Randall Cobb is surely a big part of the Green Bay Packers' 2014 season. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Green Bay Packers drafting of three WRs: Changing of the guard?


Don’t get me wrong – I love Green Bay Packers wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb as much as the next person.

But the drafting of three young wide receivers caught me off guard last week and was a bit puzzled about the move.

That’s why I’ve thought a bit about the issue. Bear with me here as I attempt to answer my own questions.

Yes, Aaron Rodgers cannot have enough high quality pass catchers on the end of every toss. We all understand this. Mike McCarthy understands this. Ted Thompson understands this.

Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb understand this.

But is there more behind the decision to bring in three wide receivers through the draft?

With 30 percent of their total picks being wide receivers, one can hardly not ask and answer the questions about the future of those already in-house.

Nelson and Cobb are in contract seasons. Both have earned big paydays. Both will be paid tens of millions of dollars to catch passes and while the Packers do still have between $12 and $15 million in cap space to use toward re-signing both of these players, one has to wonder what’s taking so long? And with so much focus being paid to the immediate needs on the defensive side of the ball, why did the Packers pour so much into the wide receiver position?

If you read between my lines here, you might think I’m advocating a changing of the guard at wide receiver. Why not draft young guys and let the elder statesmen earn their tens of millions elsewhere?

Jordy Nelson - the Packers are surely saving up to re-sign their veteran wide receiver. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Jordy Nelson – the Packers are surely saving up to re-sign their veteran wide receiver.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

I’m not saying that at all. I’ve been advocating for months that the Packers’ best move is to re-sign both Nelson and Cobb.

But that’s not the message I thought I heard from Green Bay this past week. Even head coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday that this is a “young man’s league.” Was he looking right at Nelson and Cobb when uttering those words? My hope is not.

Who’s to know if rookies Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis or Jeff Janis pan out? After all, they haven’t caught a single pass from Aaron Rodgers yet. We know how valuable and important both Nelson and Cobb are to the Packers’ offense.

The guard will change someday, but my gut feeling is that these young receivers are picks with the future in mind. Yes, the Packers will eventually re-sign Nelson and Cobb to long-term contracts. They deserve at least three- or four-year deals. But we all also understand the volatility of this game. Be it injuries or declining skills, changes come about quickly for football players and those who manage football teams have to be constantly reminded to do something about it – and to do it before anyone thinks it’s time.

I’m convinced this is the case with the Packers. Ted Thompson is securing the future of the franchise and that for Aaron Rodgers. The opportunity to nab players of the quality of Adams, Abbrederis and Janis doesn’t come about every day, so Thompson jumped on the opportunity and in three fell swoops solidified the team’s future at wide receiver for at least the next three to five years.

Next on his list? Re-signing both Nelson and Cobb to once again give the team a stable filled with thoroughbreds that will move the chains and score touchdowns.

There is a changing of the guard and it includes some young guys and some older guys in Green Bay.

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Tags: Green Bay Packers

  • http://twitter.com/kumerle Kenneth Kumerle

    I would resign Nelson and Cobb!

  • Olympique_Packers

    Jordy Nelson is about the same age Greg Jennings was when he left for Minnesota last year, maybe with age in mind they will let him play out his contract (he will be 30 on kickoff in 2015). Cobb in my opinion is safe. He’s the most dynamic playmaker on the roster right now, he does things all of outr other WR do not. Cobb will only be 25 by the time kickoff rolls around in 2015, age is most definatly on his side. Before resigning them they might want to wait until after training camp to see if either Davon House, Casey Hayward or Micah Hyde can take the outside CB role and save some money by cutting Tramon Williams. Money that would go towards resigning Cobb, Nelson and Boykin as well.

  • Alan Snyder

    The draft was very deep at the WR position this year. The Packers took advantage and got great value for both Abbredaris (5th round) and Janis (7th). Abbredaris fills not only a WR need, but potentially a returner (need) as well. Adams is a great player period. Janis was too good to pass up. Beyond the top 3 (Nelson, Cobb, and Boykin), the Packers don’t have much depth. Throw in the fact that someone always get injured and both Cobb and Nelson are in contract years, the need is apparent. Love the picks.

  • The 13ers

    I wouldn’t be shocked if they let both go in FA, but I believe they’re going to let Nelson walk and sign Cobb. At least that’s what I would do if I had to have one or the other. I love Nelson, but I wouldn’t think GB wants to break the bank on two WR’s in one year and he’s older than Cobb.

  • paul allen

    Jordy’s not going anywhere..He’s is the “Montana to Rice” story of this team. As far as Cobb.. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let the man play a full year at starting WR and then we can have this conversation when all the facts are in. During the draft (live) online I called a WR/PR as a MUST.. 5-10 minutes later we picked ABracadabra. The author seems confused that we picked 3 at WR? When in fact, its 1 WR, 1 KR and 1 that has the potential to play either position.

  • paul allen

    TT said he has beacoup more in store “not even close to finished” It’s a good thing.. Because we have a GLARING weakness.. “Special Teams” I have never witnessed a Punter (on any team) make more tackles than Tim Masthay last year. This is not a good sign and will prove to be our demise regardless of where our offense and defense finishes.. A great and successful coach once said “A team is only as strong as its weakest link” Lets fix that link TEd

  • paul allen

    And so I say to you TACKLE!! AT the waist and then wrap and drop.. No more eye to eye, no more watching a persons shoulders or backpeddling until they make their cut. Move forward and meet the opponent, Follow the waist and go 1 foot through it.. I learned that in 8th grade football.. Can’t understand why they stopped teaching it today