The Packers' 2017 season hit a speed bump when Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone and was sent to IR for eight weeks. While Brett Hundley kept the team afloat, the Packers were unable to secure a playoff spot upon Rodgers' return. Now they'll turn their attention to the offseason and building the next championship core around their star quarterback. Let's dive into what lies ahead.
2018 draft picks
- Round 1: Green Bay
- Round 2: Green Bay
- Round 3: Green Bay
- Round 4: Green Bay
- Round 5: Green Bay
- Round 6: Green Bay
- Round 7: Green Bay, Buffalo*
The Packers have their entire original cache of picks to use in the 2018 draft, and they could also add another from the Bills based on a 2016 trade. Before the final cutdown day for that season, the Packers sent linebacker Lerentee McCray to the Bills for a conditional 2018 seventh-round pick.
Biggest offseason needs
- Tight end
- Interior offensive linemen
- Outside linebacker
- Strong safety
Wide receiver was initially listed as a need for the Packers before they worked out an extension to keep Davante Adams in Green Bay. They'll likely be on the lookout for a tight end after 2017 free-agent acquisition Martellus Bennett didn't work out. The Packers are set on the outside of their offensive line, but have just Lane Taylor locked up inside. Even if Jason Spriggs is shifted inside to compete for a starting role, at least one potential starter has to be found.
On defense, the team can clear Clay Matthews' entire $11.4 million salary by releasing him, so it's not a lock he returns considering how quickly the Packers have moved on from other veterans in the past. If he's gone, it makes sense to bring in some help at outside linebacker rather than expecting Kyle Fackrell to step seamlessly into a bigger role. The secondary could also use an injection of talent, particularly at cornerback, but don't sleep on them addressing strong safety if they can find the right talent with Morgan Burnett a free agent and Josh Jones struggling as a rookie.
Prospects to watch
Right now, Smith is flying under the radar, but at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, a 20.0 yards-per-catch average in 2017 for the Golden Knights should draw the attention of the Packers' front office. Smith's film is loaded with impressive high-point grabs, and he's a willing and effective blocker.
Wyatt Teller, OG, Virginia Tech
Super-experienced in a conference known for quality defensive lines, Teller is one of the more NFL-ready guards in this class. While he has a tendency to bend at the waist more often than you'd like, he routinely plays with power coming downhill on run plays.
Okoronkwo to the Packers is one of my favorite mock draft pairings. He's built to play outside linebacker in a base 3-4 scheme due to his smaller stature and explosive bend around the edge. Okoronkwo's also dropped into coverage often during his Sooners career.
Ronnie Harrison, SS, Alabama
If the Packers want a intimidating presence at the strong safety spot, Harrison should be an early-round target. He's made 157 tackles in his last 26 games for Alabama to go along with five interceptions. At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, he has fantastic size.