The overall consensus from fans after the draft is that they like the players but not where they were picked. Another big issue is that wide receiver was not addressed during the draft. However, isn’t the point of free agency beginning before the draft that you don’t go into the draft handicapped and relying solely on need? Free agents are more likely to make an instant impact than a rookie is too. This is exactly what the Packers did when they signed Rick Wagner, Devin Funchess, and Christian Kirksey. So, let’s rework the draft a little. Let’s assume a trade back gaining another pick instead of a trade up, and we will insert two of our new wide receivers into certain picks. I think this reorganization and way of thinking will help you sleep a little better at night. Trust in Gute!
*The Green Bay Packers trade the 30th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the New England Patriots for the 37th and 100th overall picks*
Round 2, Pick 37:
Jordan Love – QB, Utah State
It is a little early to say he is Rodgers’s successor, but at least the Packers now have time to find out. While Rodgers finishes his career with some super bowl runs and hopefully a few super bowl wins, Jordan Love gets the chance to learn how to play quarterback from one of the greatest ever. The beauty of this pick is the organization will be able to try and find another successor if Love does not pane out in two or three years. The reality is Love’s arm talent was too good to pass up, and he instantly becomes QB2. Rodgers has had some injury issues the past few years, but this is his team as long as he is healthy. Also, who better to learn from than someone who went through this exact situation.
Round 2, Pick 62:
Reggie Begelton – WR, CFL
How about the CFL’s best receiver for a potential weapon for the Packers. Reggie Begelton had a career year in 2019 pulling in 102 catches, over 1,400 yards, and 10 touchdowns. For comparison of two other potential targets for the Packers Brandon Aiyuk had 65 catches, almost 1,200 yards, and 8 touchdowns while Michael Pittman Jr. recorded 101 catches, over 1,200 yards, and 11 touchdowns. The main difference is Begelton played a majority in the slot and was the Stampeders main motion guy. He is the slot utility guy Lafleur and the Packers have been looking for in this new offense. He may be battling with Tyler Ervin for playing time in certain formations. If the Canadian star can translate to the NFL this could be a big time steal.
Round 3, Pick 94:
Devin Funchess – WR, FA
A big slot receiver can be key to a quarterback’s success. This is going to be part of what the 6’4″ 225 pound Funchess will provide. He will probably rotate with Jace Sternberger in that role with the rumor that LaFleur wants to play Sternberger more in the slot this upcoming season. Funchess is a former second round pick who is only 25. He lost last year to an injury, and he was paired with an inconsistent Cam Newton during his time in Carolina. He is another key player in some of the formations for LaFleur and his offense.
Round 3, Pick 100:
A.J. Dillon – RB, Boston College
Continuing the trend in helping Aaron Rodgers, a strong running game can really be his best friend. Dillon is an absolute UNIT. One of the main worries last season was could Aaron Jones stay healthy all year. Now with how dynamic he is becoming, can he withstand that punishment year in and year out? Then the argument was that Jones should play out wide more often, but Jamaal Williams could not always get things going in the backfield. Many times he couldn’t get the job done which reduces Jones’s role to strictly in the backfield, and then back to the original question of can he withstand the punishment. A.J. Dillon is the answer to all of these questions. He is a tough hard runner with some freaky testing numbers. He could help makes this the best backfield in the league. Dillon’s top comp on his mockdraftable profile was Ricky Williams, enough said.
Round 4, Pick 136:
Jon Runyan Jr. – OL, Michigan
Runyan is the prototypical Packer linemen. He is very smart, versatile, and athletic. He can easily bump down into guard or fill a swing tackle role. His biggest knock are his “short arms” which the Packers had another tackle with “short arms” by the name of Bryan Bulaga (their arm length is actually the same). He will come in and compete day one. Lane Taylor ended up losing his spot last year to one of the best rookie offensive linemen in Elgton Jenkins. Runyan will push new Packer Rick Wagner and Billy Turner which is exactly what they need. He could be another household name on the front.
Round 5, Pick 175:
Josiah Deguara – TE, Cincinnati
A very interesting pick here at tight end/H-back. While this position may be questionable it is a very important piece to making LaFleur’s offense operate properly. Deguara will line up all over the place, and he gives the Packers the ability to stay in the same personnel package and line up in multiple formations. He will be what Danny Vitale was suppose to be last year. His blocking may be his best trait, but he is a very solid player. He won’t blow your mind with his athletic traits, but he is a tough sure-handed player who is very good at pretty much everything. Deguara is a guy who will come in day in and day out and get his job done. He could even be a new fan favorite.
Round 6, Pick 192:
Jonathan Garvin – EDGE, Miami
This is the defensive player that fits the mold of exactly what the Packers have been doing on defense. Garvin is only 20 years old, and he is an ascending young player. He has showed flashes of his potential in college but has not been able to consistently put it together. He tested very well with an RAS of 8.98. Garvin comes in and immediately fights for the fourth EDGE spot behind the Smith’s and Gary. Another prospect filled with potential for Mike Pettine and the young defense.
Round 6, Pick 208:
Kamal Martin – LB, Minnesota
Martin looks the part of the new linebacker in the NFL. He is long, lean, athletic, and can play in space. He is more of a downhill player who likes to hit the hole hard. Martin is a perfect compliment to Christian Kirksey and Curtis Bolton. He will make an immediate impact on special teams, and he could find himself pushing for playing time especially on early downs. Kamal Martin is a former captain for the Gophers and P.J. Fleck, and someone who the Packers can trust to help lead the team in the middle of the defense.
Round 6, Pick 209:
Jake Hanson – OL, Oregon
One key to success that may not be popular is consistent offensive line play. An underrated part of keeping Rodgers behind center and at the helm as his career continues is consistently improving the offensive line. Corey Linsley is entering a contract year, and Hanson just may be LaFleur’s center of the future. He comes from a zone scheme and didn’t allow a sack in his first three years counting over 2,700 snaps. A very experienced linemen who gets the chance to learn for a year before he goes from protecting one of the college’s best to the NFL’s best.
Round 7, Pick 236:
Simon Stepaniak – OL, Indiana
This is a pick T.J Lang and Josh Sitton can get behind. Stepaniak is a strong nasty blocker. It won’t take long watching him play until he puts someone on the ground. He may take a little longer to develop than the other two picks on the offensive line, but the competition in practice will be top notch. Another pick giving Rodgers the “help” he really needs which is keeping him untouched and upright.
Round 7, Pick 242:
Vernon Scott – S, TCU
Scott is a versatile player on the backend. He has experience playing corner and safety. He will also be an immediate contributor on special teams. This is a player that will do whatever is asked of him to the best of his ability. The Packers have a strong secondary, but they have also had success drafting secondary players late or picking up undrafted free agents that contribute. A Green Bay fan should never sleep on a late round offensive linemen or defensive back.