Cory's Corner: Allen Lazard Has Plenty Of Heart

Allen Lazard has the one thing you cannot measure. 

 

 

Much has been written and said about the Packers wideouts.
 
Especially since the Packers didn't take a receiver in the draft. 
 
"They understand what we have in this room," said Allen Lazard via Zoom call on Sunday.
 
Lazard is the perfect example of what can happen with a great quarterback. After finishing his Iowa State career as the school's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, it was surprising that he didn't get drafted in 2018. After getting signed as an undrafted free agent by Jacksonville, he then vanished to practice squad anonymity for 15 weeks before the Packers signed him on Dec. 18. Fast forward to 2019 and he played 16 games, started three and was No. 2 on the team in receiving yards. 
 
Lazard is the quintessential grinder, and that's probaby why Aaron Rodgers has stood up for the guy that nobody knew. 
 
"His willingness to do whatever it takes," said Packers coach Matt LaFleur during Sunday's Zoom call. "Whether it's in the pass game, going to catch a route, being a decoy or in the run game. He dominated his opponents. And I think the opposition sees that and they know they better put in their mouth guard and buckle up their chin strap every time he's out on the field."
 
LaFleur just said that the 6-foot-5, 227-pound Lazard dominated his opponents. That's high praise from an offensive-minded coach. Is Lazard the quickest receiver? Nope. But when the rubber hits the road, he gives Rodgers confidence because Rodgers knows that Lazard will jump up knowing he will get pasted by a defensive back or dive over the middle and get smoked by a linebacker. 
 
And now, move ahead to 2020. Lazard is primed to be the No. 2 wideout opposite of All Pro Davante Adams. He is coming off a career year where he averaged over 13 yards a reception with a 67 percent catch rate. So, does his approach change at all with heightened expectations?
 
"Personally, I'm going to approach it the same way," Lazard said. "Just kind of looking at my journey through this NFL and everything, that's kind of where I was able to make my biggest strides was when I was kind of backed up against the wall and didn't really know where my position was or if I was going to have a job. I want to keep that same mentality and same mindset going into year three now."
 
There are so many metrics that NFL prospects get measured on. The one thing that cannot be measured is a player's heart and Lazard has plenty of it.

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (15)

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 11, 2020 at 07:04 am

I really like Lazard. I think he has a chance to have a very good year.

Even though Lazard didn't have the normal offseason to work and build off of last year, it did give the coaches time to study his tape and figure out what he was good at. I really believe they could have a really good idea of what they want to do with him.

I'm excited to see how much of a jump Lazard can take from last year to this year.

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gkarl's picture

August 11, 2020 at 07:31 am

He may not have the pedigree and metrics but the HOF is littered with players just like him, more heart and attitude than raw talent. Not saying Lazard will be a HOF just much better than the NFL experts/media expect him to be. Here's hoping he has a tremendous season for himself and the team.

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splitpea1's picture

August 11, 2020 at 11:24 am

Donald Driver didn't have the same pedigree, either, but he was a tremendous athlete and his talent was overlooked because he came from a tiny school. It's not the best comparison since Lazard is so much bigger, but if he turns into a fraction of a player that Driver was, everyone should be thrilled. I really just felt like doing a plug for Driver, which I am occasionally inclined to do.

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jannes bjornson's picture

August 11, 2020 at 06:23 pm

He was a four year starter at ISU and caught everything thrown his way to move the chains. Not being picked by a pro personnel department in the early four rounds shows the flaws, bias and inefficiency of the NFL brain trusts.
A four pick wasted on Moore along with the signing bonus. Whoever pushed for that guy to be brought on board should have been fired.

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NickPerry's picture

August 11, 2020 at 07:44 am

Love me some Lazard. He really showed up at the end of the season when he caught several key 3rd down throws by Rodgers on some slants. He's also a very able and excellent blocker who's just getting better and will knock most CB and even OLB on their asses. He's not just a WR who gets in the way.

Between Lazard and ESB I think the Packers WR room is in better shape than most think. I definitely think that's why Gute didn't take a WR in the draft, especially later in the draft. Gute LIKES his guys.

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dobber's picture

August 11, 2020 at 09:36 am

If the Packers are all-in on the ARod window, they don't leave that to chance. You stockpile weapons...you don't hope to pull one out of an abandoned storage locker.

It seems that people who used to rail on TT for being too high on his own guys find this to be admirable in BG.

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gkarl's picture

August 11, 2020 at 03:33 pm

If the packers are all in on anything its MLF offensive system.....here's hoping the QB got that memo.

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Handsback's picture

August 11, 2020 at 07:49 am

Lazard can and probably will be a very solid contributor. I'm pretty sure he will never be a HOF player, but a guy you can count on.
I suspect if Rodgers has success in throwing into the middle of the field this year...Lazard will be a primary reason for that success.

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Guam's picture

August 11, 2020 at 08:43 am

Lazard is certainly a feel good story and the Packers have some history making late round picks / UDFA's into great players (think Donald Driver). My one concern is with Adams and Lazard at #1 and #2, we have no one to stretch the field. MVS or ESB are going to have to step up as deep threats to help open the middle of the field. Otherwise Lazard is going to be making lots of very contested catches as defenses move their safeties up.

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dobber's picture

August 11, 2020 at 09:34 am

He's not going to just flat out run past DBs, but well-designed plays and route combinations create those opportunities for these guys.

Others have compared Lazard to Mike Evans of Tampa. They have similar measureables. Mike Evans is one of the league's best deep-ball WRs. I'm not saying that Lazard is Evans, but you can get WRs with average 40 times deep.

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flackcatcher's picture

August 11, 2020 at 05:07 pm

In the NFL it's quickness and burst, the twitch scouts call it. Even the later half of their careers, Steve Smith JR and Jordy Nelson seemed to be a good two steps ahead DB. Lazard has that too, pretty rare for a young player. Usually takes three years for WR to develop that off their breaks in their route packages. Because of his size, Lazard looks slow off the LOS. He's not Evans who has rare quickness of the LOS, but he is quick of LOS.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 11, 2020 at 09:42 am

At one time he was considered to be a project at TE. He certainly can do some blocking downfield. Yet he also has very good skills as a WR and can make the contested catches. I see this offense evolving from what it has been in the past. It caught our opposition off guard last year and I hope it continues in the future.

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nostradanus's picture

August 11, 2020 at 10:03 am

“Dominated his opponents” that is high praise from MLF! LaFleur uses Lazard often as an example of what he wants his players & team to exemplify. Toughness and all out effort on each and every play.
Allan Lazard is the type of signing that makes fans glad to have when they miss on guys like J’mon Moore. As the old saying goes “A good Carpenter learns how to cover his mistakes” A great signing by Gutekunst.

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Packers0808's picture

August 11, 2020 at 01:23 pm

My guess barring injury he pick up where he left off last season and will hopefully continue getting better!

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flackcatcher's picture

August 11, 2020 at 04:50 pm

Measurables are for the underwear league. Players who are drafted and signed in the NFL are already considered elite at that level. What makes them special is when they get out on the field. Lazard is a perfect example of the type of player MLF wants. The Packers WR room are full of players who has performed and help the Packers to victory, even when most in that room were injured (and should have been IR) last season. For the Packers, this is a good group, full of grit and ready to grind it out for the season. (if we have a season that is...)

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