Green Bay Packers 2023 NFL Mock Draft post Aaron Rodgers trade

Jaxon Smith-Njigba. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Jaxon Smith-Njigba. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Aaron Rodgers was finally traded now the Green Bay Packers can focus on putting Jordan Love in the best position with the right picks in the 2023 NFL Draft

The drama is over as the Aaron Rodgers era in Green Bay finally came to an end. With the Rodgers stuff in the rearview, the Packers are gearing up for a new chapter in their history. As they prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft, the team has several needs to address if they hope to contend in the coming years. With four picks in the top 100, the Packers have a chance to add impact players to their roster, but they’ll need to make smart choices if they want to maximize their draft capital.

The secondary is in dire need of a makeover. Adrian Amos’ departure left a void at safety and Darnell Savage struggled at times last season. Money says the Packers will add another playmaker to pair with him. Given the lack of safety depth, maybe the Packers use a pick on a safety sooner rather than later.

Another area of concern for the Packers is defensive tackle, where the departures of Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed have left a hole in the interior of their defense. The Packers will need to find a player who can anchor their defensive line and help them stop the run. With several big-bodied defensive tackles available in this year’s draft, the Packers should have plenty of options to choose from.

Finally, the Packers could also use some help at tight end, where they lack a true impact player. While they have several solid options on the roster, they could use a player who can stretch the field and create mismatches in the passing game. With several talented tight ends available in this year’s draft, the Packers could find the playmaker they need to take their offense to the next level.

Given the needs, the Packers are in a good position to build a team that can contend for years to come.

Green Bay Packers mock draft post-Aaron Rodgers trade

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) runs in the second quarter against the Utah Utes during the 2022 Rose Bowl college football game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR, Ohio State

This isn’t anything new for Packers mock drafts. But, what better way to open the post-Aaron Rodgers era than getting Jordan Love a wide receiver in the first round? One of the most pressing needs is finding a reliable pass catcher for Love, and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba could be an excellent fit.

At 6’1″ and 196 pounds, the former Buckeyes wideout fits the Packers’ profile in terms of height and weight. He is an outstanding route-runner and separator with exceptional footwork, body control, and the ability to read leverage. He has excellent hands, ball skills, and focus at the catch point, making him a reliable target for any quarterback. Smith-Njigba is decisive after the catch and has excellent field vision, allowing him to make plays at all levels of the field.

As a Buckeye, we say his intelligence and exceptional spatial awareness shine He’s always working to get open and is an ideal fit as a safety blanket for Love, particularly from the slot. Smith-Njigba’s deceptive footwork, sight adjustments, and ability to run to open space make him consistently available for quarterbacks to work him the football. He’s found production at Ohio State and is a threat to work all levels of the field.

While he lacks top-end speed, he makes up for it with his technical refinement and ability to win early in routes. However, he has primarily functioned from the slot and enjoyed free releases, which means he hasn’t been challenged much in beating press coverage. The development of his ability to play out wide remains a question.

Smith-Njigba’s lack of explosiveness and only one season of college production are reasons for concern. However, his floor is the best route runner, which is a valuable trait for any NFL receiver.