The Green Bay Packers selected Jake Hanson late in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he could be in the long term plans.
The Green Bay Packers were eviscerated by the draft media after their selections in the 2020 NFL Draft. Going quarterback, running back, and tight end in the first three rounds didn’t sit well with the fan base either. The idea of planning for the future while Aaron Rodgers is in the building is a tough sell.
Despite the reaches on day two, the Packers actually made some solid selections on day three of the draft. They helped out the linebacker group by selecting Kamal Martin, and then got aggressive on the offensive line in round six.
They took Big Ten lineman Jon Runyan and Simon Stepaniak, two who could provide depth, but their best pick on the offensive line was Oregon center Jake Hanson. Hanson could become a starter for the Packers in 2021.
Future Packers free agents
The Packers have some difficult decisions to make next offseason. Many high profile players have contracts expiring. Both Kenny Clark and Kevin King will be free agents from the defense. Two of Green Bay’s biggest catalysts on the offensive line, David Bakhtiari and Corey Linsley, will also be free agents.
It’s hard to see the Packers letting either Bakhtiari or Clark walk, and those extensions will be big ones. King may even return on a more team-friendly, prove-it deal. There’s a chance that Linsley could be the odd man out when free agency begins in March of 2021.
That’s where Hanson comes in.
Head coach Matt LaFleur wants to emulate a San Francisco 49ers offense, with a lot of zone concepts and a commitment to running the football effectively. In that type of scheme, it’s imperative to have linemen who are comfortable and effective on the move.
Hanson is that type of player, who gets out of his stance quickly and creates space with good reach block ability and requisite strength to displace defenders. He needs some work in pass protection, so having a year to grow and develop in the pros is huge.
The growth will be important, but the tools and potential are there. Don’t be shocked if Hanson is the guy at center in 2021.