2018 NFL Draft: Grading Every Pick For The Green Bay Packers

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Brian Gutekunst made it clear in the first round that he was looking to be aggressive in his first draft as the Green Bay Packers’ general manager. Not only did he trade back to No. 27 from No. 14 and pick up an extra first round pick, he also traded back up to No. 18 and kept that future first rounder.

Following the draft, many media outlets listed the Packers as one of the big winners of the draft. One of those outlets was CBS Sports, who had a headline that listed the Packers “winning big” in the draft.

Aaron Rodgers and company missed the playoffs last season with the superstar quarterback missing a lot of time due to a broken collarbone. Gutekunst knew heading into it that the Packers needed a good draft in order to stay at the top of the NFC in terms of competing for a Super Bowl.

All of that being said, let’s take a look at each of the Packers’ picks in the 2018 NFL Draft and grade them.

Round 1, Pick 18 – Jaire Alexander, Cornerback, Louisville

Green Bay had Alexander high on the draft board and taking him at No. 18 was a no-brainer. Alexander is a great cover cornerback and will be asked to make an immediate impact. This pick may not be talked about as a “steal,” but fans are going to be surprised by just how good Alexander is going to become.

Pick Grade: A

Round 2, Pick 45 – Josh Jackson, Cornerback, Iowa

We have previously gone into more depth about this pick, calling it the “steal of the draft.” Jackson was projected to be a top-15 pick by most, but the Packers were able to get him at No. 45. There were no defensive backs with more interceptions in college than Jackson last season and new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will utilize him well.

Pick Grade: A+

Round 3, Pick 88 – Oren Burks, Linebacker, Vanderbilt

Gutekunst knew the Packers needed some linebacker help, but this pick was a bit of a reach. Burks is a solid all-around player, but he doesn’t project to be anything special. Green Bay may have reached, but perhaps they feel like he will fit Pettine’s defense perfectly.

Pick Grade: B-

Round 4, Pick 133 – J’Mon Moore, Wide Receiver, Missouri

J’Mon Moore has a good chance to make the roster and get some time as a rookie for the Packers. He is a big target at 6-foot-3 and has excellent hands and speed. Green Bay needed some wide receiver help after releasing Jordy Nelson this offseason and Moore was the first of a few receivers that they drafted.

Pick Grade B-

Round 5, Pick 138 – Cole Madison, Offensive Line, Washington State

This was a pick of need, as the Packers desperately needed more talent on the line. Madison isn’t going to start unless an injury occurs, but adding depth was a good move by Gutekunst. There is some potential in Madison and it will be interesting to see how he develops.

Pick Grade B-

Round 5, Pick 172 – J.K. Scott, Punter, Alabama

Drafting a punter is never a “flashy” pick, but J.K. Scott has a chance to be a nice pickup for Green Bay. He had a stellar career for Nick Saban at Alabama and has a strong leg. Scott should have a very successful NFL career and it will likely start with the Packers.

Pick Grade: C+

Round 5, Pick 174 – Marques Valdes-Scantling, Wide Receiver, South Florida

Here is another wide receiver that the Packers want to take a look at during training camp and preseason action. Valdes-Scantling is a fast wide receiver and has a great frame at 6-foot-5 and 209 pounds. If he can win a roster spot, he might be a fun weapon for Rodgers to use here and there.

Pick Grade: C+

Round 6, Pick 207 – Equanimeous St. Brown, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame

EQ slid in the draft a bit farther than many thought he would. Green Bay was happy to take him and add him into their projected wide receiver competition. He had a solid career at Notre Dame and is an extremely athletic receiver. If Rodgers and St. Brown get some chemistry in training camp, he could see some playing time as a rookie.

Pick Grade: B+

Round 7, Pick 232 – James Looney, Defensive Line, California

Adding a bit more beef to the defensive line late in the draft was a good decision for the Packers. At 6-foot-2 and 287 pounds, Looney is a nice depth addition. Looney will have to fight for a roster spot, but obviously Green Bay likes some things about his game.

Pick Grade: C+

Round 7, Pick 239 – Hunter Bradley, Long Snapper, Mississippi State

Drafting a long snapper is similar to drafting a punter, it’s not a flashy move. Fans may not look at this selection favorable, but it could pay off. Bradley was a quality long snapper in college and the Packers could use another quality long snapper.

Pick Grade: C+

Round 7, Pick 248 – Kendall Donnerson, Linebacker, Southeast Missouri State

Finally, the Packers drafted Kendall Donnerson to round out their 2018 draft. Donnerson isn’t likely to make the final roster, but he should stick with the Packers on the practice squad. He has raw potential, but the Packers will need to develop him to bring that potential out.

Pick Grade: C