The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone. The Green Bay Packers did not draft the way many expected. No wide receiver was selected, the team did not jump on an early-round inside linebacker, and while a trio of offensive linemen joined the class, all three were sixth-round picks.
The Packers chose to break the mold, as shooting stars are wont to do. The front office prioritized the players they needed for their vision for the team and honestly won’t care what the media thinks. For better or worse, this is the Packers’ draft class.
This draft allowed to the Packers to significantly upgrade the backup quarterback, running back, tight end, and, potentially, offensive line groups as well as add depth to inside linebacker, safety, and edge. Unfortunately, there are still needs to address. Fortunately, teams will begin trimming their rosters, and players signed after this Monday will no longer count against the compensatory pick calculation. The Packers are free to sign free agents without worry of losing their 2021 compensatory picks.
As the next leg of the offseason begins, here are the biggest areas of need for the Green Bay Packers.
Run defense/interior defensive line
One area that Packers have yet to address in either the opening waves of free agency or in the draft is their run defense. You know, that one that got demolished by the 49ers? Today’s NFL is based around the pass, and you’d rather have a strong pass defense over a run defense, but ideally, you want something that doesn’t give up 9000 yards.
Kenny Clark could use help along the interior line. Dean Lowry is a fine player, but the Packers need more than the two of them. Ideally, Kingsley Keke can take a year-two jump, but that’s risky to rely on. Montravius Adams is looking like a bust, and Tyler Lancaster only has so much upside. Signing a reliable veteran, like Snacks Harrison, would go a long way to fix that unit.
Supporting help from the inside linebacker or secondary would be delightful, but may be harder to find on the market.
Speaking of the secondary, cornerback could be an area of need in the near future. The Packers have a lot of promising younglings but few proven roleplayers yet. The Packers have yet to resign Tramon Williams, and they may choose not to. Following the draft, Gutekunst expressed confidence in Chandon Sullivan and mentioned Darnell Savage could play some nickel. Personally, I’m really hoping Josh Jackson can take that leap and fill an important role in the secondary.
But Kevin King is a free agent following this season and may or may not resign with Green Bay. That would leave Jaire Alexander as the only known quantity for 2021. Signing Williams would give the Packers important leadership and ability and would be a smarter signing than any other free agent available.
As mentioned, the Packers did not address wide receiver in the draft despite the immense depth at the position. The board just didn’t fall the way Gutekunst and Co. hoped. Pass catching doesn’t have to be relegated to just wide receivers, and the Packers believe rookies AJ Dillon and Josiah Deguara will play big roles in the passing game. But beyond the beautiful Davante Adams, the Packers wideouts have a lot to prove. Some have mentioned a trade for Julian Edelman as an option, but otherwise, there really aren’t game-changing options on the market. The Packers seem content to rely on growth from their internal guys, but to my outsider’s eyes, the position remains a major need.