Packers' Top 2022 NFL Draft Targets

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2022

Packers' Top 2022 NFL Draft Targets

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The Green Bay Packers are set to run it back with Aaron Rodgers in 2022 and perhaps well beyond. The reigning NFL MVP signed an extension this offseason that will keep him under contract through 2026, and he will helm a Packers squad that won 13 games a year ago.

    Green Bay wants more than just regular-season success, though, and Rodgers cannot carry this team to the Super Bowl alone. The Packers don't have a ton of needs, but the 2022 draft will be critical.

    A receiver to help replace traded star Davante Adams could be near the top of Green Bay's wishlist.

    The good news is that the Packers have a pair of first-round selections—Nos. 22 and 28—following the Adams trade. They should be able to land a couple of early-impact starters Thursday night. The question is which prospects Green Bay will get.

    Here you'll find a look at three prospects who should be at the top of Green Bay's list based on factors like past production, upside, projected draft range and team needs.

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks is one prospect Green Bay might consider trading up to acquire. The 15th-ranked prospect on the Bleacher Report Scouting Department's big board, Burks is a big (6'2", 225 lbs), physical perimeter receiver who could quickly become a go-to target for Rodgers.

    "Burks is a good overall athlete who consistently shows burst, balance and body control to smoothly start and stop on routes. His very good burst also shows up when he gets north with the ball in his hands," Nate Tice of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.

    Last season, Burks amassed 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns on only 66 receptions.

    While Green Bay did add Sammy Watkins in free agency, he isn't going to replace Adams alone. The Packers also parted with Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and lacked receiver depth heading into the offseason anyway.

    One could argue that receiver was a need even before Adams headed to the Las Vegas Raiders.

    Burks isn't a true speed merchant, but his play strength, catch radius and agility would help him create mismatches down the field, near the sidelines and in the red zone early and often. Is this the year that Green Bay finally takes a receiver in the first round? If Burks can be had, it should be.

David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Michigan edge-rusher David Ojabo suffered a torn Achilles at his pro day, which has understandably hurt his draft stock. The 28th-ranked prospect on the B/R board might be a top-15 pick if healthy. While the injury could keep Ojabo out for a portion of the 2022 season, if not all of it, it could also drop a gem into Green Bay's lap.

    Ojabo still has the potential to emerge as an NFL game-wrecker once recovered, and the Packers could use a pass-rusher after losing Za'Darius Smith in free agency. It's not an immediate need, though, as Smith missed most of 2021 following back surgery, and the Packers still notched 39 sacks.

    The Packers could afford to be patient with Ojabo's recovery.

    Having Ojabo for the postseason and beyond would be great for Green Bay's long-term outlook—and he could be a difference-maker as soon as he's ready to retake the field.

    "Ojabo is a high-ceiling speed-rusher who is more comfortable from a stand-up position right now," Derrik Klassen of the B/R Scouting Department wrote. "He may need a year as a designated pass-rusher while he tries to add some strength and hone his run defense skills, but he has the raw speed and bend to generate pressure on the outside sooner rather than later."

    Last season, the 21-year-old totaled 11 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 35 tackles and 24 solo stops.

Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Packers would be wise to add a run defender to the mix early in the draft. While its defense ranked ninth overall last year, Green Bay ranked just 30th in yards per rushing attempt surrendered.

    Re-signing linebacker De'Vondre Campbell was a good start, but the Packers need more help at the second level.

    This is where Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd enters the equation. The 37th-ranked prospect on the B/R board stands a reasonable chance of being available at one of Green Bay's two first-round draft slots. If the 23-year-old is there, the Packers should pounce.

    Lloyd is a terrific sideline-to-sideline run defender—one who totaled 110 tackles, 65 solo stops, eight sacks, and 22 tackles for loss last season—and he can be an asset in coverage too.

    "In coverage, Lloyd is well ahead of most college linebackers," Derrik Klassen wrote. "His comfort in feeling out routes behind him, particularly as the hook player, is solid and allows him to consistently close windows in zone coverage. Lloyd also has the speed and length to match up with all kinds of body types and positions in man coverage."

    Lloyd notched six passes defensed and four interceptions in 2021. He would be a wonderful addition to Green Bay's linebacker corps and a player who could influence both the run and pass defense early.