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APC selects Aaron Jones for Packers (again) in SB Nation’s 2017 re-draft

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In a recent re-draft of 2017, we grabbed a Packers draft pick, but in round one instead of round five.

NFL: OCT 06 Packers at Cowboys Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Going through and re-selecting a past NFL Draft can be a fun exercise if your team selects in the early or middle part of the first round. If you are picking on behalf of the Green Bay Packers, who held the 29th overall pick heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, it is an agonizing wait as all of the best players in that draft class ticked off the board.

This week, SB Nation’s NFL team blogs conducted a re-draft of 2017, leaving Acme Packing Company to select at 29. As one would expect, we did not trade down to select Kevin King, but at the same time the best players from both before and after the 29th spot had gone off the board earlier to other teams.

Dawgs By Nature, whose Cleveland Browns selected Myles Garrett at number one overall in 2017, took the expected route and grabbed Patrick Mahomes instead. Niners Nation picked Deshaun Watson for the 49ers, setting up a fun quarterback controversy. Then Windy City Gridiron reached deep into day three, plucking tight end George Kittle with the third pick before Bic Cat Country scooped up Christian McCaffrey for the Jacksonville Jaguars at four.

By the time APC finally got on the clock at 29, just about every player from the draft class who has made a Pro Bowl was gone. The only two exceptions were running backs Kareem Hunt, whose off-the-field problems kept him off our board, and Tarik Cohen, who earned that honor as a return man.

However, no players from the Packers’ actual 2017 draft class had been selected yet, so APC made sure that Green Bay would get its most accomplished player from that class: running back Aaron Jones.

Yes, picking a running back at 29 would seem antithetical to the Packers’ approach, but knowing what we know of the draft class through three years, we believed it to be the right selection. One primary reason for this is the fact that Jones leads all players from the 2017 class in career yards per carry average, sitting just above five. The Packers actually drafted Jones in the fifth round, picking him 182nd overall and doing so a round after grabbing fellow running back Jamaal Williams.

The one other player under strong consideration was Bengals running back Joe Mixon, who leads the class in total rushing yards and has a bit better receiving total than Jones. However, Jones’ superior efficiency — he ranked 7th in rushing DVOA each of the past two years compared to Mixon’s 13th and 20th in 2018 and 2019 — gives him the edge for us.

A wide receiver would have been a welcome addition here, as would a dynamic defensive back. However, the seven top receivers in the draft were all already gone — leaving the likes of Corey Davis and Evan Engram available — while two tempting DBs in Shaquill Griffin and Marcus Williams came off the board in the two picks immediately preceding APC’s selection. As a result, we chose to stick with a known commodity, one who ended up in the backfield on our All-2010s offense last week.

Here is the entire first round of this re-draft:

2017 Re-Draft Round 1

Pick Team Player Position
Pick Team Player Position
1 Cleveland Browns Patrick Mahomes QB
2 San Francisco 49ers Deshaun Watson QB
3 Chicago Bears George Kittle TE
4 Jacksonville Jaguars Christian McCaffrey RB
5 Tennessee Titans Myles Garrett EDGE
6 New York Jets Jamal Adams S
7 Los Angeles Chargers Tre'Davious White CB
8 Carolina Panthers Marshon Lattimore CB
9 Cincinnati Bengals Ryan Ramczyk OT
10 Buffalo Bills T.J. Watt EDGE
11 New Orleans Saints Marlon Humphrey CB
12 Cleveland Browns Chris Godwin WR
13 Arizona Cardinals Alvin Kamara RB
14 Philadelphia Eagles Eddie Jackson S
15 Indanapolis Colts Kenny Golladay WR
16 Baltimore Ravens JuJu Smith-Schuster WR
17 Washington Jonathan Allen DL
18 Tennessee Titans Adoree Jackson CB
19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dalvin Cook RB
20 Denver Broncos Budda Baker S
21 Detroit Lions Cooper Kupp WR
22 Miami Dolphins Malik Hooker S
23 New York Giants Taylor Moton OT
24 Las Vegas Raiders Mike Williams WR
25 Houston Texans Desmond King CB
26 Seattle Seahawks DJ Jones DL
27 Kansas City Chiefs Shaquill Griffin CB
28 Dallas Cowboys Marcus Williams S
29 Green Bay Packers Aaron Jones RB
30 Pittsburgh Steelers O.J. Howard TE
31 Atlanta Falcons Dion Dawkins OT
32 New Orleans Saints Evan Engram TE