The Green Bay Packers selected a whopping 13 players in the 2023 NFL Draft, a rebuilding moment for the franchise as it prepares for life with new quarterback Jordan Love. So what did national writers think of the haul? Mostly positive thoughts, as it turns out.
To review, here's the class:
Lukas Van Ness, edge rusher, Iowa (No. 13 overall)
Luke Musgrave, tight end, Oregon State (42)
Jayden Reed, wide receiver Michigan State (50)
Tucker Kraft, tight end, South Dakota State (78)
Colby Wooden, defensive tackle, Auburn (116)
Sean Clifford, quarterback Penn State (149)
Dontayvion Wicks, wide receiver, Virginia (159)
Karl Brooks, defensive tackle, Bowling Green (179)
Anders Carlson, kicker, Auburn (207)
Carrington Valentine, cornerback, Kentucky (232)
Lew Nichols III, running back, Central Michigan (235)
Anthony Johnson Jr., safety, Iowa State (242)
Grant DuBose, wide receiver, Charlotte (256)
Here's what the writers had to say:
These writers really liked the Packers 2023 draft
Dane Brugler of The Athletic regarded the Packers as the No. 6 draft class; he listed Musgrave as his favorite and Wooden as a Day 3 pick who could surprise.
"I love what the Packers did in the first four rounds, especially with the two tight ends they took on Friday," he wrote. "In my Day 2 mock draft, I projected Musgrave to Green Bay because of the way he fits the team’s profile and the potential impact he can make in that offense. With his diverse athletic background, Musgrave is a big, loose athlete who can run the seam, stem defenders or create movement as a combo tight end."
Chad Reuter of NFL.com gave the Packers an A-minus.
"I love the potential in Van Ness as a strong edge defender who can play 5 technique. Musgrave (gained with the pick acquired from the Jets in exchange for Aaron Rodgers), Reed (picked slightly earlier than expected) and Kraft (picked slightly later) give new quarterback Jordan Love three young targets with whom he can get familiar this offseason."
These writers gave the Packers a B-plus for the 2023 draft
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report: "The Packers put a strong emphasis on supporting Love, which was a sound strategy. If Green Bay exercises the fifth-year option on Love's contract, it will have two years to evaluate him before having to sign him to a new deal (or franchise tag) or part ways.
"If supporting Love was the goal, Green Bay did a nice job of throwing proverbial darts at its target. The Packers didn't come away with one of the very best pass-catchers, but they added offensive volume without ignoring the other side of the football."
Mel Kiper of ESPN felt there were better pass rushers available than Lukas Van Ness but liked the other picks the Packers made on Day 2 and 3.
"This Green Bay offseason is going to be remembered for all of the theatrics around Rodgers, but I thought the Packers did well in this draft, especially if Van Ness turns into an All-Pro. We're going to find out a lot more about Love and his future in a few months. Plus, if Rodgers plays a bunch for the Jets, New York will owe the Packers its 2024 first-rounder."
Pete Prisco of CBS listed Musgrave as the best pick and Reed as the worst: "It was obvious that they wanted to get help for Jordan Love in the passing game and also for their defensive front, which they did. They added four pass catches and two defensive front players, including first-round edge rusher Lukas Van Ness. This draft would have made Aaron Rodgers happy. Too bad it's all for Love."
Pro Football Focus did an extensive breakdown of each team and also gave the Packers a B-plus, as did Sports Illustrated's Gilberto Manzano and Matt Verderame.
These writers gave the Packers 2023 draft anywhere from a 'B' to a 'C-minus'
Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News gave the Packers a C-minus.
"Brian Gutekunst's first Packers draft without Aaron Rodgers was interesting given the loading up on receiving help from Musgrave, Reed, Kraft and Wicks, but it was a little too heavy on skill positions, missing some needed selections for the offensive line," Iyer wrote. "Clifford was a terrible wasted pick as a far undraftable QB behind Jordan Love. Van Ness and Wooden need a lot of work to help the defense. Brooks and Johnson were their clear best picks, value or otherwise."
Touchdown Wire's Doug Farrar gave the Packers a C.
"Maybe it was the number of picks the Packers had, or maybe they felt freed from the shackles of whatever mystery spell Aaron Rodgers had put on them, but the Packers’ draft was… odd," Farrar said. "Let’s start with the picks I liked. Clearly, head coach Matt Lafleur is going to call a bunch of 12 personnel packages with the addition of Musgrave and Kraft, and they’re two of the most explosive tight ends in a loaded class. Jayden Reed is a competitive receiver who will add to the room, I love Karl Brooks as a legitimate 300-pound edge defender (you don’t see that every day), and getting Anthony Johnson Jr. in the seventh round is absolute larceny.
"And now… time to avert your eyes, Cheeseheads. I had Lukas Van Ness as my eighth-ranked edge-rusher, Sean Clifford has an undraftable grade from a lot of people (I do not disagree), and there’s more reaches than steals here. Even Reed, who I like, seems more like a third-day guy. Maybe it all works out, but starting with the Van Ness pick, this is hard to endorse."
Fox Sports reporter Carmen Vitali gave the Packers a B.
"It wasn't the petty draft I would have hoped for, but the Packers took Lukas Van Ness out of Iowa at No. 13 overall with the intention of playing him inside rather than on the edge. That alone makes me feel better about them not selecting a pass catcher in the first round, though it means Green Bay will field eight first-round picks on the defensive side of the ball alone this coming season. The defense is out of excuses.
"Clearly, taking a receiver at No. 13 was too rich this year — Jaxon Smith-Njigba didn't come off the board until No. 20. But Green Bay did address pass catchers on Day 2, taking two tight ends and a wide receiver. Jayden Reed out of Michigan State may actually be my favorite of the picks for the way he can complement the Packers' other young wideouts."
Danny Kelly of The Ringer went 'B' as well.
"On day two, the team finally answered their fans’ pleas, bolstering their skill-player group in support of Jordan Love by grabbing a pair of versatile tight ends in Luke Musgrave (Oregon State) and Tucker Kraft (South Dakota State), along with a twitchy, playmaking receiver in Jayden Reed (Michigan State)," Kelly wrote. "GM Brian Gutekunst added another receiver in Virginia Tech’s Dontayvion Wicks in the fifth round—a draft haul that should be a boon for the team’s new signal caller. Green Bay added former Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford in the fifth round, too—a huge surprise that early in the draft, and perhaps a result of the success of last year’s Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy. Clifford is, hilariously, three months older than Love, who was drafted in 2020."
USA Today's Nate Davis went 'B' as well.
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: National writers offer grades and analysis for Packers' 2023 draft