Free Agency Provides Packers Added Flexibility in Draft

By re-signing Rasul Douglas, De'Vondre Campbell, and Robert Tonyan, the Green Bay Packers have given themselves added flexibility in the draft.

Entering the offseason, a few of the Green Bay Packers' bigger positional needs that they would have to address included tight end, cornerback, interior defensive lineman, wide receiver, linebacker, and safety.

However, considering that Green Bay needed to shed so much cap space, we didn't really know how they would go about addressing even a few of those needs in free agency with what was likely going to be little spending power.

But, as we've seen, things can change quickly.

Re-signing De'Vondre Campbell appeared to be a top priority of Brian Gutekunst's all along. And with the added $20.1 million in cap space from trading Davante Adams, the Packers were also able to check two other boxes by re-signing Rasul Douglas and Robert Tonyan--although the need at receiver grew considerably.

Perhaps Green Bay still brings in a veteran wide receiver or maybe an experience interior defensive lineman or offensive tackle, but through the first wave of free agency, they've given themselves some valuable flexibility when it comes to the draft. 

In a perfect world, with each selection in the draft, a team would take the best player available. But, of course, positional need does play a huge factor. What a team wants to avoid is feeling like they have to make a certain selection at a specific point in the draft, which can result in teams reaching.

That feeling of having to select a specific position may not be completely avoidable, and in all likelihood, the Packers are going to feel that way about the receiver position and the interior defensive line. However, with having four picks in the top 60, they are still in a better position than most. 

Perhaps the right receiver isn't on the board at pick 22; the Packers have the luxury of waiting until 28. Or maybe the value isn't there at pick 53 when they are looking at interior defensive lineman, so they wait to address that need at pick 59--you get the idea, they have options.

On top of that, adding to the linebacker room, finding a pass-catching tight end, and building the cornerback depth were three things the Packers had to do this offseason, and they've checked each of those boxes already. Now, that doesn't mean they won't add to either of those positions, but they no longer have to right away.

Armed with four picks in the top-60, five in the top-100, and seven in the first four rounds, as I mentioned, the receiver and interior defensive line positions feel like needs that must be tackled, and Green Bay has plenty of premium draft capital to do so. Other positions of need to a lesser degree, are adding to the edge rusher position, finding a third safety, as well as offensive tackle depth. It also wouldn't hurt to add to the cornerback room either.

With that said, when it comes to those other positions, Green Bay shouldn't feel pressure to add to them. For the most part, they can let the draft board come to them, which is what every team wants in the draft. And even when it comes to receiver and interior defensive lineman, the Packers have the luxury of four picks in the first two rounds.

Through this first week of free agency, the Green Bay Packers are yet to make an outside addition. However, by re-signing Campbell, Douglas, and Tonyan, they were able to address three big offseason needs. As a result, when the draft arrives, linebacker, tight end, and cornerback will no longer be positions that must be drafted early on--instead, the Packers can see how the board falls and focus more on receiver and the interior defensive line.

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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9 points

Comments (119)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Minniman's picture

March 21, 2022 at 11:23 am

I’ve never subscribed to or understood the rationale behind the philosophy that a prospect is ‘bad value’ at one point in the mid first round - but ok as a late first round. If they are the next available player on your big board, go and get them.

Sure, I understand the difference in pay and 5th year options for first rounders - but enduring team and scheme fit is critical. Canton is stacked with 2nd rounders and beyond.

Gute (and his scout team) has certainly done enough thus far to convince me that he’s both a keen evaluator of talent, as well as understanding of team and positional scheme needs.

For me, BPA, you’re only ever an injury away from positional strengths becoming needs all over the field.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 21, 2022 at 01:05 pm

MInniman, I'd like to take a stab at that if I could. This "BPA/Value" issue is a subject of a lot of debate around this time of year.

When we talk about BPA, it's about a consensus of knowledgeable individuals who actually make their living scouting players, studying film, talking with coaches, etc. We have these Big Boards on the internet of the Top 100, but no two Big Boards are ever exactly the same, although they may share large general agreement. BPA, consequently, is substantially subjective and will vary. You can compare Big Boards at www.nflmockdraftdatabase.com

The Packers have their own Big Board, and although it's probably quite similar to other Big Boards, it's a tightly held secret and misinformation abounds. Believe nothing you hear from now until the draft.

So we should draft the #22 guy on our list, unless a higher guy falls to us, right? I mean, BPA says take him. So right now, today, according to the Big Board I'm using, we'd have our choice of Treylon Burks or Jameson Williams, but for some reason Trevor Penning has fallen and at #16, he's the highest rated guy, so we take an offensive tackle and pass on both Burks and Williams. Right?

Also, at #28 on this particular Big Board (the Consensus board) best player remaining is another OL? Or a CB? or an ILB? Don't you want to move down and take a safety? or a defensive lineman?

So I think you draft the guy you think has the best chance of helping your team the most over the duration of his 5 year contract. If he's a really good player you want to keep on the team, you've done a good job.

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 02:07 pm

Generally yes, but this year you weight now more than later

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Minniman's picture

March 21, 2022 at 02:58 pm

I see where you are coming from Leatherhead. I would offer that a teams big board differs from generic big boards in that they would factor in scheme fit (where applicable), and to an extent, need.

Where there is a situation where there 2 (or more) candidates with similar or identical scores, then the "tie-breakers" of schematic fit, then need get applied - I think that this aligns with your last paragraph too.

From memory this is kind of what played out during the 2020 Jordan Love pick. Per reports, the Packers were actually really high on Justin Jefferson AND Brandon Aiyuk...... and both got snatched before the Packers could get to them (Aiyuk 1 pick before) - which forced the Packers to go to their big-board.

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BirdDogUni's picture

March 21, 2022 at 11:23 am

Gutey tends to have a plan and locks in on his guys. (Dillon/Deguara)

I absolutely hate when he wastes 4th round picks to move up.

I hope he has a guy sitting on him this year, so he can't waste picks.

Gutey has 11 picks to round out an already wicked roster, and if he is patient, and let's the draft come to him, this could easily be the best roster we've had since 2010.

I think Gutey has done a great job, but there is always room for improvement.

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Minniman's picture

March 21, 2022 at 11:27 am

Agree - this draft, if it executes well for the Packers, should set them up for the remainder of Rodgers time.

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PeteK's picture

March 21, 2022 at 11:29 am

Balance my friend balance, wait and go get the player. If a player he covets is there, I don't mind moving up a bit using a 6th or 7th round. This is the year because of an abundance of picks.

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LambeauPlain's picture

March 21, 2022 at 11:44 am

Except Gutey does not have a 6th rounder...and the two 7th rounders are only worth 1 point each in trade value.

With their cap monster looming, they need more quality players on rookie contracts. Stay put or trade down to acquire even more picks for days one and two.

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 12:02 pm

More picks would definitely be better, I’d certainly be willing to move down if there’s no standout on our board. Those picks can net extra contributors early, positional depth or enable us to move around later if there’s a ST option or individual we prize. We need to hit on ST players this year as well as on O and D.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:02 pm

We have 5 picks in the first 92, and 7 picks in the first 140. Would you rather:

A. Try to draft 7 good players
B.. Trade up and draft fewer, better players
C. Trade down and try to draft more than 7 good players
D. All of the Above.

We can move around in this draft. For example, say we want Jeremy Ruckert as a TE, but our models show him going sometime shortly after 75 or so. He's available at 82 so we go ahead and trade up from #92 to be sure we get him. Or we think we can get a guy at #35 who's just as good as the one we can get at #28 so we trade down and add an extra pick.

We all know where we could use people: WR, TE, Defensive Front, OL. Safety. We're also going to add some UDFAs and these guys end up on our gameday roster, and even starting sometimes, in playoff games. We could get all those guys in the Top 100.

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Coldworld's picture

March 22, 2022 at 09:03 am

One of the things I’d like to see this year is a clear out of the back end of the roster. Burks has gone, but we have a number of players who aren’t seemingly close to being ones you want on I and D and aren’t great STers.

With our new ST coach, we should be looking for a returner, gunners, LS, and other ST stalwarts. They won’t be much worse in emergency action than we’ve seen from recent deep depth, but they might help lift us out of the ST sewer. To do that we need numbers and competition and not to rely purely on UDFAs. And then we need to let these guys compete for the final roster.

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PeteK's picture

March 22, 2022 at 10:06 am

Yes, young Lbs, CBs, and even WRs make great ST players.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 06:29 am

Very true. Does anybody think the Texans would scuttle the trade for Watson because the Browns demanded a 6th round pick in 2024 to go with him? 6ths and 7ths are throw ons you ask for when a deal is almost done to see if the other guy says sure. Houston said ”you want a 6th back? Sure."

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PeteK's picture

March 22, 2022 at 10:08 am

3- 7th rounders LOL

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probablycraig's picture

March 21, 2022 at 02:28 pm

I agree but realistically, there is zero chance a team would trade with GBP to move up for a 6th or 7th round draft pick. Hey, dreaming is free but realistically, that's not going to get it done.

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Archie's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:12 pm

I would not be surprised to see Gutey package both #1s to get the top WR in this draft. Personally I'd take 2 defensive guys as gppd WR prospects will available in rds 2-3-4. He had to promise AR something special at WR to get him to come back w/o Adams.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 06:35 am

That would suck. Much rather see him trade down and take 4 WRs than 1. I think Wilson is the number one guy for most people and he's too small for the Packers anyway.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 22, 2022 at 12:09 pm

Wilson is a top guy for a reason. So Tyrek Hill would not fit the "Packer profile"? Use the scheme to fit your players. This guy can snap defenders ankles with his short area movement. He won't be around for them to sniff in any case. Get faster, get better.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 22, 2022 at 12:08 pm

*

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 03:26 am

👍 I'll always wonder if trading their 3rd and 1st in 2020 would have gotten them high enough for Jefferson instead of dooming him to a career in purple!!

It's funny, there's all these "quant" draft charts now and all the experts say the Jimmy Johnson chart is worthless and outdated and it's true in part, all evidence shows that trading up is worthless for the most part. But year after year when you look at the trade value exchanged Johnson's chart is quite often the closest. So either there's a bunch of teams not paying attention to simple statistics or there's a lot of GMs worried about their jobs.

I'd much rather see the Packers end up with 12 or 13 picks than 9 or 10. They've lost some valuable veterans and realistically only about a third of draft picks pan out. More swings equals more hits. Especially in the first 100 picks.

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Coldworld's picture

March 22, 2022 at 09:07 am

“More swings equals more hits.” That’s absolute how the draft is. The corollary is more competition results in better depth in camp. If we take 3 receivers, the odds are we might really hit on one. We need numbers. An extra late pick on a flyer might be your other St. Brown. He might also be your ace gunner you wouldn’t have. More is better this year.

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BirdDogUni's picture

March 21, 2022 at 11:32 am

I have a feeling they will get MVS back before the draft, which would also give Gutey more flexibility when drafting WRs come April 29th.

Notice I said April 29th?

I just don't see Gutey taking a WR on day 1.

April 28th will be reserved for big guys I'm afraid.

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BradHTX's picture

March 21, 2022 at 11:54 am

You may be right, BDU, and it would be OK. I’m not enough of a draftnik to know exactly but everyone says this draft is deep for WR and Edge, not so much for DL. We need all three. So while I could really see:

1. WR, DL
2. Edge, TE

I could just as easily see:

1. DL, Edge
2. WR, TE

The TE pick in the 2nd could just as easily be ILB, with TE in the 3rd or 4th. Personally, I don’t see drafting an OT happening in the 1st or 2nd; I really think with Bakhtiari and Nijman, and Jenkins coming back mid-season, they will sign a bargain basement vet at some point and draft a developmental prospect in maybe the 4th-5th.

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Minniman's picture

March 21, 2022 at 03:24 pm

To your point Brad - and per a line of thought that LH and I were on above - it is critical the the 4 first and second round picks are starters (or key rotational players) for their entire rookie contracts.

The Packers are getting top-heavy with vets - and their premium veteran contracts - so the selections need to be productive keepers, not speculations.

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 12:07 pm

I can, but I could only see one and I could see us trading back and getting more second/third round shots. It depends how the draft falls, but there’s a lot of bunched WRs potentially in round 2.

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stockholder's picture

March 21, 2022 at 12:44 pm

#22. Jameson Williams. WR Alabama
#28. Christian Watson WR N. Dakota State
#53. Trey McBride TE Colorado State
#59. Leo Chenal LB. WI.
#92. Troy Andersen LB Montana State
132. Nick Cross S Maryland
140. Tycen Anderson S Toledo.
171. Javion Heiligh WR/ST Coastal Carolina
228. Decoble Durrant CB. SC. State
249. Isaih Pacheco. RB Toledo
258. Cooper McCaw OT Liberty

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stockholder's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:40 pm

This draft was created for #12. Watson will make rd 1 by draft day. Regardless what the Pff simulator mocks show. Watson is in the 30s now.

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:50 pm

Watson is very interesting but ran a limited route tree, small school offense. Much as I’d like him, too much of a project for us that high. We need players who are ready to take snaps.

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stockholder's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:18 pm

We Do. But the size is the kicker. He can block. With Cobb, Lazard , And Rodgers. They'll work them in. You can't take the guy with the route tree, if he's too small or too slow. Gutey will have to gamble if he wants to stretch the field. Pickens, Williams. both had knee surgery. Watson proved he can get off the line in the senior Bowl. And held his own. By the way ojoba will drop. Blew out his Achilles.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 06:44 am

PFF's big board is more about what a guy did in college than what he's projected to do in the pros. Their big wrong more than big right and their simulator is a joke. It takes just about any trade you offer. Look at Pro Football Networks big board on their simulator, I think it's more accurate than TDN or PFF.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 22, 2022 at 12:11 pm

Buy this man a beer.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:04 pm

Christian Watson is at best a 3rd round pick. Yeah hes big and fast but hes not a polished receiver nor will he be for a couple years if ever.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 06:49 am

Nah, he'll be gone by 40-45. Small school guys that shine at the Senior Bowl always get moved up.

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Starrbrite's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:40 pm

Stockholder, I could easily go with your board, although a D-lineman is nearly always my favorite 1st-rnd pick.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 06:40 am

C’mon, be inventive. You can trade down at least 5 spots and still be 90% sure Watson will be there. And no DTs or Edge guys? Yuck.

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stockholder's picture

March 21, 2022 at 12:51 pm

I just don't see Gutey taking a WR on day 1. Trade up coming to Seattle For #9. for 22 and 28. He then takes Kayvon Thibodeaux. DE Oregon. Don't Laugh- It could happen,

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 21, 2022 at 01:01 pm

OK, I will snicker instead. He's in the top five.

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BirdDogUni's picture

March 21, 2022 at 01:08 pm

And wouldn't be very smart IMO, even if he was there. Why help rebuild Seattle by being stupid?

We need to take two guys at 22/28 who will help rebuild the Packers roster.

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stockholder's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:35 pm

I WROTE THAT after seeing him drop to nine. Mock Monday.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 21, 2022 at 08:56 pm

OK, The Rites of Spring and the Sado-Masochistic ritual of Mock the Mocks. I am tending toward an Olave and Wyatt for my first round. May have to burn one of the twos for positioning? We have to see how the dust settles at the end of the week and which remaining players teams acquire in free agency.

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Starrbrite's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:42 pm

Wud love to see us grab Thibodeaux.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 06:51 am

Maybe if Thibodeaux gets caught mugging old ladies between now and then.

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LambeauPlain's picture

March 21, 2022 at 11:39 am

Gutey could probably get a 2nd and 3rd rounder for #28...for example Cleveland's #44 and #78 would do.

Armed with a 1st, 3 seconds, 2 thirds on draft days one and two will have Gutey giddy with options. Six picks in first two rounds to select a starter or two and lots of priority depth.

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stockholder's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:59 pm

You have to re-think the draft. When has Gutey ever traded down Lately? Adams picks changed that possibility. Forget the trade down. He needs to get in the 40s, if he wants a DL. ( Leal, Jones, Winfrey.) The word was they liked Leal. But that may have changed. I like Jones. Expect a run on the Wrs by 50.

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LambeauPlain's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:34 pm

You have to rethink team draft strategy for a team in a cap cage.

Strategically, this draft has good value at positions that can quickly build Packers depth with good football players. Trade down this year is logical with 2 first rounders to collect more picks to fortify the team now and into the cap cage future with good players on rookie deals.

In a trade down with Cleveland, Gutey would get into the 40's for a DL (that should please you)...or almost every other loaded position the Packers will consider...WR, Edge, S, OL, LB.

Gutey has to avoid the "shiny penny" emotion and reach. Just because he hasn't traded down yet does not rule it out. Far from it.

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:54 pm

2018. Ended up with Jaire

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stockholder's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:04 pm

Yes I missed the Lately. He did. - but hasn't since. That was a No brainer.

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:10 pm

In many ways this draft is most similar to that of 2018. We need talent, numbers and ST types too.

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HawkPacker's picture

March 21, 2022 at 12:37 pm

All comments seem like great ideas to me. Now after the Adams trade, I keep waiting for us to snag a FA WR so we can see what we need to do in the draft. However, I am rethinking my stance based a lot on these articles here at CH TV and related comments I am reading. It appears that the WR's they would like are no longer available. If not, don't reach for one and try to fit this square peg into our round hole. Let's draft the WR's that we feel are necessary, then come June 1, we dump some of our borderline players where we get more Cap money back and then see if some of the other teams are getting rid of their WR's that are in the same position as the ones we are dumping.

We may just come up with the right WR and have the additional Cap money to sign the best one for us.

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probablycraig's picture

March 21, 2022 at 02:30 pm

Would LOVE for them to sign Jarvis Landry. He'd be perfect and wouldn't press the need at WR. If we have Landry, Lazard, Cobb, Amari Rodgers plus draft someone in the first two rounds, I think AR12 would be happy to say the least. And let's not forget Bob Tonyan in that mix too!!!

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HawkPacker's picture

March 21, 2022 at 02:36 pm

Someone mentioned in the comments of another CH article that Landry is a slot receiver. Don't we already have two of those in Cobb and Rodgers?

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:12 pm

Right. I may prefer Landry to Cobb or AmRod, but AmRod is going to get another shot and Rodgers isn’t going to let Cobb be cut, even if the cap would. We need WRs who aren’t primarily slot types.

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Minniman's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:16 pm

I think it was coldworld that mentioned the other day that the absence of MVS (I.e. a deep threat) allowed the 49ers to disregard the deep threat - and I tend to agree with him - the Packers are well stocked for the short, middle and slot attack, but need help providing a consistent deep threat. To this end I see a prospect like Chris Olave making sense.

I also think that Gute has his eye on a couple of vets - to fill specific roles in the offense - but he’s letting some time pass to shuck off the silly money\ draft pick requests.

Personally I’d like to see the Packers move away from that single point of focus approach that dominated the Rodgers\Adams era. In fairness, injuries and necessity conspired to encourage this, but hopefully Gute and MLF learn from the last 2 years of failures in critical games to fortify against it for the WR’s (like they’ve done for the RB’s).

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 06:57 am

Nope. He's slow and starting to breakdown, very bad combination. He's living proof that you don't have to be an athletic superstar to succeed at WR in the NFL. He's also living proof the not so athletic guys age faster than the more athletic guys do. I doubt they add a WR that mainly plays in the slot in FA but if they do I'd rather see it be Crowder.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 22, 2022 at 12:17 pm

Crowder went to the Bills. C'est la vie.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 06:57 am

Nope. He's slow and starting to breakdown, very bad combination. He's living proof that you don't have to be an athletic superstar to succeed at WR in the NFL. He's also living proof the not so athletic guys age faster than the more athletic guys do. I doubt they add a WR that mainly plays in the slot in FA but if they do I'd rather see it be Crowder.

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Starrbrite's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:44 pm

Yep—I like your thinking Hawkpacker.

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Packer_Fan's picture

March 21, 2022 at 01:21 pm

Here's my thoughts. Draft Leo Chenal. Two great ILB would make the defense great. Then with the balance of 1st and 2nd round picks, get a WR, IDL and Edge. Then rounds 3 and 4, TE, CB and another WR. Then round out the Draft with OL, safety, DL and WR help.

It would be wonderful if the team sign Alexander to a long term contract and free cap space to sign DL Hicks.

Having a stifling defense will go a long way to win the Super Bowl

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MainePackFan's picture

March 21, 2022 at 01:46 pm

I agree on ChenaI, I also think Troy Anderson would be an interesting day 2 pick. Love his versatility.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:11 pm

I would love to get Troy Anderson, but when do you pick him? I feel like I'd wait until the end of the third round, and by then I expect him to be gone.

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BirdDogUni's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:27 pm

We drafted Blake Martinez in the 4th round. Not saying they are the same players, but if Gutey really wants Anderson, he'll probably have to take him in the 3rd. If he's patient, we could get lucky and he slips to our 4th round pick.

I hope Gutey is patient and gets lucky this year! ; )

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:16 pm

I do not think we’d pick a Martinez type now. I think they will look more at Campbell as the model. Coverage is a requirement.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 03:29 am

Troy Anderson could be a 3rd round pick that actually pans out! Any more mises in that round and Gutey should trade them every year for the foreseeable future.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 03:29 am

Troy Anderson could be a 3rd round pick that actually pans out! Any more mises in that round and Gutey should trade them every year for the foreseeable future.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 21, 2022 at 09:54 pm

Can he hold the edge? Similar frame as Tipa.

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Coldworld's picture

March 22, 2022 at 09:23 am

No. That’s not going to work. Galeai is very gifted as a rusher but just lacks the physique to hold up as a 3/4 OLB. He’s more a coverage option at best who can situationally rush if he continues to improve in that area (some signs) and still needs to gain mass strength even then, after 2 years in the NFL. These tweeners are fine as UDFA, but I wouldn’t touch Anderson as an OLB in the draft.

As an ILB, he’s a much better prospect. The thing about him is he could be an elite ST prospect while he learns. So not to hold the edge, but to back up Campbell while he and learns on STs, yes (he could be the ST fake tool as a passer or runner too). The question is how high that justifies drafting him.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 03:37 am

I'm not positive Chenal goes in the 2nd round. He tested out of this world but he hasn't shown he's a top cover guy. Would he be better than Barnes next to Campbell? 💯 But there are a handful of teams that won't be interested in him. 4-3 teams will be worried about his ability to cover. I could definitely see Belicheck taking him in round 2 with visions of moving him all over the place. I could also see him lasting into round 3 easily.

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Coldworld's picture

March 22, 2022 at 09:31 am

He’s stiff. Coverage and stiffness don’t go together and he’s not going to run sideline to sideline. He’s an old fashioned between the tackles ILB. He’s great as an inside run stuffer. Would he be a better than Barnes? Definitely, but we need a second ILB who can tackle, fill holes and not be a liability in coverage. Some teams may value the run stuffer more, but to me he’s day 3 from the perspective of value to the Packers as an early down player.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:04 pm

I love Chenal. I believe if his jersey said "Watt" on the back, he'd be a first-round pick. That's who he plays like. He'd be great for filling the Zadarious Smith role. I expect him to go in the early second round; I think draft gurus are undervaluing him compared to what GMs will do.
I'm a big fan of a bunch of ILBs in this draft: Nakobe Dean, Devin Lloyd, Chad Muma,
Quay Walker, Leo Chenal -- I like ALL of them for the Packers! I really hope we get one of them.

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Starrbrite's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:45 pm

I love the Hicks idea—alot!!

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MainePackFan's picture

March 21, 2022 at 01:25 pm

I can definitely see Gute trading down in this draft unless the guy he covets is sitting there at 22. Good luck figuring out who Gute thinks that is. The Packers board is rarely what we think it's going be.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 21, 2022 at 01:26 pm

We drafted a WR in the first round in 1988, Sterling Sharpe. Since then, we've taken Bubba Franks in 2000, Javon Walker in 2002, and Rodgers and Love. That's it, just four skill position players in the first round, and two of them were QBs. Do you think that the organization believes they can get very good "weapons" on the 2nd day of the draft? Because they can and they do and they've done it for a long time. It's part of the organizational DNA by now.

We do take a lot of defensive players with that first round pick, and occasionally offensive linemen. Taking a WR would be a substantial departure from Packers history, and from Gutekunst's own personal history, but maybe this year's circumstances will compel a rare exception.

Personally, I'm an old school guy and I'd love to see studs added to our defense, but I'm not really convinced that we spent all this energy and money to resign Rodgers if the intention was to trade his favorite target and not replace him? That makes little sense to me. More probable is "Aaron....we're going to make sure you've got people to throw it to."

The question I have is what is the difference between a guy like Burks or Williams and a guy we could get in the 2nd round? Is it that substantial that we'd depart from something that has worked pretty well for 30 years? I'm not sure. Safe thing is take a guy like Watson in the 2nd and use your first round picks on Edge Rushers and a Tackle. That's safer. We have 5 picks in the top 100, so we can get 5 real good players right away, and maybe a couple more on Day 3.

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MainePackFan's picture

March 21, 2022 at 01:43 pm

I agree with your assessment LH. I think Alec Pierce would be a fit for the Packers too, maybe even better than Watson. If they do grab one in the first round I would prefer Olave over Burks or Williams.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 21, 2022 at 02:40 pm

Gutekunst seems to like bigger bodies on his WRs. Olave would be very much against type on that.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 21, 2022 at 03:58 pm

I agree Leatherhead, but I also won't be surprised if Gute picks Olave if he believes Rodgers loves him. That relationship has changed Gute's behavior--I'm curious to see if it manifests in the draft as well.

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LambeauPlain's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:41 pm

You mean like Am Rodgers? He did trade and pay big money to Cobb last season, too.

Olave is bigger than both.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 04:16 am

Absolutely not. He might be taller but Cobb outweighs him by 5 lbs and Amari Rodgers by 25 lbs.

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:02 pm

This is true, as I pointed out yesterday. On the other hand, Olave probably has the best chance of really contributing of any we will possibly have a shot at.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 04:25 am

I think Burks has just as much of a chance of you like market share as a predictor of NFL success for WRs. There's concerns with Burks but there definitely are with Olave too. A lot comes down to how you view 2nd or 3rd WRs on your Ohio States and Alabamas vs being an obvious lead dog on a lesser team. I watched enough of Arkansas last year to get the impression that their QB basically can't throw and Burks is very good. Burks played all but 79 snaps in the slot, minus what he played in the backfield, and I'd be interested what a pro scout would say the reason for that was but I'd guess he'd say because their QB couldn't throw an out well. Burks' market share numbers were phenomenal. And I'm not worried about him being slow, he ran the 40 a hundredth of a second faster than Davante and was 13 lbs heavier at the combine. Hopkins was right in that area too.

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Coldworld's picture

March 22, 2022 at 09:42 am

Market share is a trap. Elite athletes should have that on all but the top 5 teams where there may be multiple draft worthy candidates. NFL players are the elite of the elite physically (2 percent get a shot if I recall), even the ones that don’t make it.

That type of market share indicates that a player was a superlative athlete/player in a lesser market. In the NFL, a lack of ultra elite agility, speed, size, etc. can cancel that out instantly. Market share is good to see as a starting point. (If it’s not there why?), then look at his team mates, at the level of opposition and then start scouting him.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 22, 2022 at 12:36 pm

So you had Sternberger rated over McLaurin like Gute and Company?

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 04:25 am

I think Burks has just as much of a chance of you like market share as a predictor of NFL success for WRs. There's concerns with Burks but there definitely are with Olave too. A lot comes down to how you view 2nd or 3rd WRs on your Ohio States and Alabamas vs being an obvious lead dog on a lesser team. I watched enough of Arkansas last year to get the impression that their QB basically can't throw and Burks is very good. Burks played all but 79 snaps in the slot, minus what he played in the backfield, and I'd be interested what a pro scout would say the reason for that was but I'd guess he'd say because their QB couldn't throw an out well. Burks' market share numbers were phenomenal. And I'm not worried about him being slow, he ran the 40 a hundredth of a second faster than Davante and was 13 lbs heavier at the combine. Hopkins was right in that area too.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 07:03 am

WTF is going on with these double posts? I hit submit and only hit it again if the screen doesn't change in 5 seconds or so. To bad there's not a delete feature.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 22, 2022 at 12:32 pm

Burks footwork is nowhere near the level of Davante's when he came out as a greenhorn. He emulated Jerry Rice and gave him the edge. I have seen Burks in a couple games. He has the body type but not the acumen of a Andre Johnson or Bolden when he converted to WR. I would pass.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 21, 2022 at 03:55 pm

Pierce was used so oddly/specifically in college: "run downfield, I'll throw it high, you jump up and catch it facing me." He reminds me a lot of Jordy Nelson, but Nelson exhibited WAY more variety in his abilities. Maybe if given the chance, Pierce will unlock those other skills.

Watson has great highlights and abilities and had a great Senior Bowl week; he also has a history of drops. I think someone will take him late first/early second, but I think he'll have a rough rookie year. I'd love to have an early second round pick to spend on him.

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:04 pm

Pierce looks stiff. Straight line or nothing. I’d take Watson first and I wouldn’t touch him on day 1. Watson could run what Pierce does and more later.

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MainePackFan's picture

March 21, 2022 at 07:12 pm

I wouldn't touch either one on day one. Pierce is a dog. Very physical. He is almost as fast, more athletic overall, and he is a better blocker than Watson. Hell , I would take both of them :)

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 07:19 am

I like Pierce at 59 but I wouldn't go up for him. I like Tolbert almost as much and I think he might be more ready to contribute year one. I think people get way more wound up about speed than the scouts and GMs do, especially the 40. Diggs ran a 4.46 and he was only 193 lbs at the combine, Davante ran a 4.56 and Hopkins a 4.57 and who knows what Michael Thomas ran. You have to have a guy or(hopefully) two that can run a go route and straight up beat guys to keep defenses honest but how many times is that guy also your number one WR and a top 5 or 10 guy in the league? There will be guys that run in the 4.3s drafted in the 7th round.

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HawkPacker's picture

March 21, 2022 at 02:39 pm

Great points LH. That is why we leave this to the FO. They understand their board and how it should play out according to their needs.

Some of us think we know the needs of the team but not like the FO does.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:15 pm

I think a lot of receivers are going to go in the late first and early second, including Watson, so if the Packers wait until pick 50, I think all the best WRs will be gone. That said, I think the next level, guys like Bell, Shakir, Metchie, etc. will still be good players.

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Coldworld's picture

March 22, 2022 at 09:45 am

I tend to agree, which is why a trade down in the first is an interesting option, because I see a lot belonging in the first 20 of the second.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:19 pm

I'm curious Leatherhead, with Preston Smith and Rashan Gary the starters, why do so many people want to spend a high pick on an edge? Now if the guy is a BPA, great, but I'm not getting that feel except maybe in the first round, and even that would be maybe a hair better than an ILB (who might start) or a WR (who might start).

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stockholder's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:01 pm

To replace the Smiths

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 21, 2022 at 09:34 pm

Get Ingram in free agency and he will replace Mercilus. Draft another guy with a four pick. WR, D line, OT, WR/TE with the first four picks. If they have further refinancing with players to gain CAP, they should pursue the Honey Badger and have a game changer in the Star spot.

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Coldworld's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:07 pm

You need 3 to keep them fresh and effective, as well as depth. The Packers really seem to like Ramsey, but can he stay healthy and is he really a threat? Nothing much behind the Smith/Gary pairing except maybe a competent 4th option.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:14 pm

There are 4 positions that are considered to affect a game more than any other position:
QB, LT, CB and Edge rusher. If either Gary or Preston is nicked up and needs a backup, we are beyond thin. Drafting an edge rusher now gives us a younger guy to replace Preston when we move on from him as well. In 2014 when GB had a very good defense, they had 3 first round picks playing edge and it was part of the reason they were so effective:

Clay Matthews
Nick Perry
Julius Peppers

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

March 21, 2022 at 09:01 pm

Ah the school of Vic Ketchman lives on in this comment section. I love to see it.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

March 21, 2022 at 08:59 pm

Because Preston Smith will likely only see 2 year of his new contract. Since its such a deep draft for edge players, they could follow the same plan they used with Rashan Gary so when Preston's gone the replacement is already there and ready to step up.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 22, 2022 at 05:24 am

Last year it was surprising to see how often Garvin and Gileai were on the field together. It may be been because I was watching a recap of big plays the opposing team had against us, and the combo of Garvin/Gileai just happened to play a large percentage of the time when the D allowed big plays.

OLB #3 plays a lot, in part because Gary still gets moved inside on passing downs.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 07:22 am

Are you hunting that maybe it wasn't a coincidence?

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Coldworld's picture

March 22, 2022 at 09:54 am

It was forced because Z was injured, that left Gary, P and who? Galeai and Garvin were the most available of the remainder (also injuries there). Garvin looked ok as depth especially early. They seem to love Ramsey (never healthy though). Galeai did show some glimpses in coverage, but got man handled way too easily when rushing. Garvin or Ramsey might be a 4th depth option but there is no 3rd member of the regular rotation I’d want out there by choice. That’s what we have to find. Must be able to hold the edge and threaten the passer.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:43 pm

Take the big guys first. Always take the big guys first. You can find gems in later rounds but your odds of doing so go down at a quicker rate than compared to some other positions.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 04:26 am

I was trying to find out some stats on Savage playing nickel in college and stumbled across you jinxing the Packers STs this year. Ouch

"Our special teams were abysmal? We didn’t miss a single field goal, and we didn’t lose a single game because of a special teams breakdown.

We gave up two long punt return TDs. I don’t think we had a punt blocked. A high% of punts were inside the 20. We didn’t give up any fake punts and nobody had a successful onside kick against us. I believe we fumbled one punt, and one kick, but I could be wrong on some details.

If we didn’t return punts, we wouldn’t turn it over. If we punted out of bounds, that would take care of those returns against us."

Arguments about what abysmal means aside basically everything you said didn't happen in 2020 happened in 2021. Don't do that anymore please! Also:

"Somebody can look this up, but we haven’t lost a game because of special teams miscues since LaFleur arrived.”

Talk about your all time anti prescient comments! Boy Howdy Beer!

Boo Leatherhead!

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Dragon5's picture

March 21, 2022 at 01:52 pm

With a weak QB class, our #28 unfortunately offers less leverage in a trade back scenario where the 5th year option is coveted; if however, all QBs slip past #21, there's likely to be numerous teams looking to move up for either of our picks.

I am a huge fan of trading back small to the early 2nd to gather 3rds & 4ths as the opportunity exists to again parlay another small trade back for teams eager to move up to secure a guy. 2nd round is the low-risk high reward value round round and getting 4 2nd round picks is ideal in my GM playland. With 2 1sts already in the fold, Gute could splash for another if NE would accept both our 2nd & our lone 3rd for #21 (800pts vs 802pts on the trade chart), giving us #21, #22, #28.

https://www.drafttek.com/NFL-Trade-Value-Chart.asp?RequestTeam=gb

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 21, 2022 at 03:45 pm

Yeah, if teams were willing, the best value is to get as many second-round picks as possible. Unfortunately, they know the value of the second round as well. However, I've been thinking some might be willing to trade up to the end of the first in order to get the five-year contract with a young QB, rather than spending their own second on that guy.

This year's QBs aren't as bad as advertised; there aren't any superstars, but if you want a young QB to develop, Pickett, Howell, Ridder, Willis, and Corral all are good prospects. I'd love to have any one of them as my backup QB. Watching Ridder and Pickett is a lot like watching Aaron Rodgers when he was in college. Similar size and style and movement.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 21, 2022 at 10:02 pm

Pickett will go higher than projected. He's a gamer, can throw the deep out and has mobility.

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BirdDogUni's picture

March 21, 2022 at 11:09 pm

6th to the Panthers. Book it.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

March 21, 2022 at 08:30 pm

Personally, i think the weaker qb class could actually work in the Packers' favor as far as potentially trading back goes. In a strong qb class, those guys are all going top 10 or top 15. With this years weaker class, none of those guys are going top 15 but drafting one of them late in the round to get that 5th year option makes a ton of sense for the teams needing a qb.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 04:43 am

Don't worry about teams wanting a 5th year option for a QB. There's Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson and a whole bunch of crap in between. Otherwise I agree I'd like to see Gutey trade back one of the 1sts into the top of the 2nd round. Watson will be gone by 53 as will Mafe and Perrion Winfrey most likely will. I'd be happy with any of the three in the 32-40 range. There's a lot of late 3rd to early 4th round players I like(a lot of TEs) so getting an extra pick there would be great. Unfortunately I think Gutey is more likely to go up than go down.

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mbpacker's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:39 pm

Nice report! I do feel edge rusher is a primary get at least to add depth. Whether via the draft or free agent, our depth is not great in this position. God forbid if Gary or Smith go down.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

March 21, 2022 at 06:11 pm

I'm Favre's age, so I remember the draft pick of Rich Campbell over Ronnie Lott & I clearly remember the pick of Tony Mandarich, when I wanted Derrick Thomas so badly.
History says we should have taken Barry Sanders but I honestly wanted DT.

Anyway, go back to those days until now, & tell me the most impactful 3 rookies we've taken.

From Driver to Jennings to Jordy to Davante to Rodgers to Aaron Jones, while some made some good plays for us, none made the team better immediately. Even after 2 years, most of our fans were disgusted with Davante.

Point being: don't expect ANY WR we draft, whether round 1 or 2 or later, to take us to the next level or even make us better.

The most impactful immediate rookie draft picks I can recall for us have been:
2009 Matthews & BJ Raji
2010 Bulaga
Kenny Clark & Jaire Alexander are the other 2.

I loved Nick Collins but his communication & reading defenses was lacking until the light went on a few seasons in.

This is why I want a good Free Agent WR & push for impact via the draft to the OL & DL, maybe edge. Rashan Gary is poised for greatness now, but y'all had him as a bust entering year-2.

Go bring in Will Fuller now & re-sign MVS.

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stockholder's picture

March 21, 2022 at 07:35 pm

It's very possible he takes Green And Wyatt. I do agree on Fuller more then MVS. Who ever is here now, will Leave if Rodgers hangs it up. They do have to go beyond his window. I remember Lofton and Sharpe being selected. The Packers must go big or forget it. Wrs will get jammed if they have any speed. Just to knock them off their routes.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

March 21, 2022 at 08:27 pm

If youre banking on rookies to carry you to the promised land, youre doing it all wrong. The Packers' draft and develop strategy of bringing guys along slowly works so why change it? why fix something that isnt broke? I really dont understand the angst over this. I could name a couple dozen Packer rookies who couldve made bigger impacts as rookies had the Packers leaned on them more but they simply choose not to do this. Its like an apprenticeship and it pays off more times than not.

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stockholder's picture

March 21, 2022 at 08:54 pm

The reason for the WRs early is this. James Lofton was a great pick. James Lofton 40 -4.29 6’3” 187. Notice the height and weight. Not one 2022 WR over 6'1 is going to fall pass 50. Bank on it. You will always be able to trade speed. Such as the case was with Lofton. Next Sharpe. Sharpe 4.44 6 foot 207. Sharpe was smaller but powerful. The muscle to get off the line. There are many Wrs who are small. But fast, Field Quick. etc. But they can't get off the press. They must have plays to free them up. Stretch the Field. Bell might have great hands. Run perfect Routes. But- Rodgers will never thread the Needle to a rookie, who can't separate. Draft the speed, worry about the development later.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

March 21, 2022 at 11:53 pm

Neither Jordy Nelson nor Davante Adams ran a sub 4.5 40 yd dash and yet both can/could separate with ease. Hell Jerry Rice ran a 4.7. Cooper Kupp ran a 4.62. Inversely, every single year theres guys who light up the combine but struggle to carve out careers for themselves cuz they just dont have the skills. Forget the underwear olympic scores. Just draft good football players.

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 22, 2022 at 07:25 am

I was 13 and lost my mind they took Campbell over High Green! I didn't know Lott from Adam but I would've adapted pretty quickly to them taking Lott over Green. Starr listens to the scouts on either one of those guys and they make the playoffs a couple more times instead of 8-8.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 22, 2022 at 12:48 pm

Don't even bring up the Joe Montana draft room fiasco when they (he) passed him over three times.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

March 21, 2022 at 08:20 pm

Here's the radical wish i have for this draft: just get the best players you can get. I dont care if they draft 4 receivers or no receivers. Just make the picks count and make this team better.

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BradHTX's picture

March 22, 2022 at 08:23 am

Because “Just get the best players you can get” isn’t the strategy of the war room most years. I remember all those drafts in the past, being so irritated with the “Draft Mediocrity” sign on the wall behind Gute and Thompson before him.

If it were easy to identify the best players, every GM would bat 1.000.

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