Drafting a Wide Receivier Early Solves More of 2022 Problem for the Packers
Green Bay Packers did not draft a wide receiver last year. That became the narrative from the 2021 NFL Draft. Along with the Jordan Love draft pick and the future of Aaron Rodgers. It was a highly contentious draft. Part of me believes that Green Bay would have drafted a wide receiver in the first round had they been picking higher. Justin Jefferson was on their radar then goes to the Minnesota Vikings at 20. San Francisco trades up for Brandon Aiyuk likely because Green Bay was ready to draft him. People can dismiss that and think it was Jordan Love all along yet that’s false. Packers could easily go after a wide receiver in round one or round two of the draft. Mostly because of what’s coming up next year.
This is why you shouldn't be surprised if the Packers draft a wide receiver in the first round for the first time since 2002 on Thursday. Not because they need immediate WR help, but because of that 2022 column. pic.twitter.com/s0qzOk05cy
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) April 27, 2021
Basically, the Packers wide receiver room is all free agents next year. Now, the expectation is that Green Bay will get a deal done with Davante Adams before the season starts. It would be shocking if the Packers decided to move on from him. I don’t think this is a Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb situation where Adams looks washed up. Who knows about the rest of the receivers though. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has all the talent in the world, but he needs to catch the ball. Also, it would not surprise me if a team tries to poach Allen Lazard as an RFA next year too.
Who could that player be? Well, Elijah Moore is the name that stands out the most at this point. Moore is a pure slot player that could give Green Bay what they’ve been missing. He doesn’t fit the mold that Packers’ General Manager Brian Gutekunst likes in a wide receiver, but this could be a time for unconventional thinking seeing as Green Bay has fewer holes than most. The Green Bay prototype is Rashod Bateman. He likely gets drafted in the first 20 picks. Similar to Jefferson last season where Bateman is a pure pipe dream. Despite a lot of buzz around them, it would be stunning to see Green Bay draft Kadarious Toney or Rondale Moore. Those are not typical first-round guys for Green Bay.
If Green Bay does draft a receiver, everyone will be hewing and hawing about last year. But understand, that is more for next year than anything else.