The 2022 NFL draft is just one day away. After this weekend, the apparent holes on the Packers roster will be filled by young talent. While the team will be far from complete, there will be a much clearer picture of what the 2022 Green Bay Packers will look like. In preparation for the draft, the Packers draft targets have been established but here is a sleeper for each day of the draft who could be donning the green and gold for years to come.
Day 1: Tyler Smith, OT Tulsa
While wide receivers are rightfully getting consistently projected to the Packers, it wouldn’t be surprising for them to prioritize the trenches early. Look no further than Tulsa left tackle Tyler Smith. He fits the mold of a Packers pick: young, talented, and athletic. He is already a bulldozer, moving defenders off the line in the run game. Where he needs the most work is in the passing game, where he will need to learn more of the nuances of pass protection.
While he is a little raw around the edges, with good coaching to refine his skills he could easily become a 10 year starter. He played exclusively at left tackle in college, however, Smith has the ability to move around the line. In Green Bay, he immediately slots in at either guard or tackle completing for a starting role as a rookie.
Day 2: Troy Andersen, ILB Montana State
Troy Andersen was not a player that most people watched on Saturdays. Playing at Montana State in the FCS, he is not on many people’s radar as an elite prospect. During his time at Montana State, he initially played quarterback before moving to defense after his sophomore year. Once he moved to linebacker, he was a star, earning Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year, and captaining the defense to the FCS championship in 2021.
During the pre-draft process, he has made quite the name for himself, marking elite athletic traits throughout. He also was impressive at the senior bowl and looked the part against top competition. As a Packer, Andersen would immediately add significant athleticism to the inside linebacker room. He would look to become De’vondre Campbell’s sidekick. He would also likely be a core special teamer on the Packers reimagined special teams.
Day 3: Noah Elliss, NT Idaho
On day three, the Packers can afford to take some risks. One such risk is Noah Elliss. Heralding from the University of Idaho, Elliss is a behemoth of a man. At 6’4” and nearly 350 pounds, he is a true nose tackle that is an immovable object on the defensive line. He also has NFL bloodlines; his father Luther Elliss played for 10 seasons, 9 with Detroit and 1 with Denver, and also has two brothers currently in the NFL.
At this point, Noah is a true two down nose tackle that will need to be taken off the field on passing downs. He will not be a consistent contributor against the pass. As is the case with many small school players, he will need a lot of refinement of his technique. However, he has extremely rare size and has tools to be a successful player in the league. As a Packer, he would slot into the defensive line rotation, primarily in run defense, although he could develop over time to a bigger role.
Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.