Packers 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Roundup of B/R Staff, Kiper and Expert PicksApril 20, 2022
Packers 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Roundup of B/R Staff, Kiper and Expert Picks
The 2022 NFL draft could be the most important for the Green Bay Packers since 2005's event, when they drafted Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers have secured Rodgers' services as the team's franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future with the contract extension he signed this offseason. After trading Davante Adams, they have four of the first 59 picks with which to help extend their Super Bowl window with No. 12 at the helm.
The most attention will be paid to their two first-round picks. Thanks to the Adams trade, they will be on the clock at No. 22 and No. 28 on April 28.
It provides the team with the ability to bring aboard two difference-makers who will be on rookie contracts for the next four years.
There are plenty of opinions and options for the team with both of those selections. Here's a sampling of views from the latest mock drafts, including from the Bleacher Report Scouting Department and ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
B/R Scouting Department
The Picks: Edge Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State and OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan
There's some conventional wisdom that at least one of the Packers' two first-round receivers will be spent on a wide receiver.
If that comes to fruition, it will go against a pretty hard trend for the organization. The Packers haven't used a first-round pick on a receiver since selecting Javon Walker in 2002.
The Bleacher Report Scouting Department doesn't see that changing this year in its mock draft. The group forecasts the team bulking up on both lines of scrimmage with edge-rusher Jermaine Johnson II (scouting department) at No. 22 and Central Michigan tackle Bernhard Raimann (scouting report) at No. 28.
Both would provide help at premium positions. Johnson is an excellent run defender with the potential to become a pass-rushing menace, as evidenced by his 11.5 sacks in his final season with the Seminoles.
Raimann would provide a solid prospect that could optimize the offensive line. With Raimann manning the right tackle spot, Elgton Jenkins would be able to move back to left guard.
The Packers' penchant for finding talented receivers in the second round makes this scenario plausible. The franchise has landed Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson in the second round. The B/R staff sees the team taking Jalen Tolbert (scouting report) with the 59th pick.
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
The Picks: WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State and Edge George Karlaftis, Purdue
ESPN's most recent mock draft from Mel Kiper Jr. is a joint-effort with Todd McShay. The two alternated draft picks for the first 105 picks of the draft and Kiper happens to make both selections for Green Bay.
The long-time draft analyst sees the Packers making a relatively surprising pick at No. 22 with Christian Watson from North Dakota State. The FCS product has piqued interest ahead of the draft. He is one of the best athletes to go through the pre-draft process, earning the second-highest relative athletic score for a receiver since 1987, per Kent Lee Platte.
Still, there are concerns about Watson's route-running, hands and ability to track the ball. The upside is enticing, but he comes in at No. 94 on B/R's latest big board.
Kiper also sees them forming a pass-rushing trio with Preston Smith and Rashan Gary by taking George Karlaftis (scouting report).
That pick that would draw high praise from the B/R Scouting Department, which has the Purdue pass-rusher at No. 8 on its big board, right ahead of presumptive No. 1 pick Aidan Hutchinson. B/R scout Derrik Klassen praised Karlaftis for his first step and "active hands with a wide array of pass-rushing moves."
The Watson pick would be the boom-or-bust selection of the first round, while Karlaftis feels relatively safe at 28.
Other Notable Predictions
Dane Brugler, The Athletic: WR Chris Olave and DT Travis Jones
Bruce Feldman, The Athletic: WR Jameson Williams and OT Bernhard Raimann
Brendan Donahue, Sharp Football Analysis: WR Treylon Burks and DT Devonte Wyatt
The idea of securing a receiver first and addressing the trenches continues in other notable mock drafts.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic is one of the more prolific draft analysts in the game and based his seven-round mock on "scheme fits, organizational trends and reported interest level."
That "organizational trends" bit is interesting given he has the Packers choosing a receiver in the first round. That lends more credence to the notion that the Packers will break their streak of avoiding the position in the first 32 picks.
Feldman's mock features an interesting pick in Jameson Williams. In the long term, he has the potential to be the best big-play receiver in the class. However, the torn ACL he suffered in the CFP National Championship casts doubt over when he will be ready to go this season.
Brendan Donahue of Sharp Football Analysis is the most accurate mock-drafter of the past five years, according to The Huddle Report's data.
He has the Packers securing YAC phenom Treylon Burks while getting an explosive interior defender in Devonte Wyatt.