The Green Bay Packers have not taken a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL Draft since they selected Javon Walker with the 20th overall pick in 2002. But the Packers have not neglected the position. In the last two decades, the franchise has done an outstanding job of selecting wideouts on day two of the draft, in the second and third rounds.
Here is a look at the five best receivers the Packers have picked on day two of the draft since 2002. Players are ranked based on what they did with the Packers only, anything they did on other teams is not taken into consideration.
- 2007 James Jones, Round 3, 78th overall
The Packers selected Jones in the third round of the 2007 draft and the former San Jose State star had an immediate impact, catching 47 passes in his rookie season.
Jones went on to become a reliable receiver during his eight seasons in Green Bay, grabbing 360 catches for 5,195 yards and 45 touchdowns.
While he wasn’t a burner by wide receiver standards, Jones had good size, hands and body control and was able to create space for himself using those tools.
Jones won the trust of Aaron Rodgers and after one year in Oakland in 2014, he was re-signed by the Packers after Jordy Nelson was injured in 2015. He responded by catching 50 passes for a career-high 890 yards and eight touchdowns in what turned out to be the final season of his NFL career.
Jones is now a broadcaster for the NFL Network.
- 2011 Randall Cobb, Round 2, 64th overall
Like Jones, Cobb has had two stints with the Packers during his career. In his very first game with the Packers, Cobb scored two touchdowns, one on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers and the second on a 108-yard kickoff return in the Packers 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints.
Cobb’s best season came in 2014 when he earned Pro Bowl honors after catching 91 passes for 1,297 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also has made several clutch catches including a Hail Mary on the final play of the first half in a playoff game against the New York Giants in the 2016 playoffs and a last minute 48-yard touchdown that helped the Packers beat the Bears and clinch the NFC North title in 2013.
He remained with the Packers through the 2018 season but was reacquired at Aaron Rodgers’ request before the 2021 campaign. Throughout his career, he has exceled as a slot receiver and has been a reliable target over the middle.
In nine career seasons with the Packers, Cobb has caught 498 passes for 5,899 yards and 46 touchdowns.
- 2006 Greg Jennings, Round 2, 52nd overall
Greg Jennings spent seven seasons with the Packers and was a starter in every year he was with the team. He earned back-to-back Pro Bowl berths in 2010 and 2011 and three straight seasons of 1,000-or-more yards receiving from 2008-2010.
Jennings came up big in the Packers win over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, catching two touchdown passes in that game. He also had three playoff games where he had more than 100 yards receiving.
In 2007, Jennings caught the touchdown pass that pushed Brett Favre past Dan Marino to become the NFL’s all-time touchdown passing leader.
Jennings caught 425 passes for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns in his seven seasons in Green Bay. He finished his career with two seasons in Minnesota and one in Miami.
- 2008 Jordy Nelson, Round 2, 36th overall
Jordy Nelson struggled early in his career but by his third season, became a big part of the potent Packers offense. The former Kansas State star became Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target and one of the most dangerous receivers in the game in the mid-2010s.
Nelson recorded four seasons of 1,000-or-more receiving yards and led the league with 14 touchdowns in 2016. He was voted to the Pro Bowl after the 2014 season.
An injury in preseason caused Nelson to miss the entire 2015 campaign, but he was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2016 when he caught 97 passes for 1,257 yards.
In Super Bowl XLV, Nelson caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown as the Packers defeated the Steelers 31-25.
In nine seasons with the Packers, Nelson caught 550 passes for 7,848 yards and 69 touchdowns. He finished his career with the Oakland Raiders in 2018 before retiring.
- 2014 Davante Adams 2nd round, 53rd overall
Davante Adams struggled in his first two seasons in the NFL before having a breakout year in 2016. Since then, he has earned Pro Bowl honors for five straight seasons, been named All Pro the last two campaigns and has become one of the best receivers in football.
The former Fresno State star set a Packers franchise record in 2020 with 115 catches and led the league with 18 touchdown catches. One year later, Adams broke his own record with 123 catches and 1,553 yards receiving.
Adams has the ability to gain an advantage right off the snap of the ball. He is precise route runner and expertly disguises his routes to give him an edge over defensive backs. He and Rodgers have outstanding chemistry and are almost always on the same page.
In eight seasons, Adams has caught 669 passes for 8,121 yards and 73 touchdowns.
Adams is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and wants to be the highest paid receiver in the NFL. The Packers are determined to keep him in Green Bay if they can.
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