Another year, and another preseason that’ll inevitably be filled with arguments over which wide receivers the Green Bay Packers will keep on their 53 man roster.
The first preseason game last night had plenty of highlights along with a fair share of disappointments. I’m here to focus on one of the positives from the Packers’ 31-17 victory over the Titans: the strong play from the receiving corps.
We’ll start with one of the long-shots to make the roster, but a player whose stock is rising by the minute: Jake Kumerow.
Kumerow has grown to become a favorite of Aaron Rodgers through his work in training camp. That certainly helps his efforts of making the team come September. He built on this strong base by having a solid preseason debut.
By now I’m sure everyone reading this article has seen what was the highlight of last night’s game. I’m talking about the 52-yard bomb of a touchdown from Tim Boyle to Kumerow as Rodgers joyfully looked on from the sideline.
Kumerow finished with three catches for 76 yards and a touchdown on the night. If he continues to mesh well with Rodgers in practice, there’s no reason why Kumerow shouldn’t make the 53-man roster.
Next up we’ll move on to two guys whose roster spots are already safe: Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison. Adams had one of the game’s earliest highlights, hauling in a 48-yard pass from Brett Hundley. He had one more catch on the day. Allison was held to just two catches for 12 yards on the game, but one of them was with a defender draped all over him as they neared the sideline.
Other than the two aforementioned plays, Allison and Adams had relatively quiet nights. However, it’s good to see some of the top wideouts on the team already making plays in Week 1 of the preseason.
Next up we’ll move on to the rookies.
Equanimeous St. Brown had a fairly impressive preseason debut, hauling in four catches for 61 yards.
One of his most impressive plays resulted in a 28-yard pickup for the Pack. St. Brown got separation from not one, but two defenders on the play. He got open across the middle, and then stopped on a dime, reversed his field, and stiff-armed a defender to pick up a bunch of yardage after the catch.
St. Brown, a six-foot-five, 214-pound wideout from Notre Dame, has tremendous upside and I have a hard time seeing the Packers letting him go by the end of the preseason.
Another rookie, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, had more than his fair share of highlights last night. He finished with five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown came in the back corner of the end zone with a defender playing great press coverage, but Valdes-Scantling’s ability to rip the ball out of mid-air was better.
Valdes-Scantling also came down with a 51-yard pickup on a beautiful play-action pass from DeShone Kizer. Of all the young wide receivers, he might have had the most impressive performance Thursday night.
This brings me to J’Mon Moore.
Moore was not as dazzling as his rookie counterparts last night. He finished the night with three receptions for 27 yards. However, the one thing most people that watched the game will remember about Moore was his two drops, one of them coming on a fly route when he had his defender beaten badly. If he had held on to the ball, the play likely would’ve ended up as a touchdown.
Moore did not necessarily have a bad night, but he didn’t perform as well as some of the other young wideouts did. This brings me to the main point of this article: the Packers have a surplus of talent at the wide receiver position right now. There are 10 players competing for what is likely to end up being six roster spots.
Having a game like Moore did is less than ideal, even though he didn’t necessarily have a ‘bad’ game.
The same goes for DeAngelo Yancey, who only had two receptions for 10 total yards, along with Trevor Davis. Davis didn’t play last night, but if he continues to have a quiet preseason while Kumerow, St. Brown, and Valdes-Scantling make some noise, he’ll be out of luck when final roster cuts come around.
To finish things off, I’ll predict which wide receivers the Packers will end up keeping for the regular season. This is definitely subject to change before the end of the preseason, but here’s what I think right now.
- Davante Adams
- Randall Cobb
- Geronimo Allison
- Marquez Valdez-Scantling
- Equanimeous St. Brown
- Jake Kumerow