Home News Despite the jokes, Packers biggest draft need isn’t wide receiver

Despite the jokes, Packers biggest draft need isn’t wide receiver

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The Packers have a variety of paths they can pursue in the 2023 NFL Draft, but this draft need should trump all others.

As the Green Bay Packers prepare for Aaron Rodgers’ imminent departure, the team has plenty of questions surrounding its future offense.

Rodgers’ successor, Jordan Love, is primed to take over under center, and he’ll have a somewhat thin wideout supporting cast to help lead the franchise on a playoff run. Christian Woods and Romeo Doubs headline the pass-catching unit, and given their collective lack of experience, many are clamoring for Green Bay to continue building its receiving corps.

Rather than go down the wideout route again in 2023, the Packers have a much more pressing need at another offensive skill position: tight end.

It’s not just because the team lost starter Robert Tonyan earlier this offseason — even when Tonyan was on the field, he averaged just 8.9 yards per catch, ranking 34th out of 43 eligible tight ends per Pro Football Focus.

Green Bay’s lack of tight end production was one of several reasons the offense struggled in 2022, and finding a franchise-caliber player at the position should be a priority in late April.

Packers have every reason to double-dip at the tight end position in 2023 draft

Utah’s Dalton Kincaid has commonly been mocked to the Packers as a pick that could enrage Aaron Rodgers and ease Jordan Love’s transition into a full-time starter.

The other top tight end prospects include: Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer, Iowa’s Sam LaPort, Georgia’s Darnell Washington, and South Dakota State’s Tucker Kraft, among others.

Something that Packers Wire’ Paul Bretl touches upon is the importance of finding well-rounded tight ends — that is, players who can excel at both pass-catching and blocking.

Last season, Tonyan served as the team’s primary pass-catcher while Josiah Deguara and Marcedes Lewis assumed more blocking-heavy roles. By adding a tight end with both receiving and blocking skills, the Packers can “facilitate the illusion of complexity” and make the offense a little less predictable.

Heading into 2023, Deguara has been pushed to the front of the depth chart, yet he only has 681 snaps; the backend of the tight unit consists of mainly special teams gadget players and practice squad call-ups.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst took a whopping three receivers in last year’s draft, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him overload at the tight end position this time around.

We’ll just have to see how the draft plays out.