The Green Bay Packers and New York Jets have finally completed the Aaron Rodgers trade. In return for Rodgers and a fifth round pick, the Packers received a first round pick swap this year, a second round pick, a sixth round pick, and a conditional second round pick in 2024 (becomes a first round pick if Rodgers plays 65% of the snaps in 2023).
While Green Bay only moved up two spots in the first round, the trade gives them a better chance of getting whatever player they want to take. Many believe this could be the year they draft a pass catcher (wide receiver or tight end) in the first round. If that is the case, Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report has an idea of what two players they should target.
The Green Bay Packers Could Take Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Michael Mayer in the NFL Draft
The Packers have not drafted a first round tight end since 2000 (Bubba Franks). Javon Walker, of course, was the last wide receiver they took in the first round way back in 2002. That being said, the current state of the Packers’ tight end and wide receiver rooms has not been this depleted in quite some time. With this being the case, it should not be a surprise if they draft a pass catcher with their first pick.
If this is the direction they decide to go, Moton suggests the Packers take either Michael Mayer (tight end) or Jaxon Smith-Njigba (wide receiver):
“At No. 13, the Packers should have their sights set on Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer.
“Smith-Nijgba had a strong showing in 2021, hauling in 95 passes for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns. In 2022, he suffered a hamstring injury that sidelined him for all but three games. Still, the former Buckeye has shown reliable hands and the route-running skills to complement Watson in the aerial attack.
“Over the past two years, Mayer has shown pass-catching consistency, hauling in 138 passes for 1,649 yards and 16 touchdowns. He could replace and become an upgrade over tight end Robert Tonyan, who signed with the Chicago Bears in free agency.”
Moton argues that the Packers would do well to surround Jordan Love with as many weapons as possible. Indeed, this is exactly what Green Bay did for Aaron Rodgers in 2008 when he became the starter. While the traded out of the first round that year, they took Jordy Nelson with their first pick in the second round and JerMichael Finley in the third round.
Mayer is definitely an intriguing option as he catches well and is a decent blocker. JSN, however, does not fit the size thresholds the Packers typically have for wide receivers. Jonathan Mingo could be a better option for them should they trade down in the first or trade up in the second.
In any case, Green Bay needs weapons, and this is a good draft to get them. The question is whether or not the Packers will break from tradition and take them in the first or wait until Day Two.
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