Entering last year’s NFL Draft, the smart money was on Green Bay Packers selecting a wide receiver, most likely with one of their earlier picks. But not only did they decline to take a receiver in the first round, but they also didn’t draft a receiver at all in 2020.
Fast forward to 2021, and the Packers still have a need for a true No. 2 wideout to play alongside Davante Adams. While it’s anybody’s guess as to when (or, once again, IF) they will draft a wide receiver this year, here is a wideout they can target in each of the first five rounds.
Round 1, Pick No. 29: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
It’s possible Rondale Moore won’t be available by the time the Packers select in Round 1. Moore is slowly garnering more attention after some of the numbers he posted in the lead-up to the draft.
He isn’t the biggest wideout at 5’9″, but he might be the most dynamic player in his position in this whole class. While he fits in nicely as a slot receiver, he can also line up outside or in the backfield as a change of pace to flummox the defense.
Moore is a constant home-run threat when he’s out on the field. He makes up for his lack of size by taking on defenders with reckless abandon. He’d fit in perfectly in Green Bay as a Randall Cobb type, but with more speed.
Round 2, Pick No. 62: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
Let’s stick with the theme of slot receivers with home-run capabilities.
Amari Rodgers was an absolute stud at Clemson. Sure, having Trevor Lawrence as his quarterback the last couple of seasons had to have helped, but Rodgers is a playmaker in his own right.
There might be a little wishful thinking here, as Rodgers has said his ideal scenario would be getting drafted by the Packers. Not only that, but he listed the second round specifically. This would be a dream come true for Amari.
Rodgers is coming off a year in which he posted 77 receptions for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s a damn good route runner, and while there are questions about his limited catch radius, sometimes he gets so far behind the defense it doesn’t matter.
The cherry on top is his ability to return punts and kicks. Green Bay’s special teams unit has been a mess for a couple of seasons now, the return game included. Drafting Rodgers gives you a no-doubt slot receiver who can make things happen on the offense and perk up the return game.
Round 3, Pick No. 92: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
Amon-Ra St. Brown’s draft stock is a fascinating one to follow. Many have him pegged to be a no-doubt second-round selection. Others see him sliding to round three.
If Green Bay were to see him slide to No. 92 and they haven’t yet drafted a wideout, it would be hard to pass on the University of Southern California product. St. Brown has some of the best hands in this draft class. And while he isn’t going to blow you away with his speed, he’s a very crisp route runner. He consistently finds the soft spot in zone coverage, and his catch radius is phenomenal.
St. Brown likely wouldn’t come in and be the Packers immediate No. 2 wide receiver on the depth chart. But even though he’s more of a developmental player, he could easily have an immediate impact on offense.
Round 4, Pick No. 135/142: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa
Ihmir Smith-Marsette may just turn out to be the classic mid-round hidden gem if he’s drafted into the right spot. He does just about everything very well, and he has decent size to go along with all of it.
Iowa isn’t typically a school that sends many wide receivers to the NFL (tight ends are a different story), and Smith-Marsette should’ve been utilized way more at Iowa than what he was. The Hawkeyes seemed to realize that at the end of last season. In his last game in an Iowa uniform, Smith-Marsette went out in style, posting seven receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Wisconsin.
Don’t let his lack of numbers or production fool you: Smith-Marsette is a baller and would be a sneaky-great mid-round selection for the Packers.
Round 5, Pick No. 173/178: Whop Philyor, WR, Indiana
How can you not like someone nicknamed “Whop” because they loved Burger King Whoppers as a kid?
Whop Philyor is creative with the ball in his hands and fits well in a vertical offense. Yes, the Packers have Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who can take the lid off any defense, but you can’t have too many vertical threats, right?
Philyor has the makeup of someone who will always find a way to carve out a role for himself on an offense. He’s a project wideout who may be close to already having reached his max potential, but that ceiling is still good enough to scoop him up in Round 5.
Regardless of when or where the Packers will almost certainly select a wide receiver at some point in the 2021 NFL Draft. The question remains, when will they choose to attack?