Packers Unlikely to Select Undersized Receiver at 29

Don't expect the Packers to select a wide receiver at 29. 

As much as a guy like Florida’s Kadarius Toney might help the Green Bay Packers' offense, don’t expect the Packers to select a wide receiver, particularly a small one, in the first round. Since 2002, Green Bay hasn’t selected a wide receiver in the first round. The Packers also have a specific height requirement they don’t usually stray away from. So, if you’re hoping they use the 29th overall pick on a smaller, shifty wide receiver, be prepared to have your dreams crushed.

This basically takes guys like Rondale Moore, Elijah Moore, and Toney out of the equation at 29. Despite obvious athleticism and playmaking ability, all three are below 6-feet.

The last time Green Bay took a receiver that didn’t fit their typical size thresholds, it worked out pretty well. Randall Cobb measured at 5’11” at the 2011 NFL Combine, however, he was also a second-round pick. The Packers used the 62nd pick to take Cobb, who went on to have a successful career in Green Bay. 

Ted Thompson made a rare exception when he selected Cobb. Brian Gutekunst may color outside the lines on occasion when it comes to size thresholds, but he is very similar to Thompson in the parameters he uses when drafting players.

In Gutekunst’s first year as general manager, he selected three wide receivers, and all three were at least 6’2”. Gutekunst took a small leap of faith when he selected Jaire Alexander, who is shorter than what the Packers typically look for in their corners. That decision also worked out for Green Bay, but it’s unknown if the same philosophy applies to wide receivers.

The two Moore’s and Toney are borderline first-rounders as it is, and the Packers are basically selecting in the second round with the 29th pick. Green Bay also has more glaring needs. It would be hard to argue against Gutekunst drafting an offensive tackle, corner, or defensive linemen with the team’s first pick.

It’s way more likely the Packers draft a wide receiver in the second. However, the chances of either Moore or Toney still being on the board at 64 decreases significantly. Of course, they could trade back from 29 and select a wide receiver in the late 30s or early 40s, but the likelihood of it being a small receiver remains doubtful. It would probably be a prospect such as Michigan’s Nico Collins, who is tall (6’4”) and has a wide catch radius.

If you want Green Bay to use a pick on a shifty slot receiver, you’re probably better off keeping an eye on rounds two and three or even day three of the draft. Prospects like Amari Rodgers, Dwayne Eskridge, or Chatarius Atwell fall below the Packers’ current height requirements but are explosive playmakers expected to come off the board on day two. Maybe Green Bay snatches one of the guys up to give Matt LaFleur a different yet dynamic threat to work into his scheme, or maybe they stick to the status quo and select another tall, lengthy wideout.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what the Packers do at wide receiver in this year's draft, knowing they need to start preparing for turnover at the position.

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

3 points

Comments (39)

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

April 14, 2021 at 12:11 pm

I agree.

1 points
2
1
stockholder's picture

April 14, 2021 at 12:39 pm

Dwayne Eskridge also played CB. So anybody want to experiment with Bronco again? . I'll take Dazz New-some. He's just got the field speed like Cobb.

1 points
1
0
nostradanus's picture

April 14, 2021 at 12:44 pm

Demetric Felton - RB/WR/KR mid rounds

Ihmir Marsette - WR/KR mid rounds

They had had virtual interviews with both

2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

April 14, 2021 at 05:25 pm

Felton may be no round after his pro day. Small, slow, oh!

0 points
0
0
splitpea1's picture

April 14, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Whatever they do, no need to stick to the status quo, as we have plenty of tall WRs. A shifty speedster would really add an exciting element to this offense, but it should probably wait until at least the fourth round. Now what Gute may be thinking is an entirely different matter....

4 points
4
0
ImaPayne's picture

April 14, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Ya lets hope it aint another big name like St Brown. Cant understand how they could pick a guy who wasnt all that good at ND. I saw him pulled from games for dropping balls and running the wrong routes, yet we took the guy over so many other worthy receivers?
Does Gutt do any evaluation at all? St Borwn is what going into his three years and has done nothing. Rodgers wont throw to hm because he is too dam unrealiable.

-4 points
3
7
hobowilly's picture

April 14, 2021 at 06:13 pm

E, points i've been sharing too. WR's who want to earn playing with the great Mr. Rodgers definitely need to secure his respect. IMHO, AR does effect what WR's Gutey and his staff go after. Sorta surprised EQ is still there, but fans also have to remember Funchess could be a contributor, so don't count him out!

0 points
0
0
Bear's picture

April 14, 2021 at 07:07 pm

Ernesto, St. Brown was picked in the 6th round the number 207th pick in the 2018 draft. Sure weren’t any “worthy” receivers after him in the 7th round. What receiver would you have picked in the 6th or 7th round.

5 points
5
0
Swisch's picture

April 14, 2021 at 01:07 pm

Which means that the Packers will select a shifty and speedy and smallish wide receiver with their first pick.
I don't have a strong preference, but a lot depends on whether there is a future star at any other position when the team selects near the end of the first round.
If not, Gute may be ready to do something different to add a dynamic dimension to the offense.
As I've noted, picking a slot receiver right away only sets the search for all the other positions back by one round, and we have nine more picks left to go.
If the Packers think one of these guys is the next Tyreek Hill or even Cole Beasley, then why not go for it! Such a prospect would send a surge of excitement through the players and fans like a lightning bolt flashing across and up the field for a touchdown.
This would put a positive glow on the rest of the draft as we obtain players at more mundane but still extremely important positions. Psychology is an important factor in sports.
Getting a sweater for Christmas seems a lot better if you get to open a fun present beforehand like a new football to throw around in the backyard.

3 points
5
2
PF4L's picture

April 14, 2021 at 03:06 pm

Swisch makes a good point....if you can draft an impact player, you draft him. They don't grow on tree's.

I don't care if a guy is 5'7" or 6' 7" if he's a difference maker, a playmaker, you grab him.
If you limit yourself to certain players having to be X tall, or X fast, or X athletic. you are closing off your choices and putting walls up.

A playmaking football player trumps..........everything.

Substance over hype....i don't care if a guy runs a 4.3 or reaches a 38" vertical...a fast 3 cone and becomes the darling of the combine.

Edelman was a 7th round pick. Nobody at the combine knew his name, he wasn't invited.
Edelman ran a underwhelming 4.52 40 time at his Pro Day
They damn well know his name now.

Wes Welker...UDFA
Welker ran a 4.65 40
Nobody knew who he was.

5× Pro Bowl (2008–2012)
2× First-team All-Pro (2009, 2011)
2× Second-team All-Pro (2007, 2008)
3× NFL receptions leader (2007, 2009, 2011)

They know now.

Don't tell me they can't get good players because the Packers pick from the back of the draft.

Sometimes it takes some work, you have to go and scout them, and find them.

And we get....Funchess?

========8

5 points
7
2
Coldworld's picture

April 14, 2021 at 05:42 pm

Wes Welker is hardly a 5’10” ish, 180 pounder. If you want an example of a great athlete of that sort who people thought would make a difference, we had one last year.

Small, slight RBs and small speedy receivers have a terrible record, not just in terms of translation of skills, but durability. If we buck that overwhelming record, Gute should expect to have real questions to answer when the experiment ends up the same way.

Edelman was a 7th round who reminds me of Driver in that he did virtually nothing for 4 seasons but the team stuck with him and he blossomed. Perhaps Malik Taylor is the nearest (massive odds that he’s not), but, unless you are looking for a receiver in 2025 or later, I find him a curious exemplar heading into this draft. Much as I liked Welker, I’d say Driver over them all. Funchess will almost certainly be more use to us this year.

1 points
3
2
dobber's picture

April 14, 2021 at 06:35 pm

Remember Edelman came out of college as a running QB, not as a WR.

2 points
2
0
Swisch's picture

April 14, 2021 at 06:48 pm

I think Wes Welker is 5'9".
Other shorter players who have stood tall: Barry Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren Sproles, and Eric Metcalf -- plus Randall Cobb and Aaron Jones.
Even if there's more risk with shorter guys, it may be well worth it as far as the possibility of getting anyone anywhere close to Tyreek Hill.
Every person in the draft is a risk to not make it for some reason. It's deciding on a particular individual who seems to have the talent and tenacity and toughness to be a difference maker.
Also, these shorter players can have their snaps limited as in the case of Aaron Jones.
In 10-20 plays, a shifty speedster can be a gamebreaker, or at least a gamechanger.
If it's first-and-goal at the 8-yard-line in the playoffs, he could be a game winner.

3 points
3
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 16, 2021 at 09:22 pm

You think Aaron Donald had prototype size?

0 points
0
0
PF4L's picture

April 14, 2021 at 02:23 pm

For the success of the 2021 season...does this draft matter?

It's a valid question.

We kept the same team largely intact, except for losing the #1 center, Wagner who was ok, and Kirksey.
But we add Funchess if he makes the roster, that's another discussion i guess, but still.

So lets ask ourselves, forgetting the draft, is this returning team good enough to break through and win a NFCCG?

If the answer is no....then we are relying on the 2021 draft class to put us over the top. Is that realistic? Is Gute putting his eggs in that basket?

The intangibles....our new DC turns this defense into a Championship caliber defense....his first season?

Can the offense keep the numbers they held last season with a depleted line? Meaning losing a key starter and a depth player/sometimes starter in Wagner.
I'm guessing oft injured Lane Taylor is out of the picture. He's still a free agent i think.
Can Tonyan duplicate his 2020 season?
Will Dillon get on the field, know the playbook and be a difference maker over Williams?

The way i see it, for any chance at all, Gute has to find players, who can get on the field and contribute Day 1.

Maybe that should have been his mindset in last years draft but i don't want to talk all crazy and silly and....annoy anyone.

-1 points
8
9
13TimeChamps's picture

April 14, 2021 at 02:36 pm

What's annoying is you posting the same thing over and over and over.....

6 points
10
4
Swisch's picture

April 14, 2021 at 07:18 pm

It may be that most of us are posting the same things over and over and over. . . until the draft in a fortnight.
After that, it's three months to preseason, so we'll probably be repeating ourselves about the players we actually do draft, and other matters.
I'm hoping the Brewers and Bucks may ease the wait. Maybe I'll read a little more if I can focus. I wish I was good enough at golf to make that a more likely alternative, plus having more time, energy, and money. No cooking or pottery classes, though. I'm enjoying "American Idol," even if I don't know most of the songs.
It's never too late for me to try to get a life -- er, I mean to try to enhance my already fantabulous existence.
In any case, the comfort is knowing the time without football makes the time with football better.

2 points
3
1
PearlyBakerBest's picture

April 14, 2021 at 04:18 pm

They don’t have to be contributors on day 1, only by the playoffs, IMO. But a tall order either way.

2 points
2
0
jannes bjornson's picture

April 14, 2021 at 06:48 pm

The one picks should be starters. No need to grab a guy to maybe see him on the field a year or two later. I still advocate for moving up in the first round for two selections and the fifth year option.

2 points
2
0
PearlyBakerBest's picture

April 15, 2021 at 07:39 am

Probably not going to get a starter with the 29 pick but I agree they should be at least making an impactful contribution as the season goes along. I do not agree with trading a bunch of picks to get two first rounders. This team is in need of depth. If anything, if their guy isn’t there at 29, trade back and get more picks. I do agree with PF4L and Swisch. Talent trumps need in the first two rounds.

2 points
2
0
dobber's picture

April 14, 2021 at 04:14 pm

Can we change this title to instead read, "Packers use of 29th pick satisfies large part of fan base, infuriates an equally large part"

I feel pretty confident this will be true.

7 points
7
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 15, 2021 at 03:27 am

Edit: deleted this. Infuriate is such a strong word. More than half the fan base will either have no strong opinion, like the pick, or will just go along with whomever is selected.

3 points
3
0
Leatherhead's picture

April 14, 2021 at 04:55 pm

The answer is always another WR. It’s never better blocking, or more running, or improving the defense. I thought, naively, that after we put the league’s best passing attack on the field this would stop. It hasn’t, obviously.

Here’s the scoop: If we give the QB enough time to do his job, our existing group of pass catchers is plenty good enough to move the ball and score points against anybody. They’ve shown that, even on the road, through injuries, against good teams. Some tiny WR isn’t going to make anywhere near the difference that a blue chip offensive lineman will

Next year, if we wish, we can completely revamp the WR unit, or we can bring it back, or we could bring some of it back and add some new pieces. There’s no need to prepare until you know who you are bringing back and we don’t know yet who that’s gonna be, and it’ll probably depend on what happens this year. I think there’s a real chance we’ll draft a WR in 2022, but not this year, unless it’s some practice squad guy.

We’re looking for a guy in the secondary, an offensive lineman, and a defensive lineman. I’m going to predict that the GM will use his Day 3 picks to move up to get the guys he wants. Considering Gary, Dillon, Love, and Deguara weren’t on anybody’s radar very much....or were fervently disliked....I’d say the Packers are about to add three players we never considered.

9 points
10
1
Handsback's picture

April 14, 2021 at 05:24 pm

A scout friend who is helping me as I write a football book, told me some information about a WR. The prospect's name is Michael Strachan. He's 6-5 and around 215 lbs and has good hands. He's got a problem with attending a small school in regards to competition, Charleston Central, but he is a NFL quality prospect. According to my friend a ding on him is his speed, yet he was on the Jamaica relay team before he came to the US. One scout questioned his slow speed and he was from Green Bay. Not sure what it means, but my friend says he can fly and maybe the best body control of any receiver in the draft this year except Toney from FL. I could see Green Bay picking him up as either late round or FA candidate and possibly getting a real steal..

3 points
4
1
Coldworld's picture

April 14, 2021 at 05:55 pm

Mike Jones of USA Today wrote, “"WR Michael Strachan at his Pro Day today measured 6-5, 228 pounds, 85-inch wingspan, 10-inch hands, ran a 4.46 seconds 40-yard dash and put up 225 lbs weights 20 times." Monster measurables for this young player. The young Golden Eagle draft prospect is from Freeport, Bahamas.Mar 19, 2021”

He has visited with the Giants, so not completely off the radar. Looks like he’d need some development, but I’ve seen a lot worse ideas for late round or UDFA recruitment.

1 points
1
0
Handsback's picture

April 14, 2021 at 09:19 pm

Well, just heard that Chris Landry has him as a 3rd round prospect....I guess the scout was overheard by one too many people.

0 points
0
0
GatorJason's picture

April 15, 2021 at 06:15 am

Put 20#s on him and make him an edge rusher.

0 points
0
0
hobowilly's picture

April 14, 2021 at 06:33 pm

Really fun reading various opinions here @ WR prospectus. Especially at the end discussions about Strachan. Just MHO, i don't think Gutey & Co. should pick a WR first or second (unless by some miracle, GB's guy falls to them and i still wouln't use a first! There are so many 5'9's-6'2s out there athletically speaking. But how many big fellas' out there play either side of the line? Considering one main factor in losing the NFCCG was due to below avg tackle play (both sides), and Bakh may not start the season, we have those specific needs. Kenny needs help up front too.

Does this new DC Barry have a better feel for ILB play? Will that be a pretty high priority in the draft?

Too many keep saying GB is mistreating AR, and when are they going to help him. Did GB not re-sign A Jones and the big dog and essentially secure Bobby Tonyan? Don't forget, we haven't seen what Funchess can contribute. Gutey knows what he's doing!!!!

5 points
6
1
LambeauPlain's picture

April 14, 2021 at 07:14 pm

I would be fine with Moore/ Purdue being drafted by Gutey. His production, work ethic, skillset, and character are all off the charts. I think 29 is a bit high and the OL, CB, LB available there will be hard to pass up.

But a trade up in the second for Moore would not surprise me. The Packers have been talking with him and his coaches, trainers.

1 points
1
0
BruceIrons's picture

April 14, 2021 at 09:09 pm

I wonder if LaFleur even wants a slot receiver under 6'1. He seems to prefer big bodies. My guess is that if the Packers take an undersized receiver it would be on Day 3 to fill the Tyler Ervin/Tavon Austin gadget role.

1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

April 14, 2021 at 10:23 pm

We have a slot under 6’1”. His name is Aaron Jones.

-2 points
0
2
NoNonsense's picture

April 15, 2021 at 01:39 am

My 2 favorite WRs in this draft:
Elijah Moore
Cade Johnson

Either one of these guys would be deadly in this offense. If Gutenkunst takes a WR on day 1 or 2, I pray he picks one of these guys.

I thought Johnson might be available in the 4th but he put on a spectacle at the senior bowl so hes not under the radar anymore I dont think.

These guys get separation, thats the key for the smaller guys, make space. Very QB friendly.

0 points
0
0
marpag1's picture

April 15, 2021 at 07:06 am

It always seems bizarre to me that even in an article like this, there is no mention whatsoever, not even a hint, that wide receivers have BLOCKING assignments. Everything said about small receivers is that they are "shifty" or "quick" or "dynamic" or "explosive playmakers," and everything said about big WRs is that they "have a large catch radius" or that they can win jump balls or that they can use their big body to shield small corners away from the pass. It's like the only thing people ever think about is catching the ball.

Wide receivers block, folks. And LaFleur's offense emphasizes the run.

This isn't some totally arbitrary drafting philosophy of "Oh, we just like WRs who are tall." That WR dude needs to take out the safety or pin the corner outside or crack back on some 285 lb defensive end and seal the edge.

5 points
5
0
Guam's picture

April 15, 2021 at 07:41 am

I'd give you more thumbs up if I could. Too many people just ignore this aspect of WR play.

1 points
1
0
marpag1's picture

April 15, 2021 at 08:14 am

Lol. One will be enough. Cheers.

1 points
1
0
blondy45's picture

April 16, 2021 at 12:52 pm

ME TOO!

0 points
0
0
NoNonsense's picture

April 15, 2021 at 02:54 pm

You make a great point but taking a smaller WR doesnt necessarily mean they cant block. If it's a focus of the offense then you teach technique and make players work on it. I'm not gonna pass on an explosive, quick twitch WR because he cant or doenst block. That's the development part of draft and develop.

Pass protection from a RB/FB is much more important skill to have in ones arsenal, but that can be taught too.

-1 points
0
1
marpag1's picture

April 15, 2021 at 04:32 pm

Granted, being huge doesn't make you a good blocker, but being tiny sure as hell doesn't make you good, either. I think we agree that bigger, stronger players are generally going to have an advantage over lighter smaller ones when it comes to blocking, right? And big receivers get coaching on blocking technique just like little guys do.

Rondale Moore weighs in at 5'7", 180. Elijah Moore is only slightly bigger at 5'8" 185. These are midgets by NFL standards. Are either of these likely to be plus blockers in the NFL? I'd say that's a pretty big disadvantage to overcome.

PFF rates WRs run blocking. I took a quick look on the internet and found their rankings for 2019. Here are the weights of their top 10 blockers at WR: 195 - 210 - 210 - 215 - 230 - 210 - 215 - 225 - 220 - 210. Average weight, 214. That's 30-35 pounds heavier than the Moores.

I certainly don't deny that jitterbug, slot receiver types can be dangerous and productive. They're just not a very good scheme fit in LaFleur's offense. If you are building your offense on play action and a bruising run game, I don't think you spend a first round pick on a guy who doesn't really fit that scheme. Maybe in D5. And little guys often have injury issues too.

0 points
0
0
NoNonsense's picture

April 15, 2021 at 10:07 pm

I'm with you on the Injury part, Rondale scares me a little bit because of his injury history. That's why hes not on my 2 player list. Great player but the most important ability is availabilty and he doesnt pass the test there.

Elijah has a pretty clean injury history as far as I can tell. He is small but he is mighty. I certainly would prefer to wait till the 2nd round to take E. Moore but highly doubt he lasts till 62.

I dont give a lick of he can block or not, that doesnt mean he doesnt fit the scheme. For me, I want playmakers and this guy fits the bill. He can return punts, and play the jet sweep gadget role if they want to use him there or he can line up, get open in a hurry and hes got good hands.

We aren't picking in the top 10 so almost any player they take will have some holes in his game.

0 points
0
0