We are about to witness the beginning of a new chapter for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers may start a season without a Hall of Fame talent for the first time in over 30 years. Jordan Love is set to be the Packers’ starting quarterback. There aren’t even any starting wide receivers rostered who have multiple full years accrued in Green Bay. These are all circumstances that have been foreign concepts to the veteran-led offenses of the last few decades in Green Bay.
Since the Packers are turning a new leaf and “rebuilding” it is fair to wonder what the best moves would be in order for them to load the team up for the future. First we have to ask what the goal of any offseason additions would be; and we can start answering that by making the assumption that the Packers don’t expect to make a playoff run this year. I believe the best acquisition method would be to sign players that will help the Packers reach their potential in about two to three years. Here’s what positions the Packers need to target.
Honorable Mentions: Running Back and Quarterback
Aaron Jones is a great back, and AJ Dillon has been a solid complement to him, but the shelf life on RBs tends to be quite short. While bringing in a new player to the running back room this year may feel slightly premature, remember what Aaron Rodgers said about the Packers’ preference to make certain moves a year early instead of a year late sometimes.
Signing a veteran QB to sit behind Jordan Love is crucial at this point in his career. He’s learned from an elite, if not slightly unorthodox, quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, but his learning should never cease. In his first year starting it will be important for him to have an experienced player at his position to lean on and bounce ideas off of. Obviously having a serviceable backup is important even without all of these prior reasons.
Neither of these needs are particularly important compared to the five coming up, but they are amongst the seven positions that you can certainly call a need for the Packers.
5. Edge Rusher
Preston Smith will likely be playing his final year in Green Bay next year, and while Rashan Gary will also be playing out a contract year, we can most likely expect him to be retained by way of a contract extension.
Fortifying the edge position is always important, so despite an elite talent like Gary possibly being locked up for years to come, it’s probably best to add to that room early and often any year.
4. Veteran Wide Receiver
The Packers may have scored some serious wide receiver talent in the 2022 draft. However, it is ultimately going to be crucial to get a veteran presence in the room for at least a year or two to keep Doubs, Toure, and Watson from being “thrown to the wolves.” There is certainly an argument to be made that playing time is important for these young players, but so is knowledge of the position at the highest level. Bringing in one veteran receiver to balance these considerations is probably best, but it’s not a top-3 priority.
While it looks like the Packers will not be retaining Adrian Amos, safety is one of the biggest needs for the team. Darnell Savage looked underwhelming at best last year outside of a few key moments later in the season. Rudy Ford had his flashes but there is no guarantee he can be trusted to take on full time responsibilities in the secondary. Keisean Nixon will likely be playing a slot role if he ends up taking many snaps in the defensive secondary.
There are zero completely trustworthy safeties on the Packers current roster. Drafting a potentially elite safety with a round one or two pick might even be the highest priority in this draft class, but I left some wiggle room in the order in case Amos returns.
2. Tight End
Robert Tonyan is a Chicago Bear and Marcedes Lewis will likely not be back with the Green Bay Packers. This leaves the Packers with neither of their preferred tight ends from the previous few years. There is room for Josiah Deguara or Tyler Davis to step into an expanded role this year, but in all likelihood this is a room that needs to get better through acquisition if Jordan Love is going to have a solid tight end in his offense at any point in the next few years.
1. Interior Defensive Line
With the departures of Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed the Packers are looking at an interior defensive line that essentially just consists of Kenny Clark and Devonte Wyatt. There are no guarantees that Devonte Wyatt is going to turn out to be a good player in this league and there isn’t even a guarantee that Kenny Clark, who turns 28 this year, will even be a Packer for the next three to four years. Fortifying this position with a free agent acquisition or a top-100 pick is probably the only move that I would say is absolutely mandatory for the Packers this offseason.——————
Zack is a college student and cheesehead from California. When he’s not in class or writing, you can find him talking about the Packers on Twitter at @Zack_Upchurch.