Green Bay has been doing their homework on arguably their biggest need this off-season. So far they have met with at least seven wide receivers (that we know of). These meetings have either come formally at Lambeau Field, Virtually, at the NFL Combine, or at Pro-Days.
WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas
With the two first round picks, the Packers have a great opportunity to get their hands on one of the best, if not the best yards after catch (YAC) threats in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Arkansas wide receiver averaged nearly 10 yards after the catch this past season and could be a player the Packers target. This past season Burks hauled in 66 passes for 1,104 and 11 touchdowns. He broke the program record for 100-yard receiving games in a season (six).
“Burks accounted for almost 40% of Arkansas’ receiving yards and half of its receiving touchdowns last season,” Christina Long, the Arkansas beat writer for the Times Record (USA Today), said. “He was often met with double teams and covered by opponents’ best defenders, so most of his production came in contested situations. Burks’ hands, which measured 9 & 7/8” and tied for sixth largest at the Combine, which helped him bring in contested catches while absorbing big hits.”
- 6′ 2″
- 225 lbs
- 40 yard dash: 4.55
- Vertical Jump: 33″
WR Tyquan Thornton, Baylor
Speed speed speed, Mat Lafleur made it clear that’s what Green Bay needs on offense. Tyquan Thorton was literally as fast as you can get. Thornton ran the 40-yard dash in 4.28 seconds, the fastest time recorded at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine (Chris Olave has an unofficial time of 4.26 but didn’t run at the Combine). He also hit 36.5″ in the vertical jump and covered 130″ in the broad jump. His Relative Athletic Score is 9.77 out of 10.
In 2021, he set career-highs in catches (61), receiving yards (948) and touchdowns (10) and ranked third in the Big 12 in receiving yards and fifth in yards per catch (15.3).
- 6′ 3″
- 181 lbs
- 40 yard dash: 4.28
- Vertical Jump: 36.5″
WR Jameson Williams, Alabama
Jameson Williams has the potential to be a star in this league. Alabama recognized his athleticism and turned the four-star recruit into one of the most explosive players in college football. In 2021 he recorded 1,572 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns, 19.9 yards per catch.
Williams could be the replacement for MVS that the Packers have been looking for. However Williams wouldn’t just replace MVS as the field stretcher. Williams caught 20 screen catches this past season and averaged 9.3 yards after the catch. He’s also dangerous on jet sweeps. That’s something LaFleur wants in his offense but hasn’t often had. Amari Rodgers hoped to fill that role in 2021, but that didn’t come to fruition.
The only catch? Williams tore his ACL in the 2022 National Championship and there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready for the start of the NFL season.
- 6′ 1″
- 179 lbs
- 100 meter dash: 10.54 (no 40 time due to rehab)
WR Velus Jones Jr, Tennessee
Velus Jones Jr will be a 25 year old rookie after spending a total of 6 years in college. That is his biggest weakness. In 2021 as a redshirt senior Jones became the only player in football with over 800+ receiving yards, 200+ punt return yards, and 600+ kickoff return yards. At the season’s end, he earned a Reese’s Senior Bowl All-American, an All-SEC First Team, and the 2021 SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year award.
On the year he caught 62 passes (10th in school history) for 807 yards and seven scores. His 1,722 all-purpose yards ranked third in the SEC and his 132.5 all-purpose yards per game was second in the SEC. Jones would be a developmental slot WR, but a very effective return man. If he is available in later rounds I could see Green Bay taking him.
- 6′ 0″
- 203 lbs
- 40 yard dash: 4.31
- vertical jump: 33″
WR Chris Olave, Ohio State
Route running is one of the toughest things for a college wide receiver to perfect in the pros. It took Davante Adams years to perfect his craft. However, if there is one guy who can transition from college to the NFL with ease, it’s Chris Olave. In 3 seasons at Ohio State he recorded: 164 receptions (best season was 2021 with 65), 2,514 receiving yards (best season was 2021 with 936), 32 receiving touchdowns (best season was 2021 with 13), 0 recorded fumbles.
“What makes Olave so special is his dynamic route running ability,” said Vinnie Calderone, a contributor for NFL Draft Bible. “He can run virtually any route really well and it stands out on tape. His feet and hips are so smooth through routes that it almost looks like he’s jogging or going through the motions. You can’t teach that type of natural mobility.”
- 6′ 1″
- 187 lbs
- 40 yard dash: 4.26
- Vertical jump: 32″
WR George Pickens, WR
George Pickens is widely regarded as one of the best receivers in a deep class. When it comes to tracking and adjusting his body to the football and going to get it, it’s hard to find someone better. His deep-ball catches jump out on film, while his catch radius and focus to the ball is ridiculous.
The most glaring question when it comes to Pickens is his recovery from the knee injury, and how that may affect his agility and overall play speed at the next level. If he can fully recover and avoid any setbacks, he should be a stud receiver in the NFL.
Pickens has told reporters he is 100% healthy and was quoted saying this: “As a big target that can run 4.4, I can do what (other receivers) can along with having size that many talented WRs are 5-11 or 6-0 but “when you can do all those things (at 6-3) it’s a no-brainer.” Pickens says he takes pride in blocking, comes from pro-style system at UGA and closely studies the greats such as Davante Adams and Cooper Kupp. Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
- 6′ 3″
- 195 lbs
- 40 yard dash: 4.47
- Vertical jump: 33″
WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State
Jahan Dotson plays very similar to Marvin Harrison; he’s undersized but has tremendous speed and soft hands. The Packers need a possession receiver. Dotson caught 91 passes last season at Penn State. He also had only two drops on 142 targets and should be able to gain 12’s trust quickly. With Matt Lafleur’s recent comments about needing speed on offense, Dotson is your man.
He also received Big 10 third-team all-league notice for his return abilities (14-104-7.4 punt returns) in 2021. Return abilities are something that Green Bay will be desperately looking for in 2022 after a dismal 2021 special teams season.
- 5′ 11″
- 183 lbs
- 40 yard dash: 4.41
- vertical jump: 36″
Green Bay is certainly looking at first round talent and could take a wide receiver in the first round for the first time since 2002. However in such a deep wide receiver draft, are they just using smoke and mirrors to distract other teams from what they really want? The NFL is a 24/7 mind game.
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