Green Bay Packers’ 5th-7th Round Picks
5th Round – Tedarrell Slaton – DL – Florida
Slaton is a big body in the middle and could do something similar to what Snacks Harrison did for the Packers in the playoffs last year. He also has great hands to get off blocks both in the run game and as a pass rusher. Florida didn’t use him as a rusher much, and he’ll never have big sack numbers because any quarterback can run away from him because he’s so slow, but he can be disruptive in that area. He also just has great arm strength and uses that to get extension early on run blockers so he can shed them off.
Slaton has a strange dilemma where he is definitely a nose tackle but plays more like a 3-4 defensive end. At 6’4″ 330 pounds, he will certainly be playing in the A gap as a 1-technique, and that’s what he did exclusively at Florida, but he’s not great against the double teams that often come with that job. As a 3-tech, he could get a lot more single blocks and play in gaps with only one guy focused on him. Those are the situations that he’s best in, which makes the question, where do you play him? If he’s going to play nose, he needs to take on double teams better, or if he’s going to play end, he needs to slim down a bit. Either way, he has to be given a position to focus on.
5th Round – Shemar Jean-Charles – CB – Appalachian State
He will come in and instantly compete for a starting job in the slot. His height at 5’11” doesn’t disqualify him from a spot outside, but right now, that’s a bit crowded with Kind and Stokes already competing for the spot opposite Jaire Alexander. He could even develop into that role, but he’ll likely start camp in a competition with Chandon Sullivan to play nickel corner. Make no mistake, this is a starting position for the Green Bay Packers, who love putting five defensive backs on the field, and it’s often a necessity in this pass-heavy NFL. He has great use of hands at the catch point and always fights hard to get the ball out, a skill that netted him a forced incompletion rate of 22.9 percent, the highest since 2019.
He has absolutely no idea how cold it is in Green Bay.
That tweet has over 300 replies, presumably all from concerned Cheeseheads feeling pity for a kid from Florida who just got done playing college football in North Carolina. Good luck, Shemar!
6th Round – Cole Van Lanen – OL – Wisconsin
He knows exactly how cold a Wisconsin winter can get. He’s originally from the Green Bay area and went to high school just a stone’s throw from Lambeau at Bay Port High School. As a lineman who’s played eight years of football in this state between high school and college, he’ll have no issue adjusting to the cold, and that could make him a reliable replacement late in the season if there’s an injury when a guy like Newman from Ole Miss might still be shivering on the sidelines.
He doesn’t have the size or strength to play tackle in the NFL. 6’4″ is just not tall enough for what the position demands, and his arms are shorter than Newman’s. Additionally, he was only able to muster 22 reps on the bench press, which puts him behind the 8 ball as well. He tested great in speed and agility metrics like the 40-yard dash and 3-cone drill, but those skills are best utilized blocking in space or pulling as an interior guy. He will almost definitely make the move inside, and he’s said he’s willing to do so, but his lack of great size or strength hurt him.
6th Round – Isaiah McDuffie – LB – Boston College
He’s versatile and can help out on special teams. A six-round inside linebacker usually doesn’t see the field too much early in his career. Krys Barnes was undrafted and did quite a bit last year, but that was a rare case, so McDuffie will likely have to make his mark on special teams to catch the eye of defensive coaches and decision-makers. He did play on the edge some as well at Boston College, and that will give him another spot that he can try to stick at for some spot snaps.
He is not very agile and can’t cover pretty much anybody. His shuttle and three-cone scores weren’t pretty, and it shows on his tape. He tested well in the 40-yard dash as well, but whether it’s an issue of taking bad angles or not translating speed to the field, he is constantly getting beat to the edge by running backs, and they can wave goodbye as they run up the sideline. He’s strong but doesn’t have great size, and that limits him as well. He has an uphill climb ahead of him to hide his flaws.
7th Round – Kylin Hill – RB – Mississippi State
Kylin Hill is a great third-down replacement for Jamaal Williams. He needs time to develop and won’t get his snaps with Jones and Dillon splitting time, but he can do some great things on third down. He’s a willing pass blocker and uses his strength to stop blitzing linebackers and DBs well. He also catches passes out of the backfield well, with the ability to catch and explode upfield, and made 67 catches in college, including 23 in just three games in 2020.
Hill may run into a similar problem that McDuffie will in the NFL, where his strength will be easier for others to neutralize because of his lack of size. He’s only 5’10”, and even though he packs a punch at 214 pounds, that probably won’t be enough for the style of running he likes to employ. He’s not extremely shifty and likes to break tackles with his power, but that will be more difficult when he’s facing NFL talent every week.
So who’s your favorite rookie in the Green Bay Packers’ 2021 draft class? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @DairylandXpress.