Ideal WR options for the Packers in each round of the 2022 NFL draft


The Green Bay Packers like the depth of the wide receiver class in the 2022 NFL draft, so it won’t be surprising if general manager Brian Gutekunst selects multiple players at the high-need position over the three days of the draft.

Each round provides intriguing options. The Packers probably need to find a future starter at “X” receiver and a deep threat to replace Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Overdue for help from the draft, the receiver position in Green Bay now needs a complete reloading. Having 11 picks provides multiple opportunities to get the job done.

Here are some ideal wide receiver prospects for the Packers in each round of the 2022 NFL draft, except for the sixth round (Packers don’t have a pick in the sixth).

First round

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Jameson Williams, Alabama: Big-time speedster and explosive-play creator. He’s coming off an ACL injury, but the Packers would still probably have to trade up to get him. Without the injury, he’s the No. 1 receiver in the class. Even with an uncertain start to his rookie season, he’s still the most dangerous playmaker available at receiver in the class. Think Design Jackson upside.

Chris Olave, Ohio State: Everyone describes him as smooth, and it’s easy to see why. He’s lightning quick with his feet and a sharp, precise route-runner who moves easy in and out of breaks. While he lacks ideal size, he’s going to create a ton of easy throws for quarterbacks at the next level. The Packers need an elite separator after losing Davante Adams.

Drake London, USC: It’s unclear how long he’ll last in the first round, but the Packers probably love his size (6-4), age (20) and the ability to win from the slot and outside. Deep speed is the one question mark. There might be some redundancy here with Allen Lazard, but the Packers love Lazard and probably wouldn’t mind having a younger, more athletic version. Might London be the next Keyshawn Johnson?

Second round

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George Pickens, Georgia: There are some indications Pickens could last into the second round. While he could be an option at No. 28, the Packers would probably love to get him on Day 2, even if it means moving up from No. 53 to do it. He’s a prototypical X receiver who checks a lot of boxes for the Packers.

Alec Pierce, Cincinnati: His athletic profile and playstyle just screams Packers. He’s big and fast as a deep threat, excellent with the ball in the air and capable as a run blocker. He also grew up a Packers fan in Chicago, and his offensive coordinator (Mike Denbrock) knows Matt LaFleur well.

Christian Watson, North Dakota State: Another potential trade-up target in Round 2. Watson is an elite athlete at receiver who could provide a replacement for Marquez Valdes-Scantling while also giving the Packers more versatility (took snaps as a running back, kick returner) and upside as an all -around receiver.

Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama: He’s as skilled as any non-first round prospect at receiver and should have a terrific chance to come off the board at some point on Day 2. He’s an excellent route runner with short-area quickness, deep speed and ball-tracking ability. Watching him torch Tennessee in 2021 proved he can play with anyone.

Third round

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John Metchie III, Alabama: Miss out on Olave in the first round? Metchie could be the third-round discount option. He’s also coming off an ACL injury, but he’s a quality route runner who consistently found ways of getting open from multiple receiver alignments.

Khalil Shakir, Boise State: While he lacks ideal length, Shakir created big plays in a million different ways for Boise State and is both a deep threat and a dangerous player with the ball in his hands. Getting him at 92 would be a steal.

Fourth round

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Romeo Doubs, Nevada: The Packers will like his combination of size and speed, and he used excellent hands and ball skills to create elite production (back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons). Doubs also has punt return value.

Kevin Austin Jr., Notre Dame: Elite athlete who finally realized his gifts and produced a breakout redshirt junior campaign. There are off-the-field red flags to worry about, but this kind of talent isn’t usually available on Day 3.

Bo Melton, Rutgers: While undersized, he can fly (4.34), is sudden as a route runner and after the catch and should be versatile at the next level. Add in the special teams value as a potential gunner and returner, and Melton is a Day 3 match for Green Bay.

Tyquan Thornton, Baylor: He’s 6-2 and rail thin, but he can run like the wind (4.28) and would immediately give the Packers something as a vertical threat.

Fifth round

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Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech: He’s 6-2 and a team captain who produced good numbers for three consecutive seasons in the Big 12. While not the most toolsy prospect, he has a terrific understanding of the position and could be a solid No. 3 in time.

Danny Gray, SMU: Ran 4.33 after producing over 800 yards in 2021. Speed ​​is threatening to all levels. Kick and punt return value.

Velus Jones, Tennessee: He’s an older prospect after spending six years at the college level, but there’s no denying his athleticism and special teams value. Could he be a gadget player and No. 1 returner for Green Bay right away?

Jalen Nailor, Michigan State: Smaller and didn’t run well at the combine, but he’s a deep threat with an extensive track background and speed to burn. Injury history could push him deep into Day 3.

Seventh round

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Samori Tour, Nebraska: Big-time producer at Montana before transferring to Nebraska and creating more explosive plays in the Big Ten. Checks the athleticism box.

Braylon Sanders, Ole Miss: Deep threat who averaged 22.9 yards per catch last season. Injuries and lack of high-end production at Ole Miss should push him late into the draft.

Isaiah Weston, Northern Iowa: Elite athlete with raw receiving skills. Could be a dangerous (but one-dimensional) deep threat in time. Bet on the traits late in the draft.

Tanner Conner, Idaho State: Another elite athlete (and former track star) in need of serious development as a receiver.

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