The 2022 NFL Draft is about a week away and the Green Bay Packers are stocked with two picks in both the first and second rounds. Overall, GM Brian Gutekunst presently has four of the top 59 picks in this year’s draft.

This is the first in a series of articles looking at players the Packers may be interested in selecting at this year’s draft. The only players listed here are realistic possibilities for the Packers to pick at 22 and 28 or if they trade up or down slightly from that spot.

Today we will examine offensive tackles, a position the Packers are looking for depth and long-term additions at. As of right now, the Packers have some uncertainty at the position and may need to draft a player with the aim of seeing him play a bigger role in 2023 and beyond.

David Bakhtiari is the starting left tackle. He was the best pass blocking tackle in the game before suffering an injury in December of 2020 which caused him to miss nearly the entire 2021 season.

The right tackle spot is more up in the air after the offseason departure of Billy Turner. Elgton Jenkins will likely miss the start of the 2022 season as he recovers from a season-ending knee injury and we still don’t know if he’ll play guard or tackle when he returns.

Yosh Nijman is a possible starter at right tackle but he has played on the left side in 2021 and has never played on the right side for any length of time in the NFL.

There are several quality offensive tackles that could be available when the Packers pick at 22 and 28. Players on this list are likely to be available at that spot or be available if Gutekunst chooses to trade up 10 or fewer spots to grab that player.

So here is a list of possible offensive tackles the Packers may take in the first round. They are not listed in any particular order:

Charles Cross, Mississippi State

Cross will likely be gone by the time the Packers pick at 22. He comes from a college offense that was that emphasized the passing game and so his pass blocking is rated higher than his run blocking.

Cross has good size at 6’5” and 310 pounds. He moves well and is good at mirroring opposing pass rushers. He has a competitive attitude and uses his hands well.

If he can gain some strength and improve his run blocking ability, Cross would be a very good fit on the right side of the Green Bay offensive line. He started only two seasons in college and may need some time to adjust to life in the NFL before realizing his potential.

Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

Penning would be making a big jump from Northern Iowa to the NFL. At 6’7” and 330, he has outstanding size and quick feet.

Penning is a tough player and loves to not just beat opponents but to dominate them. He has long arms and uses his hands well. At this point, he is a better run blocker than pass blocker. His emotions can get the best of him and the Packers tend to avoid players who lose their cool often.

He projects as a right tackle in the NFL according to most scouts but he would probably need a year to adjust to the size and speed of NFL players.

Daniel Faalele, Minnesota

Faalele is a big man at 6’8” and 380 pounds. He is a native of Australia who moves very well for a big man. He played right tackle exclusively at Minnesota. While the Packers usually prefer offensive linemen who are versatile and can play multiple positions, they have a need at right tackle where Faalele is a good fit.

The big man needs work on his pass protection and struggles against speed rushers. It is very hard to get around Faalele and his upper-body strength is impressive. If he gets a hold of a pass rusher, he can take them out of the play. His mobility is good for a big man and on running plays, he can get to the second level to block linebackers or defensive backs.

Faalele is a bit of a project but he has the potential to become a long-time starter at right tackle if he gets the right coaching.

Sean Rhyan, UCLA

Rhyan played tackle at UCLA but many scouts feel his lack of length make him a better fit at guard in the NFL. The fact that he can probably play both positions is a plus for the Packers. He is strong enough to be effective in the NFL and can drive defenders away in the run game with his lower body strength.

He also his quick feet in pass blocking. Rhyan’s biggest question mark is his relatively short arms. This prevents him from pass blocking effectively on the outside and he would have to improve his technique and positioning to be a better pass blocker in the NFL.

The Packers may like Rhyan’s versatility and potential, but his short arms may limit his ability to play right tackle in the NFL.

Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan

Raimann is an interesting case. He is a native of Austria who started his football career as a wide receiver who bulked up to play tight end and eventually offensive tackle. He is still learning the position and would unquestionably be facing a different class of athlete in the NFL than he did at Central Michigan.

Raimann moves well and has good knee bend but because of his relative inexperience at the position, he is often beaten by pass rushers who have varied technique because he is slow to recognize their moves and adjust to them at times.

Raimann has a lot to learn but he is also an older prospect as he will be 25 in September. This will certainly be working against him.

Raimann has the tools to become a starting tackle or may be moved to guard but his age and rawness will work against him and probably make him a better second rough pick than first.


Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

Click here for more great Packers coverage