The Green Bay Packers are among the best teams that sports bettors can choose when betting in Indiana through online sports betting. And Packers fans have been betting for years that a first-round wide receiver would come their way. However, the longer it takes for the Packers to draft a receiver during the first round, the more difficult it will be for the player who finally gets the position, whether it takes a week, year, or decade.
Most receivers worth considering in the NFL draft were still young when the Packers last picked one during the first round. The last player drafted in the first round was Javon Walker in 2002 when Minessota’s Rashod Bateman was less than three years old. At the time, Mississippi’s Elijah Moore was around two years. As such, there’s a huge chance that these players have never heard about Walker, a star receiver that the Packers took from Florida State at No. 20 in the 2002 draft.
Former Packers’ manager Ted Thompson went through his 13-year tenure without getting a wide receiver during the first NFL draft. The current manager Brian Gutekunst has also gone through three drafts and hasn’t picked one yet.
At every juncture, the Packers fans and the last two quarterbacks have clamored to get a receiver in the first round. As such, you can imagine the pressure that will fall on the player that will finally become the Packers’ next receiver picked in the first round. However, it’s about more than being picked in the first round.
Manager Gutekunst has not taken any receiver higher than the fourth round, and the Packers are among only three clubs not to select a receiver in the last two drafts. According to SI Packer Central’s Bill Huber, the Packers are also the only NFL team that hasn’t taken a receiver during the first three rounds in the last five drafts. But what will Gutekunst do come the night of 29th April?
The draft class for the receiver position is considered strong for the second year in a row. In 2020, 13 receivers made it to the first two rounds of the NFL draft, and 37 made it on the final list. Six receivers were taken off the board before Gutekunst traded from 30 to 26 to sign quarterback Jordan Love. Afterward, the manager revealed he liked the receivers ranking at the top of their class, although he didn’t think the class was deep as most people believed.
Gutekunst hasn’t drafted higher than in the fourth round in the receiver market, and he certainly has other needs. Of course, the Packers did not lose their NFC Championship game due to a lack of weapons. Some failures at cornerback cost them heavily, and David Bakhtiari’s injury impacted the offense. There were also some questionable coaching decisions made.
A similar run on the first round of receivers is in the works for the NFL draft this year. In their alternating mock drafts unveiled by Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr on Tuesday, there are seven receivers among the 28 picks. Certainly, LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase and the Alabama Duo of DeVonta Smith will be gone before the Packers choose.
Other potential first and second-round receivers will be available to Gutekunst at 29. That includes Bateman, Moore, LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr., Florida’s Kadarius Toney, Purdue’s Rondale Moore, Louisville’s Tutu Atwell, and Dyami Brown from North Carolina.