Throughout his tenure as the Green Bay Packers general manager, Brian Gutekunst has been unpredictable in just about every facet. He’s made splashes in free agency, has traded up in the first round, has traded down in the first round, and has zagged where others thought he’d zig. That makes predicting what he’ll do in the 2021 NFL Draft extremely difficult. Yet here we are.
The Packers have some flexibility with the positions they target in the draft, as they have no glaring needs entering the 2021 season. They certainly have positions they’ll want to address for the very near future, but nothing that pops off their roster at this moment.
With the draft spanning three days (Thursday to Saturday), there’s a lot of content to take in over the weekend. There will surely be hot takes and crazy conclusions drawn prematurely. Before we get to all that, let’s make three bold predictions about what will happen with the Packers’ 10 picks they hold (as of now).
The Green Bay Packers have been unpredictable in recent drafts, but we try to nail them down with three bold predictions for the 2021 NFL Draft
Packers don’t add a defensive tackle at all
One of Green Bay’s biggest needs is at defensive tackle. Kenny Clark has been great, but has received little help from the likes of Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster. Kinglsey Keke is the only other player at the position who shows promise.
It won’t be nearly enough for the core return and Green Bay should definitely add a couple more big bodies up front to improve their defensive line. Unfortunately, this isn’t the year to do so as defensive line is the weakest position in the draft. Christian Barmore is a possibility if he slips in the first round and Levi Onwuzurike is the other player to watch and see if Green Bay reaches for him in the first or if he falls in the second. Other than that there aren’t any impact players and I predict the Packers punt on the position altogether much as they did at wide receiver a year ago.
Packers add three cornerbacks
If Green Bay isn’t adding anyone on the defensive line that means they’ll have the opportunity to double or even triple up at another position. And that’s exactly what they’ll do at cornerback.
Outside of Jaire Alexander, the Packers have major question marks at cornerback. Kevin King returns for another year and will be the other outside starter, but he’s not reliable and will probably be gone after 2021. Chandon Sullivan, Ka’dar Hollman, Josh Jackson, Kabian Ento, Stanford Samuels III, Parry Nickerson and KeiVarae Russell make up the rest of the position. Not exactly a unit that instills confidence. Look for a huge makeover through the draft.
Packers select a wide receiver in the first round
The Packers have been linked to Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman through ESPN and a number of prominent mock drafts have them selecting Ole Miss’s Elijah Moore. That’s too much of a coincidence for Green Bay to not go with a wideout in the first round.
It will be interesting to see how a first-round wide receiver will fit into the mix in 2021. The Packers lack a clear true number two behind Davante Adams, but do return a solid group of Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimous St. Brown and Devin Funchess. Someone like Bateman would directly take reps away from those guys on the outside whereas someone like Moore could fit in nicely with them and be another offensive weapon. Whatever route they go, I expect them to add a wide receiver to make their offense even more dangerous next season.