Entering the 2022 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers are in an interesting situation. They have four picks in the first two rounds, with obvious holes that need to be filled. However, they are still considered a contending team, if they successfully find an answer for these Packers draft needs.
Given the projections for the 2022 NFL Draft prospects and where the Packers draft picks lie, we will likely see some movement on draft day. However, with a number of teams looking to trade back, especially in the first round, the Packers have a golden opportunity to fill their draft needs, set themselves up to contend and lockdown potential stars on cheap contracts for the next several years.
We have already posted our seven-round Green Bay Packers mock draft, which outlines draft targets and possible trades we could see on draft day. But before we give another updated mock draft, let’s go over the Green Bay Packers draft needs.
Green Bay Packers Draft Picks 2022
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Green Bay Packers Draft Needs
It’s obvious the top Green Bay Packers draft need is wide receiver. Yes, the Packers just signed Sammy Watkins, but he hasn’t played a full season since his rookie year and he saw less than half of the offensive snaps in the majority of the games he played last year. Aside from him, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are the only other wide receivers of note, and you could argue neither should be even a second option in a Super Bowl-contending offense.
Green Bay should be looking to land one of the top four wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft. Of course, that would require possibly trading up in the first round. Here is a list of the past three first-round wide receivers the Packers have drafted:
- Javon Walker (2002)
- Sterling Sharpe (1988)
- James Lofton (1978)
Yes, Aaron Rodgers can make a crappy receiving corps look good, as he has done most of his career, but the current wide receiver room is pathetic and it is undoubtedly their top need right now.
I list this as offensive line because the Packers have a little flexibility in what they do. There is a Packers draft need to get a starter on the offensive line. If they get a starting right tackle, Elgton Jenkins can play guard upon his return. If they draft a starting guard, then Jenkins could possibly slide out to tackle. Still, since the team needs depth at right tackle regardless, I believe that’s what they should target.
There are also some veterans at right tackle still available in free agency, including former Packer Bryan Bulaga. If someone like that is the plan, then the Packers could wait a little to address this position in the draft. But, again, with both Billy Turner and Dennis Kelly gone, the Packers need depth regardless.
You can never have enough edge rushers in today’s NFL. In the case of the Packers, while they did survive without Za’Darius Smith for the majority of last season, they could’ve used another rusher in the rotation, and a complementary skill set to Rashan Gary would be huge for the creativity and effectiveness of these stunts up front.
Drafting a speed rusher in the second or third round of the 2022 NFL Draft would immediately give the Packers something they don’t already have. On top of that, many of the players in this range are high-potential players who could use a bit of development. Green Bay feels the need to draft projects early every single season, and this would fill that need. If the edge rusher could be peaking at the time of Preston Smith’s contract running out, that would be the perfect situation.
There are other positions the Green Bay Packers could use depth at, but the larger need is to invest in special teams. Most teams have five or six core special teamers, while the Packers consistently cut special teams starters mid-week and think this portion of the game can simply be filled with players low on the depth chart elsewhere. This is shown by Equanimeous St. Brown being one of the best special teams players the Packers have had recently, which isn’t saying much, and they didn’t even bring him back.
There are some phenomenal cornerbacks and linebackers who have special teams experience and success in this draft. For example, Zyon McCollum from Sam Houston State. The third round is not too early to draft players for the special teams.
On top of that, when is the last time the Packers had a true kick returner? On average, the most yards are gained or lost on special teams plays during the game. Let’s win this battle instead of losing it year after year.