Draft evaluation season is well underway for the Green Bay Packers. With three picks in the top 45 selections of the 2019 NFL Draft, look for general manager Brian Gutekunst and his staff to do their homework on much of the top talent in this year’s draft, particularly on the defensive front seven and the offensive line.
However, the Packers have made numerous excellent picks in the later rounds of the draft with Gutekunst and his mentor Ted Thompson in charge. Their diligent scouting of players at all levels of evaluation suggest that they have been paying close attention to this week’s college all-star games — the East-West Shrine Game and NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Those two games will kick off on Saturday, with the Shrine Game beginning at 2:00 PM Eastern and the Collegiate Bowl starting three hours later. Of the two, the Shrine Game typically draws the better talent, however, coming in second to next week’s Senior Bowl as the top such game each year.
Here’s a look at some players who should intrigue Gutekunst and Packers fans alike, and who could be good fits in Green Bay. Most players at this game are likely third-day draft picks or priority free agents, but a few in particular stand out as possible top-100 picks. In addition, click here for full rosters and weigh-in/measurement information.
Michael Jackson, Sr., CB, Miami (FL)
As a junior, Jackson was a turnover machine, recording four interceptions. He failed to pick off a pass as a senior, but still helped make the Miami defense an upper-tier unit that allowed just 136 passing yards per game. He has good size at 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds, and he should run well at the Scouting Combine. He could end up a day-two draft pick.
Lukas Denis, S, Boston College
Like Jackson, Denis had a remarkable junior year, outdoing even his teammate on the East squad. After moving from corner to safety in the 2017 offseason, Denis recorded a staggering seven interceptions that year, adding ten pass breakups and a pair of forced fumbles. He had just one pick in 2018, but he took that back 59 yards for a touchdown. He’s not bulky at 5-foot-11 and 184 pounds, but he could be a candidate to play a hybrid free safety/slot corner role in the NFL.
Jordan Brailford, EDGE, Oklahoma State
The 6-foot-3, 241-pound Brailford enjoyed a breakout season in 2018, recording 17 tackles for loss and ten sacks. A redshirt junior who declared a year early, Brailford currently projects as a mid-round pick and has decent size as a 3-4 edge rusher.
Jesper Horsted, WR, Princeton
The Packers seemed to prioritize big-body receivers in the 2018 NFL Draft, and Horsted is the one receiver on the East team that seems to fit that bill, measuring in at 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds. He ate up Ivy League competition in two years as a starter, catching a combined 164 passes for 2,273 yards and 27 touchdowns. If he can hold up against better competition, that should go a long way towards making him a draftable prospect, or at least a priority free agent.
Olisaemeka Udoh, OL, Elon
Another small-school prospect, Udoh is listed at tackle but could transition to guard in the NFL. He has ideal size for the Packers’ preferences at guard (6-foot-6, 328 pounds), and like Horsted, showing an ability to block players from power-five conferences could make him a day-three pick.
Derick Roberson, EDGE, Sam Houston State
15 sacks. That’s what Roberson put up as a senior in 2018, adding five forced fumbles and totaling 20.5 TFLs on the season. He’s another player with ideal 3-4 linebacker size, measuring in at 6-foot-3 and 249 pounds this week.
Adarius Pickett, S, UCLA
Starting for two full seasons and part of a third, Pickett recorded seven interceptions in his career as a Bruin. He also led UCLA in tackles as a senior, with a whopping 123 on the season — though oddly, not a single one for a loss after four TFLs the year before. He has decent size at 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, and should get drafted at some point in April.
Daniel Wise, DT, Kansas
The younger brother of Patriots EDGE Deatrich Wise, Daniel is a bigger body than his brother at 6-foot-2, 283 but had impressive pass rush numbers for a defensive tackle. He had at least three sacks in each of his four seasons, with five in each of the last two years. He also posted double-digit TFLs as a junior and senior, and added a pair of forced fumbles in 2017. With a little added bulk, he could be a candidate to rotate in as an interior rusher or as a 3-technique when the Packers line up in their base defense.
Ron’Quavion Tarver, WR, Utah State
Wouldn’t this name fit in nicely with Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling? His size (6-foot-3, 216) would too, and he had a productive three-year career for the Aggies, recording at least 48 catches and 560 yards every year.
Jackson Barton, OT, Utah
A two-year starter at left tackle, Barton earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a senior and is an imposing presence at 6-foot-7, 303. He could be a mid-round pick as a swing tackle.