Throughout the offseason, there has been one topic overshadowing all the others: the loss of Devante Adams. Everyone, Packers fan or not, has asked how the Packers are going to fill the gaping hole he’s left behind. The front office of Green Bay has received a lot of heat after spending BOTH of their first round picks on the defense instead of receiver. Well, I’m here to tell you what Rodgers has said in 2014. R-E-L-A-X. Here are four reasons why the Green Bay Packers spending those first round picks on defense was the smart move by Brian Gutekunst.
First Round Receivers Don’t Always Pan Out
Almost every fan wants their team to pick a receiver in the first round. They always think that you can’t have too many weapons. For the most part that’s true, but is it really worth investing something as impactful as a first round pick? Wasting a first rounder on a player who doesn’t become what the team needed him to be really hurts a team and can set them back a year or two. Let’s take a look at some of the first round receivers of the past five years.
Of course, we have the ones that did become stars like Ja’Marr Chase (Cincinnati Bengals), Justin Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings), D. J. Moore (Carolina Panthers), and Mike Williams (Los Angeles Chargers). However, we always have receivers like Henry Ruggs III (No longer in the NFL), Jalen Raegor (No. 4 WR for Philadelphia Eagles), N’Keal Harry (traded to the Chicago Bears), and John Ross (No. 4/5 WR for Cincinnati Bengals). Picking any player in the first round is never a sure thing, but a receiver is almost always a reach. Sometimes it’s better to just go with best player available, which is exactly what the Packers did.
Because it’s Aaron Rodgers
One simple reason why the Packers shouldn’t invest so much in receiver is this: it’s Aaron Rodgers. He is arguably the most talented QB in the NFL. Rodgers can make any receiver better. If they’re okay, they’ll look good. If they’re good, they’ll look great. Get the picture? Rodgers has made receivers and tight ends look great and then have mediocre play elsewhere. Yes, having a top talent will help Rodgers, but he can work with average talent as well. Watkins, Cobb, Lazard, and newcomers Watson and Doubs will be enough for Rodgers to spread it around.
Mike Spofford, writer for the Green Bay Packers, said in his article that Doubs was already off to a great start in training camp. Anyone who watch the first preseason game saw Doubs smoke his defender for a touchdown. He probably would have done it twice if Love could have thrown a good ball on the first attempt. Imagine what he’ll do with Rodgers tossing it to him. Rodgers will help the rookies develop and and still be in the conversation for MVP without Adams, even with his age. Speaking of his age…
Rodgers Isn’t Getting Any Younger
As great and amazing as Rodgers has been and still is, he isn’t getting any younger. You never know when he will start to decline due to age. Now is the perfect time to start building that defense up so Rodgers doesn’t have to be the game-changing talent he is right now. When Peyton Manning could barely heave the ball up, he still won because of his defense. Drew Brees could only dink and dunk with no deep throws yet still won consistently, because of his defense. I don’t think Rodgers will end up like that for a few more years, but whenever it does happen, the defense will be ready to take on more of the responsibility.
Defense Wins Championships
You hear it almost every year. Defense wins championships. Let’s take a look at the Super Bowl winners of the past. Last year, the Rams had a good offense that saved them in some games, that’s true, but their defense was wreaking havoc on opposing QBs. In Super Bowl LV (55), the Buccaneers won because their defense chase Mahomes all day. Super Bow LIV (54) saw the Chiefs win it with their great offense, that’s true. However, their offense was even better the year before but they couldn’t win because of their horrid defense. That’s why the Patriots shut down defense won Super Bowl LIII (53).
Now let’s look at the year the Packers won with Rodgers in Super Bowl XLV (45). That year the Packers had a great offense. Rodgers was doing his usual magic. What won us the Super Bowl though? That great defense to go along with it. That year, the Packers were 5th in total defense and 2nd in points allowed. They were tied for 2nd with 47 sacks and they also had 24 interceptions to go along with 8 fumble recoveries for a total of 32 turnovers. Now that’s what I call defense. The defense this year is already looking good according to Matthew Brown’s post. If we can get that type of production from our defense to go with Rodgers talent and Aaron Jones running game, the Packers could be the Super Bowl favorites this year.
Just wait. Soon Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt will show the world why they were picked in the first round, instead of a receiver whom the fans were begging for. Bravo Gutekunst. You made the right move in my books.