The Green Bay Packers made headlines this offseason in April during the NFL draft when the team surprisingly moved up in the first round to select quarterback Jordan Love. With future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers entrenched as the signal caller and years remaining on his contract, the move struck most draft experts as odd. The Packers, however, were just getting started.
When it was all said and done, most experts gave the Packers low grades and multiple outlets rated the Packers as the worst draft class of 2020. In an interview this week, Aaron Rodgers, inadvertently confirmed what Packer fans have feared all along.
Aaron Rodgers asks for and needs receiver help
After Aaron Rodgers guided Green Bay to a 13-3 record and an appearance in the NFC Championship game in 2019, the Packers enter the 2020 season with lofty expectations. The consensus heading into the NFL draft was in order for the Packers to improve, the club should draft a receiver in what many considered to be the most receiver-rich draft in history.
Rodgers made it clear before the draft what he hoped might happen during an interview on the Pat McAfee Show. “We haven’t picked a skill player in the first round in 15 years, so that would be kind of cool,” Rodgers admitted.
Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst did, in fact, pick a skilled position player. However, it wasn’t what Rodgers had in mind, as the team opted to trade up in the first round and select quarterback Jordan Love at No. 26. That move was a big surprise to most, but what followed was equally puzzling.
In round two, the Packers selected running back AJ Dillon, which was especially odd considering Green Bay’s primary running back Aaron Jones finished tied with Christian McCaffrey for most touchdowns during the 2019 season with 19.
Following Dillon’s selection, the Packers used their third-round pick on tight end Josiah Deguara, the only other offensive skilled position player taken in the entire draft. Nine total picks and no receivers.
Green Bay receives harsh criticism for 2020 draft
With the Green Bay Packers failing to address their main need and then using their early picks to draft positions where they are well established, a lot of fans and draft experts were left scratching their heads.
“It’s official. In what was billed as the deepest wide receiver draft in #NFLDraft history, the Green Bay #Packers selected exactly zero wide receivers,” tweeted sportswriter Jason Wilde who covers Green Bay.
Pro Football Focus graded the Packers draft with a D, saying: “For Rodgers and a team that went to a conference championship game mere months ago, it’s a total waste of impact in 2020.”
ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper graded the Packers with a C. “What I do have a problem with is Green Bay not getting a wide receiver on Day 2. In an extremely deep receiver class, how can you not take one? Rodgers has a reason to be upset about that.”
And on the NFL’s own website, the Packers received a grade of D and were ranked dead last among the 32 teams.
Aaron Rodgers confirms 2020 draft wasn’t good
When the Packers released their depth chart for the 2020 season, first-round pick Jordan Love was listed as the No. 3 quarterback behind Tim Boyle and Aaron Rodgers. While Love was not expected to supplant Rodgers anytime soon, it would have been an encouraging sign to see the first rounder at least land at No. 2 on the depth chart. That didn’t happen.
As for the other top picks, Rodgers said in an interview this week with Pat McAfee that they have produced mixed results at best.
“We drafted a couple of young guys in rounds two and three,” Rodgers said. “The third-round pick is going to get some opportunities, I think, probably earlier than the second-round pick. I’m excited about Deguara to see what he can do as kind of a hybrid type of guy.”
Rodgers’ remarks reveal precisely what Green Bay fans have worried about since the NFL draft. There’s the obvious concern Rodgers didn’t get the help he wanted and needed at wide receiver. And more significantly, the players that were selected, more than likely, will have a limited impact during the 2020 season. If there wasn’t already a template for an NFL draft gone wrong, the 2020 Green Bay Packers just provided one.