The Packers didn’t add a receiver at the trade deadline, and things get tougher from here, schedule-wise. There’s a pretty good chance the rest of the 2022 season ends up being quite a slog as the Packers try to make a run while remaining more or less on the brink of elimination for the rest of the year.
But there’s plenty to watch on this Packers team, even if they don’t make the playoffs. Here’s what our writers will be looking for as the 2022 season plays out.
Rcon14: Can anyone from the 2020-2022 classes help?
The last three drafts have been, almost without exception, massive misses from the Packers. The best thing you can say about them is that GB has secured two solid but unspectacular interior offensive linemen in Jon Runyan Jr. and Josh Myers. It is still early for the 2022 class, obviously, and there have been some flashes from the likes of Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Zach Tom, JJ Enagbare, and Samori Toure, but one very underrated reason for this team struggling is that the team has not drafted particularly well since the disastrous 2015 class. Only Kenny Clark, Rashan Gary, Aaron Jones, and Jaire Alexander have been big hits in that time period, and the Packers have drafted exactly zero difference makers on offense outside of Jones. The cap problems and lack of veteran additions over the past few years haven’t helped, but the reason Green Bay is struggling is because they haven’t drafted well. We’re going to find out in the next few weeks if the 20 and 21 classes were also complete wastes, and we’ll probably find out quite a bit more about the 22 class as well.
Paul Noonan: Rookie WRs
I’m all about the rookie receivers. I’m watching to see if the Packers can leverage some of these guys to improve the vertical passing game, and to see if Doubs and Toure can turn into good outside compliments for whatever Lazard and Cobb are able to give you inside. I’ll also be watching everything Watson does or doesn’t do, and I’ll be hoping that if the games stop mattering, they start using him more like MVS and less like Tyler Ervin. He may be a health bust when it’s all said and done, but I’d like to see him at least get a chance at some go routes first.
Tex: What’s the future of the offensive line?
Every single player along the line still has some level of question mark at this point. Can David Bakhtiari get to a point where the team can rely on him playing every snap every week? Will Elgton Jenkins be able to do the same and is he worthy of a big-time contract? Are either Josh Myers or Jon Runyan better than just “solid”? Can Yosh Nijman get comfortable enough at right tackle to be a long-term starting option there? And can Zach Tom show enough improvement over the rest of his rookie campaign to be a viable starting option in 2022? Hopefully we’ll be able to get the answers to most if not all of those questions over the next ten weeks.
Jon Meerdink: Devonte Wyatt
Among many other questions on the Packers’ defense, Devonte Wyatt’s mystifying playing time is among the biggest. He has yet to play more than a dozen snaps in a game and seems firmly entrenched behind Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed on the depth chart.
Maybe he’s not better than Lowry or Reed (a truly annoying possibility, but one we can’t rule out). But how much worse could he really be? And even if he is worse right now, he has a much higher athletic ceiling than either one. More importantly, he’s the only one of this trio that’s going to be on the Packers in 2023.
I’m very interested to see what kind of playing time he ends up getting over the rest of the season. Either way, it will reveal a lot about what the Packers think about a pretty significant young player on their team.