Packers draft grades

The 2021 NFL draft is over and of course people are quick to judge how teams did.

Normally, you really need three or five years to grade a class (like we did here and here).

But who is kidding who — we all want to know what others think of the selections made by our favorite team now. And there are plenty people doing just this.

We’ve tried to compile as thorough a list of Green Bay Packers draft analysis as you’ll find anywhere on the internet, complete with a GPA for the first-round picks and overall draft. Without further ado, enjoy (well, as much as you can. Packers grades were a mixed bag but do your best to enjoy nonetheless).

Eric Stokes

Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A. “Cornerback was a major need for the Packers, even after re-signing Kevin King. Stokes was in the first-round conversation even before his 4.29 pro day 40 yard-dash, thanks to his fluid hips and excellent ball skills. He can play in the slot or outside, so this was an excellent usage of the pick.”

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic ($): C. “Stokes is 6-foot-1 with long arms and ran a blazing 4.29. He was terrific in nine games last season but had some inconsistencies throughout his career. Brugler had Stokes as his 51st overall prospect, while Jeremiah had him 50th. The Packers obviously liked him more than that. Would Green Bay have been better off taking someone like wide receiver Elijah Moore here? Did it have offers to trade back? Ultimately, Stokes at this spot felt like a bit of a reach, but if the Packers are right in their evaluation, he definitely offers upside.”

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports: B+. “I love this pick. I believe he will be the best tackle in the draft. It fills a need in a big way.”

Danny Kelly of The Ringer: C. “tokes is an electric athlete, helps address a long-term need for the Packers, and should quell fans’ fears of depending too much on Kevin King in 2021. But it’s getting almost comical how much Green Bay’s front office has ignored the wide receiver position over the past two years. With reports circulating that Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, this wasn’t exactly an olive-branch-type pick. I don’t love the value for Stokes here (he is my no. 47 ranked player) and would’ve preferred the Packers add a playmaking pass-catcher like Elijah Moore or Terrace Marshall Jr. instead.”

Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: B-. “The Packers had to address cornerback at some point to try to get the ideal complementary playmaker for Jaire Alexander. This just seems early as they again eschew direct offensive help for Aaron Rodgers, either an offensive tackle or wide receiver. Stokes keeps up the theme of nice-sized corners going early and often and he has some special on-ball attributes. It’s just Green Bay could have found some good values at the position later vs. what it passed up.”

Rob Rang of FOX Sports: C+. “The Packers turned a lot of heads last year, drafting Utah State quarterback Jordan Love and contributing to the mess they now have with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers. This year's top pick also could have Packers fans scratching their Cheeseheads, though, as Stokes boasts all of the athletic upside in the world, but is not yet the polished player his height and speed would suggest. Playing opposite Jaire Alexander is going to get Stokes plenty of attention from opposing quarterbacks. The Packers do, however, boast the pass rush to help the investment in an athlete like Stokes ultimately pay off.”

WalterFootball.com: C. “I don't think the Packers needed to force a receiver with this pick because there aren't any great options available. However, I think the Packers needed to do something to make Aaron Rodgers happy, and that would entail selecting a blocker to help an offensive line that lost three starters in the offseason. Furthermore, if Rodgers is traded to the Broncos, as rumored, Patrick Surtain could've been included in the deal. That's obviously speculative, but it's still something that should be considered.”

Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report: F. “A year ago, general manager Brian Gutekunst rationalized his continual passing on wide receivers by basically saying the board didn’t fall in Green Bay’s favor and the team liked the younger options on the roster. That excuse no longer flies. The Packers could have chosen LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr., Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore, North Carolina’s Dyami Brown or Purdue’s Rondale Moore. Gutekunst is being stubborn for stubborn's sake.”

Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports: C. “Aaron Rodgers has to be pumped. Stokes ran a blistering 40-yard dash (4.29 seconds), is regarded as smart and versatile. But he also needs some technique work, can be grabby and isn’t yet a finished product. Stokes going ahead of Tyson Campbell, his Georgia teammate, is interesting. Other teams had it the other way around and gave Stokes mostly second- and third-round grades. He has potential but might start out in a sub-package role.”

Ben Rolfe of Pro Football Network: B. “After the Green Bay Packers struggled with their secondary in the playoffs, addressing that need with Eric Stokes is a logical move. Stokes is a former track star with good footwork, intangibles, and IQ. The only slight concern is that this selection does not address two glaring needs on offense for the Packers.”

Ryan Fowler of The Draft Network: B-. “Poor Kevin King. General manager Brian Gutekunst selects Eric Stokes for his cornerback room in an effort to add talent opposite Jaire Alexander. Stokes, a toolsy corner, will have no issue keeping up with wideouts at the next level, but he has major progress to make as a cover corner.”

Luke Easterling of Draft Wire: C-. “Sure, the Packers could use a big, athletic corner like Stokes, but they had the chance to add a dynamic pass-catcher like Elijah Moore or a versatile offensive lineman like Teven Jenkins. Stokes has a promising blend of size, speed and length, which makes him an ideal candidate to eventually replace Kevin King. Still, ignoring the needs on offense won’t help tensions with the defending MVP quarterback.”

Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders: B. “Stokes had a rough game against DeVonta Smith and Alabama in 2020 but has been a solid starter for two seasons with the Bulldogs. He can develop into a capable, versatile starter.”

Nick Goss of NBC Sports Boston: C+. “The Packers did address a need, though, with the selection of Eric Stokes. Green Bay's secondary underwhelmed in the NFC Championship Game loss to Tom Brady's Buccaneers, and this pick gives the Packers better depth and talent at cornerback.”

Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire: A. “The Packers needed cornerbacks to help the secondary behind the peerless Jaire Alexander, and in my latest mock, I almost sent Stokes to the Jets at 23 because of his athleticism, press ability, and coverage consistency. Physically, he presents a perfect paradigm for what the Packers have wanted at the position. And hey, at least the Packers didn’t draft another quarterback in the first round…”

Dylan Mickanen of NBC Sports Northwest: C. “This was a surprising pick given he wasn't even the Georgia cornerback expected to be taken the highest but Stokes had impressive Pro Day results, including an unofficial 4.25 40-yard dash.”

Joe DiTullio of GameHaus: C.

James Dator of SB Nation: D. “Eric Stokes has unreal speed and could be a factor as a returner on special teams as well, but like, I don’t really get it with Asante Samuel Jr. on the board. I thought he’d be a day two pick as a nickel corner, not a first round pick for a team in need of a lot of defensive and offensive pieces.”

Kevin Manahan of NJ Advance Media: B. “Packers fill a big need with the fastest CB in the draft. Stokes and Jaire Alexander give Green Bay a really quick set of cornerbacks.”

Nick Gray of The Tennessean: B-. “Stokes is a very interesting prospect. The Packers obviously needed cornerback help, but Stokes might not be an outside corner as a pro. He's got some progression left in his game, and it's all about what the Packers expect from him and when.”

C.J. Doon of the Baltimore Sun: B-.

Chet Gresham of Draft Kings: D. “Stokes is a versatile corner, but his frame is slight and he’s going to get pushed around early in his career. Until he can at least slow down a running back, he’s going to have trouble staying on the field.”

GPA: 2.34

Josh Myers

Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: A-. “Green Bay made a critical second pick with Aaron Rodgers in mind, replacing free-agent departure Corey Linsley (Chargers) with another Ohio State product with similar snapping, line-leading and blocking attributes.”

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports: B. “Ready to go center who recognizes stunts and blitzes and can get there because of his first-step quickness. Just needs to get stronger to deal with rushers. Smart pick after losing Corey Linsley.”

WalterFootball.com: A. “Finally, a pick Jordan Love can like. The Packers lost three offensive linemen this offseason, which doesn't even count David Bakhtiari coming off an injury. One of those free-agent departures is Corey Linsley, so Green Bay had to replace him. I thought there was a chance Josh Myers could go earlier, so I'm a big fan of this pick.”

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic ($): B. “The Packers lost Corey Linsley in free agency and now snag Myers (6-foot-5, 310) as a potential replacement. Myers started 21 games at center. He could also get a look at guard in the NFL. Myers is someone who should compete for playing time right away. This is a fine use of resources by Green Bay.”

Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports: C+. “Over Creed Humphrey and Quinn Meinerz? We don’t love it. Myers is very tough and smart, and he’ll immediately help the run game if he wins a starting role, either at guard or center. There were some times when his pass protection was sub-par. Will be play center? Will Aaron Rodgers be there to receive his snaps? So many questions in Green Bay.”

Steven Ruiz and Charles McDonald of For the Win: C-. “Myers is technically sound but not a notable athlete, so it could take him some time to acclimate at the next level — time the Packers probably can’t afford to give him.”

Chet Gresham of Draft Kings: B. “The Packers get their Corey Linsley replacement. He’s not the caliber of Linsley of course, so it’s going to take him a while to get there, but he has all the attributes to get there.”

Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders: B. “Myers is a well-built, reliable, athletic-enough, and B1G-tested lineman. He tore up his foot by playing through injuries in the 2020 postseason, however. The injury may slow Myers at the start of his career and bears monitoring. Overall, Myers looks like the best Ohio State center prospect since Linsley.”

AJ Schulte of Pro Football Network: B. “This is a great move for the Packers, who needed to add help in the interior after losing players up front. Josh Myers and Elgton Jenkins can compete for the starting center spot. The Packers value versatility up front, and Myers fits the bill.”

GPA: 2.96

Amari Rodgers

Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: A. “The Packers made a second strong pick with Aaron Rodgers in mind, giving themselves a needed complementary diminutive dasher to play off big No.1 Davante Adams. This Rodgers is a quick slot option who has big-play potential every time he touches the ball in the open field.”

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports: A-. “Reminds me of Deebo Samuel Lite. Defenders glance off him. Just enough athleticism to get open underneath and tracks it well downfield. Smaller, shorter arms and not much vertical juice. Finally, a WR for the Packers!”

WalterFootball.com: B. “The Packers weren't kidding when they said they were going to have A. Rodgers on their team next year. It's nice that they finally obtained a receiver, and Amari Rodgers is an explosive athlete who can go the distance whenever he touches the ball. I had Amari Rodgers in the fourth round, so this is almost the right range.”

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic ($): A. “He has potential to be a slot weapon right away for Green Bay. This is a nice fit between prospect and team.”

Steven Ruiz and Charles McDonald of For the Win: C. “I watched a lot of Amari Rodgers tape and I wasn’t a fan. He’s a decent route runner but doesn’t have enough juice to really separate. He’s going to have a hard time earning targets at the NFL level. Green Bay’s coaching staff is good enough to get something out of him, though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he spends a lot of time in the backfield.”

Chet Gresham of Draft Kings: A. “Rodgers is a slot receiver with a running backs build. His main trouble is getting open in short areas, which isn’t great from the slot. But he has great after the catch ability and has great instincts as a pass catcher.”

Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders: A-. “Of all the Deebo Samuel-like receivers in this year’s draft, Rodgers may be the Deeboest Samuelest. Rodgers is built more like a running back than receiver, and he runs like one, too. Rodgers lacks elite speed on film, but he has some crafty moves to get open in space over the middle and can haul in over-the-shoulder passes when he slips past the secondary. Rodgers has been a major contributor to a stacked offense for three years and performed well at Clemson’s pro day. Not every versatile slot weapon is another Deebo, but Rodgers will find a way to help Packers quarterbacks Jordan Love and Chase Daniel as a slot receiver and source of YAC.”

AJ Schulte of Pro Football Network: B+. “The Packers needed to give Aaron Rodgers weapons, and pairing him with Amari Rodgers is a smart pickup. Rodgers is a good YAC creator with his toughness, play strength, and route running. He’s a slot-only receiver but has reliable hands and makes tough catches that Aaron will appreciate. He developed into more of a downfield threat in 2020, and he’ll add a unique threat to Green Bay’s offense.”

GPA: 3.47

Other

Chad Reuter of NFL.com: Day 2 analysis: “Center was obviously a need for the Packers following the departure of Corey Linsley in the offseason. One tough, intelligent former Buckeye replaces another tough, intelligent former Buckeye. Myers is a solid player who will be sturdy and reliable, though I had him rated behind other prospects at the position that were available at No. 62, such as Creed Humphrey and Quinn Meinerz. A-Rodgers to A-Rodgers? We’ll see how that situation plays out. Amari Rodgers is tough as nails and reliable. While some will view him as the new Randall Cobb, I think the former Clemson star will fill the running back/receiver/punt returner role that Tyler Ervin played in the past couple of years. It was worth giving up a fourth-round pick to land him.”

WalterFootball.com: Day 3 grades – Royce Newman: B; Tedarrell Slaton: A+; Shemar Jean-Charles: B+; Cole Van Lanen: C-; Isaiah McDuffie: A-; Kylin Hill: A-.

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports: Day 3 grades -- Royce Newman: A-; Tedarrell Slaton: C+; Shemar Jean-Charles: C+; Cole Van Lanen: C+; Isaiah McDuffie: B+; Kylin Hill: A.

AJ Schulte of Pro Football Network: Royce Newman: A; Tedarrell Slaton: C-; Shemar Jean-Charles: B+; Cole Van Lanen: B-; Isaiah McDuffie: A; Kylin Hill: A.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic ($): In his draft rankings of every team has the Packers at No. 20.

Overall team grades

Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A. “Cornerback was a major need for the Packers, and with receiver Rashod Bateman off the board to the Ravens, they decided to pick up the speedy and competitive Stokes with their first-round selection. Myers will be a sturdy professional in the pivot for the next few years, though it will be interesting to see how other center prospects that were available at No. 62 will work out for their teams. Rodgers was an excellent selection in Round 3 to give the team a much-needed returner and playmaker in the slot (and sometimes in the backfield). The Packers found their right tackle in Newman, who isn’t a plus athlete but can move defenders off the ball and is reliable in pass protection. Van Lanen is another solid late-round lineman. The defensive line got a big man up front in Slaton, who was unblockable at times for the Gators when fresh. Jean-Charles should contribute in the slot and outside, always fighting through the receiver to knock away passes. McDuffie was a great value for a team needing an active inside linebacker. Hill could stick as a third back and provide real value if Aaron Jones and/or AJ Dillon get hurt.”

Danny Kelly of the Ringer: B. “Reports that Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay hung like a dark cloud over the team all weekend, but overall I thought the Packers did a nice job in this draft. Stokes should start for this defense, and Myers replaces Corey Linsley at center. Amari Rodgers is a Randall Cobb-like pass catcher who can line up all over the formation and make plays, giving the team some much-needed depth at receiver.”

Ryan Dunleavy of the NY Post: C. “Nine of the Packers’ last 10 first-round picks are defense. The other is a backup QB, making Aaron Rodgers angry. Stokes better be more than a track star. Myers fills a big need after free agency and the Packers are tempting fates with another mid-round WR.”

Tim Bielik of cleveland.com: B. “The Aaron Rodgers news seemed like a shout for help; it would be so tough to trade him. They spent three of their first four picks on offense, including getting him another receiver at last in Amari Rodgers. Eric Stokes was a fringe first-round pick, so that makes some sense. Day 3 wasn’t anything great, but it was far from awful.”

Ben Rolfe of Pro Football Network: B. “Reinforcing the offensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft gives the Green Bay Packers a solid base for their grade. However, there still appears to be a lack of strategy and their draft will be overshadowed by the Aaron Rodgers situation. Saying that, Eric Stokes and Amari Rodgers are good players, who can offer improvements to the team.”

Nick Goss of NBC Sports Boston: B+. “A flurry of reports and rumors involving Aaron Rodgers' uncertain future with the Packers were the top stories for Green Bay during the draft, but they actually made some really good picks. Their first three picks addressed important positional needs -- cornerback Eric Stokes in Round 1, center Josh Myers in Round 2 and wide receiver Amari Rodgers in Round 3.”

Ryan Fowler of The Draft Network: B. “Despite the rumors of Aaron Rodgers’ departure prior to the first round, general manager Brian Gutekunst predicated his draft on protecting his three-time MVP, as he should.”

Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: B+. “GM Brian Gutekunst did his best to balance making some key defensive upgrades and giving Aaron Rodgers some needed extra help after the lingering disaster that was taking Jordan Love in the 2020 first round. Myers and Newman are solid reinforcements for the interior line, while Amari Rodgers was the missing big-play cog in the slot to complement Davante Adams. Stokes can be quick upgrade over Kevin King with ballhawking to better complement Jaire Alexander. Hill is nice to replace Jamaal Williams behind Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.”

Nate Davis of USA Today: C+. “The news that Rodgers apparently wants out of Wisconsin becoming public Thursday afternoon cast a dark shadow over this draft class. But GM Brian Gutekunst managed to fill needs at corner (Eric Stokes, Round 1) and center (Josh Myers, Round 2), though there were arguably better ways to address those positions. Then Gutekunst moved up in Round 3 for slot WR Amari Rodgers, who might significantly benefit Aaron Rodgers ... if he's still around in September.”

NFL editors at The Score: C-. “It certainly wasn't a fun week in Green Bay. With Aaron Rodgers rumors swirling, general manager Brian Gutekunst completed his second straight underwhelming draft class. Stokes addresses a need at cornerback, though he'll likely be targeted by opposing offenses if he sees significant time as a rookie. Myers is also a disappointing selection, especially considering the quality of other offensive lineman available (Creed Humphrey, Wyatt Davis). The Packers didn't even select a quality offensive tackle. The Rodgers selection in Round 3 salvaged their grade, but there isn't much to get excited about when you compare Green Bay's crop of prospects to other teams.”

Luke Easterling of Draft Wire: B. “While the Aaron Rodgers situation stole all the headlines, the Packers quietly put together a solid class here. Eric Stokes has rare physical traits, and Josh Myers gives them a starting-caliber center to replace Corey Linsley. Amari Rodgers could excel in a Randall Cobb role, and the Day 3 picks were all solid values that added quality depth. Their last pick was the best value, landing one of the most underrated running backs in the class with Kylin Hill. Who knows what happens at quarterback, but the Packers got better this weekend on both sides of the ball.”

Doug Farrar and Mark Schofield of Touchdown Wire: B. “As far as steals, it’s worth mentioning seventh-rounder Kylin Hill from Mississippi State, who was my fourth-ranked running back in this class with a great combination of aggressiveness, contact balance, and receiving ability.”

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic ($): C. “It’s hard to imagine that Packers fans were able to enjoy even one minute of the draft with the Aaron Rodgers situation emerging as the biggest story line in the NFL hours before they were scheduled to make their first-round pick. As for their actual haul, it was somewhat uninspiring. The Eric Stokes pick at No. 29 felt like reaching for need over best player available. Stokes has elite straight-line speed, but he’s a boom-or-bust option. Brugler had Stokes ranked 51st on his pre-draft big board. Amari Rodgers in the third round should be an excellent fit in the slot in the mold of Deebo Samuel or Randall Cobb. The truth is if Aaron Rodgers returns, this is a Super Bowl-caliber roster that doesn’t need a lot of contributions from its rookie class. If he doesn’t … well, we’ll have plenty of time to write about that when the time comes.”

Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports: C-. “Rodgers is a redeeming choice, and Myers could start (even though there were better center options on the board when he was picked). And we like that the Packers seem to always mine for versatile, quality Day 3 OL talent worth developing. Overall, this was a tough haul to embrace, even as some of the respectable Day 3 selections helped put a nice bow on a pig.”

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports: B. “They didn't draft a receiver to appease Aaron Rodgers in the first two rounds, which I respect. They took a corner in the first, but they did help Rodgers with two offensive linemen and receiver Amari Rodgers with their next three picks. Did it make Rodgers happy enough?”

Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report: B. “Stokes is a first-round risk who might need time the contender Packers can't afford to give him and none of their Day 3 picks jump off the page. It was a smarter draft than most are giving them credit for, but it wasn't exactly bold.”

Conor Orr of SI.com: A-.

Chris Franklin of NJ Advance Media: C. “For a team trying to make quarterback Aaron Rodgers change his mind and return to Green Bay, they did not help his case by adding another wide receiver in the first round. Cornerback Eric Stokes was a second-round-type player whom the Packers took in the first round. Amari Rodgers could be a productive wide receiver, but it may not be enough to appease Rodgers.”

The staff at Draft Kings: C+.

Eddie Brown of the San Diego Union-Tribune: C+. “GM Brian Gutekunst’s draft takes a nosedive on day three.”

Joshua Buckhalter of The Last Word on Sports: C+.

GPA: 2.65