The Good, Bad And Ugly From The Green Bay Packers’ Draft

Ignoring the wide receiver position in Round 1.

Beefing up a defense that was already loaded with two first round draft picks.

And making sure the offensive line remained a position of strength for a quarterback who becomes less mobile by the year.

These were some of the memorable moments from the Green Bay Packers’ 2022 draft. Here’s a look at the good, bad and ugly.


• Defense wins championships: Green Bay’s defense should be dynamic in 2022.

The Packers’ defense was on the rise at the end of 2021 and finished the year ranked No. 9 in total defense. Green Bay then used its two first round draft picks on Thursday to select a pair of Georgia standouts — linebacker Quay Walker at No. 22 overall and defensive end Devonte Wyatt at No. 28.

“I feel like we definitely might be the No. 1 defense this year,” Wyatt immediately proclaimed.

While that’s a lofty goal, it might not be all that far-fetched.

The 6-foot-4, 241-pound Walker is a speedy, playmaking linebacker who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds at the NFL Combine in February. He posted career-highs in tackles (67), tackles for loss (5.5) and pass breakups (3.0) at Georgia last season and could be a nifty complement to De’Vondre Campbell.

The 6-foot-3, 304-pound Wyatt had 39 tackles, seven for loss with 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 starts in 2021. Then he ran the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.77 seconds at the NFL Combine, one of the fastest times by a defensive lineman.

“I’m really excited about that front seven, just the speed we have now,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said. “I think we’re going to be able to wave some defensive line players in that maybe we haven’t had in the past which is going to keep some guys fresher. So the depth there maybe is a little better than we’ve had in the past, and then the speed.

“I just think our ability to cover ground, our ability to take away passing lanes, to rush the passer, affect the passer … again, we’ve got a long ways to go. This team, they haven’t even really had a first practice yet. But I do like us on paper right now.”

Even quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who didn’t get the first round wide receiver he undoubtedly wanted, was excited.

“Obviously our defense is going to be really good,” Rodgers said. “And defense wins championships.”

• Strength in numbers: The Packers took three offensive linemen — Sean Ryhan in the third round, Zach Tom in the fourth round and Rasheed Walker in the seventh.

Rhyan and Tom have the versatility and flexibility to play multiple positions. The 6-foot-6, 313-pound Walker is likely to start out at right tackle.

Rhyan (6-5, 321) was a starter at left tackle from the day he arrived at UCLA. While Rhyan played left tackle in the Bruins’ spread offense, his short arms (32 3/8”) could mean his best NFL spot will be at guard.

Rhyan earned freshman all-American honors after starting 12 games in 2019. He then started 19 games at left tackle over the last two seasons and earned first-team all-Pac 12 honors in 2021.

Rhyan also set shot put and discus records while attending San Juan Hills High School (Calif.) and qualified to play for the feeder team for the Olympic USA rugby team.

Rhyan’s vertical jump of 34-1/2” ranks No. 1 among all guard in this year’s draft class. He also posted a 29 on the 50-question Wonderlic test.

“We certainly think he can play tackle in the National Football League, and obviously he’s 320 pounds so moving him inside and handling that kind of power is something we also think,” Gutekunst said. “He’s a young player, he’s a true third-year junior, started 30 games there, so a lot of experience for a young player, but we think his best football should be ahead of him as well.”

Tom was a 34-game starter at Wake Forest who played both center and left tackle. During his time with Demon Deacons, he played 3,107 snaps and gave up just two sacks.

The 6-foot-4, 304 pound Tom is extremely athletic and ran the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.94 seconds. He measured 9-feet, 10 inches on the broad jump, had a 33-inch vertical leap and has enormous 10-inch hands.

Tom’s arms are just 33 ¼”, though, meaning he might have to move to the interior. But Green Bay believes his versatility will make him an extremely valuable asset.

“We feel like he’s a five tool guy,” Packers co-director of player personnel Jon-Eric Sullivan said of Doubs. “He’s obviously played left tackle at a high level at the school, he’s played center, we think he can play guard as well. That was part of the exciting thing is the value at that pick.

“He’s got twitch, he’s got athleticism, he can bend. I think some people questioned his size, but when you watch him, he’s got some innate strength, and his ability to play the angles, move his feet, drop his backside and bend allows him to play bigger than he potentially is. We’re excited about the kid. We think he can help us in a lot of different spots, especially to get him there.”

Walker has some impressive measurable, including hands that are 10-5/8”. But he struggled against speed rushers, often making the cardinal sin of overextending.

While many belly ache about the Packers not giving Rodgers enough help, Gutekunst has given him annual reinforcements up front that would make most quarterbacks do back flips.

Gutekunst has now used draft picks on Jon Runyan, Jake Hanson and Simon Stepaniak in 2020; Josh Myers, Royce Newman and Cole Van Lanen in 2021; and Sean Rhyan and Tom in 2022.

In addition, Gutekunst selected All-Pro Elgton Jenkins in 2019.

• Special teams: Green Bay’s special teams have been a nightmare for nearly two decades now. But they could be improved in 2022.

First, they hired highly-regarded special teams coach Rich Bisaccia to run the units. Then they invested some draft capital in the groups, as well.

The one player who could make the biggest difference is Georgia Tech linebacker Tariq Carpenter, who was the first of Green Bay’s four seventh round draft choices.

Carpenter was a standout special teams player with the Yellow Jackets. And he understands his best way to make the roster is by becoming a special teams ace in Green Bay.

“I know the main thing for me coming in is going to be special teams,” Carpenter said. “That’s where my head is at first, just help where I’m needed and again just be a sponge while I’m there and just give it all I’ve got.

“I played on every single unit and also never got off the field. I played on kickoff … I’ve a hitman, and again, KOR, I’ve been a right tackle, I’ve been a center, I’ve been a right guard, punt team I’ve been a gunner, I’ve been a right tackle, I’ve been a right guard. (I’ve) played every single special teams.”

Fourth round pick Romeo Doubs will also be given every chance possible to return kicks and punts — two areas the Packers have lacked difference makers for years.

“Whatever the coaches want me to do, I’m going to bring it, whether it’s flying down on the kickoff or catching punts or if it’s catching kickoff returns,” Doubs said. “Whatever the coaching staff requires me to do, I just believe that it is up to my responsibility to do it. In the end, just wherever the coaches put me, just know regardless, I know it’s an opportunity.”


• Work in progress: The Packers added three wide receivers to their hodge podge room of pass catchers. But none came in the first round, and just how much help Green Bay can expect from its rookie wideouts remains to be seen.

Christian Watson came in Round 2 and has tremendous potential. But Watson’s somewhat raw and faced second-tier competition at North Dakota State.

Fourth rounder Romeo Doubs has some upside, but must get dramatically stronger. And as a seventh rounder, Samari Toure is a longshot to ever become a difference maker.

So for now, Green Bay’s wide receiver room is led by aging Randall Cobb, declining Sammy Watkins, limited Allen Lazard, disappointing Amari Rodgers, and the green-as-grass rookies.

“We think we’ve helped ourselves, and we’re excited about the guys we have coming back – Allen and Cobb and Amari,” Sullivan said. “Obviously (Davante Adams) is the best in the business, and it hurt us to lose him. We with him nothing but the best, but we like the additions we’ve made to the room.”

• Tight end: Robert Tonyan had a breakout 2020 season with 11 touchdowns and 52 receptions. But Green Bay’s top tight end tore his left ACL on Oct. 28, 2021, and it might be risky for the Packers to count on him in 2022.

Without Tonyan, Green Bay’s tight ends are Josiah Deguara, Marcedes Lewis and Tyler Davis — arguably the worst trio in football. The Packers also elected not to add anyone to that group this weekend.

Are they playing with fire?

Time will tell.


• The mental game: As talented as Walker and Wyatt — Green Bay’s first round draft picks — are, how fast they can grasp the play book should be a concern.

Walker scored a 9 on the 50-question Wonderlic test, while Wyatt had an 8. The NFL average is 19, meaning the Packers’ two first round picks didn’t hit that number even when their score was combined.

“That’s a big deal. Don’t kid yourself,” a scout told me on Friday. “If it wasn’t a big deal, they’d stop giving that test every year.

“Now some guys can overcome those scores. But a lot of times when guys bust, you go back and look and sure enough, that Wonderlic score was low.”

Green Bay Packers 2022 draft picks

• Round 1 (No. 22): Quay Walker, LB, Georgia

Round 1 (No. 28): Devonte Wyatt, DE, Georgia

Round 2 (No. 34): Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

Round 3 (No. 92): Sean Ryhan, OL, UCLA

Round 4 (No. 132): Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

Round 4 (No. 140): Zach Tom, OL, Wake Forest

Round 5 (No. 179): Kingsley Enagbare, OLB, South Carolina

Round 7 (No. 228): Tariq Carpenter, LB, Georgia Tech

Round 7 (No. 234): Jonathan Ford, DT, Miami

• Round 7 (No. 249): Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State

• Round 7 (No. 258): Samari Toure, WR, Nebraska