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NFL Draft

Re-Grading The Packers’ 2018-2020 NFL Drafts

  • The Draft Network
  • June 7, 2021
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Thanks to their quarterback being publically displeased with the organization’s team-building efforts, the Green Bay Packers’ draft classes have come under quite a lot of scrutiny as of late.

On paper, the Packers have finished each of the last two seasons at 13-3 with NFC Championship Game appearances in both. Given how many organizations would kill for that to be the case with them, it’s hard to think there is too much to complain about in Green Bay. But there is something to be said about process over results, and with that will always come a desire to look deeper than a record.

Given that it’s the offseason and that the future—both short and long-term—of the Packers is in jeopardy, what better time to look back at some of Green Bay’s draft classes with some re-draft grades to see how their selections have done since they were drafted.

2020 Draft Class:

Round 1: Jordan Love, QB

Round 2: A.J. Dillon, RB

Round 3: Josiah Deguara, TE

Round 5: Kamal Martin, LB

Round 6: Jon Runyan, OT

Round 6: Jake Hanson, IOL

Round 6: Simon Stepaniak, OT

Round 7: Vernon Scott, S

Round 7: Jonathan Garvin, DE

This is the draft class everyone points to whenever Rodgers’ complaints of team-building get brought up; mainly the pick of Love in the first round. Instead of investing in the team around their franchise quarterback, the Packers chose to draft his replacement just a year prior to him winning MVP of the league. It’s just not a good look, no matter how you spin it. The Dillon choice was also a reach (coming from someone who was high on Dillon as a prospect) but with Jamaal Wiliams gone, I suppose it could have some decent return. Linebacker Kamal Martin really feels like the only saving grace of that draft class right now. 

Draft Grade: D

2019 Draft Class

Round 1: Rashan Gary, DL

Round 1: Darnell Savage, S

Round 2: Elgton Jenkins, OL

Round 3: Jace Sternberger, TE

Round 5: Kingsley Keke, DT

Round 6: Ka’Dar Hollman, CB

Round 6: Dexter Williams, RB

Round 7: Ty Summers, LB

Gary hasn’t exactly been what the Packers drafted him to be, but that hasn’t been the worst thing in the world given how good Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith have been around him. Gary came into the NFL as a tweener defensive lineman and is still working on exactly where he fits best, but had his best year yet this past season as an outside linebacker. Savage has been very good as a back-end player for them and Jenkins has been a rock along the offensive line, starting at multiple positions. Those three picks are shaping up to make for a very nice draft class, and if they can get more from Sternberger, that would be an even bigger plus. 

Draft Grade: B

2018 Draft Class

Round 1: Jaire Alexander, CB

Round 2: Josh Jackson, CB

Round 3: Oren Burks, LB

Round 4: J’Mon Moore, WR

Round 5: Cole Madison, IOL

Round 5: JK Scott, P

Round 5: Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Round 6: Equanimeous St. Brown

Round 7: James Looney, DE

Round 7: Hunter Bradley, LS

Round 7: Kendall Donnerson, OLB

This class started off with a bang with the Alexander selection, who has since grown into one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. The Jackson pick that followed has not worked out nearly as much, and the Burks pick continued the downward trend for this class. There were some good contributors who the Packers got later, though, as Scott has been a solid punter, Valdes-Scantling has been a key contributor in the receiver room, and St. Brown has been a decent depth player, missing the 2019 season with injury. It wasn’t the best class, but it had a handful of impactful guys. 

Draft Grade: B-

I know some Packers fans might think I’m crazy here, but Green Bay’s draft classes have honestly been fine. The Love pick was bad and should have never been made, but outside of that, sure there are picks that you wish went different ways, but that’s the nature of the draft and the same for every team. 

The Packers have clearly built a squad capable of winning. Does that mean they’re above reproach? No, of course not. But for as much as it seems like their quarterback is demanding he wants out, the reasons for that can’t just come from drafting and team-building. Green Bay has been fine at that.

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