With the NFL Draft finishing up this past Saturday, a number of teams filled important needs heading into next season, among them the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, and Dallas Cowboys. Some current players benefited from their team’s selections, while others may have cause for concern:
Biggest Winner: Drew Lock
Broncos GM John Elway came into the draft with one goal: surround second-year quarterback Drew Lock with as many weapons as possible. Overall, I think he did a pretty good job.
After selecting Alabama wideout Jerry Jeudy with their first pick at No. 15, Denver doubled down and took Penn State speedster K.J Hamler at No. 46.
Jeudy is one of the most talented route runners to come into the NFL in years and was a bargain for the Broncos at the midway point in the first round.
Hamler has the potential to burn the opposing defender at any point with his game-breaking speed and showed that throughout his time with the Nittany Lions.
Through their first two picks, Elway had formed a potentially lethal duo to go along with Courtland Sutton on the perimeter.
But, they didn’t stop there. The Broncos went on to select Lock’s favorite target from Missouri, tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, with their fourth-round pick. Okwuegbunam paced all tight ends at the NFL Combine with a 4.49 40-yard dash, giving Lock another downfield target with second-year tight end Noah Fant creating confusion for opposing teams on the other side of the field.
And, if you forgot, Denver inked Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon to a two-year deal in the offseason to form an uber-talented backfield with Phillip Lindsay.
The Broncos now have an excellent opportunity to evaluate Lock as their long-term option at quarterback, investing in a terrific supporting cast to showcase their signal caller’s abilities. Look for the Mizzou product to make a huge jump in his sophomore campaign.
Biggest Loser: Aaron Rodgers
The Packers looked helpless in both their meetings last year against the San Francisco 49ers. They were clearly outmatched offensively with Davante Adams being Aaron Rodgers’ only reliable target all season long.
Rodgers is 36. He won’t be around forever. As a result, the Packers Super Bowl window is closing. The draft finally gave Green Bay the opportunity to surround their superstar quarterback with more weapons. Sadly, Packers management had other ideas.
GM Brian Gutekunst and Head Coach Matt LaFleur decided that it was more important to look to the future. They traded up to No. 26 to take Jordan Love, a raw quarterback prospect out of Utah State with plenty of potential but someone that will not help Green Bay overcome the 49ers in 2020.
If Rodgers is still their guy, why aren’t they doing whatever they can to surround him with more capable players on offense? This team is coming off a season in which they were one game away from the Super Bowl. Drafting Love gets them no closer to contention for a title next February, and doesn’t help Rodgers’ chances of capturing that elusive second ring.