Packers 2022 roster preview: Featured role for Christian Watson?

Green Bay Packers, Christian Watson - Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Christian Watson - Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Green Bay Packers may have missed out on the first-round wide receivers, but they traded up early in the second to land Christian Watson out of North Dakota State.

Watson has WR1 potential, but can he make an impact in his rookie season?

Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase have enjoyed breakout rookie years. Can Watson be the next great rookie wide receiver?

2021 stats

According to The Football Database, Watson played 12 games for North Dakota State last season, making 43 catches for 801 yards and seven touchdowns.

Will he make the roster?

Yes. Watson will be an important part of the Packers’ offense moving forward.

What to expect in 2022

A couple of things will determine the role Watson plays as a rookie.

One is how quickly he adjusts to the NFL. It is a big step up in competition, and it can take time for young receivers to reach their potential.

The other is how long it takes Watson to build a connection with Aaron Rodgers.

Earning Rodgers’ trust is crucial for any receiver on the team, and for good reason. Rodgers wants to know his pass-catchers will be in the right place at the right time.

For those reasons, the most likely scenario is that Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb will start ahead of Watson on the depth chart. Sammy Watkins, too.

While Watkins is also new to this offense, he has years of NFL experience.

But that doesn’t mean Watson can’t contribute. With his size, speed, and athleticism, he could quickly become a big-play threat in this offense. Even if his role is limited early on, Watson will have plenty to offer.

Training camp should be fascinating. We’ll see how Watson looks in the Packers’ offense and whether he is close to winning a starting job.

Watson could eventually become the Packers’ best wide receiver. This season? Only time will tell.