Green Bay Packers 2016 position preview: Wide receivers
By Dan Dahlke
On the Bubble: Jeff Janis (6-3, 219), Jared Abbrederis (6-1, 195), Trevor Davis (6-1, 188)
Packers nation has Janis fever, and rightfully so. In the divisional round of the playoffs with four of the Packers top five wide receivers sidelined with injuries, Janis stepped up and put together an outstanding performance against a very tough Arizona Cardinals defense.
Catching seven balls for 145 yards and two touchdowns, including one Hail Mary to tie the game and force overtime, Janis gave the Packers offense a big-play threat downfield–something they’ve struggled to find all year.
Towering 6-3 and 219-pounds with sub 4.4 speed, Janis’ potential is exciting; however, lets pump the breaks a bit as a fan base.
There’s a reason Janis rarely saw the field during the regular season despite the rash of injuries at the Packers wide receiver position. Lets not forget the numerous times Rodgers was frustrated with Janis’ inability to run precise routes or pick up on audibles at the line of scrimmage.
Because of these mental lapses Green Bay even favored Jared Abbrederis over Janis late into the season.
Before we declare Janis as the savior of the Packers wide receiver woes, lets remember this is a guy who only recorded four receptions in the first two years of his NFL career, despite having a good bill of health.
It’s clear Janis has plenty of progress to make before he sees more playing time on the field. With a strong camp, however, he could push Adams and Montgomery for playing time, but if the mental lapses continue, he may find himself at the bottom of the pack.
Granted, his raw ability and contributions on special teams still give him an edge over fellow third-year man Jared Abbrederis.
Abbrederis has a long hill to climb in order to earn a spot on the Packers 53-man roster.
Not only does he have to prove he is more valuable than Janis, but he also has to beat out 2016 fifth-round pick Trevor Davis in camp this summer.
Davis possesses the top-end speed (4.42) Green Bay has been looking for in their offense, and he also enters camp with a clean injury history–something not working in Abbrederis’ favor.
Ultimately, however, the decision between Davis and Abbrederis could come down to who makes a bigger impact as a returner in the preseason.
A position battle definitely worth keeping an eye this summer.
Next: Longshots at WR