The Green Bay Packers added two skill position players to fortify their offense in Day 2, but it is doubtful that too many fans are excited.
In the second round, GM Brian Gutekunst added running back A.J. Dillon out of Boston College. In the third round, the Pack selected tight end Josiah Deguara from the University of Cincinnati.
After trading up in Round 1, the Packers enter Day 3 of the draft without a selection in the fourth round.
Here are five things we learned from the Packers two selections on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft:
1. The Packers Are Drafting for the Future More than for Immediate Impact
Most NFL rookies don’t make a huge impact in their first season, but the Packers first three picks are all likely to play backup roles and on special teams in their first season.
It is obvious Jordan Love will back up Aaron Rodgers for the next few seasons. Dillon will be part of the running back rotation as a rookie but will likely get fewer carries than starter Aaron Jones and possibly backup Jamaal Williams. Deguara will probably play behind Jace Sternberger or Robert Tonyan as a rookie. Both Dillon and Deguara may also see some time on special teams.
Gutekunst is looking more long term than short term in this draft which is a bit unusual for a team that won 13 games last season and ended the season one game short of the Super Bowl.
2. Gutekunst Is Acquiring Players to Fit Matt LaFleur’s Offense
The Packers are adding players that should fit well in Matt LaFleur’s offensive system. In his first year as a head coach, LaFleur had a lot of players who were originally drafted to fit into Mike McCarthy’s more traditional version of the west coast offense. Now, Gute is getting his coach the type of players that thrive in his system.
Many scouts have compared the 6’0” 250-pound Dillon as a poor man’s Derrick Henry. He’s an inside runner and a bruiser who lacks the elite speed to get to the edge but will run over players and be tough to bring down. Packers fans may compare him to Eddie Lacy early in his career before he gained too much weight and slowed down.
Henry isn’t going to be a big-time receiver or pass blocker right away, but he will give the Packers a bowling ball type of runner who will be especially tough to bring down on cold or slick fields in November and December.
Deguara is another player who will fit in well with what LaFleur asks of his tight ends. He lacks the pure speed to stretch defenses, but he has reliable hands and can be a good blocker on running plays, something LaFleur prefers at this position. He had seven touchdowns and should be an inviting red zone target once he gains experience.
Deguara may also fill in as an H-back or fullback which may get him on the field sooner. He could replace the departed Danny Vitale and be a much more productive receiving option than Vitale was during his tenure in Green Bay.
3. There Are Still Needs to Address on Offense
The Packers still have several areas of need on offense that have yet to be addressed. Both wide receiver and offensive tackle were considered needs prior the start of the draft and they remain needs now.
Historically, the Packers have had success selecting offensive linemen in the middle or late rounds of the draft. That includes starters like David Bakhtiari (4th round), Corey Linsley (5th round), T.J. Lang (4th round) and Josh Sitton (4th round).
Look for the Packers to add another offensive lineman, probably a tackle, on Day 3. They will also probably take a flier on a receiver in the later rounds of the draft as well.
4. Look for Interior Defensive Help on Day 3 of the Draft
The Packers have continued their tradition of not placing a priority on interior defensive linemen and inside linebackers. That doesn’t mean they won’t address either position on Day 3 of the draft, however.
Expect Gutekunst to add at least one developmental ILB and at least one run-stuffing lineman on Day 3. This is consistent with the way the Packers have valued these players and how they fit into Mike Pettine’s defensive system. The only way the Packers would have selected players at these positions early in the draft is if they had a realistic chance of getting a rare talent like Kenny Clark. The Packers also could sign an inexpensive free agent inside like “Snacks” Harrison after the draft.
5. The Chances of Tramon Williams Returning to Green Bay Are Increasing
Gutekunst told reporters last week that he wanted to wait until after the draft to determine whether he would bring back veteran cornerback Tramon Williams. The Packers did not draft a defensive back in the first three rounds and as of now, do not have a selection in the fourth round.
The odds of Williams returning to Green Bay in 2020 have certainly increased after the first two days of the draft.
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