With the unfortunate departure of wide receiver Davante Adams this offseason via trade, the Green Bay Packers have been devoid of that clear-cut top option for Aaron Rodgers to target in the passing attack. By attacking this position in the 2022 NFL Draft, Green Bay was able to make much-needed improvements, but how much should they be counted on in Year 1?
Allen Lazard is currently Green Bay’s top wideout, a far cry from the impact and relationship that Adams had with Aaron Rodgers. But Lazard has been in this offense for long enough, so he should be able to transition his role into that of a WR that is targeted heavily, all while still having an important role in the run game through blocking.
NDSU’s Christian Watson, Green Bay’s lone second-round selection, was brought in due to his athleticism and overall ability to track the ball, among other things. While Watson had his fair share of drops in college and may get knocked for having played at a smaller school, his skill set translates well to the NFL and should be able to have a solid career.
Nevada’s Romeo Doubs is the speedster of this group, utilizing his speed to distance himself from his defender on the way to the open field. As Rodgers will like to have one of the in-house options step up and replace Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s role, that field-stretching role will likely fall to Doubs. Expecting him to tear the roof off of the defense every game should not be a regular expectation, but his separation techniques alone make him an intriguing deep option for Rodgers to target.
Nebraska’s Samori Toure played well in his final collegiate season at Nebraska after having transferred there from Montana. His 4.4-speed is another added element to this offense, similar to what Doubs brings to the table. Toure is also known for his blocking skills as well, which should translate into more time on the field, helping him get on Matt LaFleur’s good side. He will need to make a name for himself on special teams early on too, and if he excels here, that could help get him more playing time on offense.
So what does this all mean? A few things, really.
First – regardless of draft capital, these three options will need to be on their best behaviors during camp while trying to cement themselves on the depth chart. While Watson is likely the best of the three and was drafted as such, both Doubs and Toure have the right skills to become solid members of this offense, beginning in 2022.
Second – each of these WRs has one area that they are best in and at least one area that they need a lot of work in, so expecting immediate help from this group when the season begins is not realistic. With Green Bay’s postseason window open as long as Rodgers is healthy, instant production is going to be needed but should not be expected, an outcome that will likely anger this fanbase.
Finally – while not expecting immediate help from these three options is the realistic approach, the Doubs/Toure/Watson trio will need to carry their weight as soon as the regular season begins. With how tough the NFC slate looks to be and with Green Bay needing to prove that they are more than a regular-season squad, this offense will be under the microscope early and often next year, something that can be quelled by the emergence of one or multiple members of this WR class.
There is no one way to predict how Green Bay’s WR core is going to perform this season, but adding three green options to the offense can certainly steer some fans away. Relying too heavily on Watson to pick up the slack right away in Game 1 would overshadow the rest of the group’s impact, so understanding that this offense will be a work in progress to open the season needs to be the outlook.
It is not easy to predict how each of these rookies will perform this season, but they all will likely be given big opportunities to try and help step up for this team. Watson likely will be the most impactful in his rookie campaign, but both Doubs and Toure are solid options that can help pick up the slack, just with lower expectations for the season뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23