NFL Draft 2024: Best players available Packers should target on Day 2

Max Melton
Max Melton / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The opening night of the 2024 NFL Draft is in the books, with the Green Bay Packers selecting Arizona offensive lineman Jordan Morgan.

Green Bay still has work to do and enters Day 2 with four selections, two in the second round and two more in the third. There is plenty of value available on Friday night, and the Packers have the draft capital to trade, should they wish.

The Packers hit a home run in the second and third rounds a year ago, drafting Jayden Reed, Luke Musgrave, and Tucker Kraft. They will be aiming for similar results on Friday night.

Who should the Packers target in Rounds 2 and 3? Here are the best remaining prospects after the opening night.

Top prospects Packers should target on Day 2 of 2024 NFL Draft

1. Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

It's a huge surprise that Cooper DeJean is still available. It could suggest NFL teams believe he is a safety, not a cornerback. However, Brian Gutekunst said before the draft that he believes DeJean "can do both."

DeJean could play wherever the Packers needed him in the secondary. With his athleticism, versatility, and game-changing ability, landing the Iowa defensive back would be a home run to kick off Day 2.

2. Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Kool-Aid McKinstry could be a Day 2 steal, as he has the talent to be a first-rounder. While he didn't make many game-changing plays at Alabama (two interceptions across three seasons), he didn't need to. McKinstry shut down some of the best wide receivers in college football and can be an instant starter on the outside opposite Jaire Alexander.

3. Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

Jackson Powers-Johnson would give an immediate boost to the Packers' run game. He is one of the best interior offensive linemen in the class and has experience at center and guard. Green Bay could initially have Powers-Johnson compete for the starting right guard job before potentially replacing Josh Myers as the starting center in 2025.

According to PFF, Powers-Johnson allowed zero sacks, one hit, and three hurries in his three seasons at Oregon. He can become a Pro Bowl center.

4. Kingsley Suamataia, T, BYU

Kingsley Suamataia is a perfect Packers prospect. He has ideal size, elite athleticism (9.40 RAS), and positional versatility. He played both tackle spots during his time at BYU and could move inside for the Packers. Suamataia needs time to develop, making him an ideal candidate for the swing tackle job in Year 1 before eventually becoming a starter at tackle or guard.

5. Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

The Packers have a young, ascending defensive line, but Jer'Zhan Newton could take it to the next level. He is one of the best interior pass rushers in the class, making 13 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss over the past two years. Newton can make an immediate impact in Jeff Hafley's defense and would give the Packers plenty of depth if they don't re-sign Kenny Clark in 2025.

6. Max Melton, CB, Rutgers

Max Melton has everything the Packers look for. He was one of the top performers at the NFL Combine, running a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, and led all cornerbacks in the broad jump. Melton's athletic testing helped him earn an RAS of 9.09, the 10th-best at the position. Melton also performed well at the Senior Bowl, checking another box for the Packers. While he played mostly outside in college, Melton could become an outstanding slot corner in the NFL.

7. Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M

It would be fun to see all the ways Jeff Hafley would use Edgerrin Cooper. Cooper would add speed and athleticism to the middle of Green Bay's defense. He is an excellent blitzer, having made eight sacks last season. He would immediately start alongside Quay Walker and can make an impact as a run defender, in coverage, and as a pass rusher.

8. Kris Jenkins, DT, Michigan

Green Bay's run defense has been an issue for far too long. Kris Jenkins would help solve that. Jenkins is one of the strongest defensive linemen in the class—his 29 bench press reps tied for second at the position. Jenkins checks every box for the Packers and can start from Day 1 in Jeff Halfey's defense, helping shut down opposing rushing attacks.

9. T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State

Given the Packers' injury concerns, they need another outside corner to play opposite Jaire Alexander. T.J. Tampa could be perfect for a more aggressive scheme under Hafley. He is excellent in man coverage, which is something Green Bay will play plenty of.

10. Cole Bishop, S, Utah

It's not a deep safety class, but Cole Bishop stands out as the best fit for the Packers. His 9.88 RAS leads all safeties in the class, and Hafley will love his versatility. Brian Gutekunst wants defensive backs who can rotate and play various positions, and Bishop can do that. A pairing of Bishop and Xavier McKinney would give the Packers a significant upgrade from last season.

11. Cooper Beebe, G, Kansas State

The Packers don't typically draft guard-only prospects, but Cooper Beebe is good enough to make a rare exception. Beebe tested well and importantly meets Green Bay's thresholds in the agility testing, earning an RAS of 9.28. Beebe played left guard at Kansas State but could immediately win the right guard job ahead of Sean Rhyan.

12. Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State

Jaden Hicks played primarily as a box safety in Washington State's defense, but he can do so much more than that. Hicks can also play the post safety role in Hafley's defense or line up in the slot, where he could match up against tight ends.

13. Patrick Paul, T, Houston

Patrick Paul is 6-foot-7 and 331 pounds, with a Relative Athletic Score of 9.67 out of 10. He earned an elite 91.5 pass-blocking grade from PFF last season, only allowing one sack and one QB hit. Paul may need some time to develop before becoming a starter, but the sky is the limit.

14. Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

The Packers don't need a wide receiver, but it won't be surprising if Adonai Mitchell interests them on Day 2. At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds with a near-perfect 9.99 RAS, Mitchell has the size and athleticism Green Bay looks for at wide receiver.

Mitchell has the speed and strength to win on the outside and would immediately make big plays in the Packers' offense. If Brian Gutekunst wants to add another talented young receiver to catch passes from Jordan Love, Mitchell should be high on the list.

15. Payton Wilson, LB, NC State

Payton Wilson is one of the best linebackers in the class, but he's lower on the list due to his injury history, including a torn ACL. Wilson also turned 24 this month. However, there's no denying his athleticism and ability on the field. Wilson has an RAS of 9.89, the second-best among linebackers, and he made six sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, and three interceptions in only 12 games last season.

16. Junior Colson, LB, Michigan

Junior Colson played an important role in Michigan's championship-winning defense last season. Although he has no RAS after not testing at the NFL Combine, he can immediately become a quality starting linebacker in Hafley's defense.

17. Jonathon Brooks, RB, Texas

The Packers may wait until later in the draft to add running back depth, but a Round 2 option is Jonathon Brooks. He is the best running back in the class, is only 20 years old, and has the potential to become a featured back in the NFL. The only concern is that Brooks is coming off a torn ACL, but if he falls to No. 58, Green Bay would have to be interested.

18. Marshawn Kneeland, EDGE, Western Michigan

The Packers met with Marshawn Kneeland before the draft, and it makes a lot of sense. He meets just about every athletic and size threshold Green Bay looks for, with an RAS of 9.08. Kneeland could contribute as part of the pass-rush rotation early in his career with the potential to earn a featured role in time.

19. Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky

Malachi Corley would add something different to the Packers' offense. The "YAC King" can line up across the field, including in the slot or even in the backfield. Corley would give Green Bay another way to stress defenses. With Christian Watson stretching defenses vertically and creating space underneath, Corley could dominate with his yards-after-catch ability.

20. Ben Sinnott, TE, Kansas State

A prospect the Packers should consider later on Day 2 is Kansas State tight end Ben Sinnott, who can give them everything Josiah Deguara was supposed to be. Sinnott offers the versatility to take on various jobs. With his blocking and receiving ability, Sinnott would be perfect for the H-back role in Matt LaFleur's offense.