able to tell if he is open to different types of players than Thompson was.

The first step in that process is to identify players who meet what the Packers look for. This year’s wide receiver group, in particular, has a huge number of players whose testing results fall within the Packers’ desired ranges, however; of the top 50 wideouts according to NFLDraftScout.com, we count a whopping 22 who meet the criteria, two who likely would do so but who did not complete all of their athletic testing, and another five who fall just outside the cutoffs. As with the defensive backs, we gave a little bit of wiggle room to the height and 3-cone limits, dropping the height cutoff to 5-foot-11 flat and giving a few hundredths of a second of wiggle room on the 3-cone time. That means there is a total of 29 of the top 50 who we think fall in or very close to the Packers’ range.

Another key component this season is the difference in how Gutekunst has used his pre-draft visits. The Thompson-led Packers have shown a willingness to sign undrafted free agents whose athletic profiles don’t quite match those of their draft picks. However, Gutekunst has been using more visits to bring in players who are worthy of consideration with the team’s first- and second-round picks compared to Thompson, and even some of those players fall outside of the Packers’ cutoffs.

At the receiver position, however, all of the Packers’ reported invitees for visits save for one meet the minimums. J’Mon Moore (Missouri), Justin Watson (Penn), and Keith Kirkwood (Temple) seem likely to be day-three draft picks but all three met the requirements. Dante Pettis of Washington was a few pounds light of Justis’ weight cutoff and he did not test at the Combine or Pro Day, but his tape suggests that he would easily meet the team’s necessary 40-yard dash and 3-cone times. (The fact that he came in for a visit may be directly related to the fact that he did not test publicly, as the team may have wanted to see him work out privately.)

These boards are formatted based on testing success; players who are shown in bold passed all the cutoffs, players in italics did not complete full testing but appear on track to pass, and players with no special formatting were in the borderline range for either height or 3-cone time (with the offending measurement shown in strikethrough). In addition, players whose names are shown in ALL CAPS reportedly met with the Packers on an official visit. A final note: asterisks next to any of the testing results indicate that the result was obtained from his Pro Day testing, and note that those results came from either NFLDraftScout.com or from the college’s official press releases.

Packers’ Projected 2018 WR Draft Board

  • Calvin Ridley, Alabama; Projected round 1; 6004, 189; 4.43 40 time. 6.88 3-cone
  • D.J. Moore, Maryland; Round 1; 6000, 210; 4.42, 6.95
  • Courtland Sutton, SMU; Round 1-2; 6033, 218; 4.54, 6.57
  • D.J. Chark, LSU; Round 2; 6027, 199; 4.34, no 3-cone
  • Anthony Miller, Memphis; Round 2; 5111, 201; 4.50*, 6.65*
  • Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame; Round 2-3; 6046, 214; 4.48, no 3-cone
  • DANTE PETTIS, Washington; 6004, 186; no 40, no 3-cone
  • James Washington, Oklahoma State; Round 3; 5110, 213; 4.54, 7.11
  • Michael Gallup, Colorado State; Round 3; 6006, 205; 4.46*, 6.95
  • Tre’Quan Smith, Central Florida; Round 3; 6020, 210; 4.49, 6.97
  • DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State; Round 3-4; 6005, 203; 4.47*, 6.84
  • Deon Cain, Clemson; Round 3-4; 6017, 202; 4.43, 6.71
  • Daurice Fountain, Northern Iowa; Round 3-4; 6014, 206; 4.46*, 7.02*
  • Dylan Cantrell, Texas Tech; Round 4-5; 6027, 226; 4.48*, 6.56
  • J’MON MOORE, Missouri; Round 5; 6025, 207; 4.49*, 6.56
  • Allen Lazard, Iowa State; Round 5; 6045, 227; 4.56, 7.11*
  • Trey Quinn, SMU; Round 5-6; 5113, 203; 4.55, 6.91
  • Cedrick Wilson, Boise State; Round 5-6; 6020, 188; 4.55, 6.89
  • Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State; Round 5-6; 6046, 218; 4.56, 7.06*
  • JUSTIN WATSON, Penn; Round 6; 6023, 215; 4.44*, 7.08*
  • Javon Wims, Georgia; Round 6-7; 6027, 215; 4.53, 7.00
  • KEITH KIRKWOOD, Temple; Round 7; 6024, 221; 4.45*, 6.94*
  • MARQUEZ VALDES-SCANTLING, USF; Round 7, 6040, 206; 4.37, 6.85*
  • Byron Pringle, Kansas State; Round 7-UDFA; 6010, 205; 4.46, 6.87
  • Damion Ratley, Texas A&M; Round 7-UDFA; 6016, 196; 4.39*, 6.92*
  • Ka’Raun White, West Virginia; Round 7-UDFA; 6010, 199; 4.52, 6.85*
  • Robert Foster, Alabama; Round 7-UDFA; 6015, 196; 4.41, 6.90
  • Vyncint Smith, Limestone; UDFA; 6020, 197; 4.38*, 6.89*
  • Trent Sherfield, Vanderbilt; UDFA; 6002, 203; 4.45*, 6.90*