Kumerow leapfrogging the rest of the Packers' WR competition

-- The hype train rolls on.

Training camp darling and preseason standout Jake Kumerow is slowly but surely becoming a fixture in the Green Bay Packers' offense. He's gone well beyond the realm of simply stacking success -- instead, he's embodied the term itself.

"I just try to do my job when I'm out there," Kumerow said after the Packers' preseason loss to the Ravens in Baltimore Thursday night. "I try to just be efficient for the QB, not waste any time at the line and get running on my route."

It hasn't mattered who has been throwing to Kumerow. Whether it's Aaron Rodgers in practice, or DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle in an exhibition atmosphere, all he's done is capitalize on his opportunities.

That's why it wouldn't be a stretch to say he may very well be a lock for the team's final 53-man roster, which will be finalized during the last week of August.

But whether or not he's in the Packers' long-term plans isn't something that fazes Kumerow -- nor should it be. He's made it a point to tune out any of the outside commotions he comes across, i.e., any skeptics dismissing his role on the roster.

"I just don't hear it so I don't have to black it out, I guess," Kumerow said. "I try not to read up on much and try no tot hear a lot of the outside noise. I just try to keep my head down and keep driving that train straight and make plays each and every day."

The Packers first brought Kumerow aboard their practice squad in December 2017, inking him to a reserve/future contract a week later. He stuck around for the 2018 campaign, but after a promising preseason, opened the year on injured reserve. He didn't see the field until nearly a year after initially being signed to the team's practice squad.

He scored his first career touchdown three weeks later against the New York Jets. There were limited regular-season reps that the Packers had to base their evaluations off of, but his flashes of reliability further incentivized the decision to re-sign him in March.

Now, Kumerow is in the mix as one of Rodgers' favorite receiving targets. The 27-year-old journeyman has 79 yards on five catches under his belt through two preseason games -- including three catches for 52 yards against the Ravens Thursday night -- and continues to reel in the praise from his colleagues and head coach.

A secret weapon? Hardly. But in an offense featuring the masterful technician that is Davante Adams, the speedy downfield threat of Marquez Valdes-Scantling and the sure-handed Geronimo Allison, Kumerow has quite the supporting cast to gather intel from.

"Having a couple of years under my belt now, the experience of being out there, it definitely helps. We got a bunch of good guys on offense that play right beside me, so that helps having your buddies next to you that you can trust and count on."

A month ago, it seemed like Kumerow was battling for a spot at the bottom of the Packers' depth chart with either one of J'Mon Moore, Trevor Davis or whoever else you may prefer. While each receiver offers different assets both offensively and on special teams, Kumerow has certainly leapfrogged the bunch by now. 

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

4 points

Comments (20)

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

August 16, 2019 at 05:37 am

I freely admit to being critic in an English teacher way. But, Kumerow “may be a lock”? He is, or he isn’t.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
TheVOR's picture

August 16, 2019 at 09:03 am

I'm still unclear as to why people (media) think he's on the bubble. He might in fact be our #3. He saw a lot more balls than Allison, and knows how to get open. He's a real WR, a real FB player. He's a baller at this point!. He's shown up more than any of the WR's on the roster, period.

It's not really in doubt at this point, it's more like how do we get him on the field with the 1's, because his ability to play the game is no longer in doubt.

Finally, he's had Zero flaws until last night. He bricked a great ball on a crossing pattern and was wide open for what would have been another first down, and another 15 yards. He simply must hang onto the football, period! That said, it's the first real mistake we've seen in the games. He doesn't drop balls like say Moore does for instance. Moore has crappy hands, Kumerow catches almost anything thrown at him.

He's the real deal, he needs to be running with the 1's, period. Right now he's doing a pretty good Impression of our #3 WR, or certainly in the top 3 on the roster.

Also, was glad to see a harder look at Shepherd and Lizard (Lizado) last night. Moving the reps from the ball dropper Moore to genuine prospects.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
murf7777's picture

August 16, 2019 at 06:38 am

Lock’em in Danno! What can you say other then he gets open, evidently runs the right route, and catches the ball. Give me 6 of him.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

August 16, 2019 at 07:36 am

...and it's not with #12 at QB, either. He's rising above the others with lousy backup QBs, too.

A year ago, I saw him as a camp flash...he got hurt, disappeared until the end of season. Now, it's pretty clear that he can play.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Coldworld's picture

August 16, 2019 at 07:03 am

Kumerow proved he can get open against a good D. Shepherd keeps doing the same. Both make key plays. That’s enough for me.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 16, 2019 at 07:10 am

Kumerow just seams to be really consistent. If he's not on the 53 I will shocked. Right now looks like the number 4 reciever for sure and maybe even challenging MVS at number 3.

I'm impressed with Lazard and Darrius Shepherd too.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
nostradanus's picture

August 16, 2019 at 07:27 am

Kumerow, as smooth as a glass of Tennessee Whiskey

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
sbransbottom's picture

August 16, 2019 at 07:54 am

Not quite Kentucky Bourbon though lol

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 16, 2019 at 09:55 am

Tennessee Whiskey smooth?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
packer62's picture

August 16, 2019 at 03:03 pm

booze aside, the guy really IS smooth both catching and running after the catch. Glad he had a drop cuz now he'll snag everything close to him.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 16, 2019 at 03:48 pm

A conundrum!

Kumerow vs the other WR's are a conundrum. Is Kumerow a good player? Yes! Has he shown enough to make the team? Yes!

The WR situation is a great Packer conundrum and barring injuries and trades:

27 years old: Kumerow has had injury history
26 years old: Adam's
26 years old: Davis has had injury history and FA in 2020
25 years old: GMO somewhat injury history and FA in 2020
24 years old: MVS
24 years old: Moore
23 years old: Shepherd
23 years old: Lazard
22 years old: ESB

Without looking at current receptions and yards believe Lazard has to be very similar to Kumerow this year, but better ST play. GMO and Davis looking for 2nd contract after this year, which has significant impact on decision making.

While I recognize Kumerow is the blue collar fan favorite I'd try trading GMO to get something for him before losing him after this year. In my mind Kumerow 's fate rests on what the Packers do with GMO. If GMO stays Kumerow may not make it. If GMO is not on the team than Kumerow likely stays. Personally, I'd prefer the Pack trade GMO now, so Kumerow is on team for a few years vs GMO's one year (2019). I just dont see GMO adding more value in 2019 than Kumerow, and in 2020 more value than MVS, ESB, and Lazard. Moore hard to know what the future holds for him at the moment.

IMHO, there should be no reason GMO who will not be on the Packers other than 2019 makes the team at the expense of say ESB, MVS, or Lazard. Likewise, I say Shepherd over Davis because Shepherd will be on rookie contract for 3 or 4 more years vs Davis who will be seeking a 2nd contract. Shepherd also offers the Packers something no one else offers.

To summarize I am not entirely sure what Gute will do with Kumerow based on the above, but I do believe his fate is likely intertwined with GMO's. There has to be a balance between players for today and players for the future.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Old School's picture

August 16, 2019 at 10:58 am

We are blessed with a deep group of young WRs.

But.

If Rodgers isn't on the field, it doesn't matter much.

And.

We have a #1 WR. And a lot of 2/3 guys. IF we lose Adams, we're going to be in the same situation as 2015, when we lost Jordy. Adams wasn't ready to be a #1 then, and Cobb couldn't beat the double teams he got without Jordy on the field. We had a hard year on offense that year.

The LOGICAL move would be to make a trade, but the most tradeable of the bunch is MVS and I don't think there's much appetite for that. Nobody is going to give us squat for Kumerow or Lazard....they'll just wait until final cutdowns. But MVS might actually be worth a 4th rounder.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 16, 2019 at 12:36 pm

OS,
Yea, I would never give up on a 2nd year 24-year old 6'4" WR with 'huge hands' and runs a 4.36 forty for a 4th round pick. Way too much upside starting this year and for the next 7 or 8 years.

I just do not see how Gute can keep both GMO and Kumerow. Wouldn't make any sense. ESB and Lazard can already match GMO or Kumerow this year for production and are bigger and years younger.

I may not end up right but I stand by my statements it wouldn't make sense to keep both and let a talented bigger WR go, or get picked off the PS.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
ottscay's picture

August 16, 2019 at 02:07 pm

This is the issue I have with Kumerow too - he's basically GMO but older. He clearly runs routes well, and can be relied on to get open (and he's generally had good hands) but he's also almost certainly at his ceiling, and he doesn't seem to play special teams at all.

There's no way he makes the roster over someone like ESB, since ESB has shown up on special teams, is younger, and has a higher ceiling. Same with MVS. Even Moore makes it hard because he does play on ST, and his ceiling is higher (though I agree with the many commentators that have said his hands make it seem less likely that he will reach it).

Unless Gute/LaFleur/Rodgers put Kumerow ahead of GMO for the #3 slot/non-field-stretching receiver position ahead of GMO it really limits Kumerow's use - he's never going to be a #1 like Adams, and he's never going to be a field-stretching speed receiver like MVS. Once you are third or worse you really need to bring some additional value on special teams, or you need to have a higher ceiling that is worth developing. I sure love Kumerow's work ethic and he's easy to root for, but especially if we end up keeping only 5 receivers (so we can have more TEs and RBs) I certainly wouldn't say he's a lock yet.

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
flackcatcher's picture

August 16, 2019 at 05:09 pm

Pretty much were I am too with the WR. With the short camp, it is hard for us fans to judge what the Packers want at that position. And we don't don't know what value the Packers staff put on WR vs RB or TE in MLF system. Packers face the same situation at DB, but to a lesser degree. How many gets kept by Gute, and at what cost to the other positions in the offensive or defense.The NFL is now in the age of the hybrid/two position player. That it self is a major minus for a older player like Kumerow. We'll see.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

August 17, 2019 at 02:46 pm

Except they've been playing Kumerow on the outside and playing Allison in the slot. I don't think they see them as one or the other, bc they are filling out different roles in the offense.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
packer62's picture

August 16, 2019 at 03:21 pm

I think we're in better shape this year if Adam's goes down than we were in 2015. We are MUCH faster IMO

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
Tedlyflyfisher's picture

August 16, 2019 at 11:59 am

I see a lineup of Adams, Geronimo, MVS, Kumerow, Shepherd and Lazard. ESB to the practice squad. I’m done with J’Mon Moore. And I’ve never been impressed by Trevor Davis, but was giving him the benefit of the doubt based on all the training camp reports. But unless he can rally and show something in the next few weeks, I’d say it’s time to move on.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
GatorJason's picture

August 16, 2019 at 06:51 pm

Ted. Wow. You are choosing productivity over proverbial "high ceilings"? I like the way you think but kicking two of the three 2018 WR draft picks off the 53 may earn you some heavy flack on this board. For now, you can count me in your corner. Next week after game three I'll try to give a rational, logical analytical basis to why your proposed top 6+1 makes sense. I haven't given up on Trevor Davis quite yet because he is a keeper "if healthy" but may be too fragile for this violent sport. I'm also giving the 2018 big three WRs another chance to represent before making a final assessment.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

August 17, 2019 at 02:51 pm

They liked EQ enough to have him start 7 games last year. I don't think they dump him to the PS. One or the other of Lazard and Shepherd will make the 53, but not both. They gotta grow the rookies from last year into starters, not replace them after one year with UDFAs. Maybe Moore to the PS, but not EQ. Some of his pre draft profiles indicated he could have been a first rounder after his 2017 season at ND but the poor QB play they had his senior year dropped him way down in the draft. He's 6'5" tall with speed and decent hands. He and Rodgers connected on some great plays last year.

+ 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.