The Green Bay Packers selected 11 players in the 2022 NFL Draft. While most rookies don’t make a major impact in their first NFL season, the Packers are hoping some of their first-year players can make an impact this year.
Here is a look at the five Packers draft picks most likely to contribute the most as rookies. This list is based on a combination of how ready the player is to adjust to the NFL, the Packers depth at the position they play and what role they are expected to assume initially this season.
Undrafted free agents and non-rookies are not eligible for this list.
- OL Sean Rhyan
Rhyan played center and then tackle in college but is expected to move to guard in the NFL because of his short arms and his skill set.
Rhyan’s versatility is something the Packers value and he could give the Packers depth at all five positions along the offensive line.
Rhyan could battle for a starting position at guard against Royce Newman or Jon Runyan, Jr. or he could be kept at tackle and compete for playing time on the right side with Yosh Nijman until Elgton Jenkins returns from his knee injury.
In the long run, Rhyan and Jenkins should give the Packers a lot of versatility which should allow the Packers to put their best five players on the field as often as possible.
- WR Christian Watson
Watson has the most upside of the three receivers the Packers drafted but he also has the biggest adjustment to make. There is a significant difference for any first year player in the NFL but the jump from North Dakota State to the pros is even greater.
Even historically great Packers receivers like Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams struggled in their rookie seasons and both went to bigger schools than Watson.
Watson has all the tools to be a success in the NFL but he also needs to work on his route running and how to compete against the better level of athlete he’ll be facing in the pros.
Look for Watson to run some gadget plays, run deep routes and to return kicks during his rookie season with more responsibility and more playing time coming as the season progresses.
- WR Romeo Doubs
Doubs is a more polished route runner than Watson right now and he also has the speed to get deep and run gadget plays.
Like Watson, he also was a return specialist in college and may see action returning punts.
Doubs may get more playing time than Watson early in the season because he’s more polished overall than his new teammate. That may change as the season progresses and Watson becomes more comfortable in the offense.
- LB Quay Walker
Walker has looked the part in rookie camp and gives the Packers a younger version of De’Vondre Campbell to compliment the veteran inside linebacker. Walker should be competing for a starting job right away with incumbent Krys Barnes.
In recent years, the Packers have not had two inside linebackers on the field as frequently but the way the draft went and the skill set Walker has may change that. Look for defensive coordinator Joe Barry to put two inside linebackers on the field more often once Walker is up to speed.
Walker should be contributing plenty in his first NFL season. He could see action on special teams coverage units in addition to defense.
- DL Devonte Wyatt
The Packers lack of depth along the defensive line has been an issue for this team for many years. Kenny Clark has been a Pro Bowl performer at the position but he has not had a player of similar stature alongside him in recent seasons.
The Packers used their second pick in the first round to add Wyatt, a teammate of Walker’s and Eric Stokes at Georgia.
Wyatt should give the Packers an immediate boost along the defensive line almost immediately. The only thing that may limit Wyatt’s playing time if he stays healthy is that the Packers tend to rotate their defensive linemen to keep them all fresh which may limit the rookie to 65 percent of snaps.
Wyatt is quick off the snap of the ball and should be able to improve the Green Bay run defense and help free up Clark and the team’s other pass rushers to get pressure on the quarterback. He can play both three technique and five technique which will give Barry some more options as to how he lines up his players to create advantageous matchups on the field.
Look for Wyatt to be able to step in and start by Week 1 and to give the Packers defensive line a much-needed boost.
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