National pundits mostly liked the Packers Georgia linebacker Quay Walker and his college teammate, Defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, with picks Nos. 22 and 28 in the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday. The obvious caveat: What about a receiver for Aaron Rodgers?
Take a look at what national writers were saying about picks.
USAToday: Both picks get a “B”
Doug Farrar gave the Packers a B for Walker and Wyatt
“There’s no question the Packers were looking for a receiver here after trading Davante Adams to the Raiders, but the value wasn’t there after a first run at position, so Green Bay wisely chooses to upgrade its linebacking corps. “, wrote Farrar. “Walker, who can blitz, cover and play off the ball, should be a great complement to De’Vondre Campbell, who really defined that defense in 2021.
“Wyatt is an incredible inside defensive lineman who is reminiscent of Kenny Clark, and when it comes to the Packers’ inside defensive line the past few seasons, it’s been about doubling Clark and picking everyone else. That Green Bay’s defense is much better off with Wyatt and linebacker Quay Walker, and Aaron Rodgers has months to complain about the lack of first-round receivers on Pat McAfee’s show.”
ESPN: Kiper thinks Packers are making ‘puzzle’ choices
“If you watch the Georgia movie carefully, you’d be really hard pressed to understand why Walker was drafted ahead of teammate Nakobe Dean,” Kiper wrote. “Walker was hard to assess; he didn’t have the splatter games that Dean had.
“It’s about the Packers projecting Walker’s potential because he’s 6-foot-4, 241 pounds and ran a 4.52-second 40-yard sprint at the combine. He’s got talent, but I didn’t see him put all I have Walker at 43rd overall on my Big Board, so that was a reach.
“Wyatt is a good player, but Green Bay passed up North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson, which must mean the franchise thinks they can level up with a veteran for Aaron Rodgers at target. I thought Watson would have been a good choice.”
The Ringer: Wyatt picks slightly better than Walker
Danny Kelly from The Ringer gave Walker’s pick a B and Wyatt a B-plus
“The Packers continue the increasingly funny troll job of Aaron Rodgers by using the pick they got in the Davante Adams trade to select a defensive player,” Kelly wrote. “With top receivers all off the board, however, I like this fit: Walker combines great size, reach and physicality and is an exceptional blitzer. It’s a lightweight reach and Walker is relatively inexperienced as a as a one-year starter, but he fills a need for Green Bay and should contribute right away alongside De’Vondre Campbell.
“With the second of two first-round picks, Green Bay grabs my No. 2 defensive tackle in Wyatt, a very athletic disrupter who bolsters the team’s inside line. Adding Wyatt to a group that already includes Kenny Clark, Jarran Reed , Dean Lowry, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary give the Packers a chance to field one of the deepest and most talented defensive fronts in the league.”
NFL.com: Gives both ‘A’, but Rodgers is one of the night’s losers
NFL.com’s Jeffri Chadiha included Aaron Rodgers as one of the big “losers” of the evening.
“Yes, we understand there are still six rounds left and the All-Pro receiver the Packers just traded (Davante Adams) was found out in the second round in 2014,” Chadiha wrote. “There was also an earlier-than-expected receiver race, with five in the first 16 picks. But let’s not forget the fact that the Lions made a bold move by trading 20 draft spots to (Jameson) Williams. Even if the Packers selected a couple of promising defensemen from Georgia (linebacker Quay Walker and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt), it felt like they missed an opportunity to do more with an offense that badly needed to improve its armament.
However, his NFL.com teammate, Chad Reuter, gave the Packers an A score for the first round.
“My rating reflects the value of the selected players, both of whom will be exceptional additions to the defense,” Reuters wrote. “If the team had traded in the top 12 to pick one of the best receivers, it would have been expensive – as evidenced by the Lions trade to the Vikings on Thursday night. So that was smart of Green Bay’s hang on tight and get the best value possible. If they don’t land one of the best receivers in the draft on Day 2, Packers fans will have a hard time swallowing it.”
Pro Football Focus: Prefers Wyatt over Walker
Walker’s pick was rated as ‘poor’ by PFF staff, with Wyatt rated as “good”.
“Georgia’s off-ball linebacker is not a downhill player in the running game, and he was always more of a reactor than a playmaker,” Anthony Treash wrote of Walker. “On the plus side, he has an elite physical profile. Walker is so good at wrapping up defenders with his nearly 80-inch wingspan. Throughout his college career, Walker has missed just seven of 138 tackles. attempts.
“No Power Five inside defensive lineman has earned a higher PFF rating in 2021,” Treash wrote of Wyatt. “The former Georgia Bulldog was the most hard-hitting inside defenseman in the Power Five. That continued all the way to the Senior Bowl, where he led everything in the standings in 1-on-1 win rate.”
Yahoo! : A B-minus and C-plus
Eric Edholm gave the Packers a B-minus for Walker and a C-plus for Wyatt.
“…Walker is a giant, tracker, and athletically blessed future green-point player whose instincts remain undeveloped,” Edholm wrote. “In time, he could be a monster, and the Packers have had a long view with almost all of their first-round picks under general manager Brian Gutekunst.
“In our simulation, Wyatt was going to Green Bay with his first round, so it just took a little longer there. Wyatt is a quick defensive lineman who set it all up in his season finale, projecting as a valuable piece of energy and a disruptor up front. In Green Bay, he’ll play multiple techniques and work in a starting role, likely as a Technical 5.”
CBS Sports: Likes both, with Walker slightly better than Wyatt
“He’s a hell of a choice,” Prisco said of Walker. “He’s a point guard, a speed linebacker who will give their defenses a nice complement to De’Vondre Campbell. I know they could have been a receiver here, but they can wait. Walker will be a great time.
“(Wyatt) has a chance to be a special player. He had some character issues, but he was productive on good defense.”
Fox Sports: More praise, liking Wyatt a bit more than Walker
“The third of five Georgia Bulldog defensemen to be selected in the first round, the Packers added speed, power and untapped potential with Walker, bolstering an already formidable defense,” Rang wrote. “Walking ahead of Devin Lloyd was a surprise, but scouts across the league felt he had a real shot at breaking into the first round, earning him a spot on my Mock-Buster list.
“It’s interesting that Wyatt ended up in Green Bay – or maybe scary for opponents – because watching him in Georgia and the Senior Bowl, I had flashbacks to Jarran Reed, who signed with the Packers in free agency, and a longtime standout from Green Bay Kenny Clark Stout in offensive line and a developing pass thrower with quick hands and some slipperiness to him, Wyatt is giving the Packers a terrific spin on the inside .
JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Packers take over ratings from Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt after first round