The 2022 NFL Draft is now in the books. For Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst and his staff, it was a busy one. The Packers made 11 selections altogether. Out of the 11, five of those picks were on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, the Packers selected three offensive linemen, helping bolster an already exceptional unit. The big news, to the delight of many Packers fans, Gutekunst selected three wide receivers. New special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia should be delighted with what Gutekunst did. Two of the 11 selections should help improve the lowly Packers special teams unit right away. Today, we break down the 2022 Green Bay Packers draft class.
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Reviewing the 2022 Green Bay Packers Draft Class
The biggest theme that came from the Green Bay Packers draft class was the selection of upper echelon athletes. Not only are the players’ outstanding college football players, but most scaled well on the RAS scale. That shouldn’t surprise many. Gutekunst and his scouting staff have put an emphasis on players who have high RAS numbers. That continued with this year’s Green Bay Packers draft class.
Here is a list and a breakdown of each player that makes up the 2022 Green Bay Packers draft class.
First Round, 22nd Overall, Quay Walker, Georgia, Inside Linebacker
With all of the top wide receivers off the board, Gutekunst focused on bolstering the Green Bay Packers defense. The University of Georgia had one of the best defenses in college football last season. So, selecting a member of that defense shouldn’t only help the defense, but make it faster.
Quay Walker should be the starter opposite of De’Vondre Campbell when the 2022 NFL season kicks off. Walker has a very comparable size and skills to Campbell. With 4.52 speed and standing 6’3″ and weighing 241 pounds, Walker has everything you are looking for in an NFL inside linebacker. Packers fans should be delighted that Gutekunst is finally starting to respect the inside linebacker position. Many, including one Packers podcaster, believe that the inside linebacker position isn’t important at the NFL level. But with what Campbell did in 2021, that theory has proven to be wrong and honestly, quite stupid. With Walker in the fold, it will also push Krys Barnes, a starter last season, to the number three inside linebacker position. It should also allow him to focus on contributing to special teams.
First Round, 28th Overall, Devonte Wyatt, Georgia, Defensive Line
The Green Bay Packers defensive line was one area that was highlighted before the draft that the Packers could’ve addressed. Gutekunst addressed it early. Devonte Wyatt, another Georgia standout, brings the necessary athletic ability to play alongside standout Kenny Clark. For a player of Wyatt’s size, he has eye-popping athletic ability and a great burst off the line.
Wyatt slipped down the first round because of some character questions. Gutekunst selecting him does have some risk. But if Wyatt can prove he can be a good person in society, and continue to develop, he could be what the Packers have been missing next to Clark.
Second Round, 34th Overall, Christian Watson, North Dakota State, Wide Receiver
The Packers drafted a wide receiver! Not only did Gutekunst select a wide receiver, but they traded up to do so. Christian Watson has all the attributes to become a playmaking NFL wide receiver. He is big and has outstanding speed. Still, for those that believe he will be an instant star and possibly the Packers number one wide receiver they might want to dial back their expectations.
Watson was a late bloomer, the reason he ended up at North Dakota State. He is very raw as a pass catcher and route runner. Aaron Rodgers expects perfection from his wide receivers. There isn’t much doubt that Watson will feel the wrath of Rodgers in his rookie wide receiver at some point. Still, Watson has the ability, it will be up to wide receivers coach Jason Vrable, who doesn’t have a track record of developing young wide receivers, to mold Watson. Watson could be a candidate to be the Packers opening day kickoff returner, something he did at North Dakota State.
Third Round, 92nd Overall, Sean Rhyan, UCLA, Offensive Line
Since Gutekunst hired director-football operations Milt Hendrickson, the Packers have put emphasis on selecting offensive linemen. Hendrickson should get a lot of credit for this, it has made the Green Bay Packers offensive line one of the deepest in the NFL. The selection of Sean Rhyan seems to have Hendrickson’s fingerprints all over it. Rhyan was an undersized tackle at UCLA but still performed well. It appears the Packers will convert him to guard, but that isn’t a surprise. In years past, the Packers have selected college offensive tackles and converted them to other positions. It appears that they might have over drafted Rhyan, but he fits what they look for out of an offensive lineman.
Fourth Round, 132nd Overall, Romeo Doubs, Nevada, Wide Receiver
Romeo Doubs is the second wide receiver of the Green Bay Packers draft class. Doubs was a very productive receiver playing in Nevada’s spread offense. He had back-to-back 1,000 yards receiving seasons with Nevada. He has good size, 6’1″ weighing 201 pounds, and is an underrated athlete. It might take him some time to develop as a receiver, but he could contribute right away on special teams. He returned 39 punts at Nevada and returned one of them for a touchdown. The Packers are in dire need of a punt returner after Amari Rodgers failed so badly at it last season.
Fourth Round, 140th Overall, Zach Tom, Wake Forest, Offensive Line
Zach Tom might turn out to be a pleasant surprise out of this year’s Green Bay Packers draft class. Tom is everything the Packers look for in a player. He has the ability to play several positions, he played center and left tackle at Wake Forest, and he is a very good athlete. Tom posted a 9.92 RAS, which probably drew Gutekunst to him. While Rhyan is the higher pick out of the two, it wouldn’t be surprising if Tom turned out to be the better NFL offensive lineman. Last season, rookie Royce Newman started at right guard. But an early prediction, Tom will surpass him to be the Packers opening day starting right guard.
Fifth Round, 159th Overall, Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina, EDGE Pass Rusher
With Za’Darius Smith leaving, the Packers are in need of depth behind Rashan Gary and Preston Smith. Kingsley Enagbare is an interesting prospect. He has long arms and is big, and was productive last season for the Gamecocks. He posted ten and a half sacks, along with 14 tackles for loss. Surprisingly, Enabare isn’t an exceptional athlete. He only has a 6.26 RAS, which makes him a rarity since Gutekunst looks for players with high RAS. But even with the low RAS, he displayed the ability to rush the passer and could develop into a solid backup.
Seventh Round, 228th Overall, Tariq Carpenter, Georgia Tech, Safety/Inside Linebacker
Tariq Carpenter started 41 games at safety at Georgia Tech. The Packers are expected to shift him to inside linebacker and have him play the nickel linebacker spot. But in all honesty, Carpenter was selected to play special teams. He was a standout special teams player at Georgia Tech and should play a major part in trying to turn around the Packers special teams.
Seventh Round, 234th Overall, Jonathan Ford, Miami, Defensive Tackle
There seems to be one reason that Jonathan Ford was selected, which is his size. Ford is a massive man, standing 6’5″ and weighing over 333 pounds. He played nose tackle for the Hurricanes but had very little production. Along with his lack of production, he had a very low RAS, 3.53. With TJ Slaton playing behind Clark, it is difficult to envision Ford making the roster or even the Packers practice squad. Out of all of the members of the Green Bay Packers draft class, the selection of Ford seems like the weakest, even in the seventh round.
Seventh Round, 249th Overall, Rasheed Walker, Penn State, Offensive Tackle
With an aging quarterback, Gutekunst and Hendrickson have put an emphasis on making sure they have players that can protect him. Rasheed Walker was expected to be selected in the fourth or fifth round. For the Packers to get him in the seventh is quite the steal. Walker was a standout at Penn State, playing primarily at left tackle. He isn’t an exceptional athlete, but he isn’t afraid to mix it up. He is a developmental prospect but he has the potential to become a swing tackle in the NFL.
Seventh Round, 258th Overall, Samori Toure, Nebraska, Wide Receiver
While Gutekunst should still sign a veteran wide receiver, he did make sure to bring in young wide receiver talent through the draft. The Packers lack of depth at wide receiver should help Samori Toure’s chances of making next year’s roster. In his one season at Nebraska, he caught 46 passes for 898 yards with five touchdown catches. He did that by having to play with horrible quarterback play. Prior to transferring to Nebraska, Toure played at the University of Montana. In his last season at Montana, he caught 87 passes for 1,495 with 13 touchdown receptions.
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