Green Bay Packers

Why Christian Watson Is the Key To Taking Green Bay Over The Top

Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As good as the Green Bay Packers looked under Jordan Love this past season, one player’s ability—and availability—can help the offense reach its ceiling. With every other piece of the offense intact, Christian Watson‘s dynamic production is an unparalleled difference-maker that can help turn the Packers from a good offense into a great one in 2024.

One of the talking points surrounding the Green Bay offense is who becomes the team’s WR1 during the upcoming season. You could make a case for Romeo Doubs as a ballhawk, Dontayvion Wicks as a separator, and Jayden Reed as a multi-tool YAC machine. However, a healthy Christian Watson possesses all three of those skills. Whether it’s winning a jump ball in the end zone, streaking down the field on a go route, or taking handoffs around the end for a monster gain, Watson is the only wideout on the Packers with the natural ability to do all three. No offense to any of the other players on the roster, but at 6’4” with legitimate breakaway 4.3 40 speed, Watson’s athletic ability shines above the rest.

Not only does that skillset round out the wide receiver group, but it also brings a gravitational pull with it away from the line of scrimmage and into the defensive secondary. The respect that Watson’s straight-line speed commands, combined with the ability that Love has shown to drive the ball downfield and take advantage of it, will do wonders for the type of runs that Josh Jacobs excels at. During his standout 2022 season, Jacobs took advantage of running in a Davante Adams-led offense, dominating on inside runs and rarely coming down on first contact. Jacobs could be primed for a bounce-back All-Pro-caliber season if Watson’s presence can help mimic the type of defensive coverages that defensive coordinators showed Adams.

It has only been two seasons. However, Watson has been productive whenever he’s healthy. He’s produced with Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love, and he’s done so in all types of catches and handoffs that Matt LaFleur has cooked up. His extrapolated stats are always eye-popping. He would have had 1,300 yards and nearly 20 touchdowns in his rookie season had he stayed healthy and continued his level of production. However, they’re also a tad unrealistic — or at least they’re probably a tad unrealistic. Packers fans (and the front office) are dying to find out what a full season of Watson’s production looks like.

An overhauled strength-and-conditioning department has led to positive reports about Watson’s hamstrings. He received specialized treatment in the offseason to try to help mitigate the recurring issue. However, only time will tell whether or not he’s truly available throughout a 17-game NFL regular season. Watson played in 14 games in his rookie season but only nine in his sophomore campaign. All the reports are exactly what you want to hear heading into the upcoming season. Still, all it takes is one weird route in a drill, practice, or game to send his season sideways.

With Josh Jacobs, A.J. Dillon, and MarShawn Lloyd in the backfield, paired with tight ends Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft each entering their second season, there’s a solid baseline of options for Matt LaFleur to fill his call sheet. Reed and Doubs each provide reliable production and should continue to do so in 2024. Still, none of them combine Watson’s all-around skills and game-breaking ability. Green Bay enters the season with Super Bowl aspirations, having come closer than anticipated a season ago. However, they need Watson to unlock the true potential within the offense.

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