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Redrafting the 2022 Packers Draft Class

Usually, people in the media like to take a look back at NFL Draft classes from previous years and do a redraft. Of course, hindsight being 20/20 makes the puzzle much easier to put together. For this article, it’s like we’re dumping all of our Scrabble tiles into the bag and trying again, because we don’t have a damn vowel. We will redraft the 2022 Green Bay Packers draft class, only picking players that were selected after where the Packers had draft picks.

So, we can’t say we would have traded up or back. That’s lame. We’re making selections exactly where the Packers draft picks were. No, we’re not going to trade up in the second round. We will use both of our second-round picks, as Jesus would have wanted.

Here is a redraft of the 2022 Green Bay Packers draft class. But first, let’s remember who the Packers took.

2022 Green Bay Packers Draft Class

1, 22Quay Walker, LBGeorgia
1, 28Devonte Wyatt, DLGeorgia
2, 34Christian Watson, WRNorth Dakota St.
3, 92Sean Rhyan, OLUCLA
4, 132Romeo Doubs, WRNevada
4, 140Zach Tom, OLWake Forest
5, 179Kingsley Enagbare, EDGESouth Carolina
7, 228Tariq Carpenter, LB/DBGeorgia Tech
7, 234Jonathan Ford, DTMiami
7, 249Rasheed Walker, OTPenn State
7, 258Samori Toure, WRNebraska

This may be Brian Gutekunst’s best draft yet. However, with this being the deepest draft class in NFL history, many teams had one of their best draft classes. The theme for Gute was to take projects. His players likely won’t be great this season, but they have a chance to become very good players once Aaron Rodgers is gone.

For me, there will obviously be some projects or picks for the future. However, my emphasis is to pick players to help the Packers win now. The Super Bowl door is nearly closed, so we must do what we can to take advantage of the current opening we have.

Redrafting the 2022 Packers Draft Class

For a reminder, here were the Green Bay Packers draft picks heading into the draft.

122via LV
253via LV
7228via CHI through HOU

Round 1, Pick 22: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State

Man, there are going to be a lot of teams disappointed that they passed on Jermaine Johnson II. While Green Bay got a good defensive player in the first round and a linebacker who has potential, the Packers will likely be wishing he was on their team.

One of the reasons why Johnson fell is because he’s an older prospect. However, the Packers need pro-ready players ready to help them win a Super Bowl within the next two seasons, and Johnson is that. I also view him as more of a defensive end than an edge rusher, if that makes sense, which is a reason why some teams would think he doesn’t fit their system.

Still, he has the instincts and moves to win as a pass rusher. He is also great against the run, either sealing the edge or making plays in the backfield. Johnson led the conference in both tackles for loss (18) and sacks (12).

Johnson is an every-down, all-around type of player. That doesn’t mean you have to play him every down his rookie year. It’s easy to see where he would be an upgrade over Preston Smith in some packages, and he’d be better than Rashan Gary in some others.

When the Packers are giving up long runs this season, they’ll be wishing they had Johnson and a linebacker I took later on.

George Pickens Draft Profile: Stats, Highlights and 2022 NFL Draft Projection
Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Round 1, Pick 28: George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Those who know me and have followed my pre-draft coverage will be surprised with me having George Pickens here. However, I want the Packers to be aggressive and I want them to win a Super Bowl. They need a wide receiver that is capable of producing as a true number one in 2022. Pickens is the boom-or-bust pick that makes sense.

Anyone who worked with or played against Pickens in college says this guy is legit. He was clearly a top prospect at the wide receiver position. However, an ACL injury this past season has a discount sticker on his forehead, luckily.

He’s a true X, is a long, tall athlete, has deep speed and is aggressive at the catch point. Pickens is a willing blocker as well, which is needed for the Packers’ system. He can be used all over the formation, and he works back to the ball at all three levels. Simply, he has success and experience doing the things we have never seen Christian Watson even attempt. He could be a top player in this draft, or he could continue sliding because of the injury. I would put money on the former.

Round 2, Pick 53: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

It’s possible Christian Watson falls here, since he was certainly overdrafted at No. 34 and was projected as a second-third round talented by most, including me. There’s even a chance the Green Bay Packers draft Quay Walker here, in all honesty. But, since we don’t know those things for sure, we will draft someone else.

We’re using our first second-round pick on the best tight end in the draft and an immediate upgrade for the offense. Trey McBride has the potential to be a very good, versatile tight end for the Packers for a really long time. He thrived in a run-focused offense, not only as a premier receiver but he did alright as a blocker as well. McBride has great hands, tremendous ball security, he’s mobile, can run routes and he has a high football IQ.

With the Packers’ offensive scheme, it’s easy to see weeks where he could be the focal point.

Round 2, Pick 59: Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming

You can switch this to Leo Chenal if you’re a Wisconsin fan that wants to keep him home, since I believe both will be good linebackers in the NFL. I went with Chad Muma since there are no weak points in his game.

He is an elite tackler, diagnosing and finishing plays with ease. His anticipatory skills are off the charts, which is what Quay Walker is missing. Muma has a nose for the football, slips blockers and is ultra-competitive. He was also a stud on special teams in college and would be a massive help to the Packers’ kickoff unit.

Round 3, Pick 92: Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana

The Packers opted to draft an offensive guard with the thought of sliding Elgton Jenkins out to tackle. I will do the opposite since I believe Max Mitchell is the more talented prospect.

His pass sets are a thing of beauty, showing perfect fundamentals. He’s a big 6-6 tackle, but Mitchell always seems to be under control. Mitchell also has good bend and manages to get leverage despite his size. His only knock is that he could put on more weight and strength, but that happens naturally when you live in Wisconsin. Get him a brat and a Spotted Cow.

Calvin Austin III Draft Profile: Stats, Highlights and 2022 NFL Draft Projection
Credit: Joe Rondone/USA TODAY Sports

Round 4, Pick 132: Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis

I like Romeo Doubs, but I think he has a big adjustment to playing well in the NFL on offense. He struggled with tight coverage at Nevada, and the NFL is quite the step up. Doubs is an improvement at punt returner, but switching the pick to Calvin Austin III gives the Packers an even better punt returner and a versatile offensive weapon.

Austin has 4.32-second speed while also being shifty. He has good hands, runs with balance against physical defenders, and he’s a solid route-runner. Austin has back-to-back seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and a punt return touchdown. He also has 20 combined receiving and rushing touchdowns in the past two seasons.

This is the type of player to take an offense to the next level because his talent demands you to get creative. The fact that he’s a great returner is just a bonus.

Round 4, Pick 140: Zach Tom, OL, Wake Forest

This is a pick the Packers made, and I love it. Zach Tom won’t be contributing to anything this season, hopefully, but he has the potential to convert into one of the better guards in the NFL.

Tom may be the most athletic offensive lineman in the 2022 NFL Draft. He started at left take for Wake Forest, but his lack of length leads to him being more successful inside. Still, he has the speed and footwork to be an absolute problem for defenses in outside zones and screens. I can already see Austin catching a middle screen and Tom leading the way downfield in a couple of seasons.

Round 5, Pick 171: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

Kingsley “JJ” Enagbare shouldn’t have fallen to the fifth round. So, much like what the Packers actually did in the fifth, we have to take him here. He’s a broad, strong player who should bring a nice punch at the point of attack. Enagbare isn’t a special athlete, but he is smart in how he sets up offensive linemen.

While he had his inconsistencies in college against the run, he has the strength and football IQ to thrive in this area with the right coaching. Drafting him as the second edge rusher gives the Packers the ability to develop him his rookie year without throwing him into the fire. He has a significant role on the Packers in the future, but he is only a rotational piece if the Packers suffer injuries for now, with my Packers draft class.

Round 7, Pick 228: Tariq Carpenter, LB/DB, Georgia Tech

I’m a sucker for a feel-good story, sue me. There are better players on the board than Tariq Carpenter, but we’ll make the same Packers draft pick as reality. After being drafted, Carpenter posted a childhood picture on Twitter of him in a Packers Super Bowl champion tee, saying this has always been a dream of his. With my revised Green Bay Packers draft class, it’s possible we get him a new Packers Super Bowl champion tee.

Carpenter is a versatile player, with him being capable of lining up all over the defense. Most importantly, he has the physical tools and the right mindset to be a strong special teams contributor for the Packers.

Round 7, Pick 249: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

We saw Justyn Ross go undrafted, but we’re not letting him slip to free agency and letting him pick where he wants to go. Instead, we’re drafting him in the seventh.

Ross was once considered a future first-round prospect. His college production peaked his freshman year, totaling 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. However, injury issues began to stack, costing him a 2020 season. He totaled 514 yards last season in a sub-par Clemson offense.

This is a kid who is an obvious injury risk. However, the Packers would only be investing a seventh-round pick in him. Clearly, he has something to prove. Draft him, put him on the practice squad and see if he can reach his once-projected potential. It’s a no-risk, high-reward pick.

Round 7, Pick 258: Abram Smith, RB, Baylor

Abram Smith has the makings to be a special teams MVP. At Baylor, Smith once played linebacker. Two years ago, he totaled 48 tackles. Last year, he totaled 1,600 rushing yards. The kid loves contact, and he is going to be a monster on kickoff team.

Having a player with experience on both sides of the football also gives the Packers someone who could step in and contribute on either side, if there is an extreme emergency. However, this is mostly a special teams pick.

Packers Draft Class: UDFAs

Obviously, these players get to pick where they want to go, so we likely wouldn’t get them all. However, here are some of the undrafted free agents I would’ve pursued after the Packers draft class was finished.

Jack Sanborn, LB, Wisconsin

Noah Elliss, DL, Idaho

Kellen Diesch, OT, Arizona State

Dai’Jean Dixon, WR, Nicholls State

Jaivon Heiligh, WR, Coastal Carolina

Deven Thompkins, WR, Utah State

Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M

Jason Poe, G, Mercer

JoJo Domann, LB, Nebraska

Darien Butler, LB, Arizona State

Ryan Stonehouse, P, Colorado State

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