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Packers enter draft needing to find more playmakers for Love

Packers enter draft needing to find more playmakers for Love


One look at the Green Bay Packers’ depth chart shows they must find additional playmakers for Jordan Love as he prepares to take over at quarterback.

History suggests they won’t add any in the first round of next week’s NFL draft.

The Packers took Christian Watson in the second round and Romeo Doubs in the fourth last year, but they’re the only Green Bay wideouts currently under contract who had at least 100 yards receiving last season. The Packers drafted a third receiver — Samori Toure — in the seventh round last year.

“We’re going to have to add some bodies to that room,” coach Matt LaFleur said last month at the NFL’s owners meetings.

Tight end is an even greater need. Josiah Deguara, who had 13 catches for 114 yards last season, is the top tight end under contract.

But the Packers never used a first-round pick on a wide receiver or tight end throughout four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers’ 18 seasons in Green Bay. In fact, the trend started well before the arrival of Rodgers, who is expected to get traded to the New York Jets before the start of the next season.

Green Bay hasn’t selected a wide receiver in the first round since taking Javon Walker from Florida State with the 20th overall pick in 2002. The most recent tight end the Packers picked in the first round was Miami’s Bubba Franks, who went 14th overall in 2000.

The depth of this draft class at receiver and particularly at tight end could push the Packers toward using the 15th overall pick to address other needs, such as adding a safety or a pass rusher. ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay said this is the strongest tight end class in the past decade or so.

Citing the Packers’ traditional reluctance to take a pass catcher in the first round and the lack of safety prospects worth selecting that early, McShay suggested Green Bay might take a pass rusher at No. 15 and then get a safety, tight end and receiver later.

“To me, if edge is a priority, that’s probably where you’re going to get your best value (at 15),” McShay said. “Maybe (Lukas) Van Ness from Iowa winds up falling to 15. That would be a steal.”


The Packers are picking 15th overall after going 8-9 last season, missing the playoffs and ending a string of three straight NFC North titles.

Assuming the Packers stay at 15, this would be just their second top-15 overall pick in the past 14 drafts. They selected Michigan outside linebacker Rashan Gary with the No. 12 pick in 2019.

The Packers also have one pick each in the second, third and fourth rounds, two picks in the fifth and four in the seventh. A Rodgers trade could bring them more picks.


The likelihood that free-agent safety Adrian Amos plays elsewhere this upcoming season means the Packers must restock the position. The Packers’ lack of pass-rushing depth was exposed last season after Gary tore the ACL in his right knee.

The Packers must find a quarterback to back up Love. The year the Packers traded Brett Favre and made Rodgers the starter, they drafted two quarterbacks, selecting Louisville’s Brian Brohm in the second round and LSU’s Matt Flynn in the seventh.


Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon give the Packers one of the NFL’s top running back tandems. Although the Packers could take a running back in the late rounds, it’s not a need.


The third round has been disastrous for the Packers recently.

Tight end Jace Sternberger (2019 third-round pick) and wide receiver Amari Rodgers (2021) left the organization within two years.

Last year’s third-round pick was UCLA offensive lineman Sean Rhyan, who played one special teams snap and no offensive snaps as a rookie and was suspended the last six games of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers.


While the Packers rarely draft receivers in the first round, they’ve had great success finding them in the second — including Greg Jennings (2006), Jordy Nelson (2008), Randall Cobb (2011), Davante Adams (2014) and Watson (2022).

TOP PHOTO: FILE – Green Bay Packers helmets lay on the ground during a practice session at their NFL minicamp Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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