Every year when the draft rolls around, you hear people talk about the picks they would have made last year and how right they were. Every year at PFTW, we love talking about other options and what we would have done.
So who would we have picked in 2020?
Well I’m glad you asked!
It’s so easy to win this game with revisionist history. You know how everyone claims they knew how good Aaron Donald was going to be, but they can’t prove it? Well, we’re printing some receipts! These are picks we would have made in the moment, without the benefit of hindsight (i.e., we had no idea Prince Tega Wanogho was going to slip to the 6th round or that Benito Jones was going to go undrafted). That’s right, we jotted these picks down in real time to hold ourselves to the same standard that the Packers brain trust had to go through.
We’re going to make this easy to review in future years to see how our analysis holds up – feel free to use the comments section to get a time-stamped copy of who you would have picked.
Here’s how our PFTW analysts stacked up against the Packers GM.
ROUND 1, PICK 30
Gutekunst took: trade up to 26, took Jordan Love, Quarterback
- Bruce: I totally understand this pick. But that doesn’t mean I like. That was exactly what I said last year, too. I’ve written a couple articles defending the Love pick (like this one and this one) and I’m ok with it, but it’s just not what I would have done. I think the Packers biggest weakness is easily run defense. I would have stayed put at 30, kept my 4th round pick, and nabbed Ross Blacklock, a monster defensive lineman who two-gaps with leverage and plays with true passion.
- Stude: The value of the QB position is extremely high, and I’m ok with keeping an eye to the future and taking a player at the position.That being said, I really question giving up a pick to do it. I understand that there were rumors that Indy was going to do it, but that’s just a rumor. Losing the pick isn’t. I would take Love if he’s available, but let’s see if the rumor was right. I would have really liked to see the chess piece of safety Xavier McKinney on the Packers, and I would have loved the attitude/intensity add to the team.
Final answers: Gutekunst: Jordan Love | Bruce: Ross Blacklock | Stude: Xavier McKinney
ROUND 2, PICK 62
Gutekunst took: AJ Dillon, Running Back
- Bruce: I didn’t understand this pick at the time. I didn’t see that they were moving to a power running offense until I saw the rest of the draft. As a result, this pick disappointed me. There were a lot of guys I would have rather take here (here’s a partial list), but my pick at the time would have cornerback Cameron Dantzler. The Packers need a nickel corner right now and next year, they may need a CB2 to replace Kevin King. Dantzler is tall, explosive, and suffocating, with a body type and play style similar to King.
- Stude: I know people see the success of Derrick Henry and wonder if Dillon can do that for the Packers. First, there is only one Derrick Henry. Second, the Packers also have AARON RODGERS. In the playoffs Ryan Tannehill threw for 88 yards against the Ravens and 72 yards against the Patriots. Is that what you want from Aaron Rodgers? I don’t. In Dillon I see a big back that had huge production in college where college defenders bounced off of him. He doesn’t have a lot of wiggle to make people miss, they just had a hard time tackling him. It’s a different game in the pros and when the best athletes in the world square up on him, he won’t have the same success. Even more puzzling, the Packers seem to desire a lot of versatility, and Dillon also doesn’t deliver that when 98% of his touches are carrying the ball. He only has 21 career receptions. For versatility, the Packers are probably intending it to not be on the player himself, but to have their own version of Thunder and Lightning. That’s fine, but there are other power backs that can be had for a lot less than a second round pick. As far as where I’d go, I still believe the game is won in the trenches and I’d go with the best OL/DL guy on the board. At this point, getting more help on the defensive front seems to make the most sense and I’d take defensive lineman Justin Madubuike.
Final answers: Gutekunst: AJ Dillon | Bruce: Cameron Dantzler | Stude: Justin Madubuike
ROUND 3, PICK 92
Gutekunst took: Josiah Deguara, Tight End (yes, really)
- Bruce: This was a really disappointing pick for me. I thought it was bad value at the spot and not nearly as impactful as a lot of other players on the board. Clearly, the Packers see him as a rare player that perfectly fits the type of power run game that they want to establish. This is where that deep receiver class comes in handy. After shoring up the defense, I was tempted by Malik Harrison, but wanted to get someone. I took Donovan Peoples-Jones, who runs good routes and breaks tackles like a boss.
- Stude: Sticking with the theme of my second round pick, continue to boost the trenches. With Bulaga gone, finding the right tackle of the future makes sense here. Tackle Lucas Niang can plug in and excels in the run (which the Packers are apparently planning to do more of).
Final answers: Gutekunst: Josiah Deguara | Bruce: Donovan Peoples-Jones | Stude: Lucas Niang
ROUND 4, PICK 136
Gutekunst took: Nobody, he traded it away
- Bruce: There was still a lot of value on the board, including Donovan Peoples-Jones, who looks like I might have overdrafted in my simulation. Looking back, I may have reached since he was the last receiver on the board that I really liked. Still, the talent on the board here shows why I’m so against using picks to trade up. I n the end, I would have taken Prince Tega Wanogho as a long-term answer at right tackle who could swing to left tackle in a pinch and fits the Packers zone blocking scheme (assuming they keep that).
- Stude: Seeing Tyler Biadasz on the board allows me to stick to the plan of building up the trenches. He comes from a program that has proven results in churning out offensive linemen.
Final answers: Gutekunst: Nobody | Bruce: Prince Tega Wanogho | Stude: Tyler Biadasz
ROUND 5, PICK 175
Gutekunst took: Kamal Martin, Linebacker
- Bruce: I really wanted Larrell Murchison, but he went to the Titans one pick earlier. This is how the draft works, it’s frustrating. Still, I’m happy with the consolation prize. Instead of doubling up at defensive line, I’m doubling up at offensive line and taking Hakeem Adeniji. I like his athleticism and ability to zone block. I had him as a toss up with Prince the previous round, so was very happy to bolster the blocking.
- Stude: I feel like the wide receiver room could benefit from some competition, and there hasn’t been a pick yet that I felt was worth the player. That changes when I see Isaiah Hodgins on the board. He has the height that the Packers like, and he has great ball skills.
Final answers: Gutekunst: Kamal Martin | Bruce: Hakeem Adeniji | Stude: Isaiah Hodgins
ROUND 6, PICK 192
Gutekunst took: Jon Runyan, Offensive Guard
- Bruce: I’m taking Benito Jones. I’ve loved him as a late round run-stuffer since early on in the draft process. For as much as the Packers want to establish themselves as a running team, they need to stop the run as well and Jones is a guy who can do it. I’m a little conflicted because I love Runyan and would have definitely been looking at him with one of the next picks.
- Stude: Sticking to “best player available” I see defensive lineman Khalil Davis is still on the board. The defensive line can tire quickly, and getting a nice rotational player this late allows more focus on the shoring up the defensive line.
Final answers: Gutekunst: Jon Runyan | Bruce: Benito Jones | Stude: Khalil Davis
ROUND 6, PICK 208
Gutekunst took: Jake Hanson, Offensive Line
- Bruce: I’m taking Thaddeus Moss, an absolutely devastating blocker of a tight end. He isn’t a dynamic receiver, but he shows good instincts and has soft hands and would be a versatile piece of the offense.
- Stude: Jake Hanson is a solid pick and is probably my favorite pick of Gute’s in the class. In my case though, I already took a center in the 4th round. Gute took three offensive linemen in this class, and we are on the same page as I also take my third one here. I stop the slide of Prince Tega Wanogho and develop him as the backup to Bakhtiari. Dbak69 has had some back issues and the Packers are sorely missing a direct backup. They tend to slide people around throwing the whole line out of rhythm. In this case, I’d like to just focus on a direct left tackle developmental prospect.
Final answers: Gutekunst: Jake Hanson | Bruce: Thaddeus Moss | Stude: Prince Tega Wanogho
ROUND 6, PICK 209
Gutekunst took: Simon Stepaniak, Offensive Line
- Bruce: I’m taking JR Reed, a versatile safety that would fit well in the current position group. I think he’d give the Packers a lot of versatility on the back and allow them to seamlessly switch up who plays in the box and covers slot, which could lead to a lot of confused offenses.
- Stude: Inside linebacker is a position that could use an infusion of talent, and Markus Bailey is still on the board. He slipped for two reasons: 1) He’s not a top of the line athlete 2) He has had two knee injuries. In spite of his physical “limitations”, he is both smart and productive. He has the high field intelligence you want from your middle linebacker and he can compete for a role on the team. He also seems to be recovered from the last injury so getting him this late is a strong value.
Final answers: Gutekunst: Simon Stepaniak | Bruce: JR Reed | Stude: Markus Bailey
ROUND 7, PICK 236
Gutekunst took: Vernon Scott, Safety
- Bruce: I like that Gutey went with a defensive back, I just favored a different one. I’m taking Lamar Jackson here. The talented cornerback was viewed as a borderline top 100 player by most analysts and even if I don’t think he was quite that high, this is way too low in my book. Tall and athletic with good technique, he plays a little stiff, but would give the Packers options on the outside.
- Stude: I’m still interested in adding more to the receiver room and I go back to the well with Kalija Lipscomb. He is an all-around receiver that can play inside and out, make contested catches, and he’s a returner. It’s great value this late, even if he only ends up on the practice squad.
Final answers: Gutekunst: Vernon Scott | Bruce: Lamar Jackson | Stude: Kalija Lipscomb
ROUND 7, PICK 242
Gutekunst took: Jon Garvin, Edge
- Bruce: I’m taking my ultimate sleeper pick of this draft in Madre Harper. The talented cornerback has all the size and measurables you want at 6’2 196 with 4.4 speed, but attitude problems got him kicked off the team at Oklahoma. He seems to have cleaned up his act at Southern Illinois and tore up the FCS. In the 7th round, I’ll take a chance on a talented guy looking for redemption. If nothing else, he’s proven to be a hustle guy on special teams.
- Stude: I wanted to get a running back in this class, and I use this pick to secure someone at the position. With Jones/Williams coming up on contract it makes a ton of sense to find another player. When the Packers had injuries at this position last year, they didn’t utilize Dexter Williams. This makes me think he is not making the team this year and it’s all that much more important to grab one. I pegged three late round options, and all three are here: Raymond Calais, Darius Anderson, and James Robinson. I’ll go with Raymond Calais who has the speed, is a proven zone runner, and also plays gunner on special teams. Side Note: Jonathan Garvin is an interesting pick and was highlighted by Joe Marino: check it out here.
Final answers: Gutekunst: Jon Garvin | Bruce: Madre Harper | Stude: Raymond Calais
Priority Undrafted Free Agents
The fun doesn’t end after the last pick! Undrafted free agents are a key part of building a team. Here are the players we’d target:
Bruce: Kalija Lipscomb (WR), JJ Taylor (RB), Anthony Gordon (QB), Quartney Davis (WR), Hunter Bryant (TE), Charlie Taumoepeau (TE), Alex Taylor (OT), Zach Shackelford (G/C), Joe Bachie (ILB), Raequan Williams (DL), Essang Bassey (CB), Rodrigo Blankenship (K), Any Random Punter
Stude: I ended up not taking a corner, and multiple guys I was interested in went undrafted, so that list is a little longer: Anthony Gordon (QB), James Robinson (RB), Darius Anderson (RB), Quartney Davis (WR), Hunter Bryant (TE), Trey Adams (OL), Terence Steele (OL), Benito Jones (DL), Tipa Galea’i (Edge), Joe Bachie (LB), Stanford Samuels (CB), A.J. Green (CB), Lavert Hill (CB), Nevelle Clark (CB), Madre Harper (CB), JR Reed (S)
|Jordan Love, QB||Ross Blacklock, DL||Xavier McKinney, S|
|AJ Dillon, RB||Cameron Dantzler, CB||Justin Madubuike, DL|
|Josiah Deguara, TE||Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR||Lucas Niang, OT|
|Kamal Martin, ILB||Prince Tego Wanogho, OT||Tyler Biadasz, C|
|Jon Runyan, G||Hakeem Adeniji, OT||Isaiah Hodgins, WR|
|Jake Hanson, C||Benito Jones, DL||Khalil Davis, DL|
|Simon Stepaniak, G||Thaddeus Moss, TE||
Prince Tego Wanogho, OT
|Vernon Scott, S||JR Reed, S||Markus Bailey, ILB|
|Jon Garvin, Edge||Lamar Jackson, CB||Kalija Lipscomb, WR|
|Madre Harper, CB||Raymond Calais, RB|
As I’ve mentioned before, I find this exercise to be an extremely fun and interesting way to learn more about the draft and think everyone should do it – feel free to add your picks in the comments below so you have receipts if anyone ever asks who you would have taken!
Looking for another super fun way to appreciate and understand the draft even more? We’ve got you covered!
Get even deeper into understanding draft strategy with our new 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
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 Packers Draft Central 2020 for all our 2020 NFL Draft coverage!