Packers must target game-changing draft prospect after latest NFL rule change

Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst
Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers don't need a wide receiver, but general manager Brian Gutekunst wouldn't rule out drafting one.

Gutekunst won't draft another pass-catcher for the sake of it. The Packers have a deep, talented group with unlimited upside in Matt LaFleur's offense. A new addition would have to offer something different.

Western Kentucky's Malachi Corley could be that player.

Corley would be a game-changer for the Packers. He has been compared to Deebo Samuel for his ability to generate explosive plays after the catch. There's a reason why Corley's nickname is the "YAC King"—he is outstanding at picking up yards after the catch.

Green Bay has the luxury of picking five times in the opening three rounds, allowing Gutekunst to select the best player available and not focus solely on needs.

The latest NFL rule change could make Corley even more unstoppable in the NFL.

Malachi Corley should become a top target for Packers after NFL rule change

This week, NFL owners voted to ban the hip-drop tackle. They define it as a tackle where a defender "unweights himself by swiveling and dropping his hips and/or lower body, landing on and trapping the runner's leg(s) at or below the knee."

Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy made a fascinating point about the new rule's potential impact on Corley.

"Corley's value might've increased today with NFL's new rule," wrote Nagy. "Because he's strong as hell and hard for littler DBs to get on the ground."

It's a fascinating point. The new rule will make tackling even harder for defenders, especially against players who consistently break tackles and pick up yards after catch. Corley does that so well. According to Jonathon Macri of Pro Football Focus, an incredible 73 percent of his receiving yards came after the catch in his final two seasons in college.

The former running back is tough to bring down, and life will become even more difficult for defenders after the rule change.

Nagy noted that scouts from 31 teams were at the Western Kentucky Pro Day, and Corley ran a 40-yard dash in the "mid-4.4 range."

Again, the Packers should only consider a receiver if they believe they are getting an upgrade on what they have or something different. LaFleur could use Corley in so many creative ways. Whether it's in the backfield, in the slot, or on jet sweeps, his scheme can help the Western Kentucky star reach his potential.

And, unlike in college where he was the focal point of the offense, Corley would be surrounded by complementary players in Green Bay. Opposing defenses have enough to worry about with Christian Watson's speed, Dontayvion Wicks' route-running, and the consistency of Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed. We haven't even mentioned the tight ends. LaFleur would find ways to create space for Corley underneath.

Green Bay has two second-round picks. Why not use one to select Corley if he is still available?

The Packers already have one of the league's most exciting young offenses. Corley could take this group to another level.

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