The Green Bay Packers have a plethora of needs that they are going to need to address in the 2023 NFL Draft. As such, there are a wide variety of Jaways they could go with their first round pick (number 15 overall). Additionally, the possibility of trading Aaron Rodgers for another first round pick has made its way into numerous mock drafts and gives the team even more flexibility. The latest mock draft from CBS Sports, however, has the Packers picking a young edge rusher that would, in my opinion, be a big miss for the team.
CBS Mocks the Green Bay Packers to Select Iowa Edge Rusher Lukas Van Ness
In this most recent mock, the Packers do not trade Aaron Rodgers and stay pat at pick 15. With that pick, they select Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness. Now, fans of the Wisconsin Badgers know that Van Ness is, indeed, a very talented player with the potential for a high ceiling. Additionally, using a mid-first round pick on an edge rusher is in line with what Brian Gutekunst has done in the past. On the surface, it looks like a solid pick.
The issue with this pick, at least for me, were the players that were left on the board after the Packers took Van Ness in this mock. As mentioned previously, the Packers have a plethora of needs they need to address in the draft, and edge rusher is one of them. However, safety, tight end, and defensive line are much more dire needs. In addition, offensive line and wide receiver depth are also concerns going into 2023.
Keeping this in mind, here are some of the players that were left on the board of this CBS mock after Lukas Van Ness:
- Brian Branch (safety; taken by Pittsburgh at pick 17)
- Jackson Smith-Njigba (wide receiver; taken by Seattle at pick 20)
- Anton Harrison (offensive tackle; taken by LA Chargers at pick 21)
- Dawand Jones (offensive tackle; taken by Jacksonville at pick 24)
- Jalin Hyatt (wide receiver; taken by Dallas at pick 26)
- Michael Mayer (tight end; taken by Buffalo at pick 27)
- Broderick Jones (offensive tackle taken by Cincinnati at pick 28)
- Luke Musgrave (tight end taken by Kansas City at pick 31)
Why This Pick Would Not Be Best for Green Bay
Let me be clear: this is not a criticism of Van Ness. I am sure he will turn out to be a good NFL player. However, while edge rusher is a need in Green Bay, there are far more immediate needs. Preston Smith is still under contract and Kingsley Enagbare played well when Rashan Gary went down with a torn ACL. Speaking of Gary, he is among the best pass rushers in the NFL and will be back midseason.
On the other hand, Darnell Savage is, at the moment, the only safety due to return to the Packers and he played better as a slot corner. If Brian Branch is on the board at 15, one would assume Green Bay would rather take him to address that need. Furthermore, Josiah Deguara is the only tight end with NFL experience left on the roster. While the Packers have not drafted a tight end in the first round since Bubba Franks in 2000, that position is a much more pressing need that edge rusher.
As mentioned, taking edge rusher at pick 15 would be on par with Gutekunst’s draft history. I am just not sure that it would be the direction they should go this year in the first round.
For More Great Wisconsin Sports Content
Follow me on Twitter at @theotherRobin19 and follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here!
Will the Green Bay Packers Make the 2023 NFL Playoffs?
According to sportsbooks, the Green Bay Packers are currently ninth overall (+3000) to win the 2024 Super Bowl. This is the highest among 2022 non-playoff teams, signaling they’ll be playoff-bound.
Who Do the Green Bay Packers Play in 2023?
Aside from their divisional opponents (Vikings, Lions, and Bears), whom they place twice, the Packers play the Saints, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Chargers, and Rams at home in 2023. They’ll travel on the road to face the Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Raiders, Giants, and Steelers.
Who Owns the Green Bay Packers?
The team is owned by Green Bay Packers, Inc., a publicly owned and traded non-profit. There are currently over 360,000 stockholders. Mark Murphy currently holds the role of Packers president and CEO, with plans to retire in 2025.
How Many Super Bowls Have the Packers Won?
The Packers have won four Super Bowls. These victories include Super Bowl 1 and Super Bowl 2 after the 1966 and 1967 seasons. Their next title came in Super Bowl 31, following the 1996 season. Their most recent championship was Super Bowl 45, crowning them the winners of the 2010 season.