The Green Bay Packers are virtually out of the playoff race at 3-6. While that hurts to hear for Packers fans, it does allow some draft-obsessed fans to look ahead towards the 2023 NFL Draft.
If the season were to end today, the Packers would have the 10th overall pick. That pick could be even higher given the team’s remaining slate of games, with the possibility that it could creep into the top five.
There’s also a much more realistic possibility that the Packers win a few games in the second half of the season to give them a borderline top-10 pick, or one in the top 20. Fortunately, we have some prospects this weekend to watch for any scenario of where the Packers might be picking in April.
Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Louisville vs #13 Clemson, 3:30 PM ET on ESPN
Depth on the edge has been talked about all season, and now the Packers are about to find out what kind of depth they really have. With Rashan Gary out for the year with a torn ACL, rookie JJ Enagbare will be starting alongside Preston Smith, leaving the Packers with almost no depth behind the two players.
Fortunately for the Packers, this year’s class is loaded with a lot of really talented EDGE prospects. Of the nine EDGE prospects that I’ve watched so far, six currently have first-round grades, while the other three are very solid Day 2 players.
Myles Murphy out Clemson should in the conversation as a potential top-10 pick. At 6’5” and 275 pounds, Murphy has already racked up 6.5 sacks in nine games, and looks like one of the more impressive pass rushers in this draft class.
What makes Murphy stand out is just how explosive he is off of the snap, especially when you consider his size. He possesses very good bend to beat tackle’s around the corner, and that effort shows in all four quarters. He also has the play strength and hand usage to mix up his pass-rush, whether he wants to win with speed, convert speed to power, or use his hands to work a move and disengage.
As a run defender, Murphy does a great job of getting his arms extended to take on blockers. However, when he’s not blocked, he can be a little over-aggressive and fly upfield, creating rushing lanes for his opponents.
Still, with his pass-rushing prowess, Murphy would be a massive addition to Green Bay’s defense.
Parker Washington, WR, Penn State
Maryland vs #14 Penn State, 3:30 PM ET on FOX
If the Packers turn things around and get a later pick in the first round, they could find themselves in another situation like last year. With fans clamoring for a wide receiver, the Packers could watch the top-tier prospects like Jordan Addison and Quentin Johnston go before they pick, leaving them to wait until the second or third round for a player.
Parker Washington would be a good fit for the Packers. While not a first-round prospect, Washington has a very unique skill set that sets him apart from other receivers in this class.
Currently listed at 5’10” and 215 pounds, Washington may not fit Green Bay’s size thresholds at wide receiver, but he could be a key contributor in the slot. He’s not a burner or the most explosive receiver in this class, but his play speed and agility make him a reliable route runner.
Where Washington stands out is his contact balance after the catch. That, combined with his play strength, allows him to routinely shed blocks and stay upright through arm tackles, allowing him to routinely pick up big chunks of yards after the catch.
As a blocker, Washington shows great effort, but his technique needs work. Too often he will fly into a block with his body rather than using his hands, but as we’ve seen with Romeo Doubs, players in Matt LaFleur’s system can learn to block on the perimeter.
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
#10 Alabama vs #11 Ole Miss, 3:30 PM ET on CBS
Screw it, let’s have the quarterback conversation.
Let’s say that the Packers bottom out completely. They stare at a top-three pick, Aaron Rodgers retires, and the entire state of the franchise in 2023 is pointing towards a full-scale rebuild. There may not be a better opportunity for the Packers to find their next superstar quarterback, and Alabama’s Bryce Young would be the top choice.
The negatives on Young have been talked about constantly. He’s a smaller QB at 6’0” and 194 pounds, and he’s had a significant drop-off in production this year after losing so many key weapons from last year’s offense.
However, when you watch the tape on the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, it’s easy to see why he’s being talked about as the potential No. 1 overall pick. There isn’t another QB in this class that comes close to Young’s pocket presence. Despite his size, he takes very few hits because of his elite pocket presence, finding ways to manipulate pressure in the pocket or elude pressure to make off-script plays outside of the pocket.
From an arm talent perspective, Young has the ability to deliver an accurate ball at all three levels. He’s not going to blow anyone away with a cannon of an arm like Will Levis or Anthony Richardson, but his arm strength is solid enough, and his touch on the deep ball can be a thing of beauty.
C.J. Stroud would be another option for the Packers in this scenario, but after watching Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers over the years, fans have become addicted to exciting off-script plays, and no one in this class can do that like Young can.