Packers Livin’ on the Edge Post-Combine

After studying tape for months, team executives interviewed players and saw feats of strength and aestheticism with their own eyes at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. With this enlightenment, expect teams’ big boards to crystallize over the next few weeks leading into free agency.

To the shock of no one, all clues point to the Green Bay Packers heavily targeting edge rushers. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported multiple agents expect the Packers to be aggressive in the pass rush free agent market. The Packers also sent full entourages to interview and observe the edge prospects at the Combine. With this new … rush of information, the Green Bay Packers have a better picture of the top pass rushers in the 2019 Draft.

With Nick Bosa (Ohio State) and Josh Allen (Kentucky) unlikely available, four names were commonly linked to Green Bay: Brian Burns (Florida State), Montez Sweat (Mississippi State), Jachai Polite (Florida), and Clelin Ferrell (Clemson). After stellar Combine performances, Chase Winovich (Michigan) and Anthony Nelson (Iowa) deserve to be in the early round conversion as well.

Brian Burns: Considered one of the most pro-ready edge prospects by many, Burns had one hell of a Combine. Viewed as undersized while playing at Florida State, Burns bulked up to 249 lbs without sacrificing any athleticism, posting a 7.01 3-cone and 4.53 40-yard dash. Combined with his deep repertoire of pass rush moves, Burns may find himself a top 5 pick.

Montez Sweat: A prime physical specimen, Sweat has the size and power to take the NFL by storm, however concerns involved his bend and flexibility. Consider those concerns null after dominating the physical drills at the Combine. Sweat ran the fastest 40-yard dash ever by a defensive lineman at 4.41. Coupled with a 7 second 3-cone drill, Sweat proved that big men can move. Brian Gutekunst should be sweating in anticipation that Sweat is available at 12.

Jachai Polite: The former Florida Gator was arguably the edge rusher most commonly linked to the Green Bay Packers in mock drafts thanks to Clay Matthews comparisons. After a dismal Combine he may no longer be a first-round pick at all. Polite found his team interviews impolite (including his Packers interview) and wasn’t prepared for the negativity. After appearing out of shape he also tested poorly and peaced out after a hamstring injury that many scouts called “BS”. Still, Polite will get a second chance at his pro day, and his tape provides a lot to get excited for.

Clelin Ferrell: The national champion elected not to participate in the 40 yard or jump tests and didn’t wow in the drills he did do. Ferrell’s best traits are length, power, and technique over raw athleticism and he chose to let his tape and interviews sell his worth. Burns and Sweat will get the bulk of post-Combine talk from their stellar drill scores, but don’t sleep on Ferrell. He’d be a boon to Mike Pettine’s defense.

Chase Winovich: The two time First-team All-Big Ten star entered the Combine with a reputation as a polished and relentless defender with a lack of mobility and and explosiveness. After a 4.59 40-yard dash and incredible 6.94 3-cone drill, Winovich’s draft stock is rising and should definitely be in play for Green Bay at pick 30 or 44.

Anthony Nelson: The Hawkeye defender had one of the most unexpected and explosive performances of the Combine. Before this point, Nelson was considered a solid defender with titanic size and great hands, but with tight hips and no bend. After the Combine he might be considered a son of Zeus. Coming in at 6’7” and weighing 271 lbs, Nelson ran a 4.82 40, had a 6.95 3 cone, and a mind boggling 35.5 vertical jump. Nelson absolutely tested his way onto the Packers’ radar and we know the Packers love Iowa players. Nelson is definitely in play in the first three rounds.

The 2019 NFL Draft is still over a month away, but the edge rushers in play for the Green Bay Packers have made themselves known. Free agency might change priorities and you never know how the board may fall, but its a safe bet at least one of these players will be a Green Bay Packer come April.

Matt Hendershott is a Packers fan and Miller High Life enthusiast from Northwest Ohio. He has a Master of Arts in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattHendershott.

12 thoughts on “Packers Livin’ on the Edge Post-Combine

  1. I want dwvin white at 12 that young man ijs a stud and the best ILB in the draft.
    He would immediately upgrade a average ilb group.Trade the 30th pick and 3rd move up and grab that TE ir edge rusher

    1. I do hope the Packers don’t pick a TE with an early pick. It’s obvious Rodgers doesn’t throw to tight ends. They had one of the best of his generation in Jimmy Graham last season and he rarely saw the ball.

      1. Think alot of that was the lousy play calling of mcfatty butterpants i like graham and i absolutely feel the packers should utilize the TE more some of that is on graham as he did look very slow last year i hope the new HC schemes for him bettrr.
        Still want white at 12

        1. I too love TEs: all the best teams utilize them. You may well be right. Perhaps it was McCarthy’s scheme. Odd, since he was the one who, apparently, was keen on signing Graham in the first place.

          What about Eric Weddle, C.J.Mosely and Dee Ford as dream free-agent signings? Those, plus a decent draft to shore up the OL and improve the pass rush, and they could be in business next year.

          1. Dee ford was tagged he isnt going anywhere you willung to give up 2 1st rounders for him im not.
            Ill take that end from Washington mosley collins and beasley as your slant receiver.
            In draft ill take sweat or white trade 30th and 3rx round move up and grab a speed rusher though i would prefer to sign thomas over a 35 year old weddle

            1. I hadn’t realised Ford was tagged and I certainly wouldn’t give up two first rounders for him: he’s not that good. I think Thomas will want too much money; Collins might be cheaper. Just think of how much Weddle could teach a pair of young safeties and he’s always fit and available, which is more than you can say for our fragile DBs.

              Landon Collins would be an attractive option.

              I’m not sure Beasley would be that much of an upgrade over Cobb. I read somewhere that St Brown might be a good fit in the slot, but I’m not sure: he’s a big guy.

              I wonder if they’ll resign Clay and move him inside. Remember how well he played there a couple of years ago? His diminished speed wouldn’t be such an issue. I hope they cut Perry: he’s a spent force, very expensive and always hurt.

              I just hope Gute does what he says and makes some moves in free agency: look what it does for New England every year.

            2. Beasley is nuch better than cobb great post i agree with alot if what you said

            3. Let’s hope it all pans out. I feel the Packers are nowhere near as bad as their record over the last two seasons suggests. A couple of new free agents in key positions; a decent draft, say two immediate starters, another three gradually eased in by November, three or four longer term prospects and we should be in for another trip to the playoffs.

  2. This is all very well, but the draft is such a lottery. Just look at the high expectations and subsequent disappointments over the past few years. There seems to be no way to tell if a player will succeed in the NFL regardless of their performances in college.

    The names of Sherrod, Datone Jones, Clinton Dix, Damarius Randall and, to a lesser extent, Kevin King (first overall pick, although in round 2) are a big reason why the team is going through such a poor spell. A draft and develop team can’t develop if they draft so poorly. I’ve still not got over last year when Tremaine Edmunds was passed over for Jaire Alexander.

    Still, “hope springs eternal in the human breast”, I suppose.

  3. Gute is already in the war room and will make the decision I’m told by sources.

  4. Trade back from 12 and pick up one of the top 3 OTs with a lower #1. Keep 30.

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