It started April 23 with the selection of two backup players in the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL draft. The Green Bay Packers failed again at the trade deadline, leaving quarterback Aaron Rodgers without a whole lot of weapons. The Packers didn’t swing and miss at Tuesday’s deadline. They didn’t even swing.
The Green Bay Packers had an embarrassing 2020 draft
The Green Bay Packers were so very close to another Super Bowl berth last season. Although they got blown away in the NFC title game by the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers earned the No. 2 seed in the conference and were one win from the Super Bowl. Fill in a few gaps in the 2020 NFL draft and the Packers could put themselves right back in the NFC Championship.
Yes, the Packers are 5-2 and Aaron Rodgers is looking like his old MVP self. However, the defense has been looking like its old self as well, which is not a good sign. Instead of plugging in a hole or two, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst elected to plan for the 2024 season. Gutekunst burned his first two draft picks on backup players in quarterback Jordan Love and running back AJ Dillon.
While he neglected the present, he also neglected one of his team’s biggest weaknesses. Outside of Davante Adams, the Packers do not have a true receiving threat. Gutekunst failed to draft a receiver in the entire draft.
Davante Adams has been outstanding — when healthy
Davante Adams has proven to be one of the NFL’s top wide receivers over the past few years. Selected in the second round of the 2104 NFL draft, Adams came into his own in 2016 when he hauled in 12 touchdown passes and 997 receiving yards. The next three seasons, Adams made the Pro Bowl.
Adams had his best season in 2018. In 15 games, Adams finished with 13 touchdown receptions and 1,386 receiving yards – both career-highs. A year ago, Adams played in just 12 games and managed 997 receiving yards and five touchdowns. This season, Adams has been on fire. He leads the league in touchdown receptions with seven despite missing two games.
Adams’ issue has been staying healthy. Since he was drafted in 2014, he’s only played all 16 games in two seasons. This year, he’s already missed two full games and left early in another with a hamstring injury. Despite the injury, Adams has racked up better than 500 yards in his five games. He finished with 13 catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Houston Texans.
The Packers failed at the trade deadline
At least Brian Gutekunst is consistent. He failed at giving Aaron Rodgers any weapons on draft day and did the same at the trade deadline. There were wide receivers to be had, but Gutekunst came up empty again.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller was the wide receiver rumored to be eyed by the Packers. According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, there were disagreements in the Packers’ front office whether adding Fuller would be worth the draft capital needed to acquire him. Instead, the Packers walked away with nothing.
It didn’t have to be Fuller. It didn’t have to be anyone elite. The Packers do not have a No. 2 guy. Marquez-Valdes Scantling has not been the guy. Neither has Equanimeous St. Brown. Allen Lazard is hurt. Rodgers is 36 and the Packers are in the hunt. Maybe Gutekunst is saving his draft picks for when Jordan Love takes over in a few years.