(WFRV) – Thursday night is the start of the NFL Draft, a big night for all NFL prospects.
The Green Bay Packers are scheduled to pick 29th in Round 1 Thursday night. The Local 5 Sports team offers their ideas for who they think the Green Bay Packers should pick in the first round.
Local 5 Sports picks
Burke Griffin, Sports Director: The Packers already have one Pro Bowl lineman with the last name Jenkins, but after this year’s draft there’s a chance they could have two. Teven Jenkins from Oklahoma State has quite the college resume and the big man started 35 career games over four seasons at three different positions. Most of those were at right tackle (26) but he has shown he’s versatile enough to move around with starts; with seven at left tackle, and two at right guard when he was a redshirt freshman.
Jenkins made a statement on Oklahoma State’s pro day, putting up 36 reps on the bench press which would have ranked third among all players, if there was a combine this year. He also set a personal best in the 40-yard dash running a 4.96. At 6’6” and 317 pounds, Jenkins also ran a 7.72 in the L-drill, a 4.66 in the 20-yard shuttle and had a 32.5-inch vertical leap.
In the truncated fall football season Jenkins was named first-team All-Big 12, after earning honorable mention in the previous two seasons. Jenkins opted out after seven games since he has already established himself as one of the top prospects at offensive tackle.
Given his versatility, Jenkins would be a perfect fit for the Packers since there is no guarantee that David Bakhtiari will be back in time to start the season. When you combine Teven Jenkins’s skill set, with Billy Turner and Elgton Jenkins, Green Bay would have enough flexibility to address the entire starting five around their all-pro left tackles timetable for return.
MK Burgess, Reporter: Rashod Bateman, WR out of Minnesota. If he’s chosen, he’ll be the first receiver from Minnesota taken in the top 32 since the draft started in 1936. He set school records in receiving yards with 1,219 and receiving touchdowns with 11 in 2019. He played in 5 games in 2020 before opting out. Reports say he’s got quick hands and elite route-running ability.
Eric Boynton, Reporter: CB Greg Newsome II out of Northwestern. Most picks are for the future, and this one is exactly that. The Packers brought back Kevin King on a one-year deal but Newsome has the ability to lineup opposite Jaire Alexander for years to come. Not the fastest defensive back in the draft but his coverage and ball skills make up for that. Brian Gutekunst may have to move up to Newsome, but the Packers have the picks and will to do it. Maybe worth moving up a couple of spots in the first round.
Matt Reynoldson, Reporter: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame. There’s always one elite player that falls after projecting at multiple spots, and in this draft, the Green Bay Packers may be the beneficiaries of that drop. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah filled up his trophy case in college, earning the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker and garnering first-team All-America honors. He anchored the middle of an explosive Notre Dame defense, providing the play of the game with a fumble scoop and score in a home upset of No. 1 Clemson in 2020.
Standing 6’1″ but possessing elite speed, Owusu-Koramoah is seen as a bit of a tweener at the next level, which could cause him to drop into Green Bay’s lap. The Packers have been waiting for a sound coverage linebacker; after releasing Christian Kirksey in the offseason, Green Bay is left with just second-year players Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin with reliable experience at the inside position. Owusu-Koramoah might just be the explosive, versatile piece the Pack needs to take the defense to another level.
Reports dropped earlier Thursday that Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke with some at the Packers organization that he didn’t want to return this coming season.