Following the 2022 season, the Green Bay Packers’ future is uncertain. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers could contemplate retirement once again, as NFL odds list his retirement at +180. This was also the first season Green Bay did not make playoffs since 2018.
One thing’s for sure – the Packers have a lot of work to do. Green Bay is nowhere close to meeting its lofty Super Bowl goals. The front office must bolster several areas in the offseason, like acquiring more targets for the passing game. The Packers are in a good position to address several needs in the 2023 NFL Draft.
2022 Season Record: 8-9
Status of Coach: Matt LaFleur – Safe
Positions of Need
- Tight end
- Wide receiver
Notable Draft Picks
- Round 1, Pick 15
- Round 2, Pick 45
Potential First-Round Targets
Whether it’s Rodgers or Jordan Love’s show next season, the Packers must add more receiving options. The No. 15 overall selection is a great spot for grabbing a tight end or a wide receiver.
Robert Tonyan is a free agent and could be brought back. However, Green Bay could get much more production from the top tight end in the 2023 NFL Draft – Michael Mayer. The Notre Dame product would be a perfect fit. The Packers can be a run-heavy team at times and Mayer is a great blocker. He has excellent hands and has no problem making plays in traffic or reeling in jump balls. Mayer also has a smooth route running and works well in the middle of the field. His game screams NFL-ready. If he decides to return, Rodgers could get a new favorite target if Green Bay selects Mayer.
With Allen Lazard likely departing in free agency, the Packers need a third wideout to pair with Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. Jordan Addison (USC) or Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State) could be immediate impacts in the slot. Both are good route runners. Addison’s speed and cuts stand out, while Smith-Njigba’s hands and reliability over the middle of the field are clear strengths.
Green Bay cannot go wrong if it selects Mayer, Addison, or Smith-Njigba.
Learn More About the NFC North Draft 2023
- Detroit Lions 2023 Positions Needed & First Round Draft Picks
- Minnesota Vikings 2023 Positions Needed & First Round Draft Picks
- Chicago Bears 2023 Positions Needed & First Round Draft Picks
Potential Second-Round Targets
Safety is another big need. Adrian Amos and Rudy Ford are headed for free agency. Darnell Savage could be the only major returning contributor, and he was benched at one point for Ford. The 2023 class has only one potential first-rounder among safeties, which is Brian Branch. However, Green Bay selecting Branch with the No. 15 overall pick would be a reach. Several promising safeties will be available at the No. 45 NFL picks.
The Packers should look to replace Amos, who is a do-it-all safety that is sticky in coverage. Antonio Johnson of Texas A&M could fill the void with his rangy 6-foot-3 frame. His coverage is a work in progress but the talent is certainly there with his length and good ball skills. Johnson should be an instant impact in run support with his great closing speed.
Boise State’s JL Skinner is also an intriguing option. His eye-popping athleticism at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds has scouts buzzing. Like Johnson, Skinner is good in run support paired with exceptional ball skills. Skinner has the potential to do it all and could become a nightmare at the next level.
Another big hit for Point Loma Alumni JL Skinner pic.twitter.com/UH8P8z8zzw
— San Diego Football (@Daygofootball) September 19, 2021