Should Packers fans buy into Kumerow hype?

With the Packers’ minicamp at an end, there is once again a drought of tangible football to discuss until training camp begins in late July. For the Green Bay Packers fandom, there truly isn’t a ton to speculate on, though of course, the national media will take this dark time to go on yet another anti-Aaron Rodgers crusade. The Packers took care of business this offseason, signing players at positions of need and doing the same during the draft.

As such, Green Bay doesn’t have many position battles – which is never a bad thing. The most intriguing battle royale will be among the wide receivers. Behind Davante Adams, there isn’t a hierarchy. Snaps are available in this new offense for those who earn them in the gauntlet of battle. With this in mind, can Jake Kumerow emerge triumphant and carve a significant role in this offense?

When I looked at the wide receiver group earlier this offseason, I called Kumerow a fringe player. This is a crowded group and most of the competition has either draft pedigree or fills a niche role. The young receivers on this team are extremely athletic, while the Wisconsin-Whitewater player is older and posted an average RAS. Making the roster would be a daunting quest for Kumerow.

Yet Rodgers has consistently praised the wideout, and the results support this. Rodgers and Kumerow have connected for multiple touchdowns this offseason, and they are developing chemistry Walter White could appreciate. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate.

On multiple occasions, Rodgers commended Kumerow’s intelligence and work ethic. Neither of these traits are teachable and showcase the value Kumerow can bring to the team. After Rodgers discussed how to earn his trust, he explained how Kumerow earned it.

“He is an extremely intelligent guy who is in the right place at the right time. He makes contested catches, he makes the plays that are there and he does the little things,” Rodgers said at the end of minicamp.

While Kumerow missed most of the 2018 season, their ascending connection was on display against the Jets in Week 16. Rodgers connected with Kumerow for a vital 49-yard touchdown. Kumerow’s best traits were on display: his crisp route running, his steady hands, and his surprising RAC ability.

So far, offseason reports have the core squad as Adams and Valdes-Scantling on the outside and Allison in the slot in 11 personnel. Beyond these three, the field is wide open. Kumerow has been an offseason star, and, regardless of draft pedigree, if he performs well in pads there is zero reason for him to not play.

Yet teams do value their handpicked players. J’Mon Moore had a tumultuous rookie season, but he was a 4th round pick. Green Bay will provide every opportunity for him to succeed. EQ possesses tremendous upside and performed well last season. Trevor Davis makes the roster as a returner until proven otherwise, taking another valuable roster spot. The Packers have kept seven wide receivers on the roster in previous years, but whether they do so or not depends on how they feel about depth at other positions.

It’s also important to remember that as fun as offseason hype is, it doesn’t always translate on the field. This isn’t the first fringe player Rodgers has praised, and his comments mirror those said about Jared Abbrederis, another Wisconsinite.

“He’s a guy that has phenomenal preparation. He’s always in the right spot, he has incredible body movements when it comes to not telegraphing routes, and he just finds a way to get open all the time,” Rodgers said on “Wilde & Tausch” in 2016.

All that said, after rewatching his film and the new revelations from these interviews, I do think Kumerow has a role on this team if he stays on trajectory. Kumerow’s intelligence, work ethic, proven connection with Rodgers, consistently clean route running, and wide catch radius make up for his age and less athletic profile (compared to his peers on the team) and separate him from other offseason hype engines of the past. If fans can keep expectations tempered, Kumerow hype is worth catching.

But while this couch GM would keep him, will the Packers’ real GM keep Whitewater Jesus come September? From the team’s perspective, Kumerow is on the fringe and still has an uphill battle to make this roster, but if he keeps this momentum going, it will be hard to not place him on the 53-man roster.

Matt Hendershott is a Packers fan and Miller High Life enthusiast from Northwest Ohio. He has a Master of Arts in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattHendershott.
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6 thoughts on “Should Packers fans buy into Kumerow hype?

  1. There’s a lot to be said about a WR that knows his routes, is where he’s supposed to be and has good hands. I’ll take that any day over a younger, faster WR that doesn’t know the routes and has questionable hands.

  2. I don’t think he’s a fringe player. Kumerow is bigger and faster than Allison, has a better catch %, and is better on special teams. As for those things Allison does well, Kumerow matches him in every aspect.

    Why isn’t Allison put on the fringe?

  3. Rodgers likes Kumerow and I think he’ll be the surprise this year as another deep threat in our offense. The Packers have several options at wide receiver and they’re all tall,fast and with a huge catch radius. Rodgers will have a field day throwing the football. The Denver running back who’s retired and on NFL Network has the Packers going 6 and 10 this year and I want this moron to eat his words. He has us losing all four games to start the season. I can’t wait to write NFL Network when we’re 4 and 0 and have him eat his words.

  4. Is it fair to say some packer fans just want a cheesehead on the roster, which makes him popular above his football skills? (in this case they may be real, unlike fan fave Janis) Then there is also the disturbing trend in WI for worshipping/electing far right wing politicians, like the POTUS who said that black players who used their right to silent protest are “sons of b’s” who should be grateful to get paid so much $ and should be kicked out of the country (like back to Africa, maybe?). I’ve lived in and/ or had a vacation home in WI (near GB) for 30 years, and the mentality of people in WI is going down the toilet since Walker was Guv- plenty of rural MAGAs just want a “white guy” to cheer for. Nelson, for instance, was a great player but he was never elite among all NFL receivers- Rodgers makes them all look good if they have skills, but when he gets an Adams, you can imagine what GB could be like with TWO elite receivers and an elite tight end. Maybe Kumerow will be a great player, he must have good skill if Rodgers likes him, but part of it for fans is his white cheeshead status, which usually is over-rated, like Abbrederis.

    1. I have now idea what in the world color or POTUS , Wis. governor, etc. has to do with a wide receiver making a team. Your political rants and slanted perspective does you nor anyone else any good. I think you should sell your second home and go back to where it is you came from. It’s you bigeted narrow mind tirades that polute the sporting atmosphere.

      1. Hopefully, Trump’s disgusting comments have nothing to do with any team deciding on players. I am talking about packer fans and the fan “base” that always seems to have a white receiver as a “fan favorite’. It should be noted, however, that no one will touch Kap or several other very good players because they protested. I think the Pack is only interested in getting the best players- even so, here is the description given for Kumerow “Rodgers
        commended Kumerow’s intelligence and work ethic’- the article author then inserts – ‘Neither of these
        traits are teachable and showcase the value Kumerow can bring to the
        team’ – THAT is a pretty sickening comment- so none of the other receivers have intelligence?They can’t be taught because? The other receivers have a lesser “work ethic”? why would that be? – any receiver that makes the pros has a strong work ethic! I know from talking to yokels from WI how prevalent the MAGA attitude has become. I also know hundreds of WI residents who are fine people and who are not bigots (otherwise known as being ‘bigeted’). As for my home in WI, I will stay and pay the taxes that MAGA folks love to whine about! I hope the schools return to tops in the country, where they were for decades, unlike during Walker’s little reign, where they fell to the bottom half of the 50 states.

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