NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers would have cause to scratch his head in disbelief after the Green Bay Packers made draft night history by picking two defensive players in the first round, leaving the NFL world in shock.
Green Bay held off on addressing their issues at receiver and instead continued their recent tradition of focusing on defence in the first round, taking Georgia linebacker Quay Walker with the 22nd overall pick of the NFL draft and his Bulldogs teammate, defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt with the 28th pick.
The Packers acquired the 22nd and 53rd picks in the trade that sent All-Pro receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The move left a huge hole in the team’s offence with Adams being Rodgers’ No.1 option. Given the void left behind by Adams at the WR position, experts tipped Green Bay to take a receiver with their first pick to replenish their receiver stocks but that wasn’t to be.
The decision is especially dubious because this year’s draft is viewed as a receiver heavy class, with many prospects viewed as plug-in and play picks, meaning they can help teams win now.
There were also mock drafts that had the Packers even using one of their picks from the Adams deal to trade up the order to secure a better quality receiver, but they decided to go defence instead.
“They did not take a receiver but they’ve made history in the first round. They took Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt, both from Georgia,” said ESPN’s Mike Greenberg on the draft coverage.
“They’re the first team ever in the common draft to take two defensive players from the same school in the same draft in the first round.”
Rodgers has been in dispute with the Packers in recent years and was tipped to leave the club in the offseason before signing a $50 million-a-season, three-year deal. He and Adams posted pics of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen from ‘The Last Dance’ to imply that last season would be their last, fuelling speculation they could go as a package deal.
But Rodgers ended up staying with Adams, forcing a trade.
Green Bay lost two other wideouts to free agency when Marquez Valdes-Scantling joined the Kansas City Chiefs and Equanimeous St. Brown signed with the Chicago Bears, though the Packers did add veteran receiver Sammy Watkins.
The Packers’ top returning receiver is Allen Lazard, who had 40 catches for 513 yards and eight touchdowns last season. No other wideout currently on Green Bay’s roster, including Watkins, had as many as 400 yards receiving last season.
A run on wide receivers earlier in the first round might have caused the Packers to look elsewhere. The top six receivers went in a span of 10 picks, including the likes of Southern California’s Drake London, Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, and Alabama’s Jameson Williams.
Four members of the national champion Bulldogs defense have been selected in the first round, tying for the most ever.
Former Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker was the first overall pick by Jacksonville and ex-Bulldogs defensive tackle Jordan Davis was the 13th overall pick.
The other schools that had four defensive players selected in the first round are the University of Miami in 2004 and Florida State University in 2006.
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