GREEN BAY PACKERS

2020 NFL Draft: Green Bay Packers preview


Green Bay Packers draft capsule

DRAFT TEAM NEEDS

Tight end

Marcedes Lewis is 36, but he’s back and atop the depth chart in Green Bay. Jimmy Graham (Chicago Bears) is gone after declining production. A playmaker would make life easier for wide receiver Davante Adams. Last year’s third-round pick, Jace Sternberger, was on injured reserve until November and never made an impact.

Wide receiver

Adams needs a reliable running mate outside. While he was on the shelf with turf toe last season, the Packers lacked explosive passing plays.

Offensive line

Reeling in Rick Wagner at right tackle stabilizes a group that lost Bryan Bulaga (Los Angeles Chargers), but depth is thin.

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers turns 37 in December and nobody wants to think about life after No. 12. But the Packers must consider what’s next, and they are likely to resume the Ron Wolf-Mike Holmgren way of thinking in drafting a quarterback every year until Rodgers reaches his finish line. Ted Thompson drafted Rodgers when Brett Favre was 35. If Jordan Love is still on the board, the Utah State QB is known to intrigue GM Brian Gutekunst.

Return specialist

The Packers’ special teams should be better due to free agent additions, but there is still a desire to find a game-breaker in the return game. It was a problem they were still trying to solve into December last season in claiming Tyler Ervin off waivers. Ervin is back to compete in 2020.

Linebacker

Losing Blake Martinez leaves a mark, but Christian Kirksey could prove better than a Band-Aid. In the long view, a playmaker at inside linebacker is necessary.

–FIVE-YEAR DRAFT HISTORY

The drought appears to have ended with recent first-rounders Jaire Alexander (2018) and Darnell Savage (2019), but the Packers have been hounded by disappointing defensive backs. Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins (2015), Josh Jones (2017) and Josh Jackson (2018) all fell out of favor as first- or second-round picks, and Kevin King (2017) remains up and down despite holding a starting role. The 2015 class is now long gone, but each class since has had at least a few gems. Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry (2016) are long-term starters on the D-line, and Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams (2017) formed a nice backfield duo. The jury is out on the 2018 class besides Alexander, but the 2019 draft is already paying dividends.

Best pick: RB Aaron Jones, R5 2017 — After being underused by Mike McCarthy, Jones has become a centerpiece for Matt LaFleur, showing a nose for the end zone and surprising receiving skills.

Worst pick: CB Quinten Rollins, R2 2015 — A basketball player who returned to football late in college, Rollins got his chance to start early but was cut by Green Bay after three seasons.

–2019 STATISTICS

TOTAL OFFENSE: 345.5 (18th)

RUSHING: 112.2 (15th)

PASSING: 233.3 (17th)

TOTAL DEFENSE: 352.6 (18th)

RUSHING: 120.1 (23rd)

PASSING: 232.6 (14th)

–Field Level Media

Source

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