I think most Green Bay Packers fans can feel good about our draft haul from the 2022 NFL Draft last weekend. This year the Packers had quite a few draft picks this year, including two in the first round so I was particularly interested to see what we would do. Most importantly we didn’t draft another quarterback, thank god.
Although I’m joking about the time the Packers seemingly randomly drafted Jordan Love in the 2020 Draft, I’m glad we didn’t do anything that was too out of left field. Like most Packer fans I did expect us to draft a wide receiver with our 22nd pick, specifically I was thinking Treylon Burks from Arkansas would be great.
However that did not happen and although disappointing initially I’m really glad we didn’t try to reach for a wide receiver once our pick rolled around. It would’ve been a waste of a pick if we had taken someone who was clearly 2nd round material, in the first round. Six wide receivers were drafted in the first round, with four of them being selected in the space of five picks.
Our two first rounders can make an immediate impact on our defense. Quay Walker, a 6-foot-4 and 241 pound linebacker can be a day one starter. All-Pro linebacker De’vondre Campbell needed more help, as Krys Barnes was not enough. Devonte Wyatt, who is 6-foot-3 and 304 pounds can finally provide Kenny Clark with more help. Both of these players should be able to start right away and have the size and strength that the Packers look for.
If we have to rely on our defense a little bit more next year, I’m fine with that as there is a saying that defenses win championships. Also, remember when the Denver Broncos won the 2016 Super Bowl, the defense was literally dragging Peyton Manning across the finish line. Manning seemed to hit a wall and it became clear he needed to retire after that season. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t hit the proverbial quarterback cliff yet, so our playoff aspirations are still quite strong.
Should we have moved in the draft for a wide receiver, I’m not sure honestly. Right now I say no we shouldn’t have, but it all depends on how well our two first rounders perform in the next few years. It is important to note that most receivers and just players in the first round often don’t live up to the expectations, something fellow packers fans and twitter don’t seem to understand.
The NFL draft is kind of a crapshoot of who you think will be successful. I mean look at Tom Brady who was drafted in the sixth round at the 199th pick, and has gone on to be the most successful player and potentially the best player in NFL history, as much as it pains me to say.
Now, if the Packers hadn’t gotten a wide receiver in the second round, my feelings on this year’s draft would have been quite different. The Packers moved up in the second round to No. 34 overall and sent Nos. 53 and 59 to the Minnesota Vikings. Once this aggressive move up happened it was pretty clear that the team was going after a receiver. I personally wanted Christian Watson, who we did draft, so I was really happy with this.
Watson has the athleticism that the Packers and GM Brian Gutekunst often look for. He is 6-foot-4 and 208-pound with 4.36 40-yard dash speed. He can take the top off of defenses taking pressure off the run game, which will be important next year. He is a deep threat with big play ability and keeps defenses honest. He does need to work on being more consistent with his hands and expanding his route tree, but I think playing with the reigning back-to-back NFL MVP will help. Unlike other receivers that were drafted in the first round, Watson is getting to play with a hall-of-famer in Aaron Rodgers and an established, stable NFL organization.
For me I think this year’s draft was incredibly successful as it filled positions we needed. Just based on this I’m pleased with how things played out. We gained more depth in the wide receiver room, which was desperately needed, and on the offensive line with two players that can play multiple positions on the line. The team also got a few players that can help out in special teams, which was one of the worst in the league last year and screwed us in the playoffs. Our defense improved and is looking like it could be one of the better squads next year. Things are promising, but every sports fans knows every year is different and every season plays out differently than you’d expect.
Pick No. 22 Linebacker Quay Walker, Georgia
Pick No. 28 Defensive Tackle Devonte Wyatt, Georgia
Pick No. 34 Wide Receiver Christian Watson, North Dakota State
Pick No. 92 Offensive Tackle Sean Rhyan, UCLA
Pick No. 132 Wide Receiver Romeo Doubs
Pick No. 140 Guard Zach Tom, Wake Forest
Pick No. 179 Edge Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
Pick No. 228 Linebacker Tariq Carpenter, Georgia Tech
Pick No. 234 Defensive Tackle Jonathan Ford, Miami
Pick No. 249 Offensive Tackle Rasheed Walker, Penn State
Pick No. 258 Wide Receiver Samori Toure, Nebraska