The 2023 NFL Draft is just a few weeks away and this will be a critical draft for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers are starting a new era with Jordan Love taking over as the new starting quarterback so this will be a year of transition.
The Packers will look to get younger and replenish the talent pool which has been diminished by free agency and cap restrictions due in part to the dead cap hit on Aaron Rodgers’ poorly structured contract. The team has already lost several players in free agency including Allen Lazard, Jarran Reed, Robert Tonyan and Dean Lowry with more losses likely before training camp opens. The need to replenish the lost talent is obvious. The question is how will they do it?
Here are five things to look for from the Packers in the 2023 NFL Draft:
- Aaron Rodgers Will Be Traded
This will happen just before or even at the draft but it will happen and Aaron Rodgers will be a New York Jet. The two teams may finally reach an agreement before the draft or they could wait to see how the draft board falls on day one and then trade the 13th overall pick if the players the Jets want are off the board or move to an already agreed upon alternative if New York wants to select a specific player.
The Packers will get some value for Rodgers in this year’s draft and some in 2024 depending on how the Jets do with Rodgers this season and whether he returns next year.
It’s been a slow, agonizing and frustrating process but it will get done and the Packers will have some extra picks to work with on day one and/or day two of the draft.
- The Packers Will Receive More Top 100 Picks
Right now, the Packers have one pick in each of the first three rounds. That number will go up most likely by one or two picks after the Rodgers trade is completed.
Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst may also trade back in the first round or other rounds of the draft to add more picks to his arsenal and replenish the talent on this team. The more bites you have at the apple, the better your chances of hitting on your picks.
- The Packers Will Select Multiple TEs
Tight end is one of the thinnest positions on the Packers roster right now. Robert Tonyan is gone. Marcedes Lewis is likely not going to be back. That leaves Matt LaFleur’s team without their top receiving tight end and their top blocking tight end.
Right now, Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis are the only experienced players on the roster. Neither is considered a downfield receiving threat. Deguara is more of a fullback or H-back and Davis is a special teams player.
Gutekunst will add two tight ends in this draft, one on day two and one on day three to replenish the position and get some help for Love in his first year as the team’s starting quarterback.
- Another WR Will Be added in the first two rounds
The Packers lost Allen Lazard to the Jets in free agency and Randall Cobb is unlikely to be back. No returning receiver on the roster has more than one year of experience and there are only four players currently on the roster.
Look for the Packers to add at least one wideout on day one or two of the draft and probably another on day three.
A veteran free agent would be a smart addition as well but the budget may not allow it.
- The Packers Will Select Multiple DL and OL
The Packers selected three offensive linemen in each of the last three drafts and are likely to add at least two more this year. With David Bakhtiari’s recent injury history and age, the team is likely to look for a long-term replacement.
Gutekunst always takes a flier on at least one offensive lineman in the later rounds and will likely to it this year as well.
The defensive line is also thin with just one very experienced starter in Kenny Clark returning. T.J. Slaton and Devonte Wyatt are expected to step in as starters.
The Packers need to add talent and depth here and should select two or more players to fortify the position.
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