The Lass Word: Pack Can't Draft For Need at 29th

Don't set yourself up for draft day disappointment.

The great majority of the best players on your NFL football team, unless they are expensive free agents, will come from your high draft picks.  The Packers are no exception.   Aaron Rodgers came in the first round.  So did Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander and Rashan Gary.  Davante Adams and Elgton Jenkins came in the second round.   

 

Every team will hit big occasionally in the later rounds, a David Bakhtiari in the 4th, an Aaron Jones in the 5th, even a Robert Tonyan as an undrafted free agent.  But by and large, everything from round four on down yields depth, hopefully quality depth.  Most of the time, you either have to buy your best players in free agency (Za'darius Smith), or draft them in the first three rounds. 

 

This also means that your team pays a heavy price when they miss in those first three rounds.  The Packers have still not completely recovered at cornerback after drafting Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins in the first and second rounds in 2015, and Josh Jackson in the second round of 2018.  They are still insecure at tackle after failing on Jason Spriggs in the second round of 2016.  Ditto at inside linebacker, now that it seems clear Oren Burks is not living up to his third round selection.  The third round, in particular, has been tough on Green Bay.  The Packers haven’t drafted an impact player in the third round since Morgan Burnett in 2010. 

 

No team is going to hit on everybody.   I make these self-obvious points to illustrate the importance of making sure you use those critical early picks to get the best possible players.  And that’s where we Packer fans tend to set ourselves up for draft disappointment. 

 

We recognize our team’s most glaring weaknesses, and we are stunned and outraged when they are not addressed at the top of the draft.  The 2020 draft is the poster child.  Green Bay went into it with, what appeared at the time, to be desperate needs at receiver and inside linebacker.  Instead, General Manager Brian Gutekunst used the first three rounds to take a quarterback, a running back, and a fullback/H-back.   

 

We gnashed our teeth and shook our fists and pronounced it the stupidest draft of all time.  But one year later, second round choice AJ Dillon looks talented enough to move into the featured running back position if Jones and Jamaal Williams both depart.  Third round pick Josiah Deguara will play a key role if Marcedes Lewis retires and/or Jace Sternberger does not pan out.  And Jordan Love?  One day he may be nothing less than the face of the franchise.  We simply don’t know and won’t know until he gets his chance.  At least there’s a prospect that gives you hope there is life after Rodgers. 

 

The moral of the story is, don’t be shocked, or even surprised, if the Packers don’t address what we perceive as their greatest needs, at the top of the coming draft.  Sitting way back at 29th, Green Bay just needs to make sure they get a really good football player, regardless of position.   

 

We all know that mock drafts put out by the national gurus are just for entertainment and fun.  But let’s use them to scan the available talent at the top of this year’s college crop. We can debate the Packers’ weakest positions, defensive line, cornerback, tackle, whatever.  Most of the mocks I have seen list at least six, and sometimes seven tackles taken before the 29th pick.  At corner, the top three or four will likely be gone early.  It’s such a poor year for defensive linemen, that not more than one or two are even forecast to be first round quality. 

 

Should the Packers reach for the 8th best tackle?  The 5th best corner?  A D-Lineman without a first round grade?  Wouldn’t we be better off with a talented edge rusher, or safety, or running back, or receiver?   You may not see those as Green Bay’s top areas of need at the moment, but you get into trouble drafting for the moment, drafting for need. 

 

Was there really a player left on the board at Green Bay’s turn in 2020 that would have put them into the Super Bowl?  Who exactly would that player have been? 

 

Now, if the Packers do feel they have to draft for need, they should bundle picks and trade up high enough to get a true first round talent, or at least someone they have graded as such.  But even then there is no sure thing,  no guarantees.  Ask a Bears fan how they feel about Chicago trading a first, two thirds, and a fourth to move up one spot and draft Mitch Trubisky?   

 

Moreover, when you’re sitting at 29, you can make the argument it’s smarter to do the opposite.  Trade down for more picks, more chances to hit on somebody.   

 

So don’t set yourself up for draft disappointment.  Keep an open mind.  Start preparing yourself now.  You and I both know when Gutekunst makes his first round selection, it’s going to be out of left field and unexpected.   In 2018 he traded out, and then back in.  In 2019 nobody was anticipating Rashan Gary.  And the Jordan Love pick was the biggest shocker of them all.   

 

Relax.  Better to have a surplus of really good players at a position and figure out how to use them, than to have all of your starting line-up set with mediocre talent. 

 

Free agency is for need.  Day Three is for need.  The top of the draft should be for best player available. 

 

  

 

 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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Comments (52)

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Fabio's picture

March 04, 2021 at 03:17 pm

It occurs to me that perhaps we should give up the 29th choice for more choices to the 2nd and 3rd .... with the championships stopped I think this draft is very difficult to decipher (excluding striking cases that with choice 29 will not concern us never)
Greetings from Italy
GPG

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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 05, 2021 at 09:48 am

If there's a few someone's they like and are confident they could be on the board 5-10 picks later, sure, but I don't like the idea of GBs first pick being halfway through the second round.

This also could be a year where a lot of players are perceived as projects since there is less tape to work from, so the 5th year option for first rounders could be really valuable.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2021 at 02:22 pm

Fabio, it is good to have the fifth year option on the rookie contracts.

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Fabio's picture

March 05, 2021 at 03:56 pm

Guys I fully agree with you .... I just think that for this class of rookie (excluding the very first ones) it is difficult to have a clear vision of the real value. So (assuming you have additional picks on 2nd or 3rd pick) drafting more players could increase the chance of finding valid ones. But it's seriously possible that he said some nonsense (smile) Sorry
Greetings from Italy
GPG

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Turophile's picture

March 05, 2021 at 03:02 am

What is a need pick ? Well, any pick that was seen as a need could be called a need pick when it happens, but when most people talk about need picks, they are talking about reaching down in the draft, taking someone at a position of need when there were players still available in a higher tier.

This creates some problems, because we never know how our teams big board is stacked. For example, some have said that 2020 picks Deguara and Dillon were both reaches, but those that say that cannot know how those players were positioned on the Packers board. Teams stack players differently (sometimes very differently) according to how a player fits into the teams framework/scheme/philosophy. what you might call a reach, they might call best available value.

There is yet another aspect of need. Most fans look at need as pertaining to needs this year. The Packers have shown they view need over a longer term - see the picks of Love and Dillon in 2020, neither were a serious need at that time, but they were both investments for the future.

They may have seen Elgton Jenkins as an eventual successor to Linsley as well. It is not just the current year that has needs. For example, maybe the Packers spend a first rounder on a WR this year, simply to cater for the possible loss of Davante Adams when he comes due for a huge $20+m pa contract, after 2021.

Given that the Packers could use help at most positions, any pick at DL, OL, CB, or WR even, could qualify as a need pick even if it isn't a 'reach'. With no high-end pick playing there now you could add an elite ILB, and if Preston Smith is gone, OLB as well. I doubt a RB get taken that early, but I expect Aaron Jones to be gone and maybe even Jamaal Wlliams.

So what I expect to happen, is that during the draft, a while before their pick comes due the Packers look at how many players are left on their highest remaining tier. Depending on how many there are, they might move up (if the top-tier number is small), stay put, or even move back in the draft if they could do that and still get a player from the same highest tier.

So, criticising a team for reaching is both very subjective, largely guesswork, and relying too much on media big boards. Generally it is unwise to call certain picks a reach because of all the uncertainties. With plenty of hindsight you might make these calls, but hindsight is a luxury the team doesn't have on draft day.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 05, 2021 at 05:31 am

"For example, some have said that 2020 picks Deguara and Dillon were both reaches, but those that say that cannot know how those players were positioned on the Packers board. "

If the way Deguara will be used based on the reports and what we saw in his limited rook year action, he was a reach based purely on positional value. You don't pick guys that do that before day 3. I loved it as much as anyone when he blocked two Vikings on one snap in his limited action as a rook. That's great stuff. But not day 2 draftee stuff.

The guy that eventually filled that role somewhat effectively in 2020 was Dominque Daffney, a rook UDFA.

The only way that pick turns out good is if he produces like a Travis Kelce or George Kittle. Or within a reasonable shouting distance of those two. Which is a different role that what they said they want him to fill. It's also worth noting that 1 of those 2 was a day 3 pick.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2021 at 02:25 pm

Both Deguara and Dillon were selected where slotted by knowledgable draft evaluators. The reach concept comes from website gurus focused on fantasy football and x box.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 05, 2021 at 04:36 pm

I recall the draft rankings very differently, particularly with Deguara. Sounds liek big-time revisionist history to me.

But either way, I don't care. FBs are not worth a day 2 pick in today's NFL.

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NickPerry's picture

March 05, 2021 at 05:33 am

One of the BEST comments I've ever read regarding the draft! Thank you Turophile...

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Since'61's picture

March 05, 2021 at 08:39 am

Absolutely an excellent post Turophile. I agree completely. And after all the analysis is done and the alleged pundits have blabbered on incessantly it's still a crap shoot because the variables are impossible to put into a model and develop an accurate scenario for each player. Thanks, Since '61

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2021 at 02:28 pm

The zoom sessions may give these personnel departments more time to dig deeper with the prospects. Find out what they value. What makes them tick, are they football guys or poseurs.

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JQ's picture

March 05, 2021 at 12:42 pm

Excellent, reasonable post! Thanks!

But since this is a Packer forum/message board, I’ll quote the title of a terrific concert film called, “Stop Making Sense.”

Humorously, the film subject is ‘the Talking Heads!’
“...relying too much on media big boards.”

- JQ-

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Bear's picture

March 04, 2021 at 03:56 pm

Previous research shows:

Correlation between Draft Position and "Starter Status"

Using Pro Football Reference as a resource, I looked at all players who were classified as starters at the beginning of the 2014 season to determine what round they were drafted in upon entering the league.  Of the 595 players designated as such, the results reveal the following:

Nearly 30% of all starters were 1st round draft picks when drafted into the league;
-          Roughly 30% were taken in either the 2nd or 3rd round;
-          Roughly 26% were taken in either rounds 4 through 7;
-          Undrafted players (14%) were the 3rd most likely group to comprise 2014’s starters…only behind 1st round (30%) and 2nd round (18%) picks.

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PeteK's picture

March 04, 2021 at 04:32 pm

Excellent job with this stat, which doesn't surprise me. We found a few starters from the late rounds in last years draft.

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dobber's picture

March 05, 2021 at 02:32 pm

Early round picks get investment bias: GMs have put too much into those picks to let them walk. They get every chance to return on investment, whereas GMs can churn UDFAs and day 3 picks without too much fanfare or criticism.

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Razer's picture

March 04, 2021 at 04:17 pm

If the scouts and front office have done their job and developed their board - then follow the board. The "trying to catch lightning" or "be the smartest guy in the room" dynamic that takes hold of some people is dice rolling. Trust your process and your board. Don't panic and don't reach! The only qualifier that I will throw into the soup is "tie goes to the area of need". We don't need more TEs when an equal choice is available at LB, DL or Slot Receiver.

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PeteK's picture

March 04, 2021 at 04:51 pm

As of now our choices to replace King are Jackson, Hollman, or Ento. I am not confident with any of them as starters. Free agency is a total mystery because we don't know who, what, when, how.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2021 at 02:30 pm

If you see the problem, so does Gutedkunst.

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mrtundra's picture

March 08, 2021 at 08:03 am

or how much...

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TheBigCheeze's picture

March 04, 2021 at 05:04 pm

....TOTALLY DISAGREE!!!!....the reason the Packers missed the SB is they were missing that ONE extra dynamic player on offense....J. Jefferson, or on defense P. Queen, perhaps.....if you try to get positional talent in FA, it'll cost you.....hence, the reason why GB are over SC....

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CoachDino's picture

March 04, 2021 at 05:27 pm

HUH? The offense struggled due to pass rush, pass rush was overpowering due to Bak injury, Turner being a poor LT and wagner struggling playing on a bad wheel. Not to mention the disaster at CB2 and slot. Queen? He sucked last year. How much better can an offense be than #1. Plus Jefferson wouldn't of gotten nearly the targets having devante and the scheme used.

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NickPerry's picture

March 05, 2021 at 05:40 am

Just about EVERY team is over the Salary Cap...AND, give me the aggressive Gute, the Gute that will venture into free agency in a year he can afford to and go get the players he needs. CLEARLY it worked. Turner was a godsend in 2020. Amos was a top 2 safety according to PFF, and Z Smith has been nothing short of excellent to pretty damn good in just about every game in GB.

As CRAZY as this sounds just look at Preston Smiths career. His entire career he's been great one year and a bit off that the next. In 2021 he'll be great again...Just watch.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2021 at 02:33 pm

They had the chances to make the Plays to win, they choked.

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mrtundra's picture

March 04, 2021 at 05:21 pm

I hope the BPA is an ILB, then.

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CoachDino's picture

March 04, 2021 at 05:21 pm

So True -
To me It also comes down to how they evaluate on roster talent - Are they happy with Yosh, Runyan, Chandon, Hollman? Patrick, Turner, Elkins at Tackle? If we don't know its tough to discuss.

To me if Elkins isn't their RT of the future I'd suggest a starting OT and Center. They need a OT that can play LT to start the season and be prepared for Injury. Then Let, Turner, Patrick, Lang, Elkins and Stp battle for the interior. The Packers are going nowhere w/o a good OL.

Slot CB are affordable in FA. I keep saying pass rush be it edge or interior in the draft. In the end to the writer's point its positional value BPA while still keeping an eye on need (if close) in the 1st couple of rounds.

Love to see an in depth analysis on whether Kenny Clarke could be an stud 3 or 5 technique in a base 3-4 Defense, if so then IMO it allows for more of a run stuffer NT in Base which are cheaper and more available than a 3 down DLmen,

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2021 at 02:33 pm

Jenkins?

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Titletown222's picture

March 04, 2021 at 05:27 pm

Well, 2020 proved not to draft for need. Clearly the Packers perceived a need at QB when they drafted Love. Maybe not an immediate (start now) need, but a need at a very valuable position. The problem is.....they completely misperceived that need. I guarantee when they sit back and analyze the 2020 season, they regret TRADING UP to draft a player that may not play for 3-4 years.

They need to draft the best player available that can help us now. That doesnt mean the player that is going to play the most, rather the best player that can be an asset on the field in 2021. Whether thats an edge, DT, S, Outside Corner, Slot corner, WR, TE, etc.

If a QB falls to us....I dont care if hes the highest ranked player, DONT draft him!

We passed on TJ Watt, traded down to pick a player that fit a "need" That decision has haunted us for 4 years now.

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stockholder's picture

March 04, 2021 at 06:31 pm

I just look at TB and KC. And wonder what we need. Gute has over 30 years experience. Yet, if Need wasn't the priority last year. Why should it be this year? I tried to follow his thinking. To be honest; I can't. I see his mistakes every draft. So it has to be potential. But that doesn't fit either. Hole? Thats it. He sees the HOLE! Not Need! He shuts eyes and fills NEED later. So replacing Rodgers was a Hole? Yes, if you need money to be like KC and TB. He's after money. Of course his drafts make sense. Their all about Money. Not Need. Not winning the draft. Well Done Gute. If only the draft Gurus agreed with you.

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CheesyTex's picture

March 04, 2021 at 08:06 pm

Maybe he saw a unique opportunity -- how often does a team drafting at the end of the first round have a chance at a highly rated QB that appears to fit the teams' offense?

Potential franchise quarterbacks are always worth a shot following the "best player available" (weighted for positional importance) mantra, whether or not they ever pan out, IMO.

I'm just hoping #12 stays healthy so we find out about Love later rather than sooner.

Looking for Gute to show-up all those draft Gurus who disagree with him by nailing the draft this year. With the cap problems, he needs to hit on kids that can contribute right away more than ever. With the extra mid-round picks, my money's on Gute to do just that this year.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2021 at 02:40 pm

Indy supposedly was scoping Love for their selection. They are now on their second retread to try to stay relevant in the AFC South. We'll have to wait how the kid turns out, but I liked him in college. Him and Herbert because of their ability to create on the move. Both better QBs than Tua. Burrrows the great arm but limited with his motion/ roll out. Took the knee injury in the pocket. What if Rodgers takes a hit like 2017-18 and misses significant time or IR? The probabilities were on Gutedkunst's mind and I'll take Love over Boyle to deliver plays.

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GatorJason's picture

March 04, 2021 at 07:02 pm

From my perspective, I see there is a high probability that Packers will pick an OT in the first and a CB in the second. These two areas are their biggest immediate need and aligns well with 2021 Draft depth.

OT: There is an unusual number of quality OTs in this year's draft of a quality one could associate with a Bryan Bulaga caliber rookie. Normally these guys are gone well before pick 29. Not this year. Guys that would normally be gone by pick 20 will be available in the top of the 2nd round. The Packers need a quality, young OT now and they are virtually guaranteed multiple quality OTs will be available at 29 that they would never expect to see in other years that late in the draft. Grab one and smile.

CB: There are a few top-tier CBs that will be snapped up early in the draft that the Packers will have no chance at. After those blue chippers, there are about ten others that have an equal chance of being quality players/starters in near future. In short, a CB picked at 29 will not have a significantly higher chance of being successful as what the Packers will be able to select at 61. All these "red chip" CBs should be gone early in the 3rd so either they take one in the second round or take their chances with whomever is on the roster now. Personally, that thought makes me a bit queezie.

Of course the Packers could take a quality WR or LB or DT in first two rounds and get a good return, but they have a better chance of getting a good player in the later rounds for those positions than they would to find a good OT or CB. Bakhtiari in the fourth was situation where a great player was on a terrible team so he slipped much further than he would have if he was on good team. Sam Shields was a blazer who played mor WR in college so he got overlooked. I don't know why Tramon Williams was an UDFA but it shows there are always diamonds in the ruff, but finding CBs like those guys outside of first two rounds is extremely rare. Packers need talented CB this year and I don't see them not taking one in first two rounds. I just see the OT talent depth is way too good for them not to grab one of those guys versus a higher risk CB that they can get a round later.

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stockholder's picture

March 04, 2021 at 07:32 pm

Were Staying with the 3-4-4 . Meaning NO Defense will be taken early. Somebody replaced King. It's a Need not a HOLE. Why pick OT? Because he'll get Turners money next year. And Turner will be Gone. They just brought in Tavan Jenkins. RT $$$. Next: If Adams doesn't renegotiate. A WR will be taken rd 1.$$$ If Jones isn't Tagged. Expect a RB again in rd 2 Najee Harris.( if were Lucky) otherwise the NC RB. If he is tagged - rd. 4. $$ Put your Needs away. Gute will only draft the "Hole" if there is no replacement. His drafts are set up to replace Salary. ( insert Gary development ) And if Rodgers and Adams go. Need will be "bought". Not Drafted. Gute needs money to win.

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Swisch's picture

March 04, 2021 at 09:56 pm

I found your comment very interesting and quite compelling, GatorJason, and it seems a good example of how a GM would combine strategy in the draft for both positions of need and best players available.

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GatorJason's picture

March 06, 2021 at 07:36 am

Swisch, thanks for reply. It's interesting to me that someone gave you a thumbs down just for giving me positive feedback. I guess it's just the times we are living in where some people cannot accept viewpoints other than their own. Maybe people will lighten up after this COVID-19 thing goes away and life goes back to normal.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

March 04, 2021 at 08:51 pm

I can't see that as being much of a problem. We have significant needs at wide receiver, defensive line, left tackle, and cornerback. If the top player on the board happens to be an inside linebacker, that would be okay and the same goes for an outstanding edge rusher, especially if Preston Smith is released.
Player evaluation is going to be more difficult this year due to the restricted information on college talent for the draft. Thus, I think trading down to someone looking for a 5th year option on a late round one quarterback, should be a consideration and we could add one or more draft choices in what may be more of a crap shoot in this year's draft compared to prior seasons.

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Dragon5's picture

March 04, 2021 at 09:23 pm

Perspective: we can't do any worse than '89.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:41 pm

Trading out of the 1st round you loose the ability to use a 5th year option. That doesn't help you unless the player is good, but it's great when they are. Look at Jaire.

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PhantomII's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:54 pm

No, we need day 1 starters. We have a 3 year window for a super bowl (max). 2- #1's for a top 3 #1a WR who will start day 1 across from Adams that does not drop 50 % of our MVP QB's passes that are in the bread basket. Now if Jones moves on we have a legit weapon on offense to replace a lot of his dynamic. If we have to release P. Smith to get a lot better FA CB, it is a must. Gary needs to start, like he should have been half way thru last season. FA DL who can rush a little more than our backups. Finish draft out CB, OL, DL, ILB, Punter, ST returner, etc. We're in a window folks, move up to Glory, Gute. Adams is going to get doubled constantly unless we upgrade WR position in a big way.

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murf7777's picture

March 05, 2021 at 08:36 am

Why do you think it is a 3 year max? Arod may very well be playing at a high level at 41. The man takes care of his body and has stated he wants to be playing into his 40’s.

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PhantomII's picture

March 05, 2021 at 09:50 pm

I think Gute wants to put his mark on the packers. I think either Rodgers retires or he plays elsewhere to finish his career. Last year was our year and we blew it. Maybe we get another shot, but it's hard to get everything to align when our players want max payday. Imagine if Gute signed BAK this offseason. Injury...lesser salary or possibly let's walk. Although a big hole, his salary alone would have leveled the cap.

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MrFitz66's picture

March 05, 2021 at 12:48 am

great article, thank you

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mnbadger's picture

March 05, 2021 at 12:35 pm

Agreed, great article. GPG

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HankScorpio's picture

March 05, 2021 at 05:28 am

Every draft pick is for the future. You want to have day 1/2 guys be good enough to warrant a second contract. Meaning they are around 7-9 years. Considering only the first of those years is foolish on so many levels. First and foremost, that year is almost assuredly that player's worst year of those 7-9. Next, how can you possibly know your positional needs for even the back half of a 4 year rookie deal? We've all seen positions shift from weakness to strength or vice versa in the span of 2 years before. Happens all the time.

So the first "need" that should be considered is the need for good players. That trumps all. If there is a pool of players with similar grades, then you look to things like positional value or who has an easier pathway to significant snaps based on the roster.

It's a tough thing to balance correctly. Getting it right is important. Which is why there is such a thing as the Draft Industrial Complex. And two networks broadcast 3 days worth of NFL teams deciding who they will pick. And so many people have strong opinions to cuss and discuss leading up to the actual draft and coming out of it.

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PhantomII's picture

March 05, 2021 at 09:54 pm

My #1 without moving up was Claypool. He would have made a difference as he did for the steelers.

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Since'61's picture

March 05, 2021 at 09:20 am

I'm not a draftnik. I don't follow college football closely enough to know which players would be good picks for the Packers early in the draft. However, what I do know is that even picking in the late 20s, there must be a WR, DL, or ILB who is better than what we now have at those positions behind Adams at WR, Clark At DL, and Kirksey (now gone) at ILB. Therefore the choice of a QB and then an RB in 2020 resulted in ???!!!

The same is true for 2021. I can't believe that there won't be a WR, or DL, or ILB who would not be better than MVS, or Lowry/Lancaster or whoever at ILB in the first and second rounds. I would also be fine with an OT or CB in rounds 1 and 2 as well.

My point is I would not necessarily draft for need but I would draft to try to improve the team for the coming season and therefore the future at weaker position groups like the DL, WR, or ILB.
Gute did not do that during the first 3 rounds in 2020. Hopefully he will in the 2021 draft. Thanks, Since '61

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canadapacker's picture

March 05, 2021 at 10:55 am

I really have an issue with drafting for need philosophy - but I also have an issue at BPA - especially when you are drafting at 29. Now if you are looking at a QB and are up higher then maybe at 16 you might see somebody "fall" to you and you may take them even if you have your roster stacked. But other than that, what is the difference between BPA and need down the draft board when you are talking about 7 rounds times 32 players plus compensory picks - 240 or so players. Obviously and especially because there are so many draft pick busts ( Look at TT's first round busts and he always took best player available so he said) how can one not find a potential starter at whatever position you need in he early rounds??? That is unless there is a particular position that is particularly weak that year.

And as I said before what is this dumb thing about talking about getting to the NFL cap floor again?? There is a cap ceiling which has not been determined and a cap floor which a team cannot be below - but writers use cap floor all the time - Just read - """The Packers are around $12 million over the projected salary cap floor of $180 million. They must be under by the start of the new league year later this month.""""

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Packman60's picture

March 05, 2021 at 11:01 am

I agree with Gatorjason. OT in the 1st and CB in the 2nd. That's where the strength of each position aligns with the Packers picks. There's a lot of quality O-lineman available at the top of the draft and after a few blue chip CB's who'll be long gone by the 29th pick there are a bunch of mid 2nd-late 3rd rd CB's available. Use the 3rd and 4th round picks to address other needs such as RB, WR, D-line, ILB or Edge.

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TarynsEyes's picture

March 05, 2021 at 11:06 am

The way many have screamed that having a first round pick after 20 becomes the 'reach' line from BPA, though for GB it's whenever they select, every pick afterwards becomes more a need selection. The only thing that counters that is when a player outside that line succeeds to top 20 level, which again GB seems to fail at also a lot. If you're not getting a top 20 and for some top 15 players in the first round, you may as well draft for your needs among those left on the BPA list constructed. The problem is making sure your BPA list actually has the BPA on the list in proper order, another thing GB seems to fail at.

I wonder, does GB select players based on the likelihood of retaining after the rookie contract or to simply limit the chances of the higher known talent leaving in FA the moment they can? Is the miss rate on true talent on purpose or simply incapable of recognizing them?

TJ Watt was clearly the better BPA on any teams list over King and certainly would have made a larger impact on the team, day one, and that impact would have eased the issues of the secondary with or without King. So, what are the Packers thinking when such obvious errors take place? Do they just like to reach for players? I'm not sure if they even reach well.

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PhantomII's picture

March 05, 2021 at 10:06 pm

It's all about the number of draft picks. Instead of the obvious taking Watt, trade back to draft injured King and Biegel. Yea that worked out well. They get enamored with themselves occasionally when it works out or UDFA that actually stick.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

March 06, 2021 at 06:19 pm

TarynsEyes
Excellent comment!

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joefan's picture

March 08, 2021 at 03:00 am

I definitely won't be surprised to see another head scratching draft. It's what I've seen from this organization over the past 10 seasons, and I've seen the same excuses to avoid picking by need.

"We gnashed our teeth and shook our fists and pronounced it the stupidest draft of all time. "

I think it was warranted.

"But one year later, second round choice AJ Dillon looks talented enough to move into the featured running back position if Jones and Jamaal Williams both depart."

It's odd Gutekunst still tried to re-sign Jones if that's the case, although I do think he was the best player selected in the Packers draft last year.

"And Jordan Love? One day he may be nothing less than the face of the franchise. We simply don’t know and won’t know until he gets his chance. At least there’s a prospect that gives you hope there is life after Rodgers. "

That could happen sure, but I'm more interested in seeing the organization commit to a Superbowl. It's odd to me that the Packers would be more focused on an Aaron Rodgers replacement than the current needs of other positions. If Rodgers really is the best ever, then the Packers have their best chance with him to win a Superbowl than at some point in the future with Jordan Love.

"Should the Packers reach for the 8th best tackle? The 5th best corner? A D-Lineman without a first round grade? "

Yes, they should if we're talking about the 8th best tackle out of a entire draft with hundreds of players available. That wouldn't be bad at all. "

"Now, if the Packers do feel they have to draft for need, they should bundle picks and trade up high enough to get a true first round talent, or at least someone they have graded as such. But even then there is no sure thing, no guarantees."

There is no guarantee following the "best player available" approach works either. They might as well try to get players to fill open positions or will this be another year of having no linebacker depth?

"Better to have a surplus of really good players at a position and figure out how to use them, than to have all of your starting line-up set with mediocre talent. "

Where have the Packers had a surplus of good players at one position? The running back position is about to be depleted. There is one good wide receiver surrounded by complimentary pieces. I think you could make a case that the offensive line has the best depth, but I wouldn't argue for good depth at many other positions besides maybe outside linebacker with Smiths and Gary. Corner depth is bad. Linebacker depth is nonexistent for multiple years now. Defensive line depth is lacking too.

"Free agency is for need. Day Three is for need. The top of the draft should be for best player available. "

Free agency can be used for need when there is money available. They used that money in 2019. Now they only have the draft and undrafted free agents to fix needs. I guess you could throw in trades, but the Packers haven't done much in terms of trades lately.

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mrtundra's picture

March 08, 2021 at 08:08 am

I agree with Lass, mostly, but what if our pick at 29 happens to be the best player on the board AND a position of need? We need ILB, DT, OL, CB, and maybe a RB. If the BPA is one of those positions at 29, I say we draft that guy.

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