As the second wave of free agency hits, NFL teams are wary of the effects of COVID-19 on their off-season plans. Front office gatherings are prohibited, and team facilities are closed. Properly evaluating medicals, and coming to a consensus on players could become a challenge. The brass at 1265 Lombardi will have to take risks to get this team over the hump and back in the Super Bowl.
The worldwide pandemic certainly means that rookies will get little to no practice time this summer. Thus, a greater emphasis has to be shown in collecting proven talent heading into next year. Consider that the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff has been together for five strong, team building years. Every other team in the NFC East will be trotting out brand new schemes, on both sides of the ball. The competitive advantage this affords the Eagles heading into 2020 cannot be understated. To combat this, the Packers must enter next season with a far greater collection of talent.
Uncertainty in the football world will lead to the majority of teams playing it safe in the upcoming NFL Draft. As Daniel Jeremiah, lead analyst of NFL Network has said, teams will “try to hit singles instead of triples.” While the rest of the NFL stands pat, Green Bay should swing for the fences.
Thankfully, Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst has done a fantastic job of filling his teams holes. The low-risk, high reward, signings of linebacker Christian Kirksey and tackle Rick Wagner were an excellent start. Bringing in receiver Devin Funchess allows Green Bay to remain fluid in the draft. Still just 26 years old, the former Michigan tight end represents another high upside veteran addition. A big-bodied contested catch specialist, Funchess is an underrated route runner who has a chance to put it all together in Green Bay. His signing simply allows the team to remain adaptable on draft day, where the front office will need to knock it out of the park.
The Packers need to ensure they use the uncertainty surrounding the draft to their benefit. As Aaron Rodgers ages, there’s no reason the team shouldn’t do whatever is necessary to surround him with as much talent as possible. Green Bay needs to be extremely aggressive in 2020. Trading up to snag their targets is a must this year. If a talented player the Packers like begins to slide, don’t be surprised to see Brian Gutekunst pull the trigger early and often. Keep an eye on top tier athletes with questionable tape and unlocked potential. Especially in this years’ class, these players are sure to fall, and Green Bay should be there to scoop them up.Nick is a lifelong Packers fan. 4th and 26 was on his 13th birthday, unlucky. Follow him @CANDRAFTGEEK647 on Twitter for all your Packers draft needs and questions.