Mayer is more Gronk than Kelce but that's not a bad thing. And in Green Bay he'll get plenty of chances, whether it's with Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, or the QB behind Door No. 3. WR also makes sense here but, well, the Packers last drafted a WR in the first round 21 years ago.
The Packers and Aaron Rodgers need to go separate ways, which means that it is the Jordan Love show. With that being the case, the front office understands that they need to surround Love with as many weapons as possible. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the perfect pairing with the young, explosive vertical threats that the Packers drafted last year.
Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are coming off productive rookie seasons, and Mayer would give Aaron Rodgers (or Jordan Love) another weapon in the passing game. Mayer has an all-around skill set with the ability to play in-line and was the focal point of Notre Dame's passing offense, leading the team in receiving three years in a row.
Forget about a difference maker at tight end or a safety, both needs that must also be addressed. If Green Bay's offensive line doesn't improve, nothing else matters. Yes, the franchise has done well in later rounds with offensive linemen — and the Packers last drafted an offensive lineman in the first round in 2011 — but picking this early gives the Packers a shot at landing a stud tackle for years to come. Injuries to David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins have made it clear just how irreplaceable elite linemen are. Regardless of who the quarterback is, the Packers can't miss on an opportunity to invest in 2024 and beyond by taking Skoronski, who could also turn out to be a reliable guard.
We project a pass-catcher to the Packers in Round 1 year in and year out, and every time the first round rolls around, they go another direction. In fact, Green Bay hasn't drafted a pass-catcher on Day 1 since it took Javon Walker in 2002. But after missing the playoffs and potentially losing Allen Lazard and Robert Tonyan to free agency, the Packers' hand might be forced in 2023 -- no matter who is under center. Mayer has a huge catch radius and is a bulldozer after the catch, hauling in 67 balls for 809 yards and nine scores last season. He might be the safest prospect in the entire class thanks to an all-around skill set, and he'd be an instant-impact player for Green Bay.
The further we get outside of the top-10, the harder it will be to pass on Mayer. The Irish pipeline at tight end to the NFL continues to flourish. Mayer isn't as explosive as Kyle Pitts, but his receiving acumen, size (6-foot-4, 265 pounds) and toughness put him just a tick below Pitts as a prospect. Both Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis will be free agents.
Smith-Njigba is just as talented as the three former Ohio State receivers -- Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jameson Williams -- picked in the top 12 last year. (Williams, of course, played his final year at Alabama.) He has excellent hands and quickness/strength after the catch. If his troublesome hamstring is fully healed, I expect teams to place a high value on him. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the Packers moved up to grab JSN, or one of the top tight ends, to aid whoever their quarterback might be in 2023.