The Green Bay Packers have a wide variety of positional needs that they will need to address in the 2023 NFL Draft. One of these, of course, is the wide receiver position. Allen Lazard has already signed a four-year $44 million contract with the New York Jets. Randall Cobb is an unrestricted free agent, but there have been no whispers of him returning to the Packers. As it stands, Green Bay’s wide receiver room is made up of four second-year players (Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure, and Bo Melton) and Jeff Cotton.
Due to the lack of depth at the position on their roster, there is no question that one or more of their draft picks will be used to add weapons for quarterback Jordan Love. The question is when will they draft said help? One NFL analyst went on The Mike Heller Show on 97.3 The Game in Milwaukee to explain why he believes the Packers will select Jaxon Smith-Njigba from Ohio State with the 15th overall pick.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com Believes the Green Bay Packers Will Take Jaxon Smith-Njigba If Available in the First Round
Chad Reuter is an analyst for NFL.com. He recently posted a mock draft that saw the Packers taking Jaxon Smith-Njigba (JSN) with their first round pick (15th overall). Of course, Green Bay has not taken a wide receiver in the first round since 2002 when they drafted Javon Walker. Mike Heller of 97.3 The Game asked Reuter why he thought the Packers would deviate from their recent draft tendencies to take JSN. Reuter replied:
“Well, I think he may not even be there [at pick 15]. He’s a really talented player and I think that if he is available to them, they jump all over him. He is a super talented… look, he can play in the slot but that may be a little overrated. Guys can line up all over the field and he is certainly one who can do that.
“He’s the best player on the board at that time and certainly an immediate need for them with their very, very thin receiver group.”
As I mentioned earlier and as Reuter said on the show, the Packers’ wide receiver room is in need of some quality depth. That being said, there are many wide receivers to be had on Day Two of the draft that could also be immediate contributors to the team. Even last year, after losing Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay did not take a wide receiver until the second round (Watson). They then used a fourth round pick (Doubs) and a seventh round pick (Toure) to bolster their depth.
There is also the argument that all of Green Bay’s best and most popular wide receivers in this century have not been first round picks. Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams were all second round picks. James Jones was a third round pick. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was a fifth round pick and Allen Lazard was undrafted. It is highly plausible that they wait until Day Two again.
To listen to the rest of Mike Heller’s show, including the full interview with Reuter in which he names players that might be available to the Packers at pick 13 should they swap picks with the Jets, click on the link above.
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