The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books, and there might not have been a team under a brighter spotlight over the weekend than the Green Bay Packers. Not because of their draft picks, but because of the hovering cloud that is Aaron Rodgers' apparent desire to leave town. It's arguable, in fact, that general manager Brian Gutekunst has never been through a more crucial draft, mainly because no one has any idea whether Rodgers can be convinced to stick around. How did the Packers fare, then? What did they get right on draft weekend? And where did they slip up, if anywhere? We're here to take a look.
What the Packers got right
Most of their draft, to be frank! If Rodgers plays hardball and is actually committed to playing elsewhere, we suppose you could make a case they should've considered adding another quarterback, but even that's a stretch: 1.) Because you're not replacing Rodgers with one last-minute swing in the draft; and 2.) Because you already have Jordan Love, the guy whose arrival sent Rodgers' frustrations to a new level. Otherwise, Green Bay addressed just about every position it needed to.
Their first pick at No. 29 overall, Georgia's Eric Stokes, brings some much-needed athleticism to a cornerback spot too dependent on Jaire Alexander. Their second, Ohio State's Josh Myers, gives them a potential plug-and-play center to replace the departed Corey Linsley. And perhaps most excitingly, third-round wide receiver Amari Rodgers brings long-awaited juice to the slot. Additional swings along the O-line (fourth-rounder Royce Newman) and secondary (fifth-rounder Shemar Jean-Charles) simply give them more depth.
Green Bay already boasted a playoff-caliber roster. Gutekunst's picks add short- and long-term upside at some of their biggest areas of need: CB, OL and WR. And yet we'd be sorely remiss to crown them "winners" of the draft. Why? First, because they entered and left the draft without anything close to reconciliation with their star QB, and second, because ...
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What the Packers got wrong
If we can give Green Bay credit for hitting on just about every need, we can at least be a little critical of the value (or lack thereof) at each spot. Take their second-rounder, for example: While Myers certainly gives them an able-bodied blocker to take over for Linsley and may very well start in Week 1, the Pack had their choice of several other linemen who were widely considered superior prospects -- namely Oklahoma's Creed Humphrey and Michigan's Jalen Mayfield. There's also the matter of spending a second-rounder on strictly a center. Ideally, if you're going to use a top-65 pick on an interior linemen, you'd like him to have more versatility.
Nitpicky? Sure, but couple it with the Rodgers hysteria, and it's not as if Green Bay escaped the draft with a perfect performance. Fortunately for them, if/when they can reel Rodgers in and ensure they won't be switching QBs after two straight NFC Championship runs, adding depth up front isn't impossible. Whether via free agency or trade, the Pack could still stand to bolster competition on the interior, as well as corner, where they're currently set to rely heavily on first-year starters.