Who will become the Green Bay Packers' true WR1 in 2024?

Analyzing which wide receiver will step up and become the primary target within the Packers' potent offense.
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The Green Bay Packers established during the 2023 season that they possess one of the deepest wide receiver corps in the NFL.

Led by youthful talent all over the field, the Green Bay pass-catchers continued to contribute throughout the season as each began to make a name for themselves. Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs show great promise going into their third NFL season, while Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks will look to build on their strong rookie campaigns.

Even Bo Melton and Malik Heath showed an ability to be large contributors within a growing offense under the offensive mind of Matt LaFleur. It is unclear going forward who will become the Packers' primary receiver, as no one pulled away from the group as the season came to an end.

There are plenty of arguments to be made for numerous Green Bay wideouts, each with its own intrigue and developed reasoning. It is possible that the Packers do not have someone step up and everyone remains equal as contributors. However, in such a youthful offense, these receivers are hungry for extra opportunity while the Packers continue to grow toward a Super Bowl.

Making a case each potential WR1 for Packers in 2024

Christian Watson

The biggest mystery for the Packers this year is the future of Christian Watson. After some concerning injury issues through his first two seasons, Watson has shown flashes of stardom, particularly in the back half of his rookie campaign, when he finished his season with 11 total touchdowns.

It is clear to anyone who watches the Packers' offense that they are a different beast with Watson on the field, as his combination of size and speed causes problems for opposing defenses. Watson primarily showed his talents last season in Weeks 11 and 12, going for 94 yards and a touchdown against the Detroit Lions, followed up with 71 yards and two touchdowns against the Kansas City Chiefs. It is clear as day that Watson has the talent to be an elite receiver, and if he can stay on the field, he cannot be ruled out as the Packers' wide receiver one.

Romeo Doubs

When the lights were brightest, when the Packers needed to make a play, the offense looked no further than Romeo Doubs. His impressive hands and crisp route-running make him a primary candidate to be the Packers' number-one receiver.

As Christian Watson and Dontayvion Wicks both missed some time during the season, Doubs provided stability in a wide receiver room that was in question throughout the season. In the postseason, when the Packers needed someone to step up, Doubs rose to the occasion, catching six passes for 151 yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in his playoff debut.

Doubs also notably had 83 yards against the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round, showing his ability to show up when it counts. The continued development of Doubs and his ability to make big-time plays when the Packers need it the most makes him a prime candidate to lead the receiving corps.

Jayden Reed

In only his rookie season, Jayden Reed led the Packers in both receiving yards (793) and receptions (64). Reed is the first Packer to accomplish this feat since former All-Pro Sterling Sharpe in 1988. Reed finished the season with nine total touchdowns, which was also a team-high in 2023.

Primarily operating out of the slot, Reed offers sure-handedness and speed, which opens up opposing defenses. In a must-win game in Week 18 against the Chicago Bears, Reed caught four passes for 112 yards, proving that he can provide a spark for big plays in games that the Packers have to win.

It can be argued that Reed's production out of the slot can limit his ability to be the number-one receiver, as most top receivers primarily line up on the outside. There are exceptions, such as Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp, that prove a slot receiver can be the primary target. However, Reed's path to the top will be more difficult than the rest. Reed has undeniable talent and playmaking ability, and it cannot be understated how important he is to the Packers' success.

Dontayvion Wicks

Although the statistics won't astound you, Dontayvion Wicks seems to always be open. With 581 yards on 39 receptions, Wicks found a role for himself in a crowded wide receiver room. His extensive route tree and explosiveness set him apart from other receivers, finishing with the league's highest rate of getting open versus single-man coverage, at 55.13%, per Pro Football Focus.

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Wicks has a certain element of his route-running that cannot be taught, reminding many Packers fans of a young Davante Adams. His burst off the line of scrimmage allows Wicks to use his release effectively while attacking the defender's leverage on every snap. Wicks will have every opportunity to succeed in 2024 as he showed flashes of becoming an NFL superstar, and the potential wide receiver one in the Packers' offense.

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