bsw-packers-opponents-draft

The Green Bay Packers drafted nine players who could help the organization get over its final hurdle in 2021. Remember, the Pack are fresh off consecutive losses in NFC championship games. But what about their opponents? Bally Sports Wisconsin takes a closer look at Green Bay’s foes, and how the rosters scheduled to line up against the green-and-gold have improved (or not).

(Teams listed in alphabetical order.)

Arizona Cardinals (away)

Looking to get over the 8-8 hump, Arizona beefed up in the offseason with a lot of veteran players (i.e. Malcolm Butler, Markus Golden, Chandler Jones, A.J. Green, J.J. Watt), which won’t leave a lot of room for rookies to make their way into the starting lineup. Wide receiver Rondale Moore, a second-round pick out of Purdue, probably has the best chance to make an impact, although he’s fourth or fifth on the depth chart. He could be used as a returner as well. Top pick Zaven Collins will try to find the field behind Golden, Jordan Hicks and 2020 No. 1 draft choice Isaiah Simmons.

Picks

Round 1 - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Round 2 - Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Round 4 - Marco Wilson, CB, Florida
Round 6 - Victor Dimukeje - Edge, Duke
Round 6 - Tay Gowan, CB, Central Florida
Round 7 - James Wiggins, S, Cincinnati
Round 7 - Michal Menet, C, Penn State

Baltimore Ravens (away)

The Ravens had the fewest passing yards in the NFL in 2020 and only wide receiver had more than 500 yards (Marquise Brown, 769). No surprise then that Baltimore selected Rashod Bateman in the first round and added Tylan Wallace in the fourth round, both of whom had very productive collegiate careers. The Ravens had two first-round picks and, of course, took an edge rusher in Penn State’s Jayson Oweh, just adding to their already tough, relentless defense. Fifth-round pick cornerback Shaun Wade offers big upside if he can get his act together.

Picks

Round 1 - Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Round 1 - Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State
Round 3 - Ben Cleveland, G, Georgia
Round 3 - Brandon Stephens, CB, SMU
Round 4 - Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Round 5 - Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Round 5 - Daelin Hayes, Edge, Notre Dame
Round 5 - Ben Mason, FB, Michigan

Chicago Bears (home & away)

The Bears made a big move up in the draft to select quarterback Justin Fields. The only question will be is how soon until he is QB1? Second-round pick Teven Jenkins is already penciled in as the starting left tackle, seeing as how Chicago quickly cut the former starter, Charles Leno, after the draft. That’s potentially a lot of pressure on a couple of rookies.

Picks

Round 1 - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Round 2 - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Round 5 - Larry Borom, G, Missouri
Round 6 - Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech
Round 6 - Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina
Round 6 - Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon
Round 7 - Khyiris Tonga, DT, Brigham Young

Cincinnati Bengals (away)

If nothing else, the Bengals might be fun to watch with quarterback Joe Burrow throwing to his old LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, who Cincinnati took in the first round instead of a left tackle to protect Burrow. Jackson Carman, taken in the second round, is a guard. The Bengals also took a kicker in the fifth round. There’s always something going on in Cincy.

Picks

Round 1 - Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Round 2 - Jackson Carman, OG, Clemson
Round 3 - Joseph Ossai, Edge, Texas
Round 4 - Cameron Sample, Edge, Tulane
Round 4 - Tyler Shelvin, DT, LSU
Round 4 - D’Ante Smith, OT, East Carolina
Round 5 - Evan McPherson, K, Florida
Round 6 - Trey Hill, C, Georgia
Round 6 - Chris Evans, RB, Michigan
Round 7 - Wyatt Hubert, DE, Kansas State

Cleveland Browns (home)

After allowing the 12th-most points in 2020, Cleveland targeted the defense early in the draft. Top pick Greg Newsome II should start from Day 1 at one cornerback spot. Second-round pick Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was thought by some to have first-round potential and could also provide an immediate impact.

Picks

Round 1 - Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
Round 2 - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Round 3 - Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
Round 4 - James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati
Round 4 - Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State
Round 5 - Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia
Round 5 - Richard LeCounte III, S, Georgia
Round 6 - Demetric Felton, WR, UCLA

Detroit Lions (home & away)

The Lions beefed up their lines in the first two days of the draft (insert your own knee-biting joke here). Offensive tackle Penei Sewell had been mocked by some as a top-five pick. Detroit took two defensive tackles with its next two picks and finished off Day 3 with a cornerback. Linebacker Derrick Barnes, taken in the fourth round, could see significant action early as well. The Lions, under a former coaching regime, allowed the most points and yards in the NFL last season at least are taking measures to fix that.

Picks

Round 1 - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Round 2 - Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
Round 3 - Alim McNeill, DT, North Carolina State
Round 3 - Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Round 4 - Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
Round 4 - Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue
Round 7 - Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State

Kansas City Chiefs (away)

Good thing Kansas City has gone to back-to-back Super Bowls because the Chiefs had no first-round pick and only two picks, both in the second round, in the first two days of the draft. Top pick linebacker Nick Bolton should help out a so-so defense but the other second-rounder, center Creed Humphrey, seems more like a future pick. Wide receiver Cornell Powell, a fifth-round pick, joined a crowded group, but we’re pretty certain with Pat Mahomes as his quarterback we’ll hear his name a few times in 2021.

Picks

Round 2 - Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Round 2 - Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
Round 4 - Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Florida State
Round 5 - Noah Gray, TE, Duke
Round 5 - Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson
Round 6 - Trey Smith, G, Tennessee

Los Angeles Rams (home)

The Rams had no first-round pick and then took wide receiver Tutu Atwell in the second round, which doesn’t fill a short-term need on a team which already has DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Maybe Los Angeles will get something out of its third- and four-round defensive picks this year. We could see seventh-round running back Jake Funk making some kind of impact. Overall, though, it doesn’t seem like the Rams helped themselves out too much in 2021.

Picks

Round 2 - Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
Round 3 - Ernest Jones, LB, South Carolina
Round 4 - Bobby Brown III, DT, Texas A&M
Round 4 - Robert Rochell, CB, Central Arkansas
Round 4 - Jacob Harris, WR, UCF
Round 5 - Earnest Brown IV, DE, Northwestern
Round 7 - Jake Funk, RB, Maryland
Round 7 - Ben Skowronek, WR, Notre Dame
Round 7 - Chris Garrett, Edge, Concordia-St. Paul

Minnesota Vikings (home & away

Minnesota had 11 picks in the draft. Not all will hit, of course, but the Vikings appear to have found their new starting left tackle in first-round selection Christian Darrisaw. Third-rounder Wyatt Davis could be a plug-and-play guard, if needed. Third-round picks Chazz Surratt and Patrick Jones II will be counted out on helping out a defense which lacked a pass rush in 2020. The other third-rounder? Let’s just say drafting a quarterback and creating a possible future controversy isn’t limited to Green Bay.

Picks

Round 1 - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Round 3 - Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
Round 3 - Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
Round 3 - Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
Round 3 - Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh
Round 4 - Kene Nwangwu, RB, Iowa State
Round 4 - Camryn Bynum, CB, California
Round 4 - Janarius Robinson, EDGE, Florida State
Round 5 - Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa
Round 5 - Zach Davidson, TE, Central Missouri
Round 6 - Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh

New Orleans Saints (away)

The Saints didn’t take an offensive player until the fourth round when they selected Ian Book, a quarterback. New Orleans didn’t do new starter (presumably) Taysom Hill and favors by going defense on the first two days. First-round pick defensive end Payton Turner might have been a reach. Second-rounder Pete Werner is a likely Day 1 starter at linebacker.

Picks

Round 1 - Payton Turner, DE, Houston
Round 2 - Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State
Round 3 - Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Round 4 - Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame
Round 6 - Landon Young, OT, Kentucky
Round 7 - Kawaan Baker, WR, South Alabama

Pittsburgh Steelers (home)

With its first four picks Pittsburgh took a running back, tight end, guard and tackle. Maybe just maybe the Steelers are looking to get their run game going in 2021. With James Conner off in Arizona, top pick Najee Harris of Alabama should get the brunt of the work out of the backfield. Pittsburgh also took a punter in the seventh round, which is always fun to mention.

Picks

Round 1 - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Round 2 - Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
Round 3 - Kendrick Green, G, Illinois
Round 4 - Dan Moore Jr., OT, Texas A&M
Round 4 - Buddy Johnson, LB, Texas A&M
Round 5 - Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE, Wisconsin
Round 6 - Quincy Roche, Edge, Miami (Fla.)
Round 7 - Tre Norwood, CB, Oklahoma
Round 7 - Pressley Harvin III, P, Georgia Tech

San Francisco 49ers (away)

San Francisco took a big swing – giving up a lot of assets – to get to the No. 3 overall pick in the draft and select quarterback Trey Lance out of North Dakota State. He might sit for a year (or two) behind Jimmy Garoppolo. In fact, none of the 49ers’ draft picks could emerge as a starter in 2021 although third-round running back Trey Sermon should see time in the backfield with Raheem Mostert.

Picks

Round 1 - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Round 2 - Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame
Round 3 - Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State
Round 3 - Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan
Round 5 - Jaylon Moore, OT, Western Michigan
Round 5 - Deommodore Lenoir, CB, Oregon
Round 5 - Talanoa Hufanga, S, USC
Round 6 - Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette

Seattle Seahawks (home)

The Seahawks had a league-low three draft picks. Three. The good news, for Seattle at least, is at least two should see decent time on the field in 2021. Second-round pick D’Wayne Eskridge won’t start over fellow wide receivers Tyler Lockett or DK Metcalf, but he could easily emerge as the No. 3. At worst, fourth-round cornerback Tre Brown should see time in nickel and/or dime situations.

Picks

Round 2 - D'Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
Round 4 - Tre Brown, CB, Oklahoma
Round 6 - Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida

Washington Football Team (home)

Washington had four picks in the first three rounds and all could see significant playing time in 2021. Linebacker Jamin Davis was shooting up draft boards and is likely a starter on the outside in WFT’s 4-3 scheme. Tackle Samuel Cosmi was mocked in the first round by several (including to the Packers) while cornerback Benjamin St-Juste and wide receiver Dyami Brown are high-upside picks. Washington drafted a long snapper in the sixth round and the biggest travesty is Camaron Cheeseman wasn’t taken by Green Bay. But there’s another likely impact player next season for Washington.

Picks

Round 1 - Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Round 2 - Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
Round 3 - Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota
Round 3 - Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Round 4 - John Bates, TE, Boise State
Round 5 - Darrick Forrest, S, Cincinnati
Round 6 - Camaron Cheeseman, LS, Michigan
Round 7 - Will Bradley-King, DE, Baylor
Round 7 - Shaka Toney, Edge, Penn State
Round 7 - Dax Milne, WR, Brigham Young