2023 NFL Draft Grades: Green Bay Packers
What draft grades have the media given to the Green Bay Packers? What are they saying about the Packers' 2023 draft haul?
NFL.com - Grade: A-
Wooden and Brooks will greatly aid a lean defensive-line depth chart. Clifford has third-day intangibles and some physical traits to be a solid backup, though his accuracy was inconsistent throughout his career. Wicks, DuBose (my favorite pick of the group) and Nichols continue the team's efforts to build talent on offense. Carlson possesses good leg strength but missed 12 field-goal attempts over the past two seasons. Valentine and Johnson were clutch picks for a secondary in need of help.
ESPN - Grade: B+
Gutekunst took my fifth- and sixth-ranked tight ends in Luke Musgrave (42) and Tucker Kraft (78), and he added wideout Jayden Reed (50) to try to alleviate some of the pressure off Love. I wrote more Friday night about these picks, but in short, I like them. Musgrave and Kraft both have pass-catching potential, and Green Bay needs it. Last season, it ranked 25th in receiving yards by tight ends (670). Reed is only 5-foot-11, but he plays bigger on tape. This is how to support an inexperienced passer.
Of Saturday's picks, I like defensive backs Carrington Valentine (232) and Anthony Johnson Jr. (242) the most. I had undrafted grades on quarterback Sean Clifford (149) and 6-foot-5 kicker Anders Carlson (207). Colby Wooden (116) is a tweener defensive lineman who is a little too undersized right now to play as a 3-technique as a rookie.
This Green Bay offseason is going to be remembered for all of the theatrics around Rodgers, but I thought the Packers did well in this draft, especially if Van Ness turns into an All-Pro. We're going to find out a lot more about Love and his future in a few months. Plus, if Rodgers plays a bunch for the Jets, New York will owe the Packers its 2024 first-rounder.
SI - Grade: B+
PFF - Grade: B+
Day 2: The Packers address their receiving corps on Day 2 after (once again) passing on several receiving options in the first round. Musgrave adds a different element to their tight end room with the size and speed to challenge defenses down the seam. He looked to be on his way to a very strong 2022 season for Oregon State before a knee injury cut his campaign short after just two games, making this a projection play for Green Bay.
Reed was a "late-riser" after a strong Senior Bowl showing, where he displayed an extensive package of releases at the line and sharp route running, but was No. 86 on the consensus big board and comes off at No. 50 here. Reed struggled a bit with drops, doing so on 8.3% of catchable targets in 2022, and is just an OK athlete with his vertical jump, broad jump and short shuttle all ranking inside the 50th percentile or lower.
Day 3: Wooden should offer some inside-outside for the Packers after playing primarily on the interior for Auburn at 273 pounds. He has active hands and earned a 60th-percentile run-defense grade across three college seasons as a starter.
Brooks may need to move inside with limited athleticism, but he makes the absolute most out of his skill set, as his 93.0 overall grade was the top mark in college football. The grade comes from savvy play against lesser competition and should not be taken as an indication he's going to dominate at the NFL level, but his 23.8% pass-rush win rate is due to good hand usage and a sound pass-rush plan.
The Packers will be looking for the 2021 version of Nichols, who ran for over 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns with an 86.1 PFF rushing grade that year. He's a compact back at 5-foot-11 and 222 pounds.
Ranked 90th on PFF's big board, Johnson was a fast riser who converted from cornerback to safety in his senior season. He is versatile and performed well enough to possibly project him as a starter at the position with the proper development.
DuBose produced a 72.8 PFF receiving grade but just 62.2 against man coverage. He averaged 1.87 yards per route run this past season.
Fox Sports - Grade: B
Clearly, taking a receiver at No. 13 was too rich this year — Jaxon Smith-Njigba didn't come off the board until No. 20. But Green Bay did address pass catchers on Day 2, taking two tight ends and a wide receiver. Jayden Reed out of Michigan State may actually be my favorite of the picks for the way he can complement the Packers' other young wideouts.
USA Today - Grade: B
The Ringer - Grade: B
Sporting News - Grade: C-
Touchdown Wire - Grade: C
And now… time to avert your eyes, Cheeseheads. I had Lukas Van Ness as my eighth-ranked edge-rusher, Sean Clifford has an undraftable grade from a lot of people (I do not disagree), and there's more reaches than steals here. Even Reed, who I like, seems more like a third-day guy. Maybe it all works out, but starting with the Van Ness pick, this is hard to endorse.
Sorry, Packers fans. Here's some Karl Brooks tape to make you feel better.
Bowling Green's Karl Brooks (No. 11) is a fun watch. Not a lot of 6-foot-4, 300-pound dudes with his flash off the edge and ability to quickly shoot gaps inside. Needs to develop his hands to disengage, but I'd love to see him in an NFL five-man front. pic.twitter.com/nIimiJkSvd— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) March 9, 2023
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