Packers’ picks warrant mixed emotions from UWO students


Photo by Eric Berlin — The Packers traded up to get Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, making some fans wonder what will happen to current Quarterback Aaron Rogers.

Cory Sparks, Assistant Sports Editor

The 2020 NFL draft went virtual this year, but a couple of early draft selections by the Green Bay Packers resulted in an abundance of NFL fans scratching their heads during the event that went from April 23-25.

In a draft that consisted of a continuous montage between league commissioner Roger Goodell in his basement and the various draft selections at their homes, the Packers traded up to get Utah State quarterback Jordan Love (round one, pick 26) and selected Boston College running back A.J. Dillon (round two, pick 62) for their first two picks.

This decision came with a heap of criticism from numerous sports networks, including CBS who gave the Packers a “D” grading for picking up pieces that may not start for years to come.

“I feel like they focused on the future rather than what the team needed to win now, which is very unusual since they were one game away from the Super Bowl last year,” UW Oshkosh freshman Jordan Koehler said. “Teams picking from 26 to the end of the first round either already had an established quarterback or had already taken a quarterback earlier in the round. Therefore, the Packers did not need to draft up.”

The Packers were indeed just one step away from the big game last year, but their dreams were crushed by the 49ers in a 37-20 loss where their run-stopping game was virtually nonexistent after giving up over 250 yards on the ground.

Two Packer players who still had admirable games were quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns, and running back Aaron Jones, who ran for 4.7 yards per carry with a rushing score.

However, those two positions are the exact ones that Green Bay went after in the first and second rounds of the draft.

“The packers picked good players, but they didn’t pick players that they actually needed,” UW Oshkosh freshman Erik Berlin said. “Aaron Rodgers is still good and Aaron Jones had a great year last year.”

Some fans believed that a wide receiving core lacking a ton of depth needed to be the priority in this draft as the rounds progressed seeing that the Packers were 18th in the league in completion percentage at 62.1 according to

“I would’ve liked to see the Packers take a guy like Tee Higgins (Clemson wide receiver) or K.J. Hill (Ohio State wide receiver) in the later rounds to bring help to a very one dimensional receiving core with Davante Adams standing alone and no true No. 2 to have stepped up yet,” Koehler said.

Although the Packers took a long-term approach that many fans seem to be shaking their heads at, the future could be very bright if this influx of young talent, specifically with Love and Dillon, sprouts the way this franchise is hoping they do. Love could end up calling Green Bay his long-term home if Rodgers ends up retiring before the now rookie’s contract ends in 2024.

“I see no real downside with the pick,” UW Oshkosh freshman Jackson Davis said. “[They are] grooming the next guy up for a franchise that has had back-to-back hall of fame quarterbacks and the coaching staff thinks they can groom Jordan Love to be the next guy. The way I see it [is] you either have your heir to the great Green Bay quarterback room, or you can get just short of what you gave up for him.”

Green Bay running backs Jones and Jamaal Williams both become eligible for free agency in 2021, leaving a window of opportunity for Dillon to make a home for himself in the Green Bay locker room if both backs aren’t re-signed.

“I feel this means Jamaal Williams is going to have to scrap for his roster spot this year,” Davis said. “Look out for [Dillon] within the five-yard line because I think his job will be to plow as many men over as possible and get in the end zone.”

The Packers still have an opportunity to address their run-stopping and receiving core needs in a more immediate fashion if they sign a free agent, but the team already signed former Colts wide receiver Devin Funchess in March. Funchess had his 2019 campaign cut short after just one game due to a fractured clavicle, but had only missed three games since the 2015 season before that injury.

“I would love for them to bring in a playmaker on offense such as Odell Beckham Jr. which has been rumored for months or signing a guy to help the defense,” Koehler said. “Unfortunately, it seems like the Packers are very passive on big names and have never made a big splash in free agency or the trade market.”

As COVID-19 continues to leave the possibility of football this fall hanging in the balance, many fans are wondering if the Packers feel satisfied with their roster heading into the 2020-21 season or if they have just begun.