Going into the 2020 draft many thought that the Green Bay Packers best plan was to draft a wide receiver in the first round. What Brian Gutekunst did was quite the opposite. Maybe he believes they already have everything they need with the Packer Wide Receivers as he did not use any of their 9 picks to take one.
Davante Adams is a superstar. He has emerged in recent seasons as easily a top 5 receiver, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. He is at the top of his game and in his prime. Davante is clearly part of the Packers plans at wide receiver.
Allen Lazard is the first big question mark. He is entering the final year of his contract, and has shown signs of improvement, but has struggled to put up consistent numbers. He battled injury problems last season, but overall put up solid numbers for a second or third option on a great offense. With this being his contract season, how he performs will greatly impact his value going into next offseason. If Lazard continues to be hurt, or fails to put up consistent numbers, the Packers could retain him on a smaller contract to keep him around. On the other hand, if he takes a major step up, other teams could take a jump at him and throw a much larger contract his way. If this happens, it is unlikely the Packers will have the cap space to do the same. This season is huge for the future of Allan Lazard.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is also entering his contract season. With many of the same questions to answer, this season is also very impactful on his future with the Packers. MVS played in all 16 games last season, and took a big jump up in production. One issue is that many are still unsure about his consistency catching the football. He had 7 drops last season, and while that number is not awful, some of those drops were on big plays that easily could have led to touchdowns or chunk yards.
This will be a big year for both of those receivers as they battle for the number 2 job under Davante. This could end up benefitting the Packers for the future if both play well. If both of these receivers improve, they would end up taking targets from each other, therefore making their statistics appear mediocre at surface level. This would increase their value to the Packers but not to the rest of the league. If the Packers can lock up both of these guys for not a lot of money, the Wide Receiver room could remain very talented for the next 5 seasons or so.
The last true test of talent will come at the hands of Equanimeous St. Brown. After being drafted with MVS, there was hope that both players would develop well and turn into a great duo. Valdes-Scantling made great bounds to improve his game, while St. Brown struggled to see the field. He has started only 8 games since being drafted in 2018, and missed all of 2019 due to injury. He has shown signs of talent, as he is tall and athletic, but similar to Lazard and MVS, he lacks consistency.
Look out for St. Brown to make a statement this season. If given the opportunity, he has the frame and athletic talent to be a good wide receiver in this league. That is as long as Adams, MVS, and Lazard don’t take all the receptions for themselves.
As long as one of these three receivers has a consistent season proving they can continue to play well, the Packers are in a good spot for the future. They typically draft good talent and have done well enough developing late round receivers into very able minded players in the NFL.
This trend likely will not differ any time soon, especially with Aaron Rodgers at Quarterback.——————
Kaleb is currently attending UW Green Bay pursuing an English degree. His lifelong goal is to one day work for ESPN. You can follow him on twitter at @kaleb_baumgart.