Green Bay Packers

Bo Melton Is Not Your Average Depth Receiver

Photo Credit: Mark Hoffman via USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers offense exceeded expectations last season, but they won’t remain content. Jordan Love and crew are looking to build off last year’s success and put together a championship-caliber unit.

Love elevated a mostly unproven group of pass catchers and dominated opposing defenses without a true WR1. That became a strength in many ways, with Love not forcing the ball to a favorite target and taking the throws that were there.

The Packers have a high opinion of their receiving group, high enough to not invest any draft capital or make free-agent signings at the position.

Green Bay’s receivers are a stacked group still pushing their potential. Even at the WR5/6 level, the team is blessed with a player like Bo Melton. He made the most of limited snaps and looks to build off his strong end to the 2022 season. The Packers signed Melton off the Seattle Seahawks practice squad, and he’s proving to be a way better depth receiver than many other teams have in their main group.

 

The Packers plucked Melton from Seattle’s practice squad late in the 2022 season. He patiently bided his time on Green Bay’s practice squad and active roster before finally getting a legitimate chance in the final quarter of the 2023 season, thanks to a banged-up receiving corps.

Melton made his name known and proved he could be a legitimate threat, catching 16 out of 24 targets for 218 yards and one touchdown. He became the 2023 squad’s first 100-yard receiver on New Year’s Eve by putting up 105 yards and a TD against the Minnesota Vikings.

While he was quieter during the playoffs, Melton had an impactful 19-yard catch against the San Francisco 49ers. He showed chops as a receiver and blocking threat last year, finishing the season with an impressive 88.1 PFF grade.

Melton enters the 2024 season just behind Green Bay’s primary core of Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed, and Dontayvion Wicks. However, he’s proving that he can come in and ball out if any of that group misses time.

He made headlines on Tuesday thanks to catching a 75-yard touchdown bomb from Jordan Love during seven-on-sevens. While there isn’t video available, it’s been one of the first tantalizing plays of the offseason.

 

“[Melton has] that dog mentality, whether it’s run game, pass game, whatever it may be,” LaFleur said, praising Melton following that practice. “He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get out there on the field, and I think he’s embraced that. He’s embraced his role, and he’s excelled in it.”

A willingness to do the dirty work, putting in the effort, and being a factor in the blocking game is an excellent way to catch LaFleur’s eye and earn playing time, and that’s been Melton’s MO.

“He’s done an outstanding job. He’s so disciplined in his approach and how he is,” said LaFleur. “So consistent on a daily basis. He brings so much value. He brings a lot of energy to our team.”

LaFleur doesn’t think his team’s lack of a perceived WR1 is a negative. Instead, it allows him to put players in the best position to succeed by catering to their strengths.

“I personally don’t think it matters,” LaFleur said. “If you just look throughout the course of a season ago, and every season’s going to be a little bit different, but all those guys had their moments where they were the leading receiver in a game. I feel really good about the collective unit. The hardest part is we feel so good about them it’s hard to get everybody the amount of touches you’d like to get. But that’s a good problem to have.”

Melton showed he could take over a game in that way on New Year’s Eve, but can he keep it up? As LaFleur said, the biggest challenge will be spreading targets around. It’s already difficult enough to get the ball around to the top four guys, who are still young and need to keep improving. It’s even more challenging for a WR5/6, who might not usually be as involved in an offense.

But that throw from Love to Melton on Tuesday shows that Love will continue to look Melton’s way and that Melton can make the big play. Every caveat about making plays in shorts applies, but it’s good to see Melton continuing where he left off.

The Arizona Cardinals took Max Melton, Bo’s younger brother, in the second round of the 2024 draft. The elder Melton might not have the same draft pedigree, but he’s proving to be a valuable NFL player. Green Bay’s pro scouting department has found many talented but overlooked players over the years, and Meltolooksng like the latest success.

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