The Packers 2021 class was one that currently looks promising, however looking back upon it, the mistakes made by the Green Bay brass become glaringly obvious. Today, we’ll go in depth through the first 3 rounds, and who Green Bay could have taken at each spot instead of their actual pick. Each revised draft pick will be approximately in the range that the Packers were selecting.
Round 1 – Eric Stokes
At pick 29, after watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receivers torch the Green Bay secondary in a pivotal NFC Championship game, the Packers knew they had to add to the defensive back corps. They decided to take not the most productive or highest rated consensus corner, but rather the one with the most potential. Stokes was an intriguing prospect, projected around the mid 2nd-round, however there were better prospects available in the range that would have contributed to the Packers immediate success, rather than building for the off-chance of elite development and future production.
Revisionist Pick: Asante Samuel Jr.
Samuel was a higher touted prospect in most people’s minds, and has performed as such in the NFL. The Chargers were able to pick him up 18 selections later, in the middle of the second-round, and Stokes may have dropped farther than even that. In hindsight, the Packers may have been better off targeting a different position of need in the first, and trading up into the earlier half of the second for a cornerback. However, as we know, NFL teams will go to any lengths to get someone they consider “their guy” and Stokes seemed to have been that for Green Bay.
Round 2 – Josh Myers
At pick 62, the Packers decided to address the hole left at the Center position when Corey Linsley signed with the Chargers. The way they did it however, could have been considered malpractice. Although Myers has shown flashes, coaches never know what they’re going to get from him on any given play. He’s shown very elite talent, but also a severe lack of consistency. One thing to like about Myers is his discipline, which has proved important in not costing the Packers yards backwards like other penalty prone linemen.
Revisionist Pick: Creed Humphrey
Echoing similarities to the Packers first selection, Creed Humphrey was the consensus superior prospect, however the Packers decided to go with another one of “their guys” and it hasn’t worked as well as some might have hoped. Humphrey on the other hand, has become among the best centers in the league, and should have been the obvious pick here. Back to back scenarios where it appears the Packers scouting department fell short.
Round 3 – Amari Rodgers
This pick speaks for itself, Rodgers lack of success in Green Bay led to his recent release before season’s end. Fans were very excited about this pick, as it was the first time in a while the Packers used a somewhat premium pick on a pass catcher. Rodgers was supposed to juice up the special teams and returner roles, but turned into a complete liability, contributing to Packers special teams being among the league’s worst. Rodgers’ 2022 campaign consisted of more fumbles (5) than receptions (4), the epitome of a bust.
Revisionist Pick: Amon-Ra St. Brown
It may be considered a bit of a reach, considering St. Brown went 27 picks later than Rodgers, so he may not have even been in the Packers’ mind at 85. However considering only 3 receivers went off between Rodgers and St. Brown, and we consider that all 3 of those wouldn’t have been scheme fits until St. Brown, it seems a little more realistic that he could have been the pick. With the Amari Rodgers pick, the Packers were targeting a slot receiver. At 89, the Texans took big body outside threat Nico Collins, who wouldn’t have been on Green Bay’s mind considering they had Davante Adams and Allen Lazard at the time. At 91, the Browns took pure track athlete Anthony Schwartz, a player archetype the Packers never target at wide receiver. And finally, at pick 102, the Titans selected Dez Fitzpatrick, another outside, big bodied receiver who wouldn’t fit their scheme. Looking into all this, it’s not unreasonable to say the Packers may have had St. Brown just behind Rodgers on their board, and unfortunately selected the latter. Furthermore, St. Brown had family ties on the team to then Packer Equanimeous St. Brown. And Amon-Ra’s production through just two years in the NFL has already spoken for itself, what’s to say that adding him wouldn’t have led them to a Super Bowl with Adams still on the roster. I don’t believe it’s ridiculous to say that by selecting St. Brown, the Packers franchise trajectory and Super Bowl window may have been completely altered. On the other hand, Green Bay may not have developed him as well as Detroit has.
Past Round 3, many of the Packers picks didn’t see many elite talents go past them, rather mostly depth players on other rosters. This draft was top heavy, and shows it here.
Round 4 – Royce Newman
Best Players Available In The Range – Nate Hobbs, Evan McPherson, Brevin Jordan
Round 5 – Tedarrell Slayton
Best Players Available In The Range – Talanoa Hufanga, Elijah Mitchell, K.J. Britt
Round 5 – Shemar Jean-Charles
Best Players Available In The Range – Talanoa Hufanga, Racey McMath, Deonte Brown
Round 6 – Cole Van Lanen
Best Players Available In The Range – Khalil Herbert, Quincy Roche, Sam Ehlinger
Round 6 – Isaiah McDuffie
Best Players Available In The Range – N/A
Round 7- Kylin Hill
Best Players Available In The Range – N/A