Packers show interest in polarizing early-round wide receiver prospect

Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst
Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers have invested heavily at wide receiver, drafting six over the past two years. However, they might not be done.

Wide receiver isn't necessarily a need, but general manager Brian Gutekunst wouldn't rule out adding another pass catcher if an opportunity presents itself in the 2024 NFL Draft. It's never a bad idea to keep restocking the depth at an important position.

The Packers may have identified a Day 2 target. On Monday, they hosted Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton for a top-30 pre-draft visit. According to Wyatt Fulton of Tide 100.9, the Packers also met with Burton at his Pro Day last month.

Will the Packers add another wide receiver to the mix? Using an early-round pick at the position would be surprising, and Burton splits opinion.

Why are Packers meeting with Alabama receiver Jermaine Burton?

The Packers value size, athleticism, and production at wide receiver, and Burton checks every box. He is 6-foot, 196 pounds, and earned an elite Relative Athletic Score of 9.09, running a 4.45-second 40-yard dash and posting a 38.5-inch vertical and 11.1-inch broad jump.

Burton was productive at Alabama and Georgia. In 2023, he caught 39 passes for 798 yards and eight touchdowns. He has 20 touchdown receptions over the past three seasons.

However, where he ranks among receivers in this class depends on who you ask. He is 52nd on Pro Football Focus' big board, 199th on The 33rd Team's, and 77th in NFL Mock Draft Database's consensus board.

There's no doubting Burton's talent and potential, but the Packers may want to get a better idea of his character, which is also an important part of the pre-draft process.

"For NFL teams, the biggest question surrounding Burton may be his character, mentality, and temperament," writes Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network. "Burton's past struggles with temperament and effort unearth other questions: Is he coachable? Will he hold himself accountable? And will he be able to reach his ultimate ceiling? Those questions loom large for NFL teams."

The Draft Network's Brentley Weissman writes that "there are questions about his immaturity as he was prone to penalties and taunting while in college."

That said, Burton's potential as an NFL receiver is evident. His speed makes him an excellent deep threat, which would take pressure off Christian Watson—Burton averaged 20.5 yards per catch for Alabama last season. Having spent the past four seasons at Georgia and Alabama, he is NFL-ready and could make an immediate impact in the Packers' offense.

While wide receiver isn't a significant need, it makes sense to keep adding competition and depth. Burton meets the Packers' size and athleticism thresholds and could become an excellent NFL starter.

Whether Green Bay will consider drafting a receiver in the early rounds remains to be seen, but Gutekunst is doing his homework on Burton. And we should pay attention to the Packers' top-30 visits. Over the past two years, 11 players Green Bay hosted for a top-30 visit ended up with the team via a draft pick or in undrafted free agency.

Could Burton be next?

More Packers news and analysis