Roster fits and quotes for Packers Day 1 and 2 draft picks

By: Paul Bretl 4/29/24

The Green Bay Packers made five picks within the first two days of the 2024 NFL draft, and with four of them, they tackled their biggest roster needs at safety, linebacker, and offensive tackle. 

“I think there was some temptation to do that along the way, but we really were able to stay with the BPA – best player available,” said Brian Gutekunst after Day 2. “The board held up exceptionally well, which is really a credit to our personnel staff. But it held up very, very well as we went, and we had more choices during the picks that we had, which was nice. 

“One of them obviously allowed us to move down and do some things, which was nice too, to pick up some picks. No, we were able to kind of stick with the best player available. There were some guys we had rated equally, and then need maybe played a little part in that as well, but we never had to dip down or anything like that.”

Now that the dust has settled, here is how each of these players fit on the Packers 2024 roster, along with some insights into each of them from Gutekunst and other members of the Packers scouting and personnel department.

Jordan Morgan, OT

Morgan is an extremely experienced left tackle, but the Packers veiw him as someone who could play guard as well. For what it’s worth, Morgan was the second ranked guard in this draft class by Dane Brugler. Compared to traditional tackles, Morgan’s arms are a bit shorter, but the Packers – and Morgan – don’t see that as an issue with his ability to move in space. Matt LaFleur said Morgan would start out at left tackle, since that is where he has the most experience, and presumably could compete with Rasheed Walker for those starting snaps. 

But regardless of where Morgan ends up, this addition gives the Packers flexibility. Along with competing at left tackle, if they want to slide Zach Tom inside, they could move Morgan to right tackle, or he could compete with Sean Rhyan at right guard. Options and flexibility are always a good thing, and the Packers didn’t have a lot of that before the draft.

“Just a strong character guy,” said Gutekunst about Morgan. “Going through the adversity of the ACL and coming through the other side of it. Two-time team captain. The way the people at Arizona speak of him. Just the right kind of guy for our locker room. I think he’ll fit in great. Whenever you’re picking this high, that gives you a comfort level that whatever his ultimate potential is, he’s got the work ethic to get there and kind of put the team above himself. That was something that was obviously very appealing to us.”

Edgerrin Cooper, LB

While much of the attention has been on who will play where and have what roles in Jeff Hafley’s 4-3 defense, Gutekunst has been less concerned about filling specific roles, but rather, wants to emphasize versatility, so linebackers can wear multiple hats. Cooper has a build and play style similar to Quay Walker. Cooper is very rangy, able to patrol sideline-to-sideline, filling gaps in the run game, and he was also very effective as a Blitzer. He was most effective at Texas A&M making plays around the line of scrimmage, but he has the athleticism to make an impact in coverage as well. 

“He’s long and he’s fast. Brian does such a good job of targeting these guys that can really run,” said Assistant Director of College Scouting Patt Moore. Loves football. Plays aggressively. Young kid, still growing into his frame. He’s aggressive. He covers ground. He plays the right way. Just has big upside. Can play the second level and pressure the quarterback up the middle, just a really excited athlete…you can feel his acceleration.”

Javon Bullard, S

Gutekunst gave us the answers to the test when it came to the safety position. At the NFL Combine, he said he wanted the two safeties and the nickel cornerback to be interchangeable, and Bullard absolutely provides that. During the 2022 season at Georgia, he was their primary slot corner. Last season, he spent most of his snaps playing at free safety. This versatility adds a layer of unpredictability to the Packers defense and Bullard could compete with Keisean Nixon for those slot snaps as well.

“Javon is a spirited, aggressive, smart football player,” said Moore. “Loves the game, loves life, loves his teammates. You guys are going to love him. High energy. Always in a good mood but always competing. He’s just a good football player that loves to compete, loves to play. Will definitely raise the level of aggression and competitiveness in our locker room.”

Marshawn Lloyd, RB, USC

Lloyd brings some needed juice to the Packers backfield, something that they need more of in 2024 in that backup running back role. At 5-9 – 220 pounds and a good athlete, Lloyd has a similar build to Josh Jacobs, and also, like Jacobs, is someone that Matt LaFleur is excited to utilize in the passing game. Lloyd was excellent at making defenders miss at USC, ranking as one of the best in yard after contact, while averaging over 17 yards per catch in the passing game. Similarly to AJ Dillon when he was coming out of Boston College, Lloyd doesn’t have ample passing game experience, but the Packers believe that can be a big part of his impact on the team. Gutekunst also mentioned seeing what Lloyd can do as a kick returner as well.

“He’s a 220-pound man,” said Gutekunst. “He’s packed in a tighter frame but like his ability to make people miss, he’s got a little juice to him and, again, he’s 220 pounds, he breaks tackles. We think his best football is ahead of him…He’s got serious speed. He’s very elusive, he’s got great balance, so he’s a little bit different than some of the backs that we have in our depth chart right now

Ty’Ron Hopper, LB

In Hafley’s 4-3 defense, Hopper could fit in as the strong side linebacker, where there are heavy run defense responsibilities that come with that role. Hopper has the athleticism to hold his own in space but his biggest impact will come staying closer to the line of scrimmage. I imagine that this was a pick that Rich Bisaccia was also a big fan of because of the immediate impact Hopper can bring to that phase of the game.

“He’s really physical, he can run, but his stopping power, when he takes on blockers, is pretty impressive,” said Gutekunst. “Very serious-minded guy, I think he really helped change that defense. The Missouri defense this year was excellent. They had a number of good players, but I think they’re very well-coached there, another one of those programs where we felt really good about taking somebody out of that program, because of how they do things there. But his stopping power as a tackler was really impressive.”