Cory's Corner: I'm Not Sold At WR

Besides Davante Adams, what wide receiver scares opposing defenses? 

Do the Packers really like what they have at wide receiver?

Do they?

I mean, why would they invite the former 2015 second round pick Devin Smith to come in for a workout if everyone in the building was sold on the receiving talent?

And the thing that's interesting to me is that Smith, who has only tallied 40 targets in three seasons, isn't even special. He's a guy that is mildly intriguing due to his blazing speed. That's it. His catch percentage is pedestrian and he has a long injury history. In 2015, he suffered a torn ACL in his right knee and two years later, he tore the ACL in the same knee. So here's a guy that was drafted five years ago, but has only appeared in 18 games. 

Smith turned 28 in March. Obviously, the Packers think that Smith can compete for a roster spot or else they wouldn't waste their time. 

We all know that the Packers' brass turned their backs on all 37 wideouts that were taken in the draft last spring. I wasn't expecting much from Devin Funchess this season, but he would've given the recieving corps plenty of needed depth. But he was the only Packers player to opt-out because of COVID-19. 

So with the season just eight days away, general manager Brian Gutekunst sees a potential problem. But plugging a leaky dam with a Band-Aid isn't a long-term answer. It's also highly unlikely that it's a short-term answer. 

Besides Davante Adams, do the Packers really have anyone that strikes fear in opponents? I like Allen Lazard, but I'm still wrestling with him as a legit No. 2. Marquez Valdes-Scantling showed flashes in three games last year before completely falling off in the second half of the season. Equanimeous St. Brown hasn't shown anything in a game, but he's 6-foot-5, so the Packers are willing to give him plenty of chances. 

Those are your top four wideouts for the 2020 Green Bay Packers. Adams is going to be blanketed with plenty of double coverage this season, so it's going to be up to everyone else to win their one-on-one matchups.

Can those three guys do it consistently? I don't see it. And Gutekunst doesn't either, which is why he's willing to bring in an injury risk that doesn't have much experience. 

I really think Aaron Rodgers can have a very good season. The offensive line is one of the best in the NFC and his mastery of the play-action is incredible. 

However, if the receivers aren't very good, everything on the offense is going to suffer. This team needs reliable pass catchers that can make defenses honest. 

As of right now, I'm not sold on this group. 

 

-------------------

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

NFL Categories: 
4 points

Comments (33)

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

September 05, 2020 at 07:15 am

Well, with less visibility in preseason one of the concerns has been that it will be more difficult to identify and evaluate possible in season moves. Gute has acknowledged that.

The Packers have been regularly bringing in players to look at. The most recent 2 WRs were recently cut and thus newly available. With injuries and COVID as well, it seems sensible to be up to speed on the health and other factors for possible roster and PS replacements, particularly as it’s not an overnight process now to get a new player on the field.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
fansince1959's picture

September 05, 2020 at 07:18 am

Amen----i suspect Gutey is waiting to find wide receivers and a defensive lineman after the cut downs today

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Lare's picture

September 05, 2020 at 08:09 am

Don't forget ILB.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
nostradanus's picture

September 05, 2020 at 07:29 am

Cory, chill dude! The Packers are just fine at WR.
Adams-Lazard-MVS-Kumerow-EQ-Shep, they be just fine. I’d be more concerned about Right Tackle, that’s the spot that’ll getcha killed if it ain’t right.
Hope Wagner is up to it?!

Go Pack!

+ REPLY
-1 points
7
8
Packers2020's picture

September 05, 2020 at 08:52 am

Wrong. Kumerow was just cut.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
JohnnyLogan's picture

September 05, 2020 at 09:37 am

So was Shepherd

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Leatherhead's picture

September 05, 2020 at 08:54 am

Agreed. Looking at new WRs.....when you’ve already decided to release Kumerow.....is just due diligence.

Lazard, MVS, and EQ are more than adequate for a position that blocks or runs decoy routes 90% of the time. And they’re cheap, which lets us spend money on other positions.

Not really worried about RT either. Wagner has been a reliable player in the league for a number of years.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Kevin Carpenter's picture

September 05, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Shepherd was terrible. We have no idea what we have in EQ, hopefully Lazard continues to improve, hopefully MVS does anything at all this year, and Kumerow is gone for the time being. I'm betting we're not "fine" at WR.

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
SpikeHyzer's picture

September 05, 2020 at 12:06 pm

Except, as I've been predicting all along, Kumerow was finally cut and we never have to speak of him again.

However, it is a complete shock that Shep was kept over Malik. It was Shep who was making a lot of plays (though Malik was said to be solid in camp).

RT may be correct.

You are absolutely correct that this lame hot take by Cory needed some chilling out!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Bure9620's picture

September 05, 2020 at 09:18 am

Many are not sold at WR, but I think Lazard takes a leap and solidifies the #2 role. 2 things, there will typically only be 2 WR on the field at a time in this offense. Sometimes, the 3rd WR will be Jones or Sternberger/Tonyan detaching.......We also have a bon a fide #1 that eats up targets..Same with the Saints and Thomas, the Falcons with Julio.....Adams could easily lead the league in targets and will assuredly be top 5. I would also strongly disagree EQ "has not shown anything in a game" He flashed potential his rookie year.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
blacke00's picture

September 05, 2020 at 08:05 am

Stop with the "the Packers should have drafted a WR talk" already. Put a fork in it! This has been repeated over and over again...rookie WRs rarely make an impact (unless you are a Julio Jones type player. The WRs they already have are as good or better than any rookie starting their 1st game. The Packers are transitioning.

+ REPLY
2 points
6
4
Kevin Carpenter's picture

September 05, 2020 at 12:02 pm

I wasn't upset not taking a WR for this year. I was upset with not taking a WR for the future. The entire theme of that draft was "for the future" yet they have no current options at WR and really no plan at all for the future outside of Adams.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Wjstamper's picture

September 05, 2020 at 08:17 am

Can we just get past the "we need a receiver" thing. You only need to go back to last year when Adams was out for 4 games (which we won) to see we have enough quality receivers to win. Rodgers just needs to run ML's offense and throw the ball over the middle.

+ REPLY
1 points
5
4
Packers2020's picture

September 05, 2020 at 08:56 am

Kumerow was just cut.

I think that tells you Cory may be spot on.

Some of you need to quit with the rose colored glasses. You usually do not win with a 5th and 6th rounder as well as two UDFA's at WR.

I will come on here and say I am wrong if these WRs go crazy this year but I just do not see it.

+ REPLY
0 points
3
3
SpikeHyzer's picture

September 05, 2020 at 12:09 pm

haha....Cory is never right and this take is particularly lame.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
CoachDino's picture

September 06, 2020 at 03:09 am

Hopefully these receivers won't go crazy this year. The offense has moved on from the days of AirMcCarthy. The receivers are being replaced with TE and RB targets along with just less passing. remains to be seen if it will work but that's the plan. IF they are pass happy I would suspect they are losing and need to score fast.

Lazard is a Legit #2 and MVS and EQS can certainly be legit #3s possibly MVS can become a #2 as well. Once again remains to be seen. All indications from camps are positive, now its time to see it transition to the field. Just the fact they only kept 5 Rec screams Recs are not the focus they once were.

Maybe I'm wrong but this Offensive scheme is predicated on "scheming" guys open. the McCarthy way was mano on mano you better beat your guy.

Is it a run? is it a pass? Who are the recs? TEs? RBs? are they staying in and blocking or running a route? maybe both. When a defender thinks your going to block him and instead you run a route you gain a HUGE advantage. Hence recognition is key. Thats where SF destroyed the Packers last year. Remember all the long gains early with passes. Put the packers on their heels and made running that much easier for SF.. Not an excuse for poor play but a factor. Guys run themselves out of the play thinking its a pass "Z"...

It seems many of us are still trying to find personnel through the draft and FA to fill the old scheme when Gute is focused on the new.

Less focus on Big DL, WRs is obvious. Doesn't mean it's going to work but there is a plan and they have been executing it.

IMHO OT could be an issue but hey Elkins, Taylor and Turner are all options. Wagner has been a solid RT in this league for years, I don't think he is going to collapse this year "I hope/barring injuries.

I'd like to hear about Todd Davis, and the ILB from the Giants and NO that were cut. They both have out played Summers and Burks and are a veteran safe guard if Kirksey gets hurt.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
rstain99's picture

September 05, 2020 at 08:57 am

nice having a franchise quarterback, but the wife of a hall of famer to be once said "he can throw the ball but can't catch it as well" Packers had a chance to draft one of these studs and chose not to, sorry don't be crying late in the year when this stable can't get open and #83 is open but can't catch it. Sorry, maybe Love will be real deal but to compete this year for SB you need weapons at receiver. Funny to say but they dropped the ball at draft time. #12 is 36 yrs old on back nine Gute you are on the clock yourself pack fans demand a lot.

+ REPLY
-1 points
3
4
SpikeHyzer's picture

September 05, 2020 at 12:11 pm

Except there were only 2-3 true studs in this draft, and even those don't succeed in the NFL 66% of the time (which means we'd have had to get very lucky to trade up and select the ONE who might have been good as a rook).
They were all one dimensional bums after that and we did right to not draft a single one of them.
EVERY receiver on our roster right now is FAR better than anyone we may have drafted.
Best draft in the last decade.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
Christian Roussel's picture

September 05, 2020 at 10:39 am

I totally agree with you on everything you just said Cory! Thanks

+ REPLY
-4 points
1
5
Ryan3468's picture

September 05, 2020 at 10:43 am

Four yards and a puff of smoke. Tight ends, tight ends, and tight ends. Wide receivers will get their play, but it won’t be five wide. Good defense that can get plenty of stops, an offense that doesn’t have to punt, and can score. Things could be on their way to be fine. We will see. It’s rough to have the pre-season skipped. The first few weeks of the season are going to look really frustrating for a lot of teams. Keep it simple and amp it up as you go gradually and we will be fine. No more rocket balls please.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
stockholder's picture

September 05, 2020 at 10:50 am

No Cory. They don't like what they have at WR. 1. But thats not LeFluer's plan. The ball is going to the RBs. 2. BG drafted Love. Thats the plan. He knows he'll need Wrs to fit Love. Not Rodgers. 3. BG wants to spend money. He doesn't care about Rodgers or the super-bowl. Trade coming. 4. Rodgers must now throw to the TEs and RBs. 5. Rodgers success now depends on the BGs first draft class. Who will get the Pat on the back?=BG. It won't be Rodgers. 6. There are too many question marks else where. DL. ILB. Rt. 7. Until the fans return. Cap cuts coming.

+ REPLY
0 points
3
3
SpikeHyzer's picture

September 05, 2020 at 12:20 pm

It means nothing and the author is projecting his notion of management on Gutey (which is why Cory is not, nor will ever be, employed by a pro team as a GM or in any other capacity). It's just due diligence.

You only need ONE WR who makes other teams afraid (and I'm not even sure that's true of Davante, as contrary to one post here, he rarely if ever sees the double team). Davante is fundamental, but not a game breaker (he only did so when there were other game breakers on the field in Jordy and Cobb).

He does, however, usually draw the attention of the best defender. Which is why all our young guys were such a disappointment last year, failing to make plays against #2 corners and safeties (that's why the awful Kumerow has at last gone bye bye forever).

Lazard, MVS and EQ will all take that little leap forward and will have chances to make plays, especially the short slants over the middle that can turn into big yardage. When teams try to adjust to that, MAYBE Davante starts to get those big play opportunities again when his defender tries to cheat off of him and be ready to help. Davante can take advantage of bad eyes like that when these young guys start to step up and the RBs/TEs also contribute to the route confusion that will leave a lot of people open.

A lot of guys are going to make plays for this offense. Rodgers make break his own record of how many people catch his passes in a game.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
HankScorpio's picture

September 05, 2020 at 12:23 pm

I blasted Gute hard for not drafting a WR. I thought the position was an achilles heel last year and didn't see a lot of reason to expect them to improve from within by enough to make a difference. Since we haven't seen so much as a preseason game since, I have no reason think any differently as we begin to learn the WR group on the initial roster.

I'm hoping for the best. But bracing for something less than that.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Tedlyflyfisher's picture

September 05, 2020 at 01:33 pm

Cory, I totally agree. MVS has not been consistent and ESB is a real unknown at this point. I’m not really surprised Kumerow was cut; not much production there, although I will admit he was very good at blocking. I’m slightly surprised that Shepherd was cut, although I expect him to be put on the PS. Granted, he made 2 bonehead mistakes in the Lions game last year, but he really showed a spark prior to that, and maybe if given a 2nd chance he could rebound.

I’m thinking (HOPING) that they’re watching other teams’ roster cuts closely. But we all know picking up someone else’s discards is far from a sure thing, too. All in all, it’s hard to look at the last draft as having added any real offensive weapons other than A.J. Dillon.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
marpag1's picture

September 06, 2020 at 04:28 am

Someone has questions and doubts about the Packers WR corps? Wow. Cutting edge stuff.

I wonder what the story is with second year ILB Ryan Connelly? I know he blew out his ACL last year but he looked good before that. He was cleared and participated in this year's training camp, but the Giants just cut him. His knee must not be right yet...??

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
ShooterMcGee's picture

September 06, 2020 at 06:57 am

Lets sign Allen Lazard's former teammate Hakeem Butler. Guy was a beast in his last college season. He probably won't make it to us on the waiver wire since our priority is so low. Gutey should have sent a conditional 7th rounder to AZ for him.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PF4L's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:22 am

"Do the Packers really like what they have at wide receiver?"

I think the Packers knew they had a problem the season after they let Jordy go and signed Jimmy G. Which would explain the 3 wr's taken in one draft. But they haven't worked out.

In the meantime...they decided building for the future was a better plan than winning now. Except for signing a cheap token wr in Funchess to pacify the fans.

I don't believe Gute likes what he has at wr, but drafting more of them wouldn't make his 2018 draft look any better. Plus...because of his change in strategy of team building, i don't think he cares right now. I think if he cared, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
CoachDino's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:40 pm

I understand the posts about not "winning now" draft perception, though I would argue that is not the case. The moves they made with the scheme they are employing are all about winning now. Yes, drafting love is NOT a win now move. yet as stewards of the team the opportunity to "look to the future" draft value vs "win now" draft value calculated to the Love move. other than maybe queen IMHO there really wasn't a year 1 impact player out there.

IMO the draft combined both future and present.

I've mentioned this before and it was the first thing I thought after the initial shock of the Love Pick, If drafting Love improves Rodgers performance by just 15% (chip on his shoulder/Motivation to finish career as a Packer, realization that he needs to run the offense as schemed, etc) then there was no better move they could of made to help the team NOW. Not saying its why they did it but I'd put money on it that as it was thought through these points where discussed. Lets face it, The QB has, by far, the greatest impact on the game and how AROD goes the Packers go. How the packers QB in 3-4 years plays is how the Packers will end up.

IMHO, the media as a whole seems incapable of in depth analysis, has been unwilling to put in the time to do the in depth analysis or is just more concerned with click bait. More on a national level as obviously talking about how the Packers "Disrespected AROD" is easier to comprehend for the masses and more likely to be engaged hence going to drive revenue. I can't stand Florio or greenie to me they should know better and are just sell outs...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PF4L's picture

September 08, 2020 at 08:54 pm

Well then.....should we think picking a project OLB at #12 in Rashan Gary was also a win now mode citing the fact they had just spent 100 million on 2 starting OLB weeks earlier? In layman's terms....is there anyway to "spin" that into a "win now" move?

I understand that you think giving up a 4th rounder and drafting Love improves Rodgers, stay thirsty.
Now....just for kicks.....compare our 2011, 2014 wr and and tight end roster....to today's 53 man roster of wr's and tight ends....
Any difference's jump out at you?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
greengold's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:51 am

Cory, I think you are SEVERELY mischaracterizing our WR corps with your "leaky dam" descriptor.

Adams is rock solid. Lazard had a better Catch% last season than Adams has had at any point in his career. MVS only needed to increase his Catch% to improve, as he had more yards by the end of year 2 than either of Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams.

Let it play out. They know what they have and have proven themselves confident in their ability to develop this group and others.

You might not realize it, but both Lazard and MVS are on the cusp of breaking out much like Jordy did in his 4th season...!!! Both of them!!! And they are both incredible size mismatches, MVS with speed to blaze like a much smaller player. If EQ can stay healthy, again, you might be very surprised at his production as a #5 WR behind the 4.41 Tyler Ervin. All 5 receivers in that group are tough as hell.

That leaves us with ONE PLAYER you don't know anything about in Malik Taylor, and so you're going to trash the whole group? Wow. This Packers organization know what they have in Taylor (having spent the entire 2019 season on the PS running scout team), and I'm not so sure they don't really like him at the #6 WR position on this roster...

If they find an upgrade to Taylor, great, but the rest of this group is pretty damned good. Dynamic as all hell, especially with MVS showing himself to be one of the most improved players coming out of TC. Improved in what? Catch%.

Carry the G FFS. Do some research... You think Jordy and Davante came in not needing development? wow.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
CoachDino's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:56 pm

Well said Greengold,
If one knows what the packers are trying to do then you know it's not all about the wide receivers and coming into this year the new personnel weapons are offense are Jace, Degura, Dillon and the use of Jones and Jamal even more in the rec game.

I think it's a viable plan, implement a Offensive scheme that relies less on overpaid high risk wide receivers and more on the coaches ability to "scheme" plays that will get these guys open. HELLO, it's why they went with LeFluer, what other reason would they of had? Think about......

They went out and drafted the Hback/TE/FB, the power running back. The biggest issue with the packers offense last year in MHO was short yardage conversion, for YEARS the Packers have failed at converting short yardage on the ground. They went out and drafted a proven 8 guys in the box running back and some real beef, nasties for the IOL. THIS is NOT the old WEST COAST 5 wideouts scheme we have seen for 20 years. Stop trying to fit round pegs in square holes. Read the book, "who moved my cheese".

Every team is trying to put a plan in to win the SB and only 1 out of 32 teams will be successful so these changes may still not get one to the promised land, but can we at least be cognizant of what they are trying to do so not to continually go over the same irrelevant points...?

I was like butter, I'm on a roll with this rant....lol...

yes, I feel better. Lets go Pack

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
greengold's picture

September 08, 2020 at 11:41 am

CoachDino,
"Who Moved My Cheese," is a GREAT book. Funny, but appropriate inclusion.

Yeah, your take on the Packers short yardage problems last year is spot on, as is the argument regarding scheme, with many pining for the 5-wide sets of yesteryear. That's in the past. We have WRs who are ascending talents, and they will get the job done. There's a new Sheriff in town. Totally new scheme under Matt LaFleur.

Lost in many conversations are the multiple routes/plays we will see from identical formations. TONS of options in LaFleur's offense. He just needed more of the right pieces. Those didn't involve WRs like many had hoped for. They do include, however, a MASSIVE BELL COW, the MOST POWERFUL RUNNER IN THE 2020 DRAFT CLASS. 6-0 250 with a 4.50 40 time, a 41" vertical, and a 1.53 second 10 yd. split (better than Swift). The dude is a battering ram. You need 1 yard? AJ Dillon will get you 2 or 3.

AJ Dillon rushed for 1685 yds and 15 TDs in 2019, and 44% of the time it was against LOADED BOXES. There was not a more successful RB in all of college football against heavy sets/loaded boxes in 2019. Over his 3 years, he averaged 24+ carries/game. This guy knows how to bring it, and he is both reliable and durable. His low center of gravity with that much mass and speed is going to be very difficult for opposing defenses to stop.

Another interesting scenario lost on many from this last draft, is that SEA wanted Dillon BADLY! The Packers snatched him away with their 2nd Round pick. Nice work Brian Gutekunst. Gotta shoot your shot. Gutey did.

Dillon's best comparison is to Eddie George, who rushed for over 10,000 yds in 9 seasons with TEN. He's got QB level smarts with a 29 Wonderlic. Heeeee's Goooooood!

Now, we'll really get to see the true Matt LaFleur offense in action.

Add to that, the #1 player he wanted on Day 2 of this past draft in Josiah Deguara. Rock solid H-Back. Rock solid TE. Deguara can line up on the line of scrimmage, as a wing, or out of the backfield, has the smarts & vision to read defenses, has great hands and is assignment sure. The guy is super tough, just like Dillon. Reliable. These two players the Packers added are going to put one hell of a lot of stress on opposing defenses.

As a receiver, Deguara had more yards and more TDs with roughly the same reps as Travis Kelce at U Cincinnati.

Clearly, the Packers added a high quality receiver to the arsenal this last draft, just not where everybody wanted. Deguara has very sure hands and has a knack for finding soft spots in the zone.

As a blocker, Deguara is described as gritty, a blocker who plays with good positioning and is able to sustain to help his RB gain the most yardage possible. He's at his best with kick out blocks. Extremely willing as a blocker and takes his assignments seriously. Again, a super smart player as well. Deguara is a very complete H-Back.

AJ Dillon & Josiah Deguara = round pegs for round holes. Perfect fits for MLF. Can't wait to see them in action.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PF4L's picture

September 08, 2020 at 09:08 pm

Impressive....all these players are deemed a success without so much as playing a snap in the NFL.

Quote that made me giggle :)
"Clearly, the Packers added a high quality receiver to the arsenal....."

That is special...lol. Are we calling it an "arsenal"?

Used in a sentence......The Green Bay Packer arsenal of receivers, will keep NFL defensive coordinators...up at night

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.