Even before looking through these various draft grades from different sites, my thought was that some were either going to really like this draft or others were going to find this Green Bay Packers’ draft class rather underwhelming. For the most part, that was correct as the grades that I’ve compiled vary, but I will say that they were mostly positive.
So why would some draft analysts be unimpressed with the Green Bay Packers’ nine selections? I, for one, really liked how their draft turned out.
I’m sure some of it stems from Green Bay once again spending their first-round pick on the defensive side of the ball. But we can all agree that addressing cornerback early — and right away if possible — was a must.
Or maybe because of everything going on with Aaron Rodgers, some disapprove of the Packers waiting until Round 3 to take a receiver–even if Amari Rodgers is tailormade for this Matt LaFleur offense.
Or could it be due to a lack of value? Although I don’t see that.
Chances are it has to do with a lack of understanding the team needs and siding with a tired national narrative that the Packers offense — which was the top-scoring offense in football last season, by the way — is lacking weapons.
But again, I don’t know that to be certain. I could go on and on speculating as to why some are unimpressed with the Green Bay Packers’ 2021 draft class. And frankly, I don’t get it.
As I mentioned above, I thought Brian Gutekunst and Co. had an excellent three days.
For starters, several of their picks are going to be immediate impact players. Eric Stokes, Josh Myers, and Rodgers will all see ample playing time right away. Meanwhile, Tedarrell Slaton and Shemar Jean-Charles could see snaps as well.
The Packers also did a terrific job of addressing their needs. They bolstered the cornerback room with Stokes, who will take over the CB2 role sooner than later, along with Jean-Charles, who has the potential to be a starting nickel. They added several versatile players to the offensive line — and that’s never a bad thing — while giving LaFleur his slot/gadget weapon in Rodgers.
Green Bay would also add needed depth to the linebacker position, find help inside for Kenny Clark, and a potential RB3 in Kylin Hill.
I’ll admit, none of these picks outside of Packer nation are going to grab headlines — which is likely another reason for some of the grades they received — but for what Green Bay needed and the holes they had on this roster, they did a very good job at filling those gaps.
So, now that I’ve got all of that off my chest, let’s take a look at the Green Bay Packers’ report card and what way too early grades their 2021 draft class is receiving.
“A flurry of reports and rumors involving Aaron Rodgers’ uncertain future with the Packers were the top stories for Green Bay during the draft, but they actually made some really good picks.
Their first three picks addressed important positional needs — cornerback Eric Stokes in Round 1, center Josh Myers in Round 2 and wide receiver Amari Rodgers in Round 3.”
“Nine of the Packers’ last 10 first-round picks are defense. The other is a backup QB, making Aaron Rodgers angry. Stokes better be more than a track star. Myers fills a big need after free agency and the Packers are tempting fates with another mid-round WR.”
“The picks, taken individually, were fine. But this was about the bigger picture. If ever there was a moment for the Packers to attempt to mollify QB Aaron Rodgers by using a first-round choice on an offensive player, this was it. The Packers didn’t, instead going with CB Eric Stokes. They did get a replacement at center for the departed Corey Linsley with second-rounder Josh Myers, and they added a WR in the third round in Amari Rodgers. But it may have been far too little, far too late for the Packers to repair their relationship with the NFL’s reigning MVP.”
“GM Brian Gutekunst did his best to balance making some key defensive upgrades and giving Aaron Rodgers some needed extra help after the lingering disaster that was taking Jordan Love in the 2020 first round. Myers and Newman are solid reinforcements for the interior line, while Amari Rodgers was the missing big-play cog in the slot to complement Davante Adams. Stokes can be quick upgrade over Kevin King with ballhawking to better complement Jaire Alexander. Hill is nice to replace Jamaal Williams behind Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.”
“While the Aaron Rodgers situation stole all the headlines, the Packers quietly put together a solid class here. Eric Stokes has rare physical traits, and Josh Myers gives them a starting-caliber center to replace Corey Linsley. Amari Rodgers could excel in a Randall Cobb role, and the Day 3 picks were all solid values that added quality depth. Their last pick was the best value, landing one of the most underrated running backs in the class with Kylin Hill. Who knows what happens at quarterback, but the Packers got better this weekend on both sides of the ball.”
“Despite the rumors of Aaron Rodgers’ departure prior to the first round, general manager Brian Gutekunst predicated his draft on protecting his three-time MVP, as he should.”
My Grade for the Green Bay Packers
As I highlighted already, I thought that the Packers checked a number of boxes. They found immediate help early on while also addressing future needs as well. Every position that they drafted needed attention and special teams received a major boost. In the coming weeks, the national media may not discuss Green Bay’s draft, but the Packers knocked this one out of the park.