Packers Eye NFL Draft To Restock At WR

March 31, 2022
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The Davante Adams trade created an obvious major need at wide receiver for the Packers. Outside of Adams, Green Bay has not been able to identify any other reliable targets for Aaron Rodgers for several seasons. Dealing Adams away only seemed to make a regularly shaky position even weaker. 

There are no major free agents that can effectively replace Adams in one stroke, yet there is always the potential of another trade. The Adams deal does give the Packers an extra first-round pick late in the first round. Green Bay now has No. 22 and 28 overall and some added flexibility. 

Mocking The Early Rounds For The Green Bay Packers

Early Focus On WR, Offensive Line, And Edge Rusher

The Packers have four picks in the first two rounds, as they also own the No. 53 overall selection from Las Vegas and the 59th overall pick, which is their original selection in the second round. Green Bay now has ammunition for another potential trade or could look to fill their needs for Rodgers with at least two of the early selections. 

Likely, Rodgers does not want to go from Adams to relying on Allen Lazard and a pair of first-year wideouts as deep and impressive as this year’s WR class. There are also other areas of need to address, such as offensive tackle. The Packers’ defense certainly looks sturdy, but the main areas of concern seem to be getting playmakers for Rodgers, adding to the offensive line, and further strengthening the pass rush. 

The updated 2022 NFL Mock Draft at The Game Day has the Packers taking Ohio State WR Chris Olave with their first selection at No. 22 overall. Olave impressed at the NFL Scouting Combine and marked himself as a surefire first-rounder. He is a package of speed and smoothness, and he has drawn comparisons to Calvin Ridley and Terry McLaurin.

In recent years, we have seen several rookie receivers become instant impact performers at the pro level. Olave seems like a natural fit to become a quickly effective option for Rodgers, even if another veteran is acquired prior to the NFL Draft. After he raised his appeal at the combine, we will also have to see if Olave falls as far as 22nd overall. 

Regardless, the Packers seem set to address their glaring need at wide receiver with one of their two picks in the first round, likely with the 22nd overall selection. The Game Day’s mock also has Arkansas’ Treylon Burks and USC’s Drake London still being available when Green Bay gets ready to make their first pick. 

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks has the Packers going for North Dakota State’s Christian Watson with the second of the team’s first-rounders at No. 28. Watson also makes sense as a size/speed type. Brooks has Green Bay tabbing Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann at No. 22. There is an apparent need at right tackle after Billy Turner was released. 

There have also been speculative observations from NFL Draft experts that the Packers could use an early pick to land an EDGE rusher after parting ways with Zadarius Smith. Green Bay could also consider targeting a pass-catching tight end at some point, but that seems unlikely to happen in the first two rounds. 

The Green Bay Packers’ Plans After The Adams Trade

Defense is certainly going to be a major strength of the Packers again in 2022, and adding Jarran Reed can only further strengthen the defensive front. The hope was, entering the offseason, that the Packers would be able to retain Rodgers and Adams, but that did not come to pass. But because of the blockbuster trade, the Packers are now better positioned to fill some other needs through the NFL Draft potentially. 

Losing Adams certainly hurts, and he undoubtedly helped the team make some deep playoff runs over the past few seasons. But getting the franchise quarterback back in the mix was more important than retaining the superstar wide receiver. Losing Rodgers could have set the franchise back significantly, so we wouldn’t know if they could contend again soon. 

The Packers may not be able to replace Adams with another high-level standout at WR in the short term. Still, they can replenish the wide receiver crew with another move to land a veteran and now can look to the NFL Draft to further strengthen the position. Many Packer fans and NFL observers need to remember that the team likely has a quality plan to address the WR needs going forward and that the pass-catching crew will look different after the draft than it does now.

Aaron Rodgers might be back by next January, making another bid to get to his second Super Bowl and firm up his legacy. He could be doing so with an outstanding rookie WR, as Joe Burrow did this past season. If the Packers get to that point, the team’s current state without Adams won’t be looked on with significant skepticism anymore. 

The Packers stand firm in their quest to get another Super Bowl ring for Rodgers. It is a continuing process and one that will progress through the end of April and possibly beyond. How the team looks today is not what the outlook could be many weeks and months from now.