The Green Bay Packers already made one big trade this offseason when Davante Adams was sent to Las Vegas for a couple of top-60 picks.
That wasn’t the trade that most expected. What if they had traded Aaron Rodgers also? How could that draft have looked. We examine here.
Rewind to one year ago. I am sure you remember those times. They were a lot more complicated. We had no idea who the Green Bay Packers were going to start at quarterback.
Sure, we had a good feeling it would be Aaron Rodgers. The leverage in the situation sided with the Green Bay Packers, not Rodgers.
The concern was still there. Once he returned, there were no guarantees beyond 2021.
What we’re doing today is a look at what the Packers draft could have looked like had Rodgers decided it was time to say goodbye and asked to be traded to Denver.
For the sake of being realistic, we’re going to use the Seahawks/Broncos trade as a template. The disclaimer of course is there likely would have been more picks involved.
Since we don’t know what the details would have involved, we’ll use the same players, save for Drew Lock. I know that was a popular trade piece, but if Rodgers was moving on, Jordan Love was going to be the starting quarterback.
So the hypothetical trade looks like this
Denver receives: Aaron Rodgers QB
Green Bay receives: 2022 1st (9th overall) 2022 2nd (40th overall) 2023/2024 first. 2023 2nd, Noah Fant, Shelby Harris.
Assuming the same Davante Adams trade was made, Green Bay’s selections coming into the draft would have been
So you thought mock draft season was over? You’re wrong!
Here’s a mock draft for what the Packers draft could have looked like in the first two rounds had Rodgers moved on.
Round 1 pick 9: Jordan Davis DT Georgia
Analysis: I thought about going offensive line here with Charles Cross available, but ultimately decided that the Packers would like the way the draft panned out after the 3rd round. Sean Rhyan, Zach Tom, and Rasheed Walker were all Packers types. So what did I do instead?
I went with planet theory. Jordan Davis would be the selection here. The most athletic man to ever play at his size in the history of the world.
Some might say that Jordan Davis can’t rush the passer, to that I say nonsense. I believe he could, he just was not asked to do that while he was at Georgia. They liked one of the Georgia defensive linemen at the end of the first round, my guess is they liked his teammate as well.
Davis would go next to Kenny Clark on the offensive line and make running the ball an exercise in futility against Green Bay’s defense.
There is some thought that they could go receiver here, they would have their pick of anyone not named Drake London, but part of me thinks Gutekunst likes the “no first-round receivers” narrative.
Round 1 pick 22: Quay Walker LB Georgia
Analysis: Before the draft I got wind that Green Bay could be interested in Quay Walker. After the draft was over, I spoke with Owen Riese who revealed through a source their plan at 22 was, “Quay all the way.”
I found out after the fact that Green Bay had a top 10-12 grade on Walker for the entire class. I think it’s possible he would have been in play at 9 if Green Bay did have that pick.
Knowing what we know now, there’s no reason to believe Green Bay would pick differently at 22 than they did on draft night. Nobody acquired in the trade would have changed their thoughts here.
Quay all the way.
Round 1 pick 28: Daxton Hill S Michigan
Analysis: Going into the draft there was a thought the Packers could have looked at a third safety perhaps as early as their initial first-round pick. They didn’t do that, going with Walker. They originally took Devonte Wyatt at this spot.
With the acquisition of Shelby Harris, and early selection of Wyatt’s teammate Jordan Davis, they can afford to go a different route here.
They do, with the selection of Daxton Hill.
Hill steps in as another overhang defender, slot corner, and potential starting safety as soon as 2023.
Everyone is up in arms as Gutekunst has “failed” yet again to secure a first-round receiver to help Jordan Love, but this defense would be a force to be reckoned with.
Round 2 pick 40: Christian Watson WR North Dakota State
Analysis: The Green Bay Packers made their bold move on Friday night this year, moving up to grab Watson out of North Dakota State. There were no other receivers picked between 34 and 40. It stands to reason that Green Bay wouldn’t do anything differently here either.
Watson is their high upside receiver choice with some potential to make an impact on special teams early in his career.
Round 2 pick 53: Alec Pierce WR Cincinnati
Analysis: This is one that is going to be interesting to watch in real life. As the Packers moved up to take their pick of the litter in the second round at receiver, they took Watson over all of them. Pierce is someone I personally held in higher regard than Watson. Gutekunst clearly felt differently.
With a potential trade of Aaron Rodgers, there is no moving up for a receiver, so the Packers keep their original second-round pick from the Davante Adams trade.
With that pick, they choose the guy that was actually taken in this slot by the Indianapolis Colts. Pierce and Watson form a duo to help get Jordan Love acclimated. This is something that seems more likely because the Packers would not have signed Sammy Watkins in this scenario.
Round 2 pick 59: Jelani Woods TE Virginia
Analysis: This was a pick that was penciled in basically every Packers fans’ mock draft. It was a round later, but we know now that Woods didn’t last all the way to 92. Would they have taken him over Sean Rhyan had he fallen there? We will never know.
In this case, they don’t have to choose. They take Woods and are essentially allowed to redshirt him with Noah Fant, Robert Tonyan, and Marcedes Lewis in front of him.
He helps form a long term duo at tight end with Fant as soon as 2023.