Quick look at 2024 NFL draft landscape at linebacker for Packers

Brian Gutekunst went to the market to sign a veteran linebacker to pair with Quay Walker and Isaiah McDuffie. Unfortunately, Green Bay’s general manager discovered that the linebacker aisle was picked over, like the toy aisle the day before Christmas. 

With the linebacker market barren, the Packers will likely need to trade for a veteran or use the draft to bolster the linebacker room at 1265 Lombardi Avenue. Let’s take a look at some linebackers that the Packers could target in the 2024 NFL draft.

Potential Target at 25

Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M

Cooper is an explosive mover and a true difference-maker. He can impact the game as a run defender, as a blitzer, or in coverage. If Cooper were to land in Green Bay he’d be the best linebacker on the roster, and no that’s not a shot at Walker. It’s a credit to Cooper. 

Cooper may be viewed as a bit of a reach in the first round, but the same thing can be said about Eric Stokes, Quay Walker, etc. Cooper would be a home run pick at 41, but Gutekunst may see the value in taking the impactful linebacker with the 25th overall pick. 

Day 2 Targets

Cedric Gray, UNC

Gray was all over the field this past season for the Tar Heels. He recorded 121 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and five sacks. The UNC linebacker works his way through the trash against the run and has the movement skills to hold up in coverage.

Junior Colson, Michigan

Mr. Always in the Right Place at the Right Time, Colson would be a steady presence in the middle of Green Bay’s defense. Colson is comfortable dropping in space and does a good job of reading the quarterback’s eyes. He has the range as a run defender to shut-down outside runs and is a reliable tackler. He is quick to diagnose and beats blockers to the spot. 

Payton Wilson, NC State

Every team could use a Payton Wilson. If he had a clean bill of health (two leg injuries), he’d be in the Potential Target at 25 tier with Cooper. The NC State product is the complete package at linebacker. He’s a physical, downhill defender against the run and he has the movement skills to hold up in coverage.

Day 3 Targets

Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington

From walk-on to captain, Ulofoshio had quite the journey during his time at Washington. The Alaska native is all heart and his motor is always running. He trusts his eyes and is quick to react to meet ball carriers in the hole. The Husky linebacker shows good instincts in coverage.

Jordan Magee, Temple

Magee isn’t a hulking linebacker, but he has the functional strength to destroy blocks and disrupt the action. He’s a smart player that is quick to read and react. The Temple linebacker gets good depth on his drops and looks comfortable moving laterally. Magee logged 307 snaps on special teams during his collegiate career and could carve out a role in that regard immediately as a rookie. 

Marist Liufau, Notre Dame

Liufau plays like his hair is on fire and is relentless in his pursuit of the ball carrier. He has the sideline-to-sideline quickness and is comfortable dropping into space.

Trevin Wallace, Kentucky

Wallace is an outstanding athlete with the sideline-to-sideline range to chase down ball carriers. A former track athlete, Wallace is the type of prospect that Gutekunst has a history of targeting. If his instincts ever catch up to his athletic traits, Wallace could develop into quite the difference-maker at the next level.

Curtis Jacobs, Penn State

A team will roll the dice on the Penn State linebacker’s athletic traits. With his quickness and his experience on special teams, it’s a safe bet that he could develop into a core player on special teams. Jacobs is a twitched-up athlete with the movement skills to hold up on coverage. 

JD Bertrand, Notre Dame

Bertrand is a cerebral player who trusts his eyes and is quick to read the action. He’s a downhill player, who does a good job of sifting through the trash to locate the ball carrier. With his instincts, relentless motor and special teams experience, Bertrand would be a solid addition to Green Bay’s linebacker room. 

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire