NFL Draft – Packers improve versatility on ‘D’


GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst insisted he went into the NFL draft prepared to go for the best available player with each of Green Bay’s eight picks.

He thinks that plan worked out well for its biggest need: Defense.

“I feel really good right now” about the defense, said Gutekunst on Saturday after finishing his second draft with Green Bay.

“These guys have to come together as a team, and that takes a lot of work and a lot of time. I’m excited about (second-year defensive coordinator) Mike Pettine and the second year in the system, but the additions we made, I think we’re very optimistic about what these guys can do.”

First-round picks Michigan edge rusher Rashan Gary and Maryland safety Darnell Savage, who the Packers traded up to get, should have an immediate impact for Pettine.

On Saturday, three of the Packers’ four picks were defensive players: Texas A&M defensive lineman Kingsley Keke, Toledo cornerback Ka’dar Hollman and TCU inside linebacker Ty Summers.

“I think we’ve added a lot of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball,” Packers first-year head coach Matt LaFleur said. “I think we definitely upgraded our ability to rush the passer. Being an offensive coach, there’s nothing harder on an offense, especially if you can rotate guys through.”


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