The Green Bay Packers surprised many people by signing a pair of big-ticket free agents in Xavier McKinney and Josh Jacobs. Both signings addressed major needs for the Packers, but they still have more areas to fortify on their roster. Today, we rank the Packers biggest needs after the first round of free agency. Keep in mind these can be filled with lower-priced free agents, through the draft or via trades between now and the start of the 2024 NFL season.

Packers Biggest Needs After the First Round of Free Agency, Number One: Linebacker

The Packers will install a new style of defense under Jeff Hafley with a four-man front and either two or three linebackers in base. Quay Walker will be one starter while the other remains unsettled. Isaiah McDuffie remains on the roster but he’s the only other experienced linebacker on the roster and may not be an ideal fit in Hafley’s system.

The Packers could sign an inexpensive veteran or use a draft pick or two here, but they will look to upgrade the position before the season starts.

Number Two: Safety

McKinney fills one spot at safety for certain, but the other safety spot remains up for grabs. Second-year man Anthony Johnson, Jr. remains the most experienced player on the roster and it’s still unclear if he’s ready for starting duty.

Both Darnell Savage and Jonathan Owens have signed elsewhere. Rudy Ford remains available and may be a low-cost option on the free agent market. GM Brian Gutekunst could also sign another low-cost free agent.

The Pack will almost certainly add at least one safety in the draft as well. Since this year’s safety class is not considered strong at the top, that player is likely to be a developmental player who will be groomed to take over as a starter in a year or two.

Packers Biggest Needs After the First Round of Free Agency, Number Three: Interior Offensive Line

Jon Runyan, Jr. signed with the New York Giants in free agency despite rumors of a possible return. Sean Rhyan will compete for that job but his inconsistency as a pass blocker may make it tough for him to win the job outright.

Center Josh Myers never lived up to his second-round draft choice status and graded out poorly according to Pro Football Focus. Myers enters the final year of his rookie deal in 2024. The Packers may look for an upgrade or an heir apparent.

Even if Rhyan and Myers win starting jobs, the Packers need more depth along the interior. Royce Newman remains on the roster but doesn’t inspire much confidence.

Number Four: Cornerback

Jaire Alexander is set to start at one corner position, but the other two spots remain less certain. Will Eric Stokes be healthy enough to play this season? If he is, can he return to anything resembling the form he showed in his rookie campaign?

Keisean Nixon re-signed and will be the incumbent slot corner. He was wildly inconsistent in coverage and was brought back predominantly for his abilities as a return specialist.

Carrington Valentine could take on a larger role in his second season. Corey Ballentine was brought back for depth and special teams, but two of the three starting corner positions have uncertainty as of right now.

Look for the Packers to draft at least one corner, probably on day two or early on day three of the draft.

Packers Biggest Needs After the First Round of Free Agency, Number Five: Offensive Tackle

The Packers released David Bakhtiari in an emotionally difficult but completely logical move. Yosh Nijman is also unlikely to return next season so that leaves a lack of depth at the position.

Rasheed Walker will be the starting left tackle while Zach Tom starts on the right. After that, there’s a lot of question marks and a lack of experience.

Expect the Packers to select at least one offensive tackle in the draft. If there’s a player Gutekunst really likes, that could come as early as round one.

The Packers don’t necessarily need an immediate starter here, but depth is badly needed.




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