The wide receiver position for the Green Bay Packers has undergone quite a few changes over the past few years, starting with the Davante Adams trade. While not adding top-tier talent to this group has been a crutch for the local media to rely on when describing the team’s struggles, there is some hope on the horizon for this group.
Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are both free agents this offseason, and with the pending status of Aaron Rodgers, both guys could be playing elsewhere next season. The influx of rookies, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs the most prevalent, certainly showed that this team has started to look towards reshaping this group, albeit a year or two too late.
Could the lack of resources here be a big part of why Rodgers may not want to remain in Green Bay moving forward? Is GM Brian Gutekunst going to use this last season as why this team needs more depth here?
Allen Lazard (15 games)
2022 Stats – 60 receptions, 100 targets, 788 yards, 13.1 yards per catch, 6 TDs
With all signs pointing to him playing elsewhere next year, Lazard had the best season of his career, a perfect storm for entering free agency. Salary cap constraints may very well force the Packers to look elsewhere for WR talent, but Lazard did everything he could in 2022 to earn his new deal.
Ever since his one-catch season back in 2018, Lazard has grown into the WR1 for Green Bay, having topped out at 100 targets this past season. While there may not have been the typical ‘big-name’ leader at wideout, Lazard has been this team’s top WR ever since Adams was traded.
If he ends up leaving this offseason, there will be a big hole that this team needs to fill in their WR room – and his loss will be felt more in the run game than in the passing game, that’s how impactful he was on setting the boundary.
Christian Watson (14)
41 receptions, 66 targets, 611 yards, 14.9 YPC, 7 TDs
The first season for Christian Watson was quite an impressive one, as the North Dakota State rookie looks to be the future WR1 for the Packers. Having dealt with some early injuries to start his career, Watson rebounded nicely, especially during that one storied four-game stretch.
Across Weeks 7-10, Watson hauled in 15 passes (27 targets) for 291 yards and all 7 TDs of his rookie year. A 3-TD game against the Cowboys and a 2-TD outing against the Titans provided a great glimpse into his potential, something that is extremely exciting for Packers fans.
Staying healthy and avoiding costly drops is what will define the rest of Watson’s career, something that he overcame as the season progressed. Having shown a nice relationship with Jordan Love in his limited action, Watson should become a QB-proof offensive weapon for Matt LaFleur to utilize next year and beyond.
Romeo Doubs (13)
42 receptions, 67 targets, 425 yards, 10.1 YPC, 3 TDs
The second (of three) rookie wideouts for the Packers, Romeo Doubs experienced plenty of strong moments in the offense. With Watson having missed time to start the year, Doubs jumped at the opportunity to make a first impression on the coaching staff and Rodgers.
Doubs has great hands (just watch his acrobatic TD catch in Buffalo) and looks to have a ton of veteran moxie that will give him plenty of staying power in this league. Even if the Packers decide to bring in more help for the receiver group this offseason, don’t expect Doubs to get passed over.
A rookie year with 60+ targets is impressive, especially since he earned more targets (67 vs 66) than Watson – he is a trusted receiver in this offense and he certainly has a good grasp of what it takes to be successful in the league.
Randall Cobb (13)
34 receptions, 50 targets, 417 yards, 12.3 YPC, 1 TD
The old trusted veteran made his way back to Green Bay for a second tour, and while he certainly is past his prime, Cobb is a great old guy for this roster.
Needing to have some sort of experience in the WR room, Cobb produced a better season than last year, which was the first year of his second stint in Green Bay. As Rodgers goes so does Cobb, which is why he was brought back here in the first place.
Week 5 in London against the New York Giants was a vintage Cobb performance, as he hauled in 7 receptions (13 targets) for 99 yards in a losing effort. Expecting that kind of performance from Cobb in a full season obviously will not happen, so it is fair to think that we may have seen the last of Cobb in green and gold.
At age 32, the playing career for Cobb looks to be finishing up here soon, and while he likely would prefer to finish out the rest of his time with the Packers, the front office may decide to get younger, even if Rodgers stays.뿓뿓뿓
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