The 2022 Packers draft is one of the most important in recent history. They enter the draft this year with more capital than they’ve had in Aaron Rodgers’ career. 4 picks in the top 60 with 2 selections in each the first and second rounds. Quite the arsenal for GM Brian Gutekunst to reload a roster that will certainly look different than a year ago.
It would be easy for Green Bay to sit pat and take the best available players at their current positions. But they need to be as aggressive as they can to make sure that they can take advantage of a closing championship window. And that means trading up in the first round to ensure they can draft a top wide receiver.
This is obviously not uncharted territory for Gutekunst either. He has traded up in the first round in 3 of his 4 drafts as GM. But the first key part of a trade up would be identifying a possible trade partner – as they say, it takes two to tango. The most logical candidate for the Packers might be Houston at pick 13. They will have already selected at #3 overall – making sure they can secure a top talent. They are also a a franchise devoid of talent that needs to add as many quality players as they can.
This would also allow the Packers to jump both Philadelphia and New Orleans – both have 2 picks between 15 and 19, and both have need at WR. This would also let them jump New England, though they may be out of the WR market after acquiring Devante Parker from the Dolphins.
Now what would it take to get there? Using the Rich Hill trade value chart, the Packers could trade #22 and #59 overall to get up to #13 (344 vs 336 points). This would allow them to successfully jump both the Eagles and Saints. And they would still retain 2 first round picks and one second round pick. That cost would be worth it to grab a top wide-out, and avoid missing out as was reported in 2020. They allegedly were targeting both Justin Jefferson and Brandon Aiyuk two years ago.
And the fact of the matter is, the Packers are in a 2-3 year window before they begin a rebuild. They don’t have the luxury of taking a player with high upside, but who needs years to develop. Recent drafts across the NFL have shown that elite receiving prospects can contribute early, and the Packers desperately need instant impact. Even President Mark Murphy alluded to the need to add a top talent at the position in his monthly column. And with Rodgers having now seriously considered retirement in each of the past two offseasons, this is the year to finally draft another weapon in the first round.——————
Jared is a rogue Packers fan from a Steelers family and an overall football junkie, including playing 4 years at Ithaca College. You can follow him on twitter at @JPrugar.