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Is It Too Early to Talk 2022 Draft?

NFL draft pundits are beginning to publish their initial first round candidate projections for the 2022 NFL draft. Past experience says the lists will change drastically over the next six months as players go through their final college games and draft process. But is it too early to talk Packer draft strategy?

Over the past five years, the Packers have focused on the defensive secondary and offensive line. Their recent picks, Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes, when healthy, have performed admirably with Stokes still learning the position. Rasul Douglas and Kevin King have made big plays in 2021, playing above what their history would have projected. Chandon Sullivan has locked down the slot position in the nickel and dime defenses. They also have Shemar Jean-Charles waiting in the wings — although his tackling and coverage abilities need vast improvement from the small sample fans have witnessed. Gutekunst has drafted tight ends in round three twice, with little success to date. Jace Sternberger’s Packer career is finished with more injuries and issues than TD catches and Deguara seems to have trouble with assignments. With Tonyan out for the season and a free agent, and Mercedes Lewis creeping near to age 40, tight end looks like an apparent need in 2022.

If Bakhtiari can come back successfully, the Packers may have an abundance of quality offensive lineman for 2022. And their running back room, when healthy, could be the best in football. Wide receiver is a huge question for 2023. Will the Packers resign Adams? With Adams out the Packers still won, but a quality number one receiver should be a priority.

The linebacker play has been an upgrade in 2021 and the Packers need to extend De’Vondre Campbell. A quality speedy tackling machine could always be a bonus for any defense. Surely the defensive line must be a priority in the 2022 draft. Yes Dean Lowry and Keke are playing better and T.J. Slaton is showing real growth, but a monster interior line prospect would certainly help Kenny Clark.

Two weeks ago a fan might see Outside Linebacker as a wasted pick. Today, with injuries to Mercilus, and Gary on top of Za’Darius Smith the OLB now seems to be a position of need.

When all the dust settles the biggest question may be would the Packers dare to draft a quarterback In the first three rounds? The COVID backlash still being served on Aaron Rodgers may have unintended consequences on his relationship with the team. His personal fall from Hollywood grace may limit his professional options in the near and distant future. He may feel differently about how he was supported by the Packers. He may ask to re-sign or he may actually resign. Only time will tell. Either way, the Packers need to take a long look at the quarterbacks in this draft. Love may end up as trade bait like Aaron Brooks or he may start next year. Either way having talent behind him will be a must. If you are the G.M., You could not go wrong with the following as your top pick if the player was deemed a difference maker:

1) DT/ Nose
2) WR
3) OLB
4) ILB
5) TE

Let the speculation begin…

Packers LB Rashan Gary

Green Bay Packers linebacker Rashan Gary (52) and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) participate in minicamp practice Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.

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Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards is a lawyer, victim advocate, writer, and long term Packer fan and Packer history enthusiast.

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20 Comments

  1. Jason Parker November 16, 2021

    Would like folks to know I am finally a Packer share holder and I demand some respect

    Reply
    1. PF4L November 16, 2021

      Saving up that kind of money takes discipline…..congrats :)

      Reply
      1. Tom M November 17, 2021

        I was in line for three and a half hours yesterday before I got my turn. Got my sons, grandson, and myself a share. Gonna frame it and hang it on the wall. It has no monetary value and isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on but it has value to each of us.

        Reply
        1. PF4L November 17, 2021

          Do you also demand some respect then?
          .
          Good luck with that

          Reply
    2. Randall Pouwels November 17, 2021

      I hope you eithervare a season ticket holder or have $300 to burn. If not, you have been suckered into spending $300 to improvements in Lambeau Field for other people to enjoy.

      Reply
      1. Jason Parker November 17, 2021

        I’ll keep that in mind, thank you.

        Reply
        1. PF4L November 18, 2021

          There are various reasons why people buy Packer stock.
          .
          Some people like to point out….Killer/Tommi come to mind.
          1) It’s a worthless piece of paper.
          2) It has no value.
          .
          Gee, do these ignorant people not understand we’ve known this for decades?….lol
          .
          Most people buy it simply because they are born and bred diehard Packer fans and they want to support the team.
          Yes….it’s that simple.
          .
          Other people buy it…like some viking fans who are just tired of being fans of a perennial losing team, they buy it because after spending thousands and thousands of dollars on viking tickets and viking paraphernalia through the decades, they have nothing to show for it, so they………
          .
          1) Consider trying to become a Packer fan, so they buy Packer stock as a way of proving their new Packer fan status.
          2) Plus….it looks good on their wall next to their framed viking Brett Favre jersey.
          3) Those same people may go so far as to go on a Packer football blog, and itemize how many shares they bought, and detail who they bought them for.
          Why do that?…..fuck if i know.
          Like i give a fuck if your 1 year old grandson is a shareholder…..lol

          Reply
  2. Tom M November 17, 2021

    How you approach the draft depends largely on what you do with Aaron Rodgers. If he wins the SB then your compelled to bring him back. Even still, with all the constant drama and his inability to throw the deep ball, a good GM would trade him. This roster seems deep but we’re 30 to 40 million over the cap for next year. We’ll need lots of cheap labor and that always comes from the draft. I’d offer Rodgers a team friendly, two year, take it or leave it deal. I think after his 20 minute presser at the start of camp where he ripped management. Murphy and Gutekunst will be in no mood to kiss his ass. Denver and Pittsburgh seem the most likely landing spots for a trade. But I wouldn’t expect to get multiple first round picks. Rodgers is beginning to play to his age. I thought we’d draft a tackle in round one. But RT might be in Jenkins future. Even Yosh Nijman has shown promise. Both the Smiths and Turner will be gone for sure. And if there was a deal to be done for Adams it would have been done by now. I think you draft an OLB to pair with Gary in round one and a WR to replace Adams. At some point you take another swing at TE. It won’t be a complete rebuild by any means and if you hit on a few picks like we did in this years draft, then give the keys to Love to drive the car. We’ll be fine.

    Reply
  3. Randall November 17, 2021

    Excellent article. However, I think they’re already well stocked at OLB and ILB.

    Reply
  4. PF4L November 17, 2021

    30-40 million over the cap Tommi?
    Fuck…i didn’t even know that….until about a year and a half ago.
    Thank the good Lord you’re here to educate us Princess.
    .
    Get rid of Preston Smith?
    Say it isn’t so!!
    He just turned 29.
    I can see Smith and Gary as book end Pro Bowlers next season.
    That, of course, if Gute picks up Gary’s 5th year option at around 10.5 million.
    That number would/could have been more…if Gary had earned it in playing time, or a Pro Bowl selection
    But lets not get crazy expecting much from the 12th pick.
    .
    Gary could up that number yet with a Pro Bowl nod this season. (cough)
    It could happen…everyone knows that stats have nothing to do with a player making the Pro Bowl…right Princess?
    In other words, it’s the basic 5th year option cash money.
    .
    “Draft a wide receiver to replace Adams” …ummm…ok Princess, sounds easy enough.
    Gute better draft him in rounds 1 or 2, because Gute has a piss poor batting average in rounds 3-7.
    Aren’t we still trying to draft or sign a wr to replace Nelson….back from 2018?
    .
    I suppose if Gute lets Adams go, we no longer have to worry about who our #2 receiver is.
    .
    We’ll be wondering who our #1 receiver is.
    .
    WE’LL BE FINE!

    Reply
    1. PF4L November 19, 2021

      I got it!!
      .
      I know a wide out who the Packers could get without spending draft resources and who could come dirt cheap that Love already has some proven rapport with from the pre-season..
      .
      He’s a 6′ 4″ mismatch red zone nightmare.
      .
      Finally….we (I) now found our Jordy Nelson replacement 2.0.
      .
      Has Devin Funchess hamstring healed yet?

      Reply
  5. Tom M November 17, 2021

    It’s not Preston Smith’s age that’s the issue. It’s how much he’ll cost to keep him. It’s not out of the question that he stays. Pass rushers are always at a premium. But if he stays someone else has to go. Gutekunst is looking at a salary cap of around 205 million. If he signs Rodgers and Adams (he won’t) he’ll have to gut his roster. Letting ascending players like Jaire Alexander and Elgton Jenkins walk. That’s not happening. Regardless if Preston stays, I still draft another OLB in the first round. You can never have too many good pass rushers or too many good CB’s on defense. Once again PF4L, it not about pro bowls or awards. Gutekunst’s 2019 FA class has played a big part in this team winning 34 games the last 2 1/2 years. Rashan Gary has effectively replaced ZaDarius Smith and is a big part of why this is now a championship caliber defense. Only you are fixated on pro bowls and awards. By your logic then, you’ll fully support Brian Gutekunst when he trades Aaron Rodgers in the offseason. Aaron Rodgers will neither win the MVP or go to the pro bowl this year. And according to you, it all about the awards and stats. The SB a mere afterthought. I understand this is a difficult time for you. We’re now starting to win games in spite of Aaron Rodgers and not because of him. How conflicted you must feel because it’s no longer all about Erin.

    Reply
    1. PF4L November 18, 2021

      Princess….
      .
      If Gutekunst was smart, he would have dealt Rodgers when he asked to be traded.
      Reasons…
      .
      1) His trade value would never be higher than it was after last season.
      2) If the rumors of trade compensation were even remotely true, The Packers might have received premium draft picks ( swapping the #1 picks in 2021)…receiving 1st round picks in 2022 and 2023, and a 3rd round pick which was traded to Miami to move up 9 spots in the 2020 draft for Trey Lance) and possibly a blue chip player from the 49ers.
      3) It was a no brainer, which i have said from the get go. Not because i wanted to see Rodgers leave, but because it was in the best interest of the Green Bay Packers future.
      ************************
      I’m fixated on Pro Bowls? I mentioned Pro Bowls for 2 reasons….
      The first being sarcasm, and the second being it has a direct correlation to a players 5th year compensation. Though i suspected you’d have no clue about that, and i was proven right again.
      .
      So i wouldn’t expect you to understand that as it would entail having some football knowledge.
      .
      I do expect you to say something stupid, especially when i make valid knowledgeable points, as i made regarding Gary’s 5th year option….because you just don’t know any better and it’s just who you are.
      .
      We don’t expect much from you Princess, and you never disappoint.

      Reply
  6. Tom M November 18, 2021

    I don’t disagree. I said at the time of the NFCC loss it was time to part ways. And then after all the draft day drama, I really wanted him gone. There were two reasons for why he didn’t get traded then. Jordan Love wasn’t ready being the foremost. And secondly the legions of Aaron Rodgers fan boys would cry like little girls if their man crush left. Gutekunst opted to bring him back one last time. It was the right call. The team is poised for one more playoff run. Aaron Rodgers now plays to his age. And his selfish behavior has become evident to many Rodgers fans. Although the hard core Rodgers zealots will never get it. In my opinion, it was necessary for him to come back to help bring closure when the trade actually occurs, even if it cost us draft capital in the end.

    Reply
    1. PF4L November 18, 2021

      As far as the team’s interest, not dealing Rodgers was the wrong call, period….
      .
      If you’ve ever employed, or had people working under you and they expressed no desire to continue working for you…especially the way Rodgers did.
      I have less than zero interest in keeping that employee around. I’d help him pack his shit…(and i have).
      .
      Again….The Packers were in a leverage position Rodgers coming off an MVP season coupled with the 2nd best passer rating in NFL history.
      .
      The idea they didn’t trade Rodgers because Love isn’t ready is weak….very weak.
      If you are going to “chase” after a QB in the first round (and the Packers did just that).
      Then you should be able to start him in his second year with a full off season and training camp to prepare him.
      .
      The NFL is a mans league. If you draft and trade up for a QB in the first round, then be prepared to start that pick in his 2nd season.
      If you think he isn’t ready yet, maybe you made a mistake in the draft….
      Plenty of QB’s taken in the 1st round and later…have started their first season.
      Even in a Covid year
      This was Love’s 2nd season.
      Take the training wheels off.
      ******************
      I know, i know….Rodgers sat for 3 years right?
      That was an anomaly and the circumstances were different.
      But i’ll tell you this much……and read this very, very, carefully.
      .
      If Brett Favre went public after his 2005 season and said fuck you to the Packers and demanded a trade, and the world knew about it like in Rodgers case
      You can bet your life that Ted Thompson would have traded him without blinking a fucking eye.
      .
      Because Ted in his prime had big balls and didn’t have to ask permission to make a move on his own.
      Unlike Love and Gute…Ted didn’t have training wheels attached to his job title.
      Neither did Ron Wolf.
      Because they wouldn’t have taken the job otherwise.
      But maybe that’s why Wolf and Thompson built proven Championship teams.
      Championship teams….which i’ve always said….. are built from the top down.
      I’ll take that to my grave.
      Teams win Championships.
      Front office down……
      *******************************
      Let that soak into your brain for awhile Princess…..and then i’m sure you’ll post something fucking ignorant like you always do.
      Saying i’m stupid and i don’t know what i’m talking about.
      .
      It’s what you do best…..which is sad in the aspect that you add nothing of value to this website.
      .

      .

      Reply
  7. Tom M November 18, 2021

    Aaron Rodgers has always fancied himself as Tom Brady. And he fully expects to play well into his 40’s. The Jordan Love pick was a threat to Rodgers. Certainly not an immediate threat, but he knew playing for the Packers at 44 or 45 wasn’t an option. He had seen other players drafted and veterans shown the door. Rodgers was next. He decided he wasn’t going to follow script and cooperate letting Love develop to replace him. He demanded to be traded taking his beef with management to the public forum thinking the fans would support him and to apply pressure. They did not. Aaron Rodgers had only two options. Play for the Packers or retire. Management said they’ll be no trade. It’s not Gutekunst or Murphy’s responsibility to make Aaron Rodgers happy. Your boss doesn’t care if you like him or not. Come to work, do your job, and be professional. It happens everyday in the workplace. The fact that Rodgers won the MVP or had a high passer rating didn’t have a thing to do with the Packers having “leverage.” Rodgers CONTRACT gave the Packers leverage. If Aaron Rodgers wants to stay, or have the team trade Jordan Love, then he needs to start winning SB’s and start working for less. Just like Tom Brady who Rodgers tries to emulate. If the Packers win the SB, then NOT trading Aaron Rodgers was the right call. Regardless of what we may have lost in draft capital or if Rodgers is a happy employee or not. And the Packers have as good a chance as any team right now to win it all. Whether Love starts in year two or three doesn’t matter if you’ve got Rodgers. He doesn’t need to be ready right away. He just needs to be ready when his time comes.

    Reply
    1. PF4L November 19, 2021

      “And he fully expects to play well into his 40’s” – Princess
      .
      Fully expects?
      You have this first hand knowledge because….
      Rodgers told you this?
      Father Ed told you this?
      One of Aaron’s 8th grade classmates has a cousin whose ex g/f has firsthand knowledge?
      ****************************
      “but he knew playing for the Packers at 44 or 45 wasn’t an option” – Princess
      .
      Rodgers was 36 when Jordan Love was drafted.
      But according to you, he was upset because he was worried about 8 and 9 years later?
      *********************************
      .”IF Aaron Rodgers wants to stay….” – Princess
      .
      Lol…what part of the off season, did you miss?
      ********************************
      “IF the Packers win the SB, then NOT trading Aaron Rodgers was the right call.” – Princess
      .
      This is basic information, but you need to understand this….To win a SB, a team has to get to the SB.
      .
      The Packers have reached the SB one time in the last 23 years which might explain why most of your post contains the words “IF” in them numerous times.
      ****************************
      Keep plugging along Tommi…you’ll get something right one of these years…..
      .
      The law of averages.

      Reply
      1. PF4L November 19, 2021

        I have to say Tommi…..
        .
        When you “take the gloves off” the world should be put on notice.
        .
        You my friend….are a ruthless, coldhearted monster who should be feared by all!!
        You sure taught me a lesson or two …lol
        Can i call you…Godzilla?
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muUZjovOFRg&t=115s
        .
        :)

        Reply
  8. Tom M November 20, 2021

    You don’t have to have inside information from Ed or Erin to read the room. Rodgers has given every indication that he intends to play well into his forties. If not, then honor your current contract and retire at 40 when said contract expires. Rodgers would have none of it and wants to stick it to the Packers just like Favre did. That’s obvious. The Packers guaranteed Jordan Love’s 5th year before he ever made it to town. Which would put Rodgers at 41 by then. Well past his then current contract. While Rodgers sees himself as his hero Tom Brady and playing at a high level well into his 40’s. Management sees it much more likely he plays like Drew Brees or Big Ben. Love gives you insurance in case he looks like the latter. While Rodgers doesn’t want the team to have options. He wants it all about him.

    Reply
    1. PF4L November 20, 2021

      “The Packers guaranteed Jordan Love’s 5th year before he ever made it to town.” – Princess
      .
      Are you being serious with this? Is that statement……your idea of a joke?
      I never thought you could be this stupid, but you keep raising the bar.
      .
      Humor us Ragnar (lmao)…..Where did you find this tidbit of information, and how exactly how did they guarantee it before he got to Green Bay? Did he sign a contract before arriving in Green Bay?….lol
      .
      Also…how dumb do you think people are that they would buy into that statement in any manner whatsoever?
      Also….by acknowledging your statement, makes me feel like i deserve to lose brains cells by even bringing it up….lol
      .
      Although your silence is expected by all.
      .
      Shock us…..lol
      *************
      Note….If it was even possible (doubtful)….why would ANY team….be foolish enough to guarantee a 5th year option, before a draft pick arrived at his team?
      *******************************
      Note: If your so good at “reading the room”.
      Why are you still here?…..lol
      .
      Also….This may be the absolute most stupid statement you’ve ever posted in here.
      And that Princess…is no small feat.

      Reply

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