The Green Bay Packers traded away future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets in a move that shook up the NFL landscape like a snow globe. Rodgers had played for the Packers his entire career and moved on to a Jets organization in “win now” mode that was in desperate need of veteran leadership at the position.
Unfortunately, for the Jets franchise, they saw Rodgers play four snaps before he suffered an Achilles injury, which most likely ended his 2023 season before it started. The injury was as brutal for a player and a franchise as we’ve seen in recent memory and set the entire organization back, given how they built their strategy around their newly acquired signal-caller.
The Packers organization determined it was time to move on from Rodgers and move into the Jordan Love era. He was drafted as Rodgers’ heir apparent, and from the top down, Green Bay decided the time was now to deal Rodgers away and move on with Love.
The Packers’ goal in the offseason was to build around Love and acquire assets in free agency and through their draft picks acquired in the Rodgers trade. Who did the Packers surround Love with?
Who Did the Packers Draft With the Picks From the Aaron Rodgers Trade?
Leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, there was a great deal of speculation that the Packers would use their first-round selection on an offensive weapon to surround Love with the most talent possible. WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba from Ohio State was linked to Green Bay as a potential target, as was Utah TE Dalton Kincaid.
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Throughout the Rodgers era, NFL Draft analysts urged the Packers to draft offensive talent around Rodgers, and yearly, Green Bay eschewed the idea, preferring to use their early-round draft picks on offensive lineman or their defensive front seven. These decisions were some of the bubbling frustrations between Rodgers and the Packers organization.
Lukas Van Ness Back At Practice pic.twitter.com/DP1EuceYfV
— IKE Packers Podcast (@IKE_Packers) September 20, 2023
Just as they had in previous years under Rodgers, the Packers did not select the offensive weapon of choice and instead used their first-round selection on DE Lukas Van Ness from Iowa. Some NFL pundits viewed Van Ness as a reach in the first round — an athletic dynamo, but a prospect that needed additional refinement.
With the second-round pick acquired in the Rodgers trade, Green Bay selected Oregon State TE Luke Musgrave, an athletic specimen who causes matchup problems for the opposition. The Packers desperately wanted to upgrade the TE position, so much so that they later drafted TE Tucker Kraft from South Dakota State.
We don't analyze QB play by screenshot in this house, BUT I need people to understand Luke Musgrave is not wide open when Love throws the ball.
Love is ANTICIPATING Musgrave will be open, but Luke's also running with one of the best LBs in the game. I get wanting to be perfect. pic.twitter.com/y265MdumDM
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) September 25, 2023
The early returns are promising for the players they got in return for Rodgers. Keep an eye on how they develop, as both players have the upside to become long-term building blocks for the Packers organization.