We had one of the best wide receiver groups in the NFL, but we had one of the worst tight end units in the league. Time to get harsh with the grades!
The Packers tried to make sure we had a good receiving corp and a good group of tight ends to help bail out our first year starter. They got half of it right. I was somewhat shocked to see such great numbers by our receivers compared to our tight ends.
Let’s start this off with the brightest spot on our football team: The wide receivers.
*1292 Reception Yards
Mr. Consistent. Mr. Awesome. Mr. GOD. He goes by all these names, but the announcers refer to him as Greg Jennings on Sundays. Greg continues to get better every year. This year he ended the season sixth in reception yards in the entire NFL. A lot of people, based on that stat alone, would call him the sixth best receiver in the league. They might be right.
Greg has provided the 2 in the 1-2 punch for a couple years now, but this was the year he decided that he was going to be the main threat. He was going to be the guy downfield making miraculous catches. He’s Javon Walker with better hands and without the mouth.
Is it a coincidence that Greg had his best year with Aaron Rodgers and not Favre? Something to chew on.
- Greg dropped nine passes thrown his way this year.
*1012 Reception Yards
I can probably find someone else’s year end review about Driver and paste it here. He’s Donald Driver! He did Donald Driver things! He fought for every yard, he made sure more than one guy always brought him down. He abused people on the slant. He blocked downfield. He’s awesome.
This year he was awesome with Greg, and there was no cornerback duo in the NFL who could stop them. Driver is a leader on the field with his play and despite reaching an age where receivers drop off, he stayed the same.
*2 Reception Touchdowns
*18.9 Kick Return Average
Don’t look now, but this is Donald Driver’s replacement. I know I just said Driver is awesome, and he is, but he won’t be around forever. Jordy has that toughness Driver has, and statistically he has the BEST HANDS ON THE TEAM. Nobody has a lower dropped pass percentage than the rookie. You throw it to him – he catches it.
Jordy also had a knack this year of getting open when Rodgers was in trouble. It seemed when Rodgers was about to get sacked, or if he was rolling out after the pocket exploded, Nelson was the guy on the sidelines making a nice tippy-toe catch for a first down. In fact, 18 of his 33 catches resulted in first downs! Keep an eye on the kid in the future. This year was just a taste.
- Jordy didn’t fumble in 2008.
*1 Reception Touchdown
*10 Games Played
James Jones really had a disappointing year. After the 2007 season he was getting a reputation for drops and getting hurt a little too much. The 2008 season only solidified those feelings for a lot of people.
James is strong, but are you really strong when you get hurt often? James is quick for a big guy, but how quick are you when you keep hurting your legs? I don’t expect James to be on the team after the 2009 season, he might be gone this season. Crazier things have happened.
- James Jones has hands made from stone.
- James Jones will need offseason knee surgery.
Ruvell is nothing special, but he’s never been asked to be, and more importantly, he doesn’t get paid to be.
Martin is a guy you like to have on your depth chart because he knows the playbook. He knows the players. He knows the in’s and out’s of the football team. He’s a 6-4, 26 year old with a great attitude and love for the game. You want this guy on your team.
As far as his 2008 season went, he only played in 13 games so his statistics won’t wow anyone. Martin is part of an explosive offense and despite being one of Aaron Rodgers’ good friends, Aaron doesn’t throw it his way too much. But if you had Driver and Jennings, would you?
- Ruvell gave us 1 touchdown this year.
*303 Reception Yards
Those numbers above are not very great for a guy who played in all 16 games. Aaron found him in the red zone, that’s for sure. That’s what good QB’s do.
A lot of people point to Donald Lee as a reason our running game wasn’t as good as expected. Lee might not be the run blocker people thought he was.
It’s pretty sad that when I sat down to do this tight end part it took me a couple seconds to remember who our tight end was. I think that sums it up pretty well.
- Donald Lee is bald!
We really don’t have a great tight end unit, do we? I mean none of them are really BAD, but nobody stands out. We do use a lot of multiple receiver sets though.
There’s really nothing much to say about Tory other than it would be cool if we used him more. He had a 14.7 reception average. That’s cool, right?
- Tory didn’t drop any passes thrown his way.
Here is who I think is our best tight end. He just also happens to be an immature rookie with a big mouth.
He is our most athletic tight end and the biggest threat in the red zone if he can get his head out of his ass. The good news is that with players like Driver, Rodgers, and Jennings, they will get this kid’s head in the right direction.
As far as this year, he didn’t get thrown to much and only got his real playing time in the season finale when he got 2 catches and a touchdown.
- His nickname is “JerMouthly”
UP NEXT: OFFENSIVE LINE
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