The reaction to the Green Bay Packers trading down from the 14th pick with Derwin James and Tremaine Edmunds on the board was predictable. With a large swath of the fan base being enamored with one or both prospects — this writer included — it was a surprise and a disappointment at first when the news of the trade with the Saints broke.
Then came the news that the Packers picked up a first-round pick in the 2019 draft in the trade. Sure, the Saints seem likely to be a playoff team this fall, but there is too much uncertainty in the NFL to be sure of that. Even if that pick is in the 20s, this is a deal that sets up the Packers in great shape for next year’s draft.
The move back up to 18 cost the Packers, in essence, a third-round pick. However, not having a third is an issue that should be fairly easily rectified this evening, given the fact that the Packers hold the first pick in round four and five more selections before the end of round five.
Of course, the team’s valuation of Alexander is a key component of this puzzle. If he lives up to the team’s expectations of him, this should be a success even if one of the players Green Bay passed on ends up being an excellent player as well. Much in the way that the selection of Aaron Rodgers defined Ted Thompson, however, the first day of Brian Gutekunst’s first draft will be something that Packers fans look to for years to come when discussing the GM.
Packers’ trades prioritize future ahead of present | Packersnews.com
Pete Dougherty has a point here, but it seems a bit dramatic. He refers often to the Packers needing a playmaker on defense and lists Derwin James, Marcus Davenport, and Tremaine Edmunds as those types of players. However, Jaire Alexander has big-play ability in his own right.
In addition, the loss of that third-round pick is hardly as problematic as Dougherty makes it out to be; with six picks in the fourth and fifth rounds, the Packers could probably manage to get a pair of third-round picks tonight if they’re aggressive.
New GM Gutekunst pounced on a rare opportunity | Packers.com
It seems like Alexander is almost an afterthought around Green Bay right now, with so much of the focus being placed on the Packers' acquisition of another first-round pick in next year's draft. Still, adding that extra first next year will be a big help for Gutekunst.
What scouts say about Packers’ new CB Jaire Alexander | Packers Wire
With the above comment in mind, let's dig a little deeper into Alexander's game. The Packers' top college scout thinks he is capable of playing any cornerback position as well as both man and zone; he's also drawing compliments for his smooth running style and his ability to stay with his man.
NFL Draft 2018: The 7 most surprising picks of the first round - SBNation.com
The Saints' move up for Marcus Davenport is on this list -- that's far more surprising than seeing the Packers move down in the draft.
Josh Rosen: 'Nine mistakes were made ahead of me' - NFL.com
I feel like the Aaron Rodgers comparisons keep coming for Rosen. A California kid, he's seen as an intelligent guy -- maybe too intelligent -- and now he has a chip on his shoulder thanks to a rather surprising fall on day one of the draft.
Finally, check out this fun video of Alexander learning that his former Louisville teammate, Lamar Jackson, got drafted with the last pick of round one: