The NFL Draft is over. The Green Bay Packers have their class all set. Here are some of my superlatives for the draft class.
The Green Bay Packers have finished off their draft class. They entered the weekend with two picks in each of the first two rounds. They left with three players.
There was no first-round wide receiver, so that narrative will live on in 2023.
They were, however, able to snag two players on the first day that should contribute significantly to the 2022 defense.
Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt represent the second and third consecutive Georgia Bulldogs the Packers have taken in the first-round in the last two years.
If you’re going to build an elite defense, Georgia is a really good place to start.
Here’s a fun exercise with some superlatives for the draft class of the Green Bay Packers with some analysis as to why.
Best Pick: Sean Rhyan OL
Analysis: Rhyan is a plug-and-play offensive lineman.
He might have been a top-50 player in this draft class, and the team flat stole him at 92.
There is some (albeit misguided) concern that Rhyan was a third-round pick. That is, however, based in failed thinking.
The Packers’ past in the third-round will have no bearing on Rhyan’s career.
The Green Bay Packers said that Rhyan will be given a chance to play tackle, the bet here, however, is that he becomes the team’s starting right guard.
There is a lot of time between now and when Elgton Jenkins will theoretically be healthy.
If he is, however, an offensive line left-to-right of
is one that should have Packers’ fans very excited.
That doesn’t include experienced guys like Royce Newman and Yosh Njiman as primary backups in the above scenario.
The Green Bay Packers have taken three offensive linemen in each of the last three drafts now. This a deep, talented group that should keep the league MVP well protected.
Most pressure on: Christian Watson
Analysis: Maybe this isn’t fair, but it’s true. Christian Watson represents the biggest investment the Packers have made in a skill position player since the man he’s theoretically replacing, Davante Adams.
Not only is the above true, but the Packers traded two second-round picks to move up to select Watson. That’s a significant investment.
Fans and media pundits alike are going to have high expectations for them.
The guess here is that he’s going to surpass the 38 reception mark, which is the highest total for any rookie playing with Aaron Rodgers.
That being said, it would be a shock if Watson led the team in receiving yards.
He’s an exciting player. There are others I would have taken in that spot (George Pickens, Alec Pierce, John Metchie III, just to name a few).
But, as we’ve noted before, even if it’s been a long time since they’ve picked one, if the Packers have picked a receiver on Day 2 it has typically worked out.
Sleeper: Kingsley Engabare
Analysis: Engabare was a third-round pick on a lot of big boards. There were even times during this process he was considered to be a top-50 selection.
Green Bay got him in the 5th round.
He’s not the athlete that the Packers typically like with their draft picks, but he is an absolute technician.
ENAGBARE MEGATHREAD STARTS HERE:
This dude is such a fun player. I have no idea how he fell to the 5th round. He constantly finds ways to disrupt the passing game, and put some very nice play vs the run on film. (Cont.)
— Sam Holman (@Sam_DHolman) May 1, 2022
Sam does an excellent job of breaking down Engabare’s skillset above. Don’t be surprised if he becomes the team’s third edge rusher.
Favorite pick: Zach Tom OL
Analysis: There are simple rules in life. If the Green Bay Packers take a receiver on Day 2 or an offensive lineman on early Day 3, he’s good.
I say that somewhat tongue in cheek, but it has worked out for them for a long period of time to where it seems they know something that others simply don’t.
Josh Sitton, David Bakhtiari, and TJ Lang were all Day 3 picks. They were all Pro Bowl or All-Pro level players during their time in Green Bay.
Tom may not be able to reach those lofty goals, but he looks like another solid player to inject some talent into the offensive line room.
Tom played left tackle in college, but is likely to kick inside to guard. When he was selected, he was listed as a center. That’s a position that needs an insurance policy considering Josh Myers’ lengthy injury history.
Hard to argue with adding another offensive lineman in that spot.
Day 3 contributor: Romeo Doubs
Analysis: There are a lot of candidates in this spot. The Packers had as good a Day 3 as I can ever remember for them.
That said, I think Doubs is the guy that has the clearest path to being a contributor. If nothing else, he should be one of the favorites to become the team’s primary kickoff and punt returner. That’s a position that has needed an injection of talent for quite some time.
Gone are the days of Malik Taylor returning kickoffs. That’s a positive for everyone involved.
Doubs can also be in the competition as the primary punt returner. That’s a position that Amari Rodgers struggled mightily to take command of last year.
If Doubs can take control of that, Rodgers can focus more on offense.
Anything Doubs can give on offense is an added bonus if be takes hold of those positions. He does add some skills to that part of the game as well.
Doubs could be this team’s speed threat to help replace MVS.
There are other guys in this draft class on Day 3 that can contribute, but right now the smart money appears to be on Doubs.
Head Scratcher: Quay Walker
Analysis: Walker is one hell of an athlete. He fits the vision that Brian Gutekunst described for his defense to be able to play two linebackers more often.
It was just a head-scratcher because it just isn’t something they’ve done. For all the talk about the Packers not taking a receiver in the first-round since 2002, they hadn’t taken an off-ball linebacker that early since 2005 when they selected AJ Hawk.
That’s not for a lack of need either. There were years where the Packers gave significant snaps to Jamari Lattimore, Brad Jones and Nate Palmer. With all due respect to those guys, none of them are beating down the door for Canton, Ohio anytime soon.
The Packers not only made a significant investment at linebacker, they made two.
Walker might fundamentally change the way this team has played defense for the last decade. Gone are the days of safeties and replacement level linebackers.
The Packers are aiming to have two studs in the middle of the field.
It makes sense now, I just couldn’t believe it at the time of the selection.
Wishing for: An earlier EDGE
Analysis: This might seem a little nitpicky because I did like the Engabare pick on Day 3. That being said, pass rushers are typically most effective if you find them early in the draft. When Green Bay took Quay Walker, they had Jermaine Johnson and George Karlaftis both available to them. They took neither, and ended up not taking an EDGE until day 3.
Some of that was due to having less ammo with trading up for Christian Watson, but they also had their chances to take some guys at the top of the class. They chose not to. Now they’ll need Engabare or Jonathan Garvin to step up as this year’s EDGE 3 barring a late veteran addition.