Following Day 2 of the draft a year ago, a lot of people were scratching their heads trying to figure out how any of the Green Bay Packers‘ first three picks were going to push them over the top after they got whooped in the NFC Championship game. I know I was. After falling short for the second straight year just a game away from the Super Bowl, the same can’t be said about the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Following the conclusion of Day 2, the Packers appear to have selected three players who can contribute to winning football immediately in cornerback Eric Stokes, center Josh Myers and wide receiver Amari Rodgers.
The Green Bay Packers added talent to their roster by adding three immediate contributors in the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Stokes, selected with the 29th overall pick, is the biggest question mark of the three but there could be a path to getting him on the field right away. He possesses elite straight-line speed and is coming off a terrific 2020 campaign that he hopes will carry him to NFL success. He won’t start right away, Jaire Alexander and Kevin King will, but he could be the nickel corner and slide Alexander inside when he comes on the field.
Even if he doesn’t contribute on defense, he will have an immediate impact on special teams. That may not exactly make you feel better about the Packers’ first-round pick, but special teams was a huge issue all season long for Green Bay. Stokes can block punts, play as a gunner and do other small things to quietly make the Packers’ special teams good again.
Myers may not have been on fans’ radars but he will have every opportunity to start at center from Day 1. He started 21 games at Ohio State and has the necessary experience to make a smooth transition to the next level. If he can replace Corey Linsley in the middle it will allow the coaching staff to either keep Elgotn Jenkins at left guard where he’s dominated or move him around the line to where he could be needed.
The Packers’ final pick on Day 2 included them trading up in the third round to select Rodgers. Rodgers is in the same mold as Randall Cobb or Ty Montgomery and gives the Packers some juice from the slot. Matt LaFleur will certainly get creative with how he uses him and that could include from the slot, the backfield or in the Tyler Ervin role. He also returned punts earlier in his career and could help Green Bay there as well.
Green Bay still has six picks remaining–one in the fourth, two in the fifth and sixth, and one in the seventh–but they’ve already added players who will contribute immediately to a team that is trying to convince Aaron Rodgers to return for another run at the Super Bowl. It will be difficult for them to match this effort on Day 3, but the Pack is off to a great start to their draft.