The entire NFL was shocked less than a year ago when the Green Bay Packers opted to draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft rather than give Aaron Rodgers some weapons to throw to. Following the Packers’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, it has us wondering which players the Packers should have gone with instead of Jordan Love.
Green Bay has already wasted one of the years that Jordan Love has in his four-year contract worth a little over $12 million, because he didn’t play a single snap in 2020. It was evident that the Packers should have went in a different direction in the 2020 NFL Draft, especially after seeing the loss the team suffered to Tampa Bay simply because they didn’t have enough star power to come out on top.
The 2020 NFL Draft class, in hindsight, was loaded with a ton of talent that could have helped the Packers compete for a Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers, rather than disrespect him by drafting a quarterback in the first round who didn’t touch the field. Yes, it is very important to have a reliable backup, but not if you have to take that backup over some starting franchise talent.
The Packers did what the Packers do best and failed to get weapons for Aaron Rodgers yet again and are now shocked at the result of the game on Sunday. The Packers won’t be a Super Bowl team until they add more weapons to the team, some of which they could have had in last year’s NFL Draft.
Here’s a look at three players the Packers should have taken over Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Patrick Queen, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens
Patrick Queen was selected right after the Packers traded up to select Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and he would have been a dominant force on the Green Bay defense. Rather than Green Bay soaking up his riches, the Baltimore Ravens were able to enjoy his success as the former LSU linebacker had a dominant rookie season.
Queen, in 16 games, racked up 106 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, 10 quarterback hits, 13 pressures, three sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered, two passes defended, one interception, and one defensive touchdown in his rookie season and is now a focal point of the Baltimore defense. A player a lot of teams regret passing up, Queen proved all his doubters wrong with a dominant debut campaign.
On the Packers defense, Queen would have allowed them to have stability at the linebacker position for years to come. The Packers instead had to roll with Christian Kirksey at inside linebacker and he wasn’t nearly as productive as the young rookie.
Michael Pittman Jr, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts
One of the areas the Green Bay Packers needed obvious help in but failed to address was a wide receiver or two for Rodgers to throw to. If Rodgers had at least one other really talented wide receiver, who knows what the Super Bowl matchup would look like.
There were many talented wideouts in the 2020 draft class, but one of the super talented receivers the Packers could have drafted but failed to do so is current Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. Pittman Jr, 23, hauled in 40 receptions for 503 receiving yards and a touchdown in 13 games played. Pittman started to see an increased role later in the season and had a big game in the playoffs where he caught five balls for 90 yards and three first downs.
Aaron Rodgers would have been a much better quarterback for Pittman to catch balls from, but the Packers failed to draft the young star. Pittman is a strong breakout candidate next season for the Colts and the Packers could have had him before he was available to the Colts, but instead they went with Jordan Love.
Chase Claypool, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to land one of the NFL’s brightest young rookies in wide receiver Chase Claypool, but he would have been a lethal weapon for Aaron Rodgers to have down field. Chase Claypool was without a doubt one of the best rookies in 2020 and his presence with Green Bay would likely have them preparing for a Super Bowl right now.
It’s crazy to look back and think that the Packers could have had Claypool on their roster over a backup quarterback in Jordan Love, and it was a decision that could haunt Packers head coach Matt LaFleur and general manager Brian Gutekunst some day. Claypool logged an incredible season as he hauled in 62 receptions for 873 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020.
Claypool displayed some of the best hands on the Steelers and is a very physical down field blocker and receiver. The Packers could have used a gritty player like Claypool on their roster, but instead they’ll have to roll with Jordan Love holding a clipboard.