The focus for most Green Bay Packers fans entering the 2022 NFL Draft was how the team was going to add talent at the wide receiver after the trade of Davante Adams and the departure of Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Before the draft, the team signed free agent Sammy Watkins to add an experienced wideout to the roster.
Then, GM Brian Gutekunst added three receivers in the draft, adding Christian Watson in the second round, Romeo Doubs in the fourth and Samori Toure in the seventh round.
So, what does the Packers wide receiver depth chart look like as of now? Here is a look at how the Packers wide receiver room looks like as we head into rookie camp.
Obviously, this is subject to change with injuries, new acquisitions and the performance of players in minicamps, OTAs and training camp.
Rookies will be rated a little lower right now until they show they can live up to their potential and make the adjustment to the NFL. That starts this weekend when they take the field in Packers uniforms for the first time.
The three starters: Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb
Lazard and Watkins will start camp as the top two receivers on the perimeter. Lazard is the bigger receiver who can block and will primarily run short and intermediate routes. He isn’t afraid to go over the middle and has been a reliable target for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, especially on third downs.
Watkins is more of a speed receiver. He has the speed to get deep and initially will be the starter who fills this role. He will also give the Packers a dependable veteran who can line up on the outside and run the complete route tree.
Cobb will start camp as the team’s top slot receiver. He has experience in the offense and history of good chemistry with Rodgers. Cobb can run across the field and over the middle and knows how to lose defenders when doing so.
Both Watkins and Cobb have a history of injuries so the Packers are hoping they can stay healthy.
Primary Backups: Christian Watson, Amari Rodgers, Romeo Doubs
Watson was the team’s second-round pick and has a unique combination of size and speed. He’s a bit raw and needs to improve his route running and hands but with the right coaching and a little time to adjust to life in the NFL, the North Dakota State alum should be challenging for a larger role before the end of his rookie campaign.
Amari Rodgers struggled in his rookie season, playing only 103 snaps on offense all season and catching just four passes for 45 yards. He is the heir apparent to Cobb as the team’s slot receiver but needs to take a big step up in his second season to carve out a bigger role in the offense. If the game slows down for Amari Rodgers, we should have a better chance to see what he can do.
Doubs may be more ready to play in the NFL this season than Watson. He comes from a college offense that passed the ball more and has more experience with pro pass routes than Watson does and that will give him an early advantage. The former Nevada star has the speed to get deep and should eventually compete for snaps as an outside receiver.
Fighting for Roster Spots and Practice Squad Spots: Malik Taylor, Juwann Winfree, Rico Gafford, Chris Blair, Samori Toure, Danny Davis
Taylor and Winfree both have experience in the Packers system. They both have roles on special teams and have played very well in training camp and the preseason but have yet to establish themselves as consistent regular-season contributors. Both players are entering their third season with the Packers.
Gafford spent last season on the Broncos practice squad after playing parts of three seasons with the Raiders. He has made two career catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in eight career games.
Blair spent the 2021 season on the Packers practice squad. At 6’2” and 198 pounds, he has the size the Packers prefer at the position. The Alcorn State alum is hoping his second training camp with the team is the one where he earns a roster spot.
Toure was the Packers final pick in the 2022 draft. He led the Big 10 in yards per catch and last season at Nebraska. At 24, he’s a little older than most rookies and is hoping to catch on either the roster or the practice squad.
Davis is an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin. He has reliable hands and only dropped one pass in his senior year.
The ability to contribute on special teams will factor into the chances these players have to earn one of the final roster spots or to make the practice squad.
The question remains where is the Packers receiving corps as compared to the other 31 teams in the league? While they still aren’t anywhere near the top, they are in a better position than they were before the draft.
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