No. 1: Christian Watson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Similar to Treylon Burks, Christian Watson will walk into a great situation in Green Bay after being taken in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. There’s a bit more depth around Watson in the wide receiver room with Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins. However, the departure of Davante Adams will force Aaron Rodgers to find a new favorite target in the Packers’ offense.
The learning curve for Watson should be a bit better than other rookies who typically arrive in Green Bay. Having played for North Dakota State, the elements of Green Bay shouldn’t be as much of a transition for Watson. He’s also 6-foot-5, which will provide excellent length and a big target for Rodgers to find.
The key for Watson honestly has very little to do with him. When a team loses one of the best receivers in the league, that’s going to open up plenty of opportunities for everyone else on the roster. Watson has the advantage of not only arriving when those chances are up for grabs, but being a long-term investment as well.
Lazard and Cobb have their roles carved out. They can grow, but Rodgers already knows when he looks for them. Sammy Watkins isn’t a long-term option at this point. He will be a great asset now, but can’t be viewed as a permanent fix. Watson needs to find his role and build chemistry with Rodgers. Why not just start where Adams left off?
If Rodgers starts looking for Watson in the situations where he used to find Adams, this award might not even be close. Watson had no trouble putting up numbers at North Dakota State. If he’s given the opportunities, he’ll be able to deliver the production to win Offensive Rookie of the Year with ease.