Thursday, December 7, 2023

Davante Adams trade: How Packers can rebuild roster with 2022 NFL Draft picks acquired from Raiders

The Green Bay Packers passing game has been Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and little more at times in recent years. After opting to trade Adams to Las Vegas Thursday evening, Green Bay is left to re-tool the roster with the No. 22 and No. 53 overall selections acquired from the Raiders, as well as three of their own picks in the top 100. 

How can Green Bay maximize those assets in the final years of Rodgers’ career? 

The team has needs at wide receiver as well as the offensive line after moving on from Billy Turner and Lucas Patrick. Elgton Jenkins has five position flexibility but ideally he would continue playing inside. They could add another big body along the defensive front or mix in a third edge rusher to rotate with Rashan Gary and Preston Smith

With some degree of certainty, it is safe to assume that the Packers will take a wide receiver in the first round for the first time since 2002. When Green Bay told the quarterback that Adams was on his way out, I would like to think the conversation between Rodgers and general manager Brian Gutekunst went something like this:

Gutekunst: “It is in our best interest to move on from Davante. Las Vegas is willing to take on his salary while also giving us picks in the first and second round.”

Rodgers: “Are…”

Gutekunst interrupts: “But I promise we will take a wide receiver in the first round.”

There are several options for the Packers to pursue in the first round. With the potential loss of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the team needs speed. Ohio State’s Chris Olave and Alabama’s Jameson Williams check the box. Both players are known to have run the 40-yard dash in less than 4.40 seconds. If they wanted to wait until later in the first round, Penn State’s Jahan Dotson and North Dakota State’s Christian Watson could emerge as options. 

Green Bay will likely wait to see how the first round plays out rather than locking themselves into one particular outcome. Boston College interior offensive lineman Zion Johnson could be an option as well as Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning or Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann. Some of the other possibilities include Georgia defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, Houston defensive tackle Logan Hall, Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo and Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe.

Of the three potential areas of focus, wide receiver has the most depth in the draft but it is hard to envision one of those first round choices not being earmarked for a wide receiver. Here is one hypothetical scenario:

No. 22 overall: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

No. 28 overall: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

No. 53 overall: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

No. 59 overall: Travis Jones, DT, UCONN

No. 92 overall: Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati

The 2022 NFL Draft takes place from April 28-30 in Las Vegas.

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