The Green Bay Packers selected three players in top 34 picks of 2022 NFL Draft, one of whom may not be what he seems — at least not right away.
Many may expect rookie second-round pick Christian Watson to be [the Packers’] new No. 1 receiver. He’s big (6’5″, 208 lbs), fast (4.36-second 40-yard dash) and was highly coveted by Green Bay.
However, Watson isn’t poised to be “the guy” as a rookie.
After waiting years for the Packers to draft a receiver highly, fans finally got Watson. But while the North Dakota State product may be a valuable contributor, he’s not going to be the star rookie fans have been hungry to see.
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Fellow Rookie Romeo Doubs Surpasses Watson as He Battles Injury
Should Watson falter out of the blocks in his first professional campaign, the disappointment would be great throughout Packer Nation.
Green Bay surrendered the 53rd and 59th picks to move up to the top of the second round and select Watson 34th overall, with hopes he could go a long way toward replacing departed All-Pro pass catcher Davante Adams.
Instead, Watson struggled with drops early in training camp and has missed most of the preseason after undergoing knee surgery in June, which landed him on the physically unable to perform list until just recently.
“His hands have definitely been questionable,” according to Andy Herman of Packer Report. “I don’t think there’s been a practice yet where he hasn’t dropped at least one pass.”
Since Watson’s injury, fourth-round wide receiver Romeo Doubs — who has had some issues of his own involving dropped passes — has emerged as the Packers’ premier young option on the edge. He is likely to join Allen Lazard, the presumed No. 1 option for quarterback Aaron Rodgers to open the season, and free agent pickup Sammy Watkins in Green Bay’s starting lineup.
Packers Hoped to Trade For Raiders TE Darren Waller This Offseason
Whether he turns out to be a “flop” as Kay suggested or not, it is reasonable to assume relative growing pains for Watson — and Doubs, for that matter. While Lazard is competent, his skill set has relegated him to a supporting role as a No. 2 or No. 3 option for the entirety of his career to this point.
All that said, it is reasonable to characterize the Packers as a great team top to bottom that is, nevertheless, absent a true No. 1 target in the passing game. Green Bay wanted to address that issue over the summer, as they attempted to trade for Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller.
To this point, the Packers’ efforts to secure Waller have been unsuccessful. However, there may be new light at the end of the tunnel, as Waller recently fired his agent regarding issues with his current contract.