That the Green Bay Packers drafted three receivers this year was anything but a surprise.
It was their biggest need, obviously, after trading Davante Adams and losing Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown in free agency.
Moreover, over the past decade, the Packers had frequently double- or even triple-dipped in the draft.
In 2012, then-general manager Ted Thompson traded up for defensive tackle Jerel Worthy in the second round and used a fourth-round compensatory selection on Mike Daniels.
In 2013, Thompson moved back in the second round and landed burly running back Eddie Lacy, then moved up in the fourth round for Johnathan Franklin.
In 2015, Thompson used his first two picks on cornerbacks Damarious Randall and Quenten Rollins.
In 2016, Thompson bolstered his defensive line by selecting Kenny Clark in the first round and grabbing Dean Lowry with a fourth-round compensatory pick.
In 2017, after Ty Montgomery successfully moved from receiver to running back to replace the injured Lacy, Thompson selected Jamaal Williams in the fourth round and Aaron Jones with a fifth-round compensatory pick. (He also selected beefy Devante Mays in the seventh.)
In 2018, Brian Gutekunst’s first draft as GM, the Packers traded back and then up to grab cornerback Jaire Alexander in the first round.
He doubled down with Josh Jackson in the second. Later, at receiver, he used a fourth-round pick on J’Mon Moore, a fifth-round pick on Valdes-Scantling and a sixth-round choice on St. Brown.
In 2020, Gutekunst used three sixth-round picks on offensive linemen Jon Runyan, Jake Hanson and Simon Stepaniak.
In 2021, Gutekunst drafted three more offensive linemen: center Josh Myers in the second round, guard Royce Newman in the fourth round and guard/tackle Cole Van Lanen in the sixth round.
In 2022, not only did Gutekunst draft three receivers but he drafted three offensive linemen again with Sean Rhyan in the third round, Zach Tom in the fourth round and Rasheed Walker in the seventh.
Plus, with the defensive line short on numbers, he selected Devonte Wyatt in the first round and Jonathan Ford in the seventh.
Picking multiple players at one position is a smart way to address a weakness on the roster.
The only time the Packers missed on both players of a double-dip was 2015 with Randall and Rollins.
Not only is there strength in numbers but there are no guarantees in the draft.
That was evident in 2012, when Thompson targeted Worthy, who was a flop, but hit a home run with Daniels 81 picks later.
Other times, the double-dip is just the way it worked out, as Thompson would have said.
In 2014, the Packers selected Adams in the second round.
In the seventh round, Jeff Janis’ combination of size and speed was too great to pass up.
Similarly, in 2022, the Packers weren’t necessarily looking for another lineman when they picked Wallace.
“We didn’t really see Rasheed falling where he did,” Gutekunst said. “After a while, we just thought it was too good to pass up.”
This year at receiver, Christian Watson was obviously a player the Packers targeted.
Gutekunst wouldn’t have shipped two second-round picks to a division rival had he thought otherwise.
Clearly, they expect him to become their next great second-round receiver.
Adding Romeo Doubs in the fourth round and Samori Toure in the seventh round gives off some Williams-Jones and Moore-MVS-St. Brown vibes.
The Packers are really high on Doubs, and his strong start to the offseason practices has only bolstered the enthusiasm. But Day 3 is a crapshoot.
As it turned out, Williams was good but Jones was great, and Valdes-Scantling was infinitely better than Moore.
“I think we’ve certainly added some competition,” Gutekunst said of drafting three receivers.“I think that was really important. Not the only position we added a lot of competition, but I think we’re certainly very much of belief that competition’s going to bring out the best and the cream’s going to rise, and that’s something that we needed to do and I think we accomplished that.”
This year, Gutekunst used eight draft picks on three positions.
If Wyatt and Watson are as good as the Packers are projecting, and one of the blockers and another of the receivers pan out, then the 2022 draft will be a hit.