It's the offseason in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which means it's time to talk about the draft statistic that makes the rounds every year: The Packers have not selected an offensive skill position player (running back, wide receiver, or tight end) in the first round since 2002 when they chose Florida State wide receiver Javon Walker with the 20th overall pick. The last time the Packers took an offensive skill position player in the first round, Tobey Maguire's "Spider-Man" (the first one) was the world's top grossing movie.
More than 20 years of drafting and no offensive skill position players is a show of the front office's belief that Hall of Famer Brett Favre and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers could do more with less talent at their disposal, and they both proved that theory to be correct for many seasons. However, one could argue that the Packers have also squandered some of both Favre's and Rodgers' twilight years by not surrounding them with more talent as their mobility and other skills slowly deteriorated.
Whether or not Rodgers returns to Green Bay, he or Jordan Love, the team's first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, could use another weapon or two in the passing game to complement Christian Watson, whose nine scrimmage touchdowns were tied for the most among all rookies with the Seahawks' Kenneth Walker III. The Packers' Week 18 slip-up against the Lions that kept them out of the playoffs showcased the need for another weapon or two, as Detroit double-teamed Watson or bracketed him with a safety nearly the entire game, daring another pass-catcher to beat them.
General manager Brian Gutekunst and the rest of Green Bay's braintrust is clearly aware that it's well past time to add more juice to their offense. When Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, a likely first round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, was asked what stood out about his formal interview with the Green and Gold, he said the team's desire to add playmaking to their passing game.
"They are definitely looking for a receiver," Smith-Njigba said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine, via Gery Woelfel.
According to the latest mock drafts by CBS Sports' NFL staff, Green Bay clearly wants a pass-catcher also. However, all the football world can do is wait and see if the Packers will actually pull the trigger in the first round on an offensive skill position player for the first time in 21 years.
Packers No. 15 overall pick: Mock draft projections
|CBS Sports NFL Staff Writer||15th overall pick||Position||School|
|Tyler Sullivan||Jordan Addison ||WR||USC|