GREEN BAY – After using his first three picks on defense, Brian Gutekunst turned his attention to the offensive side of the ball at the start of the third day of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Packers’ general manager selected Missouri receiver J’Mon Moore in fourth round (133rd overall) before taking Washington State offensive lineman Cole Madison in the fifth round (No. 138) on Saturday.
A 6-foot-3, 205-pound receiver with big-play potential, Moore caught 127 passes for 2,094 yards and 18 touchdowns during his final two seasons with the Tigers. In 2017, he became the first Mizzou player to record four consecutive games with more than 130 receiving yards since Danario Alexander in 2009.
Moore ran a 4.6-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, but Packers director of college scouting Jon-Eric Sullivan felt Moore’s 4.49 time at Missouri’s pro day is a better reflection of his play speed on the field.
“I had never ran a 4.6 in my life,” Moore said. “Not only did it put a fire underneath me that I needed, but it also just made me go that much harder at the combine the rest of the day. I know I can run. Me running 4.6, that’s fine. I have to bite that bullet and move on. That gave me even more fire to go out and run fast at my pro day.”
Moore admits he had too many “easy drops” at Mizzou, but is dedicated to "humbling his eyes." After missing a start against South Carolina, Moore ended his college career on a high note with a career-high nine receptions for 134 yards against Tennessee and then six catches for 135 yards against Arkansas on Nov. 25.
Recording back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with 18 combined touchdowns in two years is no small feat in the SEC. Equipped with an NFL-ready frame, Moore has upside and natural athletic ability that give the Packers confidence in him.
“He’s pretty good after the catch,” Sullivan said. “We think we’re getting a really good athlete, a guy who’s a 6-2-plus athlete, long arms, plays fast and has got really good body control. And we liked his ability to make guys miss after the catch for a taller, longer guy.”
Moore took a pre-draft visit with the Packers and is aware of the opportunity presented to a young stable of receivers behind veterans Davante Adams and Randall Cobb.
He’s also excited to work with two-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“Playing receiver (and) catching balls from one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, I can’t ask for a better situation,” Moore said. “Just being able to build a relationship with someone like him and trust and know the ball is going to be where it needs to be without me even asking.”
Madison (6-5, 314) arrived at Washington State as a tight end in 2013, but moved to offensive line midway through his redshirt freshman season. He added 75 pounds to his frame and proceeded to start all 47 games he played at right tackle for the Cougars, including 39 consecutive to end his career.
The Packers plan to move Madison to guard, through his experience on the edge gives him a great deal of versatility. A former shooting guard in basketball, Madison impressed Packers west regional scout Sam Seale with his feet and athleticism.
Although Washington State’s air-raid offense required him to pass block more than the average college offensive lineman, Madison believes he possesses the toughness and physicality to also succeed as a run-blocker in the NFL.
Aware of Green Bay’s rich tradition of taking college tackles in the middle of the draft and transitioning them to Pro Bowl guards, Madison hopes to become the Packers’ next success story.
“It’s obviously a more physical position, but I’m a more aggressive guy by nature, so I fit right in,” Madison said. “I think I'm a nice guy when it comes to it, but ultimately I'm not afraid to get my hand a little dirty. Playing this position, you've got a screw a little loose at least.”