Keeping seven wide receivers is almost unheard of, but the Green Bay Packers certainly could make a case for it this upcoming season. All seven receivers that seem to be in contention for the roster are Ted Thompson draft picks, and the one with the worst draft pedigree just might be the most talented. This conversation of course eliminates talented undrafted receivers Geronimo Allison and Ed Williams (from a season ago).
One of the things I want to make clear is that doing this is certainly going to require one thing: keeping three total running backs. That would make the battle for the final roster spot in the non-tight-end skill positions John Crockett vs. Aaron Ripkowski. Crockett is a very talented back and showed as much against the Lions, but Ripkowski is seen as the heir apparent to John Kuhn, and the Packers look to still use at least one fullback.
The reason that this idea could work, and how the idea of seven wide receivers is even feasible, is because of two players: Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery. Both Montgomery and Cobb have the versatility and ability to affect the game as “third down backs”. Both players can play running back in the no huddle and both run exceptional routes from out of the backfield. It’s certainly possible that they could sneak Crockett back on to the practice squad and plan on using him in 2017, with Eddie Lacy and James Starks both playing on expiring contracts.
Jeff Janis, as I mentioned in a previous Football Friday, is safe. He’s one of the very best special teams gunners in all of football, and is reportedly improving his relationship with Aaron Rodgers. He’s not going anywhere. Neither are Cobb or Montgomery, and neither is the returning Jordy Nelson.
So do the Packers cut one (or two) of Trevor Davis, Jared Abbrederis and Davante Adams? Therein lies the rub. I happen to (rather unpopluarly) believe that Davante Adams is safe. I just can’t imagine the Packers cutting bait on him after two seasons, one which was promising and the other, which was mired by injury and the overwhelming pressure to be the Packers #1 outside threat. Adams is ideally a #2 or #3 option in a passing game, not the #1. At least not yet. Davis has the safety of being a draft pick of this past offseason and Abby is a favorite of the QB and the fan base.
McCarthy and Thompson will have a lot of decisions to make during camp, but be mildly surprised, not shocked if keeping seven wide receivers is one of them.