Green Bay Packers

Can Jayden Reed Repeat His Performance In Week 3?

Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Playing in only his second NFL game, Green Bay Packers rookie Jayden Reed put the league on notice with his performance against the Atlanta Falcons. Reed hauled in two touchdowns and was essential in the blocking game.

Reed’s official stat line was four receptions on eight targets for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Green Bay’s second-round pick out of Michigan State was the second-leading receiver on the team behind fellow rookie Dontayvion Wicks. Reed was the top-graded offensive player via PFF with an 82.9 grade vs. Atlanta.

He excels as a receiver due to his speed and fluidity. The former Spartan is twitchy and quick. That makes him hard for defenders to tackle and hard for defensive backs to cover. The Packers know that and attempt to get Reed in space.

Green Bay used Reed frequently in motion before the snap. The Packers do that to throw off defenses and keep them honest.

While Reed may frequently go in motion, he doesn’t always get the ball. But when he does…

Speed kills, and Jayden Reed is pure speed. The Packers teased the jet sweep all game before they scored on it. When Green Bay needed it most, Reed delivered. The threat of Reed torching the defense will linger throughout the game and make linebackers and defensive backs have to pay attention to his motion or risk getting burnt.

Matt LaFleur knows Reed’s strengths and often puts Reed in positions to succeed. On a  drive in the third quarter, Reed caught three passes and capped it off with a touchdown. However, Reed was able to use his route-running ability to create space and pick up yards.

A few plays later, Reed runs the same concept just on the other side of the field, and it’s a similar result.

LaFleur’s receivers also need physicality if they’re going to succeed in his system. Blocking from receivers is a huge part of Green Bay’s run scheme. If a receiver wants to be on the field, they will have to engage physically. While Reed stands at just 5’11”, he shows no fear when the Packers ask him to block.

Reed shows grit and hustle on this Jordan Love scramble. He engages the corner down the field to allow Love to pick up a few extra yards.

Reed throws a little block and fights through to get open and find the end zone for an easy connection with Jordan Love, an easy six points for the Packers.

While it was a great second game for Reed, it could have been better. LaFleur wanted Reed to be a focal point of the offense with star running back Aaron Jones and stud receiver Christian Watson out.

Below was one of the first plays of the game. Green Bay set Reed up for a Love screen pass that an Atlanta lineman knocked away. If the Packers complete this pass, they may have been able to score on their opening drive.

Reed and Love showed their youth a little bit when they were unable to complete a pass on a second down. Reed slips, and the ball falls incomplete.

Reed’s role may shrink with Watson coming back. The Packers may delegate him to be the third or fourth receiver behind Romeo Doubs and Watson. But they should still involve him. There’s no way they’ll forget his presence on the jet sweeps and pre-snap motion. LaFleur has a role for Reed, and he’s playing it well.

Reed may have to find additional work returning punts. He was electric during his time in East Lansing and looked to continue it in the NFL. Currently, he is sixth in the NFL total yards with 54. He has also returned three punts for an average of 18 yards per return. If he can be a threat in the return game, his value to the Packers will be that much greater.

Reed showed on Sunday why the Packers made him a top-50 pick in the NFL draft. The former Spartan’s quickness, physicality, and versatility make him a dynamic weapon in Matt LaFleur’s offense and a valuable asset for Jordan Love. Reed’s performance against the Falcons was just scratching the surface of what he could deliver all season long for Green Bay.

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