Despite obvious deficiencies at wide receiver and tight end, the Green Bay Packers shocked the NFL world by drafting Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft. His selection certainly sparked the attention of Aaron Rodgers, who could have used another weapon rather than a successor to his Packers throne.
The two-time NFL MVP has led Green Bay to just one Super Bowl berth. And by making a startling admission about his Packers fate, it looks like time is ticking on Rodgers to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Lambeau Field.
The Packers surprised everyone by drafting Jordan Love
Heading into the 2020 NFL draft, the Packers had a clear list of needs. An uninspiring wide receiver corps needed at least another capable body or two. The tight end spot would have benefited from adding a youthful presence alongside 36-year-old Marcedes Lewis. Even the defense could have used an upgrade along in the trenches.
Yet, Green Bay threw a complete curveball in the first round. Not only did the Packers fail to address any of those critical needs but they spent their top pick on a quarterback. Plus, they traded up to secure Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick.
To call the move shocking would be an understatement. After all, with Aaron Rodgers and his expensive contract already on the books, it made little sense for Green Bay to waste a precious asset on a player who won’t see the field for at least two years.
Of course, Rodgers knows all too well what it’s like to be the next guy. Green Bay ended his precipitous draft-day fall in 2005 and stuck him on the bench behind Brett Favre for three years. And while he has made up for that lost time, it looks like the 36-year-old has accepted his Packers fate.
Aaron Rodgers makes startling admission about his Packers fate
For the most part, Aaron Rodgers has handled the Jordan Love selection in a mature, professional manner. That surprised some people given his reputation as a cold, difficult person to work with. Maybe Rodgers learned a lesson from his experience backing up Favre.
The two-time NFL MVP opened up about the Love selection while also making a startling admission about his Packers fate in an appearance on the inaugural episode of “10 Questions With Kyle Brandt” on The Ringer.
I was definitely surprised. When they drafted up—you know, I was watching the draft and thinking about which receiver might be there at that time. And I think there was a run on them there in the early 20s. I know the kid from LSU [Justin Jefferson] who I loved watching went, I think, to Minnesota in the early 20s. I knew the kid from Clemson [Tee Higgins] was still there and I enjoyed watching him as well.
Unfortunately for Rodgers, the Packers didn’t draft him a weapon and instead selected his likely successor. He explained that while he wasn’t elated by the pick, he could understand the Packers’ position from a business perspective. And by the sound of it, it appears as though Rodgers has come to terms with the fact that he won’t finish his career in Green Bay.
When asked by Brandt about the decision the Packers face between moving on from him or playing their first-round pick, Rodgers admitted that the most likely scenario ends with him moving on from the only NFL organization he’s ever known.
“Based on just the circumstances around everything. Just look at the facts. They traded up, they drafted him. I would say they like him, they want to play him.”
Will Rodgers lead the Packers to a Super Bowl before he gets replaced?
As Aaron Rodgers enters what looks to be his final few years with the Packers, it puts even more pressure on him to lead his team back to the Super Bowl. Though he has sewn up a spot in Canton, Rodgers’ lack of playoff success still stands out on an otherwise outstanding resume.
But have the Packers surrounded their superstar quarterback with enough talent to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to its rightful place? On paper, that certainly doesn’t appear to be the case.
Davante Adams continues to play at a high level. However, the rest of Green Bay’s receivers look less than inspiring. Allen Lazard caught 35 passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns last season and appears in line for a starting job. Devin Funchess played just one game last season. His 2017 season in which he posted 63/840/8 looks like an outlier.
The Packers do boast a deep backfield. Aaron Jones exploded for 19 total touchdowns and ranks as one of the best all-around running backs in the NFL. Jamaal Williams offers an excellent secondary option. The team also drafted A.J. Dillon in the second round.
However, if Aaron Rodgers wants to win another Super Bowl, it doesn’t look like Green Bay is the place to do it. The team did not appreciably upgrade a lackluster supporting cast. Instead, the Packers sealed their star quarterback’s fate by selecting his successor over a weapon that could help the franchise capture its first Super Bowl title in a decade.