Redrafting the Packers’ rookie class after the 2022 season

(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /

After one season, the Green Bay Packers‘ 2022 draft class has the potential to be Brian Gutekunst’s best as general manager.

Quay Walker, Christian Watson, and Romeo Doubs became starters, with Watson showing star potential.

Devonte Wyatt impressed when he got opportunities, especially late in the season, while Zach Tom stepped in and played well. He could start in 2023.

However, nothing is perfect. With one season to look back on, here’s my attempt at a Packers 2022 redraft.

Round 1 (22): Quay Walker, LB, Georgia

Original pick: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia

The Packers can’t have any complaints about the choice they made. You could argue Devin Lloyd had a better rookie season, but it’s close.

Walker had an up-and-down year, but he showed a ton of potential. He led the Packers in tackles, forced three fumbles, and defended seven passes before making the PFWA All-Rookie Team.

A breakout season could be ahead for Walker in 2023.

Round 1 (28): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Original pick: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

This is less about Devonte Wyatt, who played well, and more about George Karlaftis and the rookie year he had.

Karlaftis started all 17 games for the Kansas City Chiefs, making six sacks, 11 quarterback hits, two fumble recoveries, and seven pass defenses. He made the PFWA All-Rookie Team.

What should excite Chiefs fans is how well he played later in the season. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah had Karlaftis 10th in his end-of-season rookie rankings.

“He’s played as well as any rookie defensive lineman over the last seven weeks of the season, with 5.5 sacks in that span,” wrote Jeremiah.

Round 2 (34): Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

Original pick: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

The Packers may have hit a home run here. Christian Watson showed star potential in the second half of the season, scoring eight touchdowns in the final eight games.

With his rare combination of size, speed, and athleticism, Watson gives defenders all sorts of problems when the ball is in his hands.

Round 3 (92): Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois

Original pick: Sean Rhyan, OL, UCLA

Kerby Joseph made four interceptions in his rookie season, and three of them were on Aaron Rodgers. So, if nothing else, the Packers drafting Joseph would take three picks off of Rodgers’ total.

Joseph was impressive for the Detroit Lions, starting 14 games. The Packers have a need at safety entering 2023, and Joseph would’ve been an ideal addition to the defense.

Instead, they drafted Sean Rhyan, who didn’t play a single offensive snap in 2022.

Round 4 (132): Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

Original pick: Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

No need to change things here. Romeo Doubs was impressive, particularly in the first half of the season, and could have a big future in Green Bay.

Round 4 (140): Zach Tom, OL, Wake Forest

Original pick: Zach Tom, OL, Wake Forest

Same again. No need for the Packers to change their pick here, either.

Zach Tom came off the bench multiple times and lined up at various positions along the offensive line. Despite being put in tough situations, he delivered. The Packers have to be excited about his future as a possible starter.

Round 5 (179): James Houston, EDGE, Jackson State

Original pick: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

Kingsley Enagbare showed potential, making three sacks and eight quarterback hits. But it’s hard to ignore James Houston’s impressive numbers.

He didn’t make his Detroit Lions debut until Week 12, but he made up for lost time, making eight sacks and 11 quarterback hits in just seven games.

Round 7 (228): Tariq Carpenter, S, Georgia Tech

Original pick: Tariq Carpenter, S, Georgia Tech

Another solid pick by the Packers. Tariq Carpenter became a key player on special teams, which is exactly why Green Bay drafted him.

Round 7 (234): Isiah Pacheco, RB, Rutgers

Original pick: Jonathan Ford, DT, Miami (FL)

Isiah Pacheco rushed for 830 yards and five touchdowns for the Chiefs this season. He would’ve provided some valuable depth at running back.

Round 7 (249): Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State

Original pick: Rasheed Walker, OL, Penn State

Why not? Quarterback may not be a need, but Brock Purdy has looked good for the San Francisco 49ers, helping them reach the NFC Championship Game. If Aaron Rodgers is traded or retires in 2023, Purdy could’ve been a solid backup to Jordan Love and a young quarterback to develop.

Round 7 (258): Samori Toure, WR, Nebraska

Original pick: Samori Toure, WR, Nebraska

Samori Toure didn’t play much in 2022, but he did show some potential. He had a memorable 37-yard touchdown catch versus the Buffalo Bills. He is a young player to develop.