How the Packers Should Navigate the Draft

Before we dissect players, let's tackle the approach.

Silly me, thinking I wouldn’t miss much taking a month off during free agency, even though I called for Green Bay to open the wallet for a top safety or linebacker. It’s the Packers … I figured I was safe. 

No need to rehash why Xavier McKinney is the perfect weapon. All I can say is thank you, Mr. Gutekunst, you nailed it. Yeah, I’ll throw up a little in my throat seeing Aaron Jones wearing purple, but I can see the logic. Mostly, I love that we have a GM willing to be bold, to take some calculated risks and break with hidebound traditions. (Like not being a slave to the relative athletic score, another plea I made. McKinney’s RAS was a modest 5.85 when drafted in 2020.)

Now it’s on to the draft. If Gute hits this one like he did last year, the Packers ought to be one of a small handful of teams with realistic Super Bowl aspirations. But let’s not forget that despite the success of last year’s class (and Jordan Love), players who flash in their rookie or second years don’t necessarily continue to improve the following year. Young players often stair-step in their development, or plateau, or fail to adjust to how other teams have adjusted to them. This is why always having competitive pressure from new additions is so vital. Not to mention the need for good coaching.

The next three-plus weeks will be nothing but full-on dissection of individual prospects, from what Drake Maye eats for breakfast to the shoe size of a sixth-round “sleeper” from the Idaho College of Bus Drivers. Yeah, I’ll be doing mocks, too — in fact I’m hoping some of you will join us in a little friendly competition — but today let’s look at overall philosophy, roster needs and developing a working strategy for navigating this year’s particular set of circumstances.

In other words, how should Green Bay approach this draft?

We know that historically, the Packers prize certain athletic traits, positional versatility, scheme fit, roster depth and locker-room compatibility. And while this remains a hardcore draft and develop team, Gute and his staff clearly recognize the crapshoot nature of the whole thing, hence the doubling and tripling up in the draft at certain positions to maximize the chances of hitting on at least one of the picks. On the flip side, Green Bay has less tolerance than many other teams for medical and character red flags. 

I also believe the front office is evolving somewhat, willing to select players who are just really good at football and play every snap with their hair on fire, even if they fall short of various thresholds and measurables. It’s a welcome development.

Primary needs (in order, per me): Off-ball linebacker, corner, offensive line, running back, safety, D-line. Green Bay is fortunate not to have any major holes at starting spots. But we know the toll injuries take, and having competition at these positions is essential. Oh, and let’s remember that the Packers’ special teams were among the worst in the finishing 31st in DVOA. This was largely due to Anders Carlson’s inconsistency, but Daniel Whelan was last in net punt yards, as the Packers were in the bottom quartile in punt-return yards allowed. Rich Bisaccia’s seat should be heating up. It’s also interesting to ponder whether the new kickoff rules suggest a different breed of special teams player altogether. What good is a gunner, for example, when the kicking team is lining up on the opponent’s 40, just 10 or 15 yards away from the receiving team? It’s more like an expanded play from scrimmage, and it’s gonna be wild. 

Scheme fit: On D, prospect targets ought to be those who fit the new Jeff Hafley approach, which prioritizes better middle-of-the-field  defense at every layer. Linebackers with at least better-than-average coverage skills ought to be the priority (as opposed to pure pass-rush specialists), as should corners who can play press-man. 

Along the O-line, I’d like to see more emphasis on run blocking. The Packers are at their most fanatical about positional versatility on the offensive line, which will no doubt be the biggest determining factor in their picks. But this is a deep class, with an array of skill specialties, and the team needs to solve its persistent trouble in short yardage situations on third and fourth downs. Road graders needed.  

Depth: On offense, Rasheed Walker seems solid as David Bakhtiari’s replacement, but there needs to be a stronger backup plan at tackle, for him and Zach Tom. I also hope Gutekunst is considering a possible upgrade at center, despite Josh Myers showing some improvement in 2023. An upgrade at third running back is also needed, but what kind? Josh Jacobs and Quadzilla are power runners, so should the focus be on a speedster type? 

The draft board: As often happens, team needs don’t always line up well with the ways a draft sets up, given draft order, positional value, positional depth, what other teams might do, etc. It’s the ultimate game-theory exercise, which is what makes it fun. I approach this by asking questions:

  1. Where do the Venn diagram circles overlap between team need and draft value at pick 25? No off-ball linebacker — my top priority — in  this class is worth it at 25. Which leaves corner and O-line. The draft is packed with talented offensive linemen, and the Packers are excellent at finding gems in later rounds. If somehow Taliese Fuaga,  Troy Fautanu or Jackson Powers-Johnson are still on the board I’d rush the card up, given their run-blocking abilities. Otherwise I would look at corner, for potential upgrades opposite Jaire and depth behind him, given his injury history. The corner class has a pretty big drop off after the first three or four, and a mini-run could wipe them out before the Packers draft at 41. We cannot count on Eric Stokes for anything, and Carrington Valentine may or may not be the long-term answer. My draft crush is Cooper DeJean, even though he is probably best as a Swiss-army knife safety. He’s just too much of a difference-maker to pass up, in the unlikely event he was available at 25.
  2. How about trading back? If ever there were a draft where this would seem likely, it’s this one, given the way the board sets up. There is a good chance that a last remaining top-tier receiver or QB entices a team to want to jump up, and if the deal is good enough it would make sense to take it. But given all of Green Bay’s picks, I’d look for max value from a pick in 2025 in addition to whatever second rounder the Packers would get in the swap.  
  3. What happens if Byron Murphy is there at 25? Tough question, as he is the premiere difference maker in the D-line class, and who would not last until 41. If none of the best options at corner or O-line is left, I’d consider it.
  4. What about linebacker? There are a couple who fit my bill as solid in coverage, and they can be had on Day 2. Gute will just have to make sure he lands one, even if it means a bit of a reach, which is far better than having to trade up.
  5. What about running back? I lean toward a different, speedier type of back than what the team currently has. Jaylen Wright of Texas looks like an intriguing fit, but he will not last past round 2. 

Let the mocking begin. #GPG.

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Jonathan Krim grew up in New York but got hooked on the Packers — and on hating the Cowboys — watching the Ice Bowl as a young child.  He blames bouts of unhappiness in his late teens on Dan Devine. A journalist for several decades who now lives in California, he enjoys trafficking in obscure cultural references, lame dad jokes and occasionally preposterous takes. Jonathan is a Packers shareholder, and insists on kraut with his brats. You can follow Jonathan on twitter at @Jkrim.

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Comments (42)

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stockholder's picture

April 02, 2024 at 03:16 pm

Who replaced Owens?
Who replaced Campbell?
What if Dallas Turner drops.
Take an OL and you created a hole.

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DoubleJ's picture

April 02, 2024 at 03:20 pm

Starters at LB and S are easy to find in R2 or later. Fred Warner, the best off ball LB in the NFL, was an R3 pick. Xavier McKinney was an R2 pick in 2020.

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stockholder's picture

April 02, 2024 at 03:24 pm

Wrong -
Keep to the packers.
DeJean

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DoubleJ's picture

April 02, 2024 at 03:46 pm

No I'm correct. Sure Fred Warner isn't a Packer BUT he was an example of how ILB is often poorly ranked by teams pre draft. For reference Warner was the 8th ILB drafted in 2018 and NONE of the R1 ILBs are on their original teams anymore. Xavier McKinney IS a Packer and I used him as an example of drafting a S in R2. Want another example of getting good S in R2 how about Nick Collins. Overall this draft is very poor at ILB and S. Therefore it is an absolute WASTE of your R1 pick to use it on one of those positions. At best you use 41 on an ILB and 58 at S. More than likely it will be 58 a ILB and 88 or 90 at S. Realize that means a player like Junior Colson at ILB and Jaden Hicks or Cole Bishop at S.

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Oppy's picture

April 03, 2024 at 01:26 am

Re: Nick Collins

Don't forget, the Packers got BLASTED for "reaching" on Nick Collins, too.
He was regularly projected to be a 3rd to 5th round selection pre-draft.

Turns out he was a generational-type talent.

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DoubleJ's picture

April 03, 2024 at 07:15 am

I do remember people thinking he was a bit of a reach at pick 51 overall. That said he also took until his 3rd season to really develop.

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Oppy's picture

April 04, 2024 at 02:22 pm

Small program college jump to NFL did take some time, no question about that.

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stockholder's picture

April 03, 2024 at 07:15 am

No- A ILB just isn't a fan favorite pick.
And it's more of a scheme fit now.
There have been others, like Urlacher.
And the more recent #1s, like the Lions Campbell.

X - got his fame from the Giants. Not GB yet.
It's never a waste to get a Need.
You based it on value.
And Colson didn't do anything,
other than make a tackle.

I wouldn't rate Hicks or Bishop high.
If a CB can make the move to safety.
You draft another CB as they get slower.

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DoubleJ's picture

April 03, 2024 at 07:33 am

"No- A ILB just isn't a fan favorite pick.
And it's more of a scheme fit now.
There have been others, like Urlacher.
And the more recent #1s, like the Lions Campbell."

For every Urlacher there are 50 Jarrad Davis. Overall the NFL teams are bad at ordering off ball LBs. This is why those drafted in R1 usually aren't very good. Sure you get some that are but they are the exception and not the rule. Oh and Jack Campbell was a below average player last year. His PFF grade for the entire season was 57.3 and average for them is 60.

"X - got his fame from the Giants. Not GB yet.
It's never a waste to get a Need.
You based it on value.
And Colson didn't do anything,
other than make a tackle."

It can be a waste to fill a need. If you have a hole at kicker are you going to spend your R1 pick on one? Of course not as that would be a waste even though you are filling a hole. Do you not know about positional value? There are 4-5 positions in football that once you get out of R1 are VERY difficult to fill with top quality talent. Those positions are QB, OT (specifically LT but RT is becoming more important), EDGE, and CB. You can make a case for DT as well. With those positions the talent pool drops off SIGNIFICANTLY once you get out of R1. You will find that the best players in the NFL at those positions are typically R1 picks. Sure you can get the random LT like Bak who was an R4 but again that is the EXCEPTION and not the rule.

Colson did make a lot of tackles and most importantly he didn't miss a lot of tackles. He also is the best coverage LB in the draft. Quay is not that good in coverage and neither is Cooper. In fact Cooper is more of a Quay Walker player than Urlacher. Sure Cooper makes some splash plays but he also misses a lot of plays. He missed 32 tackles in 3 years for a 15% missed tackle rate. That is an absolutely pathetic rate and will be compounded in the NFL.

"I wouldn't rate Hicks or Bishop high.
If a CB can make the move to safety.
You draft another CB as they get slower."

So you would rather get Patrick Peterson, a player at the end of his career, as a safety than drafting one in R3 that could be a 10 year starter? That doesn't make sense at all. Not many CBs can make the transition to safety and those that do are once again the exception and not the rule. The only two that I can think of that were highly successful in the transition are Rod Woodson and Charles Woodson. Guess what they were both HOF CBs and HOF safeties (well Charles would have been had he played longer at the postion). They were also two of the best CBs of all time. This isn't like moving a 0-tech to 3-tech. There are a lot of differences in the technique and requirements.

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stockholder's picture

April 03, 2024 at 07:41 am

That doesn't make sense at all-What
Answer- Butler
And Collins .
Bye

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DoubleJ's picture

April 03, 2024 at 08:04 am

It make total sense you are just too stubborn to admit you are wrong.

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Oppy's picture

April 04, 2024 at 02:37 pm

"Sure you can get the random LT like Bak who was an R4 but again that is the EXCEPTION and not the rule. "

Well, hold your horses there just a minute.
While it *is* true that OL that were 1st round selections are more likely to be long term starters or all-pro caliber players that an OL drafted in any other round, that's *not* the same as saying finding a starting LT outside of round 1 is "the exception and not the rule."

There are more starting tackles in the NFL that were drafted outside of the 1st round, than in the 1st round. I mean.. think about it. That just makes mathematical sense. However, the odds are better that a 1st round selection will end up being a starter than a pick from any other round... but there's 6 other rounds, and more starting OTs in the NFL come from rounds 2-7 (not even including the undrafted free agents) than from round 1.

https://steelcityblitz.com/where-to-find-quality-offensive-linemen-in-th...

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Oppy's picture

April 04, 2024 at 02:46 pm

It does hold true as far as LT's, however, but that's of because the best tackles generally play Left tackle for all the obvious reasons.

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Duneslick's picture

April 02, 2024 at 05:37 pm

Oline with Myers and Ryan is a hole

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splitpea1's picture

April 02, 2024 at 04:02 pm

1. DeJean, Fuaga, Fautanu, and JPJ would all be great additions. JPJ doesn't give us the versatility outside, but couldn't we select a tackle later? Unfortunately I don't think the Packers bend here, so hopefully the tackle we select has plenty of road grader in him at the pro level...Since we're unlikely to extend Stokes, we're going to need a replacement regardless of what he does this season--somewhere in the first three rounds. Plenty of candidates, so it will be interesting to see how the board falls.

3. Murphy? We already have DLs that can rush the passer. How about Jenkins in the second round? Run defense up front needs to be more of a priority than a late round pick; whether or not this is the year we'll soon find out.

4. Yes, we don't want to be reaching in Round 1 for a LB; if we reach in Round 2, hopefully it's for Colson.

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canadapacker's picture

April 02, 2024 at 04:13 pm

First off - I know that we need to protect our QB. But - I am not a big proponent of picking Oline in the first ( or even 2nd round). Secondly in order to develop a cohesive Oline - it takes time. I am more into drafting later and developing Oline over time. I am also against overpaying - just look at Bak. Now TT's approach was always to let those guys go and get paid elsewhere - and not putting all of that money into a guy who is one knee injury away from being wasted salary. I think that Bak getting paid as much as he did was part of the AR influence - and look what it got us. Finally we need to spend early draft picks on the Defense - whether "people - aka draft gurus" figure it is a weak class or not - find the gems that can play at least get snaps in this year and become the Clay Matthews etc . I am hopeful that the bottom of our draft is heavy to Oline and perhaps a running back who surprises people come training camp.

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golfpacker1's picture

April 03, 2024 at 03:34 pm

Canada, as it stands now, if the Packers have any injuries on the OL in 2024, we are screwed. We already have 3 OTs and 1 OG on the team now that won't play. Should we jeopardize the season by not having a strong starting OL and backups, by waiting until the late 4th round or after, hoping lightning strikes again like with Bakhtiari?

This draft sets up so well to fill our biggest hole, OL, with our first pick whether we stay @ #25 or trade back. I don't get how posters can't see that. LB is the next biggest hole and @ #41 we can fill that with a Top 3 LB.

Ted Thompson isn't making the decisions anymore, Gute is. Hopefully he doesn't wait on OL. We don't need another Caleb Jones, Luke Tenuta, Kadeem Telfort or Royce Newman.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

April 03, 2024 at 03:57 pm

TT's approach was to let older guys go, in positions where age hits you worse. Bakhtiari was just 28 when they were working on that extension and he made all-pro. He turned 29 shortly before signing a 4 year deal. Offensive line guys can often play well into their 30s, and play at a high level (Joe Thomas played until 33, Lane Johnson is still playing at a high level at age 33, etc).

It wasn't #12's influence that got #69 paid. It was his stellar, all-pro play and incredible work ethic and locker room presence. He is everything you would want in a LT, and they got him in round 4. He earned that extension and it's not his fault he got hurt, nor is it Aaron Rodgers' fault.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

April 02, 2024 at 04:16 pm

A good overview. Still more questions than answers remain until April 25-27. This will be the ultimate 'read and react' Draft for Gutekunst - as he will be involved in every round due to their high no. of draft picks. Especially during the first half. In any event, Draft Day - GB promises to be a Suspense-Action-Thriller.

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LLCHESTY's picture

April 02, 2024 at 06:26 pm

33.
Byron Murphy II
DT Texas

41.
Cooper Beebe
OG Kansas State

66.
Payton Wilson
LB NC State

88.
Jarrian Jones
CB Florida State

101.
Malik Mustapha
S Wake Forest

114.
MarShawn Lloyd
RB USC

126.
Beaux Limmer
OC Arkansas

134.
Jaheim Bell
TE Florida State

142.
Javon Solomon
EDGE Troy

158.
Garret Greenfield
OT South Dakota State

219.
Dominique Hampton
S Washington

226.
Nathaniel Watson
LB Mississippi State

251.
Tylan Grable
OT UCF

2025 ARI 3rd
2025 SF 3rd

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WD's picture

April 03, 2024 at 07:38 am

Recheck the draft order. That said, it wound be great to get Payton Wilson but most teams have him either in the first/ early second. Or, not at all due to medical concerns. Personally I think he is without question hands down the best ILB in the draft and would take a chance on him in the early second if not late in the first. If healthy he could easily be the defensive rookie of the year. Moreover he has played the last two seasons at a high level not to mention his fantastic recent combine and RAS score!

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Coldworld's picture

April 03, 2024 at 08:16 am

Wilson could be off every board for several rounds like Darnell Washington last year. Or he could be taken in round one by a team that thinks his history won’t be a problem. There’s usually some more willing to take that risk. For that reason I don’t pick him personally, but I suspect he’s either gone early or falls dramatically. Total wild card.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 03, 2024 at 10:06 am

An ACL is a red flag. Two ACL's is a blaring semi horn. Two ACLs and a serious shoulder injury is a fire station siren. And he is going to be 24 years old.

And he is so doggone talented playing LB. Truly a game changer like Walker has displayed (and truly should be this season). And he was a state champion wrestler. Ask Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels and Scotty Wells if wrestling helps on the football field. A natural leader on and off the field too...team Captain on D.

I truly don't know what I would do, let alone what Team Gutey does. Probably not in the first round but if he is still there in 2nd, take a chance, maybe? If he's still there for the first 3rd rounder....sprint with the card to the desk.

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DoubleJ's picture

April 03, 2024 at 09:10 am

38: Ruke Orhorhoro - DT Clemson
63: Payton Wilson - LB NC State
72: Kiran Amegadjie - OT Yale
88: Mike Sainristil - CB Michigan
91: Jaden Hicks - S Washington State
111: Jaylen Wright - RB Tennessee
126: Beaux Limmer - OC Arkansas
140: Tanor Bortolini - OC Wisconsin
169: Khristian Boyd - DT Norther Iowa
181: Isaac Guerendo - RB Louisville
202: Myles Cole - EDGE Texas Tech
219: Sam Hartman - QB Notre Dame
245: Maema Njongmeta - LB Wisconsin
255: Nathaniel Watson - LB Mississippi State

2025 Tennessee R1
2025 NY Jets R2

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Leatherhead's picture

April 02, 2024 at 07:01 pm

I think the fundamental question is "How are we planning to win games this year?"

For some, it's "We'll just have superior players playing superiorly''. , but that's not really a plan. Others plan to just have a defense that limits opponents to 12 points/game and 0 in the 4th quarter. I think that's more in the vein of wishful thinking.

The Packers Plan should be to win games with their offense, which was 12th in the league last year despite a slow stretch. We return a QB who looks pretty good. We return every receiver. We replaced our lead back with another guy. And the offensive linemen who played in the playoffs last year all return.

So I would feed this beast. I'd get insurance on the offensive line and go out and score 30 by halftime (yes, we actually had a team that did that not too long ago. Whatever "deficiencies" we have at Safety or elsewhere aren't going to matter as much if we're scoring big points, which we should be able to do .

This doesn't mean ignore the defense, and the Packers haven't. It was 10th in scoring defense last year, returns most of the starters, and will hopefully be getting the services of Alexander and Stokes. We added a real good Safety in FA. And of course, we've replaced the DC, so on the face of it we should be better than last year.

The point is, our defense is plenty good enough to win with, especially if we're scoring 30. The Cowboys averaged 29.9 last year and led the league.

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Bitternotsour's picture

April 02, 2024 at 07:46 pm

the math in my head says that you're anticipating 17 missed extra points. I've got us averaging 31.

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porupack's picture

April 03, 2024 at 07:24 am

nice

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porupack's picture

April 03, 2024 at 08:01 am

Solid logic!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 03, 2024 at 04:59 pm

LH,
I agree with you about beefing up the offense and running up the score to simply out score the opponent. I always have the Packers taking an OT in round 1 though once in a while an IOL when JPJ or Barton are there depending on which OTs are available. My take is the Packers are set on starting OTs (need depth) but their most immediate needs are that would most impact the team is at IOL. This is where JPJ or Barton comes into play.

Going to be interesting what Gutey does but even with the above aside I would like to take the best OT at #25 simply because they are so difficult to obtain. Then pick up an IOL in rounds 2-4. The beauty of having 5 picks in the top 100 and 11 picks over all is that Gutey can still beef up the offense to run up the score while drafting some stud LBs a Safety along a CB. I am not convinced the Packers have to take an Edge player with what they have on the rooster.

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TKWorldWide's picture

April 02, 2024 at 07:06 pm

After reading the roster analysis and the strengths of various positions, clearly this is the year Gute grabs a wide receiver in round one. 😉

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Bitternotsour's picture

April 02, 2024 at 07:47 pm

you go where the board takes you

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TKWorldWide's picture

April 02, 2024 at 07:56 pm

and the yellow brick road
And/or you trade around as well.

Just
Don’t
Reach

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iamiz's picture

April 02, 2024 at 08:26 pm

RB Tyrone Tracy from Purdue is just the ticket. He’s a converted WR. Perfect complement to the big guys we already have.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 03, 2024 at 10:30 am

I like him. He is a good receiver (that works!) and is built like a RB. He's never carried the load after converting to RB his last season, averaging about 10 carries/game. But he can still run it with speed, elusiveness, contact balance and some power. 6 years of college ball.

But Jones never carried the load either averaging 12-14/game. Tracy would be a fine fit in the Illusion of Complexity Offense. He'd be a nice changeup. Solid ST value. Good Day 3 pick.

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xTHE_WEEx's picture

April 02, 2024 at 08:30 pm

Looking at the Packers past 1st round draft picks they go for big swings in Rd 1. A guy who is younger (20-22) with great athletic traits and typically not someone you expect. I'm running the card up for Terrion Arnold, however I expect it to be OT Jordan Morgan or Graham Barton. The dream pick is OT Troy Fautanu (he is a superior athlete, runs like a FB, outstanding movement skills, and unreal hand fighting). We need to draft the LB in round 2 because they likely won't last to round 3 (Junior Colston or Cedric Gray). We need to go heavy (3) OL in the draft. I also firmly believe Kitan Oladapo will be our safety and we will select him in round 3. GB fans will be clamoring for Braelon Allen and in a year we will all be so happy we drafted Oladapo. I also suspect we will draft a WR late round to develop a replacement for one of the WRs we can't keep after next year. Lastly Jaylen Wright is a RB for Tennessee not Texas. #GoPackGo

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golfpacker1's picture

April 02, 2024 at 08:46 pm

This draft sets up great to fill all of our needs, even if we stay put. I agree with Jonathon that if Fuaga, Fautanu, or Powers-Johnson is available @ #25, you run the pick up to the podium. Although if those 3 and a QB were all on the board, it would be pretty interesting to see what the offers would be for #25.

I don't like the idea of drafting a CB to play Safety, no to DeJean. I would feel better just drafting a player who has excelled @ Safety instead. Plus then we can get a great Safety @ #58 and use #25 on a bigger need.

There is no choice left but to grab a LB @ #41, even if it's an overreach. Junior Colson is the safest LB choice for GB, he might not have the ceiling of Pro Bowl, but he will be a 10 year starter, he won't miss tackles like Cooper, and he is the best coverage LB in this draft too. Somebody on here said yesterday we should wait until the 6th round because there are potential starting LBs available there. I am calling Bull$hit on that one. If we had gotten a good bridge FA LB like Bobby Wagner, then we could pass early and get one in the middle rounds. That ship has sailed. I do think Nathaniel Watson-Mississippi State has as much potential as any LB in the draft. 5th rounder.

Byron Murphy will be long gone to the Rams before we pick.

Trade back from #25 and take IOL with first pick. Trade back from #91 for an early 4th and a 5th.

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porupack's picture

April 03, 2024 at 08:15 am

Good question!

I ask a this as my question for setting the strategy: if the packers are going to elevate play, defined by greater point spread and/or win 3 more games this year, what 2 or 3 players at the highest probable round of the draft (i.e. 1st and 2nd round) and where/what positions will make the difference? This includes rotational players, and anticipating a mild-moderate injury scenario of 2 starters out for the season, non-qb. It also has an eye for next years, so isn't myopic.

The overall draft strategy is find one sure starter at the position where there is definite difference due to being a superior, ready to play player, and not a complex position that takes time to be ready. Hopefully, find a second starter.

I would say in descending priority:
1. One IOL or center that upgrades the current projected starters is first. It shores up the investments in QB and RB Jacobs. That has to be the biggest difference maker across the team. Aim for a starter on day 1.

2. CB. The risk and drop if either Stokes can't get to a high level regular, or other injuries to Alexander or Nixon. Not in this league. Won't be a starter, but rotate in early in season.

3. ILB. Need upgrade and at minimum, depth. A solid companion to Walker, elevates Walker, and ensures that the investment in Walker is better than sum of him plus another. Aim for starter.

4. DT. Draw the line on the turf. That's as far as they're gonna run. Aim for rotational player, a 2A caliber player.

5. Pass rusher; Premium position. Not best of draft years, but gotta keep investing, for back up, and rotation. That elevates and makes the sum of all investments in CBs, LBs better than sum of parts. Aim for a 2A caliber player, or a 1A that is a bit raw, or other risk factor that moved him down the board.

6. OT. Premium pick, but this won't be a starter this year. Back up, yes. Look for under valued player like the packers do.

My strategy is to identifty the targeted players at the descending priority above, then if the player, or similar is gone, then move down this position priority list.

Thus one non-premier position in the first round, where there is abundant IOL and OT choices, even though they aren't considered elite 1st rounders. Reach or not. Investment in a 1B player will make a difference.
One premier position that is almost always worth a 1-2 rounder allocation. Deep draft, so the strength of the draft yields a 1B quality CB where the packers are picking.

One starter caliber at ILB. Non premium position, but a solid 1B player will be available where packers pick.
Two Rotational players at premium positions, but will likely yield 2A players in 2nd round.

One back up, in premium position where GB finds good value, in a draft that is deep at OT. Should yield a 2A player. Maybe a gem.

Safety is non-premium position, and can find value for money in FA.

That is my strategy.

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golfpacker1's picture

April 04, 2024 at 09:09 am

#1 IOL-whether @ #25 or @ #45 after trade, we will have multiple good choices
#2 ILB-too big of hole to wait any later than #41 where the Top 3 LBs available
#3 S-If Bishop or Hicks is perfect fit then pick before someone else does
#4 CB-#88 will still get a Top 8 CB-Melton, Jackson, Hart
#5 RB-Don't wait until late when you are picking from the Second 15 RBs
#6 OT-Good options available in 3rd and later- gain an extra Day 2 pick with trade back from #25

These are the Biggest Needs. Double up on these to not strike out. Make every position group a strength, don't add to positions that are already strong. Make a complete team.

#7 DT & Edge-Both should be Priorities next year when both position groups will be 2025 draft strengths. Why bother wasting picks on these position groups when they are strengths already, That said Myles Cole Texas Tech would be a great developmental Edge in the 6th.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 03, 2024 at 01:26 pm

I think this is a year where Gute should flip the script.
Instead of high-RAS guys, fill the holes with high-floor guys in the top rounds.
We have some highly athletic players who would benefit from some steady Eddies.
Guys like Powers-Johnson, Barton, and Frazier for the OLine.
Colson over Cooper at LB.
Hicks over Bullock at S.
Etc.
Go high-RAS starting in round 4.

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golfpacker1's picture

April 03, 2024 at 03:39 pm

Mock #29 million

31. Cooper Beebe-OG Kansas State

41. Edgerrin Cooper-LB Texas A&M

58. Ruke Orhorhoro-DT Clemson

89. -Jaylen Wright-RB Tennessee

91. Jaden Hicks-S Washington State

107. Cam Hart-CB Notre Dame

126. Zak Zinter-OG Michigan

135. Garret Greenfield-OT South Dakota State

166. Isaac Guerendo-RB Louisville

169. Myles Cole-EDGE Texas Tech

202. DeCamerion Richardson-CB Mississippi State

219. Nathaniel Watson-LB Mississippi State

220. Frank Crum-OT Wyoming

245. Tyler Owens-S Texas Tech

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Alberta_Packer's picture

April 03, 2024 at 10:09 pm

Wow - Jaylen Wright and Isaac Guerendo! My heart be still.

Also Zak Zinter at 126. A very good value pick - that if his leg is OK - can be a fixture at Guard for the next 5-10 years.

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golfpacker1's picture

April 04, 2024 at 09:24 am

I like Wright, but he will be a late 2nd-early 3rd pick, so it will be tough to get him. Guerendo is just super intriguing. He didn't seem to have any long runs in his highlights, but a lot of 10 yard gains. 4.3 speed is electric and he is big.

As long as we don't wait past early 4th, we still get a Top 10 RB and there are so many good ones.

I luckily have never broken any bones, Alberta, but I am told they heal stronger than before. Zinter will be a steal for whoever gets him, he is a great OG but nobody ever talks about he also played OC.

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