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In the least-stunning sequence of events in NFL history, the Green Bay Packers opted to not bolster their offensive skill position group in Round 1. They never did it in Aaron Rodgers' 15 years as the Packers' starter, and they're not doing it for Jordan Love's first year as the Packers starting quarterback. 

For the 21st straight year, the Packers don't select a running back, wide receiver or tight end, extending the longest steak of not selecting an offensive skill position player (RB, WR, or TE) in Round 1 in the common draft era (since 1967). Green Bay had its shot at Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the consensus top wideout in the 2023 NFL Draft among many NFL teams. Green Bay also had its pick of any tight end in a deep class at the position. Instead, the Packers went defense, selecting Iowa Hawkeyes outside linebacker Lukas Van Vess 13th overall after moving up two spots in the opening round following their trade of Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets

Longest drought without 1st-round RB, WR or TE
Common draft era (since 1967)  











* Active streak

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst probably made the pick for Van Ness after seeing what happened to the team's pass rush after ascending edge rusher Rashan Gary tore his ACL in Week 9 at the Detroit Lions. Green Bay had the 10th-best pressure rate in the NFL in 2022 at 34.6% -- a strong year from a macro view in terms of bothering opposing quarterbacks. However, that figure is propped up by the first nine weeks of the season when its 39.8% rate was the second best in the NFL. During that span, Gary dominated with 38 pressures, tied for fifth most in the NFL, and six sacks. Once Weeks 10-17 rolled around -- after the 25-year-old Gary went down with the torn ACL -- they plummeted with the sixth-lowest rate in the league (29.7%).

Van Ness, who will turn 22 prior to the start of the 2023 NFL season, was a Second-Team All-Big Ten selection in 2022. He racked up 13.0 sacks across the last two seasons, tied for the third most in the Big Ten in that span. His 74 quarterback pressures since 2021 were tied for the second most in the conference, just one behind the Big Ten leader, Wisconsin's Nick Herbig, with 75. Van Ness also had a great NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.58 40-yard dash while measuring at 6-5, 272 pounds with great length (34-inch arms). He can be a nice long-term complement to Gary for years to come. 

Now, the Packers on to Friday, when they are set to make three picks: 42nd overall (second round, from Jets), 45th overall (second round) and 78th overall (third round). Cheeseheads everywhere are foaming at the mouth for more pass-catching help, understandably so. Here are some of their best possible options for Day 2: 

Any of the best remaining tight ends

With the loss of both of their top two tight ends from the last few seasons, Robert Tonyan (signed a one-year, $2.7 million contract with the Chicago Bears) and Marcedes Lewis (38 years old, turns 39 in May), Green Bay needs youthful reinforcements at that position. Georgia tight end Darnell Washington, a behemoth who measured at 6-7, 264 pounds while running a 4.64 40-yard dash with a 31-inch vertical jump and a 10'2" broad jump, would be a humongous add as a blocker and pass-catcher. Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Sam LaPorta, standing at 6-3, 245 pounds with a 4.59 40-yard dash and a 35-inch vertical, is a strong route-runner over the middle and solid in racking up yards after catch. 

Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt

The Volunteers deep threat was the 2022 Biletnikoff Award winner (best WR in college football) and a unanimous All-American after ranking top five in receiving yards (1,267, fifth) and receiving touchdowns (15, tied for second most) in all of college football. Seven of those touchdown catches were 30 yards or more, tied for the most such touchdowns in the country. His 63% catch percentage on passes of 30 or more yards down field was the best in the entire nation among the 85 players with double-digit targets of 30 or more yards. Hyatt would factor as another speedy deep threat in Green Bay alongside Christian Watson

SMU WR Rashee Rice

Rice set the SMU single-season receiving yards record with 1,355 in 2022. That's a big deal considering the Mustangs have quietly been an NFL wide receiver factory across the past 10-12 years, sending players like two-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and productive slot receiver Cole Beasley to the league in the early 2010s. They have also put recent alums into the NFL like current Denver Broncos Pro Bowl wide receiver Courtland Sutton, current Baltimore Ravens wideout James Proche, current San Francisco 49ers pass-catcher Danny Gray and current Tennessee Titans receiver Reggie Roberson. 

His testing numbers were strong, favorably comparing to San Francisco 49ers starting wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, per CBS Sports' NFL Draft expert Chris Trapasso. Rice could be available in Round 2 or potentially early Round 3.

We'll see what Green Bay does beginning Friday, as it will have some options when it's back on the clock.