The 2023 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday night, and Green Bay Packers fans are excited to get this draft started. Following the Aaron Rodgers trade, Brian Gutekunst has more Packers draft picks to play with. This new era of Packers football is an uncertain one, and this draft class will be very important. So, who are the Green Bay Packers’ draft targets at No. 13 overall?
Below, Let’s Go Wisconsin will go over five Green Bay Packers draft targets at the 13th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft
Green Bay Packers Draft Picks 2023
Green Bay Packers Draft Targets at No. 13
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
The Packers wanted a first-round pick swap in the Aaron Rodgers trade, which allowed them to move from 15th to 13th. It appears they want to give themselves a chance to land the clear top wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft, which is Jaxon Smith-Njigba. For my money, he is the only wide receiver in this class worthy of a first-round grade.
While he battle an injury last season, Smith-Njigba is an extremely quick wide receiver that uses these physical tools in his crisp route running. He could be the perfect possession receiver for this Packers offense for the long term.
After years of refusing to draft Aaron Rodgers an offensive weapon in the first round, getting one with the first-round pick gained by trading him away is so petty that it has to be true.
Lukas Van Ness, EDGE/DL, Iowa
Another Packers draft target for the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft is Lukas Van Ness, a versatile defensive playmaker from Iowa. Most outlets list him as an edge, but Van Ness has also played and made plays as a 3-Technique.
With Preston Smith and Kingsley Enagbare being the two healthy edge rushers for the start of the season, there clearly is a need there. The Packers also lost multiple defensive linemen and didn’t replace them. Van Ness is a versatile playmaker that can be moved around to give offensive linemen fits.
Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
A first-round Green Bay Packers draft pick used on a Georgia defensive player? Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Like the recent first-round Bulldogs Brian Gutekunst has been obsessed with, Nolan Smith also has red flags.
For example, he is undersized and has injury concerns. Smith also played on the most talented defense in college football, so there weren’t many plays where offenses could key on him, helping to inflate his production. Still, he is explosive, very fast and incredibly smart. His potential is high, but I’m sure you can guess which side of the fence I land on with this pick, for the Packers’ defense at least.
Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
The Packers’ future at offensive tackle is murky, to put it lightly. It appears David Bakhtiari is entering his final season in Green Bay, which means there are major question marks on both ends of the offensive line. Zach Tom filled in nicely last year, but he is more of a guard given his length.
So, it would be wise if there were some Green Bay Packers draft targets at offensive tackle at No. 13 overall, and Paris Johnson Jr. out of Ohio State is the best true tackle in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is a big frame that is an athletic freak Johnson should be a long-term starter at left tackle for close to a decade.
Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Once again, the Packers need to invest in an offensive tackle, and Gutekunst loves drafting from Georgia. Broderick Jones is another big offensive tackle that has tremendous athleticism for his size. He is a former basketball player, and it shows with how he is able to move his body. Jones thrives in the running game, flying around and burying defenders.
Starting opposite of Bakhtiari, the Packers could easily be a run-first team, which helps to set Jordan Love up for success.