Three and out: Green Bay Packers' 2018 NFL draft needs, prospect fits
In the build-up to the 2018 draft, USA TODAY Sports will take a look at each NFL team's situation and needs.
Green Bay Packers
1. Whether at outside linebacker or defensive end, Green Bay needs to address its pass rush. The addition of defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson should help, but he has registered only eight sacks over the past two seasons. Clay Matthews will be 32 in May, and the Packers need to get younger off the edge.
Advice: Unless Green Bay trades up, North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb – the top edge rusher available – will be long gone. A more feasible first-round option at No. 14 is Texas-San Antonio's Marcus Davenport, who might be a project but wields huge upside. Other options include Boston College’s Harold Landry and LSU’s Arden Key, though both likely would be reaches in the top half of the first round.
2. Green Bay has selected a defensive back with its first selection in three of the past four drafts, and they could do so again after trading cornerback Damarious Randall to the Browns and failing to pry Kyle Fuller from the rival Bears in free agency.
Advice: It’s a deep cornerback class, and a strong combine showing put Louisville’s Jaire Alexander in Green Bay’s first-round range, where Central Florida’s Mike Hughes and Iowa’s Josh Jackson also could land. Later-round options include Wisconsin’s Nick Nelson and Maryland’s J.C. Jackson.
3. Receiver Jordy Nelson was a fixture in Green Bay for the past decade and was quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target. His release likely puts heavier burdens on Davante Adams and slot receiver Randall Cobb, but the Packers still should invest in another weapon on the outside.
Advice: There's likely not a pass-catching options that warrants consideration at No. 14, though Alabama’s Calvin Ridley would be the top prospect. Maryland’s DJ Moore, SMU’s Courtland Sutton and Oklahoma State’s James Washington could be alternatives, with the latter two likely available in the second round.
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.