The Packers draft strategy in the Ted Thompson/Brian Gutekunst era, and especially in the Brian Gutekunst/Matt LaFleur era has focused on big WRs with run blocking prowess. The specialization in these types of receivers has been so strict that many Packers Twitter members believe that it is impossible that Green Bay would take a small or even smallish receiver in the draft. “Those guys won’t even be on their board,” the draftniks say.

I think the whole deal is an adventure in small sample sizes. They haven’t drafted a small receiver in LaFleur’s time with the team but that’s also only four years and only one premium draft spot. The team has been rumored to favor smaller receivers in some drafts and has tried to trade for them as well. It’s likely nonsense that receivers under 5’11 or under 200 pounds are off the team’s board altogether. So in a year when the team may try to take a receiver high to air with their first-year starter at QB, who’s available that doesn’t necessarily pass size standards?

Jalin Hyatt

Let’s start with Jalin Hyatt, who Justis Mosqueda reported the team has a strong interest in and could take with their top 15 pick. Hyatt came in at 6’ 185 lbs and disappointed with a 4.40 40 time.     You know a receiver had good tape getting downfield when a 4.4 flat 40 and a RAS over 9 are considered disappointing.

For what it’s worth, Hyatt’s 10-yard split of 1.5 seconds is in the 97th percentile of receivers. A few of the Packers past down-field threats, guys like MVS, Jeff Janis, and Jordy Nelson, had high peak speeds without having truly great acceleration. Their long speeds were elite, but it took a while to get there. Hyatt is fast immediately.

Hyatt played in a Veer & Shoot/Super Spread/Briles system/whatever you want to call it offense in Tennessee where he was only required to run a few routes with most of them coming downfield. This isn’t necessarily a problem for the Packets who could use Hyatt on over routes, 9 routes, dagger routes, and screens until he gets a better feel for NFL level route running. Basically, what Christian Watson did last year. It would just depend on Watson taking a step forward toward being a more well-rounded receiver.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Smith-Njigba is relatively small, at 6’ 196 lbs, but that’s within four pounds of the team’s supposed line, so I doubt it would matter much. The real issue is speed.

Njigba had an elite RAS but didn’t run the 40. His 6.56 3-cone time is other worldly. His 3.93 shuttle was in the 99th percentile. His broad jump was in the 94th percentile. All show his elite burst and change of direction. We just have no clue what his speed is.

Draftniks will say his 40 time is likely to be anywhere from 4.50 to 4.75 and then say it doesn’t matter what his speed is because he’s so good. Last year’s two best rookie wide receivers, Chris Olave and Garret Wilson, both played with JSN at Ohio State and both said he was the best of them. It may really not matter.

Zay Flowers

Flowers is probably the biggest size long-shot, at 5’9 182 lbs, of the three, but he’s also probably the most well-rounded. Flowers excels at route running and yards after the catch like Smith-Njigba, but also ran a 4.42 like Hyatt.

Flowers probably wouldn’t have the same ability to get open consistently downfield as Hyatt or the separation producing route running of JSN, but he could likely get on he field immediately and be a plus slot WR for the team doing a little of everything.

LaFleur hasn’t had receivers Flowers’ size in Green Bay, but in Atlanta they had Taylor Gabriel, the Rams have Tutu Atwell, the 49ers have had 5 or 6 different small and fast receivers on the roster over the past few years, and even the Jets with LaFleur’s brother as OC drafted Elijah Moore.

Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.