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Cheese Curds, 5/2: Packers plugged roster holes but also found value on draft weekend

Three or four of this year’s 11 draft picks could start in week one this year, with another five or so potentially making an impact on the depth chart or on special teams.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Another NFL Draft has come and gone and, in a way, it’s a little sad. Looking back on the three-day event when it’s over makes the whole thing feel a little silly, when few things take place the way anyone expects and all of the months of hype and analysis end up boiling down to 262 names being read on a stage over three days.

But now that the Green Bay Packers have their 11-man draft class of 2022, it’s time to get down to the business of breaking down how those players can help this team moving forward. And make no bones about it: this class looks like it should help significantly, both in these players’ rookie year and beyond.

While initial draft grades are somewhat split on the Packers’ approach this weekend, it seems to this writer that the team did a good job of balancing need and best player available approaches over the course of three days. One particular move clearly skewed in the latter direction, but other than that the Packers let the board come to them and made what generally look like very good value picks throughout the three days.

This group of rookies should be able to make an impact immediately, both based on the team’s needs and the players’ skills and fits in the Packers’ schemes. Combine that with another generally-elite level of athleticism across the board and this weekend seems like an overall big win for this franchise.

Let’s look at how other media outlets viewed the Packers’ moves this weekend.

2022 NFL Draft overview: How the Packers helped themselves in all three phases | Packers.com
The Packers reloaded the wide receiver and offensive line groups, while building up the middle of the defense with their first two picks. They then found a quality edge rusher on day three to help the pass rush depth and got a couple of likely special teams contributors in round seven. All in all, that feels like a successful draft overall.

Packers veered from their traditional best-player-available mantra to address key needs in NFL Draft | Packersnews.com
Did they, though? It doesn’t feel that was the overall strategy when they drafted a linebacker at 22 after signing De’Vondre Campbell to a big deal. Admittedly, the one big example of this being the case was the trade up for Christian Watson instead of letting the board fall to them at 53 and 59.

How did Packers do in draft value relative to 2022 consensus board? | Packers Wire
In fact, the Packers seemed to do an excellent job -- especially on day three -- of getting great value with their picks relative to the players' expected draft positions prior to the draft.

Packers post-draft depth chart: How do wide receivers stack up following draft additions? - The Athletic ($)
It's anybody's guess how the wideout depth chart will look heading into the season. The only likely roster locks at this point are Allen Lazard, Watson, and 4th-round pick Romeo Doubs. One can imagine scenarios in which any of the other players in that room right now don't make it out of training camp (though Randall Cobb is probably safe as well).

Tyler Goodson, B.J. Baylor Bring Different Skills to Backfield - Sports Illustrated
Green Bay certainly did not need to draft any running backs, with an elite 1-2 tandem and some quality depth in Patrick Taylor and Kylin Hill. But Iowa's Goodson might be the best bet of the initial undrafted free agent class to make the team thanks to his contributions in the passing game, while Baylor (out of Oregon State) is a tailor-made fit for the zone run game.

Biggest offseason questions, team needs, rookie battles and future upgrades for all 32 teams | ESPN
When your team's biggest question coming out of the draft is how much its veteran quarterback will participate in OTAs, that's a sign your roster is in a good place.

Man regrets buying cockatoo after discovering it likes to sing Drowning Pool's "Bodies" | Louder
I fail to see the problem with this situation.

2022 NFL Draft overview: How the Packers helped themselves in all three phases | Packers.com
The Packers reloaded the wide receiver and offensive line groups, while building up the middle of the defense with their first two picks. They then found a quality edge rusher on day three to help the pass rush depth and got a couple of likely special teams contributors in round seven. All in all, that feels like a successful draft overall.