A Packers Fan Strikes Back-Peter Ly

After months of mock drafts and breaking down countless hours of prospect film, it was draft night. As a Packers fan, I was stoked beyond belief. WE WERE GOING TO GET A WR FOR RODGERS. That was the game plan for possibly the entire offseason. My thinking was that we’d trade down from 30 and stock up on a 3rd or 4th round pick in order to address the following needs: WR, DL, LB, and OT in that order. I remember being anxious for the draft to start- waiting to see which WR we were going to get.

At the beginning of the first round, I had no interest in which teams drafted what player; I was extremely focused on the media claiming this year’s wide receiver class was maybe the best ever. After pick number 11 however, I began to get worried. The run on WRs could begin at any moment. And it did. Henry Ruggs III off the board to the Las Vegas Raiders. I could care less at the time – a boom or bust prospect that I didn’t even believe would fall to the Pack. Then SF, the team that knocked my beloved Packers out of the playoffs, and who needed a wide receiver. Except, Tampa Bay decided to trade up to pick Tristan Wirfs, who shockingly fell that far despite not having Mekhi Becton’s (or Laremy Tunsil’s) perceived issues. The 49ers then drafted Javon Kinlaw – fine by me, wasn’t going to fall to the Packers anyway. Jeudy then came off the board to the Broncos – another blue-chip prospect that I didn’t expect to fall. Then, I saw CeeDee Lamb, my personal favorite of the three falls to 18. At that moment, I wanted Brian Gutekunst, the Packers’ GM to trade up with the Dolphins to get that man. I thought “America’s Team” would pass on him because they paid Cooper and they would need to pay Dak, causing them to not invest more resources into their wide receiver core. Wrong – they picked him anyway.

My dreams slowly began to dissipate. Reagor – Eagles, Jefferson – Vikings. At that point, I was worried, not only because multiple talented wide receivers were coming off the board but also Jefferson, the best big slot in the draft was gone to the disgusting Vikings. Then Minnesota had the pick that crushed my dreams. My dream wide receivers for the Pack left on the board were Aiyuk and Reagor. Aiyuk – 49ers. At that point, I wanted to trade down or pick Patrick Queen. I remember thinking about who would trade down with us until the Packers traded up with the Miami Dolphins. I remembered thinking – Josh Jones, Mims, or Queen? Gutekunst had finally traded up with Miami and had fulfilled his promise to be aggressive. When I saw Jordan Love on the screen, I began to get worried. The words that ruined that mind for me – With the 26th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select, Jordan Love, Quarterback, Utah State. My day (or night) was ruined. I could care less about the draft. My aspirations about a WR for A-Rod, the best QB in the NFL aka the Goat aka the Cowboy’s Owner, were gone. My feelings about the pick weren’t just about the position, but also about how the timer on Rodger’s career in Green Bay was on. My sports hero and the man that drew me to the Packers may be traded or released in the next couple of years.

I woke up the next day being slightly more optimistic – 9 more picks to go to help Rodgers win the coveted Lombardi trophy. Wrong – AJ Dillon – RB Boston College. What was this pick??? We have Aaron Jones, the NFL’s TD leader, and Jamaal Williams, a capable backup. Furthermore, Gutekunst didn’t trade up to take Denzel Mims, a weapon for Aaron Rodgers, when they just needed to move up 5 spots. When the Packers’ 3rd Round pick came, I remember being worried because a lot of the main WR’s were gone, except Peoples-Jones and Tyler Johnson, both of whom I loved as WRs. Josiah Deguara. First reaction – who is this guy. Turns out we drafted a FB in the 3rd Round. At that point, I was mad – we wasted 2 days of draft picks to pick backups. Day 3 – a couple of decent picks at OL and a bunch of “priority free agents”, with no WRs, according to NFL.com. I gave up on the Packers. I considered leaving the Packers for another team because I couldn’t take it anymore. Then, I looked back and reflected – this was a very underrated draft. Jordan Love. The entire NFL is laughing now, but if Aaron Rodgers mentors him. League – LOOKOUT. Mahomes was a very raw talent out of college similar to Love. However, with Rodgers mentoring Love he could be the third of the HOF QB’s here in Titletown, USA. Love has the natural arm talent and is very athletic. Although I was blinded by the Packers’ needs at WR, I decided that Love was a pick for the future that could pay off brilliantly if mentored well. For all of my fellow Bells saying that “Rodgers won’t mentor Love”, Rodgers knows how it feels because that is what Farve did to him. Rodgers will learn from his mistake to help Love become the next great QB. AJ Dillon, a very good power back, who can be paired with Jones for a lethal 1-2 punch at RB. Imagine getting tired out by Dillon’s power only to be burned by Jones’ speed. Imagine a superior Ingram and Kamara. Saints fans are probably really mad at that one. Furthermore, the pick of Josiah Deguara shows how much the Packers value blocking now. With Deguara having the same role as Kyle “Juice Check”, he can block well and can offer decent value on the receiving end. Being the 2nd TE in Cincinnati history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards. The other one – Travis Kelce. Pretty good company to be in. This shows the Packers will become more of a running team that will tire a defense out only to have Rodgers drop a dime on a play-action pass that will inevitably fool defenses. Kamal Marin gives the Packers’ defense a thumper who can create turnovers through fumbles or interceptions. The OL provides depth and can provide quality starters in the future. The other picks offer special teams value and can offer good rotational pieces.

Looking back, the NFL isn’t ready for Matt LaFleur’s offense next year. Remember, it takes not a day, not a week, not a year, but 3-4 years to judge a draft class. Looking back, I’m relatively confident that this draft was underrated. Look at this – Mike Hughes, Vikings – BUST, Trubisky- Bears – BUST, Kerryon Johnson, Lions – BUST, Leonard Floyd, Bears – BUST. Packers: Jaire Alexander – STUD, Darnell Savage – STUD, Elgton- Jenkings- STUD. The Packers can find good players. They haven’t forgotten how to draft talent. The media or armchair GM’s will never evaluate talent as well as teams. With that, the Green Bay Packers have completed another draft that hopefully, they will benefit greatly off from this year and the next decade (I’m looking at you Jordan Love).


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