Which NFL players seemed to improve their situation the most based on the recent NFL draft?
ESPN.com explored that question while listing the Power Rankings of all 32 teams. The site named the player on each NFL team who benefited most from his team’s selections in the draft.
Two former Cal quarterbacks – Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Detroit’s Jared Goff – seemed to be in contention for that honor for their respective teams, but only one of them was named as the biggest beneficiary. However, their teams were on opposite ends of the Power Rankings.
The site placed the Packers at No. 5 in its Power Rankings, but did not name Rodgers as the team’s biggest beneficiary of the draft, even though the Packers drafted a wide receiver (Christian Watson) in the second round. Watson should make Rodgers’ life a little easier despite the loss of wide receivers Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Instead ESPN when with defensive tackle Kenny Clark. Of course, any improvement in Green Bay’s defense should help Rodgers indirectly as well.
Here is what ESPN said about the Packers:
5. Green Bay Packers
Post-free agency ranking: 6
Player who benefited most from draft: DT Kenny Clark
If anyone on the Packers' interior defensive line was going to face double-teams, it was Clark. If the second of the Packers' two first-round picks, DT Devonte Wyatt (No. 28 overall), warrants some attention, it could free up Clark more often. The Packers are clearly trying to build a championship defense, and having more players around standouts like Clark can only help. -- Rob Demovsky
The Lions were not last in the ESPN.com Power Rankings, but they were close, coming in at No. 30. And the site picked Goff as the Detroit player who benefited most from the draft. The mere fact that the Lions did not draft a quarterback helped Goff, because it was practically a declaration by Lions officials that Goff will be the Lions’ starting quarterback again in 2022. But drafting a wide receiver with the No. 12 pick in the first round should certainly help Goff, who worked without many weapons in 2021.
Here is what ESPN said about the Lions:
30. Detroit Lions
Post-free agency ranking: 31
Player who benefited most from draft: QB Jared Goff
Although there was much speculation about what the Lions would do with two first-round picks, they didn't go in the direction of a younger quarterback. Not only has Goff benefited from the draft, he has benefited from free agency. The Lions' front office has shown its commitment to adding game-changing offensive threats around him this season, which was a big problem during last season's 3-13-1 finish. Detroit also traded up to get rookie wide receive Jameson Williams at No. 12 and many believe he was arguably the most talented at his position prior to his ACL injury. When he returns, Goff will have plenty of playmakers to help him succeed. -- Eric Woodyard
Cover photo of Jared Goff by Kirthmon F Dozier, USA TODAY Sports
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