The first event of the NFL offseason is officially in the books, as the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine dazzled fans with its speed and athleticism. Scouts will now go through a re-evaluation process, of sorts, that parlays what they saw on tape with what the combine presented to generate a more concrete draft grade for each prospect. Draft enthusiasts, all the while, will start pumping out countless mock drafts for their team. And that’s what we’re doing today. This is the Green Bay Packers post-combine mock draft.
Before we get into the draft itself, let’s clarify what the team’s major needs are at this point in time.
Billy Turner is another possible cap casualty, as the team continues to climb out of its $30 million hole. A candidate to protect Aaron Rodgers/Jordan Love’s arm side full time is Elgton Jenkins. But he is rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL suffered in Week 11, making his status in 2022 unclear and right tackle another glaring need at the moment.
Kenny Clark fought a great fight last season, racking up four sacks, 13 QB hits, and 48 tackles en route to a pro-bowl nomination. He was dominant throughout the season, despite spotty play along the rest of the interior of the line. Getting Clark some help in the trenches should be near the top of the list of needs.
Pundits and fans would like to believe there is no way the Packers let Davante Adams hit the market, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen. We will operate under the assumption that the All-Pro will play on the franchise tag this season, but with Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Randall Cobb’s futures with the club all in limbo, wide receiver is another crucial need for the Green & Gold entering 2022.
De’Vondre Campbell was an underappreciated — by mass media — superstar last season for the Pack. He earned first-team All-Pro honours and was the first stable presence at the heart of the franchise’s defensive unit in a long time. He may have played his way out of the organization’s budget, though, leaving the team searching for an answer at linebacker once again.
In sum, EDGE, RT, IDL, WR, and LB are at the top of the checklist this offseason and this class has plenty to offer at each position.
Now let’s get to drafting.
Note: This mock draft only covers three out of the seven rounds, as the author continues to scout other prospects.
We start the draft at the expected 28th overall position, with some attractive names coming off the board early on, including Georgia IDL, Jordan Davis, who many fans had hopes of falling to the Packers before he set the combine on fire.
In this draft, the 6’6” 341lbs specimen went to the Steelers at 20th overall. At 21 overall, however, the Patriots called, asking for the Packers’ 1st and 3rd round picks in 2022 to move up seven spots — an attractive offer.
At this point, names like Georgia IDL Devonte Wyatt, Texas A&M IDL DeMarvin Leal, Arkansas WR Treylon Burks, Ohio State WR Chris Olave, Georgia LB Nakobe Dean and Utah LB Devin Lloyd are all still on the board.
We decline in hopes Wyatt falls.
Two picks later, the Cardinals come calling:
Nakobe Dean and WR Drake London are now off the board, but the offer is too steep.
We arrive at pick 28, the Green Bay Packers.
Our target, Devonte Wyatt, has been drafted by the Cowboys at 24 — it’s a long-shot he makes it that far come April. Even Chris Olave was scooped up by the Bucs at 27.
At this point, there are attractive names, but none that I deem high-value picks, outside of Tyler Linderbaum, the uber-athletic centre. The Packers have that position covered for a while with Josh Meyers, though.
LB Devin Lloyd remains on the board along with rising names like WR Jahan Dotson, CB Roger McCreary, and IDL DeMarvin Leal.
I’ve become a big fan of McCreary throughout the scouting process and the idea of replacing Rasul Douglas with another talented corner is appealing. But I believe the position the team is in may influence how they draft in the first couple of rounds.
We opted to give Kenny Clarke some help with DeMarvin Leal, the former five-star IDL from Texas A&M. Leal is a 6’4”, 290lbs athletic freak who aligned inside and on the edge for Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies.
He packs a powerful punch, yet is athletic enough to beat linemen with speed and finesse. A Leal and Clark pairing would be a lethal combination for opposing offenses for a long time and allow defensive coordinator Joe Barry some of the versatility he thought he’d be provided last season with Za’Darius Smith.
Moving to the second round, we received offers from the Chargers and Cowboys to move up for little in return but declined because I did not see the value in doing so.
We’re on the clock at 59th overall with some intriguing names on the board, including tons of talent at the LB position.
An interesting name still available at this time is Alabama WR John Metchie III, who suffered a torn ACL in last season’s college football playoffs. His speed is enticing but I believe he could still be available in the third round due to teams fearing his injury.
The urge to trade back in this spot is strong but we stand pat and add another piece to the defense in LSU LB Damone Clark.
Clark, a rangy defender, checks in at 6’3” 245lbs and checks off just about every box of a modern-day NFL linebacker. The SEC product is always dialled up to 100, pursuing ball carriers with ease, but sometimes that can get him in trouble, as he plays too fast and can miss his assignment.
The football IQ is an area that will need to be worked on at the next level but based purely on his talent, Clark’s ceiling is high and he could be the long-term fix at the heart of this defense.
The third round arrives and there’s a piece of me that is regretting our previous pick. I’m happy with Clark but the thumping LB Leo Chenal from Wisconsin is still on the board. There’s something about an inner-state prospect that draws you.
Another uber-athletic linebacker, Georgia’s Quay Walker is also still available in this spot.
We find value at another position, though, in another Aggie, this time at tight end in Jalen Wydermyer.
Wydermyer embodies the term “playmaker.” Standing 6’5” 265lbs, he’s a large weapon who excelled in the red zone and as a vertical threat at Texas A&M.
Wydermyer certainly needs to clean up his abilities as a run blocker but the Packers could have another reliable pass-catching option at tight end should Robert Tonyan test the free agency market.
The final count of our three-round post-combine mock draft is two defenders, one IDL and LB, and one offensive weapon at tight end.
As grades change throughout the preparation process, so too will mock drafts. For now, this mock leaves the Packers with three potential immediate starters.——————
Joshua Frey-Sam is a journalism student and aspiring sportscaster hailing from Winnipeg, Canada. A Packers fan since 2005, Josh has worked to master the financial and scouting aspect of the NFL over the past few years. Josh remains a firm believer that Dez did not, in fact, catch the ball. You can follow him on twitter at @jfreysam.