Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were an NFC favorite early on in the 2017 season after starting the year with a 4-1 record. They were clicking on all cylinders heading into a rivalry game with the Minnesota Vikings when everything changed.
Following a rough hit from Vikings’ linebacker Anthony Barr, Rodgers was ruled out with a broken collarbone. He missed a big chunk of time before returning in Week 16. Unfortunately, the Packers were unable to pull off a miracle and lost the game to the Carolina Panthers and were eliminated the next night.
Now, changes have been made and the Packers are looking to get back into contention. Ted Thompson is no longer the Packers’ general manager, with Brian Gutekunst coming in and ready for the big task of making the moves to get Green Bay back to a Super Bowl caliber team. According to a report from Packers News, Gutekunst is expected to be much more aggressive in free agency than Thompson was.
Green Bay will also pick higher than normal in the 2018 NFL Draft. They hold the No. 14 overall pick and should be able to find a few talented players who will be able to make an impact early on with their first three or four picks in the draft.
All of that being said, which players should the Packers pick with their first four selections in the 2018 NFL Draft?
Round 1, Pick 14: Derwin James, Safety, Florida State
Derwin James has seen his stock fall a bit over the past couple of weeks and could fall right into the Packers’ laps. Morgan Burnett is a free agent, and bringing in a playmaker like James to pair with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the defensive backfield would jumpstart the defensive rebuild. If James is there, the Packers will not be able to pass on him.
Round 2, Pick 45: Hayden Hurst, Tight End, South Carolina
After the Martellus Bennett experiment, the Packers are going to need another tight end this offseason. They will likely bring Richard Rodgers back, but adding a young talent like Hayden Hurst in the second round would be a wise decision. Hurst is a massive target at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds and Rodgers uses big targets very well.
Round 3, Pick 76: Tarvarus McFadden, Cornerback, Florida State
Why not go ahead and bring in a second Florida State defensive back to help turn the defense around. Tarvarus McFadden is an extremely talented cornerback, although he has a lot of raw talent. McFadden may not be a “quick fix” for the Packers, but he certainly could develop into a special player.
Round 4, Pick 110: Malik Jefferson, Linebacker, Texas
Continuing to improve the Packers’ defense, Gutekunst should take Malik Jefferson in the fourth round if he’s still available. He racked up 110 total tackles in 2017 for the Longhorns, while also chipping in four sacks. Jefferson could be a very solid addition for the second tier of the Green Bay defense.