Reviewing the Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver corps following the 2018 NFL Draft.
Following the departure of Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst used three draft picks at the wide receiver position, all on Day 3.
With the addition of J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown, the Packers now have 11 receivers on the roster. They will likely only have six or seven spots on the final 53.
Here’s a closer look at the receivers on the roster.
Davante Adams‘ excellent work over the past two seasons has seen him rise up the depth chart. Adams has a league-high 22 touchdowns since the start of the 2016 season. He also proved last season that his production wasn’t just a result of playing with a two-time MVP quarterback. Adams was the only Packers receiver to put up consistent numbers while Brett Hundley was starting.
If both Adams and Aaron Rodgers stay healthy, this could be the year he finally hits the 1,000-yard milestone. He fell just three yards short two years ago.
Despite only having one 1,000-yard season to his name, Randall Cobb is still an important piece of the Packers’ offense. With Jordy Nelson gone, Cobb could see an increase in targets this season. Rodgers’ connection with Nelson, paired with the emergence of Adams, only decreased the amount of times the ball was thrown Cobb’s way.
Cobb is almost certain to make the roster and will be Rodgers’ go-to in the slot.
Geronimo Allison is set for a bigger role this season. When the Packers have needed him, Allison has put in some good performances. Look no further than his six-catch, 122-yard day in the win over the Bengals last season.
The question now is can Allison make the step up to the No. 3 receiver role? If not, the Packers will be relying on one of their younger pass catchers to make an immediate impact.
Michael Clark only played two games as a rookie, but the fact the 6-foot-6 wide receiver was as high on the depth chart as he was is a good sign. After spending the majority of the year on the practice squad, Clark was promoted to the main roster in December and was given valuable regular season experience.
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Of the Packers’ three draft picks at the position, J’Mon Moore is the most likely to not only make the team, but have an instant impact in Green Bay’s offense. The 6-foot-3 pass catcher has drawn a number of comparisons to Davante Adams, who he will now be playing alongside. Moore could quickly become the No. 4 wide receiver on the depth chart with the potential to take on a bigger role in the future.
Two things stand out about Marquez Valdes-Scantling. First is his speed. He ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at the combine. Only D.J. Chark posted a faster time among wide receivers. Valdes-Scantling also has size. He’s 6-foot-4, 206 pounds and could become a big-time target for Rodgers. The Packers will be hoping he can use his speed to open up deep passes down the field. Initially, Valdes-Scantling might have to make the roster on special teams.
Equanimeous St. Brown
Many draft analysts expected Equanimeous St. Brown to be selected in the third or fourth round, so the fact he fell all the way to the sixth was surprising. The Packers used their previous pick on a receiver with size and speed in Valdes-Scantling. The same goes for St. Brown.
Not only does St. Brown have one of the best names in the entire draft class, but he also has the potential to become a very good player in Green Bay’s offense. But there’s a lot of competition, and he’ll need to adjust quickly and perform well this summer to make the 53-man roster.
A disappointing rookie season puts DeAngelo Yancey behind the eight ball this offseason, but he can’t be ruled out completely. According to Mike Spofford of Packers.com, Yancey has been committed to lowering his weight. Spofford wrote:
"“He’s physically different, having dropped around 15 pounds from a year ago, into the low 210s. Over the past year, he cleaned up his diet, added more cardio to his workouts, and now he feels better about how he moves.”"
Yancey will need to put together a strong body of work this summer to have a chance of securing a spot on the roster. He’ll be a player to watch during OTAs and at training camp.
Trevor Davis‘ only route to the 53-man roster might be on special teams. Davis has made just eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown in two years. Last year he posted 707 yards on kickoff returns, and another 289 yards on punt returns. Unless the Packers see Davis taking on a bigger role on offense, he will need to make the roster based on his special teams work.
Jake Kumerow signed with the Packers in 2017, his third NFL team. He had previously been in Cincinnati and New England. The 6-foot-4 receiver is now 26-years-old and is yet to catch an NFL pass. It’s unlikely he makes the final roster.
Considering how many wide receivers are competing for places, it’s hard to see 2017 undrafted free agent Colby Pearson winning a spot on the 53-man roster.
The Packers should be in good shape at wide receiver this season.
Adams is the premier target on the outside, and Cobb will do most of his work in the slot. Allison and Moore could round out the No. 3 and No. 4 spots on the depth chart. Behind them there will be competition for places, and that’s a good thing.
There might only be six places available for receivers on the 53-man roster. The Packers have lots of young talent with upside battling for those spots.
The Packers need one or two of their young receivers to step up. Paired with the addition of tight end Jimmy Graham, the team is loaded with talented pass catchers.