I’ve never been much of an advocate for taking a wide receiver in the 1st round, but if there was a year where the Packers were going to do it, this would be the year.
After losing MVS in free agency, the Packers traded away Davante Adams (for draft picks that might be used to help replace him), and have a very light wide receiver room at the moment.
Long gone are the days of Sports Illustrated covers showing a deep receiver corps for the Packers.
We’re down to Allen Lazard, a couple veteran retreads, and a sophomore coming off a very forgettable rookie season.
With all that in mind, here are my thoughts on this receiver class.
Chris Olave – I think Olave’s blend of superior footwork and the best route-running in this class are the best fit the Packers could find. If they want someone who can step right into a starting role, Olave is the top choice.
Garrett Wilson – Wilson has slightly better physical gifts than Olave, but is less refined. He’s explosive with the ball and may have a higher ceiling.
Jameson Williams – Speaking of ceiling, Williams probably has the highest one in this class. Only a torn ACL is keeping him from being a lock for the top 10. He could be a steal if he falls.
These are the only guys I would trust in the 1st round.
Christian Watson – Another high ceiling player, Watson is raw, but overflowing with potential. If he realizes it all, he could be the best receiver to come out of this class.
George Pickens – Great size with good routes and hands, Pickens has some character concerns, but looks like a great fit for Green Bay otherwise.
Then there are some names that most people have higher and I’m just not as high on:
Drake London – Yeah, he’s a big guy with a wide catch radius and dominates jump balls, but he strikes me as a top end possession receiver. That’s a good thing, but I don’t think it’s good 1st round value.
Treylon Burks – All the talent in the world, but his Combine was terrible, meaning he either isn’t as good as he looks or just didn’t put in the effort to prepare. Pair that with reports that he didn’t know the playbook and had to be told what to do each play and you get enough red flags for me to lose interest.
This is a deep class, though, and I have some guys I like later. For the most part, I think guys like Skyy Moore, Calvin Austin, and maybe even Jahan Dotson are too small for the Packers this year. They are an offense that values size and most of their current receivers are already on the small size.
Here’s who I like later:
David Bell – A big bodied receiver who runs great routes and has clamps for hands.
Alec Pierce – Another big receiver who manipulates defenders with his routes and makes circus catches.
Jalen Tolbert – A big deep threat who is physical in the open field and looked like the best receiver at the Senior Bowl.
Tyquan Thorton – a 6’1 version of MVS, but a little faster.
Danny Gray – A speedster who dominated the Senior Bowl.
Justyn Ross – A talented big receiver whose stock dropped one year removed from a major neck injury.
Velus Jones, Jr – A nice deep threat, but I’m more excited about his ability to return kicks and punts.
The Packers might not take a receiver in the 1st round this year and that’s ok- they can be found later. Getting receiver value later has been a part of the Packers draft strategy for a long time.
And it’s worked.
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