Cory's Corner: Devin Funchess Adds Depth

Let's not get carried away with his 2021 expectations. 

I give Devin Funchess credit. 

He recently took a pay cut of about $750,000 to stay in Green Bay for 2021.

But does it really matter? What can we honestly expect from a wide receiver that missed all of 2020 because he opted out?

I just don't see him being the coveted No. 2 guy that will play opposite of Davante Adams.

Now I know that's hard for many to comprehend because the amount of angst over Marquez Valdes-Scantling continues to make Packers fans boil. Valdes-Scantling's gaffes are well documented. Whether that's taking a pass off his facemask or not being able to hang onto a ball in a big spot.

The Packers also have Allen Lazard, who I think will blossom into something special. He has a great rapport with Aaron Rodgers and has a huge catching radius, which makes him valuable at the goal line. 

The best that Funchess can hope for is a spot as a No. 3 wideout, but most likely he will be a good No. 4. 

For all the people loving this move, just remember that the Packers didn't lose the NFC Championship because of a lack of wide receiver talent. Green Bay lost because head coach Matt LaFleur didn't trust his best player and didn't properly communicate how he wanted to attack offensively during the final possession.

Funchess will add depth, but he isn't exactly going to make defenses stop doubling Adams. This will be an eye-opening training camp for Funchess, mainly because Rodgers will be the best passer of his career. He had Cam Newton throwing to him for four seasons, but Newton isn't even in the same galaxy as a passer as Rodgers. Newton doesn't throw his receivers open. 

It's OK to love Funchess taking a pay cut — especially at a time when the Packers are counting quarters in the sofa cushions. Just don't get carried away with what he can bring. Remember, he hasn't played since Sept. 8, 2019. 

He's a depth piece. 

 

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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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2 points

Comments (47)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Packer_Fan's picture

March 13, 2021 at 06:15 am

I think that Funchess has a good chance of not making the team. I differ from you that MVS will make the next step forward to be a great receiver and Lazard will have pretty much reached his peak. I believe that Gute will be drafting at least two receivers in this draft. And if one of them looks like a contributor their first year, then Funchess will be gone. And their will be no FA WR signing.

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Tex49's picture

March 13, 2021 at 10:08 am

MVS’s first 3 years are pretty identical to James Jones. Also a little more productive than Jordy’s first 3 years, albeit less efficient. I don’t think it is crazy to think he takes some sort of step forward in 2021.

You could see a noticeable improvement the last couple games of 2020 on his focus in catching the ball.

7 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

March 13, 2021 at 10:32 am

Jordy could do every route. How many can MVS do to an average level? Jordy also had a harder group to crack, who does MVS have to beat.

3 points
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Tex49's picture

March 13, 2021 at 10:58 am

So because of that MVS cannot improve? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

3 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

March 13, 2021 at 11:13 am

Didn't say that. Just thinking MVS to have Nelson improvement is a huge reach, and is something too many feel about every player that becomes a Packer. Nelson grew substantially each year compared to MVS so far. MVS is still tripping over himself. MVS is a long way off from where Nelson was and ended up being.

6 points
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JohnnyLogan's picture

March 13, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Tex, I like MVS, but what I might say to him over a beer:

"Maquis, I watched Jordy Nelson, over many seasons I got to know Jordy Nelson, it felt like Jordy Nelson was a friend of mine, Marquis, you are no Jordy Nelson."

-3 points
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Archie's picture

March 13, 2021 at 02:14 pm

Watch out for Will Fuller.

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stockholder's picture

March 13, 2021 at 06:38 am

I say Funchess gets traded. I say the Defense lost the game. I say Lowrey and Sullivan need to be replaced. I Also say Gute needs a starter at CB. And that will be the priority this draft. I also say That since so many are willing to rework their contracts. We soon will get a player that will hold out for more money.

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dobber's picture

March 13, 2021 at 11:15 am

If Sullivan goes, they need 2 defacto starters at CB (a starter outside and a nickel/slot CB). That's a tough hill to climb unless you already know one of those guys is on the depth chart.

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

March 13, 2021 at 12:27 pm

Sullivan has a chance as a dime guy, he proved he cannot maintain the nickel spot. CB in Rd One and a free agent or use another three pick at the CB spot. This works for most teams, but Gutedkunst has a checkered history of day two defensive picks. Maybe Hendrickson and Seale can influence the choices for defensive players.?

1 points
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packer132's picture

March 13, 2021 at 02:49 pm

No team is going to trade for Funchess. He played 1 game in 2019 and opted out last season. Even the Packers don't know how good he is. Great insight into Gute needs a started at CB. Even NFL fans of other teams know that.

3 points
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Hematite's picture

March 15, 2021 at 02:40 pm

I think that some folks are expecting more of Funchess than he has to offer.
I have my doubts that he will be with the Packers on opening day.

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John Funchess's picture

March 13, 2021 at 06:23 pm

I agree with everything you said except for the part that Funchess gets traded.

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PF4L's picture

March 13, 2021 at 06:53 am

"I just don't see him being the coveted No. 2 guy that will play opposite of Davante Adams."

Well, good call :)
Join the millions of others who share the same opinion.

I think having one receiver with a target catch rate of 52% is enough. I don't need two of them.

2 points
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Johnblood27's picture

March 13, 2021 at 07:11 am

Corey, you are pretty far off base with your reason the Packers lost the NFCCG.

Look no further than Mike Pettine and Kevin King.

There are plenty of WTF moments from that game, however the Pettine-King axis provided an anchor around the teams collective necks for the entire game.

I am glad to see both of them G-O-N-E.

Lets not start with the revisionist history with the MLF-Rodgers BS as the reason for the loss.

Next thing you will want to tear down the Lambeau and Lombardi statues...

12 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

March 13, 2021 at 08:31 am

Most want to place the blame for a loss on a specific instance while denying the many that created the one they choose as 'The Reason'.

It's the same story with every loss, find the scapegoat and ignore the many blunders that set the failure up or ignore the many fails that set up the finale blundering.

Blunders and failings are not the same thing.

5 points
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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 13, 2021 at 10:09 am

The Packers shouldn’t have had to be in the position they were on Tampa’s final possession. The goal like play the previous series, too, should have iced the game. Abandoning the run and turning two key turnovers into three and outs killed the Packers long before they had to rely on Kate game Rodgers heroics.

10 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 13, 2021 at 07:27 am

I can see Funchess being a nice addition in a LaFleur offense. Since Funchess can block as a receiver and is much better in the middle over his career I think he compliments well.

This isn’t an offense that has receivers one through four as MMs did. After Adams its mix and match with all receivers able to block. Funchess can also do some of what Tonyan does if needed.

Good tool to have, good price and system fit. He also makes it more likely we can look for a true slot/option type. Behind Adams, MVS and Lazard were only questions.

8 points
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dobber's picture

March 13, 2021 at 10:25 am

" Funchess can also do some of what Tonyan does if needed."

This is a major part, to me, in why the Packers didn't just cut him outright. He's providing snap relief in the Tonyan role and is at least a little bit of a buffer if the Packers find out they undervalue Tonyan and lose him as an RFA.

"He also makes it more likely we can look for a true slot/option type."

If you're an analytics type, Funchess' numbers and productivity in the slot were far better than his numbers on the outside. It could be the Packers see him as a big slot in this offense, adding his size and blocking over a migthy-mite slot WR.

9 points
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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 13, 2021 at 07:57 am

My take on Funchess is that he and EQ will battle for a roster spot and I believe a small rookie with speed will be WR 5/RS (and possibly RB 3-4). Unless EQ shows considerable improvement, I think Funchess will beat him onto the roster.

10 points
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Guam's picture

March 13, 2021 at 07:59 am

MLF's offense requires WRs that can block, play multiple positions and catch the football. Funchess played TE at Michigan and blocked well, he can play WR or receiving TE in the pros and has decent pro receiving stats given Cam Newton was his QB. He will be a good fit in MLFs offense whether he is WR #2, #3, or #4.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Packers take a WR late in the draft since ESB seems vulnerable to not making the team. I will be very surprised if Funchess fails to make the team - he is versatile enough to be a really good fit in MLF's offense and will finally have a top caliber QB throwing to him.

4 points
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dobber's picture

March 13, 2021 at 10:26 am

I think ESBs days are numbered in GB.

4 points
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flackcatcher's picture

March 13, 2021 at 09:26 pm

Well, Gute is at the point that he is cutting his own guys now. We'll know more after this upcoming draft who's in danger. (with both of their injury histories, there is a good chance that both Funchess and ESB get the boot if the Packers draft WR. And I like both players in MLF scheme)

2 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

March 13, 2021 at 08:35 am

Funchess and MVS, starring in, 'The Battle of Meh'.

5 points
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Guam's picture

March 13, 2021 at 10:20 am

How many receiving stars do the Packers need? They already have Adams. The rest of the receivers just need to be decent and block well in the running game.

-3 points
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imafubared's picture

March 13, 2021 at 08:46 am

Why do I think he was a michigan man? If so I remember he dropped as many passes as he caught, lacked break away speed and was a so do route runner.
Rodgers will hate this guy.
I see the two big needs a fast doenfiel receiver and numero uno, a corner with size and speed. Good luck with that at the end of the first.

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

March 13, 2021 at 09:19 am

A fast downfield WR? Maybe we could get the guy who led the league in yards per target. He’s fast.

4 points
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dobber's picture

March 13, 2021 at 11:33 am

Is he a free agent? ;)

6 points
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Since'61's picture

March 14, 2021 at 08:52 am

Cookie! Thanks, Since '61

3 points
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Guam's picture

March 13, 2021 at 10:25 am

EE: Yeah, that's why he was only a second round draft choice when he came out and Indy signed him to only a $10 million contract two years ago. Poor guy.......just no talent......

-1 points
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PeteK's picture

March 13, 2021 at 09:35 am

Preston and Amos have reworked their contracts which makes the Pack very near the + cap level. If a few more rework their contracts we might sign a veteran or two. I would love Tomlinson , but believe Gents will sign him soon. There are a few veteran DTs and CBs that would fit very nicely and would not expect large contracts: Jenkins, Sherman, Butler,Hankins, Guy. This would take some pressure off our draft picks and allow them some time to develop. Let's go Rogers, Zadarious, and Lowry move those pots of gold around!

1 points
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John Funchess's picture

March 13, 2021 at 09:56 am

I disagree with you on almost everything to be honest. We lost that game due to our defense (#20, and our lack of pressure) and the guy coordinating it. However, to suggest Funchess will not be an upgrade or at least our 3rd receiver is ridiculous. Funchess is the same height as MVS and much faster than Lazard. I've seen him play live as I attended the Carolina game his first year. I had to watch him get deep on Damarius Randall twice and score on one of those deep shots. He very well could supplant MVS if we get the MVS we have always gotten which is Mr. Inconsistency. I love Lazard, but he is not the athlete Funchess is so I see Funchess being either our #2 or our #3 and it comes down to MVS being the deciding factor. The one thing Lazard does really well is block, and fortunately Funchess is just as good of a blocker and I can see Funchess and Lazard on the field at the same time with Adam's in the slot. Imagine trying to defend the run and pass against that.

0 points
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scullyitsme's picture

March 13, 2021 at 11:08 am

Fuchness is already better than anything we have in the roster other than adams, he’s actually been a #2. He’s caught 60 balls in a season. Can run all the routes. Lazard and mvs, caught 66 balls last year in 112 attempts, the same the year before. All that and they where one on one the whole year with adams taking double and triple teams. People on this site are a little delusional about our current wideouts.

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

March 13, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Funchess has not played in two years. we'll see if he even makes the roster.

4 points
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ricky's picture

March 13, 2021 at 11:29 am

It doesn't matter who is on the field during crucial plays, especially at the goal line. Because as we saw in the championship game, Rodgers was going force it to Adams no matter what. Even though other receivers were much more open. LaFleur knew if he gave Rodgers another chance at a TD, he'd only have eyes for Adams; so did the Bucs. Could the communication have been better? Sure. Would it have made any difference? Probably not.

1 points
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PhantomII's picture

March 13, 2021 at 12:48 pm

It was wide open to run it in by Rodgers on the right side on third down. that's what I saw.

3 points
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scullyitsme's picture

March 13, 2021 at 01:10 pm

I keep seeing this excuse, along with Rodgers doesn’t trust his receivers, or Lafleur doesn’t use them in the offense. Anybody actually think that it might have something to do with the talent level of our wideouts? Or are Rodgers and Lafleur just dumbass’s? Rogers threw to mvs and Lazard 112 times, they caught half. The reason for that is they couldn’t get open, didn’t run the right route, or just dropped the dam ball. That’s why Rodgers locks on adams, and Lafleur doesn’t game plan for them. Duh.

3 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 13, 2021 at 11:46 am

Turner has been restructured. Numbers are still unknown.

3 points
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NJMagic's picture

March 13, 2021 at 12:27 pm

They did not lose for one thing (King/Miller was obscene), though pinning it on communication in the 4th is a joke. They should never have been into that position.

I go back to the two INT and 3+out. Perhaps a solid possession receiver converts one of those...

Though Aaron missing a few key throws Tom made was also a big difference

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

March 13, 2021 at 12:37 pm

Your star RB fumbled the ball twice and set up an easy TD to kill momentum entering the third qtr. Hard to recover 14 points against a good team.

7 points
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Archie's picture

March 13, 2021 at 02:43 pm

Rodgers, Jones and King have to own that loss.

1 points
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Lphill's picture

March 13, 2021 at 03:33 pm

Packers lost the championship game because of the defense , stop putting it on ithe offense , Kevin King and Mike Pettine to be exact .

4 points
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Bure9620's picture

March 13, 2021 at 07:08 pm

I am likely higher on Funchess than most, he is a bargain. Funchess has basically had marginal QB play in his career. He will fit well in this offense. Rodgers can place a lot of balls for him on back shoulder throws and high and away throws outside.

0 points
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GatorJason's picture

March 14, 2021 at 01:19 am

Funchess is clearly a superior receiver over either of the bottom of the roster receivers EQ or Taylor or the cast of others currently on the PS. My question is if Funchess offers any ST value. I still see the Packers drafting a slot/motion receiver who would also take over the PR/KR roles. So in summary, the Packers will have one #1 receiver, three receivers that will share the #2 receiver role and a rookie who will take over the motion receiver role immediately after Tyler Ervin takes his annual pilgrimage to the IR. Actually, given the duplicative role of Ervin and a drafted slot receiver, Tyler Ervin may not even make the final roster.

1. Adams
2a. MVS
2b. Funchess
2c. Lazard
Slot/Motion a: Rookie (e.g. Amari Rodgers, Elijah Moore)
Slot/Motion b: Ervin

EQ and Taylor are squeezed off the 53-man roster unless the rookie makes Irvin expendable, then one of those two could be added to receiver group but even then, would be mainly used for ST coverage. Neither Taylor nor EQ has shown enough consistency/reliability to take away playing time from the four guys ahead of them in the primary receiver spots. If they cannot get open consistently or catch the ball consistently, they are offensive liabilities.

-1 points
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HankScorpio's picture

March 14, 2021 at 06:21 am

I will be surprised if Funchess makes the roster. And frankly, disappointed. With 10 picks and another strong rookie WR group, it's time to start setting the table for the Jordan Love era. That doesn't mean they need to jump at WR in round 1, or even round 2. Ideally, those two picks are OT and CB, IMO. But they ought to grab a couple WRs with the remaining 8 picks. And one of the two should have some return ability.

Assume that is so and then run the numbers: Adams, (Lazard, MVS, draftee1), (Taylor, ESB, Funchess, draftee2). That's 8. They won't keep 8. Only 1 or 2 of that second grouping will make the roster. Why keep the oldest of the bunch who is on a 1 yr deal with dubious credentials and no experience in the system?

Of course, that theory counts on Gute seeing this draft as the same way I do. He said he did last year and then executed the draft like he didn't. Hopefully, the 2nd tiime is the charm.

4 points
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Since'61's picture

March 14, 2021 at 09:15 am

It make take until mid-season but I can see Funchess earning his way to our #2 WR. If he returns to form he is better than either MVS or Lazard. Funchess like Lazard is an effective blocker and he can catch the ball as compared with MVS.

The fact that he hasn't played in nearly 2 years is a concern which is why I believe it will take until mid-season for him to round into form.
If everyone remains healthy I can see Adams 1, Funchess 2, Lazard 3 and MVS 4 as we move into the second half of the season, unless we draft a legit #2 in one of the early rounds. That would change everything behind Adams.

We'll see how it all plays out but the price is right for Funchess to become an offseason steal. Thanks, Since '61

0 points
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Wilment's picture

March 14, 2021 at 06:20 pm

Unless Funchess developed some super human abilities he didnt have before hand, he will have a hard time making the roster. Hes always been a number three guy. Scantling made some big plays but also had some huge drops. One of the Packers receivers this year is somewhere in the draft. That leaves Funchess dueling with EQ for a roster spot. Who knows, maybe he comes up huge in camp, but I wouldn't go buy his jersey just yet....

2 points
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