Identifying key Packers draft needs in 2021…
They reached their second straight NFC Championship game, but came up just short against the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Packers draft needs 2021
The Packers are right on the doorstep of bringing the Lombardi trophy back home. Adding an impact player in the first round of the draft this year can help get them over the hump.
Green Bay selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, which drew the ire of many media members. For a team that was so close to reaching the game’s biggest stage, it seemed like the Packers were prioritizing the future over their extremely bright present. This season, they will look to bring someone who can help contribute immediately.
The Packers have the 29th overall pick in the first round. Who are some players they could target at that slot?
The Packers were dealt a massive blow up front in free agency. All-Pro veteran center Corey Linsley decided to accept a tantalizing offer from the Los Angeles Chargers, leaving Green Bay thinner in the middle of their offensive line.
Since quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not the type of elusive player who will evade the oncoming rush, they’ll need to bring in reinforcements to ensure the future Hall of Famer has time to drop back.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 12, 2021
While it might be a little risky to entrust a rookie with so much responsibility on a Super Bowl contender, the Packers need to replenish their talent. Oklahoma Sooners center Creed Humphrey is arguably the best center in the draft, and would be a much welcomed addition in Green Bay.
Humphrey profiles as a superior athlete for his position. He would also be valuable pulling outside on running plays, which would help Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon spring loose.
The Packers were much maligned last year after not drafting a single wide receiver in what was deemed to be the best draft at that position in many years. The team did not really suffer for that decision, largely because Davante Adams is one of the best receivers in the NFL, and can carry a team for long stretches of the season.
.@GopherFootball WR prospect Rashod Bateman: 4.39u 📈
— NFL (@NFL) April 1, 2021
But that doesn’t mean they won’t look to add talent behind Adams to make defenses pay for double teaming him.
The University of Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman would appear to be a solid fit with the Packers. He’s probably not going to be a featured player in the early part of his NFL career, but he wouldn’t have to be.
Bateman profiles as a skilled player who can get separation in the slot. Lining him up inside, or even next to Adams could cause opposing defenses a lot of issues in 2021. Bateman averaged 49 catches per season with the Gophers in his three year college career.
Since the Packers are already a stout team, and feature a few impressive cornerstones on defense, they can afford to take a big swing at the end of the first round.
It would be a high risk, high reward gamble, but Green Bay could consider bringing in Jayson Oweh, a defensive end from Penn State University. Oweh was in on more tackles in 2020, but had more sacks in his 2019 campaign with the Nittany Lions.
Oweh is a bit of a physical freak in the sense that he’s 6’5”, 252 pounds.
He may struggle getting leverage on shorter offensive linemen initially, but his height could make him a factor even if he can’t get to the quarterback. Reading the play and putting his hands up into the passing lanes could lead to overthrows or tips, which are good outcomes for the defense.