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Green Bay Packers 2021 Season Preview: Distractions, what distractions?

The Green Bay Packers look to fight distractions on the way to a Super Bowl, but does their 2021 season preview that way?

The Green Bay Packers preview as one of the better teams heading into the 2021 season — it’s a good thing there was no offseason drama. Aaron Rodgers is coming off being disrespected, even if only in his own mind, and off an MVP season in 2020.

Green Bay Packers 2021 season preview

The Packers’ schedule certainly doesn’t cause concern for the team. Despite their 26-6 record over the past two seasons, they face just the 13th-toughest schedule in the league.

However, they do have to face the NFC West, which should prove a difficult task. The Packers also have the AFC North in the rotation. Games against the Ravens and Browns will be far from easy, and there are plenty of other games that should provide great battles.

Luckily for Green Bay, they play in the NFC North, where they are significantly superior to their three division rivals. The Lions and Bears provide four games the Packers should walk away with unscathed. They also face the Bengals and Steelers, providing a good mix of “easy” and “hard” games for the season.

Offseason additions and losses

The Packers are a slower organization than most, and they used that plan during the 2021 offseason. Not much happened in terms of additions and subtractions for the team. However, they did lose arguably the best center in the NFL to the Los Angeles Chargers. They also let Jamaal Williams walk in free agency.

The Packers made one big move when they extended Aaron Jones for four years. They also retained Robert Tonyan and Kevin King. At Rodgers’ request they also traded for Randall Cobb. Cobb will provide Rodgers with a trusted pass catcher, who he could target regularly.

2021 NFL Draft

The Packers drafted King’s eventual replacement with the 29th pick in the NFL Draft. Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes is a long corner with incredible straight-line speed. He must work to develop his body more to handle the physical punishment of the NFL game. It’ll be interesting to see if he battles for snaps in Year 1.

The Packers went straight after need once again with the selection of Ohio State center Josh Myers. Elgton Jenkins already proved he could play anywhere at a high level, so there’s a chance Myers slides into the starting lineup immediately.

The Packers — by Rodgers’ own admission — needed a slot receiver. They got that in Clemson’s Amari Rodgers, a receiver with a running back’s build. It helps him when he has the ball in his hands, and he resembles a recent shift to that type of receiver.

Royce Newman is an athletic interior blocker who could develop into a starter at the NFL level. Fifth-round pick Tedarrell Slaton provides some beef on the defensive interior as a nose tackle.

Where do Green Bay players rank in PFN’s Top 100?

There is no shortage of Packers in the PFN Top 100 NFL Players. Will the Packers have more or fewer players on the 2022 season preview?

95) Elgton Jenkins

Jenkins’ versatility as an offensive lineman is his calling card. He has an exceptional wingspan, which helps him on the off chance he’s forced into recovery mode. However, that doesn’t happen often. He’s one of the most technically proficient blockers in the league.

89) Kenny Clark

It doesn’t take long to get to Clark’s name when it comes to defensive tackle play. The Packers’ nose tackle didn’t enjoy the same production he had the previous year, but the big man can still eat a double-team and dissect blocks at the point of attack.

71) Aaron Jones

Jones is one of the more underrated talents at running back in the NFL. Green Bay certainly doesn’t underrate him, though. After drafting another runner in Round 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft, we thought they might. Despite that selection, they are keeping Jones around for the foreseeable future. His ability as a pass catcher out of the backfield makes him the perfect modern runner.

21) David Bakhtiari

Bakhtiari is one of the most entertaining beer drinkers around, and he’s an even better left tackle. The Packers lost arguably the best blindside blocker in the NFL late in the season. How good is he? Well, he’s been either a first or second-team All-Pro every season since 2014.

16) Jaire Alexander

Alexander is second only to Jalen Ramsey when it comes to the top NFL cornerbacks. He’s been a legend since his days of trolling receivers at Louisville. From a pure coverage perspective, there’s an argument nobody in the league does it better.

7) Davante Adams

Adams’ ability to win at the line of scrimmage gives Rodgers and the Packers a huge advantage in the passing game. Adams averaged nearly 100 yards per game in 2020 and scored 18 times despite missing two games. He also caught over 77% of his targets last year.

3) Aaron Rodgers

Quite possibly the most talented quarterback ever, Rodgers had another quiet offseason after winning the MVP award in 2020. No, the quarterback is at odds with management and has been for a long, long time. However, the big tiff started BEFORE the 2020 season, in which the team went 13-3 and nearly went to the Super Bowl.

Rodgers has a massive chip on his shoulder, and that’s a good sign for what almost surely is Rodgers’ final season with the Packers.

Packers 2021 prediction

Head coach Matt LaFleur is 26-6 in his two seasons as Packers head coach. He appears to be one person outside the players who actually gets along with the MVP quarterback. Keeping this team on the same page may not be a fun task, but his real test will come after Rodgers leaves the organization.

Nathaniel Hackett’s offense was outstanding last season. They were the most efficient passing attack in the league last year and the fifth-most efficient running team.

Joe Barry leaves the Rams organization to be the Packers DC after they fired Mike Pettine. The defense has plenty of talent on the defensive line and secondary. After falling just outside of the top 10 in 2020, they’ll look to elevate that ranking this season.

Offense

Green Bay’s offense should continue to shine if their 2021 season preview is any indication. They still have some good offensive firepower and a Hall of Fame quarterback hot off an MVP season.

Defense

This team should be able to get to the passer and cover receivers just fine in 2021. The linebacker play will be the biggest question for this unit.

2021 Packers record prediction

It may sound crazy, but it shouldn’t be a surprise if somehow Rodgers and the Packers take this thing on a deep playoff run and potentially even hoist the Lombardi Trophy. With their relatively easy schedule and strong roster, this team should finish around 13-4.

Dalton Miller is the Lead NFL Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can read more of his work here and follow him @daltonbmiller on Twitter and Twitch

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