The Green Bay Packers exceeded expectations in 2023, making the playoffs in Jordan Love’s first year as a starter and with the youngest roster in the NFL. But like any NFL team in the salary cap era, the team still has several positions on their roster that will need reinforcements if the team hopes to take the next step in 2024. Here are the top five Packers areas of needs entering the 2024 offseason. Again, these are subject to change depending on which players are back with the team next season and which players the team moves on from.
Fifth Area of Need for the Green Bay Packers Heading into the 2024 Offseason: Edge Rusher
The Packers have talent here but it’s a premium position and injuries are an issue. Rashan Gary will be back after signing an extension during the past season. Preston Smith should be back after another steady performance which saw him play well on the field and provide leadership. Smith is under contract but carries a cap hit of $16.5 million which the Packers may wish to lower. If Smith is not back, the need here gets even greater.
The Packers also have Lukas Van Ness, the 2023 first-round pick. Expect Van Ness to assume a bigger role in 2024.
Kingsley Enagbare suffered a major injury in the playoff win over Dallas. He is likely to miss the start of the 2024 season. The Packers will lack depth if Enagbare is unavailable. They will need to add players here in free agency or the draft to get a full rotation of quality edge rusher.
The new defensive coordinator will influence who the team selects as he will need to fit into the new defensive system.
Fourth Area of Need: Cornerback
Despite rumors to the contrary, Jaire Alexander will be back in Green Bay next season. It would simply be too expensive to move on from him and when healthy, he remains an outstanding cover corner. Carrington Valentine will also be back in the second season of his rookie contract.
Eric Stokes will hopefully return for the final year of his rookie deal, but can Stokes stay healthy and can he return to the form he showed in his rookie season?
Even if one or both of the free agents return, more depth and a quality upgrade is needed at this premium position.
Third Area of Need for the Green Bay Packers Heading into the 2024 Offseason: Running Back
The Packers do have Aaron Jones under contract but at a cap hit of more than $17.5 million. He will also turn 30, which is old for a running back. Look for GM Brian Gutekunst to rework Jones’ deal but to keep him in town.
A.J. Dillon is an unrestricted free agent and is unlikely to return. Emanuel Wilson showed promise in the preseason and should be back as a restricted rights free agent. Patrick Taylor is a steady depth performer but isn’t dynamic and won’t be a primary ball carrier.
The Packers will draft at least one running back and may also sign a veteran to add depth and compete. If Jones doesn’t return for some reason, this need becomes the top priority for this offseason.
Second Area of Need: Offensive Line
Expect the Packers to move on from David Bakhtiari unless he agrees to restructure his deal significantly. Starting right guard Jon Runyan is also a free agent. Runyan said he wants to remain in Green Bay but with Sean Rhyan emerging behind him, he can probably earn more money and a better chance to play elsewhere. Swing tackle Yosh Nijman is also unlikely to be back with the Packers in 2024.
The versatility of Zach Tom could give the team more flexibility depending on who they bring in. Expect the Packers to draft multiple offensive linemen. If the right left tackle falls to the Pack in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, don’t be surprised if the Packers select one there.
Gutekunst usually drafts multiple offensive linemen when there is a need, and this year should be no exception. Signing a free agent is also a possibility depending on the amount of cap space the Pack has to work with.
First Area of Need for the Green Bay Packers Heading into the 2024 Offseason: Safety
The Packers top three safeties on the depth chart are not under contract for 2024. Darnell Savage, Jonathan Owens, and Rudy Ford are all unrestricted free agents. None of them are elite players although they do have value and one or more of them could be back.
Anthony Johnson, Jr. showed some potential in his rookie year, but it’s not clear if he’s ready for full time starting duty.
The Packers need reinforcements here. While safety is not considered a premium position, the team enters the offseason with a great need here which can be filled in the draft and/or via free agency.
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