Pick acquired from New York Jets
Illinois defensive lineman Jer'Zhan Newton could go in the first round, but he was still on the board at No. 37 using the mock draft simulator, so it was an easy choice. The Packers don't necessarily need to prioritize defensive tackle early, but adding a potential difference-maker in the trenches is never a bad idea.
Newton would immediately upgrade the Packers' struggling run defense and give Green Bay yet another excellent interior pass rusher.
In his past 19 games for Illinois, Newton has made eight sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, and five pass defenses.
Newton would start from Day 1 in Green Bay's defense. He has the positional versatility to play across the line, including nose tackle.
The Packers would have incredible depth along the defensive line, which is never a bad thing. A starting trio of Kenny Clark, Devonte Wyatt, and Newton, with Colby Wooden and Karl Brooks as part of the rotation? That could become a special group. And that's before we include Rashan Gary and Lukas Van Ness as the starting edge rushers.
Is defensive tackle a top need for the Packers in 2024? No, but Newton is a difference-maker, and it's a smart strategy to add talent to either the defensive or offensive lines in the early rounds. The Packers have the luxury of picking twice in the second round, so it was an easy decision.