Day 1 of the draft brought us a new cornerback (and some drama).
Day 2 brought us a new center and the much-coveted wide receiver selection we’ve all been waiting for (and more drama).
Now, we get to look ahead to the all-important Day 3, where the real gems and biggest values are found (especially this year, when scouts have a lot less film to review due to shortened seasons and player opt-outs).
Ted Thompson regularly found stars like David Bakhtiari, Aaron Jones, and Josh Sitton on Day 3. So far, Brian Gutekunst hasn’t gotten quite the same level of production from his Day 3 picks.
After trading up on Day 2, he starts today with six picks to make an impact and most of the glaring holes already addressed in some form.
With all that in mind, here are the top players I’d like to see the Packers target on Day 3, including the first three, who are still remaining from my list of 5 Mid-Round Sleepers The Packers Should Target In The 2021 NFL Draft:
Josh Imatorbhebhe (Wide Receiver) A 6’2, 215 power receiver. Great hands and tough to bring down. Average speed, but a huge catch radius and great at back shoulder throws (if you have a quarterback that can throw them).
Marvin Wilson (Defensive Lineman) He looked like he was going to be a 1st round pick two years ago before losing weight and looking ineffective in 2020. He’s a disruptive, high-motor pass rusher who wrecks run gaps if he can get back to his 2019 form.
Pooka Williams (Running Back) A small (5’10, 170), patient zone runner with 4.37 speed, he can accelerate to the edge or hit a crease at blow past anyone, but comes with some character red flags.
James Hudson (Offensive Tackle) After converting from defensive line and missing a year due to transfer paperwork issues, Hudson played one season at offensive line, but showed a strong anchor and good mobility on his way to becoming PFF’s highest-graded offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl. Tons of raw potential for a zone scheme tackle.
Daviyon Nixon (Defensive Lineman) Powerful big man with good hand moves and a high motor. He’s a twitchy 300-pounder with good change of direction.
Michael Carter (Running Back) Compact build at 5’7, 205, Carter lacks power but has great vision and twists forward for effort yards after contact. Also a good receiver out of the backfield and a productive kick returner.
Camryn Bynum (Cornerback) Press corner with 4 years of starting experience. Athletic with a natural feel for reading routes. A poor Senior Bowl showing dropped his stock.
TJ Vasher (Wide Receiver) A 6’6, 210 jump ball demon who runs good routes and makes acrobatic catches, Vasher’s 4.5 speed dropped him on draft boards.
Tommy Togiai (Defensive Lineman) A squat run-stuffer, the 6’2, 300 Togiai is quick off the snap and plays with great leverage. Not easily moved, he emerged as a pass rusher in his final season, averaging 3 pressures per game.
Cameron Sample (Edge) Quick with a nice bull rush, Sample has nice hand moves and dominated the Senior Bowl 1×1’s.
Shaka Toney (Edge) Undersized speed rusher, the 240-pound Toney has a quick first step and has the look of a valuable 3rd down role player.
Bobby Brown (Defensive Line) At 6’4, 315, Brown gets out of his stance quick and wins with power, driving blockers backwards and stalemating double teams.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette (Wide Receiver) Good at shaking defenders off the line, the 6’2, 185 Smith-Marsette has the speed to separate and excels at double moves. He doesn’t muscle balls away from anyone, but he has some potential as a kick returner.
Garrett Wallow (Linebacker) A former safety, Wallow flies to the ball and was a productive blitzer. A good zone cover option at the second level.
Darrick Forrest (Safety) A versatile defensive back, Forrest isn’t a freak athlete, but he can play high, low, in the box, or cover the slot. Strong tackler who always seems to be around the ball.
Khyiris Tonga (Defensive Line) A beast on the inside, the 6’4, 325 Tonga isn’t very mobile and is still learning to hand fight effectively, but is a very strong interior space-eater who does not get moved very easily.
Osa Odighiwuza (Edge) A shorter rusher at 6’2, Odighiwuza flies off the ball and shows good flexibility in his moves, but needs to add power.
Tylan Wallace (Wide Receiver) Fast with good hands and a smooth catching motion, Wallace ran mostly quick outs and deep routes in college. Good with contested routes and physical after the catch.
Feleipe Franks (Quarterback) No matter what happens with Aaron Rodgers, the Packers need another quarterback in camp, whether it’s a late round pick or an undrafted free agent. Given the uncertainty around the situation, the Packers may take the former approach. Franks doesn’t have a cannon, but he’s a big, mobile player with good short to medium accuracy.
Max Duffy (Punter) Yup, a punter. If you want to get JK Scott some competition, Duffy is your guy. The 2019 Ray Guy Award winner for the best punter in the nation, Duffy showed off his leg strength with a 75 yard kick last year.
Other names to watch: Chuba Hubbard (Running Back), Rico Bussey Jr (Wide Receiver), Brevin Jordan (Tight End), Bryce Hargrove (Guard), Adrian Ealy (Offensive Tackle), Dylan Moses (Linebacker), Rodarius Williams (Cornerback), James Wiggins (Safety)
Day 3 of the draft may not have the same feeling of excitement as the 1st round, but this is where teams can differentiate themselves. Finding the next David Bakhtiari or Aaron Jones in the later rounds can launch a team to the next level.
Hopefully Brian Gutekunst can find a couple gems today.
Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Author of books such as A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan’s Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and PackersForTheWin.com.
Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @PackersForTheWn.