Packers rookie Josiah Deguara is going to prove a lot of people wrong.
I’ll admit it. When the Green Bay Packers selected Josiah Deguara in the third round of April’s draft, I was surprised by the decision.
It seemed like a possible reach in the third round when the Packers had other needs at wide receiver, inside linebacker, and defensive tackle.
Many Packers fans had the same reaction as I did, but there’s good reason to be excited about Deguara’s potential in Green Bay’s offense. And you only have to listen to head coach Matt LaFleur to get an idea of how much he loves Deguara.
“I just think the versatility he showed as a player,” LaFleur said during a virtual press conference this week.
“You could definitely see his ability to run routes. We just thought he’d be a good moveable piece, whether we have him in the backfield or on the line of scrimmage, or you could even put him in some positions where he’s pretty much a wide receiver. We just like that versatility that he brings.”
While expectations should certainly be limited for not just Deguara, but all rookies in the NFL this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of practice time there has been this summer as a result, in the long-term future, Deguara can make a huge impact.
LaFleur is absolutely right when talking about Deguara’s versatility.
Yes, he’ll be used to run block, something he’s good at, but that’s not going to be his only role in LaFleur’s offense.
Deguara can catch passes. He did plenty of that at college, with 92 receptions for 1,117 yards and 12 touchdowns during his time at Cincinnati.
By listening to LaFleur, it’s clear why the Packers were so keen to draft him. He can be a do-it-all player for the Packers. He can be used to block. He can line up out wide as a receiver. When Deguara is on the field, defenses will find it harder to predict which type of play is coming.
Deguara will likely be eased in as there’s a lot for him to learn and he’s already missed out on valuable time due to the lack of an offseason program. But looking long-term, Deguara can be a key piece in LaFleur’s offense, while also proving a lot of people wrong.