Should The Packers Draft A Wide Receiver Early In The 2021 NFL Draft?

The Packers have been winning a lot of games with their current receiving corp, but they haven't been able to win a Super Bowl. Could drafting a receiver in the 1st round put them over the top? How about the 2nd round? Maybe Day 3? What does history tell us?

What is the Packers biggest need in the draft?

Some say cornerback, even with Kevin King re-signed.

Some say defensive line, even though the Packers don't play a lot of base packages.

Some say offensive tackle, even with David Bakhtiari due back next season and Elgton Jenkins showing the ability to kick outside.

And others still say wide receiver.

The Packers don't have a single wide receiver outside Davante Adams who has ever had a 1,000 yard season. Heck, they don't have another receiver who has even had a 700 yard season. Outside of MVS, none of the other receivers even have 1,000 yards in their careers (and MVS took three years to do it).

But do they really need better receivers?

Great question.

In the good ole days, the Packers had a stable group with Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Donald Driver, and Randall Cobb.

The Packers don't have that kind of big name depth anymore, but they have been productive.

The Packers brought in Matt LaFleur because he's the kind of offensive mind that can scheme guys open. He doesn't need four or five Pro Bowl level receivers to make his offense work. He can win without premium receivers.

And he's proven it.

He came in and turned a 6 win team into a 13 win team that made the NFCCG in his first season at the helm. Then, when what might have been the deepest wide receiver class of all time came up in 2020, the Packers didn't draft a single one.

With the same unheralded receiving corp, LaFleur led the Packers to another 13 win season and another NFCCG.

Sure they have Davante Adams, but the team has won without him (prompting some to wonder if the offense might even be better off without him), further reinforcing that LaFleur's offense doesn't need premium receivers to win.

Part of the reason is because the Packers throw to backs and ends a lot. Part of the reason is because they've increased the percentage of running plays they call.

But a big part of the reason is that they just plain don't need great receivers for their offense to function. Sure, having Aaron Rodgers probably has something to do with that, but  Aaron Rodgers has had worse seasons with better receivers.

Matt LaFleur's offense removes a lot of burden for the receivers.

What good is drafting receivers early, do anyways? Is drafting a receiver in the 1st round some panacea for teams that can't get over the hump?

Last year might have been the most talented wide receiver class ever and none of the six teams that drafted a receiver in the 1st round last year made the playoffs. Even the Vikings, who made the playoffs the previous year and nabbed the most productive rookie wide receiver in Justin Jefferson, didn't make the playoffs.

Has a team ever won the Super Bowl because their 1st round rookie receiver carried them to a title? 

No.

Rookie receivers don't put teams over the top.

But we don't draft for one season, right? A draft pick is a multi-year investment. Teams should have a pipeline of talent for the future.

Let's take a look at all the wide receivers currently listed on the Packers roster:

  • Davante Adams - free agent after this season
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling - free agent after this season
  • Devin Funchess - free agent after this season
  • Equinimeous St. Brown - free agent after this season
  • Reggie Begelton - exclusive rights free agent after this season
  • Chris Blair - exclusive rights free agent after this season
  • Juwann Winfree - exclusive rights free agent after this season

So that's a grand total of zero wide receivers under contract for next season.

The draft is an investment in the future and the Packers are gonna need some receivers in the near future, so they should probably draft some this year.

But how early?

The great thing is that the Packers don't need an immediate contributor.

It's great because the Packers can focus on other needs early in the draft, but even greater because of the nature of the 2021 draft. With the pandemic shutdown, there are a lot of developmental players available who either had their season cut short or didn't get a full year's worth of development because of a shortened offseason.

Not only is this wide receiver class deep, it's also full of raw guys who will need a year of practice before they can contribute. Guys like Cade Johnson, Josh Imatorbhebhe, and TJ Vasher aren't at the top of many draft boards, but they could all fall to Day 3 and, thought they may not be immediate contributors, could develop into solid starting options after a couple training camps. 

So we know the Packers can win with the receivers they have, but we also know that all of those contracts expire at the end of the season.

Toss in the fact that it's a super deep wide receiver class, and it brings up a great question: How early should the Packers draft a wide receiver?

 

What round should the Packers draft their first wide receiver in the 2021 draft?

1st round
8% (4 votes)
2nd round
29% (15 votes)
3rd round
35% (18 votes)
4th-7th round
27% (14 votes)
Wait for UDFAs
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 51

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Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Author of books such as A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan's Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and PackersForTheWin.com.

Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @PackersForTheWn.

 

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Comments (74)

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Coldworld's picture

April 04, 2021 at 01:17 pm

As far as I know, Lazard is on the roster in all but name, as he is an exclusive rights free agent. The same is true of Malik Taylor, unless both elect not to play.

No, we don’t need to draft a WR early. We do need to bring in some potential and therefore I do expect us to draft one or two mid round and beyond.

We have other needs that are greater in terms of numbers and urgency where early talent could make a bigger difference than behind Adams, MVS, Funchess and Lazard ( injuries permitting).

We do need an option/slot/returner. That pick or picks could be our first, though it could easily be a player classified as an RB. After that, our need is primarily for future potential and competition for the last 2 to 3 spots on the roster (if one is also our returner).

We really only used 5 or 6 spots on WRs on our active list last year, and one of those was a returner (different players at different times). This is not an MM offense.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 04, 2021 at 04:31 pm

I can't disagree with your point that the 2021 GB Packers don't need to take a WR on day one or two.

Not doing so is how a team ends up paying a 30-year old WR $24M AAV: because they have to.

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Coldworld's picture

April 04, 2021 at 06:19 pm

Pipeline is one thing we do need to build up at both WR and DB without doubt, hence I hope we do draft for next year and beyond later in this draft. Unfortunately, cap and Covid have combined to narrow our options to obtain talent for this year elsewhere and thus tilted draft focus.

Adams was a mid second rounder who took till his third year to be seen as a good pick. In 2015, Adams second year, he was ranked 181 out of 182 WRs by PFF. That was his second year. We may have little choice regardless. For that reason, focus on the now this year.

Here’s an “expert” take on Adams from 2016, just for fun: “He’s not fast, he can’t separate from coverage, he can’t win the jump ball and he doesn’t even appear to be a great route runner or pass catcher.” Name withheld.

For you statisticians, here is another nugget. Between 1992 and the end of the 2015 season, only 17 wide receivers had averaged 11 or fewer yards per reception and a 50% (or worse) catch rate (minimum of 60 targets) in a season. Adams was one of them and his yards per reception was in the bottom 5 of that group too.

I suppose my point is, Adams may already be an extension we can’t avoid. It would help if we drafted in the top 10, but I don’t see a receiver dropping even near us this year who offers a realistic chance of rationally letting Adams go next year.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 04, 2021 at 07:52 pm

That's fair.

If the Packers draft CB/OT or an OT/CB in the first two rounds with names that I like, I won't worry too much about whether there is a WR I like available to them in the 3rd. I still would feel like a kid on Christmas eve.

If they are fortunate enough to land Barmore in the first, I would feel pressure to go need in the 2nd and 3rd. Really should not feel as anxious as I think I would, but what can I say.

If Gutey crosses us all up and selects Craven in the first, that would be interesting, and again I'd feel pressure to go need in the 2nd and 3rd.

Edit: I just read your reply on the 652 snap issue and laughed. OK, I do think in terms of surplus value, but I acknowledged it still could be a good draft class. I don't think GB can afford to get just 652 snaps out of the 2021 draft class absent a remarkable run of luck injury-wise.

Wied should do opposition research for a politician: yeah, Martin started 6 games but played just 190 snaps in 10 games, always got fewer snaps than Kirksey, and averaged just 9 snaps/game in the playoffs. I like Martin but Wied makes him sound more productive than he was. I would not have argued had Wied written that he flashed a little.

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Coldworld's picture

April 04, 2021 at 11:17 pm

For me the Covid cap contraction changes the flavor of this draft. Without the ability to make a significant FA move, we need the early draft picks to add value this year. The draft picks from last year should see more action and benefit from the year under their belt. That shifts focus to what we don’t have early first and foremost. For me that’s CB, DL and OL. The rest is improving depth and pipeline restocking.

Don’t know if Gute sees it that way, but it seems the logical response to me.

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murf7777's picture

April 04, 2021 at 08:33 pm

I don’t agree with you about Adams. I for one, and I’m sure there are many others that he was going to be good after his rookie year. I also defended him during his second year as he was playing injured. It was obvious to me he was a very good route runner, used his body to shield for the ball,and extremely athletic. In fact, while some were stating bust durning his second year I was stating just that.

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Coldworld's picture

April 04, 2021 at 11:21 pm

I was an Adams supporter. We were pretty few and far between, and it was all based on potential and a few flashes. In this instance, I was illustrating that even an Adams clone would likely not be ready to replace the original next year. Besides, I don’t think it hurts to remind ourselves how far he has come.

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murf7777's picture

April 05, 2021 at 08:05 am

I agree the draft pick might not be able to match Adams current production, but let’s face the facts, it’s never been easier to put up big WR numbers in the NFL. We definitely need to add a couple WR’s for depth and future.

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BruceIrons's picture

April 05, 2021 at 10:39 am

Right, I think Lazard and Taylor are not on the roster because they have not technically been signed for this season (even though they are exclusive rights free agents). This hammers home how wide open things currently are at wide receiver for next season.

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flackcatcher's picture

April 05, 2021 at 02:59 pm

True. But it is also a function of the Cap number the Packers are operating under. And we all should remember, like Ted, Gute is also a bargain shopper.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

April 04, 2021 at 12:25 pm

The Packers WR group was 10th in yards in the NFL last season so no they don't need to. If there is a guy there that they are high on then I'm not against it. I think the early value is at Offensive Tackle this draft. They could even trade back to early 2nd and get a better tackle prospect then the could have had with their 1st round pick last season.

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Duneslick's picture

April 04, 2021 at 12:38 pm

I think Rodgers had a lot to do with that

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

April 04, 2021 at 12:49 pm

Yes. That's why I want to keep him healthy.

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Bear's picture

April 04, 2021 at 03:25 pm

Ya, most qbs have a lot to do with that.

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Christian Roussel's picture

April 04, 2021 at 03:53 pm

Well the Packers also led the league for the second year in a row for yards lost to dropped passes with that receiving squad. You want a Super Bowl, you dont have to be first in the league in every stats but you absolutely have to improve where you're the worst.

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Coldworld's picture

April 04, 2021 at 05:15 pm

We have added Funchess, one hopes we will have Lazard for more of the season and Tonyan and the RBs caught 100 passes.

So yes, we do need depth. We need to make sure that we have better talent if one of Lazard, Adams, Funchess or MVS is out with injury and to add an option/return capability. Maybe 2, because we will likely carry 6 plus a returner, assuming that no improvement comes from EQ and the rest.

So yes, we should spend our first pick on a player who may not contribute at all this year if everyone stays healthy and only perhaps on 10 percent of snaps if we do lose a starter. And we could ignore the slot/option need or ignore value and grossly overdraft such a player. Why? because statistically the best O in football was also top in a highly subjective stat.

To put that stat in perspective, you may not have noticed that Rodgers was MVP last year. He managed 372 completions in the regular season for 4,300 yards and 48 touchdowns and a completion rate of over 70 percent, in fact the highest among starters in the league despite all the supposed “lost yards”.

I could go on and point out that our D might not be perfect, but If you can’t feel the sarcasm dripping, by this point it probably explains why you wrote that post.

WR is not a priority early. If a great one falls, probably will be more akin to the Dillon pick in terms of marginal improvement this year. Personally, I’m ready for a pick with a high marginal upside this year selection not that.

That does not mean we don’t take 2 WRs on the third day and perhaps even in addition a slot/option type—those guys are historically round 3 or probably 4 selections. By then I’m hoping we have addressed holes at CB, OL and DL, and I wouldn’t cry if we dipped twice at DB before we take a receiver. Those guys might actually rack up a few hundred snaps this year, with the possible exception of the OL pick, even without injuries.

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Nate-1980's picture

April 06, 2021 at 09:17 am

Great point Gibson, so number one offense and dead last in yards lost to drops and people think are wrs are good enough ? Good ole Gluteus maximus will throw a bunch of late round bums at the position hoping for gold.. He’ll get the same crap we have now inconsistencies..Rodgers carries this team on his back, they’d be nothing without him, we’ve seen those years and they weren’t pretty at all, pathetic really..His “ decline” was because of a head coach that needed to be fired after 2014 and the lack of talent outside of Adam’s and an older Jordy.. He has to play perfectly for us to have a chance, our receivers aren’t good enough period..I’d stare down Adam’s too he’s the only legitimate threat, there needs to be another legitimate threat at wideout and not the second option catching half the throws..You want Rodgers to play well enough to win another Super Bowl, get him help so he doesn’t have to throw to a double covered number one because there’s nothing else there..

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BruceIrons's picture

April 05, 2021 at 10:42 am

Tackle seemed like a much bigger need in the NFCCG and they've cut Wagner since then.

I agree the receiver group was a very productive unit last year. I think they have everything they need to be successful at the position this year. I still wonder about the following year, though, and if (or when) they will address it in the draft.

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splitpea1's picture

April 04, 2021 at 12:33 pm

It wasn't the Super Bowl, but the 1964 Browns won the championship with a very impressive rookie season from Paul Warfield. Also we have Lynn Swann, though he certainly didn't "carry" the Steelers to their first Super Bowl win.

But we're in agreement that the Packers have more pressing needs with their early picks.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 04, 2021 at 02:01 pm

No point arguing with these homies. Two superstar WRs drafted by the Pack in round one: Lofton and Sharpe carried the franchise on their shoulders. We all saw the dynamic WR corps in action when Adams gets the double team. MVS opens up by default and you hope he hangs onto the ball on a deep post. Lazard is covered up by a decent cover CB. This draft should go OT, CB, WR,C/G, CB/S, DT move up in the early rounds of the draft and sign on a couple of LBs from the veteran FA ranks to compete for sp teams spots--just pick up some bad boys.

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jhtobias's picture

April 04, 2021 at 12:47 pm

Depends what is early and what Wide receiver is available. I would say defensive lineman next to Kenny or even a OT or true sideline to sideline ilb is way more important than a wide receiver the way the roster is constructed . You have an Mvp quarterback who gets a lot of money to make others look good, a stud wr and a stud rb and a nice Te in Tonyan.

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BruceIrons's picture

April 05, 2021 at 10:44 am

I agree - this offense is built to not depend on premium wide receiver talent the way the McCarthy-era offense was built, but with no one under contract for next season, they have to do something.

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PeteK's picture

April 04, 2021 at 01:31 pm

When you get 52 receptions from your TE and 47 from your HB the need for an excellent # 2 receiver is diminished.

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PF4L's picture

April 04, 2021 at 06:16 pm

Exactly...Until you don't get 99 receptions from them.

Then of course a #2 receiver might come in handy.

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Coldworld's picture

April 05, 2021 at 07:58 am

You expect Tonyan, Dillon and Jones to be significantly worse? Always possible. Personally, I think Deguara and Funchess (in hybrid TE usage) will pick up any slack, making non WR receptions a similar factor. Looking at this team and offense, and one can only plan around what one has, I don’t see an obvious reason for such a drop. As such, I don’t plan for it.

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PF4L's picture

April 05, 2021 at 08:53 am

But you expect Rodgers to throw 48 TD's again

But you expect Adams to catch 18 TD's again

But you expect Tonyan to catch 11 TD's again
********************
In MY world....i don't think having a proven, reliable #2 receiver, is a bad idea.
I'm crazy!!!....lol

But maybe i just think outside the box, compared to Packers management.

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Nate-1980's picture

April 06, 2021 at 09:34 am

Exactly PF4L, they demand Rodgers plays perfectly with sub par talent, then get mad when he stares down Adams, the only good one..I must be nuts as well to think we’d be unstoppable with another great weapon, it could NEVER HELP Right ?

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PF4L's picture

April 06, 2021 at 10:42 pm

What some Packer fans can't get in their head, is Rodgers has carried this team for over a decade.
He's also given a lot of people job security. Way too much.

This team rise and falls on the arm of Aaron Rodgers (period).

The problem has been, the powers that be, relied on him as a crutch.
If we needed a players here, players over there.
If they didn't get them, it's all ok, because they have Aaron Rodgers to cover
up their sins.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 05, 2021 at 07:45 am

And the top RB out in the slot is now covered by a CB instead of a LB. Teams adjust, Zimmer has packed his secondary with his reload and added Tomlinson and Pierce to plug the inside. Getting a fast slot guy is critical to stay competitive in the division.

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dobber's picture

April 04, 2021 at 01:57 pm

"Heck, they don't have another receiver who has even had a 700 yard season."

Devin Funchess: 2017, 63 receptions, 840 yd, 13.3 ypc, 8 TD...catching passes from scattershot Cam Newton.

"Last year might have been the most talented wide receiver class ever and none of the six teams that drafted a receiver in the 1st round last year made the playoffs."

Could also be that with the haul made early on WR last year, teams will be reticent to select a WR early this season...meaning really good WR available at the end of round 1 or later into round 2.

"The draft is an investment in the future and the Packers are gonna need some receivers in the near future, so they should probably draft some this year."

How early and how many WR the Packers take this draft will likely signal something about how they're planning to approach Davante Adams' future with the team. This is the piece of the puzzle we really have no feel for: what does BG plan to do with Adams? Certainly, he hasn't extended Adams yet for more cap space and an opportunity to shore up other weaknesses. As you point out, his back is against the wall with his top WR. It could be the Packers won't make any further extensions/cuts until after the draft and will then readjust and assess based on what they're able to get...letting the draft dictate who gets cut/restructured to make that last $8-9M of room. If they get a WR they covet, they might just let #17 walk post 2021.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 04, 2021 at 04:43 pm

And the converse: Adams might not want to commit to a team with Love at QB. Or at least wants to see what Love's got in TC. Usually money trumps this sort of thing: IDK, there are disability policies (wonder how much a $20M policy costs for one season?) and Davante did get paid once already.

Watching Dusty's film study articles, it appears to me that Davante gets loads of double coverage, and even when he doesn't a safety tends to shade towards him. I am not so sure LaFleur has proved that he can scheme open guys; OTOH, GB did win when Adams was out.

WR is a strength of the draft. Lots of teams drafted WRs last year. There could be someone on the board who is unexpected. I personally voted for a third-round WR, but it just depends on how the draft falls.

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PF4L's picture

April 05, 2021 at 08:58 am

Good post.....

Great point on Adams not being thrilled playing with Love while he's wearing training wheels.

Wouldn't it be interesting if Adams didn't sign, and wanted to move on with Rodgers?

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Nate-1980's picture

April 06, 2021 at 09:42 am

Devin Funchess did that three years ago, how many players were pro bowlers three years ago and now stink.. He isn’t the savior you think he is..

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PF4L's picture

April 06, 2021 at 11:11 pm

I hope nobody is proclaiming Funchess a Pro Bowler.

Devin Funchess has a career target catch rate of 51.9.
Amazing he makes a 53 man roster, much less a Pro Bowl

I know...i know.....
It's because Cam Newton was his QB right?

That's a nice simple reaction. until you learn that...
The year Funchess left the Panthers, Newtons completion percentage went from 60% to 66%...go figure right?

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PF4L's picture

April 06, 2021 at 10:53 pm

"Last year might have been the most talented wide receiver class ever and none of the six teams that drafted a receiver in the 1st round last year made the playoffs." - dobber

Which is "proof" the Packers were right in not picking up a receiver right dobber?

Right?

GOOD CALL!!

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Since'61's picture

April 04, 2021 at 02:05 pm

The Packers should take a CB with their first pick, a WR with their second pick. They need another WR that the defense needs to account for who can actually catch the ball. Otherwise it's just a matter of double teaming Adams and blitzing Rodgers which is essentially what the Bucs did to stop our offense.

We need another WR who can hurt the defense if left one on one. Then Lazard can be our #3 and MVS can be our #4 in a 4 or 5 wide set. If a legit WR is available when we make our second pick take him, unless we use our first pick on a WR then take a CB with our 2nd pick. Thanks, Since '61

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Coldworld's picture

April 04, 2021 at 02:10 pm

I see your point, but since coordinators took great care to account for MVS through the season, I don’t think it holds water.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 04, 2021 at 02:25 pm

Well, you can see how shabby our passing attack was in the games Adams missed.

Except for the collapse in Tampa, we averaged about 290 passing yards and over 30 ppg against the Saints, Falcons, and Texans. Over the past two seasons, we’re 6-0 without Adams and 20-6 with him.

But yeah, Davante is the only capable target.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 04, 2021 at 02:20 pm

MVS had 4 catches for over 110 yards and a TD against Tampa. Lazard was wide open for the tying TD but Rodgers didn’t throw it to him because Davantevision took over.

We had 348 passing yards, almost 300 to people other than Adams. If you consider that as “stopping our offense”, then I disagree. Or I’ll agree, and point out that our much maligned defense did an equal, or superior job of stopping the Tampa offense by the same criteria.

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PF4L's picture

April 05, 2021 at 09:13 am

Translation....It's Rodgers fault.

Just one more season zippy, and you don't have to tolerate Rodgers anymore.

Brighter Days!!

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PF4L's picture

April 05, 2021 at 09:05 am

Since'61

I couldn't agree more except for one thing. Taking a CB and a WR, is at least one year too late.

I say that with the belief that Rodgers is gone next season, and this is basically the LAST CHANCE.

One more swing at it. Then after that....It's a "Come To Jesus Off Season" for the Packers a year from now.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 04, 2021 at 02:05 pm

Well, we only had 48 passing TDs last year.........

Of course not, for all the reasons already stated.

Improve the blocking because that will improve the running game and passing game. Improve the defense.

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PeteK's picture

April 04, 2021 at 04:44 pm

Blocking most underrated part of the offense. We saw what poor blocking can do to a very athletic offenses in this year's SB.

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flackcatcher's picture

April 05, 2021 at 03:05 pm

Or when your two starting OT are out for the game.

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murf7777's picture

April 04, 2021 at 08:41 pm

I agree, build the trenches, they make everyone else look better. It’s not sexy, but if you want to win championships that’s the recipe to get it done with Rodgers.

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Turophile's picture

April 04, 2021 at 02:33 pm

There are a LOT of high quality slot WRs, largely going in round 2. The Packers do like tall receivers and they like ones that can block, but a very good slot guy can give them new options. They can probably get good value there as there are several options, and these are guys that are probably round 1 material if they were a little bigger.

So, I'd reserve round one for CB, DL, or OT, and in round two I'll add WR to the mix. If my favourite guy in two is a WR, take him, if not, take another bite at CB, DL, OT.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 04, 2021 at 02:54 pm

We have a good slot. When MVS and Lazard line up outside, doesn’t Adams line up there? I think so. I distinctly recall Adams in motion on some plays so he was clearly lined up in the backfield then.

I don’t particularly care what order, but DL, OT, and CB should be addressed with our first three picks.

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Coldworld's picture

April 04, 2021 at 05:27 pm

He does sometimes. He moves around to mess with defenses. I do think a combined slot/option type would add a few slot plays and add to the O while Adams is on the field, but is likely to see relatively few snaps as a true slot just because of the use of non WRs in this O.

Next season I expect to see more H-Back and more 2 RB sets. Only so many to go around. If the slot can play the option role effectively, that’s where the majority of his snaps come this year I think.

To merit a 3rd round, I therefore think the slot/option pick would need to project to be our primary returner. That’s the only way such a pick merits selection before day 3 in terms of value to the O this year. I see a number of this type being available on day 4, despite the likelihood that some small fast types will be over drafted as usual. There are quite a number of them in the draft pool this year.

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PatrickGB's picture

April 04, 2021 at 05:35 pm

If the team keeps all 10 picks then I can see them drafting WR. I am unsure of the round but think that a slot/PR type player would be enticing. If a quality player on the board drops then the pick may come in the first couple of days. It’s about value and picking a player before you need him because sooner or later you will.

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stockholder's picture

April 05, 2021 at 09:45 am

Gute must hit on that CB if he takes one in rd.1. People forget he also selected Jackson. And Love was not a popular pick. BPA is the smart play. Gute must hit on this draft, before he dumps Rodgers.

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BruceIrons's picture

April 05, 2021 at 10:47 am

I think the slot guy is more of a gadget role like Tyler Ervin, who came out of the backfield as much as he lined up in the slot. They tried to replace him with Tavon Austin, but it didn't work as well. As much as they favor big receivers, I could see them taking a waterbug slot guy in the middle rounds.

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GatorJason's picture

April 04, 2021 at 03:12 pm

Packers need to pick CB and OT in first two rounds to fill immediate needs with quality, high-end talent that will be available at both positions within the first 62 selections in the draft.

Starting the 3rd pick, the Packers can widen the net to include WR, DL and ILB. I really like the mid-round talent of receivers available. If the Packers do not take at WR in 3rd, hopefully the 4th round picks will still be available because after that, the WR pickings are strictly bottom of the roster players, nothing that would be an upgrade to current talent. Packers need a quick twitch WR who can return kicks, play slot receiver and fill the Tyler Ervin motion role. Lots of good options there in the 3rd and 4th round.

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BruceIrons's picture

April 05, 2021 at 10:50 am

I agree CB and OT are the biggest needs, I just hope players are available on those tiers at those picks that provide good value.

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fastmoving's picture

April 04, 2021 at 03:16 pm

no......way.......

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Bear's picture

April 04, 2021 at 03:58 pm

If Lazard & MVS had the same amount of targets that Adams had, Adams would have been the third best receiver on the team!

MVS using his catch rate & yds per catch would have finished the year with 1630 yards.
Lazard using his catch rate & yds per catch would have finished with 1452 yards.
Adams finished the year with 1374 yards.

Obviously, if given more opportunities Lazard & MVS would be solid starting receivers. When you review film Rodgers looks past these guys when they are open to throw to Adams. Adams had 149 targets compared to MVS with 63 targets and Lazard with 46 targets.

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dobber's picture

April 04, 2021 at 04:17 pm

"If Lazard & MVS had the same amount of targets that Adams had, Adams would have been the third best receiver on the team!"

It's a specious argument: if you extrapolate their numbers, then, yes, they have more yards, but if Adams wasn't catching as many of the short ones, Lazard and especially MVS wouldn't likely be averaging what they were, either.

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Bear's picture

April 04, 2021 at 05:06 pm

dobber, I agree with you. It’s just a game of ifs.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 04, 2021 at 04:48 pm

Teams need guys who move the chains. MVS is big play only, though he looked better at the intermediate routes later last season. True, Lazard can fill that role: I am not convinced that his core injury was not still a hindrance versus TB.

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Coldworld's picture

April 04, 2021 at 07:10 pm

I think it is extremely likely that his core injury affected him after his return, but I think that Tampa was perhaps the first time he looked close to himself. Before that he was a shadow of his pre injury self.

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packerfan2554's picture

April 04, 2021 at 04:18 pm

IFirst of all the Packers need to trade back 4 or 5 picks and still maybe get Barmore IDL as this is their main need at defense. And they pick up a aditional pick in the late 3rd round. Defense is their top priority this year. Then pick a WR at 62. Then get a CB with that aditional pick. Then at 92 maybe Ben Cleveland is there for OT or guard. 4th round go with another CB or LB.

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PatrickGB's picture

April 04, 2021 at 05:37 pm

It’s funny, last year, fans were screaming for the team to draft a WR! Now, not so much...

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BruceIrons's picture

April 05, 2021 at 10:52 am

I've always felt 1st round receivers were a bad investment. It does feel like fewer people are calling for one this year. Maybe the NFCCG opened some eyes... or maybe we're just not close enough to the draft yet.

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stockholder's picture

April 04, 2021 at 05:47 pm

I find it interesting that we still need a Wr after 3 years. When Gute took over, we had Nelson, Cobb, and Adams. And when you look at what Gute drafted. Plus- The stats of those players. Arron Rodgers future was never considered. Oh he gave him Graham. But he just didn't help Rodgers. Gute traded away his Punt returner. And how many retreads came to Green Bay to shut the fan base up. So the WR scam has gone full circle. These guys are showing promise. But what about that Punt returner? I'm all for a electric WR. But @29 === I think the word electric is a myth. So I'm willing to let Gute get one later. Will he? Doubt it.

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BruceIrons's picture

April 05, 2021 at 10:53 am

I'd be really surprised if Gutey didn't draft at least one wide receiver this year.

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PF4L's picture

April 04, 2021 at 06:41 pm

People seem to make the case that because we had the #1 offense, that we don't need a #2 receiver.
Am i understanding that correctly?

Has anyone ever thought, that Rodgers, LaFleur and company, game schemed to try and overcome that problem?
Meaning....they did the best with what they had and made it work. That doesn't mean they don't need a #2 receiver....does it?

Should we just assume that Adams will catch 18 TD passes each year, and Tonyan catches 11 TD's passes each year....because it happened 1 season?

Should we assume that Rodgers is going to throw 48 TD's again because he did it last season?

Should we assume the Packers couldn't use a quick reliable slot receiver because this years O line will protect equally well as last years?

Should we assume no team is going to study our 2nd year offense and be better prepared?

I only ask these questions so i can continue my learning process, picking up various knowledge nuggets in here as often as possible.

Thank you again.

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Coldworld's picture

April 04, 2021 at 07:21 pm

As a counter, are we going to assume that no player will take the next step or that the return of Deguara won’t add a segment of the playbook and Funchess won’t be an upgrade over Taylor and EQ of last year?

On offense, the one position that is truly up in the air is the option/slot type. We have seen that we are better with one. I’m not seeing a candidate on the current roster. But those types are likely available on day 3. How many snaps such a player would get in the slot is questionable. Adams plays there sometimes. We use 3 WRS a lot, MVS, Funchess and Lazard also can run as blockers. I think we will see more H Back snaps and more 2 RB sets. Not a lot of opportunities unless you replace our best blocking WR or a credible deep threat.

I’d argue Marginal upside this year except as depth in event of injury except in slot/option and I think we can find them on day 3. Our WR picks this year are likely mainly for the future.

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PF4L's picture

April 05, 2021 at 08:30 am

Well my friend, i'll tell you what........
.
There is one thing i've learned over the decades of being a Packer fan.

I don't assume any player will help on the field.....until he does.
Before i crown anyone a contributor, i have to see some substance...on the field.
I'm funny like that.
As far as i can tell...Deguara has caught a total of one pass in his NFL career
As far as i can tell...Funchess hasn't taken 1 snap with the Packers yet.
Funchess has caught a total of 3 passes the last 2 seasons.
ESB in the last 2 seasons has caught 7 passes
ESB has been on either the injured list, or on IR, 42 games out of 48.

So....you can put your eggs in that basket i guess.
*******************************
" Our WR picks this year are likely mainly for the future."

I would agree with that.
That is...if we draft any wide receivers, which isn't a given.

I will say, if we had drafted receivers in 2018, 2019, 2020 in the first 3 rounds.. i'm thinking they might have helped this coming season?
But that's wasn't the draft room strategy apparently.
.
But lets look on the bright side, we have ESB, Deguara, and Funchess!

Let's do this!!

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BruceIrons's picture

April 05, 2021 at 10:56 am

All good questions. My thought is that LaFleur built the offense specifically to not need premium receiver talent. They've had two very successful seasons where a lack of highly-drafted receivers weren't the problem. I think they'll grab a mid round receiver or two and continue to evolve the offense to find creative new ways to scheme guys open.

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dobber's picture

April 05, 2021 at 01:00 pm

It's one thing when you have a generational talent at QB who--even in his late 30s--can elevate the players around him to the tune of 48 TDs and some ungodly low number of INTs. Asking an unprepared or undertalented QB to do it with so-so WR talent gets you...the Bears offense.

When you drop that unknown talent into the captain's chair, you'd better be making sure he has the pieces to allow him to maximize his abilities. Maybe he'll be so good that we'll determine the skill position investment was overkill...I'd rather take that chance than the opposite.

That said: this team has greater needs for 2021 so long as ARod is under center.

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Packers0808's picture

April 04, 2021 at 07:36 pm

We need Punt returner, OL and a QB, Love will not be the answer!

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PhantomII's picture

April 04, 2021 at 08:29 pm

The grim facts are like a crime. Follow the money. Who has money contracts, and how can Gute take it back.
1. WR who has #1 potential to let Adams walk. He may want over 18 million in 2022.
2. Safety to replace Amos and his salary.
3. CB to turn back the salary to a rookie deal so Alexander can get paid, or replace him.
4. Edge reduce the cap/salary of P. Smith or Z and give a younger guy to pair with Gary.
5. OT purely for need, Replace Turner.

I say their board will closely follow with one of these scenarios.

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KneelYoung's picture

April 04, 2021 at 08:34 pm

Elijah Moore or Terrance Marshall JR in the first to propel the team to greatness.....

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stockholder's picture

April 05, 2021 at 08:40 am

The draft is deep in Cbs and Wrs. And if the packers didn't have other needs. These two could make the packers a offensive juggernaut for years. Everyone says take defense. But IMO; it will be a mistake to take a CB rd.1. There is to much of a debate with the Cbs. And Gute found Alexander in a Weak year for cbs. I prefer DL, WR, DL. But I surly could go for both of these guys. For me it is no longer a concern what Gute does. But where my favorite players go.

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Rudedawg67's picture

April 05, 2021 at 09:26 am

Packers have had good success with her second round draft picks choosing a receiver. Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams to name a few. In the first round there are some very good linebacker prospects. There are three guys out of Penn State, MicahParsons, Jayson Owen, and Shaka Toney along with a lineman out of Texas, Joseph Ossai that have the size and speed to help this defense right away. These receivers coming out of college now can help a team right away. Good examples that that would be Justin Jefferson and Chase Claypool. I think Anthony Schwartz out of Auburn could be a sleeper the dude is super fast but he does have an injury history. I know even in the SEC the differences we’re afraid of that guy. And there are other ones out there but we need more speed at receiver. Toney out of Florida would be another great pic with his speed and his ability to change direction.

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