This offseason has given everyone a glimpse into the route the Green Bay Packers are taking for 2021 and beyond. So far they’ve been able to re-sign Aaron Jones and Kevin King, but they haven’t signed anyone from another team outside of long-snapper Joe Fortunato. Even if they wanted to, the salary cap crunch was prohibitive. The way it looks now, the Packers are going all-in this season, bringing back a similar squad while trying to make it to the Super Bowl this time around.
If this is the case, Green Bay should consider trading up in the draft if one of their top prospects starts to slip.
If the move is to go all-in, why not go all the way in? The way the Packers restructured contracts this offseason and retained a few of their own free agents indicates another full-throttle push next year. With the uncertainty of Aaron Rodgers‘ contract, the team options layered throughout Aaron Jones‘ deal, and how the salary cap is looking for Green Bay in 2022 (not good), next year could be their best chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for a while.
The Packers are up against it with the salary cap and still have gaps to fill on the upper part of the depth chart. They should take an aggressive approach in the draft. Brian Gutekunst and the rest of the brain trust traded up in the first round to take a quarterback last year. They’ve already flirted with and executed the aggressive first-round trade-up method, so it’s not a new concept, and they won’t need outside validation to trade up again.
This isn’t to suggest Green Bay should randomly trade up just to trade up. Obviously not. But there are some major needs on this roster still.
Re-signing Kevin King put a Band-Aid on the cornerback spot across from Jaire Alexander. It’s a temporary patch for something that needs to be stitched up. There are a group of cornerbacks slotted to go anywhere from right outside the top 10 to the later stages of Round 1. If either Patrick Surtain II, Asante Samuel Jr., Caleb Farley, or Greg Newsome II start to slip back a bit, or if Green Bay thinks there’s a chance they could all be swiped right before pick 29, they should consider making a move.
The offensive line is another area that needs a boost. With the timeline for David Bakhtiari‘s return from injury still foggy and Corey Linsley signing with the Los Angeles Chargers, the Packers will certainly be drafting at least one lineman. What’s yet to be seen is whether they target a tackle or a guard. They have a few players who can play multiple positions. All this flexibility on the offensive line gives Green Bay some wiggle room to navigate the area of need as a whole rather than targeting one specific spot.
Green Bay has a roster in place that can win the whole thing next year. Almost everybody from last year’s squad will be back, and we all know that team came up one win short of the Super Bowl. However, that team had some glaring deficiencies that still remain. If the Packers are all-in, they can fill those gaps by utilizing future draft capital to trade up in this year’s draft.