Exec: Packers 'Almost Feels Spiteful to' Aaron Rodgers for Not Drafting WR in Round 1

Adam WellsMay 6, 2022

Aaron Rodgers, NFL quarterback, speaks during the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Thursday, April 7, 2022. The Bitcoin 2022 four-day conference is touted by organizers as "the biggest Bitcoin event in the world." Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Despite addressing their need for a wide receiver in the 2022 NFL draft, one executive from an opposing team thinks the Green Bay Packers' first-round picks may have been used to send a message to Aaron Rodgers.

Per The Athletic's Mike Sando, the anonymous executive said it "almost feels spiteful to Rodgers" that the Packers didn't draft a wideout with one of their two Day 1 picks.

"Sometimes these teams get caught up in their own specialness in being able to evaluate players that they think there are only 18 players with first-round grades available in the draft, and therefore that's all there really is, but at some point, the need factors in also," the executive added.

Conventional wisdom suggested that after Davante Adams—a five-time Pro Bowler who averaged 153.5 targets and 108 receptions per season since the start of 2018—was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Packers would have added a wide receiver in the first round to appease Rodgers.

Instead, they used their first-round picks on Georgia linebacker Quay Walker and Georgia defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt.

In a vacuum, those selections made sense. There was a run on receivers early in the first round, with six being selected in a span of 11 picks from Nos. 8 to 18.

The Packers did add help at wide receiver in free agency and later in the draft. They signed Sammy Watkins in April after trading Adams. They also selected three wide receivers in the final six rounds, including trading up to select North Dakota State's Christian Watson with the No. 34 overall pick in the second round. 

Rather than try to reach for a wideout who may not have been that high on their board, the Packers went with who they thought were the best players available. Walker drew comparisons to De'Vondre Campbell, who was named an All-Pro with Green Bay in 2021, leading up to the draft. B/R's Derrik Klassen also compared Wyatt's skill set to that of Packers nose tackle Kenny Clark.

Notably, the Packers have almost gone out of their way to not draft offensive players on Day 1 of the draft. The only non-defensive player who was drafted by the team in the first round since 2012 was QB Jordan Love.