By Ben Babcock
Offseason Grade: B
Draft Grade: A-
Green Bay didn’t do a whole lot this offseason. They only added four players, but three of those four players were great additions. They lost two of their best players on either side of the ball. Safety Morgan Burnett has been a leader on that defense for years now and Jordy Nelson has been Aaron Rodgers number one wide receiver for just as long. Both of those are big hits to the team, but added one of the best tight ends in the league in Jimmy Graham, and still have solid receivers on the lineup like Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. They haven’t found an answer for Burnett yet. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix can hold his own but they will need someone to step up there. They re-signed cornerback Tramon Williams and added more depth at corner with Davon House after trading Damarious Randall to the Browns for quarterback Deshone Kizer. They also signed defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, which really helps their pash rush. Going into the draft they needed help at corner and wide receiver, and that’s exactly what they got.
They had probably the best first and second round out of everyone. They got two of the top cornerbacks in the draft and they got an extra first rounder next year from trading back with the Saints. Jaire Alexander was a good pick in the first round for them on top of getting that 2019 first rounder. But they also got one of the biggest steals in the draft when Josh Jackson fell to them at no.45. They have a really promising young group of cornerbacks now, and two first round picks to play with next year. The depth at wide receiver came in the form of three guys; J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Equanimeous St. Brown. None of these guys are top prospects but you never know, a star can come from anywhere. For now though, this is just good depth, somebody has to step up and take that third wide receiver spot. Their other draft picks include LB Oren Burks, OL Cole Madison, P JK Scott, DL James Looney, LS Hunter Bradley, Edge Kendall Donnerson. It would’ve been better for them to take another safety at some point because Burnett leaves a big hole, but Oren Burks is a good middle round pick, and they could use some more on their pass rush with Clay Matthews entering the back half of his career so Kendall Donnerson could be some good depth.
With Aaron Rodgers back from injury this year the Packers will be a top team in the NFC again, but they aren’t making any sort of deep run. Their division is going to be very competitive this year. The Vikings look like a more complete team right now and the Lions and Bears both improved as well. I see the Packers being a wildcard team, but the NFC is too strong right now for them to go very far. They still need a workhorse running back, a new safety, and stronger linebackers before they become super bowl contenders. And by the time that happens, Aaron Rodgers will be nearing retirement. The Packers made good moves this offseason but are going to need a lot more to move to the top of the NFC.