So far in the 2016 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers have gotten excellent value. At least according to NFL scout Chris Landry.
In the first round of the draft on Thursday night, the Packers selected defensive tackle Kenny Clark of UCLA. Ted Thompson and company had many players to select from at pick No. 27, as several other top notch players were also available.
This would include linebacker Myles Jack of UCLA, linebacker Reggie Ragland of Alabama, defensive tackle Jarran Reed of Alabama, defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson of Alabama and defensive tackle Vernon Butler of Louisiana Tech.
But the Packers opted for Clark. Thompson explained his reasoning when he talked with the media after the first round on Thursday night.
“The hand use, the leverage, he’s very natural at that,” Thompson said, speaking of Clark. “He’s got a really strong base. He’s not easily moved. He’s a 5-flat 40 guy at 315 pounds. He had a marvelous workout at Indianapolis and at Los Angeles at school. I know all the teams do exactly the same thing after this first day, but we feel good that we were able to do what we did today.
“… I think there’s been a lot said about his pass rushing. There wasn’t a lot of numbers there until this past year. But I think this past year he showed that he’s got that kind of ability and quickness. Always been a good run player.”
Landry had the 6-feet-2 5/8, 314-pound Clark rated 29th on his horizontal draft board. This is what Landry said about Clark in his scouting report:
Thick build with long arms, Clark has outstanding overall strength and power. He flashes dominant ability versus one-on-one blockers. He is very instinctive. Clark is quick to shed blockers. He provides excellent play versus the run. He is a very good bull rusher and has some secondary moves. Clark is a top competitor and was a co- captain as a junior. He still manages to make plays even though he is consistently double-teamed.
In his career at UCLA, Clark had 164 tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
In the second round, the Packers traded up and selected offensive tackle Jason Spriggs of Indiana with pick No. 48. Landry had Spriggs ranked 32nd of his horizontal draft board, just one spot behind Taylor Decker of Ohio State.
Spriggs was a four-year starter at Indiana and he started 47 times in 48 games at left tackle for the Hoosiers.
The 6-foot-51/2, 305-pound Spriggs impressed Landry at the Senior Bowl. Landry put out this report on Spriggs after his impressive week in Mobile, Alabama:
OT Jason Spriggs of Indiana, consistently stood out as one of the most effective pass protectors at the Senior Bowl. The former tight end is big and strong, yet agile and light-footed enough to seal off the edge on opposing pass rushers.
In the third round, the Packers selected outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell of Utah State with pick No. 88. Landry had Fackrell ranked 53rd on his horizontal draft board.
In his career at Utah State, Fackrell had 253 career tackles, 36 tackles for a loss, 12 sacks, seven passes defended and four interceptions. The former Aggie missed almost all of the 2014 season due to an ACL tear, but bounced back with a solid season in 2015.
This is part of the scouting report Landry did on the 6’5″, 245-pound Fackrell:
He is very loose to wrap around blocks and pursue from the back side. He’s versatile in the passing game. He can run and mirror tight ends and he’s an explosive blitzer. Overall, this is a very athletic edge defender with the ability to make plays on all three downs.
Landry was also impressed by Fackrell in the Senior Bowl and said this about him:
Utah State pass rusher Kyler Fackrell beat Texas Tech left tackle Le’Raven Clark with an inside move in the first quarter to get a hit on Alabama QB Jake Coker just as he released a pass, forcing an incompletion. He helped himself this week and today and could go as early as the third round, possibly late second.
Bottom line, according to one of the best scouts in the business, the Packers have done very well on the first two days of the 2016 NFL draft.
The Packers have four more selections on Day 3 of the draft and hope to do as well on Saturday, as they did on Thursday and Friday.