The Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver corps is the youngest unit on their roster. Last year, they didn’t have a pass catcher with more than two years of experience. Despite their inexperience, Green Bay’s young group of offensive weapons, led by Jayden Reed, Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson, and Dontayvion Wicks, is fun, and still has room to grow. But the Packers shouldn’t hesitate to add another weapon at the top of the draft this spring.
This wide receiver class is one of the best we’ve seen in a long time. Marvin Harrison Jr., son of the Indianapolis Colts legend, highlights a group that also includes LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze, who could also go in the top 10. But there are plenty of late-first/early-second-round receivers the Packers can target.
Green Bay probably won’t go receiver with their first pick. The value of other positions with the 25th selection would not be there unless one of the top receivers falls. However, they have a pair of second-round picks they could use to address receiver. The key is to add a guy who brings another unique element to their wide receiver room.
The Packers already have their elite route runner and separator in Wicks. Reed is the motion man who Green Bay wants to get in space. Watson is the deep threat who can take the top off the defense. And Doubs is the reliable, do-it-all receiver who can win contested-catch battles. But having more speed never hurts. Watson isn’t consistently available, so the Packers could be interested in another athletically gifted deep threat.
Two players who fit that description could be available with Green Bay’s first pick in the second round. Both are 6’4” and can be electric in the open field. Keon Coleman is a bigger player, weighing in at 215 lbs., and had multiple roles at Florida State. He had 11 touchdowns last year and was Jayden Reed’s teammate during their two years at Michigan State. Coleman transferred after last season, as Reed entered the draft.
Imagine this in Green Bay:
Adonai Mitchell is an elite deep threat who routinely gets wide-open behind the defense. His combination of size and speed is similar to Watson’s. Mitchell is 6’4” and 195 lbs and runs a sub 4.5 40-yard dash. He also racked up 11 touchdowns in his final season at Texas. The speed Mitchell shows on tape would give the Packers a jolt they need.
Washington’s Ja’Lynn Polk would be another option with Green Bay’s second pick. The national champion runner-up hauled in 69 passes for 1,159 yards in an uber-productive senior season at Washington. Polk has reliable hands and thrived in a role behind Odunze. The Texas native had a productive final season in college, and his traits would complement Green Bay’s wide receiver room.
The Packers could also shop one of those early picks to acquire a veteran receiver. A reunion with Davante Adams would be fun now that Derek Carr is not playing in Oakland. They could also target Keenan Allen if Los Angeles chooses to trade him and his hefty cap hit. The Chargers are roughly $40 million over the cap, and Allen’s $34 million cap hit could be one they look to move. Green Bay has plenty of depth, but they need to add a player who will bring a new element to the receiver room that the Packers don’t already have.
Bo Melton and Malik Heath had their moments, but I don’t see them as guys to bank on moving forward. They have been good spark plugs in limited usage, but they are a bit limited with their route running. It’s always good to spark internal competition within your position groups and have players pushing each other to make one another better.
The Packers could also use a late-round pick on a receiver if they find someone they think they can develop. If the Packers can find a player who could be better than Melton or Heath, then it makes sense. If not, they shouldn’t do it.
The Packers still lack a go-to guy at receiver. That could be a blessing in disguise, but having a Davante Adams-type player was nice. The value of this crop of receivers may be too good for the Packers to pass up. But they may not find that guy with the picks they have.
With the position the Packers are in, drafting a receiver with one of their two second-rounders would make sense. The speed and size that each of those players possess would give the Packers an additional element that they need. And offering Matt LaFleur additional weapons to design his offense around is never a bad idea.
All stats and data via ESPN, Football Reference, and PFF unless otherwise noted.