FOX Sports Wisconsin takes a look at how new players obtained in the draft by the Green Bay Packers' 2017 foes change the outlook and gameplan in their matchups this season.
Seattle Seahawks, Sept. 10
The Seattle team you saw in 2016 will basically be the same thing you see in 2017. The Seahawks traded out of the first round, finally selecting defensive tackle Malik McDowell in Round 2. He'll be expected to further boost Seattle's tough defense. Seattle used only four of its 11 picks on offensive players. Offensive lineman Ethan Pocic could work his way into the starting lineup and be someone Green Bay tries to exploit in Week 1.
Picks Round 2 -- DT Malik McDowell, Michigan State Round 2 -- OL Ethan Pocic, LSU Round 3 -- CB Shaquill Griffin, Central Florida Round 3 -- S Delano Hill, Michigan Round 3 -- DT Nazair Jones, DT, North Carolina Round 3 -- WR Amara Darboh, Michigan Round 4 -- S Tedric Thompson, Colorado Round 6 -- S Mike Tyson, Cincinnati Round 6 -- OT Justin Senior, Mississippi State Round 7 -- David Moore, East Central University Round 7 -- RB Chris Carson, Oklahoma State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY SportsMike Carter
Atlanta Falcons, Sept. 17
Atlanta's offense was hardly a problem in 2016, so it comes as little surprise that none of the Falcons' draft picks should be expected to have an impact in 2017 (they only selected three offensive players, all in the fourth round or later). First-round pick Takkarist McKinley will have to beat out either free-agent signee Brooks Reed or Ra'Shede Hageman, but expect to see him on the field in some role, perhaps as a backup, in Week 2.
Picks Round 1 -- DE Takkarist McKinley, UCLA Round 3 -- OLB Duke Riley, LSU Round 4 -- OT Sean Harlow, Oregon State Round 5 -- CB Damontae Kazee, San Diego State Round 5 -- RB Brian Hill, Wyoming Round 5 -- TE Eric Saubert, Drake
Bill StreicherBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals, Sept. 24
The Packers might have their hands full with Cincinnati's offense in Week 3. Already having to account for wide receiver A.J. Green, Green Bay's secondary will also have to try and slow down speedy John Ross, the No. 9 overall pick. You can't double both. Beyond the passing game, it will be interesting to see how much second-round pick Joe Mixon is involved early on in Cincinnati's offense. The talented running back brings both a strong rushing and receiving game to the mix. This will be an early test for Green Bay's defense.
Picks Round 1 -- WR John Ross, Washington Round 2 -- RB Joe Mixon, Oklahoma Round 3 -- DE Jordan Willis, Kansas State Round 4 -- DE Carl Lawson, Auburn Round 4 -- WR Josh Malone, Tennessee Round 4 -- DT Ryan Glasgow, Michigan Round 5 -- K Jake Elliott, Memphis Round 5 -- C J.J. Dielman, Utah Round 6 -- ILB Jordan Evans, Oklahoma Round 6 -- CB Brandon Wilson, Houston Round 7 -- TE Mason Schreck, Buffalo
Mark D. SmithMark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears, Sept. 28 & Nov. 12
Chicago only had five draft picks this year, thanks to trading up one spot for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Laugh at or laud the move, the success of the Bears' draft will rely on the rookie's right arm. It seems doubtful that Trubisky will play in the first meeting between Green Bay and Chicago, but in November …? Maybe, just maybe. Unless Trubisky somehow starts and is quickly proficient, on first glance it doesn’t look like the Bears got much immediate help for 2017. Chicago's second-round pick was a tight end out of small Ashland college and it seems unlikely that fourth-round pick RB Tarik Cohen will surpass Jordan Howard (and/or Jeremey Langford, Ka'Deem Casey and Benny Cunningham) any time soon. Oh, it's going to be a looooong year in the Windy City.
Picks Round 1 -- QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina Round 2 -- TE Adam Shaheen, Ashland Round 4 -- S Eddie Jackson, Alabama Round 4 -- RB Tarik Cohen, North Carolina A&T Round 5 -- Jordan Morgan, OL, Kutztown University
Dallas Cowboys, Oct. 8
Coming off a 13-3 season, Dallas probably didn't need too much help, especially on offense. So the Cowboys bulked up on defense. Green Bay will have to contend with first-round pick Taco Charlton, intended to improve Dallas' so-so pass rush, and Chidobe Awuzie (who some mock drafts slotted to Green Bay in the first round) and/or Jourdan Lewis, cornerbacks selected in the second and third rounds. The secondary was a bit of a concern for Dallas in 2016 (of course, we like the odds of Aaron Rodgers vs. rookies). Wide receiver Ryan Switzer might be relegated to No. 4 or No. 5 duty, but he's a home-run hitter on returns and someone the Packers will need to keep an eye on in special teams.
Picks Round 1 -- DE Taco Charlton, Michigan Round 2 -- CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado Round 3 -- CB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan Round 4 -- WR Ryan Switzer, North Carolina Round 6 -- S Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech Round 6 -- CB Marquez White, Florida State Round 7 -- DT Joey Ivie, Florida Round 7 -- WR Noah Brown, Ohio State Round 7 -- DT Jordan Carrell, Colorado
Kirby LeeKirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings, Oct. 15 & Dec. 23
Minnesota effectively had no run game in 2016. The Vikings are hopeful that their top pick Dalvin Cook fixes all that. Some considered Cook the best running back available in the draft, with a number of red flags dropping him to the second round (where Minnesota traded up to get him). He's a legitimate threat to break off a big run at any time and is also a good pass-catcher. He's not the best pass protector, though, and Minnesota has done what it can to upgrade what was a very leaky offensive line. The Vikings did select two offensive linemen in the draft (center Pat Elflein in the third round and guard Danny Isidora in the fifth), but expect the Packers to try and bring the heat against Sam Bradford. A running back can just do so much.
Picks Round 2 -- RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State Round 3 -- C Pat Elflein, Ohio State Round 4 -- DT Jaeel Johnson, Iowa Round 4 -- ILB Ben Gedeon, Michigan Round 5 -- WR Rodney Adams, South Florida Round 5 -- OG Danny Isidora, Miami Round 6 -- TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech Round 7 -- WR Stacy Coley, Miami Round 7 -- DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, Northwestern Round 7 -- OLB Elijah Lee, Kansas State Round 7 -- CB Jack Tocho, North Carolina State
Joe RobbinsGetty Images
New Orleans Saints, Oct. 22
Armed with a pair of first-round picks, New Orleans provided some much-needed help on both offense and defense. Former Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk should be in the starting lineup along the line once the Packers and Saints meet. New Orleans also landed arguably the best cornerback in the draft when Marshon Lattimore fell into its lap at the No. 11 overall selection. One player won't vault last year's No. 31-ranked defense into elite territory, but it won't hurt. Lattimore should have plenty of NFL experience before having to face the arm of Rodgers. The Saints also picked up running back Alvin Kamara in the third round; he could be used out of the slot (since New Orleans also has Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson), which would be a tough matchup for Green Bay's defense.
Picks Round 1 -- CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State Round 1 -- OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin Round 2 -- S Marcus Williams, Utah Round 3 -- RB Alvin Kamara, Tennessee Round 3 -- LB Alex Anzalone, Florida Round 3 -- DE Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atlantic Round 6 -- DE Al-Quadin Muhammad, Miami
Associated PressMatt Rourke
Detroit Lions, Nov. 6 & Dec. 31
In two matchups last year with the Packers, Detroit surrendered 34 points and 31 points (both Green Bay victories). Perhaps that's one reason the Lions concentrated on defense early in the draft. Top pick Jarrad Davis figures to get in the starting lineup from the get-go. Second-round pick Teez Tabor saw his stock drop after some poor 40-yard dash times. One would think Rodgers and Packers will look to test out Tabor's speed. Third-round pick wide receiver Kenny Golladay could see the field often as well as a third wide receiver in Detroit's pass-happy offense.
What does a team which allowed the seventh-fewest yards and ninth-fewest points do in the draft? Why use its top-four selections on defense, of course. Baltimore spread the wealth around, too, selecting a cornerback (Marlon Humphrey), defensive end (Chris Wormley) and two linebackers (Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams) with those picks. The Ravens don't have the easiest defense to crack, but by Week 11 the depth surely will be needed. This game promised to be an interesting matchup between Green Bay's offense and Baltimore's defense and the Ravens draft just turned it up a notch.
Picks Round 1 -- CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama Round 2 -- LB Tyus Bowser, Houston Round 3 -- DE Chris Wormley, Michigan Round 3 -- LB Tim Anderson, Alabama Round 4 -- OG Nico Siragusa, San Diego State Round 5 -- OG Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas AM Round 6 -- CB Chuck Clark, Virginia Tech
Joe CamporealeJoe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers, Nov. 26
Pittsburgh took an even-handed approach to its draft and likely found some immediate help both on offense and defense. First-round pick outside linebacker T.J. Watt (familiar to many Packers fans, we're sure) looks to help a Steelers pass rush which tied for ninth in the NFL in sacks last year with 38 while third-round selection cornerback Cameron Sutton could well be starting by the time Green Bay invades Pittsburgh. On the offensive side, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster could see some playing time as well as beyond Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh's No. 2-5 receivers are up in the air.
Picks Round 1 -- OLB T.J. Watt, Wisconsin Round 2 -- WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC Round 3 -- CB Cameron Sutton, Tennessee Round 3 -- RB James Conner, Pittsburgh Round 4 -- QB Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee Round 5 -- CB Brian Allen, Utah Round 6 -- LS Colin Holba, Louisville Round 7 -- LB Keion Adams, Western Michigan
Jeff HanischJeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dec. 3
Tampa Bay is going to keep Green Bay's defense busy. Up-and-coming quarterback Jameis Winston was given some new toys to play with. Already boasting wide receivers Mike Evans, one of the top receivers in the game, and speedy Desean Jackson as well as solid tight end Cameron Brate, the Bucs gave Winston even more options by selecting dynamic tight end O.J. Howard in the first round, speedy wide receiver Chris Godwin in the third and all-around running back Jeremy McNichols in the fifth. Last season in December, Green Bay's defense -- especially the secondary -- was somewhat decimated. The Packers had best be in good health for this one.
Picks Round 1 -- TE O.J. Howard, Alabama Round 2 -- S Justin Evans, Texas A&M Round 3 -- WR Chris Godwin, Penn State Round 3 -- ILB Kendell Beckwith, LSU Round 5 -- RB Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State Round 7 -- DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, USC
Matthew OHarenMatthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns, Dec. 10
Cleveland needed help on both sides of the ball but in the draft the Browns appeared to have bolstered its defense a bit more. The Browns used two of their three first-round picks to shore up a unit that allowed the second-most yards and third-most points last season. Green Bay offensive linemen will have to content with No. 1 overall pick defensive end Myles Garrett, widely considered the top prospect in the 2017 draft class, and potentially defensive tackle Caleb Brantley, a talented player who has off-the-field legal issues (which could have him cut before ever playing a down for Cleveland; if he does play, the Browns got a big talent in the sixth round). Cleveland also picked up versatile safety / linebacker Jabrill Peppers in the first round. Is it enough to stop Rodgers and the Packers? Eh, probably not, but it should be an improvement over 2016 at least.
Picks Round 1 -- DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M Round 1 -- S/LB Jabrill Peppers, Michigan Round 1 -- TE David Njoku, Miami Round 2 -- QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame Round 3 -- DT Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte Round 4 -- CB Howard Wilson, Houston Round 5 -- OT Roderick Johnson, Florida State Round 6 -- DT Caleb Brantley, Florida Round 7 -- K Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State
Ken BlazeKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Panthers, Dec. 17
Perhaps no team changed its offensive strategy based on who it drafted more than Carolina. The Panthers in the past have featured ground-and-pound runners like Jonathan Stewart and a passing game predicated on deeper routes. Instead, when Green Bay meets Carolina late in the season, the Panthers' offense might be more predicated on quick, short, high-percentage passes from Cam Newton to top pick running back Christian McCaffrey and second-rounder wide receiver Curtis Samuel. Both McCaffrey and Samuel ae dangerous in space and off the edges. Both can also be used in a multitude of roles, either as a runner or receiver. This could be the toughest test of the season for Green Bay's coverage schemes, especially for the linebackers and safeties.
Picks Round 1 -- RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford Round 2 -- WR/RB Curtis Samuel, Ohio State Round 2 -- OT Taylor Moton, Western Michigan Round 3 -- DE Daeshon Hall, Texas A&M Round 5 -- CB Corn Elder, Miami Round 6 -- FB Alex Armah, West Georgia Round 7 -- K Harrison Butker, Georgia Tech