We continue our “Packers 100” countdown with a preview of each position group. Green Bay Packers football is just 76 days away. You can find the full countdown here.
There may have not been a position on the Green Bay Packers roster more heavily scrutinized during the 2015 season than the wide receiving corps.
Teams like the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, and Arizona Cardinals shut down the Packers offense by pressing the wide receivers at the line and loading the box to stop the run.
It was a simple strategy, but it was effective. For the first time in the Aaron Rodgers era, defenses dared Green Bay to throw the ball downfield.
It’s hard to believe, but without Jordy Nelson in the lineup, third-round pick Ty Montgomery out with injury, and opponents top cover corner shadowing Randall Cobb, the Packers wide receivers struggled to win their matchups and gain separation downfield.
A nagging ankle injury also hindered Davante Adams’ progress in his second year, and fellow sophomores Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis still lacked the experience to play significant snaps during the regular season.
The Packers offense simply lacked its typical firepower and no longer scared defenses. In fact, Green Bay’s 25th-ranked offense only completed six passes over 40 yards in 2015, a huge decline from the 15 Rodgers threw just a year prior.
Outside of veteran James Jones, the Packers struggled to find consistent impact players on the perimeter, but surprisingly, Green Bay enters the 2016 season with largely the same group.
However, the hope is this time around the position group stays healthy and returns to its dominant 2014 form.
Nelson has returned from his torn ACL injury and provides a big-play threat on offense. Cobb has also recovered from a shoulder injury that hindered him throughout the 2015 season and a bruised lung he suffered in the Packers playoff loss against Arizona.
Adams also seems to be back to full health after ankle and knee injuries slowed him down, and news remains hopeful about Montgomery’s return.
Barring injury, things are looking up for the Packers wide receiver position. With plenty of depth going into training camp, lets take a look at each receivers chances of making the Packers’ final 53-man roster.
Next: Dynamic duo returns at WR