We’re continuing our series of polls to determine the biggest needs the Green Bay Packers have going into the 2023 season, based on the players that they have under contract. The winner of the top spot was safety, which received 449 of a possible 1,304 votes — good for 34 percent of the total vote.
The safety position has to be a position that the Packers are going to address this offseason, as starter Adrian Amos (997 snaps in 2022) and rotational player Rudy Ford (442 snaps) are set to be unrestricted free agents. The only Green Bay safeties with significant playing time under their belt who are under contract for 2023 are Darnell Savage, who was benched for Ford only to return to the starting lineup, and Innis Gaines, who had 44 total defensive snaps last season. Both Savage and Gaines were playing slot roles in nickel and dime sets at the end of the year, with Amos and Ford playing the true safety positions in sub packages.
Top 5 Vote Earners, Round 1
- Safety (449 votes, 34 percent)
- Tight end (373 votes, 29 percent)
- Defensive line (162 votes, 12 percent)
- Outside linebacker (143 votes, 11 percent)
- Receiver (102 votes, 8 percent)
For some reason, 3 of the 1,304 votes stated that running back was the biggest need on the team while 2 others said the same about cornerback. I can only imagine the running back voters think that Aaron Jones is going to become a cap casualty. For what it’s worth, general manager Brian Gutekunst stated last week in the end-of-the-year presser that the team wants Jones to return to the squad and joked that the team will have to keep pushing everyone’s contract to keep the team together. The cornerback voters must think that Rasul Douglas, who practiced at safety for a few days during training camp when the team had several safety injuries, would move positions in 2023.
The biggest surprise, to me, is that outside linebacker gained more votes (143, 11 percent) than receiver (102, 8 percent.) While I realize that Rashan Gary’s ACL injury could certainly impact the first half of next season, Kinglsey Enagbare was playing some pretty good ball opposite Preston Smith down the stretch. At the moment, the third receiver on the Packers is Samori Toure, who had a total of five receptions for 82 yards and one touchdown as a rookie. That third receiver is functionally a starter, even in Green Bay’s run-heavy offense, and I don’t think you can hand that gig over to a second-year late-round selection.
The second biggest surprise, way down the list, is that inside linebacker only received 7 votes to the offensive line’s 63. I don’t think anyone is going to push De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker for playing time next year, but there are only three inside linebackers under contract for Green Bay, a team that frequently keeps five on the squad. Meanwhile, 12 offensive linemen are expected to be under contract for the Packers going into 2023, if you include the expected restricted free-agent tender for Yosh Nijman. Short of left tackle David Bakhtiari becoming a cap casualty, which both Gutekunst and quarterback Aaron Rodgers have recently stated they don’t want to happen, I do not believe there’s reason to add even another single offensive line body to the room. Maybe inside linebacker will jump the offensive line in voting when the top needs are off the board.
As a reminder, we’re not going to include quarterback as a position to vote on because of the circumstances of Rodgers Watch 2023. Below is a refresher on the options we’re asking you to vote for. Sound off in the comments with your reasoning for your vote.
Green Bay Packers 2023 Roster, Remaining Options
- RB (4): Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Patrick Taylor, Tyler Goodson
- WR (5): Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure, Bo Melton, Jeff Cotton
- TE (3): Josiah Deguara, Austin Allen, Nick Guggemos
- OL (12): David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan, Yosh Nijman (likely-to-be-tendered RFA), Zach Tom, Royce Newman, Sean Rhyan, Luke Tenuta, Caleb Jones, Rasheed Walker, Jean Delance
- DL (5): Kenny Clark, Devonte Wyatt, TJ Slaton, Jonathan Ford, Chris Slayton
- OLB (5): Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Kingsley Enagbare, Jonathan Garvin, La’Darius Hamilton
- ILB (3): De’Vondre Campbell, Quay Walker, Isaiah McDuffie
- CB (7): Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, Rasul Douglas, Shemar Jean-Charles, Kiondre Thomas, Tyrell Ford, Benjie Franklin
What is the Packers’ #2 need this offseason?
This poll is closed