Every year after the draft, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein sets out to identify three of his favorite picks for every round. The idea is to find ideal fits between team and draft pick for all seven rounds. Simple enough.
The Green Bay Packers had two draft picks on Zierlein’s list for 2021. Receiver Amari Rodgers, a third-round pick, and cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles, a fifth-round pick, both ended up among his favorite picks.
It’s possible the two selections will give the Packers new starters in the slot on offense and defense.
In the third round, general manager Brian Gutekunst traded up to No. 85 overall to get Rodgers, the versatile playmaker from Clemson. Gutekunst admitted on Friday night that he considered taking Rodgers at No. 62 overall in the second round.
Zierlein believes the Packers could have a reincarnation of a former slot dynamo in Green Bay.
“I don’t know if Aaron Rodgers will care to hear this, but he may have his Randall Cobb 2.0 in the form of Amari Rodgers,” Zierlein wrote. “He’s a slot receiver who can threaten the seam, and he plays with a mature blend of ball skills and route savvy. He may not be a true WR2, but he’s the type of target the reigning MVP should really like.”
Rodgers could step in right away and give the Packers a new type of weapon on offense while also contributing on special teams as a returner.
In the fifth round, Gutekunst took a favorite of his scouting staff in Jean-Charles, who led the FBS in pass breakups a year ago. While lacking size and elite athleticism, Jean-Charles just found ways to make plays in coverage at Appalachian State.
“Jean-Charles is a nickel corner prospect who plays with a great deal of grit and natural coverage instincts,” Zierlein wrote. “He has a good feel for routes and challenging the catch space, posting 27 passes defensed over the last two years. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that new Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry hand-picked Jean-Charles for his fit at nickel.”
If Zierlein is right, Jean-Charles could push returning slot cornerback Chandon Sullivan for playing time in 2021.