Packers' Top Hypothetical Trades to Make Splash in 2022 NFL Draft

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2022

Packers' Top Hypothetical Trades to Make Splash in 2022 NFL Draft

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    Much of the Green Bay Packers' offseason has been defined by the players they have lost, but the 2022 NFL draft is the opportunity to create some buzz with some additions to their roster. 

    The best moves for the Packers have involved getting key players to stay. Aaron Rodgers, De'Vondre Campbell, Robert Tonyan and Rasul Douglas will all be wearing green and gold next season. 

    However, they've also lost Davante Adams, Za'Darius Smith and Billy Turner. 

    With five picks in the top 100 selections, including two first-rounders and two second-rounders, the Packers are in a position to make some splashy moves. While they could stand pat and let the draft fall to them, the chance to make a major trade is always sitting there. 

    Here are some of the top hypothetical options. 

Trade for D.K. Metcalf

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    Seahawks Receive: No. 22 overall, No. 53 overall, No. 140 overall, 2023 third-round

    Packers Receive: WR D.K. Metcalf

    There's no question the Packers are set up to miss Davante Adams in a big way right now. Even with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, it's not easy to just replace a top-five player at any position. 

    With two first-round picks, Green Bay could turn to the draft to attempt to replace Adams' production. Or it could utilize some of that draft capital to take a big swing at another game-changing receiver, such as DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks

    The Seahawks have said they won't trade the 24-year-old, but ESPN's Jeremy Fowler told SportsCenter he could be had for "the right price." 

    Metcalf has one year on his rookie deal and will be in line for a massive extension. This trade package, which comes from Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report, would see them leverage the draft capital they got from the Adams trade and utilize it to get their man. 

    Metcalf would give them a proven No. 1 receiver. It would also give them a receiver who is five years younger than Adams on a long-term extension. 

Trade for Brandin Cooks

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    Texans Receive: No. 59 overall

    Packers Receive: WR Brandin Cooks

    If the Packers aren't interested in the high cost it would likely take to draw Metcalf from Seattle, they could have their eyes set on another veteran receiver in Brandin Cooks. 

    Jeremy Fowler of ESPN told SportsCenter that the Houston Texans have received "multiple calls on Cooks." 

    The 28-year-old would be a cheaper option than Metcalf from a draft capital perspective. He is set to carry a $12.5 million base salary for 2022, which would be the final year of his contract. His age and one-year deal don't put the Texans in a great position to bargain if they are interested in getting out from his contract and getting an asset in return. 

    Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reported the Texans' asking price would be a second-rounder. The Packers have two after the Adams trade. 

    The Texans receiver would be a better replacement for Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He once ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the combine and accounted for 36.7 percent of Houston's air yards last season.

    Cooks has posted at least one 1,000-yard season with four different teams. The Packers would easily be the fifth if they traded for him. 

Trade Up for an Elite Tackle

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    Panthers Receive: No. 22 pick, No. 28 pick, No. 171 pick (fifth-round)

    Packers Receive: No. 6 pick (to take Evan Neal, Ikem Ekonwu or Charles Cross)

    While a move for a receiver is anticipated based on Adams' departure, the Packers' draft history doesn't suggest it. The organization hasn't used a first-round pick on a wide receiver since 2002. 

    Green Bay's most recent history has pointed toward a team that actually wants to win games by running the football and relying on a great defense. It has spent four of its last five first-round picks on the defensive side of the ball and recent second-rounders on the offensive line. 

    Given the current state of that line, they might look to add an elite tackle. 

    While Elgton Jenkins has shown he can play at the position, his best work has come at guard. David Bakhtiari's season was ruined by a torn ACL he suffered in 2020. As he approaches 30, it might be wise to find his eventual replacement in this year's draft. 

    There are three tackle prospects who could be seen as elite. Evan Neal (scouting report), Ikem Ekwonu (scouting report) and Charles Cross (scouting report). They are ranked second, fifth and 13th, respectively, in the latest big board from the B/R Scouting Department. 

    The Panthers would make sense as a trade partner. They have the sixth pick but don't pick again until No. 137 in the fourth round. This trade would give the Packers an elite tackle to pair with Bakhtiari before replacing him during their rookie contract, while the Panthers would regain some picks in the draft including two first-rounders.