Thanks to Jordan Love, the Green Bay Packers exceeded most expectations in 2023, not only making the playoffs but beating the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round. They would lose to the 49ers the following week, but it’s safe to say their season was a success and gives them something to build on. They do have some salary cap concerns that could lead to potential holes in the 2024 roster.
David Bakhtiari will account for $40 million against the cap in 2024, and will likely get a restructured deal that brings that number down to or under $20 million. Kenny Clark also needs to be restructured, as his cap number for 2024 is $27.5 million. Lastly, Aaron Jones may need $10 million of his $17 million cap number to be changed to a signing bonus, to give the team even more room. Just those three moves will give the team nearly $30 million in cap space to sign some veteran help.
As for the 2024 NFL Draft, the team has 11 picks, and since we are not making any trades in these mock drafts, we will project who the team will select with all 11 picks.
Round 1, Pick 25: Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama
The biggest area of concern for the Packers in 2023 was the pass rush. Despite being 11th in hurries and middle of the pack in total sacks, the team was missing that one player who dominates opposing offensive lines. They need a player who can get double-digit sacks every year, to force opponents into turnovers, especially in the playoffs. They use their first-round pick in 2024 on Alabama edge rusher, Chris Braswell.
Braswell was a 5-star recruit on ESPN’s top 100 players in the class of 2021. He played sparingly as a freshman, seeing action on just 114 snaps, but created 11 pressures and 9 hurries. When he saw 283 snaps in 2022, his pressure numbers increased as well. He had 27 pressures and 19 hurries to go with 4.0 sacks during his sophomore season.
Last year Braswell saw 534 snaps worth of action, and created 54 total pressures, and 31 hurries to go with 13 sacks. He is a player who consistently gets into the pocket and disrupts opposing offenses. He will give a huge spark to Green Bay’s defense, coming off the edge like a rocket every passing play.