In the week since the 2020 NFL Draft, the instant reactions have now cooled off. We can take this time to grade how the Green Bay Packers fared during this process. The grades will be based on a few factors such as value, roster fit, as well as impact both now, and for the future. Here is Grading the Packers 2020 Draft.
Jordan Love – QB
The instant knee jerk reaction most fans would have is a solid F. With headlines and the media twisting the slap in the face disrespect angle to Aaron Rodgers, I can understand where the feeling comes from. Taking the emotion out of it though it isn’t as awful. It wasn’t necessarily good, but the sky isn’t falling from this pick. Green Bay obviously feels that Jordan Love is the next franchise quarterback and long term answer at the position. He needs time and grooming but the upside was too good to pass. I hope they are correct, but the move was done a year too soon and the team is in win-now mode. The pick will not pay dividends for at least two or three seasons. There were options on the board that could have improved the roster now. I really like the player and upside of Love but not the trade up and the pick overall.
A.J. Dillon – RB
A.J. Dillon is a big, bruising athletic back built to close games. He is a running back this offense did not have and will add new wrinkles to the playbook. Matt Lafleur has stated he wants to take some load off of Aaron Jones. Also, add to the equation that both Jones and Jamaal Williams are in contract years. Dillon is not necessarily Jones’ replacement but more of a compliment. He does come in will a better skill set and a threat to Williams’ workload. Dillon is a big upgrade to the running back depth as a whole. Again, I like the player but he was drafted earlier than expected.
Josiah Deguara – TE
Any of the draft “experts” would say this pick was a big reach, especially with some of the other higher-rated tight ends still on the board. I can’t say that I disagree, but I do like what Josiah Deguara brings to the table with regard to how Packers will intend on using him. He can bounce around as a fullback, H-back or tight end depending on packages. Similar to what the 49ers do with Kyle Juszczyk, he could be the chess piece to Matt LaFleur’s system. He was drafted a little soon but the Packers wanted to make sure they got their man and not have a 4th-round selection. There may have been better options on the board but the first three picks are really showing what the head coach wants for the future of his offense and he is getting his guys.
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Kamal Martin – LB
Watching Kamal Martin in 2019, this pick lands about where he should have been drafted. Going back to 2018 and Martin looks like a player that could have gone much higher. It was an injury that held Martin back last season, but his length and athletic skill set are enticing. He brings some alpha dog style to pair well with Christian Kirksey and makes the inside linebacker group better. Furthermore, Martin is a special team upgrade and a value pick with some decent upside.
Jon Runyan – OL
Brian Gutekunst said he was surprised that Jon Runyan was still on the board. Getting a versatile offensive lineman at this point is great value. The Packer brass says that he will get a shot outside at tackle but I feel he will make a living at guard. Runyan brings instant depth to the offensive line in general.
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Jake Hanson – OL
Green Bay grabs another rookie to add to the offensive line. Jake Hanson is a 4-year starter at center. He is a squatty powerful guy that, like Runyan, is a later pick that will be able to play if needed. Hanson might not be great in any area but he adds depth. If he can have a good camp maybe the Packers can free up money they have in both Lane Taylor and Corey Linsley.
Simon Stepaniak – OL
And again, Green Bay drafts a guy that will probably and interior lineman only. With offensive tackle depth being so thin, another grinder that projects inside is a little puzzling. Especially after going offensive linemen with the last two picks. With better tackle type prospects on the board, this pick of Simon Stepaniak was a little frustrating.
Vernon Scott – DB
Vernon Scott was a hard prospect to grade athletically, but he has nice size and his game tape looks like he belongs. He is still really raw but his best football might be ahead of him. Green Bay likes using a lot of defensive backs, especially versatile players that can move around. Scott is a solid hitter and more importantly, a sure tackler. He is not ready to play right away but with time, the Packers might have something to work with. Seventh-round picks are perfect to find these types of prospects.
Jonathan Garvin – EDGE
I love this pick. Sadly this might be the Packers’ best pick of the draft. Jonathan Garvin is a long bendy spider-like player that comes off the edge with some speed. He has the talent to be a day 2 pick but fell because his numbers and effort at times weren’t great. If Green Bay can get the light to turn on, Garvin could be the steal of the draft for them. Fortunately for Garvin, he is buried on the depth chart. Therefore, he can be brought up slowly and learn from some solid guys in front of him. Love the added talent here late.
This draft was overall frustrating and left a lot to be desired. Green Bay really took the approach of building for the future like a team that wasn’t looking to go all the way right now. With Rodgers at QB and a roster that might have been able to get over the top with guys out the gate. Instead, they went with a completely different route. I like some of the players but the Packers were expected to approach the NFL Draft with a win-now mentality. However, they seemed to reach and take backups with many of the picks.
The draft is also about the future and with Lafleur going into year two, I will say the Pack definitely went after guys they feel will fit the system. The front office prioritized planning for the future. Only time will tell, but this draft doesn’t make Green Bay better for this season.
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