Perhaps the publication of a fifth edition brought more people into the fold. Perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic and the advent of online gaming tools made tabletop role-playing games more accessible to the general populace. Or perhaps the stigma around nerd culture really is vanishing.
Whatever the reasons, the venerable RPG, Dungeons & Dragons, has exploded in popularity over the past several years. With the recent release of a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the game system has truly arrived in the mainstream pop culture consciousness in a way it never had before.
With the movie earning rave reviews from veteran D&D players, novices, and those with no attachment to the game, a few of us at Acme Packing Company found ourselves wondering how the Green Bay Packers, and specifically some of their players, might fit into the overall D&D universe. Therefore, we did so by determining which Packers player is the best fit into each standard character class in the D&D gameplay framework.
Here’s an exceedingly brief primer for the uninitiated. Each D&D player decides on a class for their character, and each class comes with a base set of characteristics and game mechanics within which the character operates. As a character advances through the game, they can unlock advanced abilities and qualities that can help them and their party navigate through different challenges. Because the classes have different strengths, weaknesses, and traits, they tend to fall into specific archetypes in terms of personality, role on a team, and combat style, which can naturally lead to comparisons to the same for football players.
So without further ado, let’s see how Tex, Jon, and Tyler see Packers players fitting into the primary character classes — and don’t be shy in the comments if you think you have a better fit.
Artificer: David Bakhtiari
Bakhtiari may not have chosen this class, but it’s where he’s ended up. Between a host of surgeries and the various braces required to maintain the structural integrity of his battered joints, Bakhtiari is arguably part machine at this point. But he proved last season that he can still create magic, blending art and science to technical perfection and performing as one of the best at his position in the league.
Barbarian: Quay Walker
A hulking behemoth of a linebacker, Walker is a physical player who can deliver major damage to unsuspecting opponents. He’s a little reckless at times, however, getting caught out of position on occasion, but when he delivers a blow, it’s going to be a big one. The defining quality of a barbarian, however, is their rage, and Walker’s two ejections for going after non-combatants make this comparison a no-brainer.
Bard: Rasul Douglas
Nobody talks more or better shit on the Packers’ roster than Rasul Douglas, and although it’s a certain aging quarterback who’s fond of saying that “words are spells,” Douglas is the one who makes that true on the football field. Rasul’s trash talk can inspire his teammates and demoralize his opponents in equal measure. Still, he’s more than just a talker with swagger — he’s capable of being a versatile playmaker who contributes in almost every way, from being physical in run support to making plays on the football in the secondary. Plus, his arrival in Green Bay and his game-winning interception against his old Cardinals team is a tale he can tell over and over for the rest of his life.
Cleric: Keisean Nixon
Clerics are best known for their healing powers and bringing their party members back from the brink of death. Who did that more for their respective unit than Keisean Nixon? After years of gross incompetence on special teams, Nixon almost single-handedly provided one of the biggest sparks of the season, leading the NFL in kickoff return yards despite taking over the role late into the season.
Druid: Elgton Jenkins
Harnessing the power of nature, druids can change shape into an incredible variety of animal forms to help fit whatever the situation desires. Jenkins has done the same over his Packers career, starting games at four different positions across the offensive line. Whether it’s playing left guard at an All-Pro level, filling in for the Artificer at left tackle, or turning into a center or right tackle to help the team get through a tight spot, he’s done it all.
Fighter: Preston Smith
Fighters can catch a lot of flak in D&D circles for being a “basic” class, but nobody ever complains when the reliable fighter is there battling the bad guys week in and week out. There’s something to be said about a dependable, consistent force, and Smith has been that for most of his Packers tenure. He rarely misses a game (he’s only been sidelined for one in his four years in Green Bay), and when he’s on the field, he reliably pushes the pocket and makes plays against the run. Nobody may be telling legendary stories about this fighter and he may not be flashy, but he’s still a core member of the party.
Monk: Kenny Clark
Calm and cool-headed, monks can flip a switch in the heat of battle. Kenny Clark may come off as one of the more fun Packers players off of the field, but on it, he can dominate his opponents. Once he’s in the fight, Clark will dominate his opponents with his hand usage to win the battle.
Paladin: Aaron Jones
The classic alignment chart has fallen a bit out of favor in newer editions of D&D, but whether you’re a new-school or old-school player, you’d probably agree that Aaron Jones fits the definition of a Lawful Good individual. He embodies the yes sir, no sir military ethos of his parents to the letter, and his charitable works put him in the conversation for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award on an annual basis. He’s a man with a code, and he lives his life accordingly, just like a D&D paladin. Plus, he’ll also explode with a big play to smite the Packers’ enemies from time to time.
Ranger: Jordan Love
Who else is better at delivering projectiles from distances than the starting quarterback? While Love is an unproven ranger, his quiet demeanor and lack of a national spotlight has allowed him to hide in the shadows while working on improving his ranged attack bonus in time for what could be a breakout campaign in 2023.
Rogue: Jaire Alexander
Rogues are masters of dexterity, stealth, subtlety, and the sneak attack. They’re frequently charming and charismatic, equally capable of both persuasion and deception. Sound like anyone you know?
Off the field, Alexander embodies the typical rogue personality perfectly. He talks a little trash, speaks his mind, and doesn’t back down. He’s not big and physical, instead preferring to rely on his quickness and his wits. In coverage, he always wants to battle the opposition’s best one-on-one, locking in on #1 receivers (if Joe Barry lets him) and delivering a critical strike at the perfect moment. Then every once in a while, he’ll do something truly unexpected, like delivering a sneak attack on an unsuspecting Kirk Cousins.
Sorcerer: Christian Watson
The book on Christian Watson has been the same since his name first started to pop in last year’s pre-draft process: he has all the athleticism in the world, he just has to harness his incredible gifts. That makes him the perfect D&D sorcerer, a class of magic user whose powers are innate rather than learned or otherwise acquired. Watson, like the legendary sorcerers of the Sword Coast or Forgotten Realms, has all the magic he needs inside him already. He just has to continue to figure out how all of it works.
Warlock: Marcedes Lewis
Marcedes Lewis is essentially the same player he’s always been. He shows up on Sundays, lines up on the strong side of the formation, and blocks somebody into oblivion. He’s been doing it since a lot of current Packers players were in grade school, and his blocking prowess hasn’t waned much, if at all, over time. It kind of makes you wonder where he got his prodigious abilities — perhaps through some sort of extraplanar agreement? Or maybe Lewis is simply one of the Great Old Ones himself?
Wizard: Aaron Rodgers
Like most aging quarterbacks, Rodgers’ most dangerous weapon his is mind. There’s nothing you can throw at him that he hasn’t seen before. He knows just about all there is to know about playing his position, which gives him the same basic powerset as a D&D wizard. Wizards get their powers from intense study, unlocking the power of the multiverse through knowledge and memorization, bending the weave of magic to their will through their intellect alone. The fact that some wizards can become villains as they do their own research over the course of their long lives makes the comparison fit even better. Plus, Josh Norman once called Rodgers “Gandalf the White,” so it kind of had to be this way.