After the Green Bay Packers’ Week One loss to the New Orleans Saints, there was a bit of panic amongst Packers’ fans. Following their Week Two win in Detroit, fans are feeling a little better. However, there are some glaring weaknesses and lack of depth on this team. At this point, Green Bay’s best option would be to add pieces via trade, even though that may mean giving up on some precious draft picks. If the Packers are really all in this year to win a Super Bowl, though, that may be something that they need to seriously consider. Given injuries and poor performances at a few key positions over the last two weeks, here are three players the Packers could target before the trade deadline.
Whitney Mercilus- Edge
Prior to the season, the Green Bay Packers believed they had a formidable edge rush. Za’Darius Smith was coming off of his second-straight Pro Bowl season, Rashan Gary is on the rise, and Preston Smith came into camp in much better shape. However, Za’Darius Smith is now out for weeks with a back injury. Rashan Gary and Preston Smith have played alright, but there is no real depth behind them. None of them has recorded a sack yet this season. In fact, no one on the Packers’ roster has recorded a sack yet this season.
Enter Whiteny Mercilus, an edger rusher currently playing for the Houston Texans. Mercilus already has two sacks this season in three games played. Over the course of his career, he has four seasons in which he recorded more than seven sacks, with his highest total of 12 coming in 2015. In 2019, Mercilus had 7.5 sacks, forced four fumbles, and intercepted two passes. There is a question of salary, given the Packers’ cap situation. However, Russ Ball has been known to make miracles happen.
Andrew Norwell- Guard
The Jacksonville Jaguars are not going to win very many games this season. Their number-one overall pick, Trevor Lawrence, already has a four-interception game under his belt. In other words, they have a long way to go and are in a position to sell.
The Packers believed they would have a deep offensive line entering the season. However, the veterans were vastly outplayed and two rookies earned starting jobs ahead of Week One. Royce Newman, a rookie guard, has not looked as good as he did in preseason. Josh Meyers, the rookie center, is the highest graded rookie lineman in the NFL and has played well. Unfortunately, that has not been enough.
Elgton Jenkins is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. He was already playing out of his normal position due to David Bakhtiari’s torn ACL. Now, the Packers are looking to fill the left tackle position with Billy Turner or Yosh Nijman. Hopefully, Jenkins’ injury will not keep him out for long.
When he does come back, though, the Packers must address the lack of quality depth at the guard position. Jacksonville’s Andrew Norwell could be a great trade candidate for the Packers, albeit a little pricey. Norwell has a 71.6 PFF grade this season and is a valuable asset to protecting Jacksonville’s young star quarterback. However, as mentioned, the Jags will not win many games. They could make Norwell and other pieces available for trade as the deadline nears. If they do, the Packers should get this deal done.
Brandin Cooks- WR
Another position that the Packers felt confident about going to the season was wide receiver. After all, they have the best wide receiver in the NFL in Davante Adams. However, besides Adams, no receiver has stepped up yet this season. Randall Cobb has a couple of catches, but Allen Lazard and MVS have been almost non-existent in the Packers’ passing game. No Packers wide receiver has a touchdown yet this season.
Brandin Cooks has been talked about in trade rumors to the Packers before, and likely will be until the deadline passes this season. So far, Cooks leads the NFL in receptions and receiving yards. This is another target that could cost the Packers a pretty penny. However, aside from Aaron Jones being Aaron Jones, some nice long receptions by Davante Adams, and a touchdown catch by Robert Tonyan, the passing game has been stagnant. If the Packers are serious about making a run at the Super Bowl, and if this is the Last Dance, they may need another top-tier receiver to get it done.