The Green Bay Packers haven’t drafted a wide receiver in the first round in 20 years. That’s because the team has been very good at finding talent in second round.
They got Greg Jennings in 2006, Jordy Nelson in 2008, Randall Cobb in 2011, and Davante Adams in 2014. You will probably be able to add another name to that list soon: Christian Watson in 2022. After picking two defensive players from Georgia in the first, Packers fans were wondering when and where any wide receivers would come from on Day 2 of the draft.
They didn’t have to wait long. The Packers originally had the 53rd and 59th picks, but general manager Brian Gutekunst traded both of those picks for No. 34. Suddenly, they drafted Watson, and the Packers possibly have their next talented receiver.
Who traded with Green Bay so they could grab him? The Minnesota Vikings, of course.
Vikings Trade Within Division
I’m sure Minnesota had their reasons. Their new general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, wanted to make an impact and try something new with the team. But I don’t think anyone envisioned the Vikings making not one but two trades within the division during the draft. Minnesota had obvious needs that they could drop for. But you don’t do multiple trades within your division and keep dropping when you need a lot of talent.
The Packers are going to control the NFC North for quite some time if these picks don’t work for the Vikings, especially if Watson ends up being the next big receiver for Green Bay. Heck, I would give the Detroit Lions the next chance to dethrone the Packers before the Vikings do.
With the 53rd pick, Minnesota traded with the Indianapolis Colts and moved up to No. 42. They landed Andrew Booth Jr. out of Clemson. He might be a great player, and scouts considered him a first-round talent at one time. The only issue? Staying healthy. He didn’t participate in any workouts or the combine because of a muscle injury and had to have surgery in 2020 due to a torn patella tendon.
With No. 59, the Vikings picked Ed Ingram out of LSU. Again, the offensive lineman could be a great player and compete for a starting job this season. The issue is that Ingram was arrested in 2018. He was charged with two counts of sexual assault, and that’s not something to take lightly. The charges were dropped in 2019. The Vikings claim they did their homework on the situation before drafting him.
Vikings Trade Within Division Twice
The craziest part about the Vikings’ trade with the Packers in the second round is that it wasn’t the team’s first trade within the division. They also made a trade with the Lions on Thursday.
The Vikings sent picks No. 12 and 46 to the Lions in exchange for No. 32, 34, and 66. The Vikings would end up selecting safety Lewis Cine out of Georgia with No. 32. They could have grabbed Kyle Hamilton at 12 but were okay moving back.
Detroit took Jameson Williams at 12. They were ready and willing to go grab him, and the Vikings allowed them to. The talented wideout is still recovering from a torn ACL back in January, but all signs point to Williams being able to return in Week 1 of the regular season.
They can take their time with him too. The Lions have a talented young receiving wide receiver group already. Amon-Ra St. Brown, D.J. Chark Jr., and Josh Reynolds are nothing to complain about. And now you add Williams to the mix. Along with their upgraded defensive picks, the Lions could be a much improved team next season.
Trades Still Baffling
Yes, the Vikings didn’t mind moving back to get more picks. But the fact that they let the Packers just grab their top spot in the second round for a huge impact receiver is baffling. They knew they would do that, right? My dog knew the Packers wanted a receiver.
Yes, Minnesota drafted some cornerbacks that they hope work out and can stop these new wide receivers they allowed the Packers and Lions to select. But are you sure that’s going to work out? They drafted some defense, some offensive line help for the amazingly average Kirk Cousins and a couple of possible weapons in the later rounds for him.
You can’t help your own divisional opponents in the draft. It’s silly. You had picks at No. 12 , 32, and 34. And then you gave 34 away for two picks the 50s. Madness. Sure, it is more picks. But if Hamilton becomes the next shut-down safety, the only thing people will remember is their new GM making the wrong call. It’s easy to mock right now, but it just seems like this was another case of the Minnesota Vikings being the Minnesota Vikings.