The 2020 NFL Draft is crucial for Brian Gutekunst and Co. for many reasons.
A slam-dunk draft class would propel the Packers to the top of the NFC and give them their best chance to win the Super Bowl in years. As Matt LaFleur begins to settle in as the head coach in his second year, Green Bay has a chance to get back to the NFC Championship Game, and beyond.
With ten picks at their disposal, the Packers will look to fill the holes of the roster with an infusion of young talent. The Green Bay Packers have the 30th overall selection in the First Round of the 2020 NFL Draft, which will be held entirely digitally for the fist time ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s going to be an interesting draft to witness, to say the least.
Now, let’s take a look at which positions the Packers need to address throughout the entire NFL Draft.
Here are the positions with strong 2020 draft pools in which the Packers need immediate help.
This one is obvious, folks. The Packers absolutely need to add a slot receiver with speed and quickness in order to diversify the wideout room. Aside from Davante Adams, the Packers lack a pass-catcher that can consistently get separation. Brian Gutekunst can sort through the litany of receivers with high-level talent and find his prototypical fit for Aaron Rodgers and the LaFleur offense.
Grabbing a dynamic route runner on Day 1 of the draft would put the Packers’ receivers room in an excellent spot, with a ton of talent and exciting preseason competitions to follow. Aaron Rodgers more than deserves another true weapon opposite Adams.
Perfect for the Packers: Jalen Reagor, TCU in Round 1/2
With the loss of RT Bryan Bulaga to Free Agency, the Pack signed former Lions RT Rick Wagner to a two year deal. He’s a formidable stopgap option, and a serviceable enough placeholder as a future draft selection waits in the wings. Brian Gutekunst will certainly look to draft a swing tackle ready to compete for the starting spot, but also one that could step in on either side in case of injury.
Jared Veldheer did that for the Packers late last season, (including an inspiring playoff performance against the Seahawks) but he doesn’t appear to be on their radar as of now. That leaves them little choice but to draft their tackle of the future early. You simply cannot have enough talented offensive linemen; everything starts up front.
Perfect for the Packers: Josh Jones, Houston in Round 1/2
Christian Kirksey should be an excellent fit in green and gold, but the defense needs another reliable player at the inside linebacker. After Kirksey, who has finished the last two seasons on injured reserve, the Packers have former third round pick Oren Burks, and second year men Ty Summers and Curtis Bolton. They don’t exactly inspire confidence.
Until Burks shows he can stop the run, the team can’t afford to have him as the number two linebacker in the middle. An athletic draft pick will likely offer Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine some insurance and flexibility. The Packers have a chance to find some real value with a mid-round pick at this position.
Perfect for the Packers: Troy Dye, Oregon in Round 3/4*
*Wisconsin Badgers fans will have to forgive Dye for his nine tackles and forced fumbles in the Ducks’ Rose Bowl victory.
After two games of San Fransisco 49ers running backs gashing the middle of the Packers defense, there’s no doubt that Brian Gutekunst will look to add a piece to the defensive front. Kenny Clark is a monster in the middle, and is about to get paid like one, but there needs to be some pressure taken off him in the run game. He faces double and triple teams consistently.
A Day 2 draft pick could come in and alleviate some of that pressure, and help secure the interior for the Packers. Same with the offensive line, you simply cannot have too many big men battling in the trenches. Green Bay is in desperate need of a true run-stuffer, it’s arguably the most important position of need. The pick below has the size necessary for that.
Perfect for the Packers: Leki Fotu, Utah in Round 3/4
If Green Bay can nail the “tier 1” aspects of the draft, they’ll be in position for another championship run.
Positions the Packers need to consider drafting for the future.
The Packers can never have enough corners, and they’d be smart to nab one in this draft. They’ve yet to bring back longtime Packers CB Tramon Williams, and Kevin King is set to be a free agent in 2021. He could be the odd man out of Green Bay’s highly expensive 2021 free agent class that includes the aforementioned Kenny Clark, David Bakhtiari, and Aaron Jones.
With Jaire Alexander playing at an elite level, the team would feel more comfortable losing King if Josh Jackson emerged, or if a rookie made an impact for the defense. Don’t be surprised if the team takes a corner early as both a contributor and an insurance policy.
Perfect for the Packers: Trevon Diggs, Alabama in Round 2/3
Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are scheduled to become free agents next offseason, and the Packers likely can’t pay both of them. Drafting a back early that the team likes certainly isn’t out of the question. It happened with Eddie Lacy in 2013. What’s more likely is that the Packers find a running back that slips into Day 2 and catches their eye.
This would provide security at the RB position for both injury this season and free agency next offseason. The new NFL motto is don’t reach for–or overpay–running backs.
Perfect for the Packers: Patrick Taylor Jr., Memphis in Round 5/6
Jace Sternberger, last year’s third round pick, is Green Bay’s tight end of the future. However, the offense could still use a blocker to form a solid duo for years to come. Re-signing Marcedes Lewis gave the Packers a strong blocker for this season, but he’s turning 36 in May and could be out of Green Bay after the year is over.
A mid round selection should suffice to fill out the Packers’ TE room. A young tight end always helps add to a team’s special teams depth and if there’s one conference to pull a tight end from, it’s the Big Ten.
Perfect for the Packers: Sean McKeon, Michigan in Round 5/6
The Packers obviously have no issues when it comes to their starting gunslinger, but the backup
position has been in shambles since the team traded Brett Hundley. The current backups are
undrafted free agents Tim Boyle and Manny Wilkins. Boyle made some nice throws in camp last
season and did enough to overtake Deshone Kizer as QB2, but it seems fair to question if Green
Bay could win games with him as the starter.
Drafting a prospect in the middle of the draft would provide competition to a room that desperately needs it. If you can’t make a position instantly better, you might as well make it younger.
Perfect for the Packers: James Morgan, FIU in Round 4/5
Positions where the Packers are strong, but could use rotational backup help.
Za’Darius and Preston Smith, along with 2019 12th overall pick Rashan Gary, lock up the first
three spots in the rotation. The loss of Kyler Fackrell to Free Agency opens up the fourth spot. It
would be valuable for a draft pick to be able to come in and compete for snaps in training camp
under two stars at the position.
Perfect for the Packers: Tipa Galeai, Utah State in Round 5/6
Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage will hold down the starting spots for years to come, but a
sideline-to-sideline backup would be valuable in the event of an injury. Will Redmond is a solid
special teamer, but unreliable as a safety for the defense. Raven Greene can play the role of
Amos if he goes down, but the Pack should look for a high flyer to backup Savage. Plus, the Packers seem to love playing three safeties, when possible, with Pettine as the helm of the defense.
Perfect for the Packers: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota in Round 3/4
The middle of the O-Line is locked up by Elgton Jenkins, Corey Linsley, and highly-paid (but polarizing) Billy Turner. The Packers could never have too many offensive lineman. Corey Linsley is scheduled to be a free agent next offseason, so it might be smart to draft a potential replacement if necessary, but they did sign G/C Lucas Patrick to an extension. It’s not a necessity, but wouldn’t hurt to have the Packers select an interior lineman at some point in the NFL Draft.
Perfect for the Packers: Ben Bartch, St. John’s in Round 3/4
As previously mentioned, this draft is absolutely crucial for the Packers both for this season’s run at another Lombardi Trophy and the future. Here’s to hoping GM Brian Gutekunst follows the blueprint of this tier-system, if he does Titletown may have to plan another parade.
Anyone else excited for the draft?