Sports Specs with Sam

Green Bay Packers’ 2020 NFL Draft stuns, raises questions

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The Green Bay Packers’ strategy in the 2020 NFL Draft was a head-scratcher for most fans and football analysts.

Green Bay’s selection of Jordan Love, a quarterback from Utah State, was arguably the biggest story to come out of Thursday night’s first-round coverage that took place in front of a record-breaking audience tuned in on television.

The public reaction to the pick was overwhelmingly negative and understandably so.

Green Bay came into the draft with multiple glaring weaknesses on their roster that needed to be addressed, and instead, they chose to use their selection on a position that is already their greatest strength.

One of Green Bay’s most significant weaknesses continues to be the wide receiver position, as aside from Davante Adams, who is excellent, they have no proven talent.

They did not choose a single wide receiver in this draft, a year in which an all-time record 37 wide receivers were drafted.

This was one the deepest and most talented wide receiver classes ever, and even with lots of talented receivers still being picked in later rounds, Green Bay chose to not use a single one of their nine picks on one.

Another obvious need that Green Bay has for the future is on the offensive line, as Bryan Bulaga, who was very good at right tackle for Green Bay, left in free agency this offseason and left tackle David Bakhtiari and center Corey Linsley become free agents next offseason.

Green Bay did not choose any offensive linemen until the three they selected in the second to last round.

To follow up their puzzling first-round selection, they took AJ Dillon, a running back from Boston College, during round two, despite already having the emerging star Aaron Jones and the quite capable Jamaal Williams at that position.

Green Bay finally chose to address positions of need in rounds three and five, by adding a tight end, Josiah Deguara from Cincinnati and Kamal Martin, an inside linebacker from Minnesota.

However, the selections with the highest upside come from the first few rounds the majority of the time. Seeing the team address the offensive line, secondary and defensive line in rounds six and seven was too little, too late.

Their first-round selection of a quarterback only serves as a waste and a distraction at this point in time, as NFL insiders have pointed out that Aaron Rodgers is probably not thrilled with this decision.

Some may point out that picking a quarterback in the first round 15 years ago while they had Brett Favre, still in his prime, worked out okay when they drafted future Hall-of-Famer Rodgers.

However, Favre had already been threatening retirement at this point, whereas Rodgers is not going anywhere (they re-signed him to a four-year, $134 million contract extension in 2018) and they have no reason to believe his play is going to go downhill any time soon.

When asked about his decision to choose a quarterback in the first round, Brian Gutekunst, the team’s general manager, said it was a “long-term decision”.

“This was not something we set out to do,” Gutekunst said. “He just happened to be a guy we liked who fell to us and this was the best decision.”

This logic is not totally flawed, but Green Bay is coming off of a season in which they reached the NFC Championship game and should be addressing their needs and reloading for another run at a Super Bowl.

There were so many other options Green Bay could have gone with for their first-round pick after they traded up to the 26th spot.

They could have chosen from several talented receivers like Tee Higgins from Clemson, or Patrick Queen, a highly touted linebacker from LSU.

Instead, they chose to draft a quarterback despite already having Rodgers — one of the all-time greats at the position — who is still in his prime at the age of 36. 

“We haven’t picked a skill player in the first round in 15 years,” Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee Show before the draft on Thursday. “So that would be kind of cool.”

He may have had a good point.

Janssen can be reached at [email protected].