Round 1, Pick 12: Florida State Edge Brian Burns
Green Bay grabbed two pass rushers in free agency, but I didn’t care. I grabbed another one to keep the rotation fresh. I also have Burns ranked as a top three edge rusher in this class. Getting him at 12 was a no brainer case of best player available. Burns gives the team a speed rusher on the outside with some of the best bend in the class, and he also has a good amount of production to make his case.
Burns had ten sacks in his final season at FSU, and he was a terror in run defense with 15.5 tackles for loss. He gives Green Bay the versatility to get creative with how they use their pass rushers. They can have Burns and Preston Smith on the outside, while they move Za’Darius Smith inside with Kenny Clark. There are many more possibilities that make this pick just make too much sense not to make it. When a blue-chip edge rusher is available, you get that player on your team.
Round 1, Pick 30: Notre Dame Defensive Lineman Jerry Tillery
Tillery got a big boost on my board in the last week when the medicals came back saying that he would likely return in time for camp. Getting him at 30 made a ton of sense for the Packers after Ed Oliver was taken at nine before they could draft him. Tillery played four years at Notre Dame, and his pass rushing got better every year. He finished his final season with seven, which is a pretty impressive mark for an interior defender.
Tillery would fight with Dean Lowry for the third starting defensive lineman spot, and he would give more immediate impact than a guy like Jeffery Simmons. He’s got a good first step, but he’ll have to work on his explosiveness. Playing next to a guy like Clark would give him first-hand knowledge of what to do to better his game and give the team another good body down in the trenches where Gutekunst likes to start.