Green Bay Packers 2021 NFL Draft Recap

Green Bay Packers 2021 NFL Draft Recap

by May 2, 2021 0 comments

The Green Bay Packers entered the draft with needs at receiver, tackle, center, defensive line, linebacker, and cornerback. Before the draft started on Thursday, the Packers were already in the news with the mounting issues between Aaron Rodgers, general manager, Brian Gutekunst, and the coaching staff. Green Bay didn’t do any trading besides moving up seven spots for receiver, Amari Rodgers in the backend of the third round.

Make sure to check out all of our 2021 NFL Draft Team Recaps.

Best Pick: Eric Stokes (Round 1, Pick 29)

Many Packer fans went on a rampage when this pick wasn’t a receiver to calm down their disgruntled quarterback. It was the best pick of Green Bay’s draft, and Stokes was a much better pick than any receiver left on the board and filled a need at the most pressing need on the roster. The Georgia cornerback has elite speed and can play in both man and zone coverage. His pairing with Jaire Alexander gives Green Bay an outstanding cornerback duo on the boundary and allows the Packers to not have Kevin King in an every-down starting role like he was last year.

Grade: A

For more on Stokes, read our scouting report on him here.

Worst Pick: Cole Van Lanen (Round 6, Pick 214)

After selecting Josh Myers in the second round and Royce Newman in the fourth, the Packers tripled down on the offensive line by selecting the homegrown Wisconsin product in the sixth round. While Van Lanen isn’t a bad player, the value on the board with other players still on the board at positions of need is what brings this as the worst pick in the draft. He will likely struggle to make the roster with the selections of the other two linemen in this draft, plus the fact that Jon Runyan Jr, Simon Stepaniak, and Jake Hansen are heading into their second seasons. Safety was a sneaky need that the Packers could have addressed with this pick with Ar’Darius Washington on the board.

Grade: D+

Sleeper Pick: Isaiah McDuffie (Round 6, Pick 220)

A linebacker, to Green Bay? Count me in. McDuffie was one of my favorite sleepers in the draft, and the Packers desperately needed help at the second level of their defense. While Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin are low-level starters, McDuffie gives Green Bay a player that can play all three linebacker positions, is a great run defender and is solid in coverage as a former safety. My reaction below says it all.

https://twitter.com/Thompson22Mason/status/1388613889491935246

Grade: A+

For more on McDuffie, read our scouting report on him here.

Summary

The Packers went into the draft with some obvious needs and used their first four selections on addressing them. One pick that wasn’t talked about already is the Shemar Jean-Charles pick in the fifth round. Jean-Charles could battle with Chandon Sullivan for the starting nickel role but gives Green Bay another ballhawk at the cornerback spot.

Kylin Hill was a steal with the 256th pick and provides a similar blend of skillsets to what Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams were last year. Hill will most likely make the roster and provides the Packers with a third-down back that is a perfect complement to what they already have with Jones and A.J. Dillon. Green Bay also signed Christian Uphoff as an undrafted safety from Illinois State. Uphoff was one of the players on my day three board for the Packers, and getting him as an undrafted free agent is a solid addition.

While Myers wasn’t the best center on the board, he will likely line up as the starting center, allowing Elgton Jenkins to play either spot on the left side of the line in week one. Taking Rodgers in the third round was a great value pick and gives the Packers their Deebo Samuel-type receiver. Newman and Van Lanen provide the Packers with more versatility along the offensive line, and Jean-Charles is a versatile cornerback that can find a starting spot in nickel formations. Tedarrell Slaton was a solid choice in the fifth round and will provide Green Bay with a space-eating nose tackle on early downs. The Packers missed on a shot to get another receiver or add a safety in the later rounds, which is the only thing that Green Bay didn’t address that were needs.

Overall Grade: B


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