The Green Bay Packers, in the 2020 NFL Draft, traded up in the first round to select quarterback Jordan Love out of Utah State 26th overall. That came as a major surprise to a ton of people, including former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Love has been okay this season for Green Bay, and they are 3-5 this year.
There are other players that were taken after Jordan Love was drafted by the Green Bay Packers that could have helped out this football team in the long run. Who are three of the players that general manager Brian Gutekunst passed up on in that NFL Draft?
Wide Receiver Tee Higgins Would Have Been the Best Option for the Green Bay Packers in that situation Over Jordan Love
In that NFL Draft, CeeDee Lamb, Devonta Smith, and Justin Jefferson were off the board by the time Green Bay traded up to the 26th selection. Tee Higgins was available at the time from Clemson, and he went in the second round to the Cincinnati Bengals (33rd overall selection).
Freddie Boston of Lombardiave.com wrote about Tee Higgins:
“The Packers needed a wide receiver in 2020, which made it even more surprising when they didn’t draft one. Aaron Rodgers leaned heavily on Davante Adams, but Green Bay lacked other consistent pass-catching options. Higgins could’ve made the difference.”
It was astonishing how Tee Higgins slipped to the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, considering the fact he was one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL Draft that year. Throughout his first four NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, he has caught 242 passes for 3,356 yards receiving and 21 touchdowns. Higgins is averaging 13.9 yards per reception.
Tee Higgins would be a number-one receiving option on a lot of NFL teams. The only reason why he isn’t is because of Ja’Marr Chase. Tee Higgins can wind up in a Green Bay Packers uniform anyway after the 2023 season because he is a free agent and may not re-sign with the Cincinnati Bengals organization.
Cornerback Trevon Diggs
Trevon Diggs was the 51st overall selection (second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft) by the Dallas Cowboys. He has made that Cowboys secondary better, but his season was cut short in 2023 due to a torn ACL injury. Diggs has 18 career interceptions in his first four NFL seasons and appears not to be going anywhere for the Dallas Cowboys.
If Green Bay had taken Diggs, it would have helped them immediately in the secondary. Freddie Boston explained:
“There’s a reason why the Packers drafted Eric Stokes in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Poor play in the secondary (outside of Jaire Alexander) led to the Packers’ downfall in the NFC Championship loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers three months earlier. The Packers could’ve avoided their disastrous defensive performance against Tom Brady had they drafted Trevon Diggs the year before. Diggs has become a first-team All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowler with the Dallas Cowboys. In Green Bay, he would’ve formed an elite cornerback duo alongside Alexander. Diggs is a game-changer. He has 18 interceptions, including two pick-sixes, in 47 career games for the Cowboys. He led the NFL with 11 picks in 2021.”
Trevon Diggs already signed a contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys. He will not be an unrestricted free agent until after the 2028 season. Diggs has been a stud in the league already.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts was taken with the 53rd overall pick (second-round selection) in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Hurts, at the time, was drafted to be Carson Wentz’s backup until that changed in a hurry for them. Jalen Hurts led Philadelphia to Super Bowl LVII last season before losing to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Hurts this season has completed 68.9% of his passes for 2,347 yards, 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has also rushed for 316 yards on 88 carries and seven touchdowns. Jalen Hurts has averaged 3.6 yards per carry.
Boston said about Jalen Hurts:
“The encouraging part for the Packers is that Hurts took time. Philadelphia slowly built the offense around him. Hopefully, the same will be true for Love. But if the Love pick doesn’t work out, the Packers will regret passing on the chance to draft Hurts, who has become a superstar for the Eagles.”
Was Jordan Love a mistake for the Green Bay Packers at the 26th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft? We will see what happens over the course of the rest of the season to see if they made a mistake or not.