4 takeaways from the 2020 NFL Draft for the Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers had a puzzling 2020 NFL Draft, to say the least.
They went into the draft with holes in their receiving corps and their run defense, but they didn’t address either of those issues, instead electing to take quarterback Jordan Love in the first round and going with a running back with their second pick.
As a result, the Packers’ draft decisions have been widely criticized.
Here are the four biggest takeaways from the draft for Green Bay:
4. Perhaps they’re too confident in their roster
The Packers won 13 games, captured the NFC North division crown, locked down a first-round bye and made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game this past season. That’s enough to put them in the upper echelon of teams in the NFL.
However, Green Bay was outclassed by the San Francisco 49ers in that NFC Championship game, where it seemed pretty clear that the Packers were multiple pieces away from being true contenders.
It doesn’t seem like general manager Brian Gutekunst and company felt that way heading into the draft. Instead, Gutekunst appears to be comfortable heading into 2020 with a receiving corps that is fairly barren behind Davante Adams. But maybe he thinks Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard are enough to get the job done.
Green Bay also doesn’t seem to be too worried over the fact that the 49ers’ run game absolutely mauled its defensive front a few months ago, which was hardly the first time that the Packers’ run defense was exposed this past season.
3. Maybe they want to change their offensive style
The fact that Green Bay took Boston College running back A.J. Dillon and then University of Cincinnati tight end Josiah Deguara with its second and third-round picks is a clear indication that the Packers want to focus on improving their ground game rather than their aerial attack.
Green Bay already had a couple of very capable halfbacks in Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, but apparently, the Packers felt that Dillon was too good of a talent to pass up.
In the case of Deguara, he is a very strong blocking tight end, so it seems as if Green Bay was drafting Deguara to help solidify the run game more than anything else.
These are odd moves for an offense that is so used to airing it out.
2. The Packers are thinking beyond Aaron Rodgers
A few years ago, Aaron Rodgers was one of the best quarterbacks in football and could take over a game at moment’s notice.
He isn’t that guy anymore.
Make no mistake: Rodgers is still very good, as evidenced by the fact that he threw 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions this past season. However, he isn’t the 40-touchdown monster we saw earlier in his career.
At 36 years old, Rodgers is winding down, and the Packers’ decision to take Love with the 26th overall pick is a clear indication that they don’t think Rodgers has a ton of time left.
Why else would Green Bay, a club that was one win away from the Super Bowl three months ago, completely ignore its biggest need in the first round of the draft to take a player at a position that is obviously filled?
1. Aaron Rodgers must be furious
It all started last offseason, when Rodgers was clearly miffed over the idea of new head coach Matt LaFleur usurping some of his control at the line of scrimmage.
That was the first step in the Packers slowly taking authority away from Rodgers.
Now, it’s very evident that Green Bay is continuing to transition away from the future Hall-of-Famer, which has to infuriate Rodgers to no end.
Rodgers won’t publicly say anything negative about the Packers’ front office. Well, probably not. But there is no doubt that he is stewing over the fact that Green Bay has not gotten him any help this offseason.
It goes deeper than the draft. The Packers also struck out in free agency. They didn’t bring in tight end Austin Hooper. They were unable to land a veteran receiver like Emmanuel Sanders. They didn’t try to land any interesting pieces like Robby Anderson or Breshad Perriman.
Instead, the Packers sat on their laurels, refusing to address their most prominent issues and opening the door for potential friction between Rodgers and the organization heading into next season.
Considering Rodgers just took this team to the NFC title game, Green Bay’s lack of activity this offseason is bewildering in every sense of the word.
And Rodgers can’t be happy about it.