To say this may be one of the more important drafts of Brian Gutekunst’s career would be an understatement. He goes into this draft with a major need for playmakers for Aaron Rodgers. However that is not the only need, offensive line and linebacker depth are both areas of concern as well. Corey, (@chilidogsunday on Twitter) posted a great three round mock draft that we couldn’t ignore.
I’m in pic.twitter.com/4ZcvuouPaU
— Corey (@chilidogsunday) March 19, 2022
Round 1 – Pick 22: WR Chris Olave
Chris Olave has been widely regarded as one of the best wide receivers in the 2022 NFL draft. Green Bay now having the 22nd pick (via Davante Adams trade) has a more realistic chance of grabbing him. His NFL draft profile: Olave is smooth, steady and makes things happen. His movements are fluid and easy from snap to the catch and all points between. He’s fast but efficient and plays with the bend and foot agility to uncover on all three levels. Olave possesses natural, well-rounded ball skills but needs to add play strength to ward off the physical challenges that are headed his way.
Chris Olave just clocked in a 40 time of 4.26….. What??? pic.twitter.com/qC0k8t8WD9
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) March 4, 2022
His play traits should allow for success beyond the scheme and talent advantages surrounding him at Ohio State. He is an inside/outside hybrid appealing to offenses looking for a field-stretcher with the ability to take on a sizable catch load.
Round 1 – Pick 28: G Zion Johnson
With interior offensive lineman Lucas Patrick going to the Bears and Elgton Jenkins’ recovery of a torn ACL underway, grabbing an interior offensive lineman seems like a must. His NFL draft profile was glowing about his blocking ability: The phrase “phone booth guard” was made for Johnson thanks to his wide, girthy frame and immense playing power. Johnson has experience at tackle, but he’s clearly an interior blocker on the next level. He has knock-back pop at the point of attack with the ability to win the block in a test of strength. In space, his limitations become obvious.
All systems GO for Zion Johnson 🚦 pic.twitter.com/UpLLde4uTM
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 15, 2022
He has a ceiling of starting guard in the NFL, but his ability to deal with the athleticism of NFL defensive linemen on all three downs is a concern both as a run blocker and in pass protection.
Round 2 – Pick 53: LB Leo Chenal
Green Bay was able to make a huge re-signing this off-season by bringing back De’Vondre Campbell. Leo Chenal would provide an immediate bruising linebacker who can stuff the run. Inside linebacker with a densely muscled frame for full-contact fighting between the tackles. Chenal is like a cinder block. His limbs absorb contact without losing balance or positioning. The power and toughness are outstanding but his technique, play recognition and discipline need more work.
34 reps on the bench for Wisconsin LB Leo Chenal at his pro day on Wednesday 👀 #Steelers #NFL pic.twitter.com/TMCNiGkkXI
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) March 9, 2022
He won’t offer much in coverage but has success as a power blitzer. Chenal has rare point-of-attack power and will be a handful inside the box, but will be limited by athletic deficiencies. He might never be more than a good backup or low-end starter but he should be able to make a living in the league.
Round 2 – Pick 59: EDGE Nik Bonitto
With Za’Darius Smith out the door, Green Bay will be looking for a 3rd piece to their pass rush. Rashan Gary and Preston Smith are a great duo and will improve any pass rusher that joins the team. There aren’t many successful sub-245 pound edge defenders, but Oklahoma’s Nik Bonitto is a decent bet on trying to break the mold.
Nik Bonitto is a DE prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 9.31 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 98 out of 1413 DE from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/DTWjky1EkW #RAS pic.twitter.com/mMdPzgUf4s
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 17, 2022
Bonitto understands his frame and does well to play skinny. He knows how to bend and contort his body to minimize contact surfaces and make it tougher to get a clean grip on him. Additionally, Bonitto is quick as a blink, which allows him to knife past people or quickly cross their face. His light frame also lends to his great speed and movement skills in space.
Round 3 – Pick 92: WR Christian Watson:
Doubling down on the wide receiver position seems necessary. A receiver prospect with intriguing measurables and a strong belief in the team aspect of the game, Watson possesses an alluring combination of size and speed. He showed off improved route running and catch strength in 2021. He is much more gifted than his opposition was at NDSU and needs to prove he can elevate his game against bigger, faster players at the next level.
Whether Howie signs a free agent WR or not he needs to draft Christian Watson. #Eagles #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/ig0jMTxHrb
— Vick3 (@ImYourHostVick3) March 15, 2022
He plays hard and fast but needs to add a few more pounds and learn to impose his frame on the coverage.
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