Skip to main content

GREEN BAY, Wis. – With NFL free agency essentially complete and the NFL Draft in the rear-view mirror, what are the Green Bay Packers’ major weaknesses?

According to Sports Illustrated’s Gilberto Manzano and Matt Verderame, their biggest flaws are at receiver and offensive tackle.

At receiver, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and rookie second-round pick Jayden Reed could develop into a terrific trio, but the Packers have by far the least-experienced receiver corps in the NFL. Where’s the veteran that new starting quarterback Jordan Love can “count on,” to use SI’s words, to get open in key situations?

The veteran market’s been wiped out. Longtime Packers standout Randall Cobb, arguably the best remaining free agent on the market, joined Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets. Cobb is old and injury-prone but he can still get open, knows the offense and the Green Bay Way, and already had a year of mentoring Watson, Doubs and Samori Toure.

Unless a veteran with a bit of tread of the tire becomes free at the end of training camp, Love might be forced to sink or swim with the kiddie corps.

And that’s OK. Would it be helpful for Love to have that veteran security blanket, whether it’s receiver or tight end? Absolutely. Would it be helpful for Watson and Co. to have a veteran sounding board, whether it’s in the meeting room or the sideline? Naturally. But as the team moves forward with Love, it might as well proceed with what it’s got at receiver and let that “security blanket” emerge organically on the field.

Offensive tackle is a bit more complicated. Both David Bakhtiari and the team believe the former All-Pro’s knee problems are history. The only thing standing between him simply returning to the field and making a triumphant return to the field was the emergency appendectomy that sidelined him for three late-season games.

Playing about 55 percent of the snaps last year, Bakhtiari didn’t allow a sack. That’s pretty impressive considering he spent the offseason and training camp rehabbing his latest surgery and then didn’t practice regularly during the season. This offseason, Bakhtiari is focusing on football training. If he’s right about the knee, Green Bay will be set with Bakhtiari and Yosh Nijman manning the tackle spots and Zach Tom (so long as he’s not starting elsewhere) being the next man up.

The class of offensive tackles in this year’s draft was strong at the top. Essentially, the decision at No. 13 was Iowa edge Lukas Van Ness or Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones. With the top five tackles off the board in the first 27 picks, there weren’t any inviting targets remaining when Green Bay was on the clock at No. 42.

In the long run, the Packers have a huge need at tackle. Bakhtiari, with his cap number moving beyond $40 million in 2024, could be a cap casualty. Nijman will be a free agent, as well.

But, you know which team could have two first-round picks in 2024? The Packers. If they indeed move on from Bakhtiari after this season, they’ll be well-positioned to get a tackle next year.

Aside from the obvious questions about Love, the starting lineup doesn’t have an obvious weakness aside from safety, where Darnell Savage was benched, Rudy Ford was benched after replacing Savage and Adrian Amos remains a free agent.

The key additions were Tarvarius Moore in free agency and Anthony Johnson in the draft. Moore started 13 games for the 49ers in 2018, 2019 and 2020 but missed 2021 with a torn Achilles. He played only 41 snaps on defense in 2022. Johnson was a seventh-round pick after starting at corner in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and moving to safety in 2022.

Including Johnson and undrafted rookie Christian Morgan, the Packers have nine safeties. The hope will be strength in numbers becomes strength, period.

Green Bay is +4000 to win the Super Bowl at FanDuel Sportsbook and their over/under win total is just 7.5. But so long as Love is good and Reed and rookie tight ends Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft develop, the Packers might be playoff contenders this year, after all.

More Green Bay Packers News

Just how young is Green Bay’s receiver corps? 32-team breakdown

Randall Cobb signs with Jets; who’s left for Packers?

Jordan Love gets extension with “big raise”

Oregon State position coach on Luke Musgrave

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz on Lukas Van Ness

Van Ness and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds

Reed, Musgrave and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds

Darnell Savage’s restructure and what it means