Packers Rookies Who Will Make Instant Impact in 2021 Season

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 5, 2021

Packers Rookies Who Will Make Instant Impact in 2021 Season

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    Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

    During the weekend in which Aaron Rodgers' future dominated the headlines, the Green Bay Packers drafted a wide receiver with the same surname who could make the biggest impact out of the rookie class.

    Green Bay landed Amari Rodgers out of Clemson in the third round after passing up on the depth at the position in the first two rounds.

    Although it could have been frustrating to see the Packers wait to take a wide receiver, they may have ended up with one of the steals of the draft.

    Before they addressed the wideout need, the Packers landed a cornerback and a center from two of the premier college football programs.

    Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes and Ohio State center Josh Myers will be asked to fill important roles right away as well, with the need to get better in the secondary and Corey Linsley now with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Amari Rodgers

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    Richard Shiro/Associated Press

    Amari Rodgers comes into the NFL off the only 1,000-yard season of his collegiate career.

    He was a functional piece in the offense led by Trevor Lawrence for the last three years, but he played second fiddle to Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins in 2018 and 2019.

    The third-round pick will be expected to compete with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard for targets beneath Davante Adams on the depth chart.

    Valdes-Scantling turned in the best season of the two players in 2020 with 690 yards and six touchdowns last season. Lazard has not recorded 500 yards in any of his three seasons.

    If Rodgers steps in and earns the trust of his quarterback, he has the potential to outplay Valdes-Scantling or Lazard.

    At minimum, Rodgers gives the Packers more speed and a fourth true option for their quarterback to throw to.

    If he adapts well, Rodgers could be the team's second-leading receiver and may sneak into the Offensive Rookie of the Year discussion.

Eric Stokes

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    L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

    Green Bay's first-round selection of Stokes over a wide receiver is justifiable because of how much Kevin King and others struggled in the NFC Championship Game.

    The Packers have one reliable lockdown cornerback in Jaire Alexander, but they needed to add help through the draft.

    Like Rodgers, Stokes comes into the NFL off his best statistical season. He picked off four passes over nine SEC games.

    Stokes' interception total was more than every Packers player other than Darnell Savage, who led the team with four in 2020.

    Stokes should begin training camp as Green Bay's No. 3 option at cornerback, and if he impresses enough in camp, he could take over King's starting role.

    Even if King starts in Week 1, Stokes should have plenty of responsibilities as either a slot corner or someone who spells Alexander and King.

Josh Myers

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    The Packers added another young offensive lineman to their stable by selecting Myers in the second round.

    Myers should be thrown into a competition alongside Jon Runyan Jr. and Elgton Jenkins for the interior positions on the offensive line.

    Green Bay has to fill its void at center after Linsley left in free agency, and it could with Myers, Runyan or Jenkins at that spot.

    The good news for the Packers is each of the three young linemen carry positional flexibility on the interior.

    If the coaching staff feels Runyan or Jenkins are better equipped to take over at center, Myers could be shifted to guard to play next to David Bakhtiari or Billy Turner.

    Regardless of where he plays, there seems to be a role open for Myers. While he will not be talked about on a weekly basis, like Rodgers, the second-round pick could be one of the most functional picks from Day 2.


    Statistics obtained from Sports Reference and Pro Football Reference.