The Packers passed on adding a wide receiver in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft despite trading No. 1 target Davante Adams earlier this offseason. But they didn't ignore the position on Day Two, trading up 19 picks to select North Dakota State's Christian Watson at No. 34 overall. The 22-year-old Watson, whose father, Tim, was a sixth-round pick of the Packers in 1993, becomes Green Bay's highest-drafted wide receiver since star quarterback Aaron Rodgers took over under center.
Rodgers told "The Pat McAfee Show" on Thursday night that he expected the Packers to explore the remaining receiver prospects in the second and third rounds of the draft, highlighting previous Day Two finds -- none more notable than Adams. Now, Watson is in tow as a potential early contributor opposite veteran starters Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, with Adams traded to the Raiders and speedster Marquez Valdes-Scantling leaving for the Chiefs in free agency.
The Packers surrendered their two third-round picks, Nos. 53 and 59, in a trade with the rival Vikings to land No. 34, where they selected Watson. Green Bay first attempted to move back into the first round for the Vikings' No. 32 pick on Thursday, per NFL Media, after using their other two first-rounders on Georgia defenders Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt.
Watson played a prominent playmaking role for a pair of NDSU national championship teams, not only as a receiver but return specialist. He earned FCS All-America honors in 2021 while averaging almost 19 yards per catch. He represents the Packers' biggest investment at the position in 2022, after the team also added former Chiefs and Ravens veteran Sammy Watkins.