Packers ‘got a lot faster’ on defense with Edgerrin Cooper and Javon Bullard

The Green Bay Packers had roster holes to fill at linebacker and safety entering Day 2 of the NFL draft, and general manager Brian Gutekunst checked both boxes with two of the fastest defensive players at their respective positions in linebacker Edgerrin Cooper and safety Javon Bullard.

By design. Gutekunst said he went into this draft wanted to get faster on defense. Mission accomplished?

“They bring a lot of speed,” Gutekunst said of Cooper and Bullard Friday night. “I think we got a lot faster, which I wanted to do this weekend.”

Cooper ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds — with a 1.54-second 10-yard split — at 6-2 and 230 pounds. Gutekunst said he has “rare” speed. Relative to size, Cooper produced 95th percentile speed or better in the 10-yard split (95th percentile) and 40-yard dash (97th percentile) among linebackers. His 4.51-second 40 was the third fastest among off-ball linebackers at the combine. His 10-yard split was tied for the fastest.

Cooper will now team with 2022 first-round pick Quay Walker, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds at 6-3 and 241 pounds coming out of Georgia, giving the Packers one of the fastest linebacker duos in football. Gutekunst said speed at linebacker is “the name of the game now.”

The secondary received a big influx of speed as well.

Bullard’s 4.47-second 40-yard dash time was the sixth-fastest among safeties at the combine. Like Cooper, Bullard had an elite 10-yard split at 1.51 seconds, the fastest among all safeties in the draft class and a 97th percentile time at his size and position. He also finished the short shuttle in 3.97 at Georgia’s pro day, which would have been the fastest time among safeties at the combine.

Gutekunst said the Packers got two impact defenders who can run and hit in Cooper and Bullard, who could be Week 1 starters for Jeff Hafley’s new defense.

The Packers also took Missouri linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper in the third round. Gutekunst said the Packers clocked Hopper in the high 4.5s in the 40-yard dash at his pro day. He checked both boxes in terms of running fast on tape and measuring fast on the stopwatch.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire