Green Bay Packers: Ranking Positional Needs Heading into 2021 NFL Draft

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays the text 'THE PICK IS IN' for the Green Bay Packers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays the text 'THE PICK IS IN' for the Green Bay Packers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT /
2 of 4
Green Bay Packers
ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 26: The Green Bay Packers logo is seen on a video board during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT /

9. Edge rusher

Like running back, this is a position that I would have ranked much higher prior to knowing that Preston Smith was going to be back. Even with just Za’Darius Smith and Rashan Gary, you need three edge rushers in today’s NFL, and at least from the outside looking in, there are quite a bit of unknowns around Jonathan Garvin and Tipa Galeai.

Looking ahead to next season, it becomes a bigger need again with Preston Smith likely gone and we don’t know what’s going to happen with Za’Darius, who comes with a $28 million cap hit in 2022—although my gut says the two sides work out an extension at some point, which then minimizes the urgency of addressing the position this offseason.

So because the Green Bay Packers will have The Smiths and Gary in 2021 and what I believe is Za’Darius and Gary in 2022, I don’t have it as a very pressing need entering this year’s draft.

8. Tight end

Looking at the 2021 roster, there is really no reason to address the tight end position. Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis are both back, Josiah Deguara will be returning from an injury, there is Jace Sternberger who hopefully takes a step forward this year, as well as Dominique Dafney.

However, if we look ahead to 2022, this well-put-together tight end room could look a lot different. Tonyan will be a free agent and we don’t know if the Green Bay Packers will prioritize bringing him back. Lewis could retire, there’s no guarantee that Sternberger makes that crucial Year 3 leap, and Dafney is still a relative unknown.

On top of that, Lewis plays the all-important Y-tight end role in this Matt LaFleur offense, and while the other tight ends are asked to block, none are asked to do what Lewis does. So finding that type of player before Lewis leaves should be on the to-do list.

For these reasons, it does make sense for the Packers to potentially address the tight end position in this year’s draft. While we want draft picks to contribute—especially those taken in the early rounds, ultimately the draft is about planning ahead. At least that’s what the good organizations do.

7. Safety

With Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos, the Green Bay Packers are in great shape at the safety position considering that these two formed the best duo in the NFL last season. However, there are some unknowns surrounding that third safety spot.

We saw small doses of Henry Black and Vernon Scott, but both are relative unknowns. Meanwhile, both Raven Greene and Will Redmond are free agents. Greene struggled to stay healthy and Redmond just simply struggled.

It’s not a strong safety class but depending on how Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur feel about Scott and Black could lead Green Bay to address the position in this draft. And if they have the opportunity to land Trevon Moehrig, who has ample experience both in the box and in the slot, it could come a lot sooner than what most may think.