In the first edition of Acme Packing Company’s draft need polls, safety (34 percent) narrowly edged out tight end (29 percent) as the Green Bay Packers’ top need going into the 2023 offseason. Tight end ran away as the number two need in the second poll, securing 50 percent of the vote.
Top 5 Vote Earners, Round 2
- Tight end (404 votes, 50 percent)
- Defensive line (144 votes, 18 percent)
- Outside linebacker (108 votes, 13 percent)
- Receiver (92 votes, 11 percent)
- Offensive line (42 votes, 5 percent)
The defensive line rose from 12 percent of the vote in the first round to 18 percent while outside linebacker gained minimal ground from 11 percent to 13 percent. With so many voters choosing tight end and safety in the first two rounds, though, this third poll should be a tight one as the hierarchy of the Packers’ second-tier needs appears to be a legitimate debate.
Starting pass-rusher Rashan Gary will likely start the season on the physically unable to perform list, due to a torn ACL, which should push Preston Smith and Kingsley Engabare into being the team’s starting outside linebackers. The depth addition of Justin Hollins, now set to be a 2023 unrestricted free agent, covered up some holes lower down on the roster for the 2022 Packers. Without Hollins and Gary in the picture for at least the first half of the season, Green Bay would need to add at least one more body to the position.
The same can be said at receiver, where there are only three players under contract in 2023 who also played in 2022: Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure — all of who coming off their rookie seasons. While quarterback Aaron Rodgers has advocated for the re-signing of Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard, the duo very well could leave in free agency.
The defensive line is also thin, as Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed — who probably underperformed last season — are also set to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason. The team only has three defensive linemen with playing experience in Green Bay under contract for next year: nose tackle Kenny Clark, defensive end Devonte Wyatt (coming off of a rookie season) and backup defensive tackle TJ Slaton. Would it surprise anyone if the Packers drafted another 3-4 defensive end in the first round to play opposite of Wyatt?
The one choice people continue to make that doesn’t make sense to me is the offensive line. The Packers are expected to have 12 offensive linemen under contract going into free agency, as long as they place a second-round tender on tackle Yosh Njiman. If that’s the case, there’s little to no reason to add depth to that room. Obviously, that changes if left tackle David Bakhtiari is let go, but general manager Brian Gutekunst said he’s hopeful that Bakhtiari will return in 2023. To me, inside linebacker and cornerback, depending on if slot and returner Keisean Nixon signs a new deal with Green Bay, are in bigger need of depth additions.
So what do you say? It seems like the defensive line, outside linebacker and receiver are the largest remaining positions of need. How would you rank those position groups?
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
- 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 Green Bay’s #3 position of need?
This poll is closed