Predictions for what Packers will do in first round of 2022 NFL draft


The first round of the 2022 NFL draft kicks off Thursday night. The Packers Wire’s staff predicts what the Green Bay Packers will do with their two picks (No. 22, No. 28) in the first round:

George Karlavtis at 22, George Pickens at 28

(AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

George squared. There have been recent rumblings about both Karlavtis and Pickens falling out of the first round. I don’t buy it.

Karlavtis is a 21-year-old elite athlete in a premium position who was a dominant player as a true freshman in the Big Ten. He could be a terrific power rusher from multiple alignments in the NFL, possibly making him an ideal replacement for Za’Darius Smith in the Packers’ pass-rushing rotation. Pickens is a 21-year-old elite athlete at wide receiver, the Packers’ biggest need position, and he was a dominant player as a true freshman in the SEC. Both had some injury issues and only stayed in college for three years. But they are the type of players you want to be on early in the draft.

Both Karlavtis and Pickens check a lot of boxes (young, elite athlete, power conference) for the Packers in the first round. Both could be instant impact players in the passing game. Both could help the Packers better contend for the Super Bowl in 2021 and become foundational players to the roster. No need to overthink it here. Get a big guy (in this case, the edge rusher) with one first-round pick, and add a receiver talent with the other. — Zach Kruse

Dax Hill at 22, trade out or Logan Hall at 28

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft is unpredictable. The 2022 NFL draft is going to be about as unpredictable as the weather in the state of Minnesota. There is no clear consensus with any position, besides center (Tyler Linderbaum), safety (Kyle Hamilton) and linebacker (Devin Lloyd). Zion Johnson is viewed as the best guard, but some teams may have him as a right tackle and others may view him as center. On top of that, there are eight teams that own two first-round picks. There is going to be movement. Things could get fun and chaotic really fast.

For the Packers, I’m betting that they take Daxton Hill at 22 and look to trade the 28th pick to gain extra draft capital on day two of the draft. If they are able to find a dance partner, Brian Gutekunst will be able to get really aggressive on day two. If they are unable to find a trade partner, I’ll bank on them adding to the front seven by adding Logan Hall. — Brennen Rupp

Zion Johnson at 22, George Pickens at 28

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers are a team that always prioritizes the offensive line, so why wouldn’t they take a guy like Johnson with their first pick? Next year they won’t have Billy Turner, and Elgton Jenkins will still be recovering from ACL surgery at the start of the season. Johnson is someone who can make an impact right away and also give them some positional flexibility. His versatility to play tackle or guard is highly coveted, especially in Green Bay. The Packers do reportedly like Johnson as he may remind them a little bit of Jenkins coming out of Mississippi State. Of course, I don’t expect him to fill those shoes, but Johnson has a lot of traits that lend themselves to being a successful NFL starter.

There is a good chance most of the top wide receivers will be off the board when Green Bay is picking at 22. So, assuming they don’t move up for someone, Pickens is a guy who could fall to them and still have a ton of upside. Pickens does carry some off-the-field concerns, but it appears the Packers have done their homework. He has a legit future as WR1 if he can get out of his own way. I honestly think if he never got hurt last spring, we are talking about Pickens as a lock for a first-round pick. — Brandon Carwile

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