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Packers doubled down on athletic receivers, offensive linemen in round 4

Romeo Doubs and Zach Tom feel like they could well be the next great Packers fourth-round steals.

New Mexico v Nevada Photo by Jonathan Devich/Getty Images

Day one of the 2022 NFL Draft was about the defense for the Green Bay Packers, as they took a pair of Georgia Bulldogs in Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt. Day two was about offense, with the trade up for wide receiver Christian Watson dominating the headlines over the third-round selection of offensive lineman Sean Rhyan. As for day three? Saturday’s full story has yet to be written, but round four will be remembered for the Packers doubling down on the positions that they drafted on Friday and getting great value in the process.

Romeo Doubs didn’t work out at the Scouting Combine this year, but if he had, Packers fans’ awareness level about him might have been higher than it was coming into this weekend. An excellent deep threat for the University of Nevada, Doubs was an excellent deep threat who posted back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in the Wolfpack’s air raid offense. Now he is a Packer, after slipping down to them with the 132nd selection.

Doubs (pronounced DOBBS) did run some drills at a private Pro Day in April, as discussed by Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson on Thursday. Perhaps in part because of medicals and in part to get a better picture of his athletic abilities, the Packers invited Doubs for a formal visit this spring, making him the third player in this year’s draft class to have taken a visit to Green Bay. Using the 40 time that he reported, 4.53 seconds, that gives him an unofficial RAS of about 7.5, putting him in the range the Packers like. (Note also that he continues the Packers’ trend this year of drafting players with elite broad jump results.)

While Watson’s athleticism is undeniable, the value for Doubs in the fourth round as both an insurance policy as well as a special teams contributor makes this feel like a tremendous selection, even if his draft position falls right in line with his spot on The Athletic’s consensus big board (139th).

On special teams, Doubs should immediately compete for reps as a return man on both punts and kickoffs. His first collegiate touch as a freshman was a punt return that he took back for an 80-yard touchdown, and he averaged more than ten yards per return in three of his four seasons in college. He said that he met with special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia and all of the Packers’ coaches who contribute in that area, and in those meetings he communicated to them that he understands the importance of special teams and his willingness to compete and contribute there.

One question Doubs will need to answer in the next few years revolves around his route-running. At Nevada, he was primarily used on go routes and he will need to develop his route tree. However, the Packers as an organization have developed plenty of successful route-runners over the years. But between Doubs and Watson, the Packers now have two players who can effectively serve as deep threats and can hopefully replace the production and impact on the offense that disappeared when Marquez Valdes-Scantling left for Kansas City in free agency.

Eight slots after selecting Doubs, the Packers then doubled down again, this time on the offensive line with the selection of Wake Forest’s Zach Tom. Perhaps no other player has been projected more closely to the Packers throughout the entire 2022 draft process than Tom, whose elite athleticism put his workout among the very best at his position in Combine history.

Literally every movement drill saw Tom perform above the 95th percentile as a tackle, his primary position in college:

Tom is a little bit like current Packers lineman Elgton Jenkins, however, as the team feels he can be a contributor at any position on the offensive line. In fact, when the pick was announced, his position was read off as a center, a spot where the Packers have now taken a player relatively highly in two straight drafts after grabbing Josh Myers in round two last year.

Between Rhyan and Tom, the Packers now have two additional exceptional athletes on the line who should at worst provide quality depth all across the line and at best could compete for starting jobs as rookies. The biggest question marks on the line at present involve right guard, where Royce Newman started as a rookie for most of 2021, and right tackle, where Yosh Nijman is expected to hold down the fort until Jenkins’ return from a torn ACL. However, Rhyan and Tom will likely give those two players everything they can handle in training camp to hold on to those starting jobs.

The Packers have been so good at finding contributors in round four for the past decade-plus, particularly on the offensive line. The list of starters and Pro Bowlers is truly something: Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang, David Bakhtiari, and JC Tretter have all come out of that round and each of them besides Tretter made at least one Pro Bowl in a Packers uniform. Zach Tom projects as the type of player who could well be the next addition to that list, but at the very least he and Rhyan have given the Packers some excellent depth for the interior of their offensive line.