The Green Bay Packers had one receiver last year and that was Davante Adams. He was by far Rodgers’ favorite target with 169 on the year. He was tied for second with most targets in the NFL only behind Julio Jones. The other receivers were inconsistent and the offensive scheme did not help them. Since their performance was so underwhelming many expected the Packers to be in the market for a wide receiver either in free agency or in the draft. The Packers surprised everyone when they decided to stick with the receivers they had last season and only bring on undrafted free agents to join their training camp. With a new offense and a season of experience, the Packers wide receiving corp went from a dud to one that could be exciting to watch. The Packers have kept seven receivers on their 53-man roster and here is what you can expect from each of them this season:
Lazard was one of the two undrafted free agent wide receivers to make the Packers’ 53 man roster. He initially was assigned to the practice squad, but after rookie tight end Jace Sternberger was placed on the IR, he was promoted up. He was one of the pleasant surprises for the Packers training camp, but with Trevor Davis, Darius Shepherd, and Rodgers’ favorite, Jake Kumerow having great training camps he was the odd man out. He is an insurance policy right now in case someone goes down with an injury. He is talented, but I do not expect him to see the field much this season.
Prediction: 5 receptions 60 yards 0 touchdowns
Davis had one of the better training camps for the Packers and was a lock to make the team at first, but after yet another injury some wondered if the Packers would let him go. After returning to the team, he showed how valuable he was. In week three of the preseason, Davis had 5 receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown. He proved to be an explosive wide receiver who can contribute to the team. More importantly than his receiving ability, Davis is the Packers best return man. He will be returning punts and kicks during the 2019 season. Trevor Davis has never lacked in ability but has lacked in availability. He missed all but two games last season with an injury, and after another injury this season, the Packers should be worried. If healthy look for Davis to be used in jet sweeps and to spread the field for the Packers.
Prediction: 12 receptions 150 yards and 1 touchdowns
Shepherd has one of the better stories on the team. He was an undrafted free agent who was invited to rookie camp to fill extra spots. He gained the team’s attention with his natural ability to play in the slot as well as his return skills. With Trevor Davis out for some of the preseason, Shepherd took on the return man role. Look for Shepherd to take over in case of another injury to Davis or to try and add a spark to special teams. Shepherd’s ability to play in the slot gives him a chance to see the field more than Lazard or Davis.
Prediction: 20 Receptions 225 yards 2 touchdowns
Perhaps no reason on the roster has had more buzz over the past two training camps than Jake Kumerow. He has quickly become one of Rodgers most praised receivers for always being in the right spot and someone Rodgers can trust. Fans were disappointed when he missed most of last season with a shoulder injury that came from him diving into the end zone to celebrate his touchdown. Look for him to be on the field more and contribute to the offense. I predict him to have very similar production to Marquez Valdez-Scantling from last season. With the trust built with Rodgers I could see him being used in the red zone as well. Rodgers needs players he can trust, and Kumerow has proven to be just that.
Prediction: 33 receptions 420 yards 4 touchdowns
There were high hopes for Geronimo Allison the last two seasons. He came into the league in 2016 and finished the year on a strong note. The last two regular season games he had 66 yards, 91 yards and a touchdown, and in the playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys he had a 45 yard performance. Since then, the Packers have been hoping to get consistent contributions from Allison, but he has been plagued by injuries. In 2017 he started off strong with a 121 yard performance in week 2, but then missed 7 out of the remaining 14 games. This past season he only appeared in 5 games before being placed on season ending IR. The Packers are hoping he will come back this season and play a huge role in a young receiving corp. Last season he showed flashes of big play ability and this year the Packers hope to have him for a full season. If he remains healthy, he will compete to be the number two receiver on the team.
Prediction: 42 receptions 545 yards 6 touchdowns
MVS is another receiver who has earned praises from Aaron Rodgers. Last season Rodgers got on the young receivers for not practicing the right way or with the right attitude, but this season Rodgers said MVS completely turned it around. He is practicing hard every play and has been a leader for the young receivers. MVS also put in work this offseason training with none other than Packers former rival Randy Moss. With the work he has put in and praises he has earned from his teammates hopes are high for MVS this season. Look for him to solidify the number 2 receiver spot early.
Prediction: 63 receptions 875 yards 7 touchdowns
Adams broke out last season in a big way. He was targeted 169 times and caught 111 of them. He tallied 1,386 yards and 13 touchdowns which was 800 more yards than the Packers next receiver. Under Matt LaFleur, Rodgers joked and said he plans to target Adams even more. He has teased with the idea of playing more in the slot which could mean even more targets and opportunities for Rodgers’ top target. Adams is an elite receiver and with a modern offense behind him, he could put up league leading numbers. Look for another big year from Davante Adams.
Prediction: 106 receptions 1,265 yards 15 touchdowns