Over the last two weeks, Acme Packing Company released our ranking of the Green Bay Packers’ 90-man roster. With the reveal of the top two players on Friday, our countdown was complete.
However, this week we have a few other items to analyze about that breakdown. First up, let’s take a look at how the Packers’ eight-man draft class ranked individually, as the players did not finish in order of selection. In fact, the top two players were flipped, and there is another set of picks out of order later on.
We’ll also take a look at a few of the top undrafted rookies in this year’s class.
17. Darnell Savage, Jr., S (1.21)
Though not the team’s first draft pick in April, Savage edged out Rashan Gary for the top spot among the 2019 rookie class. The primary reason is that he appears a bit more pro-ready — the transition from college football to the NFL looks like it should be a bit quicker for him than for Gary, who will need to learn the finer points of rushing from a two-point stance.
Savage’s 4.36 speed will play well immediately, and he is the only rookie who lined up with the starters to start OTAs. Look for him to be a full-time starter from week one.
T-18. Rashan Gary, EDGE (1.12)
While Gary heard his name nine spots before Savage, we had him slightly behind the Maryland safety. Still, he has been drawing rave reviews from everyone in spring camp so far, perhaps most of all from outside linebackers coach Mike Smith. Edge rushers with his combination of speed, size, and athleticism are incredibly rare, and concerns about his lack of sack production in college have been alleviated by learning more about his role on the Michigan defense. Check out this Locked On Packers podcast with Michigan DC Don Brown for more on that.
T-25. Elgton Jenkins, OG (2.44)
A great college center, Jenkins is clearly a guard now in Green Bay, and he got some run with the starters during last week’s open OTA practice. He may not be a starter this year, but there’s a case to be made that he’s one of the Packers’ five best linemen today. In fact, he narrowly missed out on that in our composite rankings, falling just two spots behind left guard Lane Taylor.
Jenkins should provide valuable injury insurance across the interior of the offensive line before taking over a starting position no later than 2020.
33. Jace Sternberger, TE (3.75)
The Packers’ only pass-receiver pick in this year’s draft was Sternberger, who had a tremendous final collegiate season for Texas A&M. He ranked a few spots ahead of Marcedes Lewis, the veteran tight end, though Lewis will likely see more snaps this year in Matt LaFleur’s offense. What Sternberger brings is significant receiving talent, and the Packers would do well to sprinkle him in at the slot or H-back alignments as he learns to develop his in-line blocking skills.
T-36. Kingsley Keke, DL (5.150)
Despite going 75 picks after Sternberger, Keke comes in just three slots below him in our rankings. Hailed as one of the best value picks of the draft, Keke should slide in for 2019 as an interior rusher and primary backup for Mike Daniels at the three-technique position. Another terrific athlete for his size, Keke dropped weight to play on the edge as a senior but showed at the Senior Bowl why the 3-tech spot will be his best position in the NFL. Look for him to be an immediate contributor to the defensive line rotation as a rookie.
45. Dexter Williams, RB (6.194)
The second of the Packers’ two sixth-round picks gets the higher ranking here, as Williams comes in ahead of Ka’Dar Hollman. Perhaps it’s the fact that Williams almost looks like a carbon copy of Aaron Jones in the running game that gets him the spot; the two both have quick feet and are explosive with good vision — possessing all the traits one would want for a zone running game. Williams also showed some decent receiving ability, so he should make for a great option to relieve Jones when the team is not looking for a change of pace (which Jamaal Williams should provide).
51. Ka’Dar Hollman, CB (6.185)
Although Hollman comes up a bit short of the player drafted after him, his speed and his story are both impressive. Working his way up to scholarship after having no D-I offers, Hollman harnessed that sub-4.4 speed and became an excellent cornerback at Toledo. He’ll likely be fighting for special teams snaps this season, but a gunner with the ability to step in on defense in a pinch will have value on this team.
56. Ty Summers, ILB (7.226)
The Packers’ final pick gets the last spot among the draftees, but Summers might be underestimated here. He’s another great athlete who will be called upon for special teams contributions immediately, but there are opportunities next to Blake Martinez on defense. Summers should get a chance to compete with James Crawford for the primary backup inside linebacker role, and he could even end up giving Oren Burks a run for his money in the starting lineup.
63. Curtis Bolton, ILB
67. Yosh Nijman, OT
70. Randy Ramsey, EDGE
72. Greg Roberts, EDGE
76. Manny Wilkins, QB
Of the Packers’ rookies, these five were ranked as our top options. Bolton is a bit undersized, but he’s a great athlete who would fit in nicely as a special teamer and weak-side inside linebacker. Nijman posted one of the best offensive tackle workouts in history when adding his Pro Day 3-cone to his Combine results, and he would be a no-brainer stash on the practice squad if he doesn’t show enough to quite make the 53. Ramsey and Roberts bring production and athleticism to the pass rush, while Wilkins was a wily quarterback with consistent college production who could be groomed as a decent backup.