What Packers’ top 30 visits tell us about their blueprint to the NFL Draft

It is the time of the year when we are looking for any clues or past tendencies that will provide us with any sort of insight into not only who the Packers might be interested in drafting but what their approach to it might look like.

In an effort to hone in on what position groups the Packers could target, and more specifically, when they plan to target them, I took a closer look at who they’ve had in for their top-30 visits and where those players are slotted on Jordan Reid’s big board over at ESPN.

Now, top 30 visits for many teams don’t tell us much. But that hasn’t been the case for the Packers, particularly over the last two years. During that span, in some capacity, 16 of the 60 prospects that the Packers have had in for pre-draft visits have ended up on the team. That certainly isn’t nothing.

As of now, 22 of the 30 visits have been reported. Cross-referencing those names, specifically their position groups, with Reid’s big board, I attempted to put together what the Packers’ draft blueprint looks like–and there were some patterns that emerged.

There have only been two prospects with Round 1 grades from Reid to visit the Packers, and they were cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry and offensive tackle Amarius Mims. Tyler Guyton, another offensive tackle, also visited the Packers and received a Round 2 grade from Reid but was very close to being in Round 1 and could be selected there in the draft.

So, not surprisingly, what this might tell us is that cornerback and offensive tackle are the two positions on the Packers’ radar in the first round. Both are positions of need and premier positions in football, which the Packers prioritize early on.

Prospects with Round 2 to Round 4 grades that visited the Packers primarily occupied three position groups: the offensive line, the interior defensive line, and linebacker.

Even if the Packers were to take a tackle in the first round, they still have to address the interior offensive line, which is lacking both depth and competition. If they were to take a cornerback in Round 1, then both tackle and the interior line have to be addressed on Day 2.

Linebacker is, of course, one of the bigger needs that the Packers have to attempt to tackle, and the interior defensive line could be an under-the-radar need. You can read more about that here.

Other positions represented in this part of the draft were cornerback, running back, and wide receiver, just not as prominently as the ones mentioned above.

With the backup running back role up for grabs, we absolutely could see the Packers add to that position on Day 2. Receiver is far from a need, but as he should, Gutekunst is doing his due diligence, while cornerback could be a Day 2 pick if the Packers go a different direction on the first day.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that safety is missing from this group. With four selections on Day 2, I’m sure the Packers want to address that need. However, this blueprint does reflect the state of the safety draft class, which overall, isn’t very deep, and that pool becomes even more thin when searching for players who meet the Packers’ athletic thresholds.

Lastly, the position groups most represented with Round 5 to undrafted grades include linebacker and safety.

We know that the Packers could use starting-caliber additions at both of these position groups, but they are in need of bodies as well.

As of now, there are just five linebackers on the roster, which isn’t nearly enough to get through training camp, not to mention that Gutekunst said at the NFL Combine that in making the switch to a 4-3 defense, they’ll need more depth at this position than usual.

Safety also has just five players on the roster and likely needs two to three more players for the summer.

So, to put a bow on all of this, here is how that blueprint breaks down and where the positional emphasis could be for the Packers in each round:

Round 1: CB, OT

Rounds 2-4: OT/IOL, LB, IDL, RB, CB

Rounds 5-UDFA: S, LB

With 11 picks, including five in the first three rounds, Gutekunst has tremendous flexibility to move around or make a selection that may not address one of the Packers’ perceived needs. We are, of course, going to see Gutekunst deviate and make other selections than what is laid out above.

However, in terms of the needs that the Packers have, along with where the strengths of this draft class lie, this blueprint aligns fairly well with both of those elements.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire