Despite a draft class consisting of three wide receivers with a full season under their belt, an ever-present issue still remains on the Packers’ roster. With the free agency period slowed down to a halt, Green Bay appears to be following the same blueprint toward acquiring bargain players before the season begins. The Packers’ wide receiver need will have to be addressed soon, whether it’s through the draft or by bringing in a veteran.
Last year, rookie wide receivers Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samori Toure brought plenty of juice and optimism to the Packers’ offense. However, the young playmakers have now quickly become the leaders in the room with Allen Lazard joining the New York Jets and Randall Cobb expected to follow.
During the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona this week, head coach Matt LaFleur addressed the shallow depth at the position yet again mentioning that “some veteran leadership would be nice” and that the team is “going to have to add some bodies to that room.”
The idea of adding a veteran receiver to the mix will be something to watch out for in the coming weeks. Since Brian Gutekunst took over as the Packers general manager, the team has only brought in two noteworthy veteran passing catching options through the open market: tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Neither of these players really made a sizable impact in Green Bay.
With quarterback Jordan Love set to take over as the team’s starter this season, potentially Gutekunst will be more eager to provide weapons for his appointed successor. Looking at the dwindled wide receiver market, the top veteran names that come to mind for Green Bay are Julio Jones, Jarvis Landry, Cole Beasley, Kenny Golladay, and Robbie Anderson.
If the Packers follow through with traditional Green Bay philosophy, none of these options will suit up in the green and gold. More likely fits would be Breshad Perriman or Dante Pettis. Those names shouldn’t light up the faces of Packers fans out there.
The next and most anticipated avenue to add more bodies to the wide receiver room will come through the draft. A big first-round name that has stood out is Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, although it would be quite comical to see Green Bay finally select a first-round receiver the same year quarterback Aaron Rodgers departs.
The way the Packers plan to tackle this position will be critical. A lot of expectations will be on Love’s shoulders during his first season as the starting quarterback. Therefore, the Packers will need to make sure they surround him with the best supporting cast possible by the time the season kicks off.——————
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.