Green Bay Packers Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Solid Starter

Josh Myers, C, Ohio State – Round 2
The Packers did not need a starting center due to having one of the best interior linemen in the NFL with Elgton Jenkins capable of manning the middle, but they did need more interior offensive line talent after losing Corey Linsley in free agency. Both Jenkins and Myers have size, strength and the versatility to play guard or center. Thus, taking Myers in the second round was essentially drafting a guard or center to replace Linsley.

The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Myers has good size for an interior offensive lineman, and he enters the NFL battle tested from having played a lot at Ohio State, including in a number of big games. Myers has good technique and looks like he could compete quickly in the NFL. With his length and strength, he can hold his ground against bull rushes from heavy defensive tackles, including big zero-techniques playing 3-4 nose tackle. He also has enough quickness and athleticism to function in a zone-blocking scheme while retaining enough pop for a power man-blocking scheme.

With Myers’ and Jenkins’ versatilities, Green Bay has the luxury of a player capable of moving to center if either suffers an injury. Jenkins and Myers will probably be starting next to each other before long, and the only question is which one the Packers coaches prefer to have snapping the ball at center. Early in his rookie contract, I could see Myers being a quality starter for Green Bay.

2020: None
2019: Rashan Gary, DE
2018: Josh Jackson, CB
2017: Montravius Adams, DT
2016: Kenny Clark, DT
2015: Damarious Randall, DB
2014: HaHa Clinton-Dix, S
2013: Datone Jones, DE

Most Likely To Bust

Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson – Round 3
Of Green Bay’s picks, I think Rodgers was riskiest for not panning out in the NFL. Ther 5-foot-9, 212-pounder is undersized for the NFL and is limited to playing as a slot receiver. While he has some quickness, he is not exceptionally fast, and I do not think he will provide a dynamic speed mismatch against NFL slot cornerbacks.

Rodgers can’t be much more than a slot receiver because he lacks the size to line up on the outside, despite his strong build. It would not surprise if Rodgers ends up being just a guy and is more of a backup throughout his NFL career. As a third-round pick, Green Bay needs Rodgers to develop into a starter across from Davante Adams. If that does not happen, Rodgers will be a disappointment for a second-day pick. I think Eric Stokes and Josh Myers are safe picks to become at least solid starters, and of the Packers’ early-round selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, Rodgers has the biggest chance of not translating to the NFL.

2020: A.J. Dillon, RB
2019: Jace Sternberger, TE
2018: J’Mon Moore, WR
2017: Jamaal Williams, RB
2016: Kyler Fackrell, LB
2015: Ty Montgomery, WR
2014: Khyri Thornton, DL
2013: David Bakhtiari, OT

Potential Boom Pick

Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia – Round 1
The Packers were in need of defensive back help after the unit had some serious breakdowns in coverage in the NFC Championship. While Kevin King came back on a 1-year contract, Green Bay was in the market for a long-term starter across from Jaire Alexander. The Packers filled that need with Stokes, who could be a form a fabulous tandem with Alexander.

There is a lot to like about Stokes (6-1, 194) as an NFL corner, and he offers a diverse skill set that allows him to be a versatile defender for the next level. While Stokes is tall and has good length, he is surprisingly fast for a big cornerback. He displays impressive straight-line speed, including a burst out of his breaks and a second gear to close gaps. Being fast along with his length gives Stokes excellent recoverability. Another unique aspect about Stokes athletically is a lack of the stiffness that is common with big corners. Stokes is a fluid corner who can flip his hips and run while not having tightness to let receivers gain separation. That translates to Stokes being a cornerback who can play outside or move inside to the slot.

Like any player going to the NFL, there are some areas of improvement for Stokes. His biggest issue is power, as he needs to add some functional strength to avoid getting pushed around and out positioned by pro wideouts. While Stokes showed improvement as a press-man corner in 2020, he needs to develop more striking ability for that technique in the NFL. Stokes also did a better job of turning breakups into interceptions as a junior, but continuing to improve his ball skills would make him a more dynamic pro.

As a rookie, Stokes will have the luxury of being the third corner behind Alexander and the more experienced King. Easing Stokes’ way into the NFL by taking on third receivers will help him transition to the pro level. In 2022 and beyond, Stokes should be the starter across from Alexander, and with Alexander drawing No. 1 receivers, Stokes is in a great position to thrive taking on No. 2s. Stokes could be one of the better No. 2 corners in the NFL and form an excellent tandem with Alexander. It would not surprise if Stokes is a boom pick for Green Bay.

2020: None
2019: Darnell Savage, S
2018: Jaire Alexander, CB
2017: Kevin King, CB
2016: Blake Martinez, LB
2015: Quinten Rollins, CB
2014: Carl Bradford, LB
2013: Eddie Lacy, RB

Future Depth Player

Tedarrell Slaton, DT, Florida – Round 5
The Packers have one of the top 3-4 nose tackles in the NFL with veteran Kenny Clark, but they added a good rotational backup with Slaton in the fifth round. Slaton is a heavy nose tackle who has surprising quickness burst to go along with his massive size and power. He has issues with conditioning and weight, however, so serving as a backup to Clark is a great fit for Slaton as he will only need to provide Green Bay with a limited number of quality snaps per game. While Slaton may never rise to being a starter, he could be a quality rotational backup to keep Clark fresh.

2020: Josiah Deguara, TE
2019: Kingsley Keke, DE
2018: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR
2017: Vince Biegel, LB
2016: Dean Lowry, DE
2015: Brett Hundley, QB
2014: Jared Abbrederis, WR
2013: Johnathan Franklin, RB

Walt’s 2021 NFL Draft Grades:

29. Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia – C Grade
I don’t think the Packers needed to force a receiver with this pick because there aren’t any great options available. However, I think the Packers needed to do something to make Aaron Rodgers happy, and that would entail selecting a blocker to help an offensive line that lost three starters in the offseason. Furthermore, if Rodgers is traded to the Broncos, as rumored, Patrick Surtain could’ve been included in the deal. That’s obviously speculative, but it’s still something that should be considered.

62. Josh Myers, C, Ohio State – A Grade
Finally, a pick Jordan Love can like. The Packers lost three offensive linemen this offseason, which doesn’t even count David Bakhtiari coming off an injury. One of those free-agent departures is Corey Linsley, so Green Bay had to replace him. I thought there was a chance Josh Myers could go earlier, so I’m a big fan of this pick.

85. Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson – B Grade
The Packers weren’t kidding when they said they were going to have A. Rodgers on their team next year. It’s nice that they finally obtained a receiver, and Amari Rodgers is an explosive athlete who can go the distance whenever he touches the ball. I had Amari Rodgers in the fourth round, so this is almost the right range.

142. Royce Newman, G/OT, Ole Miss – B Grade
Aaron Rodgers has to be loving all the help the Packers are getting for Jordan Love. Royce Newman played tackle at Ole Miss, but some in the NFL believe that he’ll have to move to guard in the pros. Either way, the Packers need help at both positions. I had Newman in the fifth round, so the range makes sense.

173. Tedarrell Slaton, NT, Florida – A+ Grade
I love this value. Tedarrell Slaton has some concerns with possible weight issues, but he’s drawn some comparisons to D.J. Reader. He’ll be a monstrous run stuffer, and he provides a bit of pass-rushing upside at his massive size. Slaton could have gone in the third round without complaints from me.

178. Shemar Jean-Charles, CB, Appalachian State – C+ Grade
Shemar Jean-Charles is a small and slow cornerback (5-10, 184), which is not ideal. However, he could be stationed in the slot as an instinctive, high-effort player. I didn’t have Jean-Charles drafted, but he makes some sense for the Packers.

214. Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin – C- Grade
I’m not a fan of this pick. I know Cole Van Landen is a local guy for the Packers, but he doesn’t seem lengthy enough to play tackle or strong enough to be used at guard. I didn’t think he’d be drafted.

220. Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College – A- Grade
Linebacker was one of many positions the Packers needed to address entering the draft. They finally used a pick on the position, and they seem to be getting good value with Isaiah McDuffie, whom I slotted 60 selections prior to this spot. McDuffie is a bit undersized, but he has the speed to cover well.

256. Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State – A Grade
I’m shocked Kylin Hill lasted so long. I had him mocked in the third round! Even though the Packers didn’t need a running back with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon signed on for so long, they were right to obtain this incredible value late in the draft.

2021 NFL Draft Team Grade: F. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

Green Bay Packers Season Preview

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12