The Green Bay Packers entered the 2023 season with the approach that the team was rebuilding. Packers two-time All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari said as much back in April. 

"The Packers are rebuilding whether you think so or not," Bakhtiari said months ago and prior to the team's trade of future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets. "[People will say] 'Could they be good, I don't know.' More people are going to think they're [the Packers]  going to be more bad than good, right? That's fair to say."

The Packers ended up flipping Rodgers, their 15th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and a 2023 fifth-round pick to the Jets in exchange for New York's 13th overall pick (became DE Lukas Van Ness), a 2023 second-round pick (became TE Luke Musgrave), a 2023 sixth-round pick (became K Anders Carlson) and a 2024 conditional pick (became the Jets' second-round pick). Green Bay had to eat just over $40 million in dead money against their 2023 salary cap as a result of trading Rodgers, but he is now off of their books this offseason. 

As a result of these moves, it looked like the Packers were in for a tough year. Quarterback Jordan Love, the team's 2020 first-round pick, entered 2023 as a first-time NFL starting quarterback for the NFL's youngest team (average age: 25 years, 214 days) in Year 1 A.A.R (After Aaron Rodgers). That number was heavily influenced by essentially every Green Bay offensive skill position player outside of running back Aaron Jones (29 years old) being 25 or younger:

  • 2023 fifth-round pick wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks (22 years old)
  • 2023 second-round pick tight end Luke Musgrave (23 years old)
  • 2023 third-round pick tight end Tucker Kraft (23 years old)
  • 2023 second-round pick wide receiver Jayden Reed (23 years old)
  • 2022 fourth-round pick wide receiver Romeo Doubs (23 years old)
  • Undrafted wide receiver Malik Heath (23 years old)
  • 2022 second-round pick wide receiver Christian Watson (24 years old)
  • 2022 seventh-round pick (by Seattle Seahawks) wide receiver Bo Melton (24 years old)
  • 2020 first-round pick quarterback Jordan Love (25 years old)
  • 2020 second-round pick running back AJ Dillon (25 years old)
  • 2022 seventh-round pick wide receiver Samori Toure (25 years old)

Despite the all young guys approach on the offensive side of the ball by general manager Brian Gutekunst, head coach and offensive play-caller Matt LaFleur was able mold the youth into one of the more dangerous attacks in football. The team rallied to win seven of its final nine regular season games following a 3-6 start as Love threw 18 touchdown passes to only one interception during the stretch run. He finished the regular season with 32 passing touchdowns, the second-most in the entire NFL,  trailing only Dallas Cowboys 2023 Second-Team All-Pro quarterback Dak Prescott's 36. 

The youthful pass-catching group listed above combined for the most catches (302), receiving yards (3,642) and receiving touchdowns (31) by first and second-year players on a single team since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger.  The Packers then went on to become the youngest team, also since the 1970 merger, to win a playoff game after their 48-32 victory in the wild card round upset of the second-seeded Dallas Cowboys, becoming the first seven seed to win a postseason game in the process.

Love made it clear he is the face-of-the-franchise quarterback Green Bay had hoped for throwing for 272 passing yards and three touchdowns on 16 for 21 passing, which earned him a 157.2 passer rating, 1.1 points away from a perfect 158.3 rating. That 157.2 passer rating is the new single-game Packers postseason record. His 13 yards per pass attempt are also the most by a Packers quarterback ever in a playoff game. That left LaFleur calling his quarterback "a real dude."

The Packers came up just short at the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round, 24-21, and despite suffering a loss in which they out-played the 49ers for most of the game, Green Bay has a lot to look forward to. With that in mind, let's turn our attention toward their draft plan. 

As mentioned above, Green Bay picked up an extra second round pick as the final piece of trading Rodgers to the Jets. It would have conveyed as New York's first-round selection had Rodgers played 65% of their snaps in 2023. That did not happen as he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury four snaps into the 2023 season. The Packers also picked up an extra third-round choice from the Buffalo Bills after sending cornerback Rasul Douglas and their 2024 fifth-round pick to Western New York midseason. 

Here is how the Packers should utilize the eight draft picks they have currently. Green Bay should receive three more compensatory picks, but those will be added to this mix when they become official later in the offseason. 

Packers' team needs: S, OG, C, EDGE, RB, QB (for backup spot)  (via Josh Edwards)  

Packers' key unrestricted free agents: OT Yosh Nijman, CB Keisean Nixon, S Darnell Savage, S Rudy Ford, RB AJ Dillion, CB Cory Ballentine, S Jonathan Owens, G Jon Runyan Jr. 

Packers 2024 draft picks*

RoundOverall Pick




41 (acquired second-round pick from Jets as part of Aaron Rodgers trade)






91 (acquired third-round pick from Bills as part of Rasul Douglas trade)







* Compensatory picks not yet known

Here's who the Packers will select 25th overall, according to CBS Sports' latest mock drafts:    

CBS Sports mock drafts

Ryan WilsonKool-Aid McKinstryCBAlabama

Chris Trapasso

Kamari Lassiter



Josh Edwards

Jordan Morgan



Find long-term offensive line answers 

Despite three-time Pro Bowl and two-time First-Team All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari once again only playing in one game in the 2023 season, something he also did in 2021, with complications stemming from a torn ACL in practice on New Year's Eve in 2020, the Packers offensive line did alright last season.

They allowed the third-lowest quarterback pressure rate in the NFL (30.3%) as well as the third-fewest sacks in the entire league (30) in the regular season. In the two postseason games, they didn't allow Love to be sacked, but the 37.5% pressure rate they allowed ranked 8th out of the 14 teams to complete in the playoffs so far. 

Giving Love time to scan the field and fire his laser-like throws is paramount for this Green Bay offense. Once right tackle Zach Tom, another one of those Packers youngsters (age 24, fourth-round pick in 2022 NFL Draft), exited the game with a concussion, Love and the Green Bay offense weren't the same. 

Jordan Love & Packers Offense
NFC Divisional Round at 49ers

First 6 DrivesRest of Game

Team Points






Pass Yards






QB Pressure Rate Faced



Passer Rating



Tom has the right tackle spot locked down long-term. The right guard spot next to him is up for grabs with Jon Runyan Jr. hitting free agency although Green Bay may opt to fill that spot internally with 2022 third-round pick Sean Rhyan

Left tackle is a different story. Bakhtiari turns 33 in September and is entering the final season of his four-year, $92 million contract in 2024. He is currently slated for a cap hit of just over $40 million. Cutting or trading him still leaves the Packers with just over $19 million in dead money for the upcoming season. Since he has played just 13 games across the last three seasons, it appears as though the Packers won't be able to count on him as a regular starter going forward. That means his left tackle spot needs to be addressed. 

Rasheed Walker, a 2022 seventh-round pick, played at a decent level in Bakhtiari's place in 2023. He allowed 30 quarterback pressures and six quarterback sacks in the regular season. Walker played one of his best games of the season in the loss at the 49ers, allowing just three quarterback pressures and no sacks against 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa and San Francisco's stout defensive line. However, he might be better suited to be Green Bay's utility offensive lineman with Yosh Nijman hitting free agency. 

That opens up the possibility for the Packers to be in the tackle market. Here are some options that could be available to Green Bay with the 25th overall pick. 

Jordan Morgan was an All-Pac-12 offensive tackle in each of the past two seasons, and he will be at the Senior Bowl. He only allowed just three sacks and 24 pressures in 2022 and 2023. As evidenced by the video footage below, he can hold up against NFL-caliber talent. Morgan and Pro Bowl left guard Elgton Jenkins could lock down the left side of Green Bay's offensive line for at least the next five years. 

Washington's Troy Fautanu has some of the best footwork at his position in this 2024 draft class, as evidenced by clips of his tape below. He won the 2023 Morris Trophy for being the Pac-12's best offensive lineman as voted on by the conference's players. A third-team All-American who stands at 6-foot-4 and 317 pounds, Fautanu is a plug-and-play at left tackle. Some have also suggested he's a viable option at guard as well.    

If the Packers want to roll with Walker at left tackle, Green Bay could go with Duke's Graham Barton (6'5, 314 pounds) in round one. He played tackle for the Blue Devils, but he has the flexibility to play guard or center as well. 

Barton is a versatile blocker, in both the run game and pass game, as well as his positional range, playing both inside and outside in college. PFF assigned him 17 big-time blocks, their highest-graded blocks, which were the most of any offensive tackle in the country in 2022. What that statistic indicates is Barton's unrelenting drive to launch into defenders and absolutely bury them. He can become more fundamentally sound in terms of his balance and patience as a run-blocker instead of solely being a heat-seeking missile. However, many NFL teams would probably enjoy honing that quality and sharpening him into a high-end offensive guard or center. 

Secure stability in the secondary

The Packers need to shore up their secondary. Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander played well during the back half of the 2023 regular season and in the postseason. However, there are plenty of holes to be filled on the back end of their defense, which will be getting a new defensive coordinator after LaFleur and the Packers let go of former DC Joe Barry. 

Both starting safeties -- Darnell Savage and Rudy Ford -- are free agents as is nickelback and All-Pro return man Keisean Nixon. The Packers should do what they can to retain Nixon because of the dynamism he provides in the return game. Getting Ford back on an affordable deal along with Nixon is critical. Ford's 25.0 passer rating against as the primary defender in coverage ranked as the second-best in the NFL among the 301 defenders who had 20 or more passes thrown their way. 

Outside corner may also need some help with 2021 first-round pick Eric Stokes struggling with hamstring issues in 2023 and only playing in three games. His 2022 season was cut short because of a Lisfranc foot injury that required surgery. Relying on him may be a bit of a dice roll even though he turns 25 in March. 

Given the holes at safety, here are a couple the Packers could target with at least one of their second-round picks or a little bit later in the draft. 

USC's Calen Bullock is a top tier safety in coverage. His ability to track the football and make plays, seven interceptions since 2022, provides any defensive coordinator incredible flexibility from a schematic perspective because there is a faith that the deep middle will be locked down when Bullock is around. His speed jumps out in coverage, closing on pass lanes quickly. However standing at 6-foot-3 while weighing 190 pounds lends itself to issues when coming up to make plays in the run game. Bullock needs to become more polished and physical as a run defender. That can be corrected at the NFL level as his body fills out. 

Bulldogs safety Javon Bullard is one of the many hammers from Georgia's domineering defense, as evidenced by this massive hit below against Florida last season. He provides great versatility being able to line up as a cornerback in the slot or as a safety in different parts of the formation. Bullard put solid ball skills on tape for a player who provides a hard-hitting presence, corralling two interceptions in the biggest moment, the national championship game, in 2022. Bullard is a high-upside player who should only get better with NFL coaching at the next level. He could be a third-round target as Green Bay doubles up at safety the way they did with Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft last year. 

Find a backfield mate for Aaron Jones

Despite being at an age when running backs appear to begin to show signs of decline, 29, Aaron Jones ended his 2023 season as the NFL's hottest running back. He totaled five consecutive games with over 100 rushing yards with the last one being at the 49ers in the playoffs. That snapped snapped San Francisco's streak of 50 games in a row with without allowing a 100-yard rusher, which was the longest such streak in the league. 

Jones has also been the team's offensive leader off the field as well. However, a hamstring injury in Week 1 at the Bears that he suffered on the tail end of a 35-yard receiving touchdown lingered and clearly hampered his performance until Week 15 at the Carolina Panthers, his first of the five 100-yard games he ended the season with. The Packers need to keep him around, but with AJ Dillon, aka "Quadzilla", entered free agency, they need to draft a capable number two back who can lighten Jones' workload in order to keep him fresh of the stretch run of the regular season and the postseason. 

A local product, like Wisconsin's Braelon Allen, would be the perfect Dillon replacement and eventual Jones successor. Green Bay could probably get away with taking him in the third, where they have two picks, or fourth round. 

Allen (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) can be the thunder to Jones' lightning (5-foot-9, 208 pounds). His anticipation and vision at the line of scrimmage were some of the best in the nation, as he hit the hole right as it was opening up at high frequency, which allowed him to gain the most amount of yards possible on a play. Even though he could have easily leaned on his overpowering frame to win most of his battles at the line of scrimmage, Allen's agility shined through plenty when aggressively bursting through an opening. Allen joined fellow Badger Jonathan Taylor as the only Big Ten running backs since 2014 with three seasons of at least a 5.25 yards per carry rate and double-digit touchdowns with at least 150 carries each year. 

Wear and tear isn't an issue, as Allen will enter his NFL rookie season as a 20 year old.