BREAKING: Packers move up to grab Darnell Savage

Green Bay Packers

In what was a surprise to many, the Green Bay Packers traded up to select safety Darnell Savage from Maryland.

The Green Bay Packers and General Manager Brian Gutekunst were very aggressive this offseason by making four big free agent signings, one of which included a safety. However, even with the acquisition of Adrian Amos, many expected the Packers to address safety early on in the draft.

But what many may not have anticipated was the move up from pick 30, all the way to pick 21. In order to do so, Green Bay had to give up both of their fourth-round picks in addition to their 30th overall pick to the Seattle Seahawks.

To put it simply, I love the aggressiveness from Gutekunst. For the most part, fourth-rounders are developmental prospects and what Green Bay needs right now is playmakers, and they got just that in Darnell Savage.

Every year at Maryland we saw Savage haul in more interceptions than the previous season. His route recognition accompanied by his range and the angles that he takes allows him to get into position to make a play on the ball.

Continuing with the aggressive theme, that is the kind of player that Savage is and more times than not, it works out in his favor. During his time at Maryland, Savage would haul in eight interceptions, two of which went for scores and he added 13 pass break-ups as well.

This clip illustrates Savage’s route recognition and ability to close in on the ball.

In recent years this Green Bay Packers’ secondary has lacked consistent playmaking ability, and Savage is a player who can give them just that.

Savage is also going to be a versatile chess piece that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is going to love having at his disposal. He can play down in the box as well as fill the gaps as a run defender and has solid coverage skills as well. His range allows him to help cornerbacks on plays over the middle and his elite closing speed makes him helpful to linebackers on short to intermediate routes.

Above is an example of Savage’s versatility in the secondary.

With the Green Bay Packers, Savage is going to be an ideal running mate for current safety Adrian Amos. Savage has often compared himself to Eddie Jackson of the Chicago Bears, Amos’ former teammate and for good reasons. Hopefully we can see the same results from these two in Green Bay.

With Josh Jones continued struggles in coverage, as well as Raven Greene being an unknown at this point, Savage can come in and start for this Packers team from day one. While he has the ability to play just about anywhere, given Green Bay’s need for a free safety, he will likely start by playing in deep coverage early on.

As I said above, this was an aggressive move for the Green Bay Packers, but if you love a player and think he can be a playmaker, which Savage has been and can continue to be, that’s what you have to do in the draft. Being passive gets you no where.


16 thoughts on “BREAKING: Packers move up to grab Darnell Savage

  1. Time will tell and I know the best players were gone by pick no.12 and the Packers need a safety, but these picks don’t seem good at all. Makes 2015 look like a good draft.

    New management: same hopeless drafting. Do they really see things that everyone else can’t? Disheartening.

    Hopefully they’ll do better tomorrow.

    1. Offensive lineman. We had the pick of the best available.

  2. We just moved up 9 picks and lost two key draft picks to select a safety who would have probably still been there at 30. We also took a chance on a player who could be an injury problem his entire career when we could have had our choice of offensive linemen to protect the franchise. It makes me sick in the stomach. It’s like watching a car wreck and you can’t look away.

  3. Our scout team, as I’ve said for years, is crap! Hope I’m proven wrong this year?????

    1. I just don’t know Dennis. All the time in the world to put together a draft board and this is the best we could do and lose two picks in the offering. GO PACK GO!!!

      1. James, I’ve been saying for years, our scout teams are poor to bad. Hope things work out with Pettine….Lafleur offense? Has to be more creative then MM.

        1. The Dolphins picked the kid from Clemson who would fit right alongside Clark and Daniels and would be able to make rotating the defensive linemen to put pressure up the middle. Gary will have to make a believer out of both of us along with a multitude of Packers fans. We should have drafted a plug and play offensive lineman to be Bulaga’s replacement or be ready if Bakhtiari gets hurt.

        2. I thought the Packers had interest in Dillard OT from Washington state , I would have picked him over savage , another good one gone . We needed him …

        3. I read an article this morning praising the Packers and their DC Pettine for bringing two more starters to the defense with speed and agility that will enhance the play of the rest of the defense. What do I know. I hope he’s right. That’s not the only article I read saying we made two good moves unless Gary is injury prone. He benched 225 26 times with his shoulder as is, I believe he’ll have surgery after the 2019 season. GO PACK GO!!! A.J.Brown for slot receiver or Isabella. Maybe Renfrow from Clemson in the fifth. He catches everything. I like Dalton Risner at 44.

  4. My hope is the next two picks will be on the offensive side. One to protect Arod and another weapon for Arod.Don’t get me wrong I love the Savage pick, I just don’t think we had to move up to get him. This years safety class has at least six to eight very good picks to choose from.

  5. I find it amusing to read the comments from people who think they know better than professionals who have spend hundreds of hours reviewing tape of these guys, watching them practice and talking to them while those commenting have read the reviews of pinheads like Mel Kiper.

    1. What bothered me the most was losing both fourth round picks. One fourth and one sixth should have been enough. That fourth round pick could have gotten us another offensive weapon.

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