It’s go time for the wide receivers in Green Bay now that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has arrived for mandatory minicamp. Throughout the voluntary organized team activities, the new squad was able to shake the dust off. Now, with the four-time MVP back at practice, it’s time to get to work; meaning that it’s now prove it time for the Packers’ young receivers.
With the departure of Davante Adams, the wide receivers for the Packers are going to have to step up this season. On top of that, the disconnect and issue between the level of trust with Rodgers and his young receivers have been well documented in the past. Looking at the Packers’ current offense, that’s going to have to change this season. With their franchise signal-caller back on the field, it’s time for the young receivers to start proving their value playing alongside him.
“I like production over potential,” Rodgers said on Tuesday. “We have some production. We have a lot of potential. So, we need to temper expectations and heighten the accountability. I think that’s the most important thing for those guys. There’s guys who’ve done some things in the league and there’s guys that haven’t.”
Potential is easily the best word to describe the Packers’ wide receiver room entering this season. Frankly, there isn’t much NFL production on the Packers roster outside of veterans Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and Sammy Watkins. There is, however, an abundance of potential, especially looking at two of the Packers’ new rookie receivers: Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs.
If you haven’t learned already, the Packers’ offense will have an extremely different look this fall. The first two days of the mandatory minicamp proved that to be the case. During Tuesday and Wednesday’s practice, Watson and Doubs trotted onto the field for the majority of the first-team reps during the team period drills with Rodgers.
Let’s start by breaking down Watson, whom the Packers traded up to select in the second round of April’s draft. Coming into the draft, Watson’s true selling point was his potential. He’s freakishly athletic and moves insanely fast for his size. However, all of his production came at the FCS level playing at North Dakota State. While we’re still months away from seeing Watson showcase his talents when the lights are on, he will still have plenty of opportunities to prove himself during practice.
Based on the first two days of the mandatory minicamp, Watson has been getting a head start on that. The best way for Watson to quickly show off his potential in action is by lining up against some of the league’s best defenders in practice. That’s exactly what Watson did on Tuesday and Wednesday matching up multiple times with All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander, who also arrived at practice this week. Like the old saying goes: “Iron Sharpens Iron.”
The next receiver with a high level of potential coming into Green Bay this year is their fourth-round pick Doubs. It was well documented that Doubs made quite a debut in Green Bay lately while participating in the team’s voluntary OTAs. While it’s just practice, it was reported that he made a few big plays working with the offense while even drawing some solid praise from backup quarterback Jordan Love.
The road to the start of the season at U.S. Bank Stadium is still a long way away, but that road will quickly shorten. While the first glimpses at practice have shown promising things from the Packers’ young receivers, their new quarterback noted there’s still more work to be done before the season begins on September 11.
“The most important thing for the young guys right now is to learn the offense,” Rodgers said. “There’s the offense on paper and then there’s the offense that gets run on the field. They need to learn the offense on paper first, and once they get that down, then we’ll have plenty of time in training camp to get the other offense down.”——————
Kole Noble is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in North Carolina and is a huge NFL Draft nut. You can follow him on twitter at @SlawSportsShow.