APC Community Mock Draft 2022: The Packers are up to pick at no. 22

As our APC Community Mock Draft continued yesterday, the New England Patriots selected Devin Lloyd with the 21st pick, signaling a sea change in New England. Lloyd is a faster, smaller linebacker than the team’s usual preference at the position. He has all the tools to be a modern backer that leads a defense. Now we finally arrive at the Green Bay Packers’ first selection, the 22th overall pick, which they acquired from the Las Vegas Raiders as part of the package for Davante Adams.

The Packers had a tumultuous offseason no matter how you slice it. In hindsight, beginning with the will he / won’t he routine of Aaron Rodgers should have been an omen. But in the end, Aaron Rodgers is still a Green Bay Packer. Keeping your superstar quarterback is a win. Pretty simple stuff! Of course, not keeping your superstar receiver is a loss. After discussing lucrative contracts with the Packers, Davante Adams decided he wanted to be close to home. He was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders where he will reunite with his college quarterback, Derek Carr. The Packers received this pick and a 2nd round pick to give them four selections in the top 60.

Lucas Patrick, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, and Billy Turner are less difficult to replace but still leave holes to fill. On the defensive side of the ball, Za’Darius Smith was a casualty cap. The edge rusher ended up signing with the Vikings after a failed negotiation with the Ravens.

Wide receiver is easily the biggest need for the Packers and it doesn’t take much explanation. The losses of Adams, MVS, and Equanimeous St. Brown have left the cupboard bare and the Packers in desperate need of a true number 1. Sammy Watkins was recently signed and will bring upside to the room if he can stay healthy. The problem? He is currently their best option. If Chris Olave fell to the Packers here, 1265 Lombardi might declare April 28th a holiday and throw celebrations the likes of which you only ever see at Coachella.

However, we’ll still take a look at a few other prospects. The Packers have two talented edge rushers in Preston Smith and the young star Rashan Gary but would benefit from a reliable third man. The team will certainly take an edge at some point in the draft, and George Karlaftis would be a more than competent option. The Purdue edge rusher is lengthy with good burst and can start from day 1.

Finally, the Packers could address a depth issue on the defensive line here. The unit ranked dead last in defensive total rush EPA last season and gave up countless third-down conversions on the ground. Signing Jarran Reed will help, but he is not expected to make a large impact as a rotational player. Devonte Wyatt is available here and has the speed and agility to be a starting three-technique at the next level.


Chris Olave, WR, OSU

Olave broke out during his sophomore season at OSU as the top target for Justin Fields and continued to shine his next two years, ending his career as the school’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with 35. In 2021 he was named a second-team All American to go with his third straight All-Big Ten nod.

Olave is considered the best route runner in a class overflowing with 1st round talent. Playing with NFL-caliber QBs like Justin Fields and CJ Stroud has made him great at finding soft spots in scramble drills. His catch radius and red zone prowess will make a QB very happy for years to come. While he could stand to improve his play strength, Olave can be a field-stretching WR1 out of the gate.

George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Despite his first taste of football coming at age 13 after moving to Indiana from Greece, Karlaftis exploded onto the scene with a breakout freshman year in 2019. After missing time in 2020, he returned in 2020 to post five sacks and three forced fumbles in 12 games, receiving third-team All-American honors along the way.

At 6’4 ”, 275 lbs., His sheer size should provide some versatility to play inside. His lack of bend is noticeable but could be offset by solid hand usage and raw athleticism. Karlaftis may be raw, but he already possesses a level of power and refinement to his game that should serve him well from day 1.

Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

Wyatt helped lead the Bulldogs to a national title in 2021 on his way to a first-team All-SEC selection. The defensive tackle recorded 7 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles in his 14 starts. He has a great first step that serves him well in run support and as a pass rusher. His lateral agility is fantastic and will help him chase after mobile QBs at the next level.

Wyatt never stops moving on the field. That energy combined with his solid play strength allows him to push blockers into the backfield with ease and quickness. He should be a starter early on in his rookie year and has a chance to make a big impact.


Poll

Who will the Packers select at no. 22?

  • 69%

    Chris Olave, WR, OSU

    (1377 votes)

  • 13%

    George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

    (260 votes)

  • 16%

    Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

    (333 votes)


1970 votes total

Vote Now

That’s it for the Packers’ first pick. The choice here is obvious. Don’t overthink it. Be sure to vote here and on Twitter (@acmepackingco) and check back later to see the result and the Cardinals pick at 23.

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