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NFL Draft 32 for 32 - Green Bay Packers Outlook


The 2018 season for the Green Bay Packers proved to be a waste of yet another great statistical season for Aaron Rodgers (4,442 yards and 27 total TDs). The team seemed to be playing uninspired football under what proved to be Mike McCarthy's final season as head coach. Enter new HC Matt LaFleur, whose name has risen up the ranks rather quickly with stops in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Tennessee. His work with the Rams could point more towards the success of Sean McVay based on the Titans finish in total offense at 25th last season. Obviously, this will be the best quarterback that LaFleur has worked with, so the potential could be there for another outstanding MVP-caliber season from Rodgers.

As for the rest of the offense, the other centerpiece may just be Davante Adams. He was the best receiver in fantasy in 2018 in terms of weekly finishes as a WR1 with 14. Adams was the most consistent receiver in the league with at least 16 PPR points in each game played. Something that is big for fantasy owners as you know exactly what you'll be getting each week with him in your lineup. Outside of Adams, the remaining receiver group is still somewhat unproven (Equanimeous St. Brown, Geronimo Allison, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling), meaning there could be additions made. The mind-numbing usage of the Packers backfield ( Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams) is sure to get even more muddied under LaFleur as he generally likes to rotate his backs. Jones is clearly the better back for fantasy as he can produce points with limited touches. While Williams is strictly volume dependent, although he does produce well when given those chances.

Heading into the draft, the Packers are a team that will be looking for players that can help contribute to this team now. Adding playmakers will be a must, perhaps to the receiving group. But outside of that, adding depth to the offensive line and defense will be key for this team during draft weekend.

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Top Three Projected Selections

First Round- Jonah Williams, OT Alabama (12th overall)
Noah Fant, TE Iowa (30th)
Second Round- A.J. Brown, WR Ole Miss (44th)

Remaining Picks
Third Round- 75th
Fourth Round- 114th, 118th
Fifth Round- 150th
Sixth Round- 185th, 194th
Seventh Round- 225th

 

Needs Analysis

The first pick of Jonah Williams can give the Packers another solid piece to plug into the offensive line. Whether he sticks at tackle or moves (Packers already have David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga), Williams is just the nasty type of player the team could use to accelerate this rushing attack. He uses solid technique combined with theĀ strength to move defenders out of his way. He excels in his run blocking as seen at Alabama, but can be a tough player to get around in pass sets. He projects to be a steady, long-time starter in the NFL.

With the second pick of the first round, the Packers look to fill an obvious need at tight end with Noah Fant. The position was largely ignored under McCarthy but could see a resurgence in an offense headed by LaFleur. Fant isn't exactly your traditional tight end, as he is not much of a blocker, but his skill set could fit in nicely with the Packers. He can be moved around the formation to create mismatches with his length and acceleration. His initial burst can create separation against linebackers in coverage, getting him into space for easy catches. Along with his length, his amazing leaping ability could make Fant a player to keep an eye on in the red zone. If Fant lands with the Packers, his appeal in fantasy could be immediate. A player you could draft later on that may develop into an every week starter. In dynasty formats, I like Fant as a mid second round pick in rookie drafts. A player that will contribute for years to come.

Perhaps my favorite pick of these three, if it pans out, is the selection of A.J. Brown in the second round. The case could be made for Brown as the best receiver in this class. The team has already met with him as they are in need of a slot receiver with the departure of Randall Cobb. Brown was a heavy usage player at Ole Miss and could slot right into a starting spot for the Packers from day one. He is built for the league already and his athleticism ensures that the learning curve will be minimal. His quickness off the line, coupled with incredible route running skills will create space early enough for Rodgers to get the ball into his hands. He could develop into a safety blanket role for Rodgers as early as his rookie season.

With Adams demanding coverage on the outside, you could see Brown produce late in the season similar to how Tyler Boyd broke out this past year. Based on this landing spot, Brown should be the top rookie receiver off the board in any draft format and will have WR3 appeal in seasonal leagues in 2019.

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