A particular Packers draft strategy was deployed in greater effect than ever during the 2024 NFL Draft.

In recent years under GM Brian Gutekunst, the Packers appear to have changed up their draft strategy in terms of how they approach addressing positions of need in the draft.

The 2020 and 2021 drafts from the Packers were, with the exception of Jordan Love, very underwhelming. In fact, Love is the only player to come out of those two drafts that appears to have a long and promising future with the team.

Beginning with the 2022 draft, Gutekunst and the Packers switched up their approach. Instead of targeting positions of need primarily with one high-value pick, Green Bay would spend several picks at one or two key weak positions across the seven-round draft.

The most obvious example is wide receiver. The Packers’ WR corps was barren after the departure of Davante Adams, so the Packers went heavy at the position in the 2022 draft. Christian Watson (2nd round), Romeo Doubs (4th round), and Samari Toure (7th round) were all selected in this class.

The best part of this Packers draft strategy is it accounts for the fact that players won’t always work out the way the team and scouts think they will. Simultaneously, it takes advantage of the fact that late-round selections can sometimes bring surprising impact to a roster.

In the case of the 2022 draft, Toure made little impact and is no longer on the team. However, Watson has shown promise as a legitimate deep threat when healthy. Doubs looks like one of the Packers’ biggest draft steals in years, selecting him at the end of the 4th round.

The Packers added three more receivers just one year later: Jayden Reed (2nd round), Dontayvion Wicks (5th round), and Grant Dubose (7th round). Dubose quickly flamed out, but Reed and Wicks both look like mainstays of the offense one year in. Green Bay truly seems to have found a gem in Wicks in the 5th round.

None of these players that have had such a great impact on a young, up-and-coming team were selected in the 1st round. The Packers have built arguably the best young WR group in the NFL by piling up picks and value in the later rounds.

The Packers have lacked a truly impactful tight end for over a decade and looked to fix this weakness as well in the 2023 draft. Luke Musgrave (2nd round) and Tucker Kraft (3rd round) were both selected in this class. Green Bay hoped one could emerge as a legitimate starter, and one year in, it appears both players are capable of playing meaningful snaps for the team.

Another key to this Packers draft strategy is the accumulation of picks. The Packers made 11 selections in the 2022 draft, 13 (!!) in the 2023 draft, and 11 picks in 2024. Green Bay is reducing the margin for error by selecting so many players, especially multiple players that play the same positions, to increase the odds of at least one player making a meaningful impact at a position of need.

This strategy carried over to 2024. Most notably, the Packers picked three safeties in the 2024 NFL Draft: Javon Bullard (2nd round), Evan Williams (4th round), and Kitan Oladapo (5th round). The Packers have ensured that their odds of one of these players being capable enough to start next to Xavier McKinney this season are high. These picks also provide young depth to a position the Packers were sorely needing.

The 2024 draft also saw Green Bay focus in on the offensive line. First-round selection Jordan Morgan is going to be the highlight of the draft. Matt LaFleur has already said Morgan with compete at left tackle with Rasheed Walker.

The Packers then again selected offensive line later in the draft with Jacob Monk (5th round) and Travis Glover (6th round). With the concerns around Josh Myers and Sean Rhyan’s ability to start, and Elgton Jenkins and Zach Tom’s ability to stay healthy for a full season, this was a crucial position to target in the draft.

This Packers draft strategy that has built one of the better young rosters in the NFL over the last few seasons may be a blueprint the rest of the league starts to copy in years to come. Targeting positions of need with a plethora of picks over a year or two span, even if in the later rounds, could become the way that NFL teams ensure their best chance of landing a quality starter in a draft class.

Green Bay have already been trendsetters when it comes to how they handle the quarterback position. The popular idea of starting a rookie QB as soon as possible has been challenged by the success of Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love, who both sat multiple seasons before being handed the reins of starter.

Teams like the Atlanta Falcons, who selected QB Michael Penix Jr. with the 8th overall pick in 2024, took note of the Packers draft strategy. Barring an injury or uncharacteristic poor performance from newly signed QB Kirk Cousins, Penix is set to sit for at least a couple seasons.

Though it’s yet to be seen how the Packers’ 2024 class pans out, I’m hard pressed to doubt the judgement of a Green Bay front office that has been on fire the last few years with their strategy and draft selections.


Liam O’Donnell is a devoted Packers fan and an aspiring sportswriter from Milwaukee. He writes for PackersTalk.com and you can follow him on twitter at @liamodonnell___.