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For their work during the three days of the 2022 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers received mostly high marks despite a few outlier grades from various draft analysts.
Every year, Rene Bugner compiles draft grades from 18 different sources to help establish a consensus grade. This year, the Packers ranked 14th in overall grade among the 32 NFL teams. Their final grade was brought down by a few C’s and one D grade.
Let’s say this right off the bat (and we say this every year): Instant draft grades are mostly meaningless little things. For most, it’s basically an exercise in looking at the general consensus on a player, figuring out if the player was a reach or a steal, and then doing it several more times, all while trying to understand if the team addressed the perceived draft needs. And it’s nearly impossible to factor in how each individual player will develop amidst a million different variables.
True grades can’t be established until two or three years down the road. But instant draft grades are undeniably fun. They can be informative if done correctly. Evaluating the process is valuable. We don’t know what the players will become, but we can try to understand what the team was thinking during each part of the event. And if an expert really knows the players, grading value in each draft slot can be accomplished to some degree.
So take the grades for what they are and don’t be bothered either way.
Of the 18 draft grades compiled, the Packers received five grades in the A range and five more in the B+ range.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com gave the Packers an A or A- during each day of the draft.
Doug Farrar and Mark Schofield of parent site Touchdown Wire gave the Packers an A for their work.
From Farrar and Schofield: “It took a while for the Packers to make Aaron Rodgers a little less miserable by taking receivers in this draft, but they may have hit a home run with North Dakota State’s Christian Watson, who can win from any area of the field, and has special potential as a deep target. Nevada’s Romeo Doubs, last seen catching bombs from Carson Strong, was one of the NCAA’s most productive deep receivers in 2021, so if Rodgers wants to air it out in 2022, he’s got the guys who can make that work. But it’s on the defensive side of the ball where the Pack really made strides. Georgia linebacker Quay Walker is a do-it-all guy who can play off-ball and rush the quarterback, Devonte Wyatt looks like a Kenny Clark clone, and South Carolina EDGE Kingsley Enagbare fell far below his potential. If those three prospects ascend to their potential in 2022, the Packers might challenge for the title of the NFL’s most balanced team.”
Not everyone was convinced.
James Dator of SB Nation gave the Packers a “D,” mostly due to his thoughts on the first-round picks.
From Dator: “Thank god the Vikings allowed Green Bay to trade up and bail them out, because this class was ugly otherwise. Christian Watson has huge potential to become a stud, but both Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt will turn into mediocre, wasted picks. There was some nice depth in the later rounds, but this draft was largely a failure in terms of making this team better, which is terrible when you enter with two first round picks.”
Some like a lot of what the Packers accomplished but not all, like Luke Easterling of Draft Wire, who gave Green Bay a B+ grade.
From Easterling: “Back-to-back defensive picks in the first round kicked things off for the Pack, and while Walker has promising tools and upside, Utah’s Devin Lloyd would have been the better pick at that position. It’s hard to argue with much else in this class, though. WR Christian Watson has superstar athleticism and potential, OLs Sean Rhyan and Zach Tom give Green Bay tons of versatility up front, and WR Romeo Doubs was a great value pick. Enagbare could have easily gone two rounds earlier, and fits this defense perfectly. OT Rasheed Walker was another steal late on Day 3.”
Don’t stress too much about draft grades. They are fun little exercises in the immediate aftermath of a major roster-building event in the NFL, but As on the first day of May won’t guarantee a Super Bowl in February, just like a Ds and Fs won’t doom a team to the first pick next April.
The Packers picked 11 players they really liked. Some will help Matt LaFleur’s team right away. Some might bust. Others might turn into annual Pro Bowlers and keep the Packers winning for years to come.
On the surface, the draft class looks strong. The Packers added athletic young players in the defensive front, found three wide receivers and three offensive linemen to address big needs, and possibly found big sleepers at edge rusher and offensive tackle on Day 3.
Want to give your own grade for the Packers? You can vote in our poll here.
This needs to be said every year when it comes to draft grades: Don’t overreact, have some patience, and enjoy the ride!