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Cheese Curds, 4/26: Packers took advantage of defense-heavy top of the draft board

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Each of Green Bay’s two first-round picks comes with question marks, but one thing that is not in question is the players’ athletic ability.

Maryland v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers have two new athletes for their defense, thanks to general manager Brian Gutekunst’s decisions on Thursday night. Gutekunst made two picks in round one of the 2019 NFL Draft, and by selecting edge defender Rashan Gary at 12 and trading up for safety Darnell Savage at 21, the team has some tantalizing athletic ability at positions that sorely needed an injection of that very thing.

However, both picks can be cause for trepidation, for different reasons. For Gary, questions about a shoulder injury and lack of college production will chase him throughout his NFL career. Meanwhile, Gutekunst will be criticized for taking Gary ahead of other edge rushers, particularly if they outperform the new Packer.

The Savage pick will be scrutinized primarily regarding the trade up required to acquire him. As the only safety drafted in the first round, it’s clear that the Packers could have had their pick of the remainder of the players at the position if they had stayed put at 30. However, they identified the guy that they viewed as being the clear top safety in the draft, and took the steps required to ensure that they landed him.

Would those fourth-round picks they traded away be helpful on Saturday? Certainly. But there’s always the possibility of moving back into round four, given the team’s four remaining day-three draft picks.

Packers spring surprises in further bolstering their defense | Packersnews.com
It was a bit of a shock when the Packers grabbed Rashan Gary over Brian Burns or Montez Sweat at 12. However, the concerns that caused Sweat to drop to the 26th pick appear to be more about his personality and temperament rather than medical concerns about his heart.

Defense remains Packers’ focus on Day 1 of draft | Packers.com
The Packers got bigger up front and faster both up front and on the back end. That should be a recipe for success.

Packers’ Rashan Gary denies need for surgery: ‘My shoulder is 110 percent’ | Packers Wire
This is one of the other concerns about Gary, beyond just his production. However, Gary says he's full-go, while Gutekunst said he has no long-term concerns.

NFL Draft 2019 analysis for every 1st round pick - SBNation.com
Two NFC East teams drafting quarterbacks end up on the opposite ends of the spectrum here. Not surprisingly, Washington gets full marks for letting Dwayne Haskins fall into their lap, while the Giants...boy, what are you doing, Dave Gettleman?

Dolphins team to watch for potential Josh Rosen trade - NFL.com
When the Cardinals made it official and took Kyler Murray first overall, that made Rosen expendable. But for now, it sounds like their demands are too high for last year's first-round pick; look for that to change (and for Arizona to lighten up a bit) today.