There are several approaches NFL teams use when it comes to draft strategy. Some will look to package multiple draft picks in order to trade up for a higher selection. Others will look to acquire more picks in order to keep building depth. That depth can prepare teams in case of injuries to one position. It can also find team’s hidden stars that might not be big names now, but could be in the future. The Green Bay Packers have had success finding these late round gems. Who might be 2018’s hidden stars? Below are three names that should be given another look.
Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa
With Jordy Nelson in Oakland, the Packers are in need of another target for Aaron Rodgers. At UNI, Fountain was a favorite target, as he led the Panthers in receiving for three straight seasons. After catching five touchdowns in his sophomore and junior season’s, Fountain became a force his senior season. Fountain hauled in 66 passes for 943 yards and had more touchdowns than his past two seasons combined with 12. Those numbers helped earn Fountain first team All-Missouri Valley Conference, and a trip to the East-West Shrine Bowl, in which he won offensive MVP. Fountain wowed scouts at the Shrine Bowl, and could be a sneaky late round pick.
Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford
Standing at six-foot-two with a 39 inch vertical, Meeks has good size and can jump against the taller wide receivers in the league. Meeks played at Stanford from the get-go, starting eight games as a freshman. Meeks intercepted a C.J. Beathard pass in the Rose Bowl against Iowa and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown. The Packers already have a physical press cornerback in Kevin King. If Meeks can develop with the help of new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, it could give the Packers an intriguing cornerback duo.
Ade Aruna, DE, Tulane
Aside from cornerback, the biggest need for the Packers is to find someone to attack the quarterback off the edge. Aruna draws interest for several reasons. The Nigerian looks like a monster, standing at six-foot-six and weighing 262 pounds. To go with the height and weight, Aruna showed he can move for a big man after running a 4.6 second forty-yard dash. Obviously, Aruna doesn’t seem to be ready for the big leagues right now. But a little development goes a long way.
These three certainly have caught the eyes of draft scouts. Have they caught the eye of new Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst? In less than two weeks, time will tell.