Last season, the Green Bay Packers ended with a loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Despite a disappointing finish, Aaron Rodgers earned his second straight MVP award, finishing with 37 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. He secured his place with the Packers for three more seasons after signing a contract worth $150 million.
The question then became, “who would Rodgers throw to?” after Davante Adams was dealt to the Raiders, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling signed with the Chiefs. In addition to needing help at wide receiver, the Packers looked to add depth at tight end with Robert Tonyan coming off ACL surgery. Other needs included offensive line with the departure of Lucas Patrick and Billy Turner. With 11 overall picks, the Packers had the chance to add to their receiving group and fill in holes at other positions.
Quay Walker (LB, Georgia, 22nd overall)
Walker has very good all-around abilities. He is capable of being on the field in any situation. Although this was a surprising pick due to the fact that the Packers generally go against picking inside linebackers early, Walker fills a big need in the defense. He racked up 65 tackles, including 5.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks as a senior. A glaring area of weakness could now be one of the Packer’s strongest positions.
Devonte Wyatt (DT, Georgia, 28th overall)
It didn’t take long for the Packers to bolster a position that has been ignored for some time with the selection of Wyatt at 28th overall. He is large, athletic and could be a dominant force for years. Wyatt recorded seven tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks last season. At 24 years old, he’s only two years younger than Kenny Clark, who he will team with on the defensive line. Despite the age and post character issues, Wyatt was All-SEC last year and should contribute from day one.
Christian Watson (WR, North Dakota State, 34rd overall)
Watson has tremendous upside and one of the most athletic receivers to hit the draft. He had a breakout season last year, averaging nearly 19 yards per catch on 43 receptions and seven touchdowns. At 6’ 5” and 210 pounds, Watson has great size and a tremendously high ceiling. He was also an all-American as a kick returner, so he can help the Packers in another area that definitely needs improvement.
Sean Rhyan (OL, UCLA, 92nd overall)
Rhyan fits the mold of a prototypical Packers offensive lineman. He can play either tackle or guard and could contend for a starting position at guard since Elgton Jenkins’ status for the start of the season is in question. Rhyan could also challenge to replace Billy Turner at right tackle.
Romeo Doubs (WR, Nevada, 132nd overall)
For the first time since 2006, the Packers selected two receivers in the first four rounds. Doubs is a deep threat, who can also be utilized in the return game and gadget plays. He hauled in 80 passes for 1109 yards and 11 touchdowns last season while averaging 14.2 yards per punt return. He’s had a great deal of collegiate success and although isn’t as athletic as Watson, is a great value for a 132nd overall pick. Doubs improves a position that was razor thin entering the draft.
Zach Tom (OL, Wake Forest, 140th overall)
Tom is another classic Packer offensive lineman. He had a good combination of size (6’5” , 3oo pounds) and athleticism and is a potential challenger for the starting right tackle position. Tom could also play guard in a pinch and was seen as a Packers selection in several mock drafts. He’s the perfect fit for the Packers offensive scheme.
Kingsley Enagbare (DL, South Carolina, 179th overall)
Desperately needing pass-rushing help, the Packers may have made the best pick of the day in Enagbare. While many thought Enagbare could be a second-round selection, the Packers were able to land him in the 5th round. Although lacking moves, Enagbare uses pure strength and leverage to get to the quarterback. He had seven tackles for loss last season and 4.5 sacks. Enagbare will have a chance to learn behind Rashan Gary and Preston Smith.
Tariq Carpenter (LB/S, Georgia Tech, 228th overall)
Carpenter has a chance to see action as a hybrid type player at 6’ 4” and 225 pounds, but likely will be an added talent to the special teams. He possesses good speed and is physical. A four-year starter in college, Carpenter had 65 tackles last season and 223 over his collegiate career.
Jonathan Ford (DL, Miami, 234rd overall)
Ford is a longshot prospect, who is relatively low on athleticism, but has great size. At 6’ 5” and 320 pounds, Ford is a handful to move off the line. If he makes the roster, he could be used on field goal and punt protection, as well as short-yardage defense. In 31 collegiate games, Ford had 60 tackles and three sacks.
Rasheed Walker (OT, Penn State, 249th overall)
Despite going down with an injury late last season, the Packers took a chance on the three-year starter for the Nittany Lions. Walker was a honorable All-Big Ten twice. Although quite athletic, Walker is somewhat lacking in his technique. A spot on the practice squad appears more likely than making the roster.
Samoir Toure (WR, Nebraska, 258th overall)
Although a longshot to make the roster, Toure has quickness and can work both inside and outside. Lacking experience, Toure played only one season at Nebraska, hauling in 46 passes for 898 yards, and five touchdowns. He could make the roster for the special teams or be added to the practice squad.
“It didn’t take long for the Packers to bolster a position that has been ignored for some time with the selection of Wyatt at 28th overall”
Speaking of ignored positions, I was surprised that GB took an inside linebacker with their first pick. Much like WR, when is the last time the Packers took this position seriously? They usually just put some warm bodies there and hope for the best. If someone stands out it’s a bonus. That’s pretty much what happened with Campbell. Can anyone think of the last time ILB was shored up? AJ Hawk and Desmond Bishop? And Bishop only made it into the line up after Barnett got hurt, despite Bishop turning heads every time he took the field.
Hopefully ILB is a position of strength from here out. Maybe the Packers are taking note of Tampa Bay’s defense. It’s funny how you can address other parts of a team when you stop hoarding cornerbacks and OLB conversion projects at the top of every draft.
I like the part where there is no part about how the Packers gave up two 2nd round picks to trade up for the Vikings one 2nd round pick….
Killer, your team literally gave two NFC north teams possible stud WRs, and I am going to laugh when both are burning the queens year in and year out the next 8 years while the queens are forever irrelevant.
As far as the offensive lineman, these picks telegraph that the Packers clearly view Elgton Jenkins as their RT. Rhyan will probably be their day 1 starter at RG depending on Jenkins being healthy. Tom, is interesting. There is talk of him being projected as a center, but I still think his best position at the next level is LT. The arm length is a concern, but his tape is really good. He stonewalled Thibodaux, who just got picked 5th overall. That is encouraging, as players winning against their elite peers at the college level usually translates well to the NFL. Rasheed Walker also held up well against the Michigan pass rushers although they did beat him a couple times. I know the big concern there is he can get sloppy at time with technique, which is probably why he slipped to the 7th and well worth a pick at that spot. With NFL level coaching, who knows. He could be a candidate to replace Bahktiari in a couple years, but seems destined for the PS for the time being. The Packers seem like they always get quality starters later in the draft on the offensive line, and I don’t see an exception here. Even going back in the 2000s, with Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, Mike Wahle, Marco Rivera, and then through more recent years with TJ Lang, Josh Sitton, Bahktiari, this team has demonstrated that if there is one position they know what they are doing with, it is offensive line. Bulaga is the one exception to their quality later round picks since he was a 1st rounder
Not to nitpick, but Clifton was a second rounder. But you’re right, they’ve had good success with linemen in rounds 4+. You could also add Linsley- think he was a 5th rounder.
As for success against top college defenders predicting success at the NFL level – I agree this should be a key indicator, but every time this comes up, I’m reminded of Jason Spriggs who we traded up in the second round for because he tested well and handled Joey Bosa.
Last time we drafted a LB and a DL in the first round, a SB was in our not to distant future. Regardless of how polished Christian Watson is out of the gate. His size and speed will dictate to defensive coordinators that he must be accounted for at all times. That helps Watkins and Lazard. Think MVS and DK Metcalf. Romeo Doubs is an interesting prospect. Although I’m not sure if he’ll make the cut as long as Cobb is around.
A lot of pundits are saying this was a good draft for the Packers, that many of the players were draft steals (not Quay Walker though). I can’t remember a draft that seems to have gotten Packer fans and media more excited. To that I say, the rules of draft still apply. Almost all of these guys will not make it in the NFL. Most of the players we think will be good will be out of the NFL in a couple of years. If the Packers get one good player and two other starters out of this draft, this will be a good draft.