Dan Dahlke: WR Alonzo Russell, Toledo
Previous picks: DT Kenny Clark, ILB Joshua Perry, DE Bronson Kaufusi, OT Caleb Benenoch, RB Tyler Ervin, OLB Aaron Wallace
On paper the Packers seem set at wide receiver, but looking back at the 2015 season, it was far from a position of strength. Granted, Green Bay was without Jordy Nelson the entire season and rookie wideout Ty Montgomery spent a majority of his first year on the injury list.
Despite the injuries, the Packers lack of depth at the position was exposed, and their offense suffered for it. Davante Adams widely underperformed. Randall Cobb struggled to do it alone. And their most productive player, James Jones, is no longer on the roster.
The Packers’ other second-year receivers, Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis, showed some ability to contribute near the end of the season, but due to the lack of experience and far too many mental lapses on the field, the jury is still out on both of them. Green Bay would be wise to target a receiver on day three of the draft, specifically one that can bring some much-needed size to the position.
Russell is a towering 6-foot-4, 205-pound downfield target. As a four-year starter in Toledo’s offense, Russell put together an impressive resume, leaving college with 202 receptions for 3,076 yards and 24 touchdowns.
With respectable speed (4.54) and crisp route running Russell can gain separation downfield and be another big-play receiver Green Bay desperately needs on the boundary opposite Nelson. He’s also excellent at high-pointing the ball and using his long arms and big frame to box out smaller defensive backs and win jump balls. He could provide a big target for Aaron Rodgers to throw to over the middle of the field as well.
Even though wide receiver isn’t an immediate need on the roster, the Packers could very well target one in a later round. Russell could compete with Janis and Abbrederis for the fifth receiver spot, and with a strong camp, even push Adams and Montgomery for playing time on offense.
Next: Ralph Mancini