The Packers went all defense on day one and now seemed to switch on day two and go all offense. The Packers again exclusively took players from my offensive draft board. So, lets get to my thoughts on the Packers day two picks!
I will give my thoughts on the picks and what the probable plan for them is, and how they will fit the Packers offense. My day one thoughts are here as well. You also can find a list of their draft picks here.
The Packers traded away both their second round picks — #53 and #58 — to get up to #34 for Christian Watson. If you go by the Rich Hill chart, the Packers gave up 197 points to get to #34 which is worth just 175. So, the Packers obviously overpaid. Not a huge overpay, but an overpay regardless. My point is that is a lot to give up for a player who is probably two years away from being a significant contributor to the offense.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense for a team in win now mode. If Green Bay was in a rebuild then that would be okay, but they aren’t. There is some bust potential associated with Watson. The player who he plays a lot like is Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
He is not, I repeat not Deboo Samuel. They are completely different players with different skill sets. Just because he did some things at NDSU that the 49ers do with Deebo does not mean he is a similar type player. He also dropped seven balls in 2020, but cut it to four in 2021. If they had drafted a player who was more pro-ready, say an Alec Pierce, or had even kept Davante Adams then you could let him develop.
Now, on to how he will fit into the offense. He is very raw as a route runner and played in a very simple offense for receivers where they did not have to make a lot of sight adjustments or things like that. So, I expect the Packers to bring him a long slowly.
Day one he walks in he is the best kick returner on the roster. He will return kicks and be the best kick returner they have had in a very long time. They will try to find ways to get him the ball, mostly on slugo, post, and, fade routes. Maybe some crossers. Expect him to end up around fourth in snaps and with numbers similar to MVS’s rookie season. We may still see Green Bay add another vet, and probably at least one more draft pick.
Sean Rhyan was a little bit of a surprise pick. Luke Butkis recently said in his press conference that they wanted to bring in a couple more tackles. While Rhyan started three seasons at left tackle at UCLA, he is destined for guard in the NFL.
He has 32 1/2″ arms. Ideally a tackle has 34″ arms, but the Packers have shown they will go under it. Specifically Bryan Bulaga had the shortest arms of any tackle drafted by Green Bay since Ted Thompson. Bulaga though had 33 1/4″ arms. Will the Packers cross train him at tackle and guard? Yes. But guard will be his primary position.
Even though he tested out as an elite athlete for a guard (9.35 RAS), he doesn’t play up to his testing. He is not a terrible athlete on film. Rhyan moves well, just not as well as his testing suggests. Off his film you would think he was a 7.75-ish RAS guy. But he is big, mean, and strong. The former Bruin is a good run blocker and improving pass blocker. Kavon Thibodaux did give him trouble this past season. He allowed 13 pressures and one sack in 2021.
Offensive linemen who are taken early usually are penciled in as starters as a rookie. I would expect the same with Rhyan. They will probably let him, Yosh Nijman, Cole Van Lanen, and Royce Newman battle it out for the right guard and right tackle spots in camp, but it’s just a formality. Rhyan will start at right guard and Newman will be a swing offensive lineman.
I would expect there to be growing pains like any rookie starting offensive lineman. But, he should provide a more physical presence than Newman, who even though his arms are short looked better at right tackle than guard at Ole Miss. I expect Rhyan to develop into a high level guard, probably similar to a Josh Sitton-type player.