Green Bay Packers

Which Packers Legend Would Provide the Biggest Upgrade?

Photo Credit: Mark Hoffman via USA TODAY Sports

It is the NFL offseason, and teams and media alike have to find new ways to drive discussion. Pro Football Focus, better known as PFF, has never lacked in doing that year-round. From starting film versus analytics debates to throwing out player rankings, they drive clicks and engagement.

They provided another example of that on Monday when they threw a tweet up asking a simple question: What legends would you add to NFC North teams if you could?

This is a fun exercise for not just the NFC North but the entire NFL. Taking a look at the NFC North selections for now, though, there isn’t much up for debate with the choices. Richard Dent would be one hell of a presence on that Chicago Bears’ defensive front. Bobby Layne would provide a wildcard effect to the Detroit Lions’ offense. And Daunte Culpepper and his arm with Justin Jefferson would be hilarious.

However, all of those pale in comparison to adding Reggie White to the Green Bay Packers. White is arguably not only the best Packer ever — yes, you read that right — but one of the best players to ever put on an NFL uniform. The former Tennessee Volunteer was a benchmark for the impact free agency can have on a team, and he’s a major reason it remains so monumental today. His addition to an already talented Packers team allowed them to lock up Super Bowl XXXI and make Drew Bledsoe and Bill Parcells question why they showed up in the first place.

Now, I am not arguing against the idea of adding Reggie White. However, I will do is present the cases for some other additions to the current state of this Packers roster.

Jordy Nelson, Wide Receiver

After the Packers took him in the second round of the 2008 draft, Nelson carved out a monster career in green and gold. Nelson played 10 seasons, accumulating 550 catches for 7,848 receiving yards with a nice amount of touchdowns (69). Nelson won reps against opposing corners with his footwork and body movement while attacking the ball in the air. Coming out of Kansas State, not many could have projected the career he would have.

For this current Packers team, he would be the ultimate complement to Christian Watson. Nelson worked well underneath coverages and across the middle of the field alongside Greg Jennings, and he would have Watson taking the top off of defenses on the current team. You couldn’t ask for anything more for Jordan Love, except maybe some extra blocking up front.

Forrest Gregg, Offensive Tackle

Did someone mention blocking? No better answer to that problem than to put a Hall of Fame player opposite another future Hall of Famer at offensive tackle. Forrest Gregg is about as decorated an offensive tackle as one can be in the NFL. An All-Decade team member and a member of the NFL’s 75th- and 100th-anniversary teams, Gregg was and remains one of the best-blocking tackles in the history of the league.

Offensive tackles may be boring choices on paper, but teams today are finding success by winning inside the trenches. David Bakhtiari has had some injury issues as he gets older. But if he’s healthy, having another tackle on the other side of the offensive line could do wonders for Love as he develops.

Ray Nitschke, Linebacker

Another hard-nosed option to plug into the 2023 Green Bay Packers, Ray Nitschke could fill running lanes and chase down ball carriers. Nitschke was another highly accomplished Packer who won seven world titles with the team, including Super Bowls I and II. He was a member of the NFL 50th- and 75th-anniversary teams and is a fellow Hall of Famer with the aforementioned Gregg.

The Packers currently have a well-established linebacking group led by De’Vondre Campbell, but why not go for broke? Green Bay will need to contain the run game of teams like the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles and other teams within the conference. The idea of Nitschke and Campbell is not only hilarious to think about, but it would also make this defense arguably the best in the league.

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