We are one month away from the 2022 NFL Draft. The Green Bay Packers have no shortage of needs, most obvious of which is wide receiver. With Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling playing elsewhere, the team needs to replace its two top pass catchers. The Packers have not been in this position in 20 years, and they part of the way they replenished their wide receiver room was through the draft. They took Javon Walker that year, who went on to have one Pro Bowl season in four seasons with the Packers. Hopefully, they have better luck in 2022.
For our mock drafts, we use The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator. The players taken in this mock draft fulfill the Packers’ immediate needs this offseason. Additionally, they provide Green Bay with some building blocks that will help them maintain long-term success.
Round 1, Pick 22: Chris Olave- Wide Receiver, Ohio State
Chris Olave is a name that many Packers fans are hoping to see on Green Bay’s big board come April 28. Matt LaFleur has stated he wants more speed in the wide receiver room, and Olave certainly fits that bill. Olave’s 40-yard dash was clocked at 4.39 seconds, making him among the fastest receivers in the draft. Additionally, he is also considered to be the best route runner in the draft. This is skill that Davante Adams was best-known for in Green Bay. Adding Olave would go a long way in helping to replace the two-time All-Pro.
In addition to his speed and route running, Olave does really well at tracking the ball in the air and making adjustments. The criticisms of his game include not being able to play through contact. He is a terror to catch in the open field, but does not break tackles well. Additionally, Olave is a below-average run blocker. The Packers would be better suited using his route running to create space in the run game.
Chris Olave does not have much special teams experience, so no one should expect him to take on the role of kick or punt returner. His tendency to not gain yards after contact would support this. That all being said, Olave is a wide receiver one waiting to happen. He will automatically be a top-two receiver on any team that drafts him.
Round 1, Pick 28: Lewis Cine- Safety, Georgia
The Green Bay Packers have had pretty good luck taking Georgia defenders lately. Alright, so it was just last season’s pick of Eric Stokes, but Stokes proved to be NFL ready right off the bat. Lewis Cine is a hard-hitting safety with special teams experience. These are two areas in which the Packers have significant need.
Beyond 2022, the only safety the Packers have under contract is Vernon Scott. While Adrian Amos may be re-signed, that is far from a guarantee. Green Bay has not picked up Darnell Savage’s fifth year option, making his future with the team uncertain beyond this season. Lewis Cine would provide both immediate help and long-term reliability.
As far as strengths, Lewis Cine is a phenomenal tackler who is best at run defense. He has a knack for finding the ball carrier and can tackle well in the open field. His speed and tackling skills will also translate well to special teams, where he projects to be among the best in the league.
The negatives of Lewis Cine’s game are in the passing game. While he is not a poor pass defender, he lacks the ability to make plays on the ball. Cine does not have much positional versatility, but can play the slot corner position.
Round 2, Pick 53: George Pickens- Wide Receiver, Georgia
As mentioned, the Packers need to replace their top two wide receivers from 2021. While they have been linked to some veterans via trade or free agency, no traction in these talks has been reported. As of right now, it seems like it would be the smart move for the Packers to use two of their first four picks on wide receiver. With Amari Rodgers and Randall Cobb as slot-type receivers, they may focus on another outside receiver in round two.
Enter George Pickens, another Georgia product, who has great hands and route running abilities. He can make contested catches and track the ball well through the air. However, he is not considered to be overly physical, and may not be the best blocking wide receiver the Packers could ask for. That being said, he is a legitimate deep threat who may end up being even better than Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Unlike Davante Adams, Pickens is not versatile enough to play in the slot. He is better suited for outside route running.
Round 2, Pick 59: Josh Paschal- Edge, Kentucky
With Za’Darius Smith being cut and signing with the Vikings, the Packers have a lack of depth at edge. Preston Smith signed a five-year extension and Rashan Gary is a force, but beyond that the Packers are in need of good edge rushers. That is where Josh Paschal of Kentucky comes in.
Josh Paschal is a very versatile defender. He is quick with his hands, tireless in his pursuit of the quarterback or ball carrier, and an overall menace to opposing offenses. Paschal is not highly skilled in his lateral movements, but is better used as a contain player. He can squeeze through small gaps and can play in multiple roles in many defensive schemes. Joe Barry will have a field day if Paschal ends up on the Packers.
Round 3, Pick 92: Jake Ferguson- Tight End, Wisconsin
Hey, did you know that Jake Ferguson is Barry Alvarez’s grandson? It sure got old hearing that every Saturday, and if Jake Ferguson ends up with the Green Bay Packers, we may get to hear it every Sunday, too. There have been many instances in the past where Wisconsin fans have cried for the Packers to draft Badgers players, but either the fit just wasn’t right or they were gone before the Packers got on the clock. Jake Ferguson, though, would be a great short-term and long-term addition to Green Bay.
Jake Ferguson has some pass-catching abilities, evident by his several 30-reception seasons in the Badgers fun-heavy offense. However, what would really make Ferguson a great fit in Green Bay is his block ability. Marcedes Lewis has long been considered a bonus lineman. However, he is not getting any younger and his receiving skills are not what they once were. Ferguson was an excellent blocker in the Badgers’ run game, and can provide extra blocking from the traditional fullback position.
As far as drawbacks, Jake Ferguson is not a premier pass catcher. He also has struggled with superior defenders in the trenches. However, he has tremendous upside and projects to be a starting tight end in the NFL.
Round 4, Pick 132: Tyrese Robinson- IOL, Oklahoma
The Green Bay Packers lost Lucas Patrick to the Chicago Bears and Billy Turner failed his physical and was released. As a result, Green Bay is in need of some depth on the offensive line. David Bakhtiari will be back, Josh Myers is healthy, and Yosh Nijman proved he is ready to be a starter in the NFL. However, the Packers need help on the interior of the offensive line, especially with Elgton Jenkins out to start the season as his ACL recovers.
Tyrese Robinson is an ideal lineman for the Packers. He is best fitted at guard, but played right tackle in 2021 due to Oklahoma’s need of him there. He does not have the length to be an everyday tackle, but has a strong work ethic and fierce competitive nature that do not make him a pushover. That being said, guard is his best and preferred position, and Adam Stenovich, the Packers offensive coordinator, will be able to both play and develop him.
As mentioned, Robinson’s footwork and hands make him best suited as a guard. In this role, he is able to anchor defenders and drive them to the ground. As a tackle, though, he lacks lateral movement and can get too handsy. This could lead to multiple penalties in the NFL.
Other Draft Picks
- Eyioma Uwazurike- IDL, Iowa State (Round 4, Pick 140)
- Lecitus Smith- IOL, Virginia Tech (Round 5, Pick 171)
- Chance Campbell- LB, Ole Miss (Round 7, Pick 228)
- Nick Ford- IOL, Utah (Round 7, Pick 249)
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