A critical aspect of any sports team is identity. Team identity is the first step to team success. However, establishing an identity is one of the toughest aspects to master for any team.
Through this year’s NFL Draft, three teams established a new identity for this upcoming season.
Identity: Speed Dominates
The Broncos added speed to their offense in this year’s draft. With their first pick in the draft at No.15 overall they selected WR Jerry Jeudy out of Alabama. In the second round, the Broncos added WR K.J. Hamler out of Penn State and added TE Albert Okwuegbunam out of Missouri in the fourth round.
The additions of Jeudy, Hamler, and Okwuegbunam adds a new wave of speed to the offense. Here is a display of the Broncos speed on offense:
WR: Courtland Sutton (4.54-second 40-yard time), K.J. Hamler (4.28-second 40), and Jerry Jeudy (4.45-second 40)
TE: Noah Fant (4.50-second 40) and Albert Okwuegbunam
RB: Melvin Gordon (4.52-second 40) and Phillip Lindsay (4.39-second 40)
Drew Lock has a wide range of speed and athleticism in his arsenal for this upcoming season and the future. It appears that the Broncos are attempting to match the Chiefs speed and athleticism on offense to make it a shootout between the two this season. The Denver offense will use its speed to gain an advantage on every opponent they face.
Identity: Run Heavy Offense
The Lions used the draft to address the offensive line and add to the backfield.
On the offensive line, they drafted offensive guards, Jonah Jackson, and Logan Stenberg.
In the backfield, Detroit drafted RBs D’Andre Swift and Jason Huntley.
In the offseason, the Lions signed offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, giving the Lions three new lineman going into the 2020 season.
The backfield is loaded for the Lions as they add Huntley and Swift to Kerryon Johnson, Bo Scarborough, and Ty Johnson.
The Lions are going to be a run heavy team with Swift and Johnson leading the backfield and a revamped offensive line will help create holes in the running game.
The Lions did not draft a WR and that could be an issue for the future as Danny Amendola, Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones are all free agents after the 2020 season.
Expect a heavy run first offense for Patricia and the Lions this seasons as this year’s draft proved to be leaning towards the run game.
Green Bay Packers
Identity: Plan for the Future
The Packers came into the draft with a glaring need at WR. Instead of addressing the need at WR, the Packers traded up with the Dolphins to select QB Jordan Love. The Packers traded up in the first round to draft Aaron Rodgers’ replacement.
In the second round, Green Bay drafted RB A.J. Dillion. The Packers have Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams that are the dynamic duo out of the backfield.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, 35 wide receivers were selected. The Packers drafted zero wide receivers, which is their biggest need. Going into the draft, most mocks had them selecting WR Brandon Aiyuk out of Arizona State.
Jordan Love is the future for the Packers. With Rodgers under contract through the 2023 season, could a trade be coming for him?
Rodgers will be the starting QB for Green Bay for at least this season and probably the 2021 season. In the next couple seasons, Love will learn from Rodgers, but there is uncertainty with his future beyond the next season or two.
Through this year’s draft, the Packers are planning for the future without Rodgers and possibly Aaron Jones or Jamaal Williams.