Doubs Competes in Watson's Shadow

Which one is more NFL ready?

No doubt about it, Christian Watson is the darling of the Green Bay Packers 2022 draft.  The second round pick gets most all of the media and fan attention.  The Green and Gold faithful desperately want him to be the latest heir of a legacy of great receivers that includes Sterling Sharpe, Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. 

Romeo Doubs gets little, if any, such attention.  It’s understandable.  He was a day three selection, taken in round four.  He played at Nevada, in the low profile Mountain West conference, against West coast schools that are largely unfamiliar to Packer fans.  Nobody hyped him among receiver candidates leading up to the draft.  In the CHTV draft guide, Watson is ranked as the second best receiver prospect in the class.  Doubs barely made the top twenty, ranked at number nineteen. 

So why did Pro Football Focus recently name Doubs as being among the top six players taken on day three who are “in the best position to produce in year one”?  Maybe it’s because he led all of college football in what is classified as “deep receiving touchdowns” in 2020 and 2021 combined.  He caught fifteen of them, defined as a pass that is thrown twenty yards or more.  Last season, Nevada quarterbacks threw the ball deep to Doubs 25 times.  He caught 12 of them for an average of 37 yards per grab.  His former offensive coordinator, Matt Mumme, is quoted as saying Doubs is “one of the best deep ball trackers I’ve ever seen.” 

It didn’t take long for that talent to reveal itself in Green Bay.  At a rookie mini camp practice, Doubs caught three long balls and immediately caught the eye of the coaches.  His long bomb skills are particularly noteworthy considering he does not have blazing speed.  The Packers clocked him “somewhere in the 4.5’s” according to General Manager Brian Gutekunst.  Afterward Doubs said “It’s not just being fast, but making sure that you know the technique of just running a deep pattern, whether it’s a deep post up the middle, running a go ball, making sure you stack (defender), making sure you master the technique and fundamental work.” (from Packer Central) 

Remind you of anyone?  Isn’t that the mantra that Davante Adams always operated under?  He’s not so much fast as he is technique sound.  I’m not comparing the two.  I’m just pointing out Doubs is ahead of the game because he hasn’t spent his college career just relying on his natural talent to get open and catch the football.  He’s already learned that technique is everything.  That will serve him well at this level. 

Another reason Packer fans are excited about Christian Watson is the possibility of his returning kicks.  Here as well, Doubs should get commensurate attention.  As a freshman, the very first time he touched a football in his first game, he returned a punt 80 yards for a score.   

Watching his highlight reel, there aren’t many boxes he doesn’t check.  He makes sharp cuts to get wide open deep.  When he is defended, he catches the ball in a crowd, using his six foot-two body to shield smaller defensive backs.  He runs the shorter possession routes nicely, showing great control of his feet on the sideline.  He knows how to come back to his quarterback when the play breaks down.  He keeps the ball away from his body.  Many of his catches struck me as being Allen Lazard-like. 

Like Watson, Doubs did not, for the most part, play against top level competition in college.  But the opposition he did line up against, he dominated.  He was first team all conference, led the league in TD catches, was second in yards per catch.  In one game against Fresno State he caught 19 passes for 203 yards.  Pro scouts judged him good enough to be invited to the Senior Bowl. 

Lance Zierlein of nfl.com wrote that Doubs’ biggest drawback is that he is a linear runner who will struggle to break free of press coverage at the NFL level.  That would seem to be a common challenge for any rookie receiver.  Marquez Valdes-Scantling had that same difficulty at first but improved enough to get a nice second contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.  Indications at mini camp are that Doubs is a quick study. 

I have a good feeling about this guy.  It will not surprise me a bit if he outperforms Christian Watson this year.   

 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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9 points

Comments (43)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Johnblood27's picture

May 16, 2022 at 06:17 am

I cannot help but cringe at that pic of Doubs.

The ball is banging around his forearms, his eyes are not on the ball or on a defender-he is looking where the ball used to be- and he is not in stride.

Yikes!

I hope that is all due to poor QB play... LOL!

We all know that AR always hits deep patterns in perfect stride... just ask MVS.

BTW, I also think that Romeo just might outperform Watson this year. He checks all the boxes and doggone it, people like him!

-8 points
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NickPerry's picture

May 16, 2022 at 07:01 am

Really JB27... I mean the split second it took to get a foot away from his hands/body to where the ball is at the time of the photo, the ball looks about where it should be. He looks to be in stride (sort of) and you HAVE to love the blood dripping down his arm!

Lets just hope we see MANY of those while he's wearing the "G" on the side of his helmet. My guess is he catches a long one within the first 3 games. He does check the boxes friend!

8 points
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Johnblood27's picture

May 16, 2022 at 01:22 pm

Hey, I like Doubs, lets get that straight. I had him on the very short list of WR for the GBP before the draft. I actually claimed the title of Romeo Doubs fan club President.

so... Im just poking some fun at this ONE photo, not indicting the man himself.

I would like to see the ball being gripped in his huge hands, not rattling around between his forearms and his chest. Anyone that can't understand the difference must like dropped passes.

At the moment of the photo, his eyes could be anywhere. He is obviously still looking at the trajectory the ball was coming in at. That's fine... IF the ball is firmly grasped in his HANDS, but it is not as previously noted. Hey, he most probably made the catch and thats what really counts, but there is no defender in the photo. In the NFL there would most likely be a defender crashing across his arms causing an incompletion if the ball is not snugly grasped in his HANDS or very securely squeezed against his body by his arms, which it is NOT in this photo.

Enough of this exchange over one photo of a player I like a good deal and a couple of somewhat entertaining observations (for those with a sense of humor) and a light touch on the thumbs down votes. Have at it people, haters gonna hate.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 16, 2022 at 09:54 pm

"a couple of somewhat entertaining observations (for those with a sense of humor)......"

J-blood, it's not that your humor is bad, it just isn't as humorous or intellectually stimulating as my golden nuggets that the masses yearn for and come to expect.

I apologize for raising the bar SO high in regards to levity and quality of humor. :D

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 18, 2022 at 01:27 am

I don't know if Doubs is a hands catcher or not. That photo does not mesh with the message in the article. That's not how coaches draw it up. It probably is an aberration, but the juxtaposition is unfortunate.

Thumbs up, JB.

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GregC's picture

May 16, 2022 at 07:17 am

Is he supposed to be looking at his hands as he catches the ball? Does anybody do that? Is it possible for someone's eyes to shift quickly enough to track a ball all the way into one's hands in that situation? I'm not sure. But it seems like it would be weird if he was looking at his hands as the ball arrived. And it would be even weirder if he was looking at a defender, rather than looking toward the area where the ball was just a split second earlier, so he could judge its speed and trajectory.

3 points
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Johnblood27's picture

May 16, 2022 at 01:25 pm

Pete Rose looked the ball all the way into the catchers mitt. He was the most successful hitter in baseball history.

Ever hear of EYE-HAND coordination? Using them both is the key to coordination.

Enough already!

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:25 am

One of the knocks on him that I read from a scouting report a while back was that he has a poor feel for catching the ball. Receivers often find themselves having to catch the ball in akward positions and he has struggled with properly adjusting his hands to different catch angles. His catching technique isnt there yet but thats usually an easy fix.

-1 points
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dobber's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:44 am

Certainly scouts comment on there being some concentration drops--many of those are a result of trying to run before you catch the ball--and his not being great on contested catches early, but there's plenty of film out there of him using his hands well, too, though. I'm not terribly concerned with this and come back to the point (which you've stated, too) that no 4th round pick is likely to be a finished product, but he's a good get at a position that needed an influx of talent.

4 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

May 16, 2022 at 09:44 am

Fennell said he had minimal drops for the volume of targets he had. I wouldn't think Nevada would let him return punts if his hands were questionable. I hope he gets a shot at returning them this year, I'd take a 10 yard average all day long and he seems capable of it.

https://twitter.com/BenFennell_NFL/status/1520646263913414656?t=qePNXdSq...

1 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

May 16, 2022 at 09:47 am

BTW David Moore signed with the Bears. I kind of forgot about him. He had that 21 yards return and everybody thought "OMG, a real returner!"

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Johnblood27's picture

May 16, 2022 at 06:12 am

BTW, the GBP must lead the league in Snoop League players now that we have TWO of them in Romeo Doubs and Kieshaun Nixon.

Ballin out Cuz...

3 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 16, 2022 at 09:12 am

That lil tidbit about Snoop Dog, J-blood has B-dog howling at the moon.. M-O-O-N

Go, go, gooo

1 points
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Johnblood27's picture

May 16, 2022 at 01:13 pm

nice STAND reference, I'm feelin ya

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NickPerry's picture

May 16, 2022 at 06:24 am

I started having a bit of a draft crush on this guy about 3 weeks before the draft. It seemed in just about every mock draft I did I could get this kid in the 4th round or later. I started doing my homework on the guy and thought he'd make a an excellent day 3 pick if they could get him. Obviously I was STOKED the Packers were able to get him. To get him AND Watson all while adding to the defense and 2 new STUDS for the O-Line was great work by Gute.

As far as who will be more productive in year one, I'd imagine that's up to Rodgers and the trust he develops with either of both. Drop one ball or don't stretch out far enough on another and you may not see the ball again for a few weeks. I think both will catch 40 to 50 balls for 500 to 700 yards and 5 to 9 TD's.

It's been mentioned Rodgers will now attend OTA's which aren't mandatory. Personally I don't give a damn whether or not Rodgers feels he can get very familiar with his new guys during those sessions. I believe he should attend them as a leader of this football team, and WANT to get as much time as possible with ALL his new teammates.

14 points
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dobber's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:17 am

"As far as who will be more productive in year one, I'd imagine that's up to Rodgers and the trust he develops with either of both."

The scouting reports on both Watson and Doubs point to their character, leadership, competitiveness, and 'alpha' demeanor. Sounds like a great opportunity to build in two guys who will work for it and make the WR room better.

6 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:32 am

Same here NP. Many of the mocks I did had him going in the 3rd round so I was happy anytime I could grab in the 4th. Needless to say, I was very happy when the Packers selected him. He's got some things to work on, but I think he's a future starter. Reminds me a lot of James Jones.

1 points
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HawkPacker's picture

May 16, 2022 at 10:00 pm

Nick, I like your last paragraph and totally agree with you. We need Rodgers to lead!!!

0 points
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PatrickGB's picture

May 16, 2022 at 07:12 am

With good coaching and an excellent QB, even lesser quality WR’s can excel. However, that usually happens after some time in the system. I see potential in our draft picks at WR yet I will be pleasantly surprised if it happens in their first year. I wish these guys the best yet will withhold any unreasonable expectations.

1 points
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stockholder's picture

May 16, 2022 at 07:17 am

When I watched the tape of Carson Strong. Doubs stood out. I believe everything you wrote. Doubs was a great pick. Hopefully he won't get forgotten.

6 points
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Handsback's picture

May 16, 2022 at 07:18 am

I assume (always wrong to do that) that his coach Mumme follows his dad's run-and-shoot offense. Usually the receivers from those offenses aren't known for their rout running skills. Which are the primary reason that keeps rookie receivers on the bench. Tracking the ball is great, being proficient at running routes is better.
He may well be a polished receiver and make an impact on the Packers his rookie year....would love it. It's just very hard to do coming from a pro style offense verses a quick passing offense.
I also could be wrong about his college's offense. Hope so, since it would bring great joy to see a lower round receiver make a splash in their first year.

1 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:30 am

Check out some of his game film He's actually a really good route runner who can cut on a dime. His main issue is catching the ball. Not saying he has bad hands, but his technique is just akward at times. He struggles adjusting his hands to the different catch angles he faces. Should be able to get that worked out tho.

2 points
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dobber's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:32 am

It's all about usage. The Packers need to use these guys--Watson, Doubs, and Toure (if he makes the 53)--in ways that they're best able to fit right off the bat. Hopefully LaF and Stenavich will make that adjustment.

All told, you have to wonder how many WR snaps there will be this year and how they'll be distributed. The Packers usage of 11 personnel (the most common grouping) in 2021 was 21st in the league (still 61% of plays). Their second most abundant set was 12 personnel (29%, 2 TE, 2 WR). That's 90% of snaps, right there. If we figure that Lazard and Watkins will play a lot on early downs due to their run-blocking prowess, there's not a huge number of snaps to divide between Watson, Doubs, Cobb, and AmRod.

https://www.sharpfootballstats.com/personnel-grouping-frequency.html

4 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

May 16, 2022 at 09:06 am

Totally agree on finding ways to use them rather than the MM way of making them learn every route from every WR spot before they see the field. I'd even go so far as to say I hope they ask them what their favorite routes are and try to incorporate that into their usage.

2 points
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dobber's picture

May 16, 2022 at 07:54 am

It's hard to look at a guy in the 4th round with NFL size/speed who never caught fewer than 43 passes in each of his four years (including a Covid-shortened 2020) and not think he could contribute early. Two 1000-yard seasons in there (138 catches, 2100 yards, 20 TD in his last 20 games), high volume player in a wide-open offense playing with a really good college QB. The MWC might not be the SEC, but there's plenty of NFL players in that conference. I absolutely think he's ahead of Watson on the learning curve at this point just based on level of play and experience. There's nothing wrong with that.

10 points
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HarryHodag's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:07 am

We'll find out when the pads come on. Until then, flip a coin.

3 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:16 am

I think its a more complicated question than it appears. People often think in terms of #1, #2, #3, etc. But this offense is about roles for the receiver position. I have no doubt Watson can come in and be the clearout/deep threat guy that MVS was right away. But Doubs is the more polished and well rounded player atm and has a better chance of being a volume guy sooner imo.

5 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:50 am

Thanks Ken! As a fan, I am not worried who starts out in the shadow (+ & -'s) of another player. It's what they do with their opportunities that matter. Competition is healthy and that is my first thought...let's hope they push each other with their work ethic, talent and attitudes.

Now, I am going to que up on vinyl "Hair of the Dog" by Nazareth and dream of the DEFENSE baby!!!

2 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:54 am

"Now you're messing with a SOB..." Seems appropriate... : )

2 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 16, 2022 at 09:52 am

I would crank that before I stepped onto the field...all 5'9", 150lbs of pure BEAST! :D

We never had a winning record and without trying, I played a part in that. But, how glorious to crank that tune all the way right up until kickoff. I was a gunner and one time after I got back up, was hit so hard my thigh pads somehow were by my ankles! NOW, you're messin' with a ___ !

1 points
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Rarescope's picture

May 16, 2022 at 05:53 pm

150? Hate to break it to you burpie buddy but you ain’t been that thin since before college :D

1 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 16, 2022 at 09:24 pm

You son of a _____ ! Rare, I did add to the freshman 15 by a "few" more pounds. It was due to stress, the college ladies would fight for my attention. :D

I was similar to a bowerbird with my moves.

0 points
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Rarescope's picture

May 17, 2022 at 07:29 am

Maybe more like a green-footed boobie… zing!

0 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 17, 2022 at 08:26 am

tufted titmouse

0 points
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mrtundra's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:44 am

Romeo Doubs will become our new MVS. He is fast and can go deep. Now, can he block? I think he can. He will also be used on STs in the return game. I look for Doubs to have better production, in year one, than Watson does. Don't get me wrong, Watson will be solid for us, but so will Doubs. We still have Sammy Watkins, Lazard, Cobb, Amari Rodgers and Toure looking for playing time, as well. It will be fun just watching our WR room compete for Aaron's attention.

3 points
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Duneslick's picture

May 16, 2022 at 12:23 pm

No Clocked in the 4.5 's

0 points
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Jaqu’eau's picture

May 16, 2022 at 09:01 am

Very much agree. If you watch his film, he runs solid routes at all levels, not just deep. He just gets open. His slant routes are underrated because he has deceptive suddenness and fluidity when changing directions, and he gets the angles right. He is not elite at this yet, but he does it well. This will be valuable in the red zone. He also seems to read the body movement of DBs well and adjust his route slightly to take advantage of angles. This is why, I believe, he plays faster than he his 40 time. I am not comparing him to Davante, but this is what Adams figured out, then mastered.

Likewise, he has shown the ability to catch in traffic, especially over the middle. Some of those throws from Strong, who can throw like Favre occasionally, were extremely difficult to catch with really small windows. He also goes to the ball, whether its coming back to help the qb or high pointing it. These are things Rodgers will appreciate. Because of his versatility and deep route ability, I think he has the potential to get 600-700 yards this year.

5 points
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baldski's picture

May 16, 2022 at 05:12 pm

As a Packer fan living in Reno, I have followed Romeo and Strong avidly also. Romeo is genuine and can do it.

1 points
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BAMABADGER's picture

May 16, 2022 at 09:22 am

On well thrown balls, he uses his hands to catch... does not use his body. Excellent in traffic over the middle. Enough speed to go deep but not a lot of wiggle. Doubs may turn out to be an excellent 4th round selection. Fingers crossed.

3 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

May 16, 2022 at 09:27 am

Doubs could easily end up being the more productive WR this year. I think it comes down to how many manufactured touches they scheme in for Watson. If he gets 3 or 4 quick hitters a game that will add up over the season.

2 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

May 16, 2022 at 01:18 pm

Doubs reminds me a lot of Jennings when he was drafted out of W. Michigan. Also competed against lesser competition, but still caught a ton of balls. He moved the chains with great route running he also displayed as a Packer rookie. Also a 4.5ish 40, but like Doubs, knows how to run the route tree to get open. Doubs may not be as polished as Greg was as a rookie, but he is close.

I was actually hoping Doubs would be high on Gutey's radar...even ahead of Pierce, who I view as more a prospect than Doubs.

2 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 17, 2022 at 10:02 am

Romeo "Edward Scissorhands" Doubs... don't run with scissors Romeo, you are already bleeding!

Just see #12 glaring at Romeo after a miscommunication route. They get in the huddle and #12, "Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?"

0 points
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Grandfathered's picture

May 17, 2022 at 10:07 pm

{His former offensive coordinator, Matt Mumme, is quoted as saying Doubs is “one of the best deep ball trackers I’ve ever seen.”}

We drafted Moore, MVS and ESB in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. Moore could track the ball, but couldn't catch it. MVS could catch, but couldn't track the ball. ESB was usually unavailable to track or catch. It would be great if they finally get it right and Romeo can track, catch and be available.

0 points
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