Packers WR Battle Is Heating Up

The battle at wide receiver is just getting started for the Packers. This especially applies to Jake Kumerow and Trevor Davis who were standouts during Friday’s Family Night. Cutting either of them will be extremely difficult considering the potential they have shown this offseason. However, pretty soon Green Bay will have to make some really tough decisions on who will make the final 53.

Eight receivers made the 2018 roster and Kumerow was surprisingly sparred from final cuts. He started to emerge in last year’s training camp as the Packers most productive receiver in the preseason but a shoulder injury limited him to five regular-season games. This year, Kumerow is healthy and he continues to see progress as his connection with Aaron Rodgers grows stronger by the day.

“He definitely helped himself,” LaFleur said in his post-Family Night press conference. “It speaks to what we’ve been saying all along. You always count on Jake.”

Kumerow did injure his finger competing in one on ones but returned shortly after. He bounced back during team periods by making an impressive 37-yard catch against Jaire Alexander.

 

Davis has also done some nice things at receiver this summer. He is known mostly for his return abilities but he has adapted well in the new offense. Back in June, Davis said the exposure to a new coaching staff has helped him showcase his abilities as he exposes himself to a new set of eyes.

“I’m coming in here as though it’s a clean slate,” he said.

Davis appeared to fit well within the offense on Friday as he recorded four catches for 100 yards. He caught a 70-yard touchdown thrown by Manny Wilkins

and also made a back-shoulder catch over corner Nydair Rouse.

 

Green Bay will also have to consider keeping rookie undrafted free agent Darrius Shepherd who has continued to impress throughout training camp. He hauled in a touchdown over Rouse during one on ones Friday.

Shepherd, as well as second-year UDFA Teo Redding, are pressing J’Mon Moore for the last remaining spots at receiver. Redding has put on a great display of athletic catches in training camp.

Even as a fourth-round pick, Moore is a step behind some of the other receivers and didn’t help himself after a quiet Family Night.

Following Thursday’s walkthrough, Davante Adams said it will be the hardest year of his career when it comes to wide receiver cuts to get down to the final 53.

These guys will get another chance to show something when the Packers play their first preseason game Thursday, August 8 against the Houston Texans.

 

 

 

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

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3 points

Comments (66)

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

August 04, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Going to be fascinating on all roster cuts this year.

Also, in terms of Davis comments about being exposed to a new set of eyes may be true. I think one could also say it has also taken him 3 full seasons and a 4th training camp to develop.

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Fastenerpuller's picture

August 05, 2019 at 01:18 am

He’s also done well in camp before...

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Bearmeat's picture

August 04, 2019 at 12:17 pm

The team seems stronger this year than it has been in the past. More front line talent and depth at DL, OL, WR, CB.

Some good players are going to be picked up by other teams.

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Leatherhead's picture

August 04, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Last year, our WR group included everybody we have now and Cobb..

Our Dline included Wilkerson and Daniels.

I agree the offensive line is stronger with the additions.

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Coldworld's picture

August 04, 2019 at 12:55 pm

But the WRs were all rookies or very inexperienced. Things don’t stay static. Similar arguments on D line, which has 2 more Smiths, Gary as well as younger players developing. Have no view on that myself till true competition in a game.

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Leatherhead's picture

August 04, 2019 at 01:13 pm

Adams, Cobb, and Allison were all experienced, but I get your point.

There shouldn’t be any rookies getting very many snaps on offense unless an injury puts Jenkins in the lineup.

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dobber's picture

August 04, 2019 at 03:25 pm

Unless the Packers decide to hang with some of the FAs they've brought in or trade for an experienced back, Dexter Williams will play more than just a few snaps.

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Leatherhead's picture

August 04, 2019 at 04:18 pm

So how many snaps will he play behind Jones and Williams? How many did our #3 RB get last year? (Ty Montgomery had 26 carries before he was released. Nobody else really lined up at RB.)

I would like to see Dexter get 8-10 touches, but I don't think that'll happen unless one of the Big Two is hurt.

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Coldworld's picture

August 04, 2019 at 04:54 pm

D. Williams has got to get his pass pro sorted out first. Another comment on that from LaFleur today. J. Williams needs to get back on the field and we need to see what Grant can do once he is up to speed with the scheme. On top of that, Vitale now getting running plays and even Carson some time with the ones. After Jones, all bets are off as I see it at RB at the moment.

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dobber's picture

August 05, 2019 at 09:35 am

To follow your own logic: the Packers want to throw less and run more. More emphasis means more depth will likely be needed. Jamaal Williams made it through 2018 mostly healthy, but Aaron Jones had his issues. RB is also a high attrition position. We've gotten away from the days of the feature back, in favor of specialty packages. Put all those things together and it spells a need for RB depth, and a likelihood that it gets used.

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Fastenerpuller's picture

August 05, 2019 at 01:20 am

MVS last year < MVS this year

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NickPerry's picture

August 04, 2019 at 02:58 pm

Considering Za'Darius Smith is a wreaking ball when lined up on the D-line and Gary will probably be best there too at least until he gets more time as an OLB, I think the D-line is much more talented than it was last year at this time. Throw in an improved Adams and Keke Kingsley and you have a much better D-Line. Let's see, subtract one 6'0" 300 pound Mike Daniels and add Z Smith, K.K. and Adams who are all more athletic and VERSATILE... I can't wait for the games.

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Leatherhead's picture

August 04, 2019 at 04:20 pm

I don't think Z Smith and Gary are necessarily an improvement over Daniels and Wilkerson. Maybe they will be, but I don't think so.

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Coldworld's picture

August 04, 2019 at 04:56 pm

Gary in with the ones today. Ascending. No knock on Wilkerson, but I think P Smith will be better than we saw out of Wilkerson last year and Z Smith looks like he could give Daniels a run for his money and more. Gary just adds additional options and potential.

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dobber's picture

August 05, 2019 at 09:36 am

Given that Wilkerson only played 3 games...

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

August 04, 2019 at 08:21 pm

Oh heII yeah they are

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Coldworld's picture

August 04, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Yes Bear and this is the point where players start to emerge during camp.

The roster is starting to evolve already even before preseason game one Summers showed up again today as well as Burks. Jamerson seems to be advancing. Vitale apparently already has been advanced and Shepherd continues to develop. He and Kumerow getting a lot of ST work as well as on O. Gary getting first team reps. Greene took over at 3rd ILB today with Savage back. Brown first up for King.

Bad days for Kizer and the second O line again (minus Light subbing for Baluga who was rested). They are young but at the moment very disappointing, at least when put together as a group.

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carlos's picture

August 04, 2019 at 06:33 pm

I get a great vibe on Shepherd for some reason. Not sure his timing speed- just something- that jumps out at me. Also I think the same on rookie LB Summers. I may be way off base, but will be watching them along with the rest. Gary to me - looks like a potential beast. Sorry to get off the WR posts. Couldn’t help it.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 05, 2019 at 12:16 am

Let's just figure out who the top six WRs are if GB had to play an important game tomorrow. Then we can all argue whether so and so's youth and upside is more important long-term than current ability to produce on the field.

Madison's adventures at center don't trouble me. It would be nice, but I actually care more about whether Madison can play guard and/or RT. Light's troubles against the ones are fairly recent, but perhaps he can correct his technique. It is early yet. I have seen mostly positives on Pankey. Nijman has been up and down and he probably needs a year on the PS. It doesn't look like de Beer can play. He's a project.

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Fastenerpuller's picture

August 05, 2019 at 01:24 am

I think the 6 WRs are damn near settled unless they go Shep over Davis, which seems unlikely. But a lot can happen in those Preseason games I suppose...

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Jonathan Spader's picture

August 04, 2019 at 12:22 pm

I'm hoping Moore isn't the next DeAngelo Yancey.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 04, 2019 at 12:50 pm

So true! However, I optimistically see him more like Adam's in terms of physical structure, athletism, and potential than Yancey. Part observation, part optimism, and part hopeful!

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Coldworld's picture

August 04, 2019 at 01:00 pm

I wish he would show in a game (I will count Family Night) what he has shown in practice. Just takes a step.

Wish Jackson would get back on the field and I am beginning to wonder now Vitale is running the ball too if Williams might indeed be under threat. Carson got a rep with the ones today. Is he emerging?

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stockholder's picture

August 04, 2019 at 02:57 pm

Re-thinking the RBs. If Vitale just keeps making plays. They have to Keep him.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

August 04, 2019 at 05:01 pm

I think Vitale gets on the 53. This offense is tailor made for a big power runner who also has soft hands. He could very well play the Mike Tolbert role on this offense and be that bowling ball that starts coming out in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

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dobber's picture

August 04, 2019 at 03:29 pm

It won't bother me so much if MVS and ESB become quality nfl players.

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Leatherhead's picture

August 04, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Without an injury or a trade I think the most likely scenario is Adams, Allison, MSV, ESB, Davis and Kumerow on the 53.

We could try to put Moore on the practice squad and hope nobody takes him. IMO, that’s not impossible but it’s unlikely.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 04, 2019 at 01:26 pm

dime a dozen.

If he goes there, he would stay there unless injuries in GB forced a call-up

PS is his best hope at this point.

I wonder if GB would keep him over Shepherd for the PS if only 1 WR spot available?

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porupack's picture

August 04, 2019 at 03:05 pm

OS,
Any chance Shepard or Redding makes your list over Allison?

The athleticism and upside for Shepard or Redding vs the much talked about Allison-Rodgers thing. With the emergence of MSV, Davis and Kumerow, does that begin to make Allison redundant and less needed than in 2018 when there was so much inexperience after Adams and Cobb?

Curious on thoughts by those watching camp.

-2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

August 04, 2019 at 04:25 pm

Hell, I was surprised that they paid Allison $2 million to come back this year and threw in a 750K signing bonus. IF we cut him, then that was wasted money and I think that it's a clear sign that they expect him to make the team.

He's the only real vet other than Adams. And he was having a pretty good year before was hurt. If I'm running the team, I probably would not have resigned him and I'd just count on MSV/ESB to take care of the spot opposite Adams.

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sonomaca's picture

August 04, 2019 at 04:39 pm

Might consider trading Allison to a team like the Bengals. Maybe get your 4th back.

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Fastenerpuller's picture

August 05, 2019 at 01:26 am

Alison doesn’t have elite athletic traits, but he does seem to come up with clutch plays when they’re needed and I think that’s crucial

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Rak47's picture

August 04, 2019 at 05:34 pm

I'm curious, why would you cut Allison and Keep Kumerow? They're basically the same as neither is a speed burner, neither is a kick or punt returner, neither is a special teams standout, and both are good route runners who have earned Rodgers trust. The main big difference being Allison has come up big in multiple regular season games and Kumerow has come up big in training camp and preseason. So you would cut a proven big play regular season performer to keep your older training camp star? I wonder why that is?

12 points
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sonomaca's picture

August 04, 2019 at 05:48 pm

Kumerow little to no trade value.

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Swisch's picture

August 04, 2019 at 07:15 pm

If both are about equal in talent, and both about the same in the way they play, then maybe let Rodgers decide -- in secret -- which one he would prefer.
It doesn't seem that Allison's regular season record is so great as to necessarily be the deciding factor if choosing just one of these guys.
In any case, I'd consider going up to Rodgers privately and saying he can choose, out of all of our receivers, the one he really wants in addition to Adams.
In that case, no one would know which one he chose, even if it was known that he did choose one of them.
Rodgers deserves some say in the offense, as long as he agrees to be coachable and throw (at least almost always) to those open 5-yard slants.

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carlos's picture

August 04, 2019 at 09:47 pm

Swish- don’t mean it bad, but you can’t run an NFL team like that. The GM and coaches should make all those decisions. I’m sure coaches know who Rogers would prefer.

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Swisch's picture

August 05, 2019 at 09:08 am

You may be right, Carlos.
I was putting the idea out there as a sincere matter for discussion, but I don't know if it's really the way to go.
I was just thinking of what would happen if we cut the guys that Rodgers likes the best as trusted receivers.
Maybe he could have some say as a longtime veteran and ongoing leader of the team. Maybe not.
Always like to get honest but polite feedback from other good fans.
Thanks.

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carlos's picture

August 05, 2019 at 04:43 pm

Yeah Swish. New ideas are great discussions. And, who knows what goes on behind the office doors in the stadium. If we could only be a fly on the wall. With my luck I’d get swatted before I heard anything. lol

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CoachJV's picture

August 04, 2019 at 07:39 pm

No... it makes Kumero redundant... not Allison. Allison has come up BIG in ACTUAL GAMES!!!!! Kumero is a Preseason darling.... that's the truth of it.

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dobber's picture

August 04, 2019 at 03:30 pm

If they keep better players, I'm not worried about what happens to Moore. Entirely possible an injury shakes up this group, yet. It seems to happen most years.

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Hematite's picture

August 04, 2019 at 07:01 pm

I think Moore is at best a practice squad guy.
From what I have seen nobody is going to pluck him to put him on their 53.

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carlos's picture

August 04, 2019 at 09:41 pm

I could see that Old School.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

August 04, 2019 at 12:46 pm

When I was at training camp last week, the guys that really stood out were Davis, Redding, and Lazard. It’s going to interesting to see who they keep and who they try to stash on the practice squad.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 04, 2019 at 12:51 pm

Even more interesting!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 05, 2019 at 12:22 am

Being able to haul in contested catches is not unimportant, but I am interested in who runs the best routes and gets the most separation. Unless Kizer is our QB, if the WR can get open, the catch won't be contested very often.

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packerbacker-53's picture

August 04, 2019 at 01:04 pm

I like the competition for sure this year. Draft and develop carries weight. You can't expect 3 rookies to come right in and play great at this level with ARodge. It takes time. Fortunately, MM and his predictable, stale offensive mind is long gone and we hopefully have a coach that understands misdirection and actually running the ball when it's working. I have high expectations for this defense but we will have to wait and see what these receivers can do in a new system. Route running is one thing, but the biggest issue for me last year was the receivers not coming back to the ball when the play breaks. Too many times I saw ARodge yelling at them when he was flushed out of the pocket and they kept running deeper.

2 points
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Pierre's picture

August 04, 2019 at 05:57 pm

That’s because too many times Rodgers holds the ball way too long instead of leading receivers to make a play on a pass in stride. He throws the ball out of bounds far more than any NFL QB instead of letting his receivers make a play on the thrown ball.
Having the fewest interceptions means nothing when your passing game shows no aggressiveness and more importantly leads to less wins and no playoffs for your team.

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stockholder's picture

August 04, 2019 at 01:13 pm

Process of elimination. First No vets get cut. Can't look for Cap savings here,( like Daniels.) We've seen a jump in Davis. So- Adams #1, Davis #2 Allison #3, Kumurow #4. Rookies are hope and promise. How can St. Brown, MVS, or Moore get cut? Drops, or speed.( ? ) Is MVS the game changer? I trust St. Brown more then MVS or Moore. But the talent must win here. I say keep all 7.

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GatorJason's picture

August 04, 2019 at 04:37 pm

Stockholder, you made the cardinal mistake of having Kumerow ahead of MVS and ESB. Oh Noooo! That assessment will draw immediate thumbs down on this board. Though Kumerow has outperformed all but Davis so far, I think he'll backup Adams at outside WR with MVS as other outside WR and Allison in the slot. Top six look like this IMO with Shepherd likely going to PS at this point.

X Wideout Adams, Kumerow, ESB
Y Splitend Allison, ESB
Z Wideout MVS, Davis, ESB

Other than Adams, I'm not sure the separation of the other receivers makes it apparent who the other starters will be. It may be a game-to-game decision based on health and performance over the course of the year.

Shepherd's name comes up because his quick, shifty nature makes him a natural in the slot. He's also a viable backup to Davis as PR/KR. He'll likely be unable to displace one of the top seven (which would include Moore) and could be placed on PS with a great chance of making 53 next year as Allison becomes a FA, opening up competition for the split end/slot position.

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stockholder's picture

August 04, 2019 at 05:23 pm

I put vets first. Kumerow, Allison, MVS, in the SWR. Brown (Kumerow) LWR, Adams, Davis, RWR (Moore Bubble).

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 04, 2019 at 03:35 pm

It is early and lots of time for the WRs to individually shine, but at this point Kumerow is on the 53 and is moving up the depth chart. He is like Adams in that #12 looks for him after the snap because he will be in the right spot and catch the ball as a target. That is money for Rodgers.

I think Davis is on the 53 too unless he gets hurt again, then Gutey has to decide if he is just too injury prone for a roster spot. But if he os healthy his PR return ability can flip the field and now he is shining in camp as a WR.

Right now I’d see Adams, MVS, Allison (slot), Kumerow, ESB and Davis. Shepherd or Redding if they keep 7 which they may not since they will run more and see 5 RBs including Vitale at FB.

I just don’t think Moore makes it. He was kept last year on potential after a poor camp and season....he just is not stepping up.

3 points
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Roadrunner23's picture

August 04, 2019 at 04:16 pm

Keep the best six
No exceptions no excuses
We don’t want to hear about upside, contract savings etc...
Best six
That is all...

5 points
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Rak47's picture

August 04, 2019 at 05:43 pm

Real football doesn't work that way, sorry. If your 5th best WR is 29 and making 3 million a year and your 6th best is 22 and making 500k and there's no huge difference in skillset and abilities and you're only keeping 5, well then that 29 year old vet is going bye bye with a pink slip. GM's can't just build teams exclusively for right now. They must always keep one eye on the future.

6 points
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Guam's picture

August 05, 2019 at 07:34 am

Yes, the competition at WR is heating up, but I want to see some games before we decide who makes the 53. The competition does make me glad we did not draft a WR this year - I think Gute called that one correctly. We have WR talent, maybe more than we can keep.

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

August 04, 2019 at 05:00 pm

I want to see some DBs really fighting too, both at the line and on the catch. Mostly just blanket coverage as an option thus far.

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Guam's picture

August 05, 2019 at 07:43 am

I want to see Kumerow and Davis against CB1s and S1s. They have looked great in camp so far, but their big catches on Family Night were against Rouse who is a camp body and likely not an NFL grade CB. If Kumerow and Davis can make plays against CB1s, then I will view them as more likely to make the 53. If they go quiet against CB1s - different story. I need to see all our WRs in games against top level competition.

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Rak47's picture

August 04, 2019 at 05:45 pm

Ikr! remember before the draft how half the thread was screaming for Gute to draft a WR, mostly because their favorite pundits thought he should. I was adamantly against drafting a WR with all the young talent GB already has.

3 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 05, 2019 at 12:31 am

At 44, I'd be fine had we taken Deebo (he went 36th), Jenkins/McCoy (48th), or Greedy Williams (46th).

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Guam's picture

August 05, 2019 at 07:47 am

I think we need the O-line depth more than we need WR depth. I am happy with the Jenkins pick despite his less than stellar performance on Family Night.

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dobber's picture

August 05, 2019 at 08:25 am

Parris Campbell was the 2nd round WR I liked best...

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Qoojo's picture

August 04, 2019 at 04:46 pm

WR is the most wrongly assessed position by fans. Every year it seems like the same argument of too many good ones to keep, then the player gets released and makes it to the practice squad more often than not.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

August 05, 2019 at 06:01 pm

You do know that Charles Johnson, Dupre, Aberderis and more haven't made it onto the PS right? How many WRs have the Packers snuck onto the PS? Your list is nonexistant just like you're argument.

1 points
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Swisch's picture

August 04, 2019 at 05:08 pm

If Shepherd is the only one of our receivers who is truly quick and shifty in the slot, he may be the guy to keep and even start at that position.
Davante may be the only guy who is a certainty for the regular-season Packers, with MVS close.
All the other receiver positions may be up for grabs, so to speak.
This may be a matter of looking at the next two or three seasons. I have the Packers making the playoffs at 10-6 this season, but that seems possible with any of the current cadre at receiver.
It's the year after when I hope the Packers become contenders for the Super Bowl.
If the competition stays close, perhaps we should pick our top six or seven receivers with an emphasis on 2020 and 2021.
Also, perhaps we start looking at guys to trade for Trent Williams. We could offer a receiver, an offensive lineman, a safety and/or a draft pick in some combination.

-1 points
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Doug Niemczynski's picture

August 04, 2019 at 09:08 pm

Kevin King injured again..hamstring injury...well that will probably be lingering all year long... :(

0 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

August 04, 2019 at 09:51 pm

Thanks, Doug. I appreciate your diligence with breaking news, but you need to stop teeing up Michalski with ideas for his articles.

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albert999's picture

August 04, 2019 at 10:07 pm

Get rid of king now

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