2022: Setting The Stage
With Davante Adams departing before draft day, the next domino fell in Green Bay's destination towards the new era. Yet, the Packers still prioritized adding young defensive talent in round one of the 2022 draft.
Dating back to 1990, it was only the fifth time they'd held two first-round picks, and it marked the fourth time they'd selected a defensive player with both picks (Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt).
Since stepping in, Walker has been the top off-ball linebacker in his class and looks like a cornerstone piece in the Packers defense for a long time to come. The jury is still out on Wyatt, but he's shown flashes of the skill that got him selected in round one.
As the Packers do so often, they appear to have again hit a few more home runs for the offense in the middle rounds with Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Zach Tom.
With Walker, Watson, and Doubs, Gutekunst trialed the eventual 2023 blueprint for the first time by thrusting numerous rookies into starting roles.
To that effect, according to Matt Verderame of Sports Illustrated, over the last five years, Gutekunst's draft picks accumulated the 14th-most combined seasons as primary starters to enter this year (21), and in large thanks to the construction of the 2022 and 2023 classes, that number now sits at 35.
The success of the 2022 class was predicated on numerous top picks who would be able to step in as starters on day one and become more refined as the season progressed. The strategy proved fruitful enough to influence the Packers to fully embrace their roster construction blueprint in 2023.