The Green Bay Packers, whose Super Bowl aspirations could hinge on their ability to find an instant-impact receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft, managed to find big receivers in the second round.
This race started with Greg Jennings in 2006 and continued with Jordy Nelson in 2008, Randall Cobb in 2011 and Davante Adams in 2014.
General manager Brian Gutekunst might have been tempted to go that route again in this year’s draft. However, the huge wads of cash handed out to receivers who are great (Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams) and not-so-great (Christian Kirk) may suggest receivers are blowing away Thursday night as teams hope to land a star receiver . without paying star-receiver money.
“Every year, it seems like I feel like teams get these incredible values and people say, ‘Oh, yeah, the second and third rounds are the sweet spot,'” the NFL Draft analyst said. .com, Daniel Jeremiah, in a conference call Thursday.
Along with the Packers’ star fleet, Seattle’s DK Metcalf, San Francisco’s Deebo Samuel and Tennessee’s AJ Brown were 2019 second-round picks who were selected for a Pro Bowl.
Jeremiah remembers watching the drafts and seeing receivers with first-round ability drop in Day 2. He’s not so sure that’s going to happen this year.
“I think what’s going to happen is there’s going to be a little correction there and you’re going to see those receivers getting closer to where they’re placed and where they’re ranked,” said Jeremiah. “I don’t think teams are going to push them as much as they have in the past, knowing that they can just afford to wait. It’s too expensive to go and get one of these veterans.
Nine receivers earn at least $20 million per season, with most of those contracts signed this offseason. Samuel and Metcalf will certainly join this list.
“Looking at the cost of these wide releases and what it will take to buy one on the open market, and that number is over $20 million,” Jeremiah said. Instead, “you get cost control on a player like that at that price for four years plus a fifth-year option instead of having to go the veteran route and having to pay that amount huge to get a premium guy.”
A deep draft class awaits Gutekunst and his receiver-hungry peers. It’s not as heavy as some past drafts, but the talent will flow easily into Day 2 — a big deal for the Packers, who own two first-round picks and two more in the second.
“There is no Ja’Marr Chase. I would rate Ja’Marr Chase higher than anyone in that group,” Jeremiah said. “Devonta Smith, I would have a higher grade. Same with Jaylen Waddle. I would probably take these guys over anyone in this group. But I really like this band. There are six or seven guys you really like at the top. I don’t think the depth in round four and beyond is as good as some of the others we’ve seen, but I think so far it’s pretty good.
NFL Draft: Receiver Overview
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 receiver class, from stats to scouting to personal stories.