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Green Bay Packers NFL Draft Picks & Grades 2021

What grades do the Green Bay Packers’ picks from the 2021 NFL Draft receive? And is it enough to keep Aaron Rodgers happy?

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft Picks & Grades 2021
Sep 26, 2020; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Eric Stokes (27) intercepts a pass intended for Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Mike Woods (8) during the third quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

With offensive turnover along their offensive line and plenty of needs on defense, the Packers have some holes to fill in the 2021 NFL Draft. Further turmoil with Aaron Rodgers has their draft strategy even more concerning. What picks did the Packers make in the 2021 NFL Draft, and what are their grades?

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Packers draft picks in 2021

  • 29th Overall Selection (R1-P29): Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
  • 62nd Overall Selection (R2-P30): Josh Myers, G/C, Ohio State
  • 85th Overall Selection (R3-P22): Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson 
  • 142nd Overall Selection (R4-P37): Royce Newman, OL, Ole Miss
  • 173rd Overall Selection (R5-P29): Tedarrel Slaton, DT, Florida
  • 178th Overall Selection (R5-P34): Shemar Jean-Charles, DB, App State
  • 214th Overall Selection (R6-P30): Cole van Lanen, OG, Wisconsin
  • 220th Overall Selection (R6-P36): Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College
  • 256th Overall Selection (R7-P29): Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State

Who did the Packers draft on Day 1?

With their first-round pick at No. 29 overall, the Green Bay Packers selected Georgia CB Eric Stokes.

Green Bay Packers grades for 2021 NFL Draft

The Packers still need a wide receiver, but they select a cornerback with their first-round pick.

Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

This was a bit of a surprise, but Stokes has been thought of as a potential surprise first-round pick. He’s a fast corner as a former track star, with good footwork and intelligence. His intangibles and IQ have been raved about by his coaches, which I’m sure played a part in the first-round buzz.

It fixes a need for Green Bay, as they needed a corner opposite Jaire Alexander. Over an offensive lineman or a wide receiver after all the issues with Aaron Rodgers? I’m sure that’ll set in well. I also believe there were better corners available so it feels like a reach.

Grade: B

Josh Myers, G/C, Ohio State

This is a great move for the Packers, who needed to add help in the interior after losing players up front. Josh Myers and Elgton Jenkins can compete for the starting center spot. The Packers value versatility up front, and Myers fits the bill.

Grade: B

Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson

The Packers needed to give Aaron Rodgers weapons, and pairing him with Amari Rodgers is a smart pickup. Rodgers is a good YAC creator with his toughness, play strength, and route running. He’s a slot-only receiver but has reliable hands and makes tough catches that Aaron will appreciate. He developed into more of a downfield threat in 2020, and he’ll add a unique threat to Green Bay’s offense.

Grade: B+

Royce Newman, OL, Ole Miss

The Packers go in on another versatile offensive lineman. The Packers had a clear need here, and they typically go for high athletes on the offensive line. Royce Newman has played at both guard and tackle and has reportedly been training at center too. Where he ends up will be interesting, but he’s a high-upside pick that can be moved around on the offensive line.

Grade: A

Tedarrell Slaton, DT, Florida

The Packers wanted to add more along the defensive line, and they got that with beefy tackle Tedarrel Slaton. He is raw and powerful, but there is an emphasis on raw. He has a frame and the strength worth developing, but his technique against double-teams is sloppy, and he needs to work off of blocks better. He’s a pure nose tackle in my eyes. 

Grade: C-

Shemar Jean-Charles, DB, App State

Green Bay continues to re-tool the secondary. The Packers fill out their corner depth with a good man-coverage athlete who can play both outside and in the nickel in my eyes. The question now becomes what they do with former second-round pick Josh Jackson, who looks like the odd man out.

Grade: B+

Cole van Lanen, OG, Wisconsin

I love the Packers drafting a Wisconsin offensive lineman. The Packers have clearly decided that the offensive line was the most pressing issue, as they’ve spent multiple picks filling it out. Cole Van Lanen is good depth to add to the offensive line, and he’ll compete and press for playing time.

Grade: B-

Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College

I love this pick for Green Bay, as they needed to add to that linebacker room. Isaiah McDuffie is always around the ball and is a good athlete. He’s still a work in progress in coverage, but his instincts and hot motor are fun additions to the Packers’ front seven.

Grade: A

Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State

This feels like a steal for Green Bay with one of the last picks in the draft. The team still has Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, but Kylin Hill is such a physical back with enough receiving ability that he’ll push for playing time right away.

Grade: A

Green Bay Packers Overall Grade: B

Another draft, another year of Green Bay’s strategy lacking any identity outside of selecting multiple guys at the same position. The Packers went heavy on the offensive line, which makes sense given their losses there. Amari Rodgers is a nice value add to their receiver room. Eric Stokes upset many fans, but he’s a good addition to their secondary. They acquired the necessary depth on both sides of the ball, but they didn’t make any picks that scream out at me. It’s a good haul, but one that I’m sure Packers fans are iffy over.

Team needs for Green Bay coming into the NFL Draft

The Packers are very likely to address wide receiver and offensive line early in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Offensive Line

Re-tooling the offensive line is a must in this draft for Green Bay. All-Pro center Corey Linsley is now a Charger, and while Elgton Jenkins can fill that role, that leaves a guard spot open. Furthermore, Rick Wagner was released this offseason. The 2021 NFL Draft class boasts great offensive line talent. I’d expect Green Bay to take advantage.

Cornerback

We all saw what Kevin King did in the NFC title game, right? Ok.

Wide Receiver

The Packers got great play out of their weapons last year. However, the team has to build around Aaron Rodgers and *keep him happy*. How do you do that? Keep him upright with an offensive line and then give him a bevy of weapons to play with. They’d be remiss to not take advantage of the wide receiver class the 2021 NFL Draft boasts.

Safety

New Defensive Coordinator Joe Berry’s defense places an emphasis on having good safety play. The Packers have Darnell Savage in the safety room, but little else right now. Re-tooling that room in the 2021 NFL Draft should be a priority.

Pass rusher

With Preston Smith a cap casualty and the Packers looking to add more on the defensive line, it seems obvious they are interested in the pass rushers in the 2021 NFL Draft. The team adding one or even two wouldn’t be a surprise.

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