GREEN BAY, Wis. – The best things in life are free. Especially when it comes to free draft picks for an NFL general manager.
On Aug. 23, the Green Bay Packers traded Ka’dar Hollman to the Houston Texans for a seventh-round draft pick.
Buried on the cornerback depth chart, the 2019 sixth-round pick had no chance of making the Packers’ roster. And, as it turns out, he didn’t make the Texans’ roster, either. So, the Packers got a seventh-round pick for nothing. That’s a heck of a trade by general manager Brian Gutekunst.
Who cares about a seventh-round pick, you ask?
That’s true. It’s the last round of the draft and, oftentimes, players selected at that point face an uphill climb to make the roster.
Still, look at what Gutekunst has done with his seventh-round picks.
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2021: Running back Kylin Hill. The fourth-to-last player selected this year looks like a real find.
“Kylin’s done a great job for us,” Gutekunst said on Wednesday. “He continues to kind of work at his craft and become a pro. The opportunities he’s gotten this season, I think he’s capitalized on. We’re excited about his growth and where he can go. As far as the draft, as you guys know, it’s a funny thing at times. There’s a lot of things out there. Him opting out and only playing a few games in (2020) I think was part of that factor. We’re excited that we got him, and we didn’t expect him to last that long. Once we were able to take him, we were excited. He’s certainly done a nice job so far.”
2020: Safety Vernon Scott and outside linebacker Jonathan Garvin. Both players made the roster as the No. 4 at their positions.
“He’s got grown-man strength,” outside linebackers coach Mike Smith said of Garvin. “I remember two or three weeks ago talking with David (Bakhtiari): ‘You know who’s really strong and gives me issues is Jonathan. He’s so strong.’ He might not be as smooth as Rashan (Gary) and some other guys, and he knows that. But you build his plan off of that, his strength. When he gets his hands on you – run or pass – you’re going to feel it, so that’s what I love about Jonathan.”
2019: Inside linebacker Ty Summers. Summers might not be a great linebacker but he led the team with 12 tackles on special teams last season. He’s a leader on a unit that is fighting to find respectability.
“Guys like myself, OB (Oren Burks), Mason (Crosby), guys that are vets here leading on the young guys by example but then also vocally, getting people fired up, Especially for a guy in my position, this is what gave me a job. This has been my core job the last two years. Got some linebacker last year, but this is what gave me a job, so it’s like, help guys realize how important this special teams really are to giving guys opportunities. And it helps the team win ballgames, too.”
2018: Defensive lineman James Looney, long snapper Hunter Bradley and outside linebacker Kendall Donnerson. Bradley remains on the roster for Year 4 as the snapper.