Positions the Packers Need to Address During the 2024 NFL Draft

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By John Piotrowski

Positions the Packers Need to Address During the 2024 NFL Draft

The Green Bay Packers are heading into the 2024 offseason with a significantly improved outlook compared to a year ago. With a promising young franchise quarterback in their ranks and a youthful roster showing signs of upward momentum, optimism abounds.

Bolstered by a fresh defensive coordinator and talent across the board, the Packers are poised for continued success. However, there are areas of need that must be addressed during the 2024 NFL Draft. Here are three positions that GM Brian Gutekunst and the Packers should be focused on during the upcoming draft.

Running Back

The running back situation for the Packers remains uncertain. Starter Aaron Jones faced interruptions in his 2023 season due to injuries, limiting him to just 11 games. Even then, he was fully healthy for only a little over half of those.

In terms of yardage, Jones had his lowest output since his rookie year in 2017, totaling 656 yards for the season. In fairness, his late-season resurgence was notable. Over the final three regular-season games and both playoff matchups, Jones rushed for 100 yards or more, coinciding with the team’s 4-1 record in those games.

Currently, Jones faces two challenges. First, he’s approaching 30, which is old for an NFL running back. Equally important, his current deal carries a hefty $17 million cap hit. The Packers are expected to explore options to reduce this cap hit during the offseason. Nevertheless, those two factors are considerable question marks facing Jones right now.

Meanwhile, backup A.J. Dillon is set to become an unrestricted free agent and likely won’t return. Further down the depth chart, Emanuel Wilson, although showing promise at times, has limited experience with just 14 career NFL carries.

Even if Jones is back and can stay healthy in 2024, the Packers need to start grooming his successor. Gutekunst needs to address this by drafting at least one, potentially two, running backs to bolster Green Bay’s depth and overall talent in the backfield.



The Green Bay secondary is facing great uncertainty with their top three safeties all set to become free agents. Darnell Savage’s departure seems likely as the team didn’t re-sign him before his void years converted to dead cap money. Even if Rudy Ford or Jonathan Owens return, the Packers will be in the market for an upgrade at the safety position.

At cornerback, the situation is also filled with serious questions. Slot corner Keisean Nixon wasn’t re-signed before his void years took effect. Eric Stokes is attempting to bounce back from two injury-plagued seasons. Meanwhile, Jaire Alexander’s 2023 campaign was marred by various injuries, limiting him to just seven games.

Given these circumstances, the Packers must address depth concerns, secure a slot corner, and potentially find a starter opposite Alexander if Stokes fails to regain his form. That’s a substantial to-do list for Green Bay to address at just one position group. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the Packers draft a cornerback early and end up selecting more than one defensive back.

Offensive Line

Similar to the rest of the offense, the offensive line experienced a shaky start to the 2023 season but showed improvement during the latter half of the campaign. Nevertheless, key concerns loom over the offensive line, particularly with the anticipated departure of two starters.

David Bakhtiari, burdened by a substantial cap hit, has been limited to just 13 games over the past three seasons. The likelihood of his retention hinges on a contract restructuring involving a significant pay cut for 2024, possibly with added incentives. However, he’s likely to either be traded or released during the offseason.

Elsewhere on the offensive line, swing tackle Yosh Nijman is set to enter free agency and is unlikely to return to the Packers. Nijman is likely seeking opportunities for a starting role, with other teams expected to offer more lucrative deals than what Green Bay can provide.

Internally, starting right guard Jon Runyan will also hit free agency next month while center Josh Myers has yet to fully justify his second-round draft status. Although Myers has one year left on his contract, the Packers should be able to recognize the need for depth and a potential upgrade at the position.

Consequently, the Packers will at least have to bolster their offensive line depth through the draft. However, if Green Bay has a chance to draft a guard or center who could potentially start right away, the Packers may not be able to pass up on the opportunity to use a first or second-round pick on an offensive lineman. Of course, it’s likely that safety and running back will be prioritized over the offensive line during the early rounds, even if all three position groups should be addressed at some point during the draft.