As the NFL Draft approaches, APC’s contributors are putting our heads together to give you some of our individual impressions about specific prospects in the 2017 draft class. For each of the next few days, you’ll hear from various writers about our favorite prospects, those we think will be over-drafted, and maybe even a prediction or two for the Green Bay Packers at pick #29.
Today, we tackle players who we have massive draft crushes on — the guys who, whether first-round caliber players or guys taken later, we think will make the GMs selecting them some serious money.
Evan “Tex” Western on WR Chris Godwin (Penn State)
There’s something about receivers out of Penn State that I seem to like. A few years ago, it was Allen Robinson - I thought he would drastically out-play his draft slot (61st overall to Jacksonville), and although his play dipped a bit in year three, overall he has been a terrific investment for the Jaguars as a big, fast, physical receiver.
This year, it’s Chris Godwin who has caught my eye. I was familiar with him from spending most of my Saturdays watching Big Ten football, but it was his performance in the Rose Bowl that really caught my eye. Matched up against some great athletes on USC’s defense, Godwin went off for nine grabs, 187 yards, and two scores in that insane game, and later we learned that he was very ill the day of the game.
Then he worked out at the Combine and had just about the best and most complete workout of any receiver in Indy, with a 4.42 40, 36” vert, and 4 second flat shuttle. I want Godwin to go 61st overall like Robinson did to give the Packers a true deep threat to go with the possession receivers on their roster.
Jason B. Hirschhorn on DL Chris Wormley (Michigan)
The spectacularly named Taco Charlton will become the first Michigan defensive lineman to come off the board later this week, but his teammate Chris Wormley could reasonably enjoy the better pro career. Wormley performed comparably well or better than the more-heralded Charlton at the combine despite carrying more than 20 additional pounds. He also possesses the size and length to play more positions along the defensive line.
But Wormley has more than athletic testing on his side. His tape shows flashes of pass-rushing prowess that a capable coaching staff can mold into a long-time starter. Should he land with a team like the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, or Seattle Seahawks, his future looks promising.
Jon Meerdink on TE Adam Shaheen (Ashland)
It caught a lot of flack for varying (and sometimes well deserved) reasons, but I always loved the Road to Glory mode in the dearly departed NCAA Football video game series. A highlight for me was the ability to suit up for a full slate of high school games to determine your starting skill set.
My high school was too small and cash-strapped to support a football team, so I loved the chance to create a digital version of myself and play the games I’d always dreamed of playing. Of course, my overpowered digital avatar always wrecked shop, and that brings me to Adam Shaheen.
With 6-6, 278-pound size and a 4.79 40-yard dash, Shaheen looked the part of a created player as he stomped through his small school competition like a Chipotle-fueled version of Godzilla. (Remember kids: Chipotle is healthy for you.) I don’t know how any of this will translate to the NFL, but it makes for some great highlight viewing.
Paul Noonan on WR Corey Davis (Western Michigan)
The Packers’ best receivers are Jordy Nelson, who, while great, is getting up there and suffered an ACL tear two seasons ago, Davante Adams, who just enjoyed a breakout campaign, but will shortly become a free agent if not extended, and Randall Cobb, who is most effective in the slot. The Packers drafted Trevor Davis in the 5th last season, but he has yet to impress, and while Geronimo Allison flashed some real talent, the team is vulnerable at the position.
And if you’re looking for a potential bargain at the position, Corey Davis may be it. He was unable to work out at the combine and at his pro day due to an ankle injury, and as a result, some analysts have moved him down their boards. Teams may not have followed suit, however if Davis is available to the Packers they should pull the trigger. He’s an athletic monster, and the tallest elite receiver in the draft at 6’3”. Davis has shown excellent speed in the deep secondary, an ability to high point the ball, and while he did drop quite a few balls, he rarely lets anything get into his body. He is the rare talent with the potential to dominate both physically and fundamentally. Given what we know about the importance of receiver to the Packer offense after the 2015 season, Davis would be a wise choice.