Through the 2021 season, the Green Bay Packers had a good idea who their top receiver would be and that was Davante Adams. He was the clear-cut number one wideout and if he stayed healthy, he was going to be Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target and was going to likely lead the Packers in receptions. In fact, he did that in each of his last five seasons with the Packers.

Last year, veteran Allen Lazard narrowly led the team with 60 catches, one ahead of running back Aaron Jones and seven ahead of tight end Robert Tonyan.

But Lazard is now a New York Jet and Tonyan has signed with the Chicago Bears. Randall Cobb joined Lazard in New York to be with Rodgers who the Packers traded away.

Now a new era begins at quarterback with Jordan Love taking over at quarterback while the receivers and tight ends feature few players without extensive NFL experience.

So, who will lead the Packers in catches this coming season? Here we look at the five favorites and discuss why they may lead the team in catches and what may prevent them from reaching that milestone.

  1. WR Samori Toure

Toure saw limited action as a rookie last season and caught just five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown while playing in 11 games.

The former Nebraska star has been turning heads at OTAs thus far as coaches have remarked how he put on muscle in the offseason and came ready to compete.

Toure has a positive attitude and looks like he’s ready to contribute. If he stays healthy, he should dramatically increase the number of catches he had a year ago.

But Toure is facing competition from a bevy of rookie receivers led by second round pick Jayden Reed and will have to beat them out to get enough snaps to have a shot at leading the team in catches.

  1. TE Luke Musgrave

Musgrave is the first of two tight ends the Packers took on day two of the 2023 NFL Draft. He has good speed and size for the position and will have a good chance to get plenty of reps early as he battles with Tucker Kraft for snaps.

Musgrave has the tools to be a dangerous weapon in Matt LaFleur’s offense and the coach likes to utilize his tight ends as part of the passing offense.

Love is also expected to throw to the middle of the field more often than his predecessor which should give Musgrave more chances to be involved in the offense.

But tight ends usually take more time to acclimate to the pro game and Musgrave may not even be the top receiving tight end on the roster this year although he is the early favorite for that designation.

We’ll see how quickly Musgrave manages to become a big part of the offense this year. If he does, he has an outside shot to compete for the team lead in catches.

  1. WR Romeo Doubs

Doubs got off to a strong start his rookie year before he was slowed by injuries in the second half of the season. He finished the season with 42 catches for 425 yards and three touchdowns which placed him fourth on the team but second among returning players.

If Doubs can make a second-year jump, he can become the primary target for Love on short and intermediate routes. Doubs has the size and the moves to get open underneath consistently and may develop into Love’s most trusted and frequent targets.

Doubs will be fighting for playing time in a crowded wide receiver room, but he has a chance to becoming Love’s go-to receiver this season.

  1. RB Aaron Jones

Jones finished with a career-high 59 catches in 2022 and could exceed that mark if he stays healthy this season. The Packers may go to more short passes and Love could be less inclined to throw deep downfield than Rodgers did, and his inexperience may result in more safety valve-type passes to avoid the rush.

Jones is a weapon who can turn short, safe passes into bigger gains and can get downfield on a pattern as well.

He was working with Love earlier this offseason along with Doubs and Christian Watson so he’s already seeking ways to develop chemistry with his new quarterback. If he succeeds, Jones could be the team’s new leader in catches and the first running back to lead the team in that category since Ahman Green in 2001.

  1. WR Christian Watson

Watson is the team’s leading candidate to be WR1 this season. The second-year man out of North Dakota State had a big adjustment to make when he joined the Packers last season but after a slow start in part caused by injuries, he finished the season strong.

He finished the season with 41 catches for 611 yards and seven touchdown catches despite missing three full games and parts of others due to assorted injuries.

Watson has elite size and speed and if he makes a second-year jump and improves his consistency at holding on to the football, he has the tools to become an elite receiver in this league.

If Watson continues to work hard and things click for him, he could lead the team in catches and surpass 1,000 yards receiving for the season.



Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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