Packers: How Green Bay can trade up for Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle

Green Bay Packers, NFL Draft

The Green Bay Packers need speed in the NFL Draft and Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle should be their target. 

Coming into the 2020 NFL season, critics condemned the Green Bay Packers’ draft. After a 13-3 finish with a first-year head coach, the team needed to add more weapons around Aaron Rodgers for a deep postseason run.

Instead Green Bay traded up to draft a quarterback.

Brian Gutekunst had the last laugh as the season came to a close. Rodgers became the second quarterback in league history to throw for over 40 touchdowns in multiple seasons. The Packers’ offense barely skipped a beat throughout the 17 weeks and earned the No.1 seed in the NFC.

Rodgers has done enough to garner the MVP once the season concludes and the passing attack is dangerous with names like Davante Adams and Robert Tonyan. Here’s the thing; the Packers still need to add another receiver this offseason, predominately one with speed.

Adams can expect to see double coverage from here until the playoffs end. That leaves Marques Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard as the only options in solo coverage. Lazard doesn’t have speed while MVS is inconsistent with his hands.

Gutekunst proved to be gusty enough to pull off a trade once. Now, he’ll have to do it again. This time, Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle should be the only thing on their mind.

Can the Packers move up to trade Waddle?

Green Bay’s draft line will be anywhere from 27-32 depending on their postseason finish. A great regular season record puts them in a tougher position draft-wise. This likely means they’ll have to move up into the teens for Waddle.

The 5-10 vertical threat from Alabama missed most of the season with a torn ACL. Good thing for opponents since the combination of him and Devonta Smith might have broken College Football. Depending on his combine numbers and overall health, that will likely decide where he lands.

Most experts believe Waddle’s range could be anywhere from the top 10 to late teens, meaning Green Bay would have to offer a bounty. The Washington Football Team, Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts all could be looking for their next No.1 option.

Green Bay’s best bet would be trading with Arizona or Las Vegas. The asking price is where things get tricky. A late first and even mid-round selection isn’t enough to move up over 10 spots. Neither would both of Green Bay’s early selections.

In 2018, the New Orleans Saints sent the Packers two first-round picks and a fifth-round pick to move from 27th to 14th. A similar deal would likely have to be made for Green Bay to jump up to 16th from say 31st?

Waddle is a route-running technician and has pure hands for after the catch. His speed is a mismatch for cornerbacks both on the perimeter and the slot. How much longer with Rodgers’ window be open after 2020?

In Matt LaFleur’s offense, Waddle would provide an explosive factor that’s been missing all season. An immediate deep threat for the present and future, Green Bay must strike while they’re hot. For Rodgers and Jordan Love, this is the x-factor that keeps the Packers a long-term contender.

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