The Green Bay Packers' defense could look very different in 2024.
Head coach Matt LaFleur has begun his search for a new defensive coordinator to replace Joe Barry. His next hire will determine whether the Packers make a significant shift in philosophy or stick with a similar scheme to Barry's.
Regardless of the candidate LaFleur hires, fixing the secondary is a priority for Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst. The front seven played at a high level for much of the season, but improving the back end of the defense is a must.
Unsurprisingly, several draft analysts predict a defensive back to land in Green Bay on the opening night of the 2024 NFL Draft.
Packers mock draft roundup: Defensive back is a priority in first round
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU
While going corner or safety early is popular among several draft analysts, Mel Kiper Jr. has Green Bay focusing on another premium position by selecting BYU tackle Kingsley Suamataia. Rasheed Walker and Zach Tom enjoyed breakout seasons as the Packers' starting tackles in 2023, but depth will become a major concern if David Bakhtiari and free-agent Yosh Nijman depart. Drafting a top tackle early makes sense. Suamataia can play on the left or right side—Green Bay would love his versatility.
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
Cornerback is arguably Green Bay's biggest offseason need. Alabama's Kool-Aid McKinstry falling to No. 25 would be a perfect scenario for the Packers. Bucky Brooks writes that he "flashes CB1 skills." A trio of McKinstry, Jaire Alexander, and Carrington Valentine would give the Packers a lot of potential at cornerback entering 2024, especially if Eric Stokes can stay healthy.
Joe Broback, Pro Football Network: Kamren Kinchens, S, Miami (FL)
Three Packers safeties are scheduled to hit free agency in the spring. It wouldn't be surprising if none of them came back. Miami's Kamren Kinchens would give Green Bay an upgrade on any of the safeties currently on the roster. The Packers' defense made only seven interceptions this season. As Broback notes in the mock draft, Kinchens had 10 in his final two years in college.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia
We know Brian Gutekunst loves to draft Georgia players, having already selected first-rounders Quay Walker, Devonte Wyatt, and Eric Stokes. He could add another Georgia cornerback on Day 1 if Kamari Lassiter is available.