NFL Draft Firsthand: Packers Make 11 Selections, Tie for Most Picks

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Joey Bonadonna, Sports Editor, Online Tritonian

It has now been a week since the 2022 NFL Draft, where the Green Bay Packers made 11 selections and tied for the most picks made by any team in this year’s draft.

This year’s draft was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in part with the NFL making the draft a more fan-accessible event nationwide. The draft was held in New York City every year from 1965 to 2014, until 2015 when it was held in Chicago for two years. Since 2017, the draft has been held in a different city every year, making stops in Philadelphia, Nashville, Cleveland, and now, Las Vegas. 

Las Vegas was slated to host the draft in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, their host date was pushed to 2022. It was rumored that Green Bay was going to host in 2022, but since Vegas was pushed into that year, Titletown will have to wait for another year to come. The draft will be in Kansas City in 2023 and in Detroit in 2024.

The fan experience was very different in comparison to my previous trip to the draft in Chicago in 2015. In 2015, the draft theater was inside Roosevelt Theater on Michigan Avenue, while more experiences were held outside, spread out across the entirety of Grant Park. 

In Las Vegas, everything was much more compact. The red carpet was held along the Bellagio Fountains and the rest of the draft experience was held just a block away on the strip, near Caesar’s Forum. Rather than in a natural park like Chicago’s, Vegas’ draft was mostly carnival-style in a parking lot. The one advantage was that no matter where you were in the viewing area, you always had eyes on the stage and Commissioner Goodell announcing the picks.

However, as for the Packers’ selections, they made two selections in the first round after receiving the Raiders’ first and second round picks in return for wide receiver Davante Adams. Despite the holes at wide receiver, they used both selections to pick defensive prospects, selecting linebacker Quay Walker and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt, who both won a national championship playing at Georgia in 2021.

On Day 2, finally, the Packers selected a receiver, trading up for North Dakota State’s Christian Watson. Watson also won a national championship in the FCS during the 2021 season, dominating the Championship Subdivision of D-I football. His tall frame and blazing speed makes him one of the most intriguing prospects the Packers have acquired through the draft in recent memory and comes in with big shoes to fill, as Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling made their exits from Green Bay this offseason. 

At the end of the third round, the Packers made their final selection of the day, picking up UCLA offensive lineman Sean Rhyan. Rhyan allowed just one sack in 451 pass blocking snaps in his senior season for the Bruins and also showed an elite level of physicality in the run-blocking game.

On Day 3, the Packers made seven selections and were able to make some extremely high-value picks in the process. Green Bay selected another receiver with their first of two fourth round picks, taking Romeo Doubs from Nevada. He is coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons and averaged over 15 yards per reception with the Wolfpack. 

Another steal the Packers made was drafting South Carolina linebacker Kingsley Enagbare in the fifth round, who was projected as a third-round pick. After losing star edge rusher Za’Darius Smith in free agency, Enagbare will hopefully develop to fill his role.

The 2022 NFL regular season schedule will be released later this week, but fans will be able to see the new players in action when training camp opens in July.