Ty Summers Jersey

For a second consecutive spring, TCU football has produced a trio of NFL draft picks.

Former Horned Frogs linebacker Ty Summers was selected by the Green Bay Packers on Saturday with the No. 226 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, making him the third TCU football product to have his name called this week in Nashville, Tenn. Defensive ends L.J. Collier and Ben Banogu were previously drafted in the first twp rounds.

Summers’ selection marks the third straight spring in which a former TCU linebacker has been drafted. Travin Howard was among three ex-Horned Frogs drafted in 2018, taken by the Los Angeles Rams in the final round. Josh Carraway was the lone TCU player drafted a year prior in 2017 — a final round selection by the Tennessee Titans.

Summers, who ended his senior season in 2018 with 46 total tackles and 4 sacks, exited TCU as the programs second all-time leading tackler since Gary Patterson was named head coach in December 2000. The San Antonio native posted 317 total tackles in four seasons as a Horned Frog, including a career-high 121 total tackles as a sophomore in 2016.

In tune with Collier and Banogu, Summers path to becoming an NFL draft pick — let alone one of the most versatile defenders to ever play for TCU — was far from traditional. A former 2-star recruit, Summers played quarterback in high school and was initially committed to Rice before flipping to take a chance at linebacker for TCU. That versatility continued to show itself one Summers arrived in Fort Worth, as he spent considerable time rotating between linebacker and defensive end.

Even with his impressive numbers in Fort Worth, it wasn’t until this spring that Summers’ draft stock truly took off. Summers was among the top performers at TCU’s pro day in late March, a performance that included the fastest 40-yard-dash time of any participant (4.51 seconds).

Now, once again, Patterson has successfully reminded the football world that “those star-ratings are yours, not mine.”

Dexter Williams Jersey

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Dexter Williams catches the ball on the last route of his pro day workout and runs down the field near the entrance of the Loftus Sports Center. He looks up into the balcony of bleachers above him and searches for her.

Cheryl Williams is already standing at the railing, waiting for her son. She wears a Notre Dame winter beanie over her long hair and smiles down at Dexter, who is hard to miss with the back section of his hair dyed a bright Irish green. Dexter points up and she points back.

Dexter’s pro day workout had gone well. The same could be said of his life in general since his roomate—mama—moved in. When he was younger, he thought he lost her. Now, as she has been for the past few months and plans to be as Dexter starts his NFL career, she’s here.

Dexter was 14, a freshman at Orlando’s Olympia High School. He was already a budding star as a running back, brought up to varsity after just three games with the JV team, which rarely happens at high schools in the football-strong area. One typical morning he got ready to go to school, gave his mom a goodbye kiss on the cheek and said, Love you mama, I’ll see you later this evening.

Cheryl, then a private school teacher for kindergarten through second grade, had the day off. While Dexter was in class, Cheryl suddenly began to feel exhausted. A couple years earlier, she’d been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness—she assumed these were the usual symptoms. Myasthenia affects her skeletal muscles, as well as facial muscles, eyelids, vision, and even her voice. She speaks softly because she loses her voice easily. Her husband, Leonard, was also home that day, and suggested she lie down to rest, which typically improves myasthenia symptoms. Cheryl went to their bedroom and quickly fell asleep.

When Dexter got home from school that afternoon, he went to find his mom—they would always catch up as soon as he got home and go over homework together. He found her asleep in her bed and tried waking up her up. Cheryl didn’t respond. Dexter knew something was wrong and ran to find his dad. Mom isn’t waking up!

Leonard rushed into the bedroom and started shaking Cheryl. “It was like she just couldn’t come out of it,” Leonard says. Cheryl could crack her eyes open a sliver but her eyelids were too heavy. Her breathing had slowed drastically, and Leonard knew he needed to get her to the hospital immediately. She was experiencing a mysathenic crisis; her respiratory system was shutting down. When Cheryl arrived at Florida Hospital, doctors immediately hooked her up to a ventilator to restore her breathing. They had to put her in a coma.

A day went by, and then two, then more. It didn’t seem real to Dexter until January 6, his 15th birthday. “It’s not like she was on vacation, she was gone,” he says. “It really didn’t hit me until it was my birthday and I was like, Wow, she’s not here… It was really tough because I was used to doing the same routine every morning. Going in, giving her a kiss and a hug and telling her I love her.”

Dexter visited his mom a few times at the hospital but not often because he couldn’t bear to see her look so helpless. Instead, his dad would visit daily and relay updates to Dexter. “When you see your mom like that—she was just healthy and then the next day she is hooked up to all these tubes—it was hard for me to digest,” he says. “It’s still a memory I won’t forget.”

As the days turned into weeks and then months, Dexter veered back and forth between dread and optimism. “At times I would think, Damn, my mom is gone,” he says. “But then there were times where I knew I just needed to pray, have faith and keep faith.”

At school, Dexter leaned on his football coach, Bob Head. Head often gave Dexter rides home after practices and offseason workouts, and the two grew close from their one-on-one conversations in Head’s car. Florida high school football knows no offseason, and even though Dexter was dealing with his mom in a coma he never missed a workout, something Head tells his players as an motivational tactic still today. “Dexter was really, really, really on a roller coaster,” Head says. “One day he felt really good and really excited about his mom’s progress and next thing you know he is down in the dumps.”

Ka’dar Hollman Jersey

The Green Bay Packers used the 185th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft on Toledo cornerback Ka’dar Hollman.

Hollman (5-11, 196) started 35 games at Toledo over the last three seasons, including 27 straight between 2017-18. He produced 29 pass breakups and two interceptions.

The Packers brought Hollman to Green Bay for a pre-draft visit last month.

Hollman ensured he’d be drafted by running a 4.36-second 40-yard dash, hitting 39.5″ in the vertical and finishing the three-cone drill in 6.81 seconds at his pro day in March.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic believes Hollman is a high-upside cornerback worth developing.

“Projecting similar to E.J. Gaines, Hollman managed only two interceptions over 35 starts, but his 13 passes defended in 2018 tied for the conference lead,” Brugler wrote in his draft guide. “Play speed is critical at the position and he checks that box, but needs to improve his discipline in coverage and reliability as a tackler. Overall, Hollman does a better job pattern matching from press rather than off-coverage, showing the athleticism to blanket receivers up-and-down the field, projecting as a high-upside developmental cornerback.”

Hollman will provide more competition at cornerback behind Tramon Williams, Kevin King, Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson in Green Bay.

GREEN BAY – Ka’dar Hollman wanted so desperately to have a chance to play college football that he went on an email campaign in search of a scholarship – while working a variety of temporary jobs, from a bread factory to unloading Dunkin’ Donuts trucks to cutting meat for a deli.

On Saturday, the Toledo cornerback got another chance he was dreaming of: To play in the NFL, having been taken by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round (No. 185 overall).

“Getting picked by Green Bay, I had a rush of emotions go through me,” Hollman said in a conference call with Wisconsin reporters after the pick. “I just felt like all my hard work and everything I went through (paid off). Just tons of emotions.”

Hollman said he was a “zero-star recruit” coming out of a prep school and said he wrote emails to every Division I college coach he could find an address for, attaching a highlight video to his notes. He finally got a preferred walk-on offer from Toledo and then earned a scholarship his redshirt sophomore year.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Hollman finished last season with one interception, 12 pass break-ups and 43 tackles. He took a pre-draft visit to Green Bay last week and said it felt like the perfect fit.

“It took place last week, on Wednesday,” Hollman said. “I could tell right when I got there I felt the Green Bay tradition. Stepping on Lambeau Field, it was just a different feel than everywhere else I went. I just felt like, ‘That’s the place I belong.’”

Kingsley Keke Jersey

Kingsley Keke, who started 35 games at defensive tackle or defensive end at Texas A&M, was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round.

In this draft, which is saturated with defensive linemen, Keke was taken in the fifth round with the 150th overall pick.

Keke was selected as a defensive end but has the versatility to play either position.

Last season he lost about 10 pounds to shift from tackle to end in a move to bolster the defensive line after Michael Clemons suffered a foot injury that prevented him from playing.

Keke responded to the move by posting 51 tackles and seven sacks. He was also credited with four quarterback pressures, a broken up pass, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Keke arrived at Texas A&M in 2015 as a 6-foot-3, 290-pounder out of George Ranch High School in Richmond, Texas. He was rated a three-star prospect by 24/7sports and a four-star prospect by ESPN. He chose A&M over Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.

Keke saw limited action as a freshman, but emerged as a significant contributor as a sophomore. That season he made nine starts at defensive tackle and posted 37 tackles and four sacks.

He had a breakout season and established himself as a productive run stuffer as a junior when he started all 13 games at tackle and recorded 54 tackles.

Keke projected to be one of the top interior defensive linemen in the SEC last season until he was moved to outside.

He was still extremely productive. Last season Keke posted 11 tackles for loss, which tied for 13th in the SEC. Only six defensive linemen posted more tackles for loss.

Jace Sternberger Jersey

GREEN BAY – Four years ago, Jace Sternberger wouldn’t have believed any of this was possible.

Not the consensus All-American nod. Not the third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Not the opportunity to catch passes from two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Yet, on the heels of a remarkable season at Texas A&M, the 6-foot-4, 251-pound tight end realized a once-unfathomable dream Friday when the Packers drafted Sternberger with the 75th overall pick.

The sixth tight end taken in this year’s draft, Sternberger is the first the Packers have selected at the position since Kennard Backman in 2015.

Asked whether any of this would’ve been conceivable a year ago, Sternberger laughs while admitting: “Not at all.”

“If you were to tell me (then) that Aaron Rodgers would be my quarterback in about four years, I would have laughed at you and called you a liar,” Sternberger said. “But it’s why you prepare the way you do and God is great.”

Those familiar with Sternberger’s story understand this overnight success was years in the making. A two-star recruit out of high school, Sternberger weathered three different offensive coordinators in two years at the University of Kansas, catching a single pass as a redshirt freshman.

Looking for a chance at a fresh start, he transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in 2017. After catching 21 passes for 336 yards and six touchdowns, Sternberger caught the eye of FBS programs throughout the country and Jimbo Fisher, who recruited him to play at Texas A&M.

Elgton Jenkins Jersey

As the Green Bay Packers found themselves on the clock, they had a variety of players that were worthy of being drafted. Tight end Irv Smith Jr. was still on the board as were receivers Hakeem Butler, A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf amongst others. Even top safeties Chauncy Gardner-Johnson and Nasir Adderley would have made some sense for Green Bay at this pick.

However, Green Bay went with the unsexy pick and selected interior offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins to help give this team depth along the line and possibly start in 2019.
On paper, the Green Bay Packers offensive line appears to be set but there are question marks. Last year the unit gave up 3.3 sacks per game, which ranked as the second most in the NFL. Bryan Bulaga is solid when on the field but can’t be relied upon to play in all 16 games. Lane Taylor struggled in 2018, allowing eight sacks and while we hope he bounces back, we don’t know that he will for sure. Even newly signed Billy Turner has just 25 starts in five seasons.

Regardless of all the changes that have taken place in Green Bay amongst the coaching staff and the roster, this team still goes as far as Aaron Rodgers takes them. And for the remainder of his time in Green Bay, they must keep him upright.

Enter Elgton Jenkins who is the exact type of offensive lineman that General Manager Brian Gutekunst has wanted to add to this team. During his time at Mississippi State, Jenkins displayed his versatility by playing center, guard, as well as tackle and is a very athletic player, scoring a 9.34 on the Relative Athletic Scoring table. One of the best amongst interior offensive linemen.

For the Green Bay Packers, Jenkins will likely play guard and will compete with Lane Taylor for his starting job. Jenkins is an ideal fit for new head coach Matt LaFleur’s zone running scheme. He moves well in space and is able to control his opponent at the point of contact, steering them away from the runner. There is a real possibility that this new scheme could present an issue for Taylor and prior to this selection, Green Bay doesn’t really have any reliable options behind the starting five.

Darnell Savage Jersey

The University of Maryland may not be considered a powerhouse for producing NFL talent, but the program has had success in recent years with the likes of Stefon Diggs, Yannick Ngakoue and DJ Moore all making names for themselves at the next level.

Now, it seems as if Darnell Savage, Jr. is the next Terps ready to produce in the NFL.

Selected by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Savage’s rise to prominence has been a meteoric one.

Just a few months ago, there wasn’t much discussion as to where Savage fit in with other NFL prospects. That all changed with the NFL Combine, where Savage ran a blistering 4.36 40-yard dash and put his name on the map. From there, the safety continued to impress teams, as reports continued to surface that Savage had a legitimate chance of becoming a first or second round pick.

On Thursday night, that came to fruition.

Savage will help a Green Bay secondary get even stronger. With the addition of Adrian Amos in the offseason, Savage gives the Packers another athletic piece to help limit opposing passers.

No matter what his role may be with his new team, Savage believes he has plenty to offer. In NBC Sports Washington’s “I Am The Prospect” series, he detailed the traits he posses that makes him a solid addition.

“You get a smart, talented player with instincts and a passion for the game like no other,” Savage said. “I just make plays.”

Rashan Gary Jersey

Rashan Gary was drafted with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and has received mixed reactions since the move was made. Some fans are a bit wary of him due to his low production at Michigan, while others see his insane physical ability and could not be more excited to see him play.

No matter what the fans think, Gary is ready to put in work. He was already in the weight room at Michigan on Saturday morning and is ready to prove the Packers right for giving him a chance.

NFL.com had a very intriguing comparison for Gary. They believe that his best comparison is Ezekiel Ansah, who has been a great pass rusher in the league and is currently a free agent searching for his new team.

Ansah has put together a great career in the National Football League. He has racked up 48 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in his six seasons. If Gary can become that kind of pass rushing threat, the Packers will be very happy with their decision to take him.

Brian Gutekunst made it clear that Green Bay had been targeting Gary for quite some time. He was the guy that they wanted to take all along. Being able to get their top target is a rarity and the fans will come around to this pick if he develops the way that the franchise thinks he will.

It will be interesting to follow along over the next couple of years as the Packers see Gary grow. He will fit in nicely alongside Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith rushing the passer and could be used in the unique role that Julius Peppers had during his time with the Packers.

All of that being said, Gary is more than ready to start his NFL career and the Packers could not be more excited to have him on board.

Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey

It was the last offseason when the Green Bay Packers decided to sign the recently cut, Muhammad Wilkerson to a one year, $5 million contract on a “prove-it” deal, after disappointing 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Green Bay was hoping that a change in scenery and the familiarity with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s defense from his time with the New York Jets would give Wilkerson a spark and they would see similar numbers to what he produced in 2015.

During the 2015 season, Wilkerson made the Pro Bowl and recorded 64 total tackles, 28 quarterback hits, 12 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

Unfortunately for Wilkerson and the Green Bay Packers, he suffered a gruesome ankle injury in week three against the Washington Redskins that would land him on injured reserve. In those three games, Wilkerson made five total tackles. It’s a very small sample size to truly know how the season would have turned out for him had he stayed healthy.

Although we don’t have much to go off of on the field in regards to Wilkerson’s time in Green Bay, he is quite familiar with Pettine’s system as well as his combination of size and quickness make him very versatile on the defensive line.

During training camp last summer, it was talked about by other players on the Green Bay Packers team how easily Wilkerson had transitioned into the defense after coming from a different team. Often times that familiarity and confidence in the scheme will lead to production on the football field.

Given his size at 6’4″, 315 pounds, coupled with his agility, Wilkerson has the ability to play anywhere on the defensive line. This is a quality that Pettine and really any coach adores in a player, as it allows them to switch up the looks that they are giving the offense and to create mismatches.

The Green Bay Packers have a fantastic duo on the defensive line in Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels, but at this point, we still haven’t seen enough from Tyler Lancaster and Montravius Adams to know what kind of production we will see from the two on a regular basis. Retaining Wilkerson will give the Packers added depth and someone with proven playmaking potential on the defensive line.

Wilkerson will enter the 2019 offseason as an unrestricted free agent, which means he is free to sign with whichever team he desires. With that said, Wilkerson should consider that playing under coach Pettine could give him his best chance at a successful season.

As of now, it is unknown how interested the Green Bay Packers are in bringing Wilkerson back for the upcoming season, but if they do, it will most likely be on another one year deal and once again at a reduced price given his injury in 2018.

On the free agent market, there aren’t a plethora of options at defensive end but the group is headlined by Dante Fowler and Cameron Wake. Both of which should be on General Manager Brian Gutekunst’s radar but will end up being more expensive than Wilkerson.

Considering the Green Bay Packers have a number of other positions to address, perhaps that money could be better spent elsewhere, rather than at defensive end.

Muhammad Wilkerson still has to prove he can have a career resurgence but at 29 years old, there should be plenty of gas left in the tank. As for the Green Bay Packers, taking another flyer on Wilkerson for a few million dollars and a one year deal is something that they should do.

Jimmy Graham Jersey

Earlier this year, there were talks surrounding Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham and his future with the team. Graham will be the starting tight end for the Packers in 2019, but it’s clear this upcoming season is crucial for him.

Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report named the 10 veteran NFL players who have most on the line in 2019 and Graham made the cut. Here’s a look at what Moton had to say about Graham.

“In 2018, Graham finished with 636 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Typically known for his pass-catching and red-zone talents, the All-Pro tight end didn’t fully showcase his skill set with the Packers last year. Green Bay signed him to a three-year, $30 million deal last March, but the investment fell short in a disappointing season.”

“Next offseason, Green Bay can release Graham and save $8 million, per Over the Cap. He’s headed into his age-33 campaign and there’s a possibility the front office drafts a player at the position in April. With quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the ninth-year veteran must provide more on offense to avoid a potential early-contract termination.”

The NFL Draft takes place on Apr. 25 and the Packers have 10 picks. Make sure you’re in the loop

It was all but confirmed that Graham would be back with the team last month as he earned a big roster bonus on the third day of the league year. The All-Pro tight end earned a roster bonus of $5 million so it wouldn’t make sense for the Packers to cut him. Also, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported earlier this year the Packers are going to keep Graham and see what he does in the new offense led by head coach Matt LaFleur.

“I’ve heard the comments of him not being a blocker (but), if you really go back and look at the tape, he did a nice job as a blocker for us last year – much more than people would understand unless you watch the tape,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said. “Obviously, Jimmy, he’s a Hall of Fame-type talent. He probably didn’t have the year he was quite expecting last year, but he still was a pretty productive player for us. … I thought he was really good for our locker room and I expect big things from him this year.”

Graham was the top free agent addition for the Packers last offseason as he signed a three-year, $30 million back in March. However, it’s only a one-year deal worth $13 million because he will get his base salary and bonuses which will be worth $1.45 million and $11 million of the $30 million is guaranteed money. So the Packers could have cut Graham after the 2018 season if they wanted to and they would have saved salary cap space for the next two seasons. Graham finished the 2018 season with 55 receptions for 636 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers are similar to what he had in 2015 when he posted 48 receptions for 602 yards and two touchdowns in his first season with the Seattle Seahawks.