Wide Receivers Don't Make The Quarterback

Football is the ultimate team sport and all teammates depend on each other... but an elite quarterback does not turn into shambles without an elite receiver.

There's been a lot of talk the last few years about getting more receivers for Aaron Rodgers.

And the last 3 years, the Packers have won 13 games each season. Oh, and Aaron Rodgers won back-to-back MVPs.

Sure, losing an All Pro receiver doesn't feel great, but wide receivers don't make quarterbacks look good -  it's the other way around.

Look at what Jordy Nelson did after leaving the Packers. And Greg Jennings. And Randall Cobb.

Those were very talented receivers, and Rodgers made them great.

Rodgers isn't the only Packers quarterback who did this, either.

When Brett Favre lost Sterling Sharpe, did he suddenly fold into a mediocre QB?

When Robert Brooks went down, was he terrible?

When Antonio Freeman got hurt, did he stink?

No.

Favre and Rodgers are elite quarterbacks, all-time greats. They don't need All Pro receivers to be effective.

Tom Brady won a bunch of Super Bowls with the Patriots, and they never had a wide receiver as good as Davante Adams for any of those rings.

Speaking of Davante Adams, he didn't exactly put the Packers over the top.

Yes, he's great, yes, I would have loved to see him come back. But his exit doesn't mean the team is doomed.

Matt LaFleur was brought in because his offenses got the most of their quarterbacks, regardless of who the receivers were.

A great quarterback and a brilliant offensive coach can do just fine even if hey don't have an All Pro receiver. It was always a possibility that Adams wouldn't be back and I think the team was prepared for that potential outcome. They have a plan.

I'm looking forward to seeing what this offense looks like when defenses have to guess where the first read is.

 

Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Best-selling author of books such as A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan's Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and PackersForTheWin.com.

Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @BruceIronsNFL.

 

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10 points

Comments (83)

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GBPDAN1's picture

March 20, 2022 at 06:17 am

Agreed. And our Defense is better than in most of Rodgers career and we have 2 good RBs. BG will fill in the rest with the resources he now has...Go Pack

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murf7777's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:54 am

I agree GB, also good article Bruce I think your correct. That’s why it was important to get Rodgers signed and Adams traded. I will pose this question. Who would you rather have Adams or Douglas, Tonyan, maybe MVS and a 1st and second round draft pick? In addition, even though Campbell was already signed they might’ve done that with the knowledge of moving on from Adams.

If you look at the great WR’s who signed Hugh third contracts over the past 25 years only a few of many made a real difference for the team. Many got hurt or underperformed with the big contract.

We will be a better team because of this trade than if we kept Adams.

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Minniman's picture

March 20, 2022 at 01:22 pm

Sometimes unpredictability is as powerful as talent.

Sadly, "Tae-Vision" became a toxic thing for Rodgers (and the Packers) - and it cost them getting to the SB twice in succession.

Sure, there will be times this coming season when a play will fail because the catcher wasn't as adept as Adams - but its no different than against a good team with 2 gun DB's locked on Adams all game.

......... defenses are now going to have to think..... and adapt....... As I type this post, the Packers will start the season with a top 5 rushing attack, and progress early with a legit TE threat and some competent WR's that know Rodgers game well. There's plenty that I see here to build on for a championship run........ and frankly I only really care about from the back half of the season, momentum is king in the current playoff format.

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nygary's picture

March 20, 2022 at 06:53 am

I would love to see Gute sign a vet at wr. Then draft at least two more wr's in the draft. That coupled with help on the DL and i think we are in real good shape.

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HawkPacker's picture

March 20, 2022 at 07:07 am

I agree partially with your thoughts nygary.

However, I feel like they also need to look hard at the TE position as Tonyan probably will not be available for while this upcoming season and we have no one else to fill his role.

Also, we are in need of another edge rusher, tackle and another safety would not hurt either.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 20, 2022 at 07:38 am

I feel pretty certain the Packers will use their 3rd or a 4th on TE. I thought it would be a 4th (or two of them), but with the picks from the Adams trade, they can afford to use the 3rd.

The DL prospects are lousy again this year after the first round, but I doubt a DL is going to be the Best Player Available on the Packers' turn.

I'm really curious to see when the ILBs go. Draftniks are predicting C Muma, Q Walker, and L Chenal will all go lower than I think they will. I'd love any one of those three alongside D Campbell-- I see THAT as a "need" as well.
I'm especially curious about Chenal. I swear to god, if his jersey said "Watt" instead of Chenal, he'd go in the middle of the first round. He reminds me SO much of their play.

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Guam's picture

March 20, 2022 at 07:56 am

Like you PEO, I would love to see some reinforcements at ILB. Campbell is terrific, but the drop off from there is steep. Barnes is okay at best and the Packers have next to nothing behind the two starters. The Packers could really use another quality ILB.

I would also like to see another IDL added. There is a possibility one of the two Georgia IDLs will be available at #22 and I would love to see the Packers finally get Clark some quality help. I think Dobber called the wish for another DL a "long running joke" on this site, but I can still dream, can't I........?

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:45 am

DL is thin after the 2nd round. Perrion Winfrey, Travis Jones and Logan Hall are very good prospects.

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Minniman's picture

March 20, 2022 at 01:26 pm

Reportedly this is the year to load up on Edge and WR - but not DL.

I won't be surprised if this is the path that Gute takes - he seems to like a positional load up in his drafts.

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NickPerry's picture

March 20, 2022 at 07:48 am

1. First round, No. 22 overall (from LV)
2. First round, No. 28 overall
3. Second round, No. 53 overall (from LV)
4. Second round, No. 59 overall
5. Third round, No. 92 overall

YUP... I'd like to see at least two WR's selected in those first 5 picks, preferably first 4 picks. Use the others to draft a D-Lineman, Edge, and a Safety.

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Guam's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:00 am

It looks like the Packers are trying to resign MVS. If true, I would like to see the Packers only take one WR and use the other pick on an ILB. The Packers have one good ILB and zero depth at that position. They are one injury to Campbell away from a disaster.

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Johnblood27's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:47 am

IF MVS re-signs with GB I would counsel to still take 2 WR in first 5 picks.

Draftees are not guarantees.

...and we NEED to hit on at least one WR this year.

Im hoping a worthy DL falls enough for BG to use a 1st and another pick to go get the desired stud DL. Then take on some needs like WR, S, OLB.

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Guam's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:57 am

I wouldn't mind two WRs, but only one in the first five picks. The second WR can be a day three developmental pick. If the Packers resign MVS, they will already have Cobb, Lazard, MVS, and Rodgers. You can only keep six, usually activate five and play only four. If you draft two high, who do you sit?

For me, there are other more pressing needs than two WRs in the first five picks. DL, ILB, OLB, TE and Safety are higher priorities than a second WR.

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Johnblood27's picture

March 20, 2022 at 11:42 am

Rodgers is worthless.

Cobb is ancient and slow AND injury-prone.

We have seen Lazard's ceiling. There may be room for MVS to rise.

There is a very real need for talent in the WR room and FA WR cost too much, -draft and develop, but draft real talent, not J'Mon Moore prayers. The rest of the team is deep enough at this point to use 2 of the top 5 on the WR room, there are 11 picks overall to draft and develop other positions where training and technique can make up for lack of top RAS talent at this stage of the player's development.

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NickPerry's picture

March 20, 2022 at 12:41 pm

Hi JB27.... I'd still give Rodgers some time to develop. Personally I was shocked with him last year because I really liked him coming out. Maybe that's what he'll be as a Pro, but I honestly think he'll be much, much better this year.

What I never understood is why MLF didn't use him more like he did with Tyler Ervin. Rodgers ran just ONCE all season, a Jet-Sweep type play against the Cardinals that gained 14 yards. All season up to that moment and every game after, I waiting to see more of it and it never came.

4 points
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HankScorpio's picture

March 20, 2022 at 12:54 pm

"Rodgers is worthless."

He certainly was in year 1. And I do not have much reason to hope for improvement. He had a ton of red red flags for me coming out of college. Undersized. Not very athletic. Played with a great QB to pump up his numbers. Had a number of quality teammates for defenses to focus on. As a rookie, he looked indecisive. He was 7th among WRs in snap count despite suiting up 16 of 17 games.

My heart hopes he makes a big step up. My brain says we're looking at another Jace Sternberger.

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BirdDogUni's picture

March 20, 2022 at 10:10 am

How about 2 WR in the first 6 picks? ; )

22: R1 P22 EDGE Travon Walker - Georgia
28: R1 P28 DL Jordan Davis - Georgia
53: R2 P21 WR Christian Watson - North Dakota State
59: R2 P27 S Bryan Cook - Cincinnati
92: R3 P28 TE Jelani Woods - Virginia
132: R4 P27 WR Velus Jones - Tennessee
140: R4 P35 LB Troy Andersen - Montana State
171: R5 P28 WR Tyquan Thornton - Baylor
228: R7 P7 OT Cordell Volson - North Dakota State
249: R7 P28 S Sterling Weatherford - Miami (Ohio)
258: R7 P37 OT Bamidele Olaseni - Utah

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Coldworld's picture

March 20, 2022 at 12:25 pm

I actually like the look of that in terms of names and positions.

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BirdDogUni's picture

March 20, 2022 at 10:33 am

All these draft simulators have Jordan Davis available, but I doubt very seriously if he will be after his showing at the combine. I doubt we'd have to worry about DL or WR with this draft though.

22: R1 P22 DL Jordan Davis - Georgia
28: R1 P28 DL Devonte Wyatt - Georgia
53: R2 P21 WR Christian Watson - North Dakota State
59: R2 P27 WR Skyy Moore - Western Michigan
92: R3 P28 WR Khalil Shakir - Boise State
132: R4 P27 TE Jelani Woods - Virginia
140: R4 P35 LB Darrian Beavers - Cincinnati
171: R5 P28 S J.T. Woods - Baylor
228: R7 P7 EDGE Isaiah Thomas - Oklahoma
249: R7 P28 OT Matt Waletzko - North Dakota
258: R7 P37 TE Grant Calcaterra - SMU

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Gee's picture

March 20, 2022 at 12:50 pm

Wow both Georgia guys, that would be awesome, that ties that loop up quick. I have asked others what are your thoughts on Travis Jones out of U.Con? I didn;t see him play, but his measurements stand out. Thanks

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BirdDogUni's picture

March 20, 2022 at 01:13 pm

Travis Jones might be exactly who Gutey will target. Not as high profile as the Georgia guys, which is sometimes our FO MO... Kenny Clark was an under-the-radar guy, sort of.

Every year we're surprised by some of the guys who go early and some who last until the 3rd or 4th round we thought would go much higher. That is because we don't have all the information the GMs do.

I doubt either of the Georgia DL last until #22, but if they do, I'd expect Gutey to pounce, unless he has other plans or knows something we don't.

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Coldworld's picture

March 20, 2022 at 12:23 pm

I could push the S back for a TE, ILB or an extra DL. After that it’s an OL up next.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 20, 2022 at 07:28 am

I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion, Bruce...BUT...there have been excellent quarterbacks who have "failed" because their receivers were SO poor--mostly dropped passes and wrong routes. The Packers are borderline in that situation; Cobb and Lazard are the only two trustworthy receivers on the roster right now, both of whom lack the threat of speed. The Packers NEED a deep threat, which is why I hope they resign MVS or sign a free agent. I have zero faith in Amari Rodgers.
They might get one in the draft, but it's hard to rely on a rookie WR. London and Burks are the only two I am ready to trust as starters, and neither of them is a real burner. Wilson, Olave, Williams, Pickens, Watson, and Bell all MIGHT be good enough to start and provide what the Packers need, but I am not confident in any of them as rookies.

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HawkPacker's picture

March 20, 2022 at 07:34 am

Yeah, I understand the rookie fear but don't you think if they get thrown into the fire early on they will be a veteran by play off time? I still believe GB wins the division and makes the playoffs so the rookies should be ready by then.

3 points
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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:14 am

It's not so much a fear of them being inexperienced, it's that very few rookies are a sure thing. I love Christian Watson, but he dropped a lot of passes in college--he also made incredible catches, so he doesn't have "bad hands," but that's the thing--you can't rely on a rookie WR. Remember how Davante struggled for two years?

My hope is that things fall right so the Packers can take George Pickens at 28. Well, really I hope they trade that pick for someone's 1st rounder next year. (Trading our first for someone's 2023 first while evening it by trading our 5th for their 3rd this year would be great)

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stockholder's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:13 am

Cobb is ready to retire. Lazard to slow. MVS will drop passes. Burks is the solution. But this group needs more. We need that Trio Again. Nelson ,a younger Cobb and Finley. I hope they fix this for years to come. Get Watson too.

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DougXX57's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:39 am

ummm why can't you trust a rookie? If they have a whole camp to get to know each other I am sure a rookie will be just fine and maybe Amari will surprise you this year? we will see. MVS hands got better last year and I hope they bring him back but not at 10 M a year so tic toc, we love the offseason.

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egbertsouse's picture

March 20, 2022 at 07:29 am

Yeah , a choker can choke without an all-pro receiver. I’m not worried.

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stockholder's picture

March 20, 2022 at 07:43 am

Rodgers and Favre were better because they had Weapons. You never have enough. Losing All pros such as Adams; can change a Qb stats. If you HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS. Any job is easier. Frustration has always clouded ones thinking. And if a Qb can’t get on the same page with his WRs. He’ll take more Time. Gamble. And make mistakes he normally wouldn’t make. There is No next man up to replace Adams. He got double teamed. Creating a mis-match some place else. And that won’t make this an easy fix. Rodgers can do. Life goes on. But the pressure is on to replace Adams. And find those game changers we lack at that position.

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murf7777's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:41 am

You’re right Stockholder, but at what cost does the extra weapons come by.. Does it mean a lessor DL, TE or special team players, etc…. Because of salary cap you must keep a Balance on the team. I do suspect extra weapons will come by the draft and maybe a 2nd tier FA or trade. We’re in a great position with 4 first and second round picks to get a good WR or two.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:47 am

"And if a Qb can’t get on the same page with his WRs. He’ll take more Time."

Then maybe he should spend time during the offseason getting familiar with his WRs...you know, like other QBs do.

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stockholder's picture

March 20, 2022 at 01:11 pm

Cheap shot champ. Rodgers is here to stay. But not if they don't get the people to stretch the field. Rodgers makes everyone around him better. Thats just a proven statement. With back to back MVPs to prove it. So give him the rookies now. Lazard proved Rodgers can work with Rookies.( If they catch the ball.) So here's the fix. Trade Love for a WR. If Not- @22 = Burks WR - is the Dillion of this draft. @28 = I wish DL. But another WR here; stretches the field , and Keeps Rodgers a Packer! My choice is Watson. Because he tracks the Ball deep, and his speed and numbers are from a running Offense. So he'll block! He'll learn just like MVS did. If we wouldn't have traded Adams. The Packers still would have traded up for a WR. @ 52 If your DL is Gone. Take Terry McBride for the future. He catches the ball and will be the fastest TE ever drafted. That Gives Rodgers a winning trio of Nelson , Cobb and Finley again. Gutey then should draft 2 more WRs later in the draft. Purpose? Special Teams and to push these draft picks. Thats how you keep Rodgers. Thats how you build for the next QB.

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Coldworld's picture

March 20, 2022 at 03:21 pm

Cheap or not it’s right. Do you think Brady has a greater need? With as far out on a limb as this franchise has gone to pay him a kings ransom, I darn well expect to take the initiative and make his receiver the best he can be. Nothing else is acceptable.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 20, 2022 at 03:20 pm

Duplicate

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 20, 2022 at 03:53 pm

I understand you're a Dillon fan, as am I. But, being a fan, maybe at some point you could learn to spell his name correctly?

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stockholder's picture

March 20, 2022 at 04:55 pm

That was for Jurp

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dobber's picture

March 20, 2022 at 05:12 pm

"Cheap shot champ. Rodgers is here to stay. But not if they don't get the people to stretch the field. Rodgers makes everyone around him better. "

I think his point was that maybe ARod should come to OTAs, minicamps, and training camp--and expect to play some preseason game snaps. We all know the possibility of injuries, but if he's going to break in a group of pass-catchers in new or enhanced roles, they should see some live fire together. That said, I have no expectation that he'll play any in the preseason.

"Rodgers makes everyone around him better. "

He'd better with what they currently have.

1 points
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Gopack12's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:22 am

It’s is sad to see Davante go but you can’t pay a WR that kind of money especially at his age. Now we need the front office to restock… sign Landry and draft Treylon Burke’s or Jameson Williams and we will all feel much better.. Rodgers accuracy is the key to our WRs success , for that reason I can see someone like Landry being very productive in our offense. But we definitely need to go get a young stud in this draft.

7 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

March 20, 2022 at 11:23 am

Looks like Cleveland wants him back. Draft WR @ # 22 if Wyatt is taken or the #28. Get Playmakers. Then sniff out a guy again with speed in round three. Running the same old script only works for Broadway revivals.

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croatpackfan's picture

March 20, 2022 at 04:27 pm

I have no objection on drafting WR high in draft, but I would prefere very good to excellent TE. I believe Packers need more to fill TE position than to have HOF WR.

But, what I know...

1 points
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DougXX57's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:35 am

I also agree and have been saying that for awhile now. How do you think Adam would look with Love as QB? We, who have been Packers fans for awhile have seen WR's leave GB and gone into the lost protection plan with a few exceptions like Lofton. I would bet that Adams will not put up the numbers with the raiders that he did with GB and although he was a great Packer WR, he chose to leave and didn't want to be here. Good luck with the Raiders and we will be find without you. The draft is coming and we will be fine folks

2 points
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MarkinMadison's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:47 am

I'm fine with MVS at the right price but I don't think he can be a #1. I'm not even convinced he is a legit #2. So I hope the rumors are not accurate, but I suspect that they are accurate. The guys in Green Bay know a ton more than I do, but, yeah, I've got doubts. I'd prefer that they take a hard look at Christian Kirk or see what the Saints feel about a trade for Michael Thomas.

3 points
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Meader99's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:43 am

Kirk is gone. We don't need MVS to be a #1, we need his elite speed to space the field. We all saw the affect not having him had in the playoff game. The field was shrunk and the 49ers didn't worry about the top being taken off. MVS has the trust of Rodgers, so that gives him a leg up on any outside free agents. The only other suggestion would be to sign one of these guys to a 1 year prove it deal in the cheap. Julio Jones, Landry, etc. and definitely draft at least one wr with those first 3 picks. I believe Olave to be an elite route runner that could contribute right away, but you still need that guy to take the top off and allow the slot and TE to work the middle.

2 points
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Guam's picture

March 20, 2022 at 10:01 am

Agree with everything you said Meader99, but Olave is more than a great route runner. He ran a 4.26 forty at the Combine. He is faster than MVS and also can take the top off a defense.

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MarkinMadison's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:27 pm

If you spend your remaining cap space on MVS, and he is not your #1, then who is? A rookie? Lazard?

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MarkinMadison's picture

March 20, 2022 at 08:27 pm

If you spend your remaining cap space on MVS, and he is not your #1, then who is? A rookie? Lazard?

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dobber's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:41 am

This ultimately comes back to the system/plays vs. players question. The bottom line is that all those things need to be in sync. You need to have plays that maximize your players' strengths and players who can execute when asked. I would argue that in 2021, the offense was less functional because the players were not in sync with the system the same way they were in 2020. Was that because ARod was focused too strongly on one guy--either because there wasn't enough support or because he couldn't get away from that read? Maybe it's because defenses were catching up with the McVay/Shanahan system. Maybe it's because the play calling was less apt. Maybe it's due to injuries on the offensive front. Whatever the case, the skill position personnel were eerily similar to 2020 but the production wasn't as good.

What does this mean going forward? Well, the Packers are betting hard on a 38-year-old QB being able to elevate the cast around him. They don't have the cash to buy on proven, high-end pieces (and just dealt one away). Whether that means he needs to make chicken salad out of chicken shit, or that he'll need to take raw drafted talent and mature it in a hurry, the investment in the QB means that it's not only incumbent on him to prove he can make the offense function above the sum of its parts, but also for management to give him enough pieces from week 1 that his job isn't nigh unto impossible.

Those critical of the Davante trade are critical because they see it as counter to the all-in approach of buying hard on #12. We all know now that Adams wasn't coming back, so BG at least got significant draft capital...but he's got to do something --something that gives the QB a chance to be successful. We don't see that plan, yet. It's going to take some time to fully materialize. Cross your fingers.

4 points
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HankScorpio's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:44 am

The Packers finished 26th in passing offense in 2015 when Jordy was lost for the year in preseason and injuries pretty much decimated the WR group, leaving them with Jared Abrederris and Jeff Janis as the starters for the annual ugly playoff exit vs Arizona. Sure, Rodgers will pump up the numbers but he won't change a sow's ear into a silk purse. Call it a flaw in his game if you'd like. You might even be right.

Until they get serious about fixing the WR group, their destiny will be to fall short when it counts. It's played out that way too many times in the past to expect anything else.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 20, 2022 at 10:04 am

There is a prolific poster on here that believes we don't need "super duper" receivers to be successful and pretty much mocks anyone who disagrees with him. That thinking may be true to a degree during the regular season, especially when you're feasting off of the NFC North for 6 games a year.

But it's a different animal come playoff time. Look at the most recent SB participants...Rams, Bengals, Bucs, Chiefs, 49ers...all are stocked with elite WRs, while our WR room has been stocked with low draft picks and UDFA's. It's time to change that mindset and start investing high draft capital on the position.

4 points
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HankScorpio's picture

March 20, 2022 at 10:38 am

Exactly right. Lord help the NFL if SF ever finds a real QB. Samuel, Aiyuk & Kittle in that system with a real QB is a scary thought. That same system and a stacked WR room helped slip a ring on Matthew Stafford's finger. The Bengals drafted Joe Burrow and immediately gave him Tee Higgins and J'Marr Chase in order to help him be successful. You hear it every draft. "Team X drafted QB Z. Now they need to help him succeed."

Dating back to 2012, the Packers have drafted one player on offense in the first round---Jordan Love. They have split day 2 about 50/50 between offense and defense. But the pass catchers have mostly fallen short...Jace Sternberger, Amari Rodgers, Josiah Deguara, Ty Montgomery. Of course Davante Adams is a notable exception. But you need more than one and they don't even have him anymore. I do hold out some hope on Deguara. He's obviously not a WR but I think he can become more of a weapon than he's shown to date.

3 points
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gpt999's picture

March 20, 2022 at 11:45 am

I agree with you 13Time. Its easier to beat up on the weaker teams in this division with weaker WRs but come playoff time, you need more than one good option to pass to. The Packers need to start to invest on high draft choices to develop WRs every draft! Not that they need to be prolific in their first year. The Jeffersons and Chases are anomalies. On the other hand, you can't wait forever for them to develop. Accordingly, I would think this is a make or break year for Amari Rodgers?

Drafting is always a gamble. But I see Gutes improving year after year with his choices overall.

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Tundraboy's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:25 pm

Exactly, we are the Green Bay Packers after all.

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Coldworld's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:56 am

While there is some truth in your statement it’s not the sort that gets one anything tangible. Bad receivers can unmake a QB or at least severely diminish his impact. We of all teams should know that a HoF QB with a sub par receiving unit will typically underperform when it matters. That’s a big reason why we have 2 Super Bowls from almost 30 years of HoF QB play.

If the Packers put out an unready, under talented or over thin set of receivers while breaking the bank on Rodgers it will be an exercise in futility. It is a concept that should have been trashed at birth. Now they have put us in the position they have, they either find a way to supply a valid set of passing skill players or show the fallacy of their approach to Rodgers and the future.

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PatrickGB's picture

March 20, 2022 at 10:11 am

Quality WR’s often go high in the draft and that’s not where the team drafts. But you make a good point. The Packers have not put an emphasis on drafting WR’s high. Moore, EQ and MVS were late rounders. And others have been drafted even later. The only mid round pick was Amari and he has shown little. The team has shown little interest in drafting WR’s high. Perhaps it’s because of a boom or bust fear or maybe there aren’t that many sure choices out there. It takes a while to coach them up and when they do show promise then other teams snatch them up.

1 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

March 20, 2022 at 10:32 am

I think the "it takes awhile to coach them up" narrative is a bit over blown. There have been a number of WR's taken high the past few years that have hit the ground running. Just off the top of my head...Jefferson. Ja'Marr Chase, CeeDee Lamb, Brandon Aiyuk to name a few, and there are others.

I'm not sure why this FO is so averse to drafting WR's in the 1st/2nd rounds. Maybe now that Adams is gone, that will (hopefully) force their hand.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 20, 2022 at 11:40 am

I agree. College offense is growing more pass-happy all the time. Players are coming out more well-rounded in terms of route-running and fundamentals. Not every WR comes out NFL-ready and they should ascend for at least 3-4 years. But the days of expecting a rookie WR will be a work-in-progress that can contribute nothing at all are over.

Heck, even over a decade ago, Jennings started as a rookie. Both Davante Adams and Randall Cobb contributed as rookies.

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dobber's picture

March 20, 2022 at 12:27 pm

It's also a function of what you ask those pieces to do. While those rookie WRs are more and more prepared to handle the route trees and adjustments they need to make in an NFL offense, many aren't strong enough to handle vet CBs who press, or able to run away from pro CBs the same way they can run away from that CB from Northeast Montana State that they feasted on. In many cases, even for high-end WR, that year now is often about getting stronger and adjusting to bigger, stronger, faster CBs.

I really like Treylon Burks, and he's the type of strong, quick, iindividual playmaker WR that these modern offenses love. But if you bring in Burks and ask him to run the whole route tree in place of Adams, he's going to disappoint and 12 won't throw him the ball. If they're smart enough to limit his responsibilities and maximize the easy catch-and-run stuff, he could be very useful as he learns on the job.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 20, 2022 at 01:07 pm

I wasn't by any means suggesting a rookie WR is going to come in and immediately be as accomplished as a Davante Adams. I was just disagreeing with the notion that WR's typically need 2-3 years to contribute significantly. Some do...some don't.

And the ones that don't typically aren't going up against CB's from Northeast Montana State. They're going up against CB's from the SEC and other top programs. CB's that will one day be members of the NFL themselves.

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dobber's picture

March 20, 2022 at 02:21 pm

Actually, I think we mostly agree...with the caveat that coaches need to put those players in positions where they're most likely to be able to do the job. Those WR most likely to make that leap in year one are still usually high-end guys though...the Darnell Mooneys are few and far between (and he was a later-round productive rookie who was used very well, IMO).

Some WRs in this draft (in every draft) did bloat their numbers on weak competition. GMs need to discern that kid of production (and I think most do). And while the average SEC CB is likely more athletic and savvy than your average MAC (or even Big 10) CB, I'm arguing more that the average NFL CB is still a hefty notch higher, with a couple years of playing against NFL talent and training in an NFL weight room. But I think we mostly agree, and I think part of the reason for the successes of the 2021 draft class were that BG eschewed the small school wonders and went mostly for power conference production.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 20, 2022 at 03:01 pm

Good points. I hope we also agree the current WR room needs to be seriously upgraded. Right now we have Lazard, an aging, past his prime, often injured Cobb, and AmRod, who had a very underwhelming rookie campaign, to put it mildly.

I've always been a Lazard fan, but if we go into the season with him clearly being our best receiver, that's a pretty scary proposition, especially in today's NFL. He would MAYBE be a 3rd option on the Rams, Bucs, Chiefs, etc.

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dobber's picture

March 20, 2022 at 05:07 pm

Absolutely. It would be mismanagement to the nth degree if they paid all that cash to 12 and brought back all these other pieces with such potential long-term cap implications and then give ARod not much more than what he currently has to work with.

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flackcatcher's picture

March 21, 2022 at 02:38 pm

Ironically MVS is a perfect example. Too many here need to watch more all-22 instead of gleaming off PFF and fantasy leagues. (OK, enough cheap shots) MVS growth has been impressive in running the whole route tree. Doing the very dirty work in the run scheme, and most importantly, drawing double coverage leaving both the short and medium coverage areas open. For those who have short memories, it was MVS who ran those skinny posts and quick slants that exposed Tampa's secondary, forced them to double him, and freed up Adams to single coverage on the weak side. Last year's NFCC game exposed MLF's offensive scheme. Without MVS, the Packers could not run their medium route package for both the F-Back or more importantly their TE, cutting their offensive options in half at the start. I don't know what the Packers will do, but downgrading MVS in this system is stupid. The last two years prove it.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 20, 2022 at 11:33 am

Or they have to cover for whiffing on guys in earlier drafts. They need playmakers , period. Two WRs from high picks and a TE by round three. Fill in a DE and OT then this squad may do some damage. The writing is on the wall. Fill the voids. I would not pay MVS.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 20, 2022 at 11:12 am

"We of all teams should know that a HoF QB with a sub par receiving unit will typically underperform when it matters. That’s a big reason why we have 2 Super Bowls from almost 30 years of HoF QB play."

Ron Wolf said it. He's pretty high up on the list of people that pulled the Packers out of the Dark Ages of the 70s and 80s. TT showed he learned from Wolf's mistakes when he drafted 5 pass catchers on day 2 in his first 4 drafts. And provided a little maintenance to that with Cobb and Adams later on.

Sadly, the lesson appears to be lost.

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PatrickGB's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:57 am

Amari was a huge disappointment. If the Packers select a WR high in the draft I hope it is one who is more NFL ready. But on the other hand if the team is willing to wait for a year, there are some quality players who are currently injured that might be considered a steal. I wonder if there is a veteran out there that the team could sign to bridge the gap? It might happen during TC.

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dobber's picture

March 20, 2022 at 12:30 pm

Amari Rodgers was a whiff. Prototypical, good college ball-player but "beneficiary of a great offense with great surrounding cast" player. Gute either felt that he had to have a WR and was flailing about for a pick that profiled a particular way (rather than grabbing a more pro-ready guy) or just completely missed on his profile.

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Oppy's picture

March 20, 2022 at 12:43 pm

Amari Rodgers didn't perform well as a Punt Returner.

We have no idea if Amari is a whiff as a WR.

Aaron Rodgers made sure we wouldn't find out. He literally told the press during pre season that "he doesn't have time to teach a new WR how to play the slot."

And that was that.. Rodgers told the front office he doesn't want to see Amari Rodgers on the field.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 20, 2022 at 01:30 pm

"We have no idea if Amari is a whiff as a WR."

According to pro football reference, he was 7th on the team in snaps among WRs, caught 50% of his 8 targets (1 drop) for 45 yards. That's certainly a whiff in year one by any standard. It is not terribly surprising that an undersized & unathletic rookie WR would put up that kind of performance. Perhaps he does need some time to develop and will turn into a player. That will be about him, not Aaron Rodgers, as you clearly incorrectly imply.

I think the bone you're gnawing on with Aaron Rodgers is creating some kind of hallucinogenic effect. You ought to bury it. Just some friendly free advice. Take it for what it is worth

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Oppy's picture

March 21, 2022 at 09:22 am

8 targets on 130 offensive snaps and you're sure he's a whiff?

Davante Adams had 740 snaps and about 65 targets his rookie season for roughly 57% catch rate, and about 1500 snaps in his first two years, and about half of packers fans thought he was a bust and wanted him gone.

But Amari Rodgers is a whiff after a rookie season where he was only put on the field as an afterthought because Rodgers didn't want to deal with a rookie playing the slot. Okay.

..And it's not incorrect to imply Rodgers has an affect on the development of the WRs. It's widely known if you're not "in" with Rodgers, you're not getting the ball. Hell, Rodgers tells his WRs to ignore what the coaches are teaching them and do it his way instead- and WRs understand that if they don't, they're not getting thrown to. (That's directly for the mouth of a Packers WR,I believe it was ESB in 2019.)

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Coldworld's picture

March 20, 2022 at 03:32 pm

When we drafted him I thought he was to be an option player, and get some time in the slot, where Rodgers and the scheme could get him open and give him the ball in space. Why? Well Ervin had gone and that’s exactly what AnRod did in college. He didn’t run a full route tree.

Then he gets here and we are teaching him the whole kit and caboodle and never using him in an option role or getting him the ball in space. It made zero sense and still doesn’t. I would never have drafted AmRod for the purpose they tried to use him for in year one in year one.

Possibly Cobb messed with the slot opportunities (but I think more EQ, to no point then or in future unless to the Bears), but they didn’t play Cobb in the option, or anyone much. Rodgers looked lost, confused. Maybe he can learn and gain confidence, but I’ve significant questions about the coaching

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Packer_Fan's picture

March 20, 2022 at 10:16 am

I am eager to see what Rodgers will do when he won't focus on Adams so much And Lafluer hasn't worked in plays where Dillon and Jones are both in the game. I just see mismatches all over.

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jlc1's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:14 pm

True Dillon and Jones will create some mismatches. But there are no mismatches in this current receivers corps. Teams will not have to double team or even lean towards any of these guys. That leaves them plenty to work with and scheme things to stop the two RBs.
A veteran seems necessary but they are getting signed elsewhere at a rate that makes me worry the Pack won't get anyone of real quality if they even bother to get a vet.

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ricky's picture

March 20, 2022 at 10:40 am

Remember when Adams was a bust (his second year) and a lot of posters were calling for him to be cut? Remember when there were no good TE's on the team, and Tonyan had a great season? Recall when James Jones was very inconsistent, and people were eager to see him go? It usually takes three years for a WR to come into his own. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are relatively rare. Why? Because the difference between college football and pro football is the difference between Tic-Tac-Toe and three-dimensional chess. It's not just running a route crisply, it's also blocking assignments, changes depending on where defensive players are lined up, etc.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:27 pm

This is my hope for Malik Taylor, Juwann Winfree, Amari Rodgers, Rico Gafford, and Chris Blair. The team MIGHT be high on a couple of those guys. (I'm a Blair fan)

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gpt999's picture

March 20, 2022 at 11:28 am

WRs don't make the QB or QBs don't make a WR? This is almost a chicken and the egg argument at some level?

I'd like to see the Pack get a good veteran WR DEPENDING on the cost. We could give even up a 1st rounder in a trade for a good veteran as long as his salary and term are not ludicrous like many of the recent WR contracts signed. The FA WR market now is thin, although I think Julio Jones could be a fit and might have some fun with Rodgers throwing to him. The questions are - what is his speed level now at 33 and can he stay healthy for most of the season? The Titans let him go for a reason(s). MVS might be too expensive for his mostly speed skill set and injuries? Could MVS turn into a #1 receiver catching more balls versus a few long ones? I don't think the Pack should spend both big money and term to find out... We can always find a speed/decoy guy in the draft for far less money!

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Tex49's picture

March 20, 2022 at 11:42 am

Rodgers tends to favor receivers, Finley and Adams being the greatest examples. I’d love to see the offense clicking with two probowl quality wrs, maybe they’re on the team or maybe we have to sign a FA or draft them. We did win the super bowl when Rodgers was forced to find other receivers besides Finley.

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davekenya's picture

March 20, 2022 at 12:05 pm

What should GB do to shore up it's receiving corps?

AR makes mediocre receivers look good...and makes good receivers look great. The question is...what do you want? Broadly speaking, in the last 10 years GB has drafted mediocre receivers (in rounds 4-7) and AR's made them look 'good'. When GB has invested a high round in a WR (RD 1-3), there's been a great ROI -- Adams, Jennings, Nelson, Jones, Cobb. The hope is that Amari Rogers will also follow that pattern. Basically, all these draft pics have taken 2+ years to develop into 'strong' receivers...due to some combination of learning the pro game, learning AR's audibles/check-downs, learning the playbook and running the route the way AR WANTS them run. AR has to feel comfortable trusting his WRs and that only happens over time.

SO...let's see what happens with Amari Rogers -- does he continue to develop? If GB drafts a WR in Round 1, it would not only break tradition (think Walker in '02 and Sharpe in '88) but would result in said WR maybe having 45 catches in 2022. We'd need to acknowledge that will just be the way it is. Other teams may have better results from their #1 draft WRs in year one, but they play other QBS and run other offensive systems.

We need a #1 round WR in this year's draft to also...increase the chances that AR stays with GB in 2023. He'd do that if he felt the 2022 #1 round WR would be 'that much better' in 2023 (and Amari Rodgers too). This would save GB a big cap hit should AR instead decide to hang it up after the 2022 season.

There's not much value (left) in the UFA WR market right now. Maybe wait for a June 1st roster cut? I would NOT support GB trading either one of their #1 or #2 round picks for a vet WR. You lose your pick AND have the cap hit -- double whammy. I say draft one in round 1 (going against form) and a day 3 developmental WR draft pick.

GB would be ecstatic to get a DL or OLB in round 1. While they need help at ILB and S, GB has traditionally not valued those positions enough to use high draft capital on them. Why would that change now? This year, in rounds 1 & 2 -- maybe WR, DL, OLB, OL???

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Duneslick's picture

March 20, 2022 at 01:23 pm

Just how good is lazard and whomever is our 3rd receiver with 5th receiver skills going to be when teams are not double teaming adams. We need at least 2 WR's in the first 5 picks

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canadapacker's picture

March 20, 2022 at 04:07 pm

First I would like to see MVS come back - he takes the top off the D and stretches the field and AR knows how to use him. I am not so sure about taking a receiver - just to be a receiver - it depends who is there and what other talent is there ( best player available maybe ILB's or OLB - but I would like to see us take a guy with the fastest speed. Getting a receiver and AR on the same page is not easy - but I would like to see Lafleur take a page out of San Frans' philosophy - getting the ball into the playmakers hands. We need to stretch the field not only vertically but also laterally. Having guys run sideline to sideline not only tires the D but allows us to run Jones and Dillon up the middle at times. We lost that lateral stuff last year. So who in the draft can develop into that. So we will take a developmental guy (s) that can be like a Claypool or Chase - and maybe return now along with Hill if he is sound physicially. But dont expect them to be there on the O initially. But also take guys who can fit the jet sweep, quick passes in the flat etc. especially since we dont have Adams to get those 5 or 6 yards in a possession type scenario and take it to the house in a missed tackle situation.

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croatpackfan's picture

March 20, 2022 at 04:17 pm

Bruce, I would like to know for what franchise Jordy Nelson played after he was cut by Packers? When we are talking about what WR did after they left Packers. I believe Jordy hadn't one catch, at least not official one...

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Since'61's picture

March 20, 2022 at 09:53 pm

Croat - Jordy played for the Raiders for one season (2018) after he left Green Bay. He had 68 receptions for 739 yards and 3 TDs in 15 games. Thanks, Since '61

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croatpackfan's picture

March 21, 2022 at 05:16 am

Thank you Since'61, you are right, I forgot that...

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jlc1's picture

March 21, 2022 at 04:08 pm

You said it early on in the piece. Brady won SBs without elite receivers. Rodgers has managed only one with elite receivers. Maybe dink and dunk gets him there but I don't think so. He just does not come up big in big games and it seems to matter little who he is playing against or with.

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