Romeo Doubs has been the highlight reel of the Green Bay Packers training camp. Day in and day out, the rookie fourth-round receiver is responsible for “wow plays,” as quarterback Aaron Rodgers classified them. Doubs has also been one of the most consistent players on the offense, leaving Nevada as a polished prospect.
“He was very consistent,” ESPN’s reporter Bill Connelly, who covered Doubs in the Mountain West Conference, told Zone Coverage.
“He had a low drop rate, and he caught at least four balls in every game he played. His stats were padded in a unique way. When Nevada fell behind, they threw to him a ton. He averaged 4.9 catches per game in wins and 11.5 per game in losses. But if anything else, that emphasizes how important he was to them. He was the go-to when they absolutely needed yards.”
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that Doubs is still a mid-round rookie. It might be unfair to him to expect an immediate impact similar to that of top picks like Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Bill Brooks had the most receiving yards by a rookie fourth-round pick in history, with 1,131 yards in 1986. He also had eight receiving touchdowns. It might be better to use examples since 2011, though, because of the adjustments to the CBA and the rookie-scale contracts. They changed the importance of rookie players in building strong rosters.
Since then, Detroit Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown achieved the highest receiving yardage, with 912, plus five TDs last year.
Top-five fourth-round picks in rookie yardage since 2011:
- 1. Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET, 2021) – 912 yds, 5 TDs
- 2. Chris Givens (STL, 2012) – 698 yds, 3 TDs
- 3. Jamison Crowder (WAS, 2015) – 604 yds, 2 TDs
- 4. Gabriel Davis (BUF, 2020) – 599 yds, 7 TDs
- 5. Antonio Callaway (CLE, 2018) – 586 yds, 5 TDs
Gabriel Davis is an excellent comparison. Davis was a year younger than Doubs coming out of UCF, but he is a 6’2”, 210 lb. receiver drafted with the 128th-overall pick. In his last college season, Davis had 1,241 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games. Buffalo took Doubs with the 132nd pick, and he is 6’2”, 204 lbs. At Nevada last year, he had 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games. Davis and Doubs’ physical and production profiles are similar.
Davis arrived in Buffalo as a WR4 behind Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley. He surpassed Brown during the season. In Green Bay, Doubs might face a similar scenario. Theoretically, the starters are Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, and Randall Cobb. But there’s a good chance Doubs surpasses Watkins on the depth chart to become the primary outside receiver.
“It’s never been too big for him. I really like the approach,” Rodgers said last week. “He’s a very humble kid, but you’re starting to see the personality come out a little bit, which is fun to see. He’s had a lot of opportunities, which has been great. With Sammy (Watkins) not practicing a couple of days and Christian (Watson) being out, a lot of opportunities for him, and he’s made the most of it.”
If Doubs can put up something around 600 yards, it would be the most by a rookie receiver since Aaron Rodgers became the Packers’ starting quarterback. That record belongs to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, with 581 yards in 2018. And Doubs has a good track record as a red-zone threat, with 20 touchdowns in his last 20 games at Nevada.
According to Bill Connelly, there is one specific area where Doubs can be significantly impactful right away: the screen game.
“[Doubs] caught 138 passes over the last two seasons, and nearly half of them (64) were on passes thrown five or fewer yards downfield. He suffered drops on only two of them, and he averaged more than seven yards after catch on those passes. He can make a guy miss and carve out some yards,” said Connelly, who also praised Doubs’ reliability and sure hands.