Even without knowing who Brian Gutekunst adds in free agency Elgton Jenkins Jersey Mens , the composition of this draft class suits the Packers roster perfectly."The term “silly season” refers to the absurd things reported from anonymous sources, the smokescreens, and general obfuscation occurring around the league related to draft prospects. It’s equally applicable to the clich茅s thrown around this time of year. Many are phrases that have become so overused that they’ve lost any real meaning they had in the first place. Trying to project out player selection, before the combine and free agency, likewise falls into this category. It’s silly. On the other hand, it’s fun and if one accepts the silliness of the exercise, there’s genuine value in attempting to predict what types of players and player quality will be their when a team is picking. Given the shape of this draft, with a host of blue chip pass rushers, offensive-line depth, outstanding tight-end talent, and versatile safeties, the Green Bay Packers have a chance to fill myriad needs during draft week.With hundreds of players in the draft and dozens of picks being made, the possibilities for projection are practically endless. To demonstrate the immense flexibility the Packers will have come April given the makeup of this draft class, let’s separate the options into narrative categories and have some fun with it. Free agency likely won’t change much about how Brian Gutekunst and company view this draft, so even though that could change the relative need for certain positions, even signings likely won’t salve the long-term wounds on this roster. That has to come from drafting and development. Luckily for Green Bay, its front office has been one of the best in the business at that for years. All five options inject athleticism and play-making at key positions of need for the Packers while also offering value at their respective draft slots. Those values could change somewhat in the coming weeks with athletic testing and the inevitable injuries that crop up. The simple fact there are five wildly different, yet all potentially positive outcomes for Green Bay works to show just how ideally the strengths of this class match with the weaknesses for the current Packers team. Operation ‘Get Aaron Some Help’ 12. Jonah Williams, OT/G 30. Noah Fant, TE 44. Parris Campbell, WR 75. David Montgomery, RB For starters, this isn’t happening. That’s not the point of this exercise. Instead notice the immense amount of talent the Packers could infuse into their offense in a single draft. Williams, if he fell to 12, would be a no-brainer pick as Bryan Bulaga insurance even if Green Bay signed a free-agent guard. He could also come in and be a Day 1 starter at guard if Matt LaFleur wanted to go that route. Fant and Campbell offer athleticism and playmaking, with the ability to create chunk plays in this offense. Campbell could run sub-4.4 and Fant will likely be among the most athletic tight ends at the combine. While Montgomery would be a true luxury pick at 75, he’s an extremely talented back with wiggle and burst who could potentially be an upgrade over Jamaal Williams as the No. 2 in an Aaron Jones 1-2 punch. Finally Fix the Defense 12. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE 30. Johnathan Abram, S 44. Mack Wilson, LB 75. Chase Winovich Youth Elgton Jenkins Jersey ,EDGE Ted Thompson’s r茅sum茅 features drafts that look just like this. The Packers have previously dedicated swaths of picks to fixing a side of the ball or position groups. Thompson failing to properly fortify the defense, in part, led to his replacing last offseason. Here, Gutekunst follows the lead set by Thompson by doubling up at a need position, something we’ve already seen him do after last year’s cornerback bonanza. Ferrell may not be ideally suited to be a stand-up pass rusher, but if he tests well in Indy, could allay fears about his athletic gifts and the transition to a 3-4 pass rusher. Sandwiched between the pass rushers, the Packers could snag a pair of athletic overhang defenders who can run and cover. Wilson’s best traits are in coverage even if he’s inconsistent at this point. Abram offers speed, bone-rattling tackles, and much better coverage ability than most “enforcer” safeties. The Need Draft 12. Jachai Polite, EDGE 30. Dalton Risner, OT/G44. Nasir Adderley, S75. Dawson Knox, TEThis is where the “don’t draft for need” crowd has to pipe down. This draft sets up beautifully for the Packers to fill needs while also getting value at critical positions. They don’t have to reach to fill needs. Start with the guy who makes the most sense as a seamless fit into the defense at a premium position of need for the Packers. Polite shows twitch, bend, and impact play even if he’s a bit of splash player at this point. Pair him with a bulldog offensive tackle who could play right tackle or guard for the Packers and Green Bay immediately fortifies arguably its two biggest weaknesses with top picks. Adderley isn’t the true single-high centerfielder he’s been made out to be, but his coverage instincts are outstanding as a former corner and his athleticism is made for the modern NFL where he’ll be asked to cover deep third and halves, along with tight ends in the slot. Speaking of tight ends, Knox’s skillset fits congruently next to Jimmy Graham. Overlooked at Ole Miss, Knox makes his living as a blocker, but flashed impressive receiving skills. Let me block opposite Graham as he learns the NFL game, and let him blossom into a Heath Miller-esque option for Rodgers down the line. Let’s Get (A Little) Crazy 12. T.J. Hockenson, TE 30. Brian Burns, EDGE 44. A.J. Brown, WR75. Chris Lindstrom, OL Tight ends don’t go this high in the draft, but Hock has Big Draft talking about him like Rob Grokowski 2.0. Mel Kiper recently had him 6th on his overall board and with his combination of blocking and receiving skills, the leap to George Kittle in this Matt LaFleur offense shouldn’t be viewed as enormous. Burns checks every box of the kind of player the Packers like: he’s absurdly young, crazy long, and we’ll see on his athleticism in Indianapolis. He White Elgton Jenkins Jersey , like Polite, floats in and out of games at times, but his splash reps are as impressive as any pass rusher in the class. After that, it’s the Packers doing what the Packers do: draft receivers in the second round and convert guards to tackles. Brown, a size/speed monster, would be a luxury, but a welcome one for Rodgers. Pair him with Lindstrom, a tackle at Boston College who likely has to swing inside in the NFL and the Packers get to revamp the offense while adding a high-upside piece on defense. Goldilocks Zone 12. Montez Sweat, EDGE 30. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S44. Irv Smith Jr., TE 75. Yodny Cajuste, OL Right now, before the combine and free agency, this is the sweet spot draft for the Packers. Sweat dominated in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, dovetailing with two outstanding seasons in the SEC. If he tests well, his frame, production, ability to punish offensive lineman with his powerful hands would be a welcome addition to the Packers pass rush. Gardner-Johnson may be the best true deep safety in the draft, even with a rough 2017 season as a tackler. His speed, agility, and coverage instincts are the best in the class. Snagging S1 at 30 would be a steal for Green Bay. Speaking of steals, Smith Jr. would be grand larceny at 44 with his blend of athletic tools and blocking prowess. He won’t be 21 until training camp and already proved himself worthy in the best conference in America as both a blocker and receiver. And much like Lindstrom, Cajuste is the prototype for the Packers. Take a college left tackle and let him play guard. He’s a mauler with questions about his feet. Put him at guard and he could be a starter right away for Green Bay. It’s time to forget all about the Mike McCarthy offense. Even if there are going to be similarities with Matt LaFleur, what the Packers want out of a slot receiver will look very different."No position is more easily identifiable by its stereotypes than slot receivers. They’re usually “quicker than fast,” “gritty,” and many of the most famous ones of recent vintage happen to be white. If you’re a white receiver who runs 4.6 or worse and stand under six feet tall, you’re a slot receiver, even when you’re not. Emphasis on the last part for Matt LaFleur. What we’re used to seeing in Green Bay from the slot, with Randall Cobb terrorizing opposing defenses in his prime, will leave with Mike McCarthy. That’s not what LaFleur will ask his slot receivers to do Dexter Williams Green Bay Packers Jersey , which means the next “slot” guy could already be on the team. While it’s true the Packers don’t have a short-area quickness threat outside Davante Adams, that’s no big deal for LaFleur. Last season, Tajae Sharpe led the Titans in slot snaps, lining up there nearly 50% of the time. Corey Davis came in second and saw the most targets from the slot. Davis, a bigger bodied receiver and Tennessee’s theoretical No. 1 pass catcher, isn’t a prototypical slot player. Either is Sharpe, at 6’2 201, but that’s not exactly essential for Matt LaFleur. In 2017, Cooper Kupp played 58.7% of his snaps from the slot, by far the most on the Rams. In fact, he played nearly twice as often from the slot as anyone else. He may be white, but Kupp is a sturdy 6’2 208 pound receiver. He does have short area quickness, but he doesn’t live on Wes Welker option routes five yards down the field. The other two top slot targets were Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, not “traditional” slot targets. In fact, this serves to emphasize how much LaFleur likes to put his top targets in the slot to create space for them to operate. That trend goes back to 2016 with Kyle Shanahan when Mohamed Sanu led the team with a similar 59% slot snap rate. Second on that team? Julio Jones. Expect Davante Adams to get plenty of looks in the slot, certainly more than he saw for the Packers under Mike McCarthy. Not only does it free him up from press coverage (not that he needs the help) but out of bunch formations for example, it’s much harder to key in on Adams with coverage. With an unproven group of receivers, unburdening Adams unlocks opportunities for him that also make the lives of his fellow pass catchers much easier. Like with few things in life, size truly doesn’t matter. LaFleur emphasized that when describing what he looks for in a slot. “I think a slot, especially with what we want to do, has to have some good instincts, and really you want a smart player that you can call choice routes with and it takes smart players to do that. The guys that I’ve been around that have been capable of doing that were like Cooper Kupp was really good at that (in Los Angeles), Mohamed Sanu was really good at that.” So many routes from the slot in the offense require going over the middle of the field or working underneath coverage. Having a feel for finding soft spots in zones, or using your body to create a lane become crucial, above the traditional tropes for the position. Short-area quickness helps in route running, making it a trait one might prize in any receiver. But Sanu, for example, thrives going over the middle and working through traffic. He’s impossibly reliable even if he’s not dynamic. The same can be said for Kupp. Play design gives them a chance to get open. They use their savvy to maximize those opportunities. LaFleur will also use Adams in the slot down the field, on a double-moves and shot plays and could use a running back or a tight end outside of him to move defenders around on the field. Given how infrequently LaFleur likes to play with 3+ receivers (less than half the time), the best opportunities for slot shots will be that roughly 40% of the time when they’re playing with just one tight end. In the short-term Dexter Williams Jersey 2019 , that means Jimmy Graham will get opportunities in the slot as well and Geronimo Allison has that reliability factor that could make him an appealing early option in the slot. Not having to alter the true “type” of receiver they’re looking for makes finding a potential replacement in the draft easier. They don’t have to pick a player who can only play in the slot, as would be the case with many of the traditional archetype players. Draft the 6’2 228-pound N’Keal Harry who lacks polish with his routes. Putting him in the slot gives him a head start at creating space. He’s an experienced, heady player who can make difficult catches in traffic and create after the fact. Then there’s Parris Campbell who made a living at Ohio State on underneath option routes and finding vacated zones to make himself available. At 6’0 205, he’s big enough to shake off tacklers, but with 4.3 speed, has the jets to run away from them. Give him a chance to run crossing routes, digs, and options out of the slot and he could be a nightmare for opposing defenses. Ole Miss star A.J. Brown gets overshadowed by the freak athleticism of DK Metcalf, but excelled from the slot in Oxford. His athletic testing suggests a more polished route runner than we saw in college and he’s a big (6’0 226) physical receiver who certainly can handle the dirty work of playing in this slot offense. It’s not crazy to suggest the best slot option in the draft is a tight end either, with T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, Irv Smith Jr. and others appealing to the Packers. If the Packers double up at tight end, they could draft a more traditional tight end who can block, alongside someone like Fant to create a diverse, nightmarish duo for years to come. We’ve seen what a good tight end can do in this offense, which creates opportunities for the tight end as well as any scheme in the league. Given how infrequently the team will be in spread personnel with three or more receivers, the idea this team even needs a slot receiver should be called into question. What they need is more talent generally. Luckily, this offense doesn’t require a niche slot player. Drafting a traditional receiver could simply mean more time for Adams in the slot, where he was always destined to up his usage. As Tex Western pointed out yesterday, Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling each have a chance to earn that spot, and J’Mon Moore may be the best suited of the three 2018 receiver picks to play the slot. Don’t worry about finding a slot type; worry about finding an instinctive, reliable player with talent, who can play inside or outside. That versatility makes LaFleur’s offense really go. Throw out the archetypes around the league, ones emphasized by years of Mike McCarthy’s offense. This is a new Packers offense and with it, comes a new type of slot receiver. Between the guys already on the team and those available in the draft, Brian Gutekunst will have plenty of options to provide LaFleur with a guy he can maximize. Then, it will be up to the coaches and Aaron Rodgers to go out and do just that.