The dust has started to settle after another busy draft weekend around the NFL. The Packers roster has started to take shape after their 11 draft picks and 14 undrafted free agents. The class as a whole has been well received in the media, with Green Bay able to fill many needs, and add depth in some key areas. With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at 3 of the Packers biggest winners after the draft.
With the selection of Devonte Wyatt in the first round, the Packers gave Clark a true running mate. Wyatt will be the most talented player next to Clark since Mike Daniels’ last season in Green Bay in 2018. He will certainly be an upgrade over Tyler Lancaster and Dean Lowry. And despite the signing of Jarran Reed, Wyatt will have a role from day 1. He offers more upside as a pass rusher than any player not named Kenny Clark on the defensive line, and should allow for more one-on-one opportunities for Clark. With the departure of Za’Darius Smith, the Packers lost some of the creative ways they were able to manufacture interior pressure, but Wyatt should help fill this void.
It was announced last Friday that the Packers would be picking up the fifth year option for Savage, ensuring he remains under contract through the 2023 season. This in itself was a win for Savage, given his up and down play in 2021. But the Packers also chose not to select a true safety in the draft – other than 7th round pick Tariq Carpenter, who figures to be more a special teamer and dime linebacker. Many speculated the Packers could target a safety early, given Savage and Adrian Amos contract situations for beyond the 2022 season.
But the Packers clearly believe in Savage, with safeties coach Ryan Downard saying “Darnell is a special talent. I think Darnell Savage has the ability to be an elite player in this league.” The hope has to be that Savage returns to the form he displayed the second half of the 2020 season. He spent more time in 2021 playing a center field role, but was marred by inconsistent tackling and dropped interceptions. He has all the tools to be a playmaker, and now he has another season to try and put it all together.
The national media may beg to differ here (looking at you, Orlovsky). But Rodgers should be pleased with how things unfolded last weekend. The Packers were able to add two dynamic players at the wide receiver position in Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. They were also able to solidify the offensive line adding three versatile players in Sean Rhyan, Zach Tom, and Rasheed Walker. Rodgers struggled when pressured a season ago, so bolstering his protection was an important task.
Then, not to mention, they added two freak athletes on the defensive side of the ball, giving Green Bay perhaps their most talented defensive unit since the 2010 Super Bowl season. For too long in his career Rodgers has had to shoulder an unreasonable burden in order for the Packers to succeed. Now the Packers front office has given him the best running game and perhaps best defense in his tenure.——————
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.