Wide Receiver Wonderings
Here's some piping hot analysis for you: the Packers drafted three times as many wide receivers this weekend as any other position. Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis, and Jeff Janis are all aboard and ready to catch passes and do whatever else it is that wide receivers do in their free time.
Clearly, wide receiver is an important position. Without wide receivers, who would catch all of Aaron Rodgers' game winning touchdown passes? Without wide receivers, who would have all the weird numbers in the teens that only quarterbacks and kickers used to wear? Without wide receivers, who would have contract disputes in the off-season (besides every other position that has ever existed)?
But yes, in all seriousness, wide receiver is important. One of Ron Wolf's greatest mistakes was not investing enough into pass catchers while Brett Favre was still alive. Er, I mean, still quarterback. Ted Thompson wants to avoid that mistake, so he's restocking the cupboard while Aaron Rodgers is still in his prime.
It's way to early for a positional preview, but I think sorting through the ten receivers currently on the roster will be one of the more interesting storylines of the next few months. As I see it, the receivers currently shake out into three tiers.
First, there's the locks. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Jarrett Boykin will be suited up for Week 1, barring some sort of unusual injury in the preseason. Nelson and Cobb have earned their spots already, and Boykin benefits from being the best man still standing from last year's receiving corps. He could be primed for a big jump in year three.
After the locks, there's the good bets, and rookies Davante Adams and Jared Abbrederis are the only guys I see as reasonably certain bets at this point in the game. As a second round pick, Adams almost certainly won't be cut. It just won't happen. Abbrederis is a little more iffy as a fifth rounder, but he should still stick around. Probably. Perhaps. It sort of depends on the next tier: the question marks.
This includes everybody else with a WR next to their name on the Packers' roster: seventh round pick Jeff Janis, Kevin Dorsey, Alex Gillett, Chris Harper, and Myles White. Each of these guys has been good enough to stick around (or in Janis' case, just get drafted this year), but for one reason or another they haven't cracked the active roster.
Each has significant questions surrounding them as well. Janis is big and fast, so why was he available in the seventh round? Kevin Dorsey merited a draft pick last year, so why didn't he make more of his opportunity? Alex Gillett caught everything in sight last training camp, but can he overcome his physical limitations? Chris Harper and Myles White were both on the active roster for a stretch last year, so why is the team so hot to trot to replace them?
Only time will tell how this position group ultimately shakes out, but there's a lot of work to be done before the Packers have anything resembling a settled receiving corps.