A total of ten draft picks will be at the Green Bay Packers’ disposal heading into the 2019 NFL Draft this April, including a pair of first-round selections. The Packers will also be armed with a couple of choices in the fourth and sixth rounds as the draft reaches the third day. With Green Bay’s recent success picking early in the final day, the team finds itself in a favorable position to land both future stars and contributors.
Here is a look back at some of those impact players.
Among the Packers’ most notable finds in the past seven years has been David Bakhtiari, a tackle prospect from Colorado who quickly fortified the team’s left side. At pick 109, Bakhtiari was drafted in the third-to-fourth round range that many forecasted. Still, grabbing the early entry prospect seemed to be a value selection even at the time. After a rookie season in which he started all 16 games, Bakhtiari already proved to be a steal and that notion is a consensus now that he has been named to the All-Pro team three times.
However, some evaluators had their concerns about Bakhtiari leading up to the draft, including Mike Mayock in his player profile for NFL.com.
I don’t know where they’re going to play him. There’s a little bit of an issue at left tackle with the Packers. He’s not as tall as people would like. His arms weren’t as long as you’d like, but I think he can play right tackle -- even though he has left tackle feet -- or he can play inside because he’s tough.
Mayock was not convinced about about Bakhtiari’s ability to play tackle at the next level, much less left tackle. He cited Bakhtiari’s need to gain weight to be able to withstand an initial jolt at the line and was concerned about being beaten easily off the edge by speed rushers. But the Packers’ left tackle added about 10 pounds to his frame as a professional and has been able to weather a variety of pass rush moves, while perfecting his technique as a blocker. Mayock did get one thing right: Bakhtiari “possesses a mean attitude to finish off blocks.”
Taken one year before Bakhtiari, Daniels has become the best player of a 2012 Packer draft class that included the likes of Nick Perry and Casey Hayward. Even as a prospect, Daniels received glowing remarks for his intangibles despite less-than-ideal athletic traits. Bucky Brooks of NFL.com included buzz words in his assessment of the 132nd overall pick Daniels that have come to define him as a player.
An active, high-motor, high-character performer. He is undersized but uses that to his advantage to get inside of blockers. He has fourth-round talent as a rotational player, but he has the physical traits and intangibles to develop into more.
A lack of size has never been a deterrent for Daniels in becoming a disruptive interior lineman. His leadership and effort helped earn him a second contract in Green Bay in itself, while his brute strength has always allowed Daniels to hold up against double teams as a strong rush defender. Though injuries have slowed him down the past two seasons, Daniels remains one of the team’s best third-day gems.
As a more recent addition to the franchise as the 131st overall selection of the 2016 NFL Draft, Martinez still has plenty of room to eventually top this list as a 41-game starter over three seasons. But his draft grade would not necessarily have indicated that.
NFL.com just barely placed Martinez within the range of a “backup or eventual starter,” nearly being labeled a “developmental prospect with special teams potential.” Lance Zierlein questioned Martinez’s quickness and described him as “more of a block occupier than serious threat when blitzing.” Quieting some doubters, Martinez tallied five sacks this past season for Green Bay. While Zierlein questioned Martinez’s situational awareness, he did acknowledge his makeup as a high tackle producer in the mold of a throwback linebacker. With a team-leading 142 and 144 tackles, respectively, over the past pair of seasons, Martinez has continued to rack up stops for Green Bay. And as Mark Dulgerian noted immediately after the selection, Martinez became “one of the better picks of the 4th round” as an “instinctive, thumping tackler.”
Entering just his age-25 season in 2019, Martinez may not possess the same elite, athletic traits of other inside linebacker prospects from his draft class. But he has been a stable presence in Green Bay at a position that struggled for a while to find a suitable playmaker. Martinez may be on the cusp of a Pro Bowl bid in the next couple of years.