Typically speaking, I find it difficult at times to fight off the bias I carry as a Green Bay Packer fan. I am extremely loyal to the organization and will be for the rest of my days. Having said that, this article is going to be brutally honest. The current state of the Packers is not all that good. This roster needs an overhaul and it’s up to Gutekunst to see that happen. The reality is that Aaron Rodgers is one of the greatest of all time and he has a certain trait that all the greats have. He has the ability to make his teammates better much like Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter could. We’ve seen the benefit of #12 and his talent as he took a 2010 team all the way to the promised land despite having over 15 players on injured reserve. We also saw the team essentially fold its tent once the great one’s collarbone snapped against the Vikings last year. In order for the Packers to return to greatness, the overall talent level must improve. The following paragraphs will address the wide receiver hole on this roster and who may be out there in the draft to help address them.
Packers Need Help at Wide Receiver!
Yes, the Packers cut Jordy Nelson. Many fans are still bitter at the thought, however, I am not in that camp. I loved watching the ARod-Jordy connection like anyone else but the realist in me knew it was time. Nelson has lost a step or two and could no longer stretch the defense nor gain any separation. The back-shoulder throw that they mastered for touchdowns or a seven yard gain was no longer worth $10 million dollars a season. In addition to Nelson’s departure, we have to be realistic about Randall Cobb and his future. While still a serviceable, sure-handed slot receiver, Cobb no longer scares teams with his ability to shake defenders and go the distance. If the Packers feel as though Cobb is even a #2 receiver at this point, I believe they are kidding themselves. Davante Adams is a bonefide superstar in the making, but after #17, the talent level goes down considerably. Cobb would make an excellent third and, with Jimmy Graham in the mix, possibly fourth option. While the Packers’ needs go beyond wide receiver, look for the Packers to take a receiver within the first 3 rounds. I believe the ship has sailed on Ridley from Alabama as Green Bay will address other needs first. Two receivers that may be available later are DJ Moore out of Maryland and Anthony Miller from Memphis. In Moore, you get a tough receiver that can high point the football and stretch the field. He is a tough runner who gets YAC yardage so he fits the west coast offense as well. The Packers could possibly take a flyer on him in the third round.
Anthony Miller has first round talent but may slip to the second or third. He was a walk-on and didn’t play a single snap for his first two seasons. From there, he made a lasting impression, making one big play after another. The Packers would get much more athletic at the position if they could get their hands on this guy. He is a different receiver than Moore but runs exceptionally sound routes and may actually give Rodgers a wide open target a time or two. I know I’d be thrilled if the Packers were able to secure his talent for the next 4-5 years.
Which receiver have you spotted in this year’s draft that gets you excited to help the Packers? Is DJ Moore the better fit or should they go after Anthony Miller? The draft is a few short weeks away and we’ll know soon enough what the plans are for that position. Rodgers isn’t getting any younger and the time is now to stock the shelves full of capable targets. Jimmy Graham may be an answer for the short term but adding some speed, athleticism and big-play ability will surely help their chances at hoisting the Lombardi Trophy sooner than later. What say you? As always, Go Pack Go!
Robert Martin bleeds green and gold despite living in North Dakota, where many cheer for the purple. He is currently a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @robertmartinPHD.