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Film Review: Jake Kumerow

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Film Review: Jake Kumerow

It seems like just about every season Green Bay has a training camp darling wide receiver that’s supposed to be the next great hidden gem that the Packers’ scouting staff has unearthed. Names that come to mind include Diondre Borel, Tori Gurley, Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis, Geronimo Allison, Jarrett Boykin, Myles White, Brett Swain, Chastin West, Ruvell Martin, Charles Lee, and the list goes on and on.

I actually remember one of my first training camp experiences as a fan was cheering on a 6’3” 200 pound wide receiver from Ohio State named Allen DeGraffenreid. DeGraffenreid was in camp in 1996 and trying to make a receiving corps that included Antonio Freeman, Don Beebe, Robert Brooks, Terry Mickens, Desmond Howard, Rob Carpenter and Derrick Mayes. DeGraffenreid had a huge camp; catching everything that was thrown his way. At the end of camp DeGraffenreid, despite a monster camp, was cut and was never heard from again in the NFL.

Such is the life of a bottom of the roster training camp standout receiver. Below you can get a better idea of what these training camp standouts ended up actually producing throughout their careers in the regular season:

Ruvell Martin – 76 catches – 1129 yards – 7 touchdowns
Charles Lee – 72 catches – 957 yards – 3 touchdowns
Jarrett Boykin – 57 catches – 731 yards – 3 touchdowns
Geronimo Allison – 35 catches – 455 yards – 2 touchdowns
Jeff Janis – 17 catches – 200 yards – 1 touchdown
Myles White – 16 catches – 154 yards – 1 touchdown
Chastin West – 13 catches – 163 yards – 2 touchdowns
Jared Abbrederis – 13 catches – 163 yards
Brett Swain – 8 catches – 87 yards
Tori Gurley – 1 catch – 15 yards
Diondre Borel – 0 catches
Allen DeGraffenreid – 0 catches

Ruvell Martin, Charles Lee, and Jarrett Boykin went on to have fairly solid careers in the NFL and Geronimo Allison is on his way as well, but none of these players were ever a true above average starting caliber player. The best single season that any of these players had was Jarrett Boykin in 2013 with Green Bay when he caught 49 passes for 681 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was out of the league two seasons later.

Now here we are in 2018 and a new crop of training camp receivers has come along to battle things out for the 53 man roster. The aforementioned Geronimo Allison is back to compete with the likes of rookies J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Equanimeous St. Brown; and non-rookies Trevor Davis, Jake Kumerow, and DeAngelo Yancey.

The logical thinking says that, barring injury, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, and J’Mon Moore will make the roster. Green Bay, and most NFL teams, keep six receivers, which would mean that the final two spots would go between Kumerow, MVS, St. Brown, Davis, and Yancey.

There’s a lot that goes into this decision, but one receiver has seemed to stand out above the rest during training camp, and that’s none other than Jake Kumerow.

Kumerow started his college career at the University of Illinois where he was coached by current Packers’ special teams coach Ron Zook. He eventually transferred to UW-Whitewater and was signed as an undrafted free agent by Cincinnati in 2015. He was released during final cut downs and immediately signed to their practice squad.

After spending his entire rookie campaign on the practice squad he signed a futures deal and stayed on the roster in 2016 until he was once again released during final cut downs. Again he was immediately re-signed to their practice squad and finally received his promotion to the active roster in December of 2016. While he did make the active roster; he never appeared in any games and obviously did not record any receptions.

He was injured in camp in 2017 and was placed on injured reserve before reaching an injury settlement in September. In October he was picked up and added to the Patriots practice squad only to be released again in October. Finally, Green Bay added Kumerow to their practice squad on December 26th and was signed to a futures deal after the season.

The 6’4” – 210 pound wide receiver displays a very large catching radius and some agile route running for a player of his size. From an athletic standpoint, Jake Kumerow actually compares rather well to Jordy Nelson:

40 yard dash – 4.51 (Nelson) | 4.52 (Kumerow)
Vertical Jump – 31 inches (Nelson) | 31 inches (Kumerow)
Short Shuttle – 4.35 seconds (Nelson) | 4.26 seconds (Kumerow)
3-cone – 7.03 seconds (Nelson) | 6.90 seconds (Kumerow)
Height – 6’3” (Nelson) | 6’4” (Kumerow)
Weight – 217 (Nelson) | 200 (Kumerow)

Earlier in the offseason I did a bit of a film review on Kumerow. There isn’t a ton of film out there but what I found was a player that ran crisp routes, was able to get to his spots on the field, had a large catch radius, and had some toughness over the middle. He’s not going to wow anyone with his athleticism or run after the catch, but he’s a unique player who certainly looks the part of NFL wide receiver.

Both in Cincinnati and in Green Bay thus far I’d grade him as a plus route runner with a little unexpected juice after the catch. His curl and slant routes are very strong and it’s easy to see why Aaron Rodgers has developed a chemistry with him. Rodgers’ is all about timing and trust. He wants to be able to know when he lets the ball go early that the player is going to end up exactly where he is expecting him to be; so far Kumerow has been near flawless in this regards.

So what’s holding Kumerow back? Age is one. He’s now 26 years old and it’s probably now or never for him to make an NFL roster. Compare that to the youth of Equaniemous St. Brown (age 22) and you can see why Green Bay would maybe want to hold on to a younger player with higher upside.

Kumerow also has only one year left on his contract. Yes he would be an exclusive rights free agent next year keeping his cap number low; but the rookies are locked into four year, cheap, controllable deals; that also gives the rookies an edge. Furthermore, Green Bay actually spent draft capital on all the receivers he’s competing with except for Geronimo Allison. All of these things play a part in the final roster decision.

On Thursday night, Kumerow continued his hot start to the season by catching 3 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown; including a 52 yard touchdown catch from rookie quarterback Tim Boyle. What I was hoping to see from Kumerow was not just a steady balance of slants and hitches, but the ability to threaten deep and make big plays. Not only did Kumerow hit on the 52 yard touchdown reception, he also drew a penalty on a well-executed sluggo which could have went for big yardage had the cornerback not grabbed him to prevent a bigger play.

There’s a lot to like about Kumerow and what he’s put on tape both as a Bengal, and as a Packer so far. If Green Bay were playing a playoff game today I’m not so certain that he wouldn’t be the number four receiver. That said, Green Bay will have to weigh the youth and upside of their younger rookie receivers and decide if Kumerow’s talent is worth hanging onto, or if he becomes another Allen DeGraffenreid.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (73) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Coldworld's picture

For me Kumerow should be matched against Geronimo. Both are not stupendous NFL athletes, both show good route skills and QB trust. This type has real value but we really only need one and the key is consistency and trust in that role. Absent injuries, can Kumerow convince the team that he has more upside than Geronimo? I think he might have it, but can he get there soon enough?

dobber's picture

I think this is a pretty good assessment. Allison and Kumerow might be redundant pieces in many regards...but have you seen Allison get open behind a defense?

The TKstinator's picture

“Aforementioned”!!

dobber's picture

OK...have you seen the aforementioned Geronimo Allison get behind a defense?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Wrote the same thing on APC yesterday. Allison is also a UDFA. Allison will be an RFA in 2019, whereas Kumerow would still be an ERFA. While the rookies were all up and down, they also all showed considerable upside to go with youth and long-term control. I am not anxious to expose any of the rookies to waivers in hopes of sneaking them onto the PS. I even went so far as to check to see if Allison is eligible for the PS: he is, under the veteran exemption. Early days yet.

dobber's picture

Davis? Allison? Better bring it every practice rep and every game snap from here on.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Dobber,

Kumerow had that big 52 yard td play but I liked the way Allison was catching the ball by plucking it out of the air. What Allison does well is finding the open spot in zone coverage. Usually when he's wide open deep it's been exploiting blown coverage. I'd throw Yancey in with these 2 even though he was a 5th round pick last year. He made some good plays and mistakes as well. Man it was fun to watch the 3 QBs and all of the WRs last night.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Allison is solid, but I don't like having a slow receiver opposite Davante Adams--who's going to back off the defense? How crowded do we want our running game?

Cobb works the underneath zones, as does Adams. But Kumerow is substantially faster than Allison, with all the same skills--and MVS just flat-out changes his side of the field.

If Adams and Cobb were deep threats, I'd feel differently about Allison's fit on this team. He's not a bad player. But his technical savvy just isn't enough opposite those guys.

Koosh's picture

Even with his year of experience, Allison should be considered a #4. Deff not a #3, certainly not a #1. He's a backup #2. Kinda feel the same with Kumerow.

fthisJack's picture

GMo made a great catch of a low pass near the sidelines. he's a great third down receiver. he catches everything....don't cut him. keep 7 WR. cut Davis and sneak Yancey onto the PS.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Great? Uh...okay.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Both are not stupendous NFL athletes"

Kumerows numbers are almost identical to Nelsons. Kumerow is clearly a superior athlete to Allison. Hopefully he is a better WR too.

Koosh's picture

100% agree. Thinking Davis vs Yancey also. With a side of MVS taking his return duties.

Hematite's picture

I'd take Kumerow as the #4 right now.
I can imagine how good he could be with Rodgers throwing him the ball.
St. Brown and Scantling would be my 5 and 6.
Might they keep 7?

dobber's picture

The interesting thing was that prior to camp there was talk in these parts of moving #88 back to WR to shore up depth. I'm thinking that won't be necessary. In fact, my guess is that they might go light at RB to make room for an extra WR. I honestly don't expect all of these guys to make it out of preseason healthy which will ease the roster burden. Someone's going to get dinged and end up on IR.

RobinsonDavis's picture

I have been wondering the same, dobber, but the Packers kept 5 RBs on the active roster last year in a similar situation, which helped to navigate the attrition at that position. Although, I am much more intrigued with this group of WRs, my guess is that they stick with 6 WRs and 5 RBs, which they essentially did last year with GMO suspended for the first game. Those 5 backs were 4 tailbacks and one fullback, where Mays hardly played.

A lot may depend on Special Teams and who demonstrates they can contribute. For instance, if Montgomery becomes a returner, would you go with only 4 backs? The tie-breaker for the new WRs may be their moxie on special teams, and who has chemistry with Rodgers in limited opportunities.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It's going to be interesting to watch this Wr battlw play out over the next 3 games.

stockholder's picture

Logical Thinking? Thats whats been wrong the last few years. Give me the burners. The list of the past//// Says everything. The slowing down of Nelson and James Jones. We need to think beyond flash in the pans. It's the burners that win and develop. The I had a great camp is not logical. The packers need to review what they need for the future. Who has that chance to be that star in the NFL. The WRs are your THREATS. Save the I had a great camp for the TEs.

Koosh's picture

Put Adams in position to be the top-3 #2 that he is, with even a lesser #1 taking the fastest CB, and no one will stop us...

4thand1's picture

AR is a big fan of Kumerow, did you see how pumped he was after the long TD? He gets off of the line really nice. You don"t have to have blazing speed to get open, and he seemed to get open a lot.

croatpackfan's picture

Unfortunately that happened against lowest competition on the field - 4 row of Titans players... I would like if he did that against Titan 2nd team, not 4th...

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Croat, there was a tweet by one of the sports writers saying exactly what you're saying. The clip above where Kumerow sold the outside release and then slanted inside was earlier in the game, possibly against a good DB, but Kumerow indeed did most of his against 3rd stringers.

I still liked what I saw, but your point should be pondered.

dobber's picture

YES! If Kumerow really is any good, he SHOULD be standing out against the bottom quarter of any other team's roster.

I still have a hard time faulting a guy for making a play.

croatpackfan's picture

dobber, I'm not faulting a guy. He was good. But he was not excellent. That was my point!

I would love to see him doing the same against top competition.

Community Guy's picture

what a battle for WR!! it is exciting to see so many size/speed guys vying for jobs. i couldn't help but notice the camera shot of Trevor Davis after the Kumerow TD.. it was a jubilant Packer sideline and Davis, understandably, looked just a little strained in his jubilation.

The TKstinator's picture

I think I’m going to name my fantasy team this season “Strained Jubilation”.

dobber's picture

I might go with "Exxon Valdes-Scantling"

Jonathan Spader's picture

Dobber A little too close to home for me. I graduated from HS in Valdez Alaska. My favorite team name was a few years ago when I named my team Adrian BeatHisSon.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I've got Kumerow as my #3 receiver. He's bigger, faster, and runs routes and catches just as well as Allison.

But as raw as MVS is, if he puts on another show like this one, it will be time to consider giving him earlier reps. MVS is a man among boys when playing the backups--simply a superior athlete. I'm anxious to see if he can back up this performance with another.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

This too has been in the tweets from TC. Man, MVS can get open. He runs much better routes than expected. He just doesn't always catch the pass.

dobber's picture

Ted Ginn, Jr., 2.0?

He could always run, but it's only the last couple years that he's learned how to catch the ball consistently.

CJ Bauckham's picture

I too, see Ted Ginn 2.0

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I won't put MVS in that category too quickly. He's thinking a lot out there, so some drops are inevitable--Davante Adams was a drop machine early on.

MVS seems to have good, natural hands--unlike Ginn. It's just a matter of learning his route tree and his QB's reads. The more he learns, the more the game will slow down and his hands will improve.

But most importantly, this kid is the scariest athlete we've seen at WR in Green Bay since Lofton. His very presence on the field backs off the defense, and sends a scare into DB's. We've really needed this.

CJ Bauckham's picture

Ginn turned into a pretty good role player; I didn't intend it as a knock. MVS could certainly exceed that label, and quickly. He played great last night and you're right; he looked natural catching the ball. Having not seen him in person before last night, it was hard not to draw the Ginn comparison when all I'd heard is that he's burning everyone on the field but dropping some easy balls

Koosh's picture

Like Adams said he plays like he's shot out of a cannon every play!

Announcers mentioned he asked for the whole offensive playbook too, olinemen...TEs...RBs! Wants to know everything! How can you not love that!

cpitt's picture

Davante, Cobb, Allison, Kumerow, Moore, MVS, ESB will be the final 7. Kinda sucks for Yancey, I think he has some potential. You never know if one will get injured though. You won't be able to expose any of these rookies to waivers. Super early but it seems like a great draft for Gute.

dobber's picture

Yancey still has PS eligibility, if he wants to stick around. Thing is, the writing might be on the wall in GB that there's a lot of young depth and he might be better off plying his trade somewhere else.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Right now I expect Yancey in the first round of cuts. He can't catch, never really could TBH.

stockholder's picture

TBH they can't get hurt. Not one of them! The door is still open for Davis as a Punt Returner.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I guess the Yancey Family showed up :D

EdsLaces's picture

Man ....Moore is gonna end up on the outside looking in .

fthisJack's picture

they won't cut him....5th rounder with great potential!

Colin_C's picture

*4th

LayingTheLawe's picture

Kumerow has something other receiver hopefuls in Green Bay (ahem ...Janis,... excuse me I coughed) never had and that's having Rodgers talk about his good practice energy and attention to detail.

Having Rodgers say you practice like a pro, and then catching a big TD in a preseason game. Kumerow may force some decisions on the other rookie receivers people didn't expect.

4thand10's picture

That’s exactly the type of competition I wanted to see this year. No matter where your drafted...who plays stays. Kinda like 21st and Prime....you get the ball, you get the call:-).

JohnnyLogan's picture

When all the preseason hype is over J'mon Moore will be the #3 receiver.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

You know, I don't think so. I like Moore, but Kumerow is much better right now.

Also, it's shocking that MVS is outplaying Moore already. MVS was supposed to be the athletic project, while Moore was more NFL-ready. But that hasn't happened. Right now, MVS is simply the better player, and his vastly superior athleticism seems to indicate he will continue being better.

MVS was a ridiculous steal, plain and simple.

LambeauPlain's picture

Moore's arrow is pointing down after last night. MVS got open with his explosive speed...Kumerow got open with his crisp routes, St. Brown got open with his smooth never stop speed. Then they all caught the ball.

Moore was rarely open and dropped balls placed in his mitts.

This is a most interesting battle. Kumerow and MVS are stepping up. St. Brown is beginning to. Moore, Davis and Yancey are fading.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

All absolutely true, but it's one game. Let's see what Moore does in Week 2.

But will he ever catch MVS? Doubtful. Only St. Brown has that kind of potential, and even he doesn't seem quite as explosive.

Even at this early stage, it's hard not to think MVS was a massive, massive steal. I mean, the dude looks like a 1st rounder dominating 6th rounders out there.

stockholder's picture

I like all 3. 1. Moore - How much did his speed play into being drafted that high. They knew he dropped balls. St. Brown said he won't play special Teams. Came out early. But he can play right or left. Was rated higher than the others on several draft sites. MVS, Small schools take time. All three can run. If were having these discussions now. Keep all 3!

Koosh's picture

He or MVS...

I bleed green more's picture

What a problem to have they may have to cut many to keep the receivers who knows even a tight end may go.

4thand10's picture

I wasn’t really on the St Brown train, I think Kumerow has a shot. But watching St Brown catching away from his body while still in motion was impressive. I will be sold on MVS when I see catches away from his body cause that dude has serious speed. If he can ring in more catches this preseason ...man, potentially, he could take the top off the defense which is what we need . But if Kumero keeps playing the way he is... I think he’d be on the roster . These are good problems to have.

OldTimer's picture

I think they only keep seven if someone turns into a special teams ace. I thought MVS secured the ball well, which is the most important thing he did better than Davis. He showed good speed, but he did not find the soft spots in the coverage. He also brought one out that he shouldn't have. I was hoping he would be special, which would actually help Kumerow stick around, as Davis would become more expendable. I think it is currently looking like six, and all three rookies need to be on the 53. I Agee that Kumerow needs to beat out Allison to stick around. Davis could still be shown the door if a defensive back or running back could take over. We still have depth issues on the offensive line, defensive backfield and the linebacker group. Davis is fighting an uphill battle, and I think he is gone.I hope Yancy stays on as a PS player, but I think he might be better off taking another offer elsewhere.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I think we keep 7, at least for the first 2 weeks while Jones is suspended.

I'd go Adams, Cobb, Kumero, the 3 rookies, and Davis for returns.

fthisJack's picture

i also see 7. but i would keep GMo before Davis.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

What's GMo's role with Adams, Kumero, Cobb, and the rookies? Davis was one of the NFL's most explosive returners last season.

Don't get me wrong, GMo is the better receiver--but we're neck-deep in good receivers now. Let's face it. Gute dominated this draft--steal after steal.

We need one explosive punt returner, so we don't make the insane mistake of risking Alexander in that role.

Jonathan Spader's picture

How do you think the rule changes on returns effects a returner's job security? MVS looked pretty good as a returner. Hope to see Davis as a WR in preseason to see of he's improved at all in that role.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Tough to say. MVS is fine on kickoffs, though not great--but my larger concern is punts.

I think we'll still want a return guy.

LambeauPlain's picture

This year MM will have more input to personnel decisions as a member of Murphy's triumvirate...even as Gute has the final call.

TT never had to justify his personnel decisions to Murphy in the presence of the Head Coach and the Dir. of Football Ops.

And if #12 likes a player...MM will too...and so will Gute.

If Kumerow continues his hot start, he's on the 53 and could even see time as the #3 or #4 WR.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Yeah, I could never resolve TT's statements of "Good Football Players" with him keeping around mistakes like Justin Harrell, Carl Bradford, et al and cutting guys who preformed in camp/preseason to do it.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

You know, we're all talking about 2018, but just imagine 2019 for a moment:

We'll have MVS and EQ St. Brown starting outside, with Adams dominating the slot.

OH...DEAR...LORD...

Jonathan Spader's picture

I see MVS and Adam's outside and EQS dominating the slot based off of last night's showing. Along with Graham and Lewis.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Oh, I think their roles will vary. But Adams would be scary in the slot.

56 Packfan's picture

No Packer TV here in the Golden State. But the Moore college highlights I have seen suggests that he runs routes much like Adams with a lot of "suddeness." If his hands improve, we could be really good.

dobber's picture

He's the guy who I think projects into the slot sooner rather than later. He reminds me a lot of Jordan Matthews.

PatrickGB's picture

Great routes and speed is fine. How about a WR who can actually CATCH the ball and haul it in?
Jake can do that, the others...not so much.

LayingTheLawe's picture

Great start on this article. Every season there is that camp receiver some people are sure is destined for Canton.

People on this site were ready to storm Lambeau and demand Charles Johnson be kept on the team and we know what a star he turned out to be.

croatpackfan's picture

I wish I can give you 100 upvotes for this post....

Nononsense's picture

Take this for what it's worth but AJ Green of the Bengals loved Kumerow when he was there, he was shocked when he got cut.

I'm gonna call it right now, Kumerow supplants Allison as the 3rd WR and the Packers keep 7, all 3 rooks and Davis as the PR. Alison does not make the 53.

LambeauPlain's picture

I agree with you. Kumerow actually has one more year in the NFL than Allison so he has been around the NFL block.

Jake is faster (4.54 vs 4.67).

Jake runs better routes.

Jake catches more targeted passes albeit only in practice and last night...GMo has one of the worst Packer QB ratings when targeted...below 50. Adams by example is like 120 in his QBs ratings.

Jake has better quickness off the snap and runs more crisp routes, getting open as he runs the route tree. GMo is a big target and his long arms offset his inability to separate. But Jake gets open with great routes.

Jake is actually taller than GMo.

I am not saying GMo isn't on the 53...but I do think Jake is making a strong push to be the #3.

PAPackerbacker's picture

If the trend continues at this level for the #3 receiver I could see Kumerow or Allison getting the spot. But definitely see Kumerow at no worse than #4. MVS has blazing speed and had a great game too. Watching the competition at WR is exciting. And ESB sure has the talent to make the team as well. With so many weapons to choose from it will be a difficult decision to make when the roster has to be down to 53. Kumerow has great discipline on his route running skills and this should easily make him a candidate to make the team. I also think his speed is underestimated. Once he caught the long pass from Boyle he outran the defender to the end zone easily. At any rate it was entertaining to see the competition at WR and QB. So refreshing to see so much talent and a shame we can't keep them all. A great effort by everyone involved. Looking forward to next weeks competition.

dpwiener's picture

The likelihood is that one or more receivers will be injured during the preseason and put on IR, which will simplify the problem. At the moment I'd go with wide receivers Adams, Cobb, Allison, Kumerow, MVS, St. Brown, and Davis. I hate to have to include Davis, but until we see evidence of someone else being a breakout returner we have to keep him. I don't want to risk any of our starters on returns, even though guys like Cobb and Montgomery are capable.

The real test will be whether Gutekunst is willing to keep the best players regardless of their draft status or lack thereof. TT was never willing to do that. If Kumerow outplays Moore, they should give the job to Kumerow. If Boyle outplays Kizer, they should give the job to Boyle. The high draft choice or the expensive player trade is a "sunk cost" which shouldn't control decisions going forward.

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