The Green Bay Packers accomplished a big goal in the first round of the 2023 draft by taking Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness and checking the box for a developmental edge rusher.
What’s next on Brian Gutekunst’s checklist entering the second round?
The staff at Packers Wire made their picks:
The Packers need to get at least one pass-catcher and should probably take one receiver and one tight end with their three Day 2 picks. The need at both positions is too great, and this should be the sweet spot for receiver and tight end in the class, especially after only one tight end went in the first round. Don’t be surprised if Brian Gutekunst keeps prioritizing the line of scrimmage, too. The Packers need depth along the defensive line, and offensive tackle is a long-term need. Some combination of receiver, tight end, defensive line and offensive tackle is likely. If the Packers can come out of Day 2 with one of the top remaining tight ends, a scheme-tendency fit at receiver and another line of scrimmage player, it will be a big success.
Today is the day for the Packers to get Jordan Love weapons. You bypassed Jaxon Smith-Njigba for a stud edge rusher, which is fine, but offense should be a priority on day 2. Luckily, only one tight end was taken in round one, leaving guys like Michael Mayer, Darnell Washington, Luke Musgrave and Sam Laporta still on the board. And although there was a run of four straight wide receivers on Thursday, there are still good fits remaining for Green Bay. Jalin Hyatt, Cedric Tillman, Rashee Rice and Jonathan Mingo could make sense with either of their second round picks.
It should have come as no surprise that the Packers went edge rusher in round one. Now it’s time to get Jordan Love some weapons. Michael Mayer, Darnell Washington, Tucker Kraft, Sam LaPorta, and Luke Musgrave are all still on the board. With the Packers in desperate need of a playmaker at tight end, Gutekunst needs to get his hands on one of those five tight ends with the 42nd or 45th overall pick. At wide receiver, Jalin Hyatt, Rashee Rice, Tyler Scott, Cedric Tillman, Trey Palmer, and Jonathan Mingo are all still on the board. If they opt to invest in the Great Wall of Lambeau, Cody Mauch, and Matthew Bergeron are potential targets.
The Packers need to put more pass catchers around Jordan Love. In comparison to Aaron Rodgers’ first season as a starter in 2008 when he had Donald Lee, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and James Jones, this current Green Bay assortment of pass catchers is not at that level. I know many wanted the Packers to add a pass catcher in Round 1 but from a value standpoint at tight end and shear numbers perspective at receiver, there will be more prospects available who fit what Green Bay typically looks for on Day 2. As I’ve said before, Rounds 2 and 3 feels like the sweet spot to address these needs. The Packers still have 10 picks remaining, and at least three or four should be devoted to tight end and receiver.