Packers fill areas of need in the draft’s early rounds

James Paradisin, Staff Writer

The NFL Draft recently wrapped up, and the Green Bay Packers wanted to make sure they made a splash.
The team had some tough news to deal with this past week, as famed quarterback Aaron Rodgers decided to take his talents to a new team, the New York Jets. This was something that had been looming in the air and was finally made official recently.
With Jordan Love set to take over this starting role, let’s dive a little more into the help he will be receiving, on both sides of the ball, with this new Packers draft class.
The Packers had the 13th overall pick in the first round, and decided to go on the side of the ball where they need the most help – defense. They selected the extremely talented defensive end, Lukas Van Ness.
Van Ness comes from the University of Iowa and is the second ranked defensive end in this draft class. At a staggering 6-feet, 5-inches tall and 272 pounds, Van Ness has a special combination of size, length, power and speed. He likes to get up and personal with his opponents and uses his brute force to drive offensive linemen back into their own quarterback. He is also very versatile as he played defensive tackle in college as well.
He is expected to start for the Packers straight away as he fits their scheme, and is at a position where the Packers need some help. Many analysts have compared him to Preston Smith, but I think the most interesting comparison is T.J. Watt. They have very similar builds and play styles, and I think I speak for most Packers fans when I say they would love to see that comparison take shape and unfold before their eyes.
The Packers had the 11th and 19th overall picks in the second round (after trading down with the second pick), and they added some receiving targets for Love. They picked up Luke Musgrave from Oregon State and Jayden Reed from Michigan State.
Musgrave was the third ranked tight end in the draft, and he stands at 6-feet, 6-inches tall and weighs 253 pounds. He is very physical and has big hands making him an immediate vertical threat. Many analysts have compared him to Mike Gesicki.
Reed, on the other hand, is the sixth ranked wide receiver, but many people would consider him to be more talented than this. He stands at 5 feet, 11 inches and weighs 187 pounds. He is a speedy receiver that likes to make quick, crisp cuts and accelerate quickly after a catch. He has great vision, making him a dangerous route runner that can get open on both short and long balls. He is likely to fit right in as Green Bay’s new slot receiver and should make a positive impact right away.
There are definitely a lot of things to unpack and look forward to regarding this year’s draft for the green and gold. These three players are expected to make an impact right away for the team.
The first preseason game for the team will be in early August, where we will most likely see these players debut, and the first regular season game will commence in early September.