With Devin Funchess opting out, the Packers’ decision to ignore wide receiver in the draft becomes even more questionable.
The 2020 NFL Draft came and went and with a loaded wide receiver class, the Green Bay Packers opted out.
There was something for everyone to like. Want a polished route runner? It had it. Want a big physical guy? The 2020 draft had those too. Maybe a smaller shifty slot guy was your preference, it had them too.
But instead, the Packers passed.
Then came the news that Packers’ biggest offensive addition of the offseason decided to so the same.
It was reported by ESPN’s Rob Demovsky on Tuesday that Devin Funchess will opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns over COVID-19.
No one could or should blame Funchess for doing so. The health of his family and himself should be his first concern.
But, the same cannot be said about the Packers’ decision to completely ignore the position in the draft. Even if Funchess did play this season, he is coming off an injury and has only one solid year of production.
The team needed, and still does for that matter, more talent added to the receiving corps. Yet the Packers stood pat.
Now with Funchess opting out, Equanimeous St. Brown becomes the significant addition.
While I understand the excitement for Reggie Begelton, the fact remains he will be behind the curve once actual on-field work begins in a couple of weeks.
That leaves the hope for improvement in the Packers offense to come from the growth of players that were on the roster last year.
If Jordan Love, A.J. Dillon, or Josiah Deguara become Pro Bowl players, no one will remember ignoring a talented draft class. But this season, every drop, pass thrown away, or bad offensive performance can be legitimately questioned on the grounds of ignoring a position that needed help.
The only choice the Packers have to add significant talent now is either through a trade or taking a risk on someone like Antonio Brown.
There are still a lot of questions on if the season will even be played. The risk of having the virus spread through a locker room is very real. We’ve just seen it with the Miami Marlins. Football is a contact sport, there’s no getting around that.
So again, Funchess opting out should not be questioned. But, the Packers ignoring the position should and will be.
It’s not all bad news. This will now give fringe players like Begelton, Jake Kumerow, and undrafted free agent Darrell Stewart more of an opportunity to make the roster.
An already intense battle set to take place at wide receiver will now get more heated.
You would have to assume the team hopes St. Brown comes back fully healthy and ready to make an impact. Or that Marquez Valdes-Scantling finally realizes his potential.
Allen Lazard looks like the most likely player to step up his game. Lazard showed some real potential as a number two receiver towards the end of the 2019 season.
When MVS started to fade away, Lazard elevated his game.
The argument could all become moot if the season gets canceled. As for now though, the Packers’ decision to take a pass becomes amplified by losing their biggest offensive offseason addition.