The 2023 NFL Draft is over, and the Green Bay Packers have added 13 new players selected over three days. GM Brian Gutekunst believes he has improved his roster on both sides of the ball and addressed many of the team’s pressing needs.
While we won’t know how good this draft ultimately is for at least two or three more years, here are five reasons to like the Packers 2023 draft class as of right now.
- The Packers Will Have the Most Athletic TE Group in Recent Memory
The Packers added two tight ends on day two of the draft. In the second round, they selected Luke Musgrave of Oregon State with the 42nd overall pick while in the third round, they chose South Dakota State alum, Tucker Kraft.
Both players are very athletic for the position and if they pan out, they will give the Packers the speediest group of tight ends in recent memory.
The Packers have not had a legitimate downfield threat at tight end since Jermichael Finley suffered a career-ending injury in 2013.
Musgrave was timed at 4.61 at the combine while Kraft ran a 4.69. Both have long wingspans and can stretch the field.
Once they adjust to life in the NFL, the Packers could easily go from a team that almost never threw over the middle of the field under Aaron Rodgers to a team with multiple weapons that can exploit the middle of the field in 2023 and beyond.
- The Packers Got Weapons for Jordan Love
Even though the Packers went for defense in the first round (again), they added three weapons for first-year starter Jordan Love on day two of the draft in Musgrave, Kraft and second round receiver Jayden Reed of Michigan State.
On day three, the Packers added wide receivers Dontayvion Wicks of Virginia and Grant DuBose of Charlotte. Both have good size which is something the Packers prefer in their wideouts.
Green Bay will have a young and talented group of receivers. While it’s unlikely they will all pan out and be major contributors to the offense, the team will have a young quarterback and young receivers and tight ends who can hopefully develop together and provide the team with a dangerous passing game for the foreseeable future.
- The Packers Addressed the Defensive Line
Prior to the draft, the Packers had only five defensive linemen on the roster and only three of them had played in an NFL game.
In this draft, Gutekunst added Colby Wooden from Auburn in the fourth round and Karl Brooks from Bowling Green in the sixth round.
Both players will add depth to a position that has been a weakness on the team for far too long. Other than Kenny Clark, the Packers have not gotten consistent pass rush from the interior defensive line and the team has struggled to stop the run for numerous reasons.
The hope is these new additions will be able to improve the team in that area along with improved play from last year’s top draft pick, Devonte Wyatt.
- The Packers Added a Key Edge Rusher
First round pick Lukas Van Ness gives the Packers a young and athletic edge rusher who may also be able to rush from the inside like Za’Darius Smith did occasionally once he learns the defense.
While Van Ness will need some time to develop and improve his technique, the Packers still have Preston Smith and once he’s healthy, Rashan Gary to play on the edge and are hoping for a second-year jump from Kingsley Enagbare this season.
Edge rusher is a premium position and for the Packers to add a first-round pick with athleticism here bodes well for the team both short-term and over the long haul.
- Lots of Bites at the Apple and a Potential First Round Pick Next Year
Gutekunst was able to add additional picks in trades both prior to and during the draft to acquire extra picks.
Before the draft, he added a second rounder this season and a potential first round pick in 2024 in the Rodgers trade. At the very least, the Packers will get a second-round pick next year and if Rodgers stays healthy enough to play 2/3 of the Jets offensive snaps, it will be a first rounder.
Then he traded back twice in the second round to add extra day three picks this year. With the Packers low on cap space and looking to add young and inexpensive talent for the short-term as they build around their new quarterback, these moves made sense and will give the team more chances to hit on their picks and add new talent.
Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers
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