Packers: Redrafting the entire 2020 draft class a year on

Tee Higgins (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Tee Higgins (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

A year on, we do-over the entire Green Bay Packers‘ 2020 draft class with the benefit of hindsight.

Jordan Love might go onto become a star QB in the future. I still like the Love pick. AJ Dillon could also be a great selection. But we’re basing this on the first season only.

As a fun exercise, how could the Packers have drafted differently?

For this article, we assume Green Bay owns all the same picks it drafted with, including the first-round trade up. Every other team also drafts the same way (barring the players the Packers take).

Round 1 (26): Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Original pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

With the Packers’ offense ranking No. 1 in scoring, you could certainly argue wide receiver wasn’t the big need we all thought. That said, Tee Higgins could absolutely make a difference for Green Bay.

Higgins caught 67 passes for 908 yards and six touchdowns his rookie season, despite the fact Brandon Allen and Ryan Finley started a combined 10 games at quarterback for the Bengals. Put Higgins opposite Davante Adams with Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, and he could’ve had a special rookie year.

Round 2 (62): Jeremy Chinn, S/LB, Southern Illinois

Original pick: AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College

Jeremy Chinn was taken just two picks after Green Bay’s second-round selection. And Chinn proved to be one of the best defensive rookies of the season with 117 tackles, one sack, five QB his, one interception, one fumble recovery, and two touchdowns.

Imagine a secondary with Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage, Adrian Amos, and Chinn. And Chinn isn’t just a safety, he also spent a lot of time at linebacker for the Panthers. His talent and versatility could’ve helped Mike Pettine’s defense in 2020.

Round 3 (94): L’Jarius Sneed, CB, Louisiana Tech

Original pick: Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati

As the season went on, it quickly became clear that cornerback was a concern for the Packers, especially with Kevin King set to hit free agency in 2021. L’Jarius Sneed impressed as a rookie with seven pass defenses, three interceptions, and two sacks. According to Pro Football Reference, he allowed a QB rating of just 54.2 in his coverage.

Not only would’ve Sneed helped the 2020 Packers, but he could’ve entered next season as a starter opposite Alexander.

Round 5 (175): Michael Onwenu, OL, Michigan

Original pick: Kamal Martin, LB, Minnesota

The Packers have done a good job of drafting offensive linemen in recent years but they missed an opportunity here. Just seven selections after they took Kamal Martin, the Patriots picked Michael Onwenu. Onwenu played at multiple spots but mostly tackle. After an impressive rookie year, Onwenu ranked 60th in Pro Football Focus’ Top 101 players of 2020 list. And that’s the entire league, not just rookies.

Round 6 (192): Jon Runyan Jr., G, Michigan

Original pick: Jon Runyan Jr., G, Michigan

Here, the Packers stick with the pick they actually made. Runyan featured on 15 percent of the Packers’ offensive snaps as a backup, and he played well. There’s definitely reason to be excited about his potential as a starting guard moving forward.

Round 6 (208): Jake Hanson, C, Oregon

Original pick: Jake Hanson, C, Oregon

Again, I like the pick the Packers made here. Strengthening offensive line depth is always a good decision. Jake Hanson spent most of 2020 on the practice squad but he could become a contributor next season.

Round 6 (209): James Robinson, RB, Illinois State

Original pick: Simon Stepaniak, OT, Indiana

In this re-draft, the Packers don’t select AJ Dillon in the second round but they do find their potential Aaron Jones replacement on Day 3.

James Robinson was one of the surprises of the season. After going undrafted, he tied for fifth in the NFL for rushing yards with 1,070 to go with seven touchdowns despite playing for a Jaguars team often behind in games. He also added 344 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

After impressing over the summer, the Jaguars felt confident enough in Robinson to make him the starter over Leonard Fournette.

Round 7 (236): Krys Barnes, LB, UCLA

Original pick: Vernon Scott, S, TCU

Krys Barnes was another undrafted player who impressed. While the Packers did end up signing him, here we ensure he’s on the team by drafting him in the seventh round. Barnes started 13 games as a rookie and finished second on the team in tackles with 80.

Round 7 (242): Tershawn Wharton, DT, Missouri S&T

Original pick: Jonathan Garvin, DE, Miami

With defensive line depth a concern, the Packers find some help with their final pick. Wharton impressed as a rookie with the Chiefs, making 27 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, and four QB hits. He ended up playing on almost half of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps.

Next. Packers three-round 2021 mock draft. dark