The anticipation and excitement of the annual NFL draft is only enhanced by the venue this year: Las Vegas.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has 11 draft picks at his disposal and four selections—at least pre-draft—in the top 60. Don’t be surprised to see Gutekunst wheel and deal to move up and snare one of the elite receivers in tonight’s first round, which I think will experience significant trade activity that will wreck the experts’ mock draft versions.
The only sure thing in my book: the top overall pick is Michigan’s game-altering edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson.
The run on this talented group of receivers begins in earnest after Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson and USC’s Drake London are off the board by the 10th pick. Green Bay will be vying for Alabama’s Jameson Williams, Buckeye Chris Olave, and Arkansas’ Treylon Burks. The best fit for Matt LaFleur’s offense is Burks, a physical 6-foot-2, 225-pound receiver who can overwhelm defenders from any position on the field. While not a threat to outrun defenders, he is an excellent route-runner whose versatility to line up in multiple spots can create mismatches that a veteran quarterback like Aaron Rodgers can exploit.
With their second pick this evening, Gutekunst could stay offensive and pick a lineman like Tyler Smith of Tulsa or go defensive and select George Karlaftis of Purdue. The Packers GM has gone heavily defensive with his previous top picks, but this is the year he could surprise with two additions to the Green Bay offense.
Packers’ 11 selections in the 2022 NFL Draft:
- First-round, No. 22(a)
- First-round, 28
- Second round, 53(a)
- Second round, 59
- Third round, 92
- Fourth round, 132
- Fourth round, 140(b)
- Fifth-round, 171
- Seventh round, 228(c)
- Seventh round, 249
- Seventh round, 258(b)
a – Acquired from Las Vegas for WR Davante Adams
b – Awarded via compensatory formula
c – Acquired from Houston for CB Ka’dar Hollman