Break out the gold jacket, Romeo Doubs looks like the real deal. Back in OTAs, Green Bay Packer fans were already hearing about Doubs and how he simply caught everything and looked smooth doing it. While that is nice, training camp is a different game and yet even while being with the 1’s going against the 1’s Doubs looks like he is “that guy.” And that is HUGE for Christian Watson.
To everyone’s chagrin, Watson has been sidelined for all of training camp thanks to a “minor” knee procedure he had over the summer after tweaking it at OTA’s. And in that absence, multiple pass catchers have stepped up. Juwann Winfree and Amari Rodgers have both been throw in with the 1’s and made some plays and even Samori Toure caught some eyes during family night. But none have shined as consistently or as brightly as Romeo Doubs.
Aaron Rodgers, who has always been known for being tough on rookies, has praised him as making a “wow” play at every practice. Doubs has gotten over the top, he has ran some clean cut routes, and he has caught just about everything thrown his way. The Packers look like they struck gold in the 4th round, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do so in the second as well.
Rodgers also had unusual praise for Christian Watson, saying that every chance Watson gets he is “in my pocket” asking about various nuances in the offense. While this seems insignificant, this is VERY different than the class of 2018 rookies whom Rodgers seemly was unhappy with all of camp, stating their lack of effort on multiple occasions.
When the Packers drafted Christian Watson 34th overall it was not because he was ready to be Davante Adams tomorrow, its because his ceiling is sky-high if it even exists. He was always going to be a rookie who needed some fine-tuning while he caught up to the game. His physical attributes are better than Calvin Johnson’s. Think about that for a second..
So, how has the emergence of Romeo Doubs helped Christian Watson?
First of all, Doubs has taken a TON of the pressure off of Watson for his rookie season. Doubs has the tools to be helpful on day 1 and be a bonafide NFL starter, but he doesn’t have the size and abilities that Watson has that make reaching the “next level” that much easier. He is going to be able to contribute immediately, taking some of the eyes off Watson and put them on him.
Secondly, once Watson is back it will allow him to play a role he is used to. Lazard has shown to be great from the slot. Using his size to block and gain leverage, he’ll probably get a lot of snaps there rotating with Cobb and Amari Rodgers. That leaves Sammy Watkins, Doubs, and Watson rotating on the outside.
If Romeo can be trusted by Aaron to run the complicated timing routes, that will allow Christian time to work in comfortably as the deep threat and lead blocker that he was at NDSU.
Lastly, nothing breeds excellence like competition. These two guys came into the league together and are going to continue to push to be WR1 on this team. Watson has already been seen celebrating with Doubs at training camp and amping his teammate up, but you bet your bottom dollar he is thinking about wanting his own shot.
It’ll be friendly, but it IS going to be a competition.
I want to be clear I am not discounting Romeo Doubs. Outside of just barely missing him in my dynasty league, I am excited to see what he can do under the lights. I just know that Watson is looking at that success and thinking about how to be right there with him.
After all our WR woes, the Green Bay could have a dominant starting 2 receivers under their rookie contracts for the next 4 years.
Then we win.
(Photo: Evan Siegle / Green Bay Packers)
PJ is an Ohio native who was fortunate enough to be born into the green and gold family through his father who grew up in Green Bay. He now resides in NYC where he is an avid fan and fantasy football player. You can follow him on twitter at @PJsPack_.