GREEN BAY PACKERS POST-DRAFT BREAKDOWN
After recording a 13-3 record and a disappointing 31-26 loss in the NFC Championship Game for the second consecutive season, the Packers once again returned to the drawing board where the franchise was set to add more talent to a roster that lost some key players. With clear holes along the offensive line, cornerback, and needing to add another perimeter weapon, the team came out of the 2021 draft satisfying many of their most pressing needs on the roster.
Let’s take a look back at their 2021 NFL Draft class:
Round 1: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Many were surprised to see cornerback Kevin King return after entering free agency. With a rough finish to the season during the team's defeat to the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team began its search for an eventual replacement. Finding that on the first day of the draft, Stokes is a lengthy corner that has the speed to match. Playing a mixture of press and off-man coverage during his time at Georgia, he’s a playmaker that the franchise has been in search of opposite of Jaire Alexander. Last season alone, the former Bulldog recorded four interceptions and returned two for touchdowns.
Round 2: Josh Myers, IOL, Ohio State
After the loss of Corey Linsley, a question mark remained as to who would be the team's successor at center. With experience at both center and guard, Myers is a versatile option that will be expected to play a heavy amount of snaps very early on during his rookie season. A two-year starter and former team captain for the Buckeyes, he exemplifies the maturity, strength, and technique in order to transition to playing time right away. At 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, he’s a bit of a bigger center, but Myers plays with adequate pad level and athleticism.
Round 3: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
Staying true to their philosophy, the Packers have been notorious for drafting impact receivers during the second or third day of the draft. Rodgers was the next in line of a lineage that already included franchise standouts such as Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Greg Jennings, and Randall Cobb. Built like a running back, Rodgers was a stalwart for Clemson a season ago as he led the ACC with 77 catches. A model of consistency and an already natural tackle breaker, Rodgers fits in well alongside Adams as a possible second or third pass-catching option.
Round 4: Royce Newman, OL, Ole Miss
A certain trend that the team has followed when drafting offensive tackles is that they value versatility. Usually in favor of offensive tackles that have gained experience inside at guard as well, Newman checks a lot of the boxes that the franchise has sought out in the past. A two-year starter at Ole Miss, Newman started 12 games at left guard and another 10 contests at right tackle. With his experience at both, he likely projects as a tackle on the next level.
Round 5: Tedarrell Slaton, IDL, Florida
In need of a running mate opposite of Kenny Clark, general manager Brian Gutekunst addressed it in a major way. Selecting Slaton in the fifth round provides the team with a run-stuffing plugger up the middle of the defense. A porous run defense a season ago, Slaton has the potential to improve it right away. At 6-foot-4 and 330 pounds, he’s a true A-gap-to-A-gap 0-technique that can wreak havoc along the interior.
Round 5: Shemar Jean-Charles, CB, Appalachian State
Widely seen as one of the more underrated players in the entire draft class, Jean-Charles hit his stride during his final two seasons in Boone. Primarily a special teams player during his first two seasons, he exploded during his final year as he led the country with an FBS-high 17 passes defensed in 2020. Likely a nickel corner on the next level, his special teams prowess combined with his fluidity and advanced technique provides value in a secondary that lacks depth.
Round 6: Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin
Staying in-state, the team selected the three-year starter for the Badgers. An immensely strong and active offensive tackle, Van Lanen was selected to provide for depth on the exterior of the offensive line. Although not an overly fluid mover, he steps into a situation where the team hopes that he can provide insurance as a backup swing tackle.
Round 6: Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College
Strictly a special teams and depth selection, McDuffie is an active and instinctive linebacker that was at the center of the controls at Boston College. Recording a team-high 107 tackles a season ago, he could fill out the depth chart at multiple spots on the second level. His initial pathway to possibly making the team will be as a core special teams player, though.
Round 6: Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
One of the more highly decorated running backs in school history, Hill had heightened expectations coming into the 2020 season. Not comfortable with the fit in Mike Leach’s system, he opted out after a handful of games. His best season came in 2019, where he accumulated 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns while also recording 67 career receptions. His rocked-up build, sure hands, and reliability could serve him well for a team that’s in search of an option behind Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.