The Green Bay Packers stunned everyone on Thursday night at the 2018 NFL Draft, first trading down thirteen spots from the 14th pick to number 27. Then they made a big move upwards, getting back up to 18 in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks.
With that 18th pick, the Packers selected cornerback Jaire Alexander from Louisville. Alexander is an odd fit for the Packers, as he does not meet the traditional 5-foot-10 1⁄2 height cutoff that the team has tended to look for in their cornerbacks under Ted Thompson, coming up a quarter-inch short.
Otherwise, Alexander meets all of the Packers’ other athletic trends. He ran the 40-yard dash at the 2018 NFL Combine in a blistering 4.38 seconds, with a 1.52-second first ten yards. He then posted an exceptional 6.71-second time in the 3-cone drill and an absurd 3.98-second run in the short shuttle.
Alexander was limited to just six games in 2017 due to a leg injury, but he did record an interception and four pass breakups. However, his best tape comes from his sophomore season in 2016, when he picked off five passes, batted down nine more, and forced a fumble.
Adding to Alexander’s value is his ability as a punt returner. He averaged ten yards per return as Louisville’s primary return man in the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
The Packers’ trade up costs them the 27th pick that they acquired earlier from New Orleans as well as their own third-round pick (#76 overall) and a sixth-rounder (#186). Green Bay also gets a seventh-round pick (#248) in the deal from Seattle.
The Packers are next scheduled to be on the clock on Friday with the 45th overall pick.
What grade do you give the Packers’ first-round moves and selection of Jaire Alexander?
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