The draft, which had been scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, was successfully completed virtually from the homes of NFL coaches, general managers and other front-office staff because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player the Packers have selected will fit.
Round 1, No. 26 overall: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
My take: Can't wait to see how Aaron Rodgers handles this. He was on the other end of it when he came into the league in 2005 as the Packers' first-round pick and with Brett Favre still years away from retirement (although unlike Rodgers, Favre had already begun to think about it, so the Packers had to start planning for it). The 36-year-old Rodgers, however, has made it clear he intends to play to age 40 -- and perhaps beyond. He's under contract through 2023 and said last month on the Pat McAfee show: "I've got four years left on my deal. I'd like to play four at a really, really high level, and if I feel like keep on keeping on from that point, to do it. I feel confident right now. I'm going to be 40 when the deal ends. I feel like I can keep going after that the way things have been going." At this point in Favre's career, he wanted players who would help him win. He gave Rodgers the cold shoulder, especially as a rookie. Will Rodgers do the same to Love? Everyone knows that Rodgers has always played with a chip on his shoulder and this might be just another one. What's more, by taking Love in the first round, the Packers get the option of a fifth-year deal on Love's rookie contract.
Another trade: General manager Brian Gutekunst didn't just take Rodgers' eventual replacement, he traded up to do it. A source said that Gutekunst might trade up to take LSU receiver Justin Jefferson, a player he loved, but Jefferson went No. 22 to the Vikings. But the thought was that if he took a quarterback, it would be one that fell to him at No. 30. Instead, he traded a fourth-round pick to the Dolphins to move up four spots. It's the third straight year (and fourth time overall) that the third-year GM has made a trade in the first round.
Why the love for Love: One thing you need to play quarterback in Green Bay is a strong arm. Favre had a rocket, and Rodgers developed one. Love fits in. Big hands don't hurt either, and Love's measured 10.5 inches at the combine. That's always good for cold-weather games. He's got more Favre in him than Rodgers in that he's more prone to interceptions than the ultra-accurate and more conservative Rodgers. Love threw an alarming 17 interceptions last season after a much more efficient 2018 season (32 TDs and only six INTs). At 6-foot-3 ¾ and 224 pounds, he's got the right build, but he's also more mobile than one might think, running a 4.74 40 at the combine.
Round 2, No. 62 overall: AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College
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My take: Is Brian Gutekunst trying to get rid of both Aarons in one draft? After drafting Aaron Rodgers' likely eventual replacement in the first round, the Packers GM gave himself some insurance in case Aaron Jones prices himself out of Green Bay next year. If Jones is anything close to as productive as he was in 2019, he'll be in line for bigger money than the Packers may be willing to pay a running back in free agency. But for now, it's an intriguing combination of the explosiveness of Jones and the pure power of Dillon. Coach Matt LaFleur may have had Derrick Henry in mind when he and Gutekunst discussed the mammoth 6-foot, 247-pounder. LaFleur relied heavily on Henry during his one year as the Titans' play caller before he became the Packers head coach. Dillon is a yards-after-contact back who might be built for the inside-zone runs that LaFleur used so often last year. Despite being the heaviest back at the combine, he also posted the highest vertical jump (41 inches).
Round 3, No. 94 overall: Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati
My take: This draft is taking on a Matt LaFleur feel, and picking a combination tight end/H-back this high -- coupled with a power runner in AJ Dillon a round earlier -- could signify a shift in how the Packers operate on offense. Rather than relying on a three-wide spread system so much, perhaps LaFleur truly values running backs and tight end more than a massive stable of receivers. It's the second straight year the Packers have taken a tight end in the third round and with the Jimmy Graham experiment finally and mercifully ended, they can get younger with second-year pro Jace Sternberger and Deguara at the position. They still have one veteran, Marcedes Lewis, and the promising-but-oft-injured Robert Tonyan. Deguara was the third tight end off the board in a historically weak tight end class. The Packers made a run at Austin Hooper in free agency, but it got too expensive so it probably should not come as a surprise they added to this position in the draft.
Round 5, No. 175 overall: Kamal Martin, LB, Minnesota
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My take: Hard to say this wasn't a need. But so was receiver, and Ohio State's K.J. Hill was on the board and might have fit what the Packers need even more -- a playmaker from the slot -- yet they still haven't taken a receiver in his draft. But the Packers lost their tackling leader Blake Martinez to the Giants in free agency. They signed Christian Kirksey, but his injury history (he hasn't finished either of the last two seasons) leaves questions about depth and reliability at inside linebacker (where Oren Burks and Ty Summers also are unproven options). Martin projects as an inside 'backer in Mike Pettine's defense, which could use all the run stoppers it can get after the 49ers pounded them into submission in the NFC title game. Martin, who originally committed to Eastern Michigan as a quarterback, missed five games as a college senior due to a suspension and injuries (foot and knee). The knee injury kept him from testing at the combine. Still, he was second on the Gophers with 66 tackles and had two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a sack, which means he can find the football. The Packers need more of that.
Round 6, No. 192 overall: Jon Runyan Jr., OG, Michigan
My take: If Runyan is anything like his father, he’ll be a success. His dad was an All-Pro offensive tackle (at one point the highest-paid in the league) and a true NFL tough guy whom players didn’t mess around with on the field. Off the field, he became a U.S. Congressman from New Jersey and now serves as the NFL’s vice president of policy and rules administration. Green Bay's sixth-round pick projects as a guard in the NFL and seems best fit for a zone-blocking scheme, which the Packers run, rather than a power game. He’s smaller (6-4, 306) than his father (6-7, 330), who was a fourth-round pick out of Michigan. The Packers are deep on the interior of the offensive line (behind staring guards Elgton Jenkins and Billy Turner are experienced guys like Lane Taylor and Lucas Patrick, among others), but they might have to do some shuffling because the only current candidate to replace departed right tackle Bryan Bulaga is veteran free agent signing Rick Wagner.
Round 6, No. 208 overall: Jake Hanson, C, Oregon
My take: Veteran center Corey Linsley should be high on the Packers' list of players to re-sign before free agency next year but given all the key players in that same category (David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark, Aaron Jones and Kevin King), there's a need to plan ahead, and that's where Hanson comes in. He had almost 50 starts at center over his four-year career at Oregon, where he played with a high-level quarterback in Justin Herbert. He took over as the starter during his redshirt freshman year and kept it the entire time. Hansen was one of the strongest players at the combine, doing 33 reps on the bench press for the fourth-highest total among offensive linemen who lifted in Indy. The Packers have done well with late-round centers; Linsley was a fifth-round pick in 2014 and Scott Wells was a seventh-round pick in 2004. Both had long careers.
Round 6, No. 209 overall: Simon Stepaniak, OG, Indiana
My take: The sixth round wasn’t good for Lane Taylor’s future with the Packers. Stepaniak was the third straight interior lineman the Packers picked in the round. It means they could be looking for a reason to move on from Taylor. If they released Taylor, they would save $4.1 million in salary cap space this year. They would need for Stepaniak or one of their previous sixth-rounders to be ready to play immediately, which could be tough given the restrictions this year on offseason workouts. The Packers are set at left guard, where Elgton Jenkins replaced Taylor early last season. They also re-signed backup Lucas Patrick late last year. All these interior line picks also could be setting up a move for right guard Billy Turner to right tackle, where the Packers signed Rick Wagner to replace long-time starter Bryan Bulaga (who signed with the Chargers). Stepaniak, however, is dealing with a knee injury but said he hopes to be ready for training camp. He converted from center to right guard at Indiana, and his 37 reps on the bench press were the second-most among all offensive linemen who lifted at the combine.
Round 7, No. 236 overall: Vernon Scott, S, TCU
My take: The Packers are set at starting safety with Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage. They also have Raven Greene returning from injury, so Scott will have to show something dynamic to break in. He can, however, play multiple spots. At TCU, he played both safety positions and also some at cornerback. The Packers didn’t take a corner, the first time they’ve passed on that position since the 2016 draft. Scott’s big-play moment last year came in a 28-24 loss to Oklahoma, when he returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown off Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts, a second-round pick.
Round 7, No. 242 overall: Jonathan Garvin, DE/OLB, Miami
My take: In perhaps the deepest receiver class in history, this was the Packers' last chance to take one. And they punted. OK, so they didn't take a punter but rather a flier on a young, raw pass-rusher. But, there's no much thing as having too many pass-rushers so ... Yes, the Packers have the Smiths, plus last year's first-rounder Rashan Gary, but why not take a flier another one in the seventh round? As a true freshman, Garvin had a strip-sack and fumble recovery late in back-to-back blowing wins against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. In 38 games over three years, he recorded 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and four recoveries.