We’re all getting that dreaded analysis paralysis with the draft still a month away. All the social platforms are littered with mock drafts and speculation while we grasp at straws for news and content. So much so that the biggest headline as of yesterday was the lease on Lambeau Field. With all that in mind it’s important to keep perspective that we are on the outside and have no idea whether our Guard or Defensive Back or Linebacker draft crush will end up on the squad.

I would pose a different question. Rather than looking at the draft for the next one up. What about one of the fellas already in the building?

Keeping With Tradition

Yes, while many fans may have a linebacker draft crush (yes I draft Edgerrin Cooper and Jeremiah Trotter myself) there’s still a very good chance that Gutey is happy with the players that are developing. He’s made a namesake for himself over the years by giving relatively unknowns a shot. If anything, finding a diamond in the rough, and right now the 2nd level of the D’s outlook is a bit rough, would be more in line with his methods than going after a linebacker high in the draft. Go ahead and take a listen to Gutey’s remarks on the draft and the positions of need down below.

Brian Gutekunst 1-on-1: ‘We have a very strong locker room’Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst talks about the Packers’ offseason during the Annual League Meeting.

It’s pretty clear that not only does Brian feel confident sitting and letting players fall to him, but he’s also not indicating any particular position as a need. You can debate back and forth if that’s just him keeping things hush hush ahead of the draft. That’s certainly a valid point.

It’s been very common however for Gutey to go after a guy that nobody expected, while subsequently making you drop a few tears into the ol’ draft watch cocktail. The prevailing theories that I myself buy into are that he will trade his draft capital to go after someone he likes, or he’ll give us that good ol’ meat & taters comfortable draft of stout lineman. Possibly both given the buzz around Jackson Powers-Johnson and Graham Barton.

The Familiar Faces

First, we need to take stock of the heads already in the room. This list likely looks like a lot of familiar names:

Kingsley Enagbare

Rashan Gary

Isaiah McDuffie

Preston Smith

Lukas Van Ness

Quay Walker

Kristian Welch

Eric Wilson

Kenneth Odumegwu

What if I told you though, that there are still 6 other names attached to the position in that locker room?

The Packers Have Your Six

Here’s a list of the 6 other linebackers that you may or may not know of.

Brenton Cox Jr.

Likely the most well-known name of the bunch, Brenton Cox Jr. will definitely be somebody to watch in 2024. With the ACL injury sustained by Kingsley Enagbare late in the season, Brenton should likely be getting a lot of opportunities to shine when the Packers come to camp.

Brenton showed out pretty hard during preseason last year. It was clear to see the potential that he put on tape. I’ll let the man speak for himself

Deslin Alexandre

Deslin came onto the Packers Jan. 16th of this year. Originally an undrafted free agent with the Jets, he headed to Chicago after training camp where he landed on the practice squad.

He’s extremely intelligent, earning an All-Broward County recognition as a senior at Deerfield Beach High School in Florida. He then enrolled at Pitt a semester early where he red shirted with his college team. During the 2023 NFL Combine, he was described as a broad framed defender with a lot of natural power. Alexandre is heavy handed at the point of attack and has quick feet. His powerful rushing lends nicely to the 4-3 style of defense the Packers are converting to. Here’s some college highlights of Deslin.

Keshawn Banks

Another undrafted free agent, Keshawn was brough in by the Packers in May of 2023. According to an article released in the Dairyland Express:

“Banks was an experienced and productive college player. He finished his career with nearly 2,500 snaps and, like a few other Green Bay rookies, played both inside and out. According to PFF, Banks played 1,152 snaps as a traditional edge rusher, with another 609 at defensive end and 653 in the B-gap. His most productive season came in 2021, where he logged 52 pressures and five sacks. In this most recent season, Banks had 33 pressures and three sacks. He was good against the run as well, ranking 35th among all edge rushers by PFF’s run defense grading system and 28th in run-stop rate.”

Keshawn also seems to have a great head on his shoulders. I certainly don’t expect you to watch the full video but just give a listen to his composure and humble demeanor. Banks is very much the type of person who can carry the “G”.

Deandre Johnson

Deandre signed with the Packers Jan. 16, 2024. He initially inked a deal with the Dolphins in May of 2022 as an undrafted free agent, and in 2023 he went on to play for the XFL team I’m coincidentally wearing the shirt of while writing this, the Houston Roughnecks.

Johnson was brought in alongside previously mentioned Deslin Alexandre in response to the the injury of Enagbare. Deandre has been described as an explosive mover with great length. He is agile and is able to capitalize when offensive lineman come at him with poor angles or weight distribution. There’s also notable closing speed which, if nothing else, makes him a great addition to Special Teams. Here’s some highlights from Deandre’s college career.

Arron Mosby

Mosby was claimed off waivers from the Panthers in August of last year. During his time with the Panthers, he appeared in 3 games, but was mostly relegated to the practice squad. However, a year prior, he led Fresno State with 15.5 tackles for a loss which tied for 6th in a single season for the franchise. He also recorded 6 sacks and 6 forced fumbles.

Mosby carries a big chip on his shoulder after going undrafted. During college Mosby played safety as well, which lends to him being versatile with where he can line up. Perhaps under the tutelage of Hafley, he can prove that he should’ve been a 5th round pick as he claims.

Arron Mosby – Fresno State (Most Dominate Player in The Nation)

Christian Young

Christian signed with the Packers as well to a futures deal on Jan. 16th this year. He went back and forth between the Packers and Seahawks practice squads last season.

Young is another hybrid player who played strong safety in college and transitioned to linebacker in the NFL. While it’s likely that Christian will be part of the We-Fense, he offers good depth and could be a developmental player. He has been outspoken about his ability to play in the box, his tackling, and willingness to contribute on special teams.

Internal Conversations & Evaluations

Look at the end of the day I know that these 6 may not go on to be that next man up. However, it’s borderline laughable to think that these players weren’t brought without the same vetting that they’ve used for players like Rasheed Walker, Rasul Douglas, De’Vondre Campbell, and others. Like I said previously, Gutey really seems to love finding those hidden gem players that just haven’t had someone shine a proper light on them yet.

This is all why I sit on my armchair tweeting and howling conjecture into the void while the folks at 1265 manage the roster. I talked with Aaron Nagler of Cheesehead TV about the possibility of the Packers passing on linebacker to develop internally and move forward with what Gutey has praised as a strong group. Here’s what Aaron had to say.

There’s every possibility, right? I mean especially the idea that Brian talked about how much he likes the group etc…there are other guys on the squad…We don’t know what they feel about these guys, there’s all that development, everything they’ve seen in practice, all the stuff that they have internally that we’re not privy to. So yeah, if they go through the draft and they start off season workouts and they don’t have additions, they probably are expecting these guys to step up.” ….Aaron Nagler of Cheeseheadtv

Remember that with the Packers, drafting and developing talent internally is the program…..