3 draft picks Packers got right and 2 moves they will regret

MarShawn Lloyd
MarShawn Lloyd / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Expectations are high for the Green Bay Packers after overachieving last season. Along with second-year players taking the next step, the Packers hope for contributions from their 11-player 2024 draft class.

In many ways, it was a classic Packers draft. They were aggressive at positions of need, drafting three safeties, two linebackers, and three offensive linemen. It's the Green Bay way under Brian Gutekunst.

Protecting Jordan Love is a priority, and adding three linemen helps. The other key takeaway is the change of approach defensively under Jeff Hafley, with Green Bay needing to find players who fit his more aggressive system. The Packers achieved that in the draft.

When we look back on this draft class, which picks will receive praise and which decisions will the Packers regret?

Draft picks Packers got right and decisions they got wrong

Packers draft pick they got right: Edgerrin Cooper

Edgerrin Cooper can be a difference-maker in the middle of the Packers' defense. With his speed, athleticism, and playmaking ability, Cooper can do everything.

Jeff Hafley can use him as a blitzer (Cooper had eight sacks last season), ask him to drop into coverage, or shut down the run. Cooper can use his speed to make plays anywhere on the field, from covering tight ends to shutting down screen passes.

"He is the best off-ball linebacker in the class, and it isn't even a debate in my eyes," ESPN's Louis Riddick wrote before the NFL Draft. "He filled the stat sheet in 2023 while at Texas A&M, posting 80 tackles, 8 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and 20 pressures. And I expect him to continue his dominance in 2024 in a key role with an NFL team."

Cooper will start immediately and can quickly become a significant contributor alongside Quay Walker at linebacker. This pick made so much sense.

Packers draft pick they got right: MarShawn Lloyd

Running back was quietly a need for Green Bay entering the draft, and Brian Gutekunst recognized it. The Packers were far less efficient on the ground anytime Aaron Jones left the game last season, and Gutekunst wasn't willing to risk the same thing happening when Josh Jacobs is off the field.

MarShawn Lloyd replaces some of the qualities the Packers will miss without Jones. He adds more speed and athleticism to Green Bay's run game and is tough to bring down in the open field.

"Lloyd offers an explosive skill set and solid vision, which should fit in nicely in Matt LaFleur's multiple run scheme. Lloyd tallied 47 missed tackles and 14 runs of 15-plus yards in 2023," writes Trevor Sikkema of PFF.

Lloyd's style complements what the Packers have with Jacobs and AJ Dillon, giving Green Bay one of the deepest running back rooms in the league.

Packers draft pick they got right: Javon Bullard

Cooper DeJean was the most popular defensive back for Packers fans, but Javon Bullard offers a lot of the same versatility. Bullard has extensive experience as a deep safety and slot corner from his time in Georgia, two roles he can continue to play in Hafley's defense.

Bullard is outstanding in coverage, allowing a passer rating of only 34.0 last season, per PFF. He is the "interchangeable" safety the Packers were looking for. Hafley can rotate Bullard and Xavier McKinney at the two safety spots, and he can also play at slot corner.

Pairing Bullard with McKinney gives the Packers a huge upgrade at the safety position.

Packers draft move they will regret: Letting Lions land Terrion Arnold

While Green Bay selecting Jordan Morgan in the first round makes sense, landing Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold would've been a home run. Instead, the division-rival Detroit Lions traded one spot ahead of the Packers to draft him.

Arnold never should've fallen that far. In his final season at Alabama, he broke up 12 passes and intercepted five. He was Daniel Jeremiah's ninth-best prospect in the entire class.

"Arnold has ideal size, play speed and instincts for the position. He plays both outside and inside at the nickel," writes Jeremiah. "He has all the tools and traits to be a Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback."

Regardless of what Brian Gutekunst says, cornerback should've been a need entering the draft. It was for the Lions, and they addressed it by selecting arguably the best corner in the class. The Packers could've moved up a few spots to make it happen. Instead, they will play against him twice a season.

Packers draft move they will regret: Passing on Jaden Hicks

Entering the draft, many considered Jaden Hicks a possible Day 2 target for Green Bay. With an 8.96 RAS and the ability to play multiple positions in the secondary, Hicks has the athleticism and versatility the Packers look for. He would've been best suited as a strong safety in Green Bay but could also play deeper or in the slot.

Hicks surprisingly fell to the fourth round, where the Kansas City Chiefs gladly drafted him 133rd overall. The Packers did draft a safety in Round 4, trading up for Evan Williams. That could turn out to be a great pick, but they may regret passing on Hicks, who has the potential to become a difference-maker in Kansas City's defense.

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