Once again, the Green Bay Packers fell at the hands of the 49ers in the postseason. Now, all attention turns towards Aaron Rodgers and what he will do this offseason. For this Packers 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft, we will assume the star QB gets what he wants and leaves Green Bay. So, what direction could the franchise go in this year’s NFL Draft?
Green Bay Packers 7-Round NFL Mock Draft
Round 1, Pick 28: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
If Rodgers does take his talents elsewhere, Green Bay needs to find his replacement — and fast. The Packers took Jordan Love with the 26th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, so it is still early to make definitive statements. However, the franchise must take as many shots as needed on the QB position to continue their success under head coach Matt LaFleur.
As a result, they select Sam Howell in this mock draft. Howell showed he could produce with far less talent around him this year. His arm translates to the NFL, and his collegiate résumé is far superior to Love’s. Let the two battle it out, and may the best man win. It’s not like some team won’t come running with draft picks in hand to take either young signal-caller off Green Bay’s roster.
Round 2, Pick 59: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Make no mistake — Davante Adams is quite possibly the best overall receiver in football. But even he can’t do it alone. Enter Jahan Dotson. While the plan is to pair the Penn State WR with Adams, there is the possibility Adams follows Rodgers to their new landing spot. In that case, Dotson would instantly become Howell or Love’s top target.
He is a high-floor prospect thanks to his lateral and vertical athleticism, as well as sure hands and receiver instincts. His 5’11”, 184-pound frame may cause some to pigeonhole him into the slot, but Dotson has proven he can create outside throughout his collegiate career.
Round 3, Pick 92: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
The Packers sorely missed LT David Bakhtiari this season, especially in the Divisional Round against the 49ers. Elgton Jenkins has also missed time, but he is usually on the interior when fully healthy. Additionally, RT Dennis Kelly and G Lucas Patrick are free agents. Needless to say, Green Bay needs reinforcements up front.
Bernhard Raimann could come in and instantly start at right tackle, locking down the bookends with Bakhtiari. He allows Jenkins to kick back inside and form an elite core along the offensive line. At 6’7″ and 305 pounds, Raimann is a physical lineman that will keep his QB upright and pave lanes for Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.
Round 4, Pick 129: Josh Paschal, EDGE, Kentucky
In a loaded EDGE class, Josh Paschal has slipped through some cracks. With a positive showing at the Senior Bowl, he could join the seemingly never-ending list of edge rushers worthy of a Day 2 pick. Due to the position’s depth, the Packers can wait to Round 4 to take a talented pass rusher.
Green Bay could cut both Za’Darius and Preston Smith in 2022, saving roughly $28 million in cap space. They could use the money to bolster the lineup around their young QBs. Rashan Gary finally came into his own this year, and selecting Paschal would create a formidable pass-rushing duo. Paschal would be the thunder to Gary’s lightning, as his play is predicated on strength and a high motor.
Round 4, Pick 135: Damone Clark, LB, LSU
De’Vondre Campbell was by far Green Bay’s best linebacker in 2021. But he is a free agent this offseason, and Krys Barnes isn’t the answer. So, the Packers draft Damone Clark, who has the potential to take over the LB1 role if Campbell doesn’t return.
Clark can fill gaps in run defense and flow sideline to sideline, even flashing improved coverage chops this year. In 2021, he racked up 135 tackles and 15.5 tackles for loss, which shouldn’t be surprising for a listed 6’3″ and 245-pound prospect with reported 4.5 speed.
Other alternatives at No. 135: Tre’ Williams, EDGE, Arkansas; Quentin Lake, S, UCLA
Round 5, Pick 170: Max Mitchell, OL, Louisianna
At 6’6″ and 297 pounds, Max Mitchell starred at both right and left tackle for the Ragin’ Cajuns. He annihilates opponents at the point of attack and in the ground game. While that is his best attribute, Mitchell was consistent in pass protection, allowing just 5 sacks in four years of significant playing time.
Other alternatives at No. 170: Kyle Philips, WR, UCLA; Tyreke Smith, EDGE, Ohio State
Round 6, Pick 219: Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor
Dotson was a great pickup in the second round, but the Packers could still use more receiving weapons. That is exactly what the 6’3″ and 182-pound Tyquan Thornton is. The Baylor WR possesses impressive ball-tracking ability and can contort his body to best position himself. Furthermore, he owns stellar straight-line speed with some explosiveness in the open field.
Other alternatives at No. 219: Clarence Hicks, LB, UTSA; Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati
Round 7, Pick 227: Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State
Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes form a deadly duo at cornerback. However, Kevin King, Rasul Douglas, Chandon Sullivan, and Isaac Yiadom are all hitting the open market. The Packers would be wise to re-sign Douglas after the job he did filling in for an injured Alexander. Yet, the team still needs more help.
Decobie Durant is perfect for the slot in the NFL, thanks to his fluidity and ability to read plays quickly. He can start inside from Day 1 or provide depth behind Alexander, Stokes, and Douglas — if Green Bay brings him back.
Other alternatives at No. 227: Andrew Stueber, OL, Michigan; Pierre Strong Jr., RB, South Dakota State
Round 7, Pick 248: Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State
With Robert Tonyan out for the final stretch of the season, the Packers relied on a combination of the 37-year-old Marcedes Lewis and H-back Josiah Deguara at tight end. Yea, not great. Thus, Green Bay adds depth to the position, selecting SDSU’s Daniel Bellinger. While he couldn’t produce elite numbers in the Aztecs’ run-heavy offense, Bellinger can move in space, has experience pass and run blocking, and is an immense red-zone threat at 6’6″.
Other alternatives at No. 248: Joshua Williams, DB, Fayetteville State; James Houston IV, LB, Jackson State