Packers: 7 Needs to Try & Address in 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 /
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Green Bay Packers
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 10: Kevin King #20 of the Green Bay Packers defends a pass intended for D.J. Moore #12 of the Carolina Panthers during a game at Lambeau Field on November 10, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Panthers 24-16. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Restock at Cornerback and Find Immediate Help

The cornerback situation is similar to the receiver position in that the Packers really need to begin restocking for future years. Looking at the potential 2022 roster, Jaire Alexander is the only player that we know will be on the team. It is not out of the realm of possibility that everyone else could be cut or unsigned. So Green Bay needs to plan ahead at this position as well.

But unlike receiver, where if the Packers didn’t land an immediate contributor, they would likely be fine, they need some help right away at cornerback. For starters, the lack of experienced depth on the boundary beyond Alexander and Kevin King is quite worrisome, and finding someone who could challenge Chandon Sullivan in the slot wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Not to mention that they hopefully find someone who can compete with King for those CB2 snaps.

Again, this is a very deep class at this position, with 16 players in the consensus top-100. Like receiver, I won’t be surprised to see Green Bay double-dip at this position either. It needs some serious reworking.

More Help at Safety

With Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos, this may seem unnecessary; however, in the Joe Barry defense that really taxes the safety position, adding another versatile player to the mix should be on Gutey’s to-do list.

This new Packers defense is expected to look similar to the Los Angeles Rams defense from a year ago, which means a two-high safety look and lightboxes with the safeties playing closer to the line of scrimmage. This means that the safeties are crucial when it comes to stopping the run and have to be willing and reliable tacklers. But also, by playing two-high, these Packer safeties have heavy coverage responsibilities as well. It’s a position group that is going to be asked a lot of.

Current options on the roster include Will Redmond, Vernon Scott, and Henry Black, but at this point, Redmond is more of a special teams player while Scott was a seventh-round pick and Black a UDFA–sure they may be ready for a larger role, but with how important this position is to Barry’s defense, if the Packers have the opportunity to land a versatile safety early on — TCU’s Trevon Moehrig — they should strongly consider doing so.

A Swing Tackle/Starter for 2021 and Beyond

I’ve talked about it often this offseason, but I’m quite concerned about the offensive tackle depth–especially without David Bakhtiari. The starters at the moment will be Billy Turner and Elgton Jenkins, with Yosh Nijman as the only backup. That is why I am putting a premium on addressing this position early if the board allows it.

By finding a Day 1 starter at tackle, it will provide the entire offensive line with a boost as it will allow Jenkins to move back inside, and now Green Bay isn’t relying on Simon Stepaniak or Ben Braden to play meaningful snaps at guard while Turner and the rookie hold down the tackle positions. Then when Bakhtiari returns, the Packers have options in how they want to configure the offensive line–this is the best-case scenario.

But let’s say the tackle isn’t quite ready to start; he will at least provide additional depth as the swing tackle — maybe Nijman is ready, but I doubt it — and hopefully will become the right tackle of the future with Turner’s status after the 2021 season unknown. Landing an offensive tackle who is ready to play — or close to it — will alleviate a lot of these concerns.