The Packers need to move up for defensive help in the NFL Draft.
Brian Gutekunst needs to make his first NFL Draft as general manager of the Packers a memorable one. Green Bay needs to make an aggressive move up from their No. 14 pick if they want to have enough juice to help Aaron Rodgers reach the Super Bowl this season.
Ironically, if the Packers do move up you shouldn’t expect them to draft a new weapon for their franchise quarterback. Instead, the NFC North team needs to move up to provide some support for their mediocre defense. Specifically, the Packers would really benefit from adding talent to their defensive backfield.
Fortunately, it seems Gutekunst and company are at least making inquiries about moving up in the draft, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Moving into the top 10 could be the key for Green Bay to acquire a real difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball.
The obvious place where Green Bay needs to improve is in the secondary. They are very weak at cornerback with projected starters Davon House and Damarious Randall. They are better positioned at safety with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix leading the way but it could be time to find a replacement for Morgan Burnett.
There are three major talents who could impact the Packers secondary immediately. Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward, Alabama corner/safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and Florida State safety Derwin James are all projected to be off the board at 14. It’s possible Green Bay could try to wait to see if one of that trio would drop, but that would be a real gamble.
There’s also the chance Gutekunst could be eyeing a potential All-Pro talent like Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith to the mix who could take his group from average to excellent in one move.
Clay Matthews has already shown serious signs of slowing down and is entering his tenth season. Drafting Smith would help the Packers immediately while also preparing them for Matthews’ inevitable decline.
Ultimately, the challenge here will be trying to meet the price of teams that currently own top 10 selections. Those teams are all going to hold on to their selections in hopes of taking advantage of a team looking to move up to snag a quarterback. Whether it’s a move to catch a falling signal caller from the top four or a bold move to take Lamar Jackson, there figures to be a lot of traffic in that part of the draft.
That means Green Bay may be required to pay quarterback prices to move up far enough to take one of their defensive targets. That would be a bold move by Packers’ brass, but it’s time for them to be aggressive. The team must do everything in its power to help Rodgers reach another Super Bowl.