The Packers have had a lot of success in their previous two drafts where they picked two players in the first round. After their trading Davante Adams, they are sitting with the 22nd and 28th pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
Packers’ 2009 NFL Draft:
Round 1, Pick #9: B.J. Raji:
B.J. Raji was worked into defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ brand new 3-4 scheme during the start of the Packers 2009 season. He was unfortunately hampered by an ankle injury most of the 2009 season. However 2010 was a different story. Raji earned the starting position at the sole defensive tackle position in Capers’ 3-4 type defense. This moved previous starter Ryan Pickett to defensive end. 2010 was a breakout season, as he started in all 16 games. Raji became the defensive anchor that the Packers had envisioned. He accumulated 39 tackles with 6.5 sacks, along with 3 passes defended. His career defining moment also happened during the 2010 season:
B.J. Raji’s pick-6 dagger 🔥
Packers DT picks off Caleb Hanie as Green Bay (-3.5) covers 21-14 and heads to Super Bowl XLV
— br_betting (@br_betting) April 28, 2020
Over the years B.J. Raji became a fan favorite in Green Bay. Starting in the 2011 season he was occasionally used as a fullback on offense. During a Week 11 matchup against the Buccaneers Raji scored his only rushing touchdown of his career. It was a 35–26 victory. He was only the fourth defensive lineman to score a rushing touchdown since the NFL/AFL merger. On March 14, 2016, Raji announced his retirement from professional football after seven seasons.
Round 1, Pick #26: Clay Matthews:
I’d say Clay Matthews did alright for the Packers. He is only the all-time quarterback sack leader for the Green Bay, six time pro-bowl, two time all-pro, and finished with at least 6 sacks in each of his first nine seasons. He also had a career defining play during the 2010 season:
One of the best parts of revisiting the great @Basaraski video of the Packers' 2010 Super Bowl run (https://t.co/cDlZ8jQ6Vd) is getting to see Kevin Greene telling Clay Matthews "it is time." Never fails to give me chills. RIP. pic.twitter.com/tThAJ8ez2w
— Zach Rastall (@zrastall17) December 21, 2020
Matthews finished his career with 156 games played, 519 tackles, 91.5 sacks, 6 interceptions, and two touchdowns. He will go down as an all-time Packer great and a member of the Packers Hall of Fame.
Packers’ 2019 NFL Draft:
Round 1, Pick #12: Rashan Gary:
Rashan Gary’s career started off slow but has proven to be extremely valuable over the years. Gary went from starting no games in 2019 and combining for a total of 21 tackles, to starting all 16 games in 2021 with 9.5 sacks. He led all NFC defensive linemen in pressures through Week 12 of the season. He finished the season with a career-best 81 pressures, which finished for third in the league among all edge rushers.
Rashan Gary with the strip sack! #GoPackGo
— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2021
Round 1, Pick #21: Darnell Savage:
Darnell Savage’s career is almost the opposite as Rashan Gary so far. Started off extremely strong but has tapered off since. He took a step back in 2021 and was less consistent. Although he played in all 17 games in 2021, he made 12 fewer tackles, two fewer interceptions, broke up three fewer passes and one fewer tackle for loss than 2020. You see flashes of absolute greatness at times though which continues to give you hope:
A generous Christmas gift from Baker to Darnell Savage🎁 pic.twitter.com/7TQ2uv0suK
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) December 25, 2021
Green Bay goes into the 2022 NFL draft with a real chance to get a couple playmakers for their team. History is certainly on their side.