Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were once again just one win away from reaching the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, they saw that goal vanish with a brutal loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, the attention shifts to the offseason with free agency and the NFL Draft at the front of their minds.
Following the loss to the Buccaneers, the Packers are now destined to draft at No. 29 in the upcoming draft. That is not a great pick, obviously, but should allow them to find a young player capable of playing immediately.
Looking ahead at the NFL Draft, the Packers have quite a few needs to focus on. They need help on the offensive line, at cornerback, at wide receiver, and at linebacker. Other positions could use more help as well, including the defensive line to stop the run.
Thankfully, this draft class is deep and there is a lot of talent to be found. Brian Gutekunst and company need to make sure that they find it.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at five first-round picks that would be perfect fits for the Packers.
Liam Eichenberg, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame
When David Bakhtiari went down with a season-ending torn ACL, everyone knew that the Packers were in trouble. The line played solid after the injury, but against the Buccaneers, Rodgers was under pressure all game long.
In the first round of the NFL Draft, the Packers could find a good piece available at No. 29 in Liam Eichenberg. At 6-foot-6 and just over 300 pounds, Eichenberg is an intimidating physical presence and could be a long-term star for Green Bay.
They may choose to go a different route in the first round, but if offensive line is their priority, Eichenberg would be a very good pick.
Eric Stokes, Cornerback, Georgia
Kevin King is set to hit free agency and it seems relatively unlikely that the Packers will re-sign him. They don’t have a lot of money to spend and they just saw King get torched time and time again in the NFC Championship Game.
One option to replace him could be Georgia’s Eric Stokes. During the 2020 season with the Bulldogs, he racked up 20 total tackles, four interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, and four defended passes. His playmaking ability is obvious.
Green Bay needs another playmaking threat in the secondary. Jaire Alexander is one of the best in the business, but Stokes playing across from him could be lethal.
Zaven Collins, Linebacker, Tulsa
As we mentioned, finding help at the linebacker position will be a priority this offseason. A first-round option could be Zaven Collins.
This season with the Golden Hurricane, Collins recorded 54 total tackles to go along with four sacks, two forced fumbles, four interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, and two defended passes. He is a versatile linebacker who would fit nicely in Green Bay.
If the Packers grab a talent like Collins, their defense should improve. That is an obvious need and this pick would make perfect sense.
Rondale Moore, Wide Receiver, Purdue
Next up, the Packers could look to take a wide receiver in the first round. Last offseason, they shocked many by not taking a receiver in the first two rounds to give Aaron Rodgers more weapons. Rondale Moore could be an ideal fit for Green Bay with his ability to make big-time plays anytime he touches the football.
Moore had a rough past two seasons with the Boilermakers, but he showed off his superstar potential as a freshman. In that season, he caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns. His speed alone makes him an intriguing fit for Green Bay.
It will be interesting to see where Moore ends up landing. There is a chance that he could fall to the second round, but the Packers taking him late in the first seems like a match made in heaven.
Asante Samuel Jr., Cornerback, Florida State
Finally, we are going to add another cornerback to the list of potential targets in the NFL Draft. Asante Samuel Jr. is without a doubt an NFL talent and could be worth a look at No. 29 overall.
Many will remember his father, who was a very talented cornerback in his day. Samuel Jr. had a good 2020 season with the Seminoles with 30 total tackles, one forced fumble, three interceptions, and six defended passes.
Samuel may not end up being an immediate star, but he has that potential in the future. If the Packers opt to go with a cornerback, Stokes or Samuel would be more than worthy selections.