The 2018 NFL Draft is less than a month away, which means that Draftmas is back. Draftmas will take a look at each NFL team heading into this year’s draft, what their needs are and who they could be targeting. Draftmas continues today with the Green Bay 2018 NFL Draft profile.
The Green Bay Packers were riding high early in 2017. They went 4-1 in the first five games of the regular season. Furthermore, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was red hot on the field, throwing 13 touchdowns and only three picks. But on Oct. 15 last year, the ride was ruined.
Rodgers fractured his right collarbone in a loss to the Minnesota Vikings. With their Pro Bowl field general on injured reserve, Green Bay failed to regain its footing.
Brett Hundley took over the next few games. He did his best to keep the Packers in playoff contention, but defenses took advantage of not seeing No. 12 under center and delivered the pain.
Hundley finished 2017 with 1,836 passing yards, nine touchdowns with 12 interceptions. In addition, the Packers finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
Overall, 2017 was not very kind to Green Bay. Offensively, the Packers finished 26th in yards and 21st in points. Their offensive line allowed 51 sacks last season, the fifth most in the NFL, and 104 quarterback hits, which was the ninth most. On defense, the Packers surrendered 24 points per game and 348.9 yards per game.
The Packers’ offseason was nothing short of eventful. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson won’t be calling Lambeau Field home anymore. Other starters have gone on to free agency. But Green Bay has brought known names into its ranks, including tight end Jimmy Graham, former Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson.
But even with these notable names on board, the Packers still have work to do.
Picks and Needs
The Green Bay Packers have the highest number of picks in this draft with 12. Green Bay can impact its roster with youth and depth where needed most.
First round (1 pick): 14
Second round (1): 45
Third round (1): 76
Fourth round (2): 101, 133
Fifth round (3): 138, 172, 174
Sixth round (2): 186, 207
Seventh round (2): 232, 239
Wide receiver – With Jordy Nelson no longer a Packer, Rodgers will need another dependable weapon. With Jimmy Graham, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, adding another receiver can create a nightmare air attack.
Right guard – Releasing their Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton in 2016 was a bad idea. Rodgers has been pelted left and right even more since then, sometimes leading to injuries. Drafting an offensive lineman can help prolong Rodgers’ career.
Running back – Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery both fought through injuries last season. Though both players are young with plenty of potential, drafting another running back can create depth in the backfield. This can also take pressure away from the passing game and keep defenses guessing.
Cornerback – Green Bay gave up 236.8 yards per game through the air, the 10th most in the league. The Packers will need an impact player at cornerback that can take wide receivers out of the game. Adding 35-year-old former Packer Tramon Williams can bring leadership and experience to that department, but more must still be done at this position.
Strong safety – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has no doubt found his groove at free safety. But the Packers will need more for the secondary. Green Bay can grab a strong safety that can both fly around to the ball and bring pressure to the strong side.
Outside linebacker – Clay Matthews’ days in the NFL are not infinite, and the rest of Green Bay’s outside linebackers are young. The Sam and Will backer spots will need someone that can shut down the outside run and create more pressure on the quarterback.
Inside linebacker – For their 3-4 scheme, the Mike and Rover linebackers are crucial for stopping the inside ground game and leading the front seven. The Packers can draft someone with a nose for the football and can fly around, disrupting the pass game in coverage.
These are the players the Green Bay Packers can reasonably add to their roster. Though most of their picks are in later rounds, Green Bay can set the tone with their first three picks.
Pick No. 14: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
The reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner brings versatility that Green Bay needs in the secondary. During his time with the Crimson Tide, Fitzpatrick showcased his blitzing capability, along with experience at different defensive back positions. His competitive attitude can ignite a spark for his teammates, and he can be a weapon on special teams. At 6-foot-1, 201 pounds, his size can give him the advantage in numerous situations.
Pick No. 45: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia
Though many predict he will walk the stage in the first round, Wynn can bring much-needed protection up front. His footwork and fluidity can produce problems for the defensive line. Though not the biggest frame-wise at the guard position, Wynn’s ability to stay with the block until the whistle will prove vital for offensive production.
Pick No. 76: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
The former Memphis Tiger has proven his worth and productivity while in college. Being a former walk-on has fueled his competitive drive and has earned himself All-American and All-AAC honors, along with school receiving records to his name. If Green Bay picks him up, Miller can become a lethal slot receiver. Though not from a Power Five conference and under 6-foot tall, Miller no doubt can prove overlooking him to be a grave mistake.
The Green Bay Packers have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball. But as the team with the largest number of picks in the draft, they should be able to tighten those loose screws. Every pick will be important if Green Bay wants to get back in the playoffs.
Enjoy the rest of the 2018 Draftmas! Tune in tomorrow as we cover the Arizona Cardinals 2018 Draft profile.