The Green Bay Packers won 13 games during the 2021 season for the third year in a row. This led them to capture the No. 1 seed in the NFC for a second consecutive year. Ultimately falling short of their Super Bowl goal, the franchise is currently slated to pick 28th overall in the draft’s opening round. The team is also scheduled to make seven more selections throughout the weekend, including five on Saturday. They are once again up against the cap heading into the offseason. General manager Brian Gutekunst and the rest of the front office will need to nail this draft to remain one of the league’s elite groups. With needs at wide receiver and edge, the Packers also have holes to fill along the offensive line.
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Round 1, Pick 28: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Green Bay is filled with question marks at the wide receiver position heading into the offseason. They choose to place the franchise tag on their star player in Davante Adams, after failing to work out a long-term deal. Along with this, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Malik Taylor are all free agents. Needing to upgrade at the position, Olave would offer the team another option in the passing game as a true threat across Adams. A three-year starter with the Buckeyes, he is one of the most refined route runners in the draft. Possessing the ability to run past opposing defensive backs and win vertically, the San Diego native can move all around the formation.
For more on Olave, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 2, Pick 59: Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
The Packers had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL a year ago. However, they have multiple questions to address heading into 2022. Likely to be without their star guard in Elgton Jenkins to begin the season, the former second-round pick is still rehabbing from a torn ACL. Furthermore, the team could cut veteran Billy Turner, as a cap casualty. Possessing all the tools to be a starting tackle at the pro level, Lucas has the length and athleticism to win on the edge. He played in Washington State’s air raid offense in 2021. The senior surrendered zero sacks and just eight quarterback hurries on 477 pass-blocking snaps according to Pro Football Focus.
Round 3, Pick 92: Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
Filled with uncertainty at the edge position, both Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith are set to account for massive cap hits next season. This means that the former will likely be gone while the latter plays on an extension or a restructured deal. Rashan Gary enjoyed a breakout campaign a year ago as he nears the end of his rookie deal. The team needs to find a player who can develop into a running mate across from him. A three-year starter at Cincinnati, Sanders was uber-productive for the Bear Cats. The two-time First-team All-AAC member racked up 13.5 sacks and 119 tackles across 42 games. Known for his athleticism, he will need to add weight to his frame to be an every-down player at the NFL level.
Round 4, Pick 130: Matt Henningsen, DL, Wisconsin
Thin on the interior of the defensive line, Green Bay has been searching for a partner to pair with star nose tackle Kenny Clark for multiple seasons. Enjoying another outstanding campaign in 2021, Clark recorded four sacks, and 48 tackles, with six of them being for a loss. This led the former first-round pick to be selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time. While Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster, and Tedarrell Slaton showed flashes last season, Joe Barry’s unit still allowed more than 109 yards per game on the ground. A leader of the Wisconsin defense last season, Henningsen led the Badger’s defensive line in sacks and tackles. Projecting to be a five-technique at the pro level, he is a study-run defender who can penetrate gaps with ease.
Round 4, Pick 139: JoJo Domann, LB, Nebraska
A former three-star recruit, Doman landed at the University of Nebraska. Formerly a safety, the 24-year-old took a medical redshirt year in 2017. He ultimately made the switch to linebacker in 2019. Showing strongly in his final two seasons with the Cornhuskers, the Colorado Springs native recorded 129 tackles, two sacks, eight pass breakups, and two interceptions in 18 games. One of the most versatile players for Erik Chinander’s defense, he operated as the nickel defender with the ability to match up against running backs and tight ends. This saw him spend time both in the slot and as an outside linebacker. Constantly stressing that you can never have too many options to operate as the nickel defender, he is the perfect chess piece for Barry.
Round 5, Pick 170: Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State
A key position in Matt Lafleur’s play action-heavy offense, the franchise needs to get the tight end spot right heading into next season. The team finished the season with four players at the position on the active roster last year. These were Marcedes Lewis, Tyler Davis, Josiah Deguara, and Dominique Dafney. This was after Green Bay lost Robert Tonyan for the remainder of the year to a torn ACL. A pending unrestricted free agent, the Packers could ultimately look to move off Tonyan for another option. Already a pre-draft target, Bellinger reportedly met with Gutekunst and the team at the combine in Indianapolis. Coming off a career campaign in San Diego State’s offense, he posted career highs in receptions (31), and yards (357) while hauling in two touchdown catches.
Round 7, Pick 225: Damarion Williams, CB, Houston
Quickly becoming one of the best young secondaries in football over the past few years, cornerback is an under the radar need for the Packers in the draft. Without star defensive back Jaire Alexander for a large chunk of the season in 2021, the team was forced to rely on rookie Eric Stokes and midseason acquisition Rasul Douglas. While both played well, Douglas will get a substantial pay raise on the open market as a free agent. Needing to add depth at the position, Williams would be a strong late-round value target. He was a starter instantly after landing with the Houston Cougars in 2019. The Miami Florida native has played on the boundary and in the slot while also taking snaps at safety.
Round 7, Pick 246: Nick Ford, iOL, Utah
A three-star recruit out of high school, Ford landed at the University of Utah in 2017. The Senior redshirted with the program during his first year. He has then started every game along the offensive line since 2019. A good athlete, he can anchor and redirect against opposing rushers. Along with this, he also has a nastiness, making him able to move opposing players and get up to the second level. As versatile as they come, the San Pedro California native has played snaps at both tackle and guard spots. In need of depth inside their position room, the Packers will be without Jenkins to start the year in 2022. Furthermore, with Turner remaining a cut candidate, adding a developmental lineman late in the draft would be smart business for the Packers.
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