The Green Bay Packers made some significant changes at the wide receiver position this offseason.
It started with players leaving. Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, while Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown signed elsewhere in free agency.
The Packers’ first addition was to sign Sammy Watkins in free agency. How does Watkins fit into Matt LaFleur’s offense?
Watkins played in 13 games for the Baltimore Ravens last season, starting nine. In total, Watkins made 27 catches for 394 yards and a touchdown.
2021 season review
Watkins made the dream start to life in Baltimore with four catches for 96 yards in the season opener versus the Raiders. He then caught four passes in each of the next three games.
An injury in October kept Watkins out for three weeks, and he struggled to recapture his early-season form once he returned.
From Week 9 to the end of the season, Watkins made a total of nine catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Watkins finished fourth for the Ravens in receiving behind Mark Andrews, Marquise Brown, and Rashod Bateman.
He finished with the lowest total of receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns in his eight-year NFL career.
Will he make the roster?
While Watkins has a good chance of making the Packers’ initial 53-man roster, it is no guarantee.
Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Amari Rodgers are all roster locks. The Packers might not keep more than six wide receivers.
Watkins will need to outperform Juwann Winfree, Malik Taylor, and Samori Toure for the sixth spot. And what if the Packers sign a veteran like Julio Jones?
What to expect in 2022
Watkins hasn’t hit 1,000 yards receiving since 2015, his second season in the NFL.
The Packers will hope he can be a reliable complementary pass-catcher in Matt LaFleur’s offense. A receiver Aaron Rodgers can trust when the offense needs a play.
That’s the role Watkins had with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a solid third option in the receiving game behind Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
In three seasons with the Chiefs, Watkins finished with 1,613 yards and eight touchdowns.