Packers draft preview: Time might be right to use high pick at WR

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Zach Kruse
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Green Bay Packers will go into the 2021 NFL draft with 10 draft picks and a chance to build on a talented roster that finished 13-3 and advanced to the NFC title game for the second straight season in 2020. Like last year, GM Brian Gutekunst has three picks in the top 100 selections and seven Day 3 picks.

Packers Wire’s position-by-position draft preview rolls on at wide receiver:

On the roster

Davante Adams, 28 years old, signed through 2021 – Marquez Valdes-Scantling, 26 years old, signed through 2021 – Equanimeous St. Brown, 24 years old, signed through 2021 – Devin Funchess, 26 years old, signed through 2021 – Allen Lazard, 25 years old, signed through 2021 – Malik Taylor, 25 years old, signed through 2021 – Juwann Winfree, 24 years old, signed through 2021 – Reggie Begelton, 27 years old, signed through 2021 – Chris Blair, 22 years old, signed through 2023 Notes: The Packers' top five receivers from last year return. Funchess had his contract tolled after opting out of 2020. Blair, who signed a futures contract in January, is the only player without an expiring deal after 2021.

Short term need

Moderate. With everyone back from 2020, the Packers are in a good short-term spot at receiver. Adams is the best receiver in football, Valdes-Scantling provides the speedy deep threat and Lazard does a little bit of everything. Funchess, who hasn't played since early in 2019, returns for 2021 after opting out last year. This receiver group is missing a slot weapon with short-area explosiveness and run-after-catch skills. Adding one from this draft – and the class is very good – could give the league's No. 1 scoring offense from last year another dangerous element, especially within a scheme that utilizes so much motion.

Long term need

High. The overall contract situation of the position after 2021 demands that the Packers treat receiver as a priority in this draft. With so many expiring contracts, the group could look much different entering 2022. Building up depth, potentially with a high pick or multiple picks, might be required. Adams is a good bet to be back with a multi-year extension, but nothing is ever guaranteed and the Packers already have a lot of money tied up into veteran contracts in 2022. Green Bay hasn't drafted a receiver in the top 100 picks since 2015.

Chances of drafting position

High. The long-term need is impossible to ignore. Then again, chances were high at this time last year and the Packers didn't take one. If they do take a receiver, it'll be interesting to see how high in the draft they add help. The class offers intriguing early-round options, but the Packers – with Adams, the NFL MVP at quarterback and a receiver-friendly scheme – might not feel the need to spend big amounts of draft capital on a receiver. Ten picks should provide an opportunity to add at least one receiver.

Depth of draft class

Strong. Once again, 2021 offers a deep and talented class of receivers. Many are Packers types by size and athleticism. And there is a surplus of slot and gadget types. Overall, Dane Brugler of The Athletic has 15 receivers in his top 100 players and 45 total with draftable grades. It's another good year to need a receiver.

Options, and last WR drafted

A few potential options for the Packers at wide receiver in the draft class: – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota – Terrace Marshall, LSU – Rondale Moore, Purdue – Kadarius Toney, Florida – Elijah Moore, Ole Miss – Dyami Brown, UNC – Nico Collins, Michigan – Simi Fehoko, Stanford Last wide receiver drafted by the Packers: Equanimeous St. Brown, sixth round, 2018

1

1