Full Press Coverage Packers Draft Guide
The 2020 NFL Draft has almost arrived. In order to properly preview the Draft from a Packers perspective, Full Press Coverage presents the Green Bay Packers Draft Guide.
The team currently has 10 selections in the 2020 NFL Draft. Green Bay sits in the 30th draft slot, and controls their original picks in the first five rounds. Furthermore, the Packers are in possession of 3 sixth rounders and 2 seventh-round selections.
This guide will be divided into several draft topics. First, a look at the Packers Draft Needs. Next, a look back on several completed full round Mock Drafts. After that, the Full Press Packers staff will answer some burning draft questions. Finally, we identify potential key players in the Packers’ plans for the draft.
Brian Gutekunst enters his third season as Green Bay’s General Manager. In the previous two drafts, he selected three current starting players and several solid depth options. With as strange of an offseason as anyone can remember, uncertainty looms even larger than usual. Gutekunst’s recent experience should serve him well.
As one would expect, there are not many holes on a team coming off of an NFC Championship Game appearance. One thing that was apparent in that game was Green Bay’s abysmal defensive performance against the run. Even while making a significant move to address the inside linebacker position, the depth of that group is shallow. Whether they select an immediate starter or an eventual replacement, look for the Packers to pick an inside linebacker in the first half of the draft.
Offensively, there are two main positions of need for 2020. The first is wide receiver, a group that is certainly deep with ten players currently on the roster. What the Packers will be looking for is an immediate contributor among this rookie class. Someone who can step right in and become at least a solid #3 wide receiver out of the gate. In order to secure a player of that caliber, even in such a deep draft at the position, Green Bay will likely need to select a receiver within the first two rounds.
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The second offensive position in need of immediate attention is offensive tackle. As with inside linebacker, the team acquired a right tackle via free agency. Another striking similarity between the two positions is the lack of depth. Even if the starting spot is secured, the primary swing tackle job is wide open. At the very least, the Packers could draft a tackle to compete right away for the swing tackle spot. If the is also able to battle for the starting right tackle gig, even better. Either way, I would not be surprised to see Green Bay draft on offense with their first-round selection, whether that is at wide receiver or offensive tackle.
Finally, the defensive secondary will likely need to be addressed. There are ten defense backs currently on the Packers roster. Only half of them are under contract beyond next season. Both long term and immediate depth is needed for Green Bay to stay competitive in today’s NFL.
Regardless of what positions are most coveted by the team, I expect the Packers to stick mostly to the best player available.
The Full Press Packers staff participated in four different Mock Draft simulations and wrote about them. There was one right after the combine in March, one in early April, and two recent ones this week, one by Jesse Hall and one by Sam Thoma.
A couple of players were selected multiple times in these Mocks. Linebacker Patrick Queen was the Packers’ first-round pick in a pair of them. Furthermore, defensive lineman, Benito Jones, is a popular potential Day 3 option for Green Bay.
Through these four Mock Drafts, certain positions are constantly addressed. Below is the average number of players per position that were drafted in the combination of these four Mocks.
Wide Receiver – 2 per Mock average
Running Back – 0.75 per Mock average
Tight End – 0.25 per Mock average
Offensive Line – 1.75 per Mock average (1 for offensive tackle, 0.75 for interior linemen)
Defensive Line – 1.5 per Mock average
Edge Rusher – 0.5 per Mock Average
Inside Linebacker – 0.75 per Mock average
Defensive Back – 2 per Mock average
Looking at these averages, the two positions where the Packers are likeliest to select multiple players are wide receiver and defensive back. That makes sense in today’s pass-happy NFL. Adding offensive weapons is important, as is drafting depth for the secondary. After those two groups, the trenches are the next likeliest to be filled with both offensive and defensive line help being priorities entering this draft.
For the next three sections, writers from the Full Press Coverage Packers staff came to chime in on burning draft questions
When Things Go Right?
In my mind, the ideal scenario for the Packers this draft weekend is as follows. Another team falls in love with a quarterback that is available at 30, so the Packers trade down for a 2nd and maybe a Day 3 pick. Within their first 3 selections, the Packers are able to address wide receiver, linebacker, and offensive tackle. Not necessarily in that order, as Green Bay should follow their best player available model. Afterward, on Day 3, they fill out the roster with quality depth pieces in the secondary and offensive skill positions.
– Sam Thoma
When Things Go Wrong?
The worst-case scenario for the Packers would be that they are unable to move from pick 30 (either up or down) and draft Tee Higgins with that pick. Then, taking a low-floor, developmental offensive tackle at 62nd overall. Afterward, a refusal to address inside linebacker until Day 3 would continue the trend of things going wrong. As would drafting offensive skill players with the same athletic archetypes as already abundant on the roster (i.e big-bodied receiver). Finally, it would be a complete disaster if the secondary depth wasn’t addressed until the sixth and seventh rounds.
– Sam Thoma
Packers Draft Questions
Is linebacker still a need after the Kirksey signing?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: absolutely yes. Even if Mike Pettine decides to use only one linebacker in his base package, Christian Kirksey has been extremely injury-prone in the last two seasons. Therefore, having some kind of security blanket is necessary. Kirksey also isn’t a long-term solution, as his two-year contract indicates. However, what complicates this is the need for a true #2 wide receiver is as dire as it was before free agency. That may end up being the priority over drafting an inside linebacker early.
– Sam Thoma
Do the Packers make a trade on Day 1 of the draft?
Perhaps. However, it is unlikely that Green Bay will move up this year. Across the bottom half of the top 40 players, the talent level is rather flat. Therefore, I do not see them using extra picks to move up and get a player. Trading back, on the other hand, could be an option. It is reasonable to expect that the Packers attempt to move back and stack some extra picks in the top 100. A team like the Colts, who have a pair of second-round selections, are a natural partner.
– Jesse Hall
Will the Packers draft a quarterback in the draft?
There is a possibility of Green Bay selecting a signal-caller in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, perhaps not for the reason most expect. With the team currently in a Super Bowl window, I believe that the first few picks will address immediate needs. If the Packers do select a quarterback on Day 1 or 2 of the draft, it will be to use as a weapon alongside Aaron Rodgers, not as a replacement. Think of how the Saints utilize Taysom Hill. Certainly, Matt LaFleur and his desire to create mismatches and confusion on defense would welcome that type of player.
– Kyle Senra
Personally, if the Packers can find a way to get Patrick Queen on the team, I believe they should. That would likely require a move up, so we shall see how much Green Bay wants Queen based on what they are willing to give up in a trade.
In the long term, the future at right tackle needs to be addressed. In the short term, an upgrade at swing tackle is needed. Realistically, Josh Jones and Lucas Niang are both attainable for where the Packers are picking.
There are a few wide receivers that could potentially be available for the Packers to draft in the first round. Tee Higgins, Denzel Mims, Jalen Reagor could all be on the board at 30 overall. Green Bay could even trade down and still manage to select one of them. Perhaps a player like K.J. Hamler is a possibility for the Packers to take with their own second-round selection, while still addressing another need in the first.
Defensive back depth is important every season. Expect Green Bay to address the secondary with at least one, if not multiple, picks. Names to look out for include Jeremy Chinn, Noah Igbinoghene, Troy Pride, and Amik Roberson. Those players could be available to the Packers at different points of the draft.
Thank you for reading the Full Press Coverage Green Bay Packers Draft Guide.