Cover Photo: Getty Images
The Green Bay Packers posted eight-straight winning seasons from 2009-2016, but old age and injuries have piled up for the franchise. They have now posted back-to-back losing seasons and are in need of some young talent to get back into NFC North contention.
While they made great strides in free agency, they have plenty of draft capital to keep the momentum going into the 2019 season. Here are some options that the Packers should consider with their two first-round picks in the NFL Draft, assuming no trades.
No. 12 - T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa Hawkeyes
The Packers skill guys have been banged up or simply non-existent for the past few seasons. Jimmy Graham had more drops (4) than touchdowns (2) and his lack of separation made it difficult for Aaron Rodgers to target. Graham also left much to be desired as a blocker.
Iowa's T.J. Hockenson should be the heir to Graham's TE role. He outproduced fellow TE and probable first-round pick, Noah Fant, at Iowa. He also boasts exceptional blocking skills that would allow him to play on all downs and compete for the starting job.
No. 12 - Montez Sweat, DE/LB, Mississippi State Bulldogs
After landing a talented duo of young linebackers in free agency, an athletic edge rusher would make the most sense. With longtime linebacker/pass rusher Clay Matthews out of the picture, Mississippi State's Montez Sweat could slide directly into that role.
Sweat has NFL edge rusher-size, standing at 6-6, 260 pounds, but he also has incredible athleticism. The former Bulldog ran a 4.41 40, jumped 36 inches, and performed well in the agility drills at the Combine. Sweat could be a stand-up edge rusher who could also drop into coverage when needed.
While his medicals seem to be a risk to some teams, it would be hard to justify passing on Sweat's talent if he fell to the Packers at either of their picks.
No. 30 - Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes
Parris Campbell has been knocked for playing close to the line of scrimmage and receiving mostly screen passes during his tenure with the Buckeyes, but he is the perfect fit for Green Bay. The Packers don't need to draft another alpha-dog with Davante Adams on the outside. All they need is a slot specialist to give Rodgers another target.
Campbell profiles as the perfect slot compliment to Adams, and he has incredible athleticism as well. He blazed a 4.31 40-yard dash at the combine, showing that he can be a deep threat if his coaches choose to put him in that role. That type of player would open up all levels of the field for the Green Bay offense.
No. 30 - Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State Wildcats
The Packers have a solid tackle pair in David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga, but they have struggled with depth behind them, giving up nine sacks in the two games Bulaga missed last season.
Kansas State's Dalton Risner would be the ideal swing tackle that could start inside at guard and fill in on the outside if either starter were to miss time. He would have an instant impact in run blocking and should help keep Rodgers healthy as he enters his mid-to-late-30s.
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Taylor Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username jtsmittyyy. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.