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2022 NFL Draft: How far could the Packers move if they hope to trade up?

Brian Gutekunst hasn’t been afraid to wheel and deal. But just how far could he move with so much draft capital available to him this year?

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Since taking over as the Green Bay Packers’ general manager in 2018, Brian Gutekunst has made a total of four trades in the first round of his four drafts, moving up three separate times. In fact, 2021 was the first time that he did not move up in the first round and the first year that he made no trades at all on draft weekend.

2022 seems like it is likely to be a different story. The Packers have 11 selections in total, with two each in rounds 1, 2, and 4 plus three in the 7th and final round. They likely will not have that many spots available for rookies on their roster, so the smart money is on Gutekunst trying to be aggressive once again and make some moves upward on the board. But just how far could they actually get, given the glut of draft capital that the team has this year?

We’re here to help answer that question and give a realistic look at what the Packers’ picks could net them in a trade up. Instead of looking at the classic Jimmy Johnson trade chart, however, we’ll check out the more modern chart compiled by Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit, which has been somewhat more consistent with recent trade values. In most of these cases, the two charts are off in value by only a pick or two, with the Johnson chart tending to lead to the pick coming back to Green Bay being one or two slots below the pick identified by the Hill chart.

Let’s see just how far the Packers could get within reason, looking primarily at picks in the first four rounds to get us within the right general range. Note that the Packers have two fourth-round picks, at #132 and #140 overall, but both are roughly equal in value and are effectively interchangeable.

Moving up from 22

In this scenario, let’s see how far the Packers could get by trading up from the 22nd pick, which they acquired from the Las Vegas Raiders (along with #53) in exchange for the rights to Davante Adams. If Green Bay were willing to package both of its first-rounders, they could potentially get as high as #5 overall, where the New York Giants currently sit. That’s probably not realistic, as Green Bay would probably be unlikely to do so.

However, packaging 22 and 53 together could be a possibility — after all, the Packers had neither of those selections a month ago. That could potentially get Green Bay up to just outside the top ten, with the value coming in about equivalent to the 11th overall selection. If the Packers see a player they really love dropping out of the top ten, that could be a way for Gutekunst to make a run and go get him.

Here’s a look at a number of different combinations and the roughly equivalent value on the Rich Hill chart of each package of picks.

Trade Up from 22

Pick Combo Picks Value Equivalent Pick
Pick Combo Picks Value Equivalent Pick
22+28 462 #5 (468)
22+53 359 #11 (358)
22+59 315 #15 (315)
22+92 296 #17 (296)
22+132 273 #19 (278)
22+53+59 450 #6 (446)
22+53+92 402 #8 (406)
22+59+92 387 #9 (387)
22+53+132 379 #10 (369)
22+92+132 316 #15 (315)

Many mock drafts lately seem to have a run on receivers in the late teens, so something in the 14/15 range might be an ideal place to land should the Packers want to move up for a wideout. Baltimore at 14 has several connections with the Packers front office, as Milt Hendrickson used to work there, so that feels like a plausible spot to reach.

Moving up from 28

The Packers have actually made a significant move up from the late 20s recently, moving from 27 to 18 in 2018 to select Jaire Alexander. That trade cost Green Bay a third-rounder (#76) and a sixth-round pick, though that third was 16 picks earlier than this year’s pick in the same round (#92).

A similar trade, this time with 28, 92, and 132, could get the Packers up to around the 20th selection. That’s about what NFL.com’s Chad Reuter just projected in his recent mock this weekend, getting the Packers to 21 with that package to make back-to-back selections.

Trade Up from 28

Pick Combo Picks Value Equivalent Pick
Pick Combo Picks Value Equivalent Pick
28+53 344 #12 (347)
28+59 300 #16 (305) or #17 (296)
28+92 252 #22 (253)
28+132 229 #25 (230)
28+53+59 406 #8 (406)
28+53+92 358 #11 (358)
28+59+92 343 #12 (347) or #13 (336)
28+53+132 335 #13 (336)
28+92+132 272 #20 (269)

If Green Bay needs to move up just three spots or so, they could probably do so by sending a fourth-round pick. That could get them to about 25, a similar climb to what they pulled off in 2020 when they moved from 30 to 26 and sent pick number 136. Of course, that 26th pick ended up being Jordan Love.

The trade that Reuter mocked, up to around 21, feels like a good spot here, giving Green Bay the chance to make back-to-back selections. This writer thinks that using the 22nd pick is the more likely place to move from to get into the teens before letting the board fall, and if they do that, perhaps another move up into the mid-20s — with Dallas at 24, perhaps — could be in the cards should Gutekunst target someone specific.

Moving up from 53

Packaging their pair of second-rounders could potentially get the Packers a third first-round pick around #30 overall. But the Packers could also move up about 13 spots by sending their third-round pick or six slots by trading away a fourth. That could move them into position in the 40s to snag a player who is falling or to move up ahead of the likes of Minnesota and Chicago.

Seattle could be a possibility, given that they have the 40th and 41st picks. John Schneider worked with Gutekunst in Green Bay before the two became GMs, and the two have made deals in the past.

Trade Up from 53

Pick Combo Picks Value Equivalent Pick
Pick Combo Picks Value Equivalent Pick
53+59 197 #30 (196)
53+92 149 #40 (149)
53+132 126 #47 (124)
53+59+92 240 #24 (237)
53+92+132 169 #35 (170)

Moving up from 59

Finally, here’s a look at the options for the Packers moving up from the 59th overall selection, using either their third-rounder, a fourth, or both. Green Bay could move up to the middle of round two with the third-round pick or into the early 50s by sending one of their fourth-rounders.

Trade Up from 59

Pick Combo Picks Value Equivalent Pick
Pick Combo Picks Value Equivalent Pick
59+92 134 #44 (135)
59+132 111 #51 (112)
59+92+132 154 #39 (153)

Pick 44 could be a feasible target here, as that is the Cleveland Browns’ first selection after trading their first-rounder away to acquire Deshaun Watson. If they want to move back and add a few additional selections, this could be a way to do it.