Packers Trade Up to Draft Darnell Savage No. 21; Twitter Raves About Fast-Riser

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2019

Maryland defensive back Darnell Savage Jr. runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Monday, March 4, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Green Bay Packers must have liked what they saw out of Maryland safety Darnell Savage because they traded up to the No. 21 pick in Thursday's NFL draft to select him. 

The Seattle Seahawks initially owned the pick, but the Packers moved up to make their second selection of the first round. The NFC North team also selected Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary with the No. 12 pick of the draft.

Green Bay's choice immediately drew praise from Twitter, especially since Savage figures to fit in well alongside free-agent addition Adrian Amos:

Savage wasn't always seen as a first-round pick during the pre-draft process, but his combination of speed and playmaking at the backend of the defense stood out.

His ability to rise through the process until he heard his name called Thursday stood out:

The Maryland product ran a blistering 4.36-second 40-yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine, which will help him make up ground on quick receivers and come up to cut off crossing and underneath routes.

Savage finished the 2018 campaign with 52 total tackles, four interceptions, 5.5 tackles for loss and a defensive touchdown for the Terrapins. Green Bay will need that defensive playmaking if it is going to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 campaign that saw it finish in third place in the NFC North at 6-9-1.

The Packers defense was an ugly 22nd in the league in points allowed last season and didn't make enough plays to propel a team with Aaron Rodgers under center into the playoffs.

The combination of Savage and Amos will look to change that in 2019.

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