The Green Bay Packers may have the youngest roster in the NFL, but the rookies — and second-year players — are producing at a high level, particularly on offense.
Many believed the Packers would go into rebuild mode once Aaron Rodgers left. DeVante Adams was gone, and then Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard followed Rodgers to New York.
Instead of hitting the panic button or attempting to sign a flashy overpriced WR in free agency, general manager Brian Gutekunst and the Packers front office turned to the NFL Draft.
And so far, it looks like they struck gold on most of their picks.
From Lukas Van Ness (first round) to Luke Musgrave (second round), to Tucker Kraft (third round) and Dontayvion Wicks (5th round) not to mention Carrington Valentine (7th round), the Packers did a heck of a job building this team with young talent in the latest NFL Draft.
Oh, and then there’s Jayden Reed, the second round WR out of Michigan State.
All of the names above have produced this season, but Reed is on another level.
Jayden Reed Having Historic Rookie Success For Green Bay Packers
Reed has gotten better and better each and every game he’s played. Now? It’s hard to argue he’s not the most dynamic weapon on the Green Bay offense.
Reed’s feat of having 6+ receiving touchdowns, multiple 50+ yard receptions, 500+ receiving yards, 100+ rushing yards and multiple rushing touchdowns puts him in rare company.
Only two other players accomplished those milestones during their rookie seasons. They are Tyreek Hill and Christian McCaffrey. If that’s any indicator on just how special Reed could become, Green Bay Packers fans should be ecstatic.
While he’s making history throughout the NFL early in his career, the former Michigan State star is close to passing a major milestone for his franchise.
Reed On The Cusp Of Breaking Green Bay Packers Record
As Packers.com noted, Jayden Reed found out about it Tuesday, in a text from his position coach.
Passing game coordinator/receivers coach Jason Vrable clued Reed in that he’s just one catch shy of tying Sterling Sharpe for the single-season receptions record by a Packers rookie.
Back in 1988, Sharpe caught 55 passes as a first-round draft pick from South Carolina. Reed is at 54 as a second-rounder from Michigan State, with three games to go. Coincidentally, when Sharpe broke the mark 35 years ago, Billy Howton’s rookie total of 53 had stood for 36 years.
So not only is Reed on the verge of the mark, but he’s one of just two Packers rookies to catch more than 50 passes in the last seven decades.
“It’s just an honor to be in company with him,” Reed said Wednesday of Sharpe, whose name resides in several other receiving categories in the Packers’ record book. “I’m blessed.”
Used in all sorts of ways by Head Coach Matt LaFleur, from jet sweeps to underneath routes to reverses and deep balls, Reed has proven a quick study in the NFL. He’s also gotten work on punt returns.
He’s become a true jack-of-all trades for the Green Bay Packers.
According to Packers.com, Reed ranks learning the offense and getting comfortable with it as the primary reason for his early production (592 receiving yards, six TDs; 119 rushing yards, two TDs). He’s also kept himself available despite a recent run of injuries – chest, ankle, toe – that have him on the injury report for a fifth straight week heading into Sunday’s game at Carolina.
Yet he hasn’t missed a game while steadily making his presence felt. Since Week 1, he’s been held under three receptions just once, and he’s now caught at least four passes in each of the last six games despite being nicked up.
“He’s as tough a young player as I’ve been around,” LaFleur said. “I just like how he attacks the game.”
Next will be the two catches that tie and surpass Sharpe’s franchise rookie record, which are likely to come in Charlotte if Reed can play through injury once again.
But the record is not forefront in his mind. He’s more driven to help the Packers get back on the winning track and continue to develop the obvious connection he has with Jordan Love over the season’s final three weeks.
“The easier we make his job, the easier our job is as well,” Reed said. “Just continue to find ways to make plays for our quarterback and find ways to come out with wins.”
Green Bay Packers fans already love this young player. And he’s just getting started.