The Green Bay Packers are facing an uncertain offseason. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is once again holding the team hostage by his failure to commit to playing in the green and gold in 2022, and while there remains a strong chance the 2021 NFL MVP will return to Titletown next season, the odds seem equally likely that Jordan Love will be QB1 on the depth chart by the time the 2022 NFL Draft rolls around. If Love does ascend to the starting role because of a Rodgers trade or retirement, Green Bay will have no choice but to focus their early-round assets on adding players who can help Love transition from backup to starter-replacing-a-legend as smoothly as possible. Ironically, that strategy could involve drafting a wide receiver in the first round despite years of lobbying by Rodgers—to no avail—to add more playmakers in the draft. Take the most recent mock drafts by TDN scouts Damian Parson and Drae Harris. They both have the Packers adding Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave at No. 28 overall. “Chris Olave is a nuanced route-runner that stems his routes with good pacing,” Parsons wrote. “He creates natural separation with experience in the slot, bunch sets, and to the field. Olave will bring more big-play potential to this offense.” Olave in an offense led by Rodgers would be a scary sight for defenses in the NFC North. But Olave catching passes from Love? That’s not nearly as intimidating… at least, not yet. Love completed just 58% of his passes and threw three interceptions in his brief stint on the field in 2021, and while it’s true he can take a big step in his development this offseason, it’d be wholly illogical to think he can step in and replace Rodgers next fall. And to be fair, no one realistically can. Wide receiver will rank high on the Packers’ 2022 NFL Draft wish list for reasons that extend beyond just their interest in Love’s development. Superstar pass-catcher Davante Adams is slated to hit free agency in a few weeks, and if Green Bay doesn’t re-sign him, the offense will be in a world of trouble. Allen Lazard? Amari Rodgers? Randall Cobb? Not the most exciting cast of wideouts. Olave would instantly change that outlook. His draft stock has taken an inexplicable hit this season despite enjoying a career year in every major receiving category, but his arrow is beginning to point in the right direction again. Olave is currently TDN’s WR2 and the No. 17 player overall, so adding him at the 28th pick would qualify as really good value for Green Bay. Everything the Packers do this offseason will be determined by who their starting quarterback is in 2022. If Rodgers is, in fact, finished in Green Bay, adding a talent like Olave would be a near-necessity to help offset the significant regression that’s coming soon to Lambeau Field.
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022