Every year, we hear a ton of revisionist history on what people thought about the draft in previous years. I like to put together time capsules to capture how fans felt about these picks at the time.
This year, I opened up my PFTW Packers Fan Draft Challenge, but no one took me up on it. You can. however, get more of my personal insights on our Packers vs PFTW: How We Would Have Picked The Packers 2021 NFL Draft.
Now, onto the time capsule!
What will this year’s draft be remembered for more than anything? Well, even if the Packers drafted a Hall of Famer, the 2021 draft will always be remembered for a different story line.
Hours before the draft, news “leaked” that reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers didn’t want to come back to the Packers.
Jason Wilde, earlier in the week, pushed Brian Gutekunst in his press conference and asked if there was a rift. Gutekunst indicated no and Wilde pushed again. It felt like Wilde had some insight into the situation, but Gutey wasn’t going to let on.
On draft night, of course, Adam Schefter felt like it was the right time to talk about the “accumulation of information” that he’d acquired. Rather than let the hundred of draft picks, particularly the Packers draft picks, have a once in a lifetime experience on draft night, after dedicating their lives to this game to make it to this moment, the news was constantly covering the Aaron Rodgers drama.
Predictably, this news was met with the full spectrum of dramatic reactions from denying and disgusted Packers fans to delighted NFC North rival fans and (most predictably of all) gloating Patriots fans.
Amid all the drama, Packers fans were mostly approving and optimistic of the actual picks.
Eric Stokes, Cornerback
The pick was met with a mostly positive reaction, even though everyone was surprised. Some part of the fanbase felt he was a reach or just a speed guy, but the majority was happy with the pick.
Josh Myers, Center
This pick had the second best response from the fanbase. Center was a position of need and Myers is a good prospect from a school that fans knew. Some said Creed Humphrey would have been a better pick if they wanted a center, but still was a very well received selection.
Amari Rodgers, Wide Receiver
The Packers traded up for a wide receiver and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the fanbase more unanimously approve of a pick since I’ve started doing draft analysis.
Royce Newman, Offensive Lineman
Mostly a “meh” response from the fanbase. As a tweener swing guy, people mostly wondered where he would play, though some liked his nasty streak.
TJ Slaton, Defensive Lineman
Fans were happy to see a big defensive lineman drafted. Detractors said he could have been taken later. Many said they’d never heard of him.
Shemar Jean-Charles, Cornerback
Fans were happy to see a DB, but we’d definitely entered the “never heard of him” portion of the draft (even though I’d heard of him, scouted him, and took him in Mock Draft 18)
Cole Van Lanen, Guard
Everyone loves a homer pick and very few people had anything to say.
Isaiah McDuffie, Inside Linebacker
People liked a linebacker and many immediately compared him to Blake Martinez.
Kylin Hill, Running Back
Opinions ranged from steal to practice squad, which tends to be what happens in the 7th round.
Time will tell who we were right about, but the fanbase is pretty optimistic on this crop.
Want to learn more about NFL Draft Strategy!?
Want more insight into how winning teams build through the draft (and how losing teams fail)? We’ve got you covered!
Start shallow, then get deep into understanding draft strategy with our draft book (rated a #1 New Release): A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft: Strategies, Tactics, And Case Studies For Building A Professional Football Team
Then jump into free agency with another #1 New Release: A Fan’s Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits and Misses to better understand this critical part of the NFL offseason and see where teams have found (or missed) success in this critical component of team-building.
Finally, get to the game behind the game with our new must-have book for 2021: A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap – which lays out detailed, easy-to-follow scenarios to explain exactly how contract structures and salary cap rules impact teams.
All these great books are available in ebook and paperback – and free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!
If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited, you can get a free trial of Kindle Unlimited here!
Don’t just watch the draft – understand it and learn why GMs make the moves they do.
Check out our PFTW 2021 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!
Check out Packers Draft Central 2021 for all our 2021 NFL Draft coverage!