Green Bay Packers: 5 Best 2018 NFL Draft First Round Targets [Opinion]

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The Green Bay Packers have been much busier this offseason than they have been in years past. New general manager Brian Gutekunst has taken a much more aggressive approach to free agency than former general manager Ted Thompson did.

Among the moves that have been made were the signing of star tight end Jimmy Graham and the release of star wide receiver Jordy Nelson. It was a shock for Packers’ fans to see Nelson leave town, while signing Graham was a bit of a shock as well. Green Bay has also signed cornerback Tramon Williams, while trading cornerback Damarious Randall to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for DeShone Kizer.

Needless to say, last season shook the Packers up. Aaron Rodgers went down for the majority of the season with a broken collarbone and Green Bay was unable to make the playoffs.

Green Bay fired defensive coordinator Dom Capers and brought Mike Pettine on board. They also made a huge free agency splash with the signing of Muhammad Wilkerson, who will form a nightmare duo with Mike Daniels for opposing coaching staffs.

All of that being said, the 2018 NFL Draft is coming up fast and the Packers currently hold the No. 14 overall pick. If they end up standing pat at No. 14, which players would be the best fits for Green Bay that could be on the board?

Derwin James, Safety, Florida State

After losing Morgan Burnett in free agency to the Pittsburgh Steelers, as ESPN noted, the Packers could use a piece like Derwin James. Whether he starts at safety or plays a swiss army knife role in the defense that Josh Jones played last season, James would bring a lot of playmaking to a needy Packers’ defense. Pettine is a hard-nosed coach and James would fit his system perfectly.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Defensive Back, Alabama

Sticking with defensive back, Minkah Fitzpatrick would be a perfect fit for the Packers at the cornerback position. Green Bay could use more talent at the position, with Kevin King and Tramon Williams being the only two capable starters currently on the roster. Fitzpatrick finished his college career at Alabama with nine interceptions and 24 defended passes, which shows his ability to make plays in the secondary.

Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia

Roquan Smith is the definition of leadership and could be a much-needed boost for the Packers’ linebacking corps. He racked up 137 total tackles in 2017 for the Bulldogs to go along with 6.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and two defended passes. Smith could be an immediate starter for the Packers.

Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver, SMU

Is it crazy to think that the Packers could look to draft a wide receiver for Rodgers after losing Nelson? Green Bay still has Davante Adams and Randall Cobb as their top two receivers, but Courtland Sutton could be a nice No. 3 target for Rodgers. Sutton caught 68 passes for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns last season for SMU and would give the Packers yet another lethal threat for Rodgers to utilize.

Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Line, Notre Dame

Green Bay could use some more talent on the offensive line to protect Rodgers, and Mike McGlinchey could be a nice fit at No. 14. He is projected to go in the top 20 and Gutekunst might just decide to beef up the line early. McGlinchey is going to be a very good NFL lineman and the Packers should certainly keep him in consideration.