In a season where expectations were tempered, the Green Bay Packers impressed even the most optimistic Wisconsin football fans. The team finished the regular season at 9-8, then knocked off the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs before falling just short to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round.

Green Bay has the luxury of owning 11 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, including two second-rounders and a pair of third-rounders. This provides the perfect opportunity to build through the draft while also supplying the leeway to acquire proven veteran players. Who will the Packers take in the draft and what other unexpected moves could the franchise make? Here are two bold predictions for the Packers in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Packers make draft-day trade for Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker

The Packers have many needs to feel, namely on the offensive line, in the secondary, and linebacking corps. The latter two are likely the positions the Packers will target in the first two rounds of the draft. Green Bay needs longevity on the o-line after losing David Bakhtiari, Jon Runyan, and Josh Nijman in the offseason, so a guard or tackle is a good bet in the first round. The team will want to address the secondary soon after. But adding a talented veteran safety or corner will immensely improve a Green Bay pass defense that finished 29th in the NFL in pass efficiency defense.

A six-time Pro Bowler, Budda Baker is in the final year of his contract with the Arizona Cardinals. Baker requested a trade in 2023, but the franchise kept him on and restructured his deal for 2024, ensuring more guaranteed money. Pairing Baker with free agent signing Xavier McKinney from the New York Giants gives Green Bay an elite safety combo and provides excellent support for whichever young corner the Packers select early in the draft.

A third-round pick should be enough to pry Baker away from the lowly Cardinals and put him in Super Bowl contention.

The Packers trade up to get a second first-round pick and select Cooper DeJean

After taking an offensive lineman with their initial first-round pick (ideally tackle Amarius Mims of Georgia), the Packers get aggressive and trade up to get another first-rounder — something the team has done twice in the last five drafts. This trade could also happen before the Packers draft if they feel that either Mims or DeJean will not last until pick number 25.

Cooper DeJean is the definition of a playmaking defensive back, with NFL scouts projecting him as a hybrid slot corner/safety. In 2022, three of his five interceptions resulted in pick-sixes while this year he returned a punt for a touchdown (and had another controversially called back). DeJean has fantastic instincts, diagnosing plays before they happen and using his elite athleticism to shut them down. He is also considered the top run defender in this cornerback class.

DeJean gives the Green Bay pass defense a much-needed upgrade following the free-agent signing of safety Xavier McKinney. The Packers spent a first-round pick last year on Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness and Cooper DeJean is a similarly freakish athlete who can make even more of an immediate impact in the Green and Gold. Add in the trade for Budda Baker, and the Packers immediately have one of the best secondaries in the NFL.