Just like every season after their Super Bowl victory back in 2010, the Packers have very high expectations to make it back to the big game. After making the playoffs the past eight seasons and only winning one Super Bowl as well as appearing in two championship games in the past three years, having high expectations is normal.
The only way the high expectations of wining another Super Bowl can become a reality is if the Packers have a near perfect outcome in the NFL Draft coming up in two days. The areas they need to target are on the defensive side of the ball.
Their positions on the draft board may not be enough to get the job done though. They might have to make some trades and bold picks in order to make a statement.
The first three selections are crucial for the Packers to have success this upcoming season as this is a very talented draft class and they NEED to pick wisely.
Wide receivers and offensive lineman can be chosen in the later rounds as they cannot be wasting the defensive talent that they so badly need.
Here is a look at what the Packers need to do to have three perfect picks within the first three rounds.
Round 1: No. 29 overall
Pick Prediction: LB T.J. Watt
T.J. Watt is a must-have player coming out of the University of Wisconsin. In case you didn’t know, he is the brother of three-time defensive player of the year J.J. Watt.
The bloodline speaks for itself and is something the Packers have had similar experience with, like when they drafted Clay Matthews. Not only does the bloodline stand out, but so does T.J. Watt. He is a talented football player and will automatically strengthen the Packers’ defense. The Packers would be adding another strong linebacker in Watt to the recently re-signed Nick Perry along with Clay Matthews and Jake Ryan. Not to mention Blake Martinez gained a lot of experience last year stepping in his rookie season out of Stanford.
If Watt is still available at pick 29, it would be ideal for the Packers to draft him.
Round 2: No. 61 overall
Position: Defensive Back
Pick Prediction: DB Jabrill Peppers
After originally being projected as an early 2nd round pick, Peppers recently ran into some trouble after testing positive for a diluted drug test sample. Now this does not mean he tested positive for any drugs but it definitely concerns NFL coaches and general managers. This could really help the Packers, though.
There is no way Peppers falls this low in the second round, so what the Packers have to do here is trade up mid-early second round to get Peppers. With two 5th round picks and a compensatory 5th round pick, the Packers have some bait to trade away. This would be such a bold move and would really make a statement as the Packers are looking to further strengthen their defense.
If they can get Watt in the first round and then trade up in the second to get Peppers, they will have already made two perfect picks. Peppers will also fill in for DB Micah Hyde who was signed by the Buffalo Bills this offseason.
Peppers brings so much talent to not only the defense but special teams as well and can really be a game-changer.
Round 3: No. 93 overall
Need: Defense or Offense, depending on who’s available and previous picks.
Position: Cornerback or Running Back
Pick Prediction: CB Cameron Sutton or RB D’Onta Foreman
If the Packers somehow end up drafting T.J. Watt and Jabrill Peppers in the first two rounds, then their third round pick is definitely for a running back.
D’Onta Foreman had an insane 2016 season at the University of Texas, racking up over 2,000 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. He is just what the Packers need in the backfield to take over for Eddie Lacy and take some pressure off of current RB Ty Montgomery.
If the Packers don’t decide to go running back though, they could definitely use some cornerback help, as drafting for defense is always an option. Cornerback Cameron Sutton from Tennessee stands out right away. Although picking him at 93 overall seems a little higher than expected, he could be a hidden gem and could really help the Packers depleted secondary.