The Green Bay Packers head into the 2018 NFL Draft with high hopes after a disappointing 2017. The current belief is that the Packers and new general manager Brian Gutekunst will prioritize defense in the draft, but there are also some holes to fill on the offensive side. Any rookie that gets to join Aaron Rodgers on the field will have the potential to make a fantasy football impact, so here is a positional breakdown of Green Bay’s offensive needs headed into the draft.
Aaron Rodgers will be the number one quarterback selected in most fantasy drafts, and as long as he stays healthy will be the starter every week for the Packers. Green Bay shored up the backup position by trading for Deshone Kizer in the offseason. They also still have Brett Hundley on the roster, who started 10 games for Green Bay, albeit with very underwhelming results.
Draft Needs: Low
The Packers do not need to spend a draft pick on a quarterback. They may bring in some undrafted free agent rookies to compete for a spot on the practice squad, but nothing of fantasy relevance. Marshall’s Chase Litton, who helped convince former college basketball player and current Packers wide receiver Michael Clark to transfer to Marshall, would be a fun story but have no fantasy impact.
The Packers have a crowded and unpredictable backfield headed into 2018. Ty Montgomery started 2017 with a stranglehold on the backfield before suffering a rib injury. Rookies Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams struggled through injuries at times, but each shined when given volume. Williams finished the season strongest and probably has a slight edge for the starting role headed into 2018. Fellow rookie Devante Mays also saw the field for the Packers in 2018 but fumbled two times on only four carries. The Packers also have fullback Aaron Ripkowski on their roster.
Draft Needs: Low
There isn’t much of a need at running back given that Green Bay drafted three ball carriers in the 2017 draft. Don’t expect them to draft a running back early. They could select one or more later in the draft, as you can never have enough running back depth in today’s NFL, but anybody they draft probably is unlikely to make much of a fantasy impact in 2018.
The Packers’ wide receiver corps will have a very different look in 2018. Longtime number one receiver Jordy Nelson was shown the door, and Davante Adams should be locked and loaded as the number one receiver. After that, it gets murky. Veteran Randall Cobb is next on the depth chart, but his production has been down over the past two seasons. Geronimo Allison has flashed potential in his first two seasons and is the number one candidate for an increased workload with the departure of Nelson. There’s also the chance that Ty Montgomery returns to spending more time at wide receiver in 2018. Deeper down the depth chart is a wealth of young, talented, but unproven receivers. There’s Michael Clark, the former college basketball player brimming with potential, Trevor Davis, the speedster who up to this point has been primarily a return specialist, and DeAngelo Yancey, a fifth-round pick in 2017 that has yet to see the field in a regular season game.
Draft Needs: Moderate
However you look at it, there will be a shakeup in the receiver corps in Green Bay in 2018. With 12 total picks headed into the draft, the Packers will almost certainly use at least one of those picks on a receiver. Calvin Ridley could definitely still be on the board when the Packers pick at the 14 spot, but they’re more likely to spend early picks on defense and address the receiver position later in the draft. Equanimeous St. Brown could make sense in the second or third round if the big receiver from Notre Dame is available.
The Packers made a splash in free agency by signing superstar tight end Jimmy Graham. They also have Lance Kendricks under contract for one more season. Veteran tight end Richard Rodgers left for Philadelphia via free agency.
Draft Needs: High
Graham is one of the best red zone targets in the league, but the Packers will still need to address the tight end position at some point in the draft. Neither Graham nor Kendricks are known for their blocking abilities, and both are in the back half of their careers. Look for Green Bay to spend one or more draft picks on the position at some point in the draft, likely on a tight end that is capable of run blocking and contributing on special teams as well as catching passes. South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst would be an ideal fit but will probably be long gone before the Packers are willing to address the position. Stanford’s Dalton Schultz, Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagalli, and Washington’s Will Dissly are all potential fits.