The Green Bay Packers traded their #45 pick to the Detroit Lions to pick up an extra fifth-round pick – and then they traded down again with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to finally settle on pick #50. With the addition of TE Luke Musgrave as a receiving threat with their other second-round pick, I would have loved to see Green Bay pick up S Brian Burns with #45. Oh well.
Instead, Green Bay finally takes a true receiver in Jayden Reed out of Michigan State. Immediate reactions are that this may have been a reach for Green Bay. Reed is a somewhat puzzling selection as he does not fit the mold of players – and especially, receivers – the Packers typically like to bring in. Reed is not physically imposing, standing 5’11 and weighing just 187 lbs. He also did not excel at the combine, running an average-at-best 4.45s 40-yard dash time.
Reed brings more experience to a young receiver corps than a typical rookie. The 23-year-old receiver never had an eye-popping season throughout his collegiate career, but he caught over 200 passes across four seasons, throughout which he appeared in over 30 games.
Reed’s versatility is likely the main trait that caught Green Bay’s eye. He can play in the slot and has experience returning kicks and punts.
This selection tells me Green Bay might be looking to have Romeo Doubs step into an even bigger role this season. I’d expect them to play Doubs more on the outside for his size and have Reed primarily in the slot and as the “jet-motion” receiver. Reed doesn’t have the blazing speed or considerable size like Christian Watson does to be a legitimate deep threat in the NFL.
I expect Keisean Nixon to remain the primary kick returner, but don’t be surprised to see Reed return many punts this season. He was a more successful punt returner than kick returner in college.
It’s simultaneously exciting and terrifying that Reed should already be expected to be the team’s third receiver on the depth chart. If he ends up being at all worth the top 50 pick, he shouldn’t have much of an issue beating out Samari Toure. For better or worse, I think we’ll see a lot of Reed in the offense this season, barring any further additions to the unit.
NFL Player Comparison: Antonio Brown
Before you freak out: Obviously, Reed is not and will almost surely never be Antonio Brown. However, they are very comparable in size, physical skills, and traits. Brown was never a burner with his speed, and he also stood right around 5’11. Brown was not a highly touted prospect out of college but showed promise with his route running skills, a highlight of Reed’s game as well. Reed is also quite good after the catch and fights hard for extra yards. Brown also returned punts throughout multiple periods of his career.
This is a phenomenal pick if Reed ends up developing the strengths he has. If he does, he could be a diet Antonio Brown, a type of player that would fit well in this offense. Those abilities naturally complement the speed of Watson and the possession-type receiver that is Doubs.——————