GREEN BAY, Wis. – For a team coming off an unprecedented three consecutive 13-win seasons, the Green Bay Packers entered the 2022 NFL Draft with a considerable number of needs.
There was the immediate need at receiver following the trade of Davante Adams. There was the immediate need on the offensive line following the release of Billy Turner and the free-agent departure of Lucas Patrick. There was the immediate need at outside linebacker, with the backups to Preston Smith and Rashan Gary providing meager contributions last season.
There were depth issues at cornerback beyond the formidable starting trio of Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas and Eric Stokes, and at safety behind the starting tandem of Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos.
There were forward-thinking needs, too. At tight end, starters Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis will be free agents next offseason. On the defensive line, with Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed set to be free agents next offseason, there were only three players under contract in 2023.
General manager Brian Gutekunst took care of a few of those needs. At receiver, he traded both of his second-round picks, No. 53 and No. 59 overall, in a deal with Minnesota to take North Dakota State’s Christian Watson at No. 34. He added Nevada’s Romeo Doubs and Nebraska’s Samari Toure with Day 3 selections, making it three receivers to bolster the weakest position on the team.
For the third consecutive year, Gutekunst threw three picks at the offensive line. UCLA’s Sean Ryan, a third-round pick, was a three-year starter at left tackle but could move to guard. Wake Forest’s Zach Tom, a fourth-round pick, started at center as a sophomore and left tackle as a junior and senior. Penn State’s Rasheed Walker was a three-year starter at left tackle and has the measurables to stay at tackle.
At outside linebacker, he used a fifth-round pick on South Carolina’s Kingsley Enagbare. While a below-average athlete, he fits the team’s physical-first preference and had decent production (10.5 sacks, 14 tackles for losses in two seasons as a starter) in the best conference in college football.
On the defensive line, he used a first-round pick on athletic Devonte Wyatt of Georgia and a seventh-round pick on massive Jonathan Ford of Miami.
Using six of the team’s 11 picks on receivers and blockers was a logical approach, given the importance of those positions, but it left Gutekunst with limited resources elsewhere. In fact, the team’s other needs weren’t addressed.
Gutekunst didn’t draft a cornerback. Led by former All-Pro Alexander, the Packers might have the best starting corners in the NFL but there is no depth. Shemar Jean-Charles, a fifth-round pick last year, barely played as a rookie. Keisean Nixon, with 273 defensive snaps in three seasons with the Raiders, was mostly signed because of his experience with Rich Bisaccia on special teams. Last season, the Packers lucked into Douglas. Those types of signings are the exception, not the rule.
Gutekunst didn’t draft a tight end. In fact, he didn’t even sign one in undrafted free agency. Assuming Robert Tonyan returns to form once he returns from last season’s torn ACL, the Packers will have a strong fleet at the position for 2022. There just won’t be an obvious successor to the pass-catching Tonyan or the run-blocking Lewis.
Gutekunst did draft a safety, a seventh-round pick on Georgia Tech’s Tariq Carpenter. But he’s probably more of a safety/linebacker hybrid for specialty packages and a weapon on special teams – nothing wrong with those roles with the 228th selection – than a true safety and developmental starter with Adrian Amos entering his final season under contract.
“Thirty-two teams picked a bunch of players, so from here on out there’s going to be guys that might be available that weren’t available before,” Gutekunst said after the draft. “And, if they can help our football team, we’re certainly going to look at that. That’s part of the process, so all these guys we took we’re really excited about. None of them have played a snap of NFL football and, until we get them here and get them with our team and see what we really have, I think you’re always kind of unsure. But I do feel really good about our numbers, our roster.”
Introducing the Packers’ Undrafted Free Agents
RB B.J. Baylor, Oregon State
Measurables: 5-10, 202. 4.52 40.
Collegiate resume: Baylor redshirted in 2017 and was used sparingly the next three seasons before leading the Pac-12 with 1,337 rushing yards (5.9 average) in 2021. He scored 13 times in 2021 but had only 16 career receptions. Click here for more on Baylor.
RB Tyler Goodson, Iowa
Measurables: 5-9, 197. 4.42 40.
Collegiate resume: Goodson rushed for 2,551 yards and added 70 receptions in three seasons. He was first-team all-Big Ten in 2020, with 762 rushing yards in eight games, and added career highs of 1,151 rushing yards (4.5 average) and 31 receptions in 2021. Click here for more on Goodson.
C Cole Schneider, Central Florida
Measurables: 6-3 1/8, 309. 31 5/8 arms. 5.22 40.
Collegiate resume: Schneider was a four-year starter, with 46 starts at guard and one as a senior. According to Pro Football Focus, he did not allow a sack and was penalized three times as a senior. Among guards with 250 pass-protecting snaps, Schneider ranked No. 1 in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency, which measures sacks, hits and hurries per pass-protecting snap.
G George Moore, Oregon
Measurables: 6-5 3/4, 312. 33 7/8 arms. 5.25 40.
Collegiate resume: Moore spent two years in junior college before redshirting with the Ducks in 2017. After playing off the bench for two seasons, he started seven games at left tackle in 2020. As a sixth-year senior in 2021, he started six games at left tackle and seven at left guard. According to PFF, he allowed zero sacks in 2020 but six in 2021.
OT Jahmir Johnson, Texas A&M
Measurables: 6-4 3/8, 290. 33 7/8 arms. DNP testing.
Collegiate resume: A graduate transfer, Johnson started 11 games at left tackle for the Aggies in 2021. He started his career at Rhode Island in 2016 and Arizona Western in 2017 before spending three years at Tennessee. With the Vols, he started 11 games at left guard in 2018 and five games at left tackle in 2020. According to PFF, he allowed one sack but was penalized 10 times in 2021.
OT Caleb Jones, Indiana
Measurables: 6-8 7/8, 370. 36 arms. 5.59 40.
Collegiate resume: The enormous Jones was a three-year starter at the offensive tackle slots, including 12 games at right tackle as a senior. He allowed seven sacks, according to PFF.
WR Danny Davis, Wisconsin
Measurables: 6-0 3/8, 188. 4.59 40.
Collegiate resume: Davis caught 131 passes for 1,642 yards and 14 touchdowns during his Badgers career. As a senior, he caught 32 balls for 478 yards (14.9 average) and a pair of scores with just one drop, according to PFF.
DL Akial Byers, Missouri
Measurables: 6-2 3/4, 308. 34 arms. 5.66 40.
Collegiate resume: A full-time starter for the first time in 2021, Byers had 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for losses among his 23 total tackles during his super-senior season. He had nine tackles for losses in 52 career appearances. PFF credited him with 17 pressures but eight missed tackles.
DL Hauati Pututau, Utah
Measurables: 6-3 1/8, 306. 32 1/4 arms. 5.21 40.
Collegiate resume: Pututau started 12 times in 57 career games. During his super-senior season, he had three sacks and 4.5 TFLs among 18 stops in 14 games (eight starts). Two of his brothers play on the team. PFF credited him with 20 pressures but 10 missed tackles.
LB Caliph Brice, Florida Atlantic
Measurables: 6-1 1/2, 233. 4.50 40.
Collegiate resume: In nine games, Brice had 58 tackles, including 3.5 for losses. He broke up one pass and forced one fumble. A junior-college transfer, his only interception with FAU came in 2019. He missed nine tackles (14.8 percent), according to PFF.
LB Ellis Brooks, Penn State
Measurables: 6-1 3/8, 226. 4.77 40.
Collegiate resume: Brooks broke 100 tackles for the 2021 season (the 23rd player in school history) en route to second-team all-Big Ten and 200 for his career. During his final season, he missed 14 tackles (11.7 percent), according to PFF.
OLB Chauncey Manac, Louisiana
Measurables: 6-2 7/8, 246. 34 1/8 arms. 4.77 40.
Collegiate resume: Manac had a big-time super-senior season with 10.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for losses in 2021. Among edge rushers in this draft class, he ranked 41st with 40 pressures (only two fewer than Boye Mafe and David Ojabo).
CB Raleigh Texada, Baylor
Measurables: 5-10 1/4, 191. 4.40 40.
Collegiate resume: Texada started 37 games during his four seasons. He had one interception and three passes defensed in 2021. According to PFF, he gave up a 63.4 percent completion rate and three touchdowns and was guilty of five penalties. He missed a total of seven tackles the last three seasons.
S Tre Sterling, Oklahoma State
Measurables: 5-11 5/8, 205. 4.70 40
Collegiate resume: Sterling was an honorable mention on the all-Big 12 team as a sophomore and junior. He missed most of his senior season due to injury. In 40 games (22 starts), he finished with 161 tackles, including 22.5 for losses, three sacks and three interceptions. His career missed-tackle rate was 14.3 percent, according to PFF.
The Christian Watson Story
Get to know Green Bay Packers second-round pick Christian Watson through the eyes of the man who knows him best.
Former Packers safety Tim Watson.
The 2022 NFL Draft
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Father knows best: The Christian Watson story
Packers sign 14 undrafted free agents
Six takeaways from the Packers’ draft class
Final NFL Draft Grades
Elite 11: One fun fact about 11 draft picks
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No. 255: Nebraska WR Samori Toure
No. 249: Penn State OT Rasheed Walker
No. 234: Miami DT Jonathan Ford
No. 228: Georgia Tech S Tariq Carpenter
No. 179: South Carolina edge Kingsley Enagbare
No. 140: Wake Forest OL Zach Tom
No. 132: Nevada WR Romeo Doubs
Day 2 NFL Draft grades
Packers have picked four elite athletes
No. 92: UCLA OL Sean Rhyan
Great talent, great expectations, great challenges for Christian Watson
No. 34: North Dakota State WR Christian Watson
Comparing Christian Watson to other Day 2 options at receiver
Check out a bunch of Day 2 mock drafts
Day 2 mock drafts deliver receivers
First-round draft grades
Once again, no first-round receiver. So, who’s left?
Packers add a couple of bulldogs to the kennel
No. 28: Georgia DT Devonte Wyatt
No. 22: Georgia LB Quay Walker