2019 Draft Class Review & Grading Time

tynimiller

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Most will say a true grading and reflection on a draft class cannot happen till three years have passed and majority of the group is entering their potentially final year of their rookie deal (excluding any 5th year first round options picked up).

Here we are now getting set to start the fourth season for our 2019 draft class - I'll attempt to summarize and provide a letter grading. Brief explanation of my grading, I only reserve or believe in providing a pick an F grade if it in every way possible was a bad pick due to no need, no production, and I personally felt it was a wasted pick at the position in the draft; so even say a Josh Jackson type pick that never panned out the lowest I'd go is D or so because many at the time thought he had NFL potential and at worst case was a teams' CB2 - CB4 on their depth chart for awhile.

That said here is the 2019 draft class and grades so far in my opinion:

Pick #12 - Rashan Gary
When it comes to judging this pick in the moment, many felt it wasn't appropriate given we had zero need at the position. Fackrell had just had a breakout year in production, Preston and Zadarius Smith were added quickly in the offseason...and any rookie OLB was at most battling for the #4 spot most likely. However, this incredible athletic OLB was chosen and especially over the last season and a half has illustrated IMMENSE ability to put pressure on opposing QBs and offensive playcallers. His 2021 campaign was a near 90.0 rating on PFF which is insane (was 89.3) with tons of pressures, 28 QB hits and 9.5 Sacks.

Yes normally you want a first rounder to be your starter sooner than Gary did, but you also cannot place fault on a GM if they had a guy that in their mind was too good to pass up adding him to a roster which simply doesn't allow immediate starting level snaps.

In the end it appears we hit a home run with Gary here, can it be classified as like a grand slam (A+) given all things considered arguably not - but IMO anything less than an A grade on Gary is foolishness.
Grade: A

Pick #21 - Darnell Savage

Darnell came in and essentially was a starter his entire time here except for when missing due to injuries. Starting 46 games out of a possible 49 regular season games he checks the box of immediate contributor/starter for a first rounder as you usually hope with them. While his second year was definitely an improvement it seemed over his rookie year, his progressions simply hasn't seemed present each season (his second to third) with last season just not being good in many ways arguably - his PFF grades just for reference sake were 67.1 (2019) then 75.3 (2020) then 59.7 (2021). Now I tend to believe there is more there than his struggles in 2021 show, and he will bounce back in now second year with Barry and his defense.

He showcased what he can be in 2020, and if he gets back to more of that he truly is a first round worthy pick from a production for his team perspective. He is however still a starting safety here in Green Bay and has been since coming...and that means something for a pick, however he cannot be an A grade at this time for me personally - however he could change that with a 2022 that mirrors or tops 2020.

Grade: B+

Pick #44 - Elgton Jenkins

I won't waste words here. From a expectations, pick position and production since drafted - Jenkins was a Grand Slam that scored 5 runs IMO. I've said it before and I'll say it again he is our best Offensive Lineman in GB, and I pray he still is when he comes back from injury.

Grade: A+

Pick #75 - Jace Sternberger

Man...the pick that might have been. At the moment of the pick it made a lot of sense from a what he had done and what he might be or projected to be at the NFL level. Very productive college TE (however only one year) that seemed promising. I'll be honest however after posting only a 5.2 RAS and his limited year at A&M of production - I personally had him as a Day 3 candidate and felt the 3rd was not right....however as most know the draft is never a guarantee type thing - this sadly just didn't pan out and he was only here for two years and since has not been active for any regular season games and constantly is fighting to retain PS status elsewhere.

Grade: D+

Pick #150 - Kingsley Keke

Man how I appreciated this pick when it happened and throughout his time here until the weird departure last season. As a 5th round pick you rarely expect much early and if at all ever. He saw play his rookie year but it was year two where his role player (44% of snaps) really saw an uptick and the pressure he was able to create from the inside held a lot of promise...2021 saw him on pace for a record number of snaps and still despite only being here 12 games saw 51% of the total snaps AND started 17 games for us over the two final years here.

While a LOT of rumors and such swirl around what precisely caused the issues here and then even to be released again elsewhere is one thing. What he was, was a 5th rounder that was working into a role as a starter at times and possibly full time of the future...not a whole lot more you can ask for a 5th rounder honestly - but his leaving takes this pick down from A range for me to B+.

Grade: B+

Pick #185 - Ka'dar Hollman

6th rounder that surprisingly made a decent number of appearances in the 2020 campaign for us (108 snaps) and one start. He allowed 6 receptions on 14 targets and recorded 7 tackles in that limited time. However, he never earned a spot back after that season and is no longer in the league best I could find. A guy with the size and apparently athleticism was 100% worth the gamble of a late round flyer, and turned out about like you suspect despite wishing maybe he at minimum provided depth through his rookie contract...which is what brings him from a C down a tick for me.

Grade: C-

Pick 194 - Dexter Williams

I LOVED this pick at the time and warned people if he can actually apply himself and learn the playbook he could be an absolute steal late...or could not even make the roster. Showcased enough to be kept around for a couple years but never clicked if you will and is battling elsewhere for a roster spot. He is the definition of a Day 3 worthy pick that odds are may not pan out and he didn't...

Grade: C-

Pick 226 - Ty Summers

A guy that most wrote off as probably a PS guy first season, made the 53 and logged 16 active games - being part of 73% of the ST snaps that season (76% both of the last two as well). 2020 he was asked to do more than ST play, and posted 39 tackles, a PD and one start for us. Far from a starter, or a guy you want to have to rely on for defensive snaps - he has done fair well on ST's and in a pinch served for snaps defensively. For a 7th rounder that is excellent - despite him as a LB not being excellent of course.

Grade: C+...valid counterpoints do justify Summers being elevated to a B- given his time on the roster and most likely may see the entirety of his rookie deal is a successful thing for any 7th rounder.


What do you got?
 
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Mondio

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Rashan, easy A

Darnell, B- Needs to show consistency. He shows ball skills then shows none. Shows good run support than none. Shows excellent range and then is out of a play he shouldn't be. The talent is there I think. I think/hope he puts it together this year and can move up a letter grade.

Jenkins, easy A

Sternberger D is being nice. Wasn't crazy about the pick to begin with

Keke- B when it comes to talent. Pretty good later round pick and showed a lot of promise.

Hollman- C Later pick, made the team, contributed some. Nothing bad or standout really

Williams- D made the team, but never contributed much of anything. Seemed to get demoted whenever he had an opportunity to show himself.

Summers, C/D Did everything fast, but was often wrong or missing tackles on regular D or ST. Contributed, but only because we had nobody else IMO.
 

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Here's mine. I took into account of course where they were drafted.

Gary - Solid A - Has developed into an extremely disruptive influence on the field for opposing offenses.

Savage - C+ - I think for his draft position he's been a mild disappointment. I really believe his level of performance has been equal to a place holder and he could easily be replaced. Desperately hoping for a breakout 4th year though honestly, I don't see it. Only has straight line speed and doesn't have good football instincts or play making ability imo. I expect those things from the 21st pick.

Jenkins - A+ - would be totally unrealistic to expect anything more than what we've received from this player.

Sternberger - D - I expect more from this high of a pick. Never developed his body into a NFL body. I think maybe his desire was lacking.

Keke - C+ - For a 5th round pick he actually delivered a decent amount of functional usage. Probably would have given him a B+ if something still unknown hadn't so abruptly derailed his career at a critical time.

Hollman - C+ - We got some decent play out of him in limited action. About what you'd expect at pick 185.

Williams - F - Never cut it in the mens league and had a relatively easy track to a 3rd RB roster spot.

Summers - B - Pick 226 and still on the roster with a good deal of playing time on special teams and plenty of snaps as a backup. Definitely not a wasted pick.
 
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What do you got?
Pick #12 - Rashan Gary
Grade A
A+ Would entail a first year starter etc..

Pick #21 - Darnell Savage
Grade B-
He can lift that grade slightly with a solid and improved 4th season. Underwhelming, possibly unlocked potential. I’m being tough on him because he was a Day 1 selection and plays more like I expect from a mid-Day 2 draftee, thus far.

My best guess? He just might feast off the strong 7 in the box in 2022. Get him more involved closer to the LOS where he has shown past production in College. Let him use his speed to disrupt closer in instead of wading in the deep.


Pick #44 - Elgton Jenkins
Grade A+
Probably the best valued Day 2 selection over 3-4 drafts.

Pick #75 - Jace Sternberger
Grade D
Too much draft stock, too little production. His departure said it all

Pick #150 - Kingsley Keke
C+
Good value there and was coming along nicely as a reliable depth player. Could have built on this rating this season, but his B- type rating loses power when we lose a full year of rookie contract. Good athlete, not a stellar influence to those around him.


Pick #185 - Ka'dar Hollman
C-
Never seemed to get off the back shelf.

Pick 194 - Dexter Williams
D+
Worked his tail off, but just didn’t fit what we needed and couldn’t get off a low floor plateau

Pick 226 - Ty Summers
B
Solid Special teamer. Not much productivity past that though. Value is up there because he was our last drafted and he’s logged lots of production.

We missed at Stern, Dexter and Kadar and wouldn’t have missed any of them.
Overall though this was a good, solid draft. If this 2022 draft class meets that level? we are in for a treat.
 
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Poppa San

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What do you got?
About the last two grades: you got a guy that barely made the PS as a C- and a 7th rd special teams stalwart as a C+? I understand the late round career coin flip but these are too close. I'd move Williams down one peg and /or Summers up a notch, most likely the former.
 

PikeBadger

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Pick #12 - Rashan Gary
Grade A
A+ Would entail a first year starter etc..

Pick #21 - Darnell Savage
Grade B-
He can lift that grade slightly with a solid and improved 4th season. Underwhelming, possibly unlocked potential. I’m being tough on him because he was a Day 1 selection and plays more like I expect from a mid-Day 2 draftee, thus far.

My best guess? He just might feast off the strong 7 in the box in 2022. Get him more involved closer to the LOS where he has shown past production in College. Let him use his speed to disrupt closer in instead of wading in the deep.


Pick #44 - Elgton Jenkins
Grade A+
Probably the best valued Day 2 selection over 3-4 drafts.

Pick #75 - Jace Sternberger
Grade D
Too much draft stock, too little production. His departure said it all

Pick #150 - Kingsley Keke
C+
Good value there and was coming along nicely as a reliable depth player. Could have built on this rating this season, but his B- type rating loses power when we lose a full year of rookie contract. Good athlete, not a stellar influence to those around him.


Pick #185 - Ka'dar Hollman
C-
Never seemed to get off the back shelf.

Pick 194 - Dexter Williams
D+
Worked his tail off, but just didn’t fit what we needed and couldn’t get off a low floor plateau

Pick 226 - Ty Summers
B
Solid Special teamer. Not much productivity past that though. Value is up there because he was our last drafted and he’s logged lots of production.

We missed at Stern, Dexter and Kadar and wouldn’t have missed any of them.
Overall though this was a good, solid draft. If this 2022 draft class meets that level? we are in for a treat.
Agree that it was a good solid draft. If I had to do my grading over, I'd probably give Savage a straight C.

Overall I'd give this draft class a solid B+ with Savage and Sternberger keeping it out of the A category.
 
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tynimiller

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Agree that it was a good solid draft. If I had to do my grading over, I'd probably give Savage a straight C.

Overall I'd give this draft class a solid B+ with Savage and Sternberger keeping it out of the A category.

Savage has been a from the start starter in the NFL and in 2020 did play up to first round billing….I get some might feel he has underwhelmed and he has especially with his third year step back but I just don’t see a starter level player out the gate deserving a C but that’s the beauty of different views
 

Mondio

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I think Savage is better than a C, as I’ve said. I don’t get the Summers appreciation in ST. Yeah he plays but he’s not that impactful at all. I think St. Brown was more impactful covering kicks and punts than Summers.
 

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anything less than an A grade on Gary is foolishness.
i just cannot buy into that line of thinking. a grade of "a" for a top 15 pick should mean that the player was an immediate starter or at the very least a starter by the middle of his rookie season. otherwise how do you differentiate the high first round picks that actually do start immediately? just a lousy "+" doesn't seem adequate to me. but we have had this argument before, so no need to pound me over the head again.
 
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Agree that it was a good solid draft. If I had to do my grading over, I'd probably give Savage a straight C.

Overall I'd give this draft class a solid B+ with Savage and Sternberger keeping it out of the A category.
See last season was a C grade. But go look at his 2020 season. He was in that B B+ area.
I don’t expect much on Rookie season.

Much of his story will be written by his 2022 season.
 
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tynimiller

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i just cannot buy into that line of thinking. a grade of "a" for a top 15 pick should mean that the player was an immediate starter or at the very least a starter by the middle of his rookie season. otherwise how do you differentiate the high first round picks that actually do start immediately? just a lousy "+" doesn't seem adequate to me. but we have had this argument before, so no need to pound me over the head again.

Three years later he is absolutely an A. Evaluating him too early before seeing what he is I get grading less but not now IMO
 
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tynimiller

tynimiller

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About the last two grades: you got a guy that barely made the PS as a C- and a 7th rd special teams stalwart as a C+? I understand the late round career coin flip but these are too close. I'd move Williams down one peg and /or Summers up a notch, most likely the former.

That is absolutely a fair criticism and honestly Summers probably should be a B-
 

Heyjoe4

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Most will say a true grading and reflection on a draft class cannot happen till three years have passed and majority of the group is entering their potentially final year of their rookie deal (excluding any 5th year first round options picked up).

Here we are now getting set to start the fourth season for our 2019 draft class - I'll attempt to summarize and provide a letter grading. Brief explanation of my grading, I only reserve or believe in providing a pick an F grade if it in every way possible was a bad pick due to no need, no production, and I personally felt it was a wasted pick at the position in the draft; so even say a Josh Jackson type pick that never panned out the lowest I'd go is D or so because many at the time thought he had NFL potential and at worst case was a teams' CB2 - CB4 on their depth chart for awhile.

That said here is the 2019 draft class and grades so far in my opinion:

Pick #12 - Rashan Gary
When it comes to judging this pick in the moment, many felt it wasn't appropriate given we had zero need at the position. Fackrell had just had a breakout year in production, Preston and Zadarius Smith were added quickly in the offseason...and any rookie OLB was at most battling for the #4 spot most likely. However, this incredible athletic OLB was chosen and especially over the last season and a half has illustrated IMMENSE ability to put pressure on opposing QBs and offensive playcallers. His 2021 campaign was a near 90.0 rating on PFF which is insane (was 89.3) with tons of pressures, 28 QB hits and 9.5 Sacks.

Yes normally you want a first rounder to be your starter sooner than Gary did, but you also cannot place fault on a GM if they had a guy that in their mind was too good to pass up adding him to a roster which simply doesn't allow immediate starting level snaps.

In the end it appears we hit a home run with Gary here, can it be classified as like a grand slam (A+) given all things considered arguably not - but IMO anything less than an A grade on Gary is foolishness.
Grade: A

Pick #21 - Darnell Savage

Darnell came in and essentially was a starter his entire time here except for when missing due to injuries. Starting 46 games out of a possible 49 regular season games he checks the box of immediate contributor/starter for a first rounder as you usually hope with them. While his second year was definitely an improvement it seemed over his rookie year, his progressions simply hasn't seemed present each season (his second to third) with last season just not being good in many ways arguably - his PFF grades just for reference sake were 67.1 (2019) then 75.3 (2020) then 59.7 (2021). Now I tend to believe there is more there than his struggles in 2021 show, and he will bounce back in now second year with Barry and his defense.

He showcased what he can be in 2020, and if he gets back to more of that he truly is a first round worthy pick from a production for his team perspective. He is however still a starting safety here in Green Bay and has been since coming...and that means something for a pick, however he cannot be an A grade at this time for me personally - however he could change that with a 2022 that mirrors or tops 2020.

Grade: B+

Pick #44 - Elgton Jenkins

I won't waste words here. From a expectations, pick position and production since drafted - Jenkins was a Grand Slam that scored 5 runs IMO. I've said it before and I'll say it again he is our best Offensive Lineman in GB, and I pray he still is when he comes back from injury.

Grade: A+

Pick #75 - Jace Sternberger

Man...the pick that might have been. At the moment of the pick it made a lot of sense from a what he had done and what he might be or projected to be at the NFL level. Very productive college TE (however only one year) that seemed promising. I'll be honest however after posting only a 5.2 RAS and his limited year at A&M of production - I personally had him as a Day 3 candidate and felt the 3rd was not right....however as most know the draft is never a guarantee type thing - this sadly just didn't pan out and he was only here for two years and since has not been active for any regular season games and constantly is fighting to retain PS status elsewhere.

Grade: D+

Pick #150 - Kingsley Keke

Man how I appreciated this pick when it happened and throughout his time here until the weird departure last season. As a 5th round pick you rarely expect much early and if at all ever. He saw play his rookie year but it was year two where his role player (44% of snaps) really saw an uptick and the pressure he was able to create from the inside held a lot of promise...2021 saw him on pace for a record number of snaps and still despite only being here 12 games saw 51% of the total snaps AND started 17 games for us over the two final years here.

While a LOT of rumors and such swirl around what precisely caused the issues here and then even to be released again elsewhere is one thing. What he was, was a 5th rounder that was working into a role as a starter at times and possibly full time of the future...not a whole lot more you can ask for a 5th rounder honestly - but his leaving takes this pick down from A range for me to B+.

Grade: B+

Pick #185 - Ka'dar Hollman

6th rounder that surprisingly made a decent number of appearances in the 2020 campaign for us (108 snaps) and one start. He allowed 6 receptions on 14 targets and recorded 7 tackles in that limited time. However, he never earned a spot back after that season and is no longer in the league best I could find. A guy with the size and apparently athleticism was 100% worth the gamble of a late round flyer, and turned out about like you suspect despite wishing maybe he at minimum provided depth through his rookie contract...which is what brings him from a C down a tick for me.

Grade: C-

Pick 194 - Dexter Williams

I LOVED this pick at the time and warned people if he can actually apply himself and learn the playbook he could be an absolute steal late...or could not even make the roster. Showcased enough to be kept around for a couple years but never clicked if you will and is battling elsewhere for a roster spot. He is the definition of a Day 3 worthy pick that odds are may not pan out and he didn't...

Grade: C-

Pick 226 - Ty Summers

A guy that most wrote off as probably a PS guy first season, made the 53 and logged 16 active games - being part of 73% of the ST snaps that season (76% both of the last two as well). 2020 he was asked to do more than ST play, and posted 39 tackles, a PD and one start for us. Far from a starter, or a guy you want to have to rely on for defensive snaps - he has done fair well on ST's and in a pinch served for snaps defensively. For a 7th rounder that is excellent - despite him as a LB not being excellent of course.

Grade: C+


What do you got?
Nice job Ty. I didn't realize sSummers was drafted that late.

As for Gary, yeah I wasn't crazy about the pick. He didn't have a lot of production stats at Michigan, and the Packers were well-stocked at Edge/OLB.

But GMs draft for the future and it paid off with Gary. He didn't need to do much when Z and Preston were around. With Z out for essentially all of last year, Gary really stepped up his game. I expect he'll get well into double-digit sacks this year and more pressures. Great pick.
 

Heyjoe4

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Three years later he is absolutely an A. Evaluating him too early before seeing what he is I get grading less but not now IMO
Yeah - Gary didn't get a lot of chances while Z AND Preston were on the field. When Z was injured, Gary's production skyrocketed. Some guys are saying he has to produce year one to get an A. Disagree. Gluten was clearly drafting for the future with this pick. Gary's production actually made it much easier to cut the much more expensive, and older, Z this year. Although I'll miss Z and his energy.
 

Heyjoe4

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The draft is always about where a player gets to, not where they are when get to the NFL. Gary is an easy A, no question about it.
Correct, and that's why you give a guy, especially a higher draft pick, about 3 years before evaluating whether or not to keep him.
 
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tynimiller

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How good has Gary become....VERY VERY ****ING GOOD

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