To be able to maximize the current roster’s talent, the Green Bay Packers have to be able to use their draft picks to continue to bring in talent that can help produce right away. And while last year’s draft saw GB take QB Jordan Love in the first round, this year should see the team use their picks to address more pressing needs in the 2021 NFL Draft.
While the normal first-round talent is there this year and the Packers, who are sitting at pick 29, will be able to address a hole in their roster early, how they utilize their Day 2 and 3 picks will be even more important.
Focusing on improving the defensive side of the ball, here are a few players that Green Bay should look into taking with their 2nd and 3rd round selections.
LB – LSU
Coming out of the FCS ranks from powerhouse North Dakota State, linebacker Jabril Cox jumped to LSU as a graduate transfer after earning his degree with the Bison. All Cox did after jumping to the SEC for his final season was accentuate his status for the upcoming NFL Draft, something that he could have declared for the previous year.
Proving himself on a bigger level was what Cox was able to do with the Tigers, even if the stat sheet did not necessarily show that. Continuing the standing tradition of LBs coming out of Baton Rouge (Devin White is the most recent), Cox’s transition to the league will be a bit slower than most, due to his collegiate career spanning different levels of competition.
His ability to use his agility and physicality to stick with slot receivers is key for all ‘backers in this league, and while his tackling may need to improve at this level, his energy is what will help keep him in every play.
Green Bay has been looking for that LB option for a long time and using a second-rounder on Cox would go a long way to doing that.
CB – Washington
Another likely second-round option for the Packers to consider is cornerback Elijah Molden out of Washington, the first of two former Husky options on this list.
While Packers fans certainly will have flashbacks to drafting another Washington CB high in the draft (see King, Kevin), Molden’s two-way abilities to play either corner or safety is an underrated talent that GB would love to take advantage of.
While a sub-five foot DB, Molden’s role in this defense would help free up Darnell Savage to fill that floater role, suiting his abilities better. For Molden, a knock on him is his tackling skills (sounds familiar) and the fact that due to his stature he can get pushed around a lot, but his knowledge of the game helps keep him in advantageous situations.
EDGE – Washington
The other former Husky product on this list is edge rusher Joe Tryon, who would fill more of a future role for GB rather than a current pressing need. But as we have seen in the past with the drafting of Rashan Gary, GB loves its depth and prefers to take advantage of that if the board falls to them.
For Tryon, his status this offseason seems to have moved around between the 2nd and 3rd round, with even a potential sniff of the back-end of the first. But with the edge class having a lot of solid options towards the top of its class this year, a player like Tryon could potentially lose some draft spots because of it, something that could easily benefit the Packers.
A 6’5, 262 lb. athletic rusher, Tryon would be looked at as the fourth rusher if brought in this draft, with the potential to replace Preston Smith next season and team up with Za’Darius Smith and Rashon Gary. While getting another edge is certainly not huge on the priority list, it would help alleviate some financial issues down the road, while also helping this team’s depth currently.
Moving up higher in the third round may be required if they want to select Tryon, but moving up for him would be a wise move for some much-needed depth.
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23