Tons of changes are coming for the Green Bay Packers this fall, yet everyone you ask avoids the term “rebuild.” Reload seems to be the better term for the team that will feature new faces, mainly on the offensive side of the ball. Second-year players in Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs have locked in two of the starting jobs at wide receiver, but who will emerge in the battle for WR3?
Despite flashes shown in the first few days of practice from the rookie receivers, the player who has received the most praise at the position has been second-year Samori Toure. Packers wide receiver coach and passing-game coordinator Jason Vrable mentioned that Toure looks unrecognizable from last season and “unbelievable.”
Toure appeared in 11 games during his rookie season, recording five receptions for 82 yards and one touchdown. His breakout game of the season came against the Buffalo Bills in Week 8. With a depleted wide receiver room, Toure stepped up for the Packers scoring a 38-yard touchdown on a play where he showed exceptional awareness.
The flashes were there in Year 1 and now it seems Toure has put in the work to have a more productive season in Year 2. Vrable noted that Toure has “put on like 8-10 pounds” and is ready to play with more confidence. The added lean muscle will help Toure play with more strength and help improve his blocking ability. That paired with what he showed in 2022 will be more than enough to push for more playing time.
Jayden Reed seems like the obvious candidate for the job as it stands. The 50th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is coming into his first offseason in the NFL with high hopes and so far he’s living up to it.
Throughout the first few days of voluntary organized team activities, Reed has turned the heads of multiple coaches on the staff. The 23-year-old even started off the bat working alongside the first team lined up in the slot.
At Michigan State, Reed played 49% of the snaps from the slot and seems like a player who can be utilized with some pre-snap motions. It seems Matt LaFleur will enjoy having a player like Reed on the field more frequently given the amount of versatility and creativity that can come with him.
Dontayvion Wicks is another rookie wide receiver going into his first voluntary OTAs looking to push for some immediate snaps this season. At 6’1, 206 lbs, Wicks has the size and speed necessary to stretch the field for the Packers.
In terms of looking at his role on the Packers’ offense, it seems Wicks will be utilized best on the outside. This will place him behind Watson and Doubs in the pecking order. However, both second-year players were sidelined last season due to injuries at some point during the season. Wicks will provide immediate relief on the outside if either player goes down or needs to rotate out.
Wicks has showcased his big play ability already this week, reportedly hauling in a 55-yard strike from Jordan Love, per Matt Verderame. Reports have also shown the rookie has spent some time building his connection with quarterback Danny Etling during practice as well.——————
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.