Stop Comparing Malachi Dupre to Donald Driver

The offseason leads to reckless speculation. In May, real football is still nearly half a year away, and some of the thought patterns that emerge border on the ridiculous. Usually, it’s good to just let them pass by, but one has become so pernicious that we need to address it.

Malachi Dupre is not going to be as good as Donald Driver.

The excitement over the Packers’ newest seventh round wide receiver is palpable. Todd McShay projected him as a possible first round pick more than a year ago, and fans have taken that idea and run with it, penciling in Dupre as a surefire contributor this season and beyond.

Inevitably, Dupre is compared to Donald Driver, perhaps the greatest seventh round success story in modern Packers history.

This is wildly unfair to Dupre and dramatically undersells both Driver’s contributions to the Packers and his talent as a wide receiver.

From a pure athletic standpoint, Dupre and Driver are not in the same universe. Dupre tested below most of the Packers’ athletic thresholds for wide receiver, excelling only in the vertical leap and broad jump.

Driver, meanwhile, posted a 40-yard dash more than a tenth of a second better than Dupre’s best time and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Field Trials in the high jump with a 7 foot, 6.5-inch jump during his college career.

Driver was literally a world class athlete. Dupre is not.

When looking at production, Driver sets an enormously high bar as well. His career marks of 743 receptions and 10,137 yards are the best in Packers history, while his 61 touchdowns rank fourth. If Dupre managed even half of Driver’s output, he would finish ninth in Packers history in receptions, 13th in yards, and 17th in touchdowns.

Simply put, asking Dupre to match Driver’s numbers is a huge request and hoping that he can contribute at that level is simply too much. Seventh round receivers are lottery tickets. Dupre faces an uphill battle just to make the roster.

The Packers should be grateful for any contributions Dupre can offer, much less ones ranking among the best the team has ever seen.