The Green Bay Packers had an unconventional draft to say the least. Many believed they would pick one or more receivers to help an aging Aaron Rodgers, but they came away with none.
Instead, they drafted, who many are convinced is the successor to Rodgers, Jordan Love, in the first round. While this shocked many, some had Love mocked to the Packers, so this shouldn’t come as a complete surprise.
Rounds two and three, brought more questions than answers, when the Packers selected running back A.J. Dillon out of Boston College, and Cincinnati tight end Josiah Deguara.
To finish the draft, rounds five through seven, the Packers addressed depth issues and linebacker, offensive line and safety.
Fellow Packers contributor here at OTHWiscosnin Robin Adams and I will be going through each pick and giving our grade and take on what this means for the Packers.
While I get the reasoning of drafting a quarterback like Love, I argued earlier in March, that the Packers should be waiting on drafting the potential heir to Rodgers. Rodgers, at minimum, based on his contract alone will be in Green Bay at least three years. He is still undoubtedly one of the best quarterbacks in the league and can make magic happen with anyone around him.
Love is a developmental player, with comparisons to Rodgers himself based on his arm talent and play-making ability, but he will need time to grow.
Experts alone, have varying opinions on this pick.
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports gave the Packers a D, while Chad Reuter of NFL.com, gave them an A-.
I find myself settling between the two. Love has the potential to spoil the Packers with another franchise quarterback for 10+ years, but he may not see the field for 3-4 years, is that worth a first round pick for a team who is on the cusp of a super bowl appearance.
My Grade: C
I love this pick for a variety of reasons. I remember all to well that dismal play of our back-up quarterbacks in the two seasons in which Rodgers went down with injuries. While Love is a few years away from being ready to start, he certainly instills more confidence than Seneca Wallace or Brett Hundley.
Aaron Rodgers has become the player he is because he is the smartest guy on the field. He is smart enough to know that a 36-year old quarterback is not going to play forever. He even said as much that he knew that the Packers would draft a quarterback at some point. “They’ll have a hard time beating me out,” he said, and that is a good sign that he still believes in his abilities. Rodgers will be the quarterback for as long as he can play at a high level; but it is nice to have a little insurance.
Finally, there is no guarantee that Jordan Love will even play very long in Green Bay. The New England Patriots drafted multiple quarterbacks during the Tom Brady era, notably Matt Cassel and Jimmy Garoppolo. Each of these quarterbacks were traded for high draft picks after it became clear Tom Brady could still play at a high level. The Packers could very well do the same with Love.
My Grade: B+
A.J. Dillon impressed at the combine running a 4.53 forty at 247 pounds. Dillon is a classic, bruising running back that will provide a good change of pace to Aaron Jones. Unlike first round pick Love, Dillon should see the field immediately and give the Packers a good 1-2 punch with Jones.
My Grade: A-
This pick is a very underrated pick, in my opinion. I also believe that Jamaal Williams is highly overrated by Packers fans. To that end, I think that Dillion becomes the second running back option this season. His style is so much different than that of Jones, which will keep defenses off-balance. In addition, Jones is likely gone after this season as he will command a high salaried contract. Dillon will then be a great guy to replace him, having spent a season in the system already.
My Grade: A
Josiah Deguara is an intriguing prospect at the tight end position. He lacks the speed to be a vertical threat in the middle of the field for the Packers, but he is versatile and lined up in multiple positions at Cincinnati. While this isn’t the kind of weapon Rodgers was thinking of to help boost the offense, Deguara will bring consistency and versatility to multiple areas.
My Grade: C+
I did not expect the Packers to take a tight end in this draft. However, I do not hate this pick. Many experts believe that if Jace Sternberger had not been drafted last year, he would have been the first tight end taken this year. This gives the Packers two young tight ends with a ton of potential. This will be a refreshing change for a team that has lacked competent tight ends since Jermichael Finley got hurt.
Deguara has a lot of talent, rarely drops what is thrown to him, and is a fairly decent blocker. Expect the Packers to use two tight end sets a lot as they continue to implement a more run-first offense.
My Grade: B
Kamal Martin, a linebacker out of Minnesota, will battle for the backup job behind newly signed linebacker Christian Kirksey. He will battle with veteran Oren Burks and 2nd-year player Ty Summers.
Martin was a productive player at Minnesota with a 177 tackles over his 4 years. He brings versatility playing multiple linebacker spots. He had an off the field issue in 2019, when he was suspended the first game for violating team rules, and missed 8 games due to a knee injury.
Martin will instantly battle with Burks and Summers for the backup role and provide solid depth.
My Grade: B-
Linebacker is certainly a question mark for the Packers heading into the season. I am not sure how much impact a fifth round pick is going to have at the position, but he certainly could add depth.
I do not like the idea of drafting players that have an injury history in college, especially at a position that requires a lot of quick movements. However, at this point in the draft, he is a low-rise, high-reward choice.
My Grade: C-
John Runyan, Jake Hansen and Simon Stepaniak
The Packers used all three of their picks in the 6th round on offensive line. At this point, no one expects them to challenge the likes of Billy Turner and Ricky Wagner for a starting role, but all three bring a different aspect to the team.
Runyan, Hansen and Stepaniak will bring much needed depth to an o-line that lacked it.
My Grade: B
This felt like a camp-bodies round. I do not think the Packers expect all, if any, of these players to end up making the team. Who knows, though? One, if not all, of them might pan out.
My Grade: D
Vernon Scott and Jonathan Garvin
Safety Vernon Scott out of TCU is the 236th overall pick. He didnt start for TCU until his senior year . He finished the season with 44 tackles, one interception and one sack. Scott has a long ways to go to compete with Raven Greene and Chandon Sullivan for the backup safety role, but he has a chance to make an impact on special teams, or develop on the practice squad.
Miami Edge Rusher Jonathin Garvin was the final pick for the Packers in the 2020 NFL Draft. Garvin has alot of raw talent and is very athletic, but did not produce big numbers when he was a hurricane. A two year starter, after declaring for the draft after his junior year, Garvin finished his collegiate career with 12.5 sacks. Garvin has the potential to be a consistent pass rusher, but he will need to hone his skills and become more consistent.
With Kyler Fackrell leaving via free agency over the offseason, Garvin has a chance to make his way onto the field in 2020 if he impresses over the summer and training camp (assuming it happens).
My Grade: B+
Seventh round picks are always interesting because you never know if you’ll find a diamond in the rough. Donald Driver was a seventh round pick and is the leading receiver in Packers’ history. These two guys will certainly get the chance to prove themselves, but I do not expect either to have much of an impact. Each has a lot of room to grow and it is certainly possible that they will.
My Grade: C+
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