The Green Bay Packers, who traded their seventh round pick to trade up on Friday, got a chance to punch out early on Saturday afternoon as the NFL Draft of the Class of 2016 concluded its business in Chicago. The seven new bodies that were taken over the last three days will now prepare to take the next step and fight for a roster spot against people who were in their cleats not all that long ago.
With the first of two fourth round picks, the Pack went for inside linebacker Blake Martinez from Stanford. Martinez (6-2, 237) attracted attention from Director of Football Operations Eliot Wolf for his work ethic and versatility. He works well in space and can cover in the nickel and dime packages.
The Packer stayed on the defensive side of the ball grabbing up Northwestern DE Dean Lowry. The 6-6, 296-pounder gives that high intensity effort that coaches salivate over. May be able to play some inside as well as a perfect complement to first-rounder Kenny Clark.
The return game got a boost when Green Bay chose Cal wideout Trevor Davis. Davis is on the small side (6-1, 188) but makes up for his lack of size by bringing breakneck speed. He was in the mid-4.3s in his time in the 40. Wolf said he liked his “speed, hands, big play ability.” He makes the biggest impression with his work after the catch. Davis was humbled by being chosen and said: “I was speechless. This is a dream come true.”
The fortress of flesh that surrounds two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers got a little bigger with the Pack’s sixth round pick. Second rounder Jason Spriggs got some company when the Green & Gold gave the nod to Stanford tackle Kyle Murphy. He has the size (6-6+, 305) and exhibits good movement on the line. Needs to get a little stronger but the technique is there.
Whether or not any or all of these “Lucky 7” will make their mark at the next level remains to be seen. It takes years to evaluate any draft class and the fact is that most won’t cut it. But this is the time for hope and new beginnings.
One thing is clear, there will be some surprises. OTAs, mini-camp, training camp and preseason are right around the corner. It is at that time when some of these question marks will become exclamation points or just footnotes.