What Positions Should the Packers Prioritize in the Draft?

 

There’s a great debate to be had over which position the Green Bay Packers should prioritize in the 2020 NFL Draft. Will the team be tasked with finding a replacement for Blake Martinez? How badly is Aaron Rodgers in need of another wide receiver? Does Kenny Clark need a partner along the defensive front? Are they going to replace Bryan Bulaga? As it plays out, free agency may answer some of these questions and unveil how the front offense is thinking. In the meantime, it’s impish to forecast what the Packers will do this offseason, especially with the 30th overall pick in the draft.

In 2015, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks wrote a story that ranked each position in terms of importance. Naturally, quarterback was number one, but overall it’s hard to dispute his arguments only five years later. The article can be found here.

Green Bay has their pass rushers, defensive tackle, left tackle, running back, number one receiver, and corners (though some may argue that last one). According to Brooks, the highest-ranking position the Packers should prioritize is middle linebacker. And, barring some sort of significant change, the defense will have a new signal-caller next season as most signs point toward parting ways with Martinez whose asking price may simply be too high. Spotrac has his market value at $16.3 million for an average annual salary. In my opinion, that is far too much for what Martinez brings to the table.

Next would be tight end. Green Bay would do themselves a big favor financially by parting ways with Jimmy Graham, however, that creates a void at a position that hasn’t seen much stability over the past decade. If the Packers spend big on a free agent, say Austin Hooper, the problem is solved. Well, hopefully. We’ve said that before. However, even if they don’t sign someone and decide to ride with Jace Sternberger and other cheap options, there is no prospect worth taking with their first-rounder. Probably not even with their first three picks given other areas of need on the roster.

Right tackle is not far behind, though. I would actually place it higher than tight end. If Bulaga resigns for a reasonable price, this isn’t of concern. Although, if he tests the market, Green Bay may have to spend considerable money or use a high pick toward finding his successor.

In my estimation, the next position to prioritize going off of Brooks’ scale is wide receiver no. 2. Besides Adams, the Packers haven’t had much consistency at receiver for the last two seasons. It’s time to add someone via free agency, the draft, or perhaps even both. The team hasn’t selected a wide receiver in the first round since Javon Walker in 2002. Safe to say now would be an ok time to break such a useless streak. Rodgers isn’t getting any younger, and there is an eye-catching deficiency of talent at what is now a premium position.

Depending on how the board falls, I would put money on either a middle linebacker or wide receiver coming to Green Bay at pick number 30. Fortunately, there should be plenty of good options for the Packers, thanks to an abundancy of talent at both positions. The team will just have to decide who they value more. 

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (59)

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 17, 2020 at 06:31 am

Every year, the overlooked, but very important, part of the drafting equation is "Who on the roster is looked at more favorably by the staff than we realize?" Usually, this is UDFAs or late-round rookies. As fans, it's difficult for us to know how the bottom of the roster has been doing, but the coaches/manager/scouts see them and their development every day. Ted Thompson once admitted that the most important rule to him when drafting, was "Will this player have a good chance of unseating a player currently on the roster?" In other words, don't draft the top WR available if you think he's no better than your current #5 WR.
I've been a draftnik for 45 years, and I've seen the wisdom of that approach over and over again.
This is what makes me curious about this year's draft; picking in the 30 slot means you can't have much of an inkling as to who is going to be available, but based on early prognostications, I don't see many players who look "clearly better" than the Packers current starters and backups.
This is certainly true of the ILBs and TEs. I think Sternberger would be the top TE this year, and Tonyan would be about equal to the top tier. The top ILBs don't impress me (especially after the last couple of drafts' top ILBs).
As a result, I'm currently leaning toward DT, WR, or RB. My predicted best-quality picks would be 1. DT 2.WR and it's a crapshoot after that. I actually think some decent WRs might be there at the Packers 3rd round pick, but they might also be gone.
On a side note: I've been thinking Aaron Jones might make a great Deebo Samuel style player, making RB Jonathan Taylor a great 1st round pick...

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Monsmoy's picture

February 17, 2020 at 07:55 am

Good points and I agree re ILB quality this year and think we are forced to look to FA or trades. I believe it is rare to have a starting TE straight from the draft that actually impacts and so, of all positions, this is definitely one to identify potential. There are a few in this draft, one being Deguara from Cincinnati who should be a late pick. Personally though, I think Graham needs to be replaced and would be happy with a draft (fingers crossed Sternberger steps up) but would love a trade for David Njoku ( for J Jackson).
With regards to order of draft, of course it depends on the fall, but I am hoping a RT replacement falls to 30 or we trade back rather than drafting a WR or DT there.

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4zone's picture

February 17, 2020 at 08:44 am

Sorry, but no way I want Mr. Fumbles giving games away for GB.

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Turophile's picture

February 17, 2020 at 09:58 am

@PackEyedOptimist
I agree with you about the first two picks ideally being DL/WR. I don't think it's a crapshoot after that, though.

If Bulaga is re-signed (and I believe he should be), then the next big need is ILB (especially with very little chance that Martinez returns).

After the first two draft picks, I'd spend the next two on ILBs, one a coverage type and one a run stopper - this is because the strength (in the draft) of the ILBs, is in rounds 3 and 4.

I might go TE in round three if Trautman was available, but apart from him, it's a coverage type ILB in round three and a run stopping ILB from round 4 onward.

A better solution (than drafting a TE, because the TE group is poor this year), is to add a decent veteran there. The Packers don't have a ton of cap space, after you take away this years rookie allocation, a few millions for emergency later in the year, and the upcoming big deal for Clark..........but they could afford one decent veteran.

After the first 4 Packers draft picks there should still be some good RBs left, and I'd take any of Lamical Perine, Antonio Gibson or Reggie Corbin in rounds 5/6/7 respectively. The rest of the picks are to fill depth, for ST, or for developmental purposes.

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stockholder's picture

February 17, 2020 at 11:22 am

I don't agree on DL or WR. The DL is done after pick 15. The WR can really be picked up later in this draft. Is a WR the better pick. Yes. But rd. 2 is for Need, not BPA. You will not get a Wr in rd 2 that won't need Route improvement. While most including myself got on Devante Adams s**t. His catch Radius sucked. It improved. He got better only because of Rodgers.!!// And his thirst for Feed me the ball. If Bulaga is not resigned it will only be for the better of the team. RT is replaceable. Especially the DEFENSE! No Championship team ever had a DL that didn't get veterans on it. Forget Davis. He may look like Tarzen, but plays like Jane. Why the Heck do we need a TE early? Lewis will be resigned to BLOCK. And if you draft a WR, the solution to TE is Lazard. Forget RB. You don't draft a RB with such a DEEP WR class. Developmental purposes? Were in a win now.

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Turophile's picture

February 17, 2020 at 12:19 pm

We never do agree stockholder.

At #30 either Gallimore or Blacklock are DL options. After that maybe one of Raekwon Davis, Justin Madubuike or Marlon Davidson if any are there in round 2. Neither of these are Brown or Kinlaw, but the Packers seldom have a top 20 pick, never mind a top 5, so they must do the best they can with what they have.

WR IS a need. The Packers have 4th/5th/6th WRs aplenty, but they need a no.2. Almost all drafted receivers will need work, that is generally accepted, doesn't mean you don't draft a guy because he might take a year (or even 2) to learn. Imagine if a WR isn't a high pick, and Adams goes out in week 1..............

RT will need replacing fairly soon, but it doesn't have to be replaced THIS year. They have a good player there already and a viable backup (assuming they re-sign Bulaga and Veldheer). If you are able cross off one position as a high draft pick, you can fill important needs elsewhere.

A veteran TE acquisition, a starter-level DL at #30, then a no.2 WR, followed by two ILBs (one coverage guy, probably round 3, and a run-stopper from round 4 onwards. All the more serious needs addressed and you still have plenty of picks left to get a decent RB (some solid guys available in rounds 5-7 if you look through them), with the rest of the later picks going wherever you want.

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stockholder's picture

February 17, 2020 at 12:32 pm

Your evaluation is sound. Just didn't agree on the solution. If I wasn't in a win now mode. I could see your argument.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 17, 2020 at 02:12 pm

The DE/DT s (two) should be the free agency priority. They have a questionable starter in Lowry and a guy that may or may not make the team in Montravious. Lancaster is a NT backup, at best. Keke is supposed to be a quick step inside guy, but he is nowhere near Daniels in strength. I only see two DTs rating first round grades and they should be off the board by 20.

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Turophile's picture

February 17, 2020 at 02:28 pm

When you get to pick 30 there will be few, if any, 1st round grade players to choose from.

I already pointed out 5 DLs that could be targets in rounds 1 & 2, but there isn't much after that, that is likely to be much better than Lowry/M.Adams.

You seeing only 2 DLs with first round grades is not that relevant. What DOES matter is whether any available DL is roughly equivalent in value to any other position.

There are veteran DL available, but the Packers can only pay good money to one veteran guy this year, so my guess is that it will be a veteran TE.

Getting a veteran DL is far from a foolish idea, I just think the one good veteran pickup will be a TE.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 17, 2020 at 03:07 pm

The pick list from the free agency group is deep and you can get guys @ 5M or so contracts. Run stuffers.
The draft may yield some guys round four on Fotu or Khalil Davis types? I tend to view the Packers not re-signing Bulaga, considering the competition bidding his services.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 17, 2020 at 06:36 pm

"this is because the strength (in the draft) of the ILBs, is in rounds 3 and 4."

Agreed. Plenty of names in that area at this point in the process. Given how thin they were at LB in 2019 with their best player likely departing, if Murray or Queen is there are 30, I'd seriously consider it. But there are viable options later so no need to force anything. The bar to clear for "improvement" is not that high.

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nostradanus's picture

February 17, 2020 at 05:56 pm

Thoughtful post, like it

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 17, 2020 at 07:06 am

I still haven't fully dove into the draft yet.

But what I know is this is one of the best drafts for WR's. TE is a bit weaker. I believe OT is pretty good. ILB has a couple of top level players. RB has a variety of really good players as well.

To prioritize the draft is knowing where the strengths of the draft are. And where you can find really good players at.

Obviously some of this depends on what happens in FA. If they let Bulaga go, OT becomes a high need. If they resign him, it becomes less of a need.

A lot of talk with the draft wraps around the need for WR with GB. They do really need to upgrade the position with talent. While we have that need, we do NOT have to draft one in the 1st round. This is the list of 1st round WR's over the last 5 years compared to the 2nd round.

2015:
1st round - Amari Cooper, Kevin White, Devante Parker, Nelson Agholor, Breshad Perriman, Phillip Dorseett
2nd round - Devin Smith, Dorial Green-Beckham, Devin Funchess

2016:
1st round - Corey Coleman, Will Fuller, Josh Doctson, Laquon Treadwell
2nd round - Sterling Shepard, Michael Thomas, Tyler Boyd

2017:
1st round - Corey Davis, Mike Williams, John Ross
2nd round - Zay Jones, Cutris Samuel, JuJu Smith-Schuster

2018:
1st round - DJ Moore, Calvin Ridley
2nd round - Courtland Sutton, Dante Pettis, Christian Kirk, Anthony Miller, James Washington, DJ Chark

2019:
1st round - Marquise Brown, N'Keal Harry
2nd round - Deebo Samuel, AJ Brown, Mecole Hardman, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Parris Campbell, Andey Isabella, DK Metcalf

My conclusion is that you can find just as good of players in the 2nd round as you can in the 1st round. Ideally I think we would be better of spending a 1st round pick on another position (assuming that's how the board falls). If we could potentially add a top tier ILB, and get a WR in the 2nd round. I think that would be the best route to go.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

February 17, 2020 at 07:42 am

Good info.
I know WRs. Some of those 2015-2017 first round picks are viewed as busts, but they still possess talent worthy of bringing in.

https://www.packersmagazine.com

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Turophile's picture

February 17, 2020 at 02:55 pm

@ RCPackerFan You said
"To prioritize the draft is knowing where the strengths of the draft are. And where you can find really good players at."

Spot on. WR has strength and depth, it's an exceptional year for them. DL is thin, any pick likely to upgrade from Lowry and M.Adams is likely to be a first rounder (Gallimore or Blacklock), or just possibly a 2nd rounder if any of Raekwon Davis, Justin Madubuike, or Marlon Davidson are still there.

I'd prefer to see DL/WR in that order in rounds 1 & 2. Then a coverage ILB, and soon after that, a run stopping ILB.

Something like DL Blacklock in one, WR Mims in two, coverage ILB Akeem Davis-Gaither in three and a run stopping ILB like Markus Bailey or Shaquille Quarterman after that.

Add a later round RB like Lamical Perine, Antonio Gibson or Reggie Corbin, and you have filled most of the weaker spots on the team.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 17, 2020 at 02:21 pm

Most of the TWO picks were from the upper slots in the order. The personnel dept. has to be tuned to a guy like McLaurin escaping to the third round. I believe the WRs max out in the frist and high second, just as last year played out. If you want a playmaker you have to commit by # 40.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 17, 2020 at 03:00 pm

About a 40% hit rate from the first and 2nd. The second round guys typically have to be taken by #40 to show anything year one. The outliers like McLaurin in the third, or Diontae Johnson are rare drops. The Antonio Browns of the draft are very uncommon. If there is a Playmaker Gutedkunst likes , he should trade up in either round. The 2021 CAP will have to account for Bhaktiari and Clark, maybe they extend Lindsley? If they feel Bulaga can play out two more years, they may give him 10M/yr. He would be a valuable chip to keep, but someone may give him 12-14M if they want a fast plug. Have to hold fast for a month to see what shakes out.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 17, 2020 at 06:54 pm

Agree there is no need to take WR @ #30. But definitely have one by the time day 2 ends.

And don't stop with one. They need to start planning for life without Davante Adams. This is a great class to grab two (or even 3).

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dobber's picture

February 17, 2020 at 07:16 am

Free Agency will tell us what this team needs to do in the draft. It's my hope that they use FA intelligently. Use it to shore up positions where you see no good matches for your schemes in the draft. Take advantage of opportunities: it might be a deep WR and OL draft, but if you hit on the guys you think is a great fit for your offense in FA and at the right price, maybe your need at WR drops significantly in the draft.

In the end: be smart in FA so you can take advantage of value opportunities in the draft.

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fthisJack's picture

February 17, 2020 at 08:12 am

exactly right. and i believe adding a DL for sure in FA is a no brainer. the draft doesn't appear to hold much depth at this position and its imperative the Packers need to shore up this spot. also, it might be wise to check into ILB and CB in FA. Littleton might cost a ton if he's available but with these 2 signings you have solidified the middle of your defense which has been a weakness for a long time.
then in the draft hit the offense hard. WR and OL and RB and TE.

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stockholder's picture

February 17, 2020 at 10:51 am

I've warned everybody the last two drafts to take a DL. Now I'm telling you Gutey needs to get one in FAs. Priority #1. To much has been made of signing Martinez and Bulaga. Everyone knows what we need. But how to get it, is the problem. Gutey's last two drafts ,is not bringing us All -pros. But is bringing us starters. This draft is Rich in offense. While most don't want a WR rd.1. And scream ILB. Figure on nothing more than a starter again. Were talking about the #30 pick. My belief is we need to trade down if you want to fill the needs. Trading the #30 brings a 2nd and an extra third. Taking a WR fits in the trade down! The slot is the Target! Next ILB, Murray can't get off blocks. Dye,Harrison, Brooks, and Even Weaver. All WorK! Late 2nd early third. And that leaves RT with the third. Ezra Cleveland or a ,Jonah Jackson,Lemieux, Wilson. The extra 3rd just gave you a Back up QB, a TE, another WR. Now gUte can trade and Target more. A 3rd third, can be had. And I would do it. Getting 5 players in the Top 90 is the best solution to the cap ,and solving your needs.

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Turophile's picture

February 17, 2020 at 12:45 pm

The Packers might draft a DL early (first two rounds), or they might get a veteran in. This choice could go either way (or even both ways), but my money is that it is the TE spot where they get their one decent veteran signing, because it is a poor draft for TEs.

Trading down is always an option, though you need two willing teams to do it. It's usually better than trading up, especially with the cost of trading up in round one. To put a number on your trade idea, you'd have to trade your #30 and move down 18-19 spots to get equal value 2nd and 3rd round picks.

Rounds 3 and 4 have good value for ILBs.

If the Packers managed a trade down, you could see a colection like this: DL Madubuike, WR Mims, ILB Jordyn Brooks, TBD*, ILB Davis-Gaither.

TBD* (to be decided) could be someone like center Nick Harris, a potential replacement for Linsley if the Packers let him go at the end of 2020 (giving them an extra $10m in cap room).

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stockholder's picture

February 17, 2020 at 12:57 pm

I understand your arrangement. But Brooks is gone with Dye, Harrison,and , Weaver. /// before the packers picking the 3rd. If you use Draft Network's simulator, { it's a given their going in rd 2. on some nights}. The demand for Lbs is very high again.

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Turophile's picture

February 17, 2020 at 02:54 pm

Looking at TDN, with your draft tradedown, you'd have a pick in round 3 at approximately pick 80.

Jordyn Brooks is currently rated #79th best prospect. Dye and Harrison are ranked 2 and 21 spots after that.

Davis-Gaither is ranked 111 (available for the Packers own 3rd round pick at 96).

You might be right about them going earlier, it's hard to predict how the draft pans out, but in a mock I did just to see who was left, Harrison was taken exactly at #80. Dye and Weaver went at #90 and #92, and Davis-Gaither was still on the board at #94 (the Packers own 3rd rounder) with 17 players ranked ahead of him at other positions.

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CoachDino's picture

February 17, 2020 at 03:09 pm

Great Board today!!! Lots of different opinions but backed up with data..
1) Yep - FA will determine draft
2) ILB is amust - but how?
FA -Liitleton/Scoebert - Nick/Danny Bears - -
High draft pick - Murray Queen - 3-5th rd guys
ILB Specialists
3) Add to D-Line to help ILB
Deep draft for run stuffers/NT
Affordable DL FA 5mil per year
4) WR - Deep draft Guys better than the packers 2-5 in the 3rd Round
Usual Suspects in FA Affordable to cheap
5) Cut BB at OT need a round 1 OT that can just step in
Keep BB can draft a project Year 1 back-up in to the 3rd round

Depending on all the stated factors by the board (FA/CAP/how the board falls/etc)
Trade DOWN - the 30th & 94th for 40th, 72nd & 111th.
Pack has 40th,62nd,72nd,111th
4 picks between 40 thru 111.. Has potential.
Still have your own 4th,5th (2) 6ths and (3) 7ths?

I have no idea now, if that's a good or bad plan but, as it stands according to draft value chart and 2020 draft strengths it's certainly an option...

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Renllaw's picture

February 17, 2020 at 07:40 am

With all the talent at WR this year I think it would be foolish to not take one with one of the top 2 picks. if you can get a Jalen Reagor, K J Hamler, Brandon Aiyuk, Tee Higgins, or Donavan Peoples-Jones you have an immediate upgrade at WR2.
After that, start looking at best available OL DL, and ILB.

Some mid round prospects I like are:
ILBs Akeem Davis-Gaither, Shaq Quarterman and Justin Strnad
OT Saahdiq Charles, Ben Bartch, Jack Driscoll (reminds me of Tauscher)
DL Tyler Clark, Leki Fotu, Davon Hamilton, and Benito Jones
RB Antonio Gibson (played both WR&RB) Cam Akers
TE Cheyenne O'gGrady ( I know he has off field issues) Alber Okwuegbaum, and Colby Parkinson (I know he cant block)
CB, Lamar Jackson, Stanford Samuels, and maybe take a late shot at Levonta Taylor ( I know he is too short).

Obviously way too early looks here, and after interviews, combine, and pro days these names will change. They are just players I have youtube scouted and like.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 17, 2020 at 07:50 am

Yeah, I think we need to wait for FA to play out before we tackle this topic. Gutey won't be able to plug most of the holes in FA this year like he did last year, so I think the needs will be obvious once we get past FA. For FA, DL is deep, especially if the Packers want to move Clark off the NT. Another article also highlighted a lot of good value FAs at various positions.

Then you get to another point made above - we don't know how highly the pros think of some of the developing guys. I could make an argument that Sternberger and Keke are poised to have big seasons - but we've seen guys like that (cough MVS) come up short. Some also wanted to give up on Adams ever being a big-time player even after his second year so some guys (cough MVS) could still surprise.

Between FA and the draft I think we can agree that RT, ILB and DL all have to be addressed. After that I would point to WR, TE, RB and QB in pretty much that order.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 18, 2020 at 03:27 am

I think just the opposite. There are many FAs who fill needs at WR, ILB, DL, TE, OL, and CB, but the draft isn't deep at a number of those positions. So...

WR: draft is deep there, so less need to sign one in free agency. Gute should sign a WR in free agency only if the fit is good and the price is better.

RT: draft is deep here, so Gute should only re-sign Bulaga if the price is right. That means $10M AAV with a team friendly structure.

ILB: Draft sucks for ILBs. Simmons will be long gone, and Murray is the only other day-one starter. It is a long shot he's available at 30. Address ILB in free agency. Gute can go expensive or try Kwiatkoski or Trevathan types.

DL: Draft is not great for DL. Gute should probably buy a defensive lineman in free agency. Depending on money, probably can afford a Leonard Williams or Michael Pierce, but if Gute signs a cheaper ILB the Packers can probably afford Javon Hargrave.

Other: I can cross my fingers on TE (sign or draft a blocking TE and hope Sternberger can play) and also on CB (health and no slumps from Sullivan, Jaire, and King). There are a lot of 3rd and 4th round CB types out there, at least pre-combine.

These three positions have to be addressed. The Packers have about $30M AAV and draft picks in rounds one to three to do it with.

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Turophile's picture

February 18, 2020 at 05:11 am

I agree with most of your take, TGR, about the lack of decent DL depth in the draft, the unusual depth at WR. I'd settle for drafting a 1st or second round DL, but there are several veteran options.

I do think the most likely (relatively) expensive veteran addition will be a TE.

I'd set the limit on 'he wants too much money' for Bulaga, at $11m pa or more, otherwise do the deal (and try to get Veldheer back for another year as insurance) which avoids a high pick at RT for this year.

One area we disagree on is at ILB. Sure you won't get a Simmons, the Packers almost never get top 10 picks, but you CAN get a pair of ILBs (probably necessary with Martinez gone), one who can cover well and one who can be the run-stopper. Because they are not complete players, they will be available in rounds 3/4/5. there are 8-9 run-stopper types there, maybe 5 coverage guys and three or four Safety guys over 200lb who might be able to handle a hybrid role.

My personal favourites are run-stopper Shaquille Quarterman (6'1", 241) at about round 5, coverage ILB Akeem Davis-Gaither (6'2", 219) late in round 3, and the hybrid guy Jeremy Chinn (6'3", 219) in the 4th. Check them out at TDN.

Since I think the Packers can only afford one decent player (not a great one, but a decent one), I'm betting the vet will be at TE.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

February 17, 2020 at 07:50 am

This is a very interesting off season. In many ways it mirrors offseasons of the past in the need for a Tackle, Recievers are sure to be drafted high, and there is a conversation about whether the talent or coaching is the main problem with the defense.

Gutey has less to work with this year than last. Can't wait to see what he does.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 17, 2020 at 08:02 am

Yes, I'm watching if Gute deals to move up. Or does he drop out of the first all together to get more choices in the 3-5. (as an example) The need to restock for depth, plays just as big a need as moving up for a potential starter. The moves before draft/free agency is going to be interesting...

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Handsback's picture

February 17, 2020 at 08:02 am

After that wonderful performance by the defense against the 49ers....shouldn't be any doubt that Green Bay has to have DE/DTs that can can be two gap run stoppers. Secondary need would be the ILB.
Any OT talent would be nice and finish it with WR/TE help.

Don't forget the name Cole McDonald, QB from Hawaii. He could be Green Bay's next drafted QB.

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Guam's picture

February 17, 2020 at 08:05 am

I would rather have seen an article using Brooks' evaluation scale applied to potentially available free agents to determine who the Packers should seek in free agency. I have heard from many experts that this draft is rich in WRs and OTs, but I haven't heard nearly as much about where the strengths and weaknesses are in the crop of prospective free agents.

I always get a bit frustrated discussing the draft before free agency happens because free agency comes first and can have as much or more impact on your team as the draft (see: Packers, 2019). And who you sign in free agency will have a significant impact on who you draft. Can we get the horse in front of the cart?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 18, 2020 at 04:08 am

I thought I provided that at least in part in my article. Of the 100 top free agents, per PFF,

ILB: 5 are ILBs (Trevathan is 99th, so that should tell you the dropoff);
CB: 18
DL: 17
WR: 10 (Perriman is 5th/38th, Algohar/Amendola/Cobb in the 70s, Tajae Sharpe 100th). Pretty steep dropoff after Cooper/Sanders/Green/Anderson.
OT: 6 (Bulaga is 62nd). 4 of them are geezers over 32. Conklin and DJ Humphries are the non-geriatrics.
S: 13 and it is a good group;
G: 3
C: 2
TE: 3 - Hooper, Henry, Ebron
Edge/QB is the rest.

There are some quality players who do not appear on PFF's list. I like Dennis Kelly, RT of the Tennessee Titans, as a quality starting RT who should not break the bank. Stuck behind Conklin and Taylor Lewan, he played 700 snaps over the last two seasons at a Bulaga type level, but he is 30. Hard to gauge his market: $5M to $8M AAV, probably three years?

https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-the-50-best-available-nfl-free-agents-in-2020

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Lphill's picture

February 17, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Packers probably trade out of the first round if the talent needed is not there at 30.

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LambeauPlain's picture

February 17, 2020 at 08:58 am

Would not surprise me.

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blueliner_7's picture

February 17, 2020 at 08:39 am

I will simply identify areas I see of weakness and leave our GM determine how to fill the holes. First I would say the defensive front 7 needs a few bodies. There were a few teams that ran the ball down our throats for 200+ yards last year. Not good! Next Aaron Rodgers definitely needs that more explosive WR on the opposite side to free up Adams. It is just too easy to defend the Packer offense when Adams has to carry so much of the load on 3rd downs. I do believe we are okay going forward with what we have at the TE position (minus #80). Finally, we need to address the fact that that Rodgers needs a backup for the future to begin training. If that person is already on the roster in QB Boyle, that is fine. But it not, now is the time to begin planning because Aaron Rodgers I thought started to show his age in 2019.

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LambeauPlain's picture

February 17, 2020 at 08:57 am

DT, WR, OL, ILB as the first 4 picks, not necessarily in that order, but depends who is the BAP at the time of selecting.

The Pack will be picking late in the rounds so BAP at those positions could get good value, IMO.

I still think Sternberger will become the stater in 2020 with Graham gone and Lewis around for another year...Big Dog still has it in the run game.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 17, 2020 at 07:30 pm

..with Graham gone.."

Cap cuts are starting to be announced. Not that one yet.

I'm not saying he's staying, I'm just saying he's not gone yet.

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dblbogey's picture

February 17, 2020 at 09:54 pm

If Gute keeps Graham again this year, it'll be time for Gute to leave.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 17, 2020 at 09:37 am

I hope we use the draft and FA to improve our ability to run the ball. I want to be the team that passes 10 times in the Championship game.

A TE. a tackle, a pile mover.

Defense needs more run-stoppers on the field against good running teams.

Remember, we were 14-2 against teams that were not SF. We were 6-0 in the division. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

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stockholder's picture

February 17, 2020 at 10:48 am

Mercedes Lewis is your blocking TE. Your best Rt is Jones. And he won't be there at #30. You will have to convert A weaker LT. 3rd rd. 6 and 0? Every team is going to be after the packers. Priority 1 is the DL. (The Trench). Every championship team had brought in a guy or two, from another club. That must happen!

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Leatherhead's picture

February 17, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Lewis is a good blocker, and Sternberger may be a good receiver. I want a third guy who is good at both. That way, when we line up two TEs we can show two receivers, or two blockers, or some of combo.

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stockholder's picture

February 17, 2020 at 12:19 pm

When they draft a Wr or two ///. Lazard would be my choice to get him on the field. /// But this guy is my choice if they draft one. Okwuegbunam Te

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CoachDino's picture

February 17, 2020 at 03:18 pm

Agreed- It's the scheme that ML favors. just look at SF. It will also save the team Money at RB. I don't see the Packers or many teams paying Big Money for RB's. It's already backfiring on the ones that Did....

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Dzehren's picture

February 17, 2020 at 09:56 am

Gute tendencies
2018 strength of draft CB- Jare and Jackson added Tramon
2019 Strength of draft Edge rusher, safety & DL Gary & Savage added the Smiths & Amos (KEKE mid round)
2020 Stength of draft OL and WR. I believe adding a DT in FA will improve the ILB position.

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OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

February 17, 2020 at 01:05 pm

I think everyone's comments are pretty spot on and very similar. WR is somewhat of a crapshoot minus 2 players (Jeudy / Lamb) and depth can be had later in rounds 2 and 3. Unless someone like the aforementioned WRs or Kinlaw or top OTs drop (Wirf, Thomas, Wills), I think the best course of action is to trade back and get an extra 3rd. Despite being 13-3, there are plenty of holes to fill.

Early 2nd - BPA @ Dline or WR
Orig. 2nd - BPA @ Dline or WR (whatever wasn't picked)
Early 3rd - KJ Hill WR (OSU)
Orig. 3rd - Shaquille Quarterman LB (Miami FL)
4th - Akeem Davis-Gaither LB (App. St.)
5th-7th - BPA @ Dline, Oline, + Levanta Taylor CB (FSU)

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CoachDino's picture

February 17, 2020 at 02:30 pm

Abundance of talent at ILB? There's one stud -Simmons.
I'm with you on positional evaluation, it's huge. Still hope that stick to best available
which factors in Position with a small reach radius for need. Drafting for need as a heavily weighted
criteria can lead to a vicious cycle of mediocrity...

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 17, 2020 at 03:21 pm

Shobert should be their target, but he may receive higher offers than Martinez.

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Turophile's picture

February 17, 2020 at 05:24 pm

There is a good group of ILBs available this year....................but not in rounds 1 and 2.

The ILB value comes in rounds 3/4/5 where there are loads of options. Of course you won't get your 'great-at-everything' stud then, because if he was, he'd be a top 20 pick.

What you CAN get in the later rounds is a good run-stopper OR a good coverage guy. I'd be all for getting one of each if Martinez is gone as most expect.

Since the Packers have needs in multiple areas, what I expect to happen this year (and what happens most years) is that you draft the best available player at a position of need, provided there isn't a player left on the board at another position whose value is significantly greater on the Packers big board..............which is saying, more or less what you said, but phrased in a different way.

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tincada's picture

February 17, 2020 at 06:42 pm

Since GB has yet to figure out that a balanced team has a running game I'm. all in on drafting a water boy. We don't need no stinkin RBs. OH AR save our pathetic ass again and throw 3/4 million passes. It's all good until it isn't.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

February 17, 2020 at 09:59 pm

Good night fruitcakes.

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Thegravedigger's picture

February 18, 2020 at 01:37 am

I prefer my nAme. Fruit cuppington.

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Since'61's picture

February 18, 2020 at 09:13 am

1st round we should go for WR since that is the strength of the draft. After that ILB. Maybe another WR in a WR rich draft. Use the opportunity to find a #2 WR playmaker. After that look for depth at OL, DL, RB and TE. FA for defensive needs and maybe an OL. Thanks, Since '61

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Thegravedigger's picture

February 18, 2020 at 01:47 am

Free agency first. Need a big dt. Then maybe one of the 2 bear ilbs. Either sign bulaga or draft rt but even at 30 drafting a tackle aint a sure thing. Bulaga hopefully on a friendly deal. Then we draft wr. Lazard and Sternberger can play te with big dog back hopefully as well. But if bulaga doesnt return we can pay corey Littleton. Thats why this crap is just for fun right now cus free agency comes first. Id like to see tramon return but i cant see that happening especially if they do resign bulaga. The only sure bet is that free agency will determine the draft.

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croatpackfan's picture

February 18, 2020 at 03:31 am

I believe Packers should draft BAP as there is argument how Packers need improvement at every line. Even in QB room.

Lets see: O side :1. RB - imagine D. Henry type RB + Aaron + Jamaal; 2. WR - imagine T. Hill type WR + Davante + EQS + MVS + Lazard; 3. TE - imagine H. Henry type TE + Jace + Big Dog + Big Bob; 4. imagine OT D. Bakhtiari type OT + existing OL!
D side: 1. DT/DE - imagine K. Clark type DT + Keke + Dean + Lancester + M. Adams; 2. LB - imagine B. Wagner type of ILB + Smiths + Gary + all others LB Packers already has; 3. CB - imagine young R. Sherman type of CB + Kevin + Jaire + Sullivan + others CB Packers retain; 4. S - imagine Nick Collins or E. Thomas III type of S + Amos + Savage + rest of the roster.

I believe all of you will agree with me that if Packers find player I mentioned on every position in the 1st round they should pick the guy no matter what position that player plays. Of course, sometimes you can find that types of players later in the draft, but I just asking you who would pass another Clark, Bakhtiari, Wagner, Collins, T. Hill etc..

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lowcsp's picture

February 18, 2020 at 10:31 am

green bay has been drafting versatile players on defense ( gary& savage) that can play all over the field so why would they not do the same at offball linbacker and draft someone like zack baun that can cover backs an ends an has the speed to go sideline to sideline,plus he could be a good blitzer for pettine to send. just a thought he probably wont be there at 30

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Stroh's picture

February 18, 2020 at 11:22 am

I don't designate by sides but the top 4 are clearly head and shoulders above the rest. QB, OT, Edge rusher and CB (2 offense and 2 defense) are the 4 premium positions and should in most cases be the choice in Rd 1 if given the chance. I generally consider DT (assuming they can rush the QB) ahead of WR, since there are few big men that can move well. After that its kind of a mixed bag, because the other positions are dependent on others and scheme becomes a consideration. A Saftey depends on CB, A WR depends on the QB, a RB depends on the OL, etc.

The Packers have been following this for decades, since Ron Wolf arrived really and to some degree maybe before that. Its very apparent if you look at the 1st rd picks every year. BPA should come into play so if a premium position is picked over and the BPA is a WR you take the clear BPA if he's rated higher (higher tier among propects)

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PAPackerbacker's picture

February 19, 2020 at 04:23 am

The Packers have some holes to fill on both offense and defense. I'd like to see the Packers take a WR like Laviska Shenault with their first pick if he is indeed still on the board at #30. His speed and YAC are awesome and his ability to run the ball would be an extra weapon in Green Bay. Great hands and agility make this young man a threat to score from anywhere on the field.

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