The 2023 NFL Draft is just a few weeks away. With only a few more opportunities to take a deep dive into prospects the Green Bay Packers could realistically select with their 15th overall pick, it’s becoming more difficult to narrow down who to cover.
The idea of the Packers selecting a receiving threat, whether it be a tight end or wide receiver, is a fun prospect, and a logical one as well. I’ve already looked at receivers Zay Flowers and Jaxon Smith-Njigba from this class and am continuing with another today in Jordan Addison.
WR Jordan Addison, USC
The 21-year-old Addison is listed at 6’0, 174 lbs. He’s yet another relatively undersized, slim receiver in this year’s class. Addison is a consensus top three receiver in the class this year among professional draft writers and analysts. Like Smith-Njigba, Addison had his most productive college season in 2021, production that dipped in 2022. Addison played 2021 for Pitt before transferring to USC for the 2022 season.
- Route running
- Change of direction
- Yards after catch
- Wins at all levels
Addison isn’t great at anything – but he’s good at pretty much everything. If I had to pick his best strength, it’s his route running. He reminds me a bit of his peer Smith-Njigba. Addison isn’t a burner (4.5 40-yard dash time) but his quickness and ability to stop on a dime and change direction make up for it. It’s also what helps him be such an advanced route runner. Addison’s tape shows him winning at every level of the field. His size profiles as a short-yardage slot receiver, but he is absolutely capable of taking the top off a defense thanks to his great release and route running.
Addison uses his head fakes and stutter steps to make the most of short routes – it’s not all he can do, but I think that’s his area of strength where he can cause the most damage. When he catches short routes, he’ll often turn two yards into 10. Addison is also good at reading defenses and adjusting his routes accordingly. There are several instances on his tape where he’ll cut inside or out on his deep route depending on where the safety is lined up.
- Catch radius
The biggest gripes to have with Addison are ones he unfortunately can’t control. 6’0 is generous for Addison – there are listings that have him at 5’11. 174 lbs. is extremely thin for a receiver. The only receiver playing at a high level in the NFL right now at that sort of size is Devonta Smith. Addison’s size makes it so he can sometimes struggle to adjust to a ball that is just out of his reach. His quarterbacks were Kenny Pickett at Pitt and Caleb Williams at USC, the former who was a first-round pick a year ago and the latter who might be the first overall pick next year. He’s comfortable with good quarterback play and might need time to adjust if he ends up playing with a below-average quarterback in the NFL.
Addison tested relatively poorly at the NFL combine, largely posting average and some below-average athletic scores. His size combined with his average-at-best athleticism are bound to raise question marks.
Drops are the least of the concerns on the weaknesses list, but there were enough drops on his tape where a ball bounces right off his hands where I feel it’s warranted to mention.
Of the three receivers I’ve closely watched, Addison ranks 2 of 3. He’s better than Flowers but not quite as good as Smith-Njigba. Addison is a great football player – but there’s a difference between being a great football player and a great athlete. The best of the best are freaks of nature that combine natural talent with skills. Addison has many skills, but his athleticism and small frame could keep him from becoming a premier receiver in the NFL.
Still, what he’s good at is too good to ignore. Addison will be a first-round pick, and rightfully so. Even if he never bulks up, there are plenty of offenses that would welcome Addison. I think he can manage just about any role asked of him.
As much as I think Addison is a good player with real potential in the NFL, there are other options I’d prefer the Packers to explore with the 15th pick. The only receiver I’ve seen worth that pick so far is Smith-Njigba. I think Addison is more of a late-first-round talent. If guys like Brian Branch and Dalton Kincaid are still available alongside Addison at 15, I like both those players over him.