The Green Bay Packers need these players to step up in 2020 after an odd offseason.
Few teams acted more divisively in the 2020 offseason than the Green Bay Packers. Though Matt LaFleur’s team went 13-3 and made the NFC Championship Game a year ago, there were still plenty of areas to improve around Aaron Rodgers to get back to that level for the upcoming campaign.
Most notably, the Packers needed to upgrade at wide receiver. Davante Adams was, in essence, the lone ranger in the Green Bay passing attack in terms of consistently productive receivers and tight ends. Moreover, they could’ve likely upgraded at linebacker from Blake Martinez after they let him walk in free agency.
Instead, general manager Brian Gutekunst threw everyone for a loop. No, their free agency haul wasn’t terrible as they brought in Christian Kirksey to replace Martinez and signed Ricky Wagner to play right tackle after Bryan Bulaga also left. And they did sign wideout Devin Funchess, though the mercurial pass-catcher has never fully materialized in the NFL.
Where things got truly wonky was in the 2020 NFL Draft. Things got crazy quickly as the Packers traded up from No. 30 to 26 and selected not a wide receiver but quarterback Jordan Love. It didn’t stop there as Green Bay selected running back A.J. Dillon in the second round and an H-back/tight end, Josiah Deguara, in the third round. More befuddling, they didn’t select a single wide receiver.
To be sure, what the Packers did in the NFL Draft could signal a change in offensive philosophy. But even still, it’s hard not to look at this offseason as a whole and not scratch your head. However, what’s interesting is what it means for some players already on the roster who now will be under pressure to play a bigger part in the team’s success.
For the Green Bay Packers to stay atop the NFC North and potentially in title contention, these five players need to be at their best in the 2020 season.