Packers Get Jordan Love Help, Draft 2 Explosive Pass-Catchers

Barnwell Claypool Trade

Getty Brian Gutekunst, general manager of the Green Bay Packers.

The Green Bay Packers passed on several playmakers in the first round of the NFL Draft who could have helped QB Jordan Love, but that was not the case on Day 2.

General manager Brian Gutekunst and company selected tight end Luke Musgrave out of Oregon State with the No. 42 overall pick in the second round on Friday, April 28. ESPN draft scout Matt Miller summed up the player the Packers landed in Musgrave via Twitter.

“Luke Musgrave, if healthy, is great for Green Bay,” Miller wrote. “He’s a true seam-stretcher, vertical threat at tight end.”

Musgrave’s hard numbers aren’t spectacular, due in no small part to a recent injury history. The tight end played in just two games in 2022, making 11 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown. He suffered a serious knee injury against Fresno State in the team’s second game of the 2022 regular season, which knocked him out for the remainder of the campaign.

Musgrave ran the 40-yard dash and took part in position drills during the NFL Combine in early March, showing where he was at in the rehabilitation process. He waited to take part in jumping and agility drills until his pro day on March 13, per a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The progress was clearly good enough for the Packers, who selected Musgrave with the pick they acquired from the New York Jets in last week’s trade for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay’s first pick of the draft was defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness out of Iowa at No. 13, after the team swapped first-round selections with the Jets as part of the Rodgers deal.

Packers Trade Down With Lions in Second Round, Draft WR Jayden Reed

Jayden Reed

GettyThe Green Bay Packers selected wide receiver Jayden Reed out of Michigan State in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. 

Green Bay executed its second meaningful trade in six days when the team moved down from No. 45 to No. 48, picking up an extra fifth-round selection (No. 158 overall) from the Detroit Lions in the process.

Packers fans had to wait a few extra minutes but saw their franchise select another explosive pass-catcher in Jayden Reed out of Michigan State. Reed made 55 catches for 636 yards and five touchdowns across 11 games in 2022. The 23-year-old wideout had his best collegiate campaign in 2021, when he hauled in 59 grabs for 1,026 yards and 10 scores.

Reed also scored two punt return touchdown that season and offers the Packers a versatile playmaker in two phases of the game — on offense and special teams.

“[Reed is a] utility wideout with the ability to take snaps at multiple receiver positions while offering both kickoff and punt return talent,” Lance Zierlein of wrote in Reed’s NFL Combine review. “His ball skills and feel for positioning on deep throws and jump balls are unquestioned.”

Luke Musgrave Likely Packers No. 1 TE, Jayden Reed Will Compete at WR

Luke Musgrave, Packers

GettyGreen Bay Packers tight end Luke Musgrave runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine in March 2023.

The Packers watched both of their top tight ends from last season walk in free agency, as Robert Tonyan left for the NFC North Division rival Chicago Bears while Marcedes Lewis remains on the market. As of draft weekend, Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis were the top two tight ends listed on the Packers’ depth chart, per ESPN.

As such, Musgrave figures to have a solid chance to start for Green Bay out of the gate, assuming relative health. Reed will have a harder time breaking into the starting lineup at wide receiver during his rookie campaign, as the Packers drafted two players at the same position in 2022.

Second-round pick Christian Watson became an explosive playmaker after a slow start, scoring nine total touchdowns on the year. Romeo Doubs, who Green Bay selected in the fourth round in 2022, got off to a quicker start than Watson but was slowed by an injury he suffered mid-season. Watson and Doubs figure to be Love’s top two options at receiver, though Reed has more than four months to make his case.

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