The Green Bay Packers enter the 2022 season with big expectations once again. After a disappointing loss in the Divisional Round, a lot of pressure will be placed on reigning NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers are going to have to replicate that success without All-Pro WR Davante Adams as he was traded to as Vegas. However, WR talent was added in the draft and All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari should be fully healthy this season. The Packers were able to hold onto and resign many of their talented pieces and make another run for it in 2022.
Below we will break down each position group for the 2022 Packers:
QB: Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, Kurt Benkert, Danny Etling
Explanation: One of the easier grades to give the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is the reigning back-to-back MVP and has a new contract in place. It will be interesting to see if Davante Adams departing for Las Vegas will affect Rodgers’ production. The only reason the grade is not an A+ is if Rodgers were to go down, how capable would Jordan Love be to take over?
RB: Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Kylin Hill, Patrick Taylor
Explanation: spearheaded by the two-headed monster in Jones and Dillon, the Packers have a good 1-2 punch at RB. While Aaron Jones did see a significant drop off in his yards per game, his yards per attempt was still 4.7. Aj Dillon coming onto the scene in 2020 definitely helped to manage the workload for the two in 2021. A balanced workload for RB is crucial for overall success of both the player and team. Davante Adams leaving in free agency and the return of David Bakhtiari should make the Packers run a little more in 2022 to create a more balanced offensive attack.
WR: Christian Watson, Sammy Watkins, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Romeo Doubs, Malik Taylor, Samari Toure, Danny Davis III
Explanation: The loss of Davante Adams affects this grade a great deal. However, the Packers did use three draft picks on receivers and brought in a veteran like Sammy Watkins. The grade is what it is because there is so much unproven youth in the room. Watson is an explosive receiver that has major upside but is making the jump to the NFL from the FCS. Having a talent like Rodgers under center will certainly help their progression but there will be big expectations on the young guys heading into 2022.
TE: Robert Tonyan, Josiah Deguara, Marcedes Lewis, Tyler Davis
Explanation: Robert Tonyan will be coming off a knee injury in 2022 and Josiah Deguara has shown flashes of potential. Lewis has long been a steady run blocker but is 38. A lot of the success from the Tight End position will be up to Tonyan and his ability to bounce back and get to his 2020 form. The Packers seem comfortable with their depth and what they have in Tyler Davis so this will be a big “prove it” year for this position group in 2022.
OL: David Bakhtiari, Jon Runyan, Josh Myers, Royce Newman, Elgton Jenkins, Yosh Nijman, Zach Tom, Jake Hanson, Sean Rhyan, Coke Van Lanen, Michael Menet, George Moore, Rasheed Walker
Explanation: Getting Bakhtiari healthy is a major plus for this unit as you will have two solid book end tackles. Jon Runyan is a player that steadily improved after a rough start last year. The Packers also added some good developmental players like Tom and Runyan in the draft. Altogether, this is a very solid group when healthy that should be able to match up well with opposing defensive lines.
DL: Dean Lowry, Kenny Clark, Jarran Reed, Jack Heflin, TJ Slaton, Devonte Wyatt, Hauati Pututau, Jonathan Ford, Akial Byers, Chris Slayton
Explanation: This is a very much improved group heading into 2022, highlighted by Devonte Wyatt. Wyatt was a first round pick that should immediately step in and be a key contributor alongside Kenny Clark. They also added Jarran Reed this off-season which will improve this group from 2021.
LB: Preston Smith, De’Vondre Campbell, Quay Walker, Rashan Gary, Tipa Galeai, Ty Summers, Krys Barnes, Kingsley Enagbare, Randy Ramsey, Tariq Carpenter, Ray Wilborn, Jonathan Garvin, Kiondre Thomas, Chauncey Manac, Isaiah McDuffie, Ellis Brooks, LaDarius Hamilton
Explanation: The loss of Za’Darius Smith definitely hurts but keeping Preston Smith and Rashan Gary helps lessen the blow. Both Smith and Gary had very solid performances last season and the Packers added in the draft with Enagbare. On the inside, Campbell had a breakout season and the Packers added squat Walker in the draft, solidifying those two spots. On paper, this is a very solid, athletic front seven that opposing offenses will have to face.
CB: Eric Stokes, Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, Shemar Jean-Charles, Kiondre Thomas, Keisean Nixon, Kabion Ento, Rico Gafford
Explanation: You won’t see a trio of defensive backs like Alexander, Stokes, and Douglas on most teams. Alexander is one of the top corners in the game, Stokes played very well as a rookie in 2021 and should only improve, and Douglas broke out with 5 INT in 2021. The health of those three is imperative to the Packers success as the depth behind them is many unproven players. Regardless, this is a position group of strength on this team.
S: Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Vernon Scott, Shawn Davis, Tariq Carpenter, Innis Gaines, Tre Sterling
Explanation: This is another unit that is very top heavy. Adrian Amos is a proven player and Darnell Savage has shown consistent play but outside of the top two there isn’t much depth at all. The Packers might try and look to add a veteran presence before the season to help sure up this unit just in case one of Amos or Savage goes down.