Packers rookie wide receivers have had many opportunities in 2022
The Green Bay Packers rookie group of wide receivers have had a golden opportunity to impress this season. The Packers lost their 2021 leading wide receiver, Davante Adams, to trade this offseason. Injuries sidelined Allen Lazard in Week 1, and Sammy Watkins is currently on injured reserve. Because of those injuries, more playing time has been up for grabs for Packers rookies.
Packers rookie Romeo Doubs has made the most of his chances. Doubs is chasing records and scoring touchdowns for the Packers. His relationship with quarterback Aaron Rodgers is growing every week. Not every young receiver has made their mark yet. Second-year wide receiver Amari Rodgers isn’t improving on the offense.
Packers rookie called out for poor start to their career
Five games in, and another Packers rookie is making national attention, but not for the right reason. Alex Ballentine with Bleacher Report wrote about each team’s biggest early-season disappointment. Ballentine listed the Packers’ second-round pick, Christian Watson, as the franchise’s biggest disappointment:
Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt were the Green Bay Packers’ first-round picks this year, but Christian Watson carried the expectations of a first-rounder after the draft. With the Packers trading up to get the North Dakota State receiver in the second round, Watson was expected to play a big role in the offense from Week 1.
Instead, he has been a minor player in an attack that is still trying to find its footing.
The rookie has played 40 percent of the snaps through three games, missing the team’s Week 3 contest with a hamstring injury.
Watson has only seen 10 targets, and he’s come down with just six of them for 51 yards. When the Packers drafted him, he projected as a deep threat capable of taking the top off a defense.
Ballentine isn’t entirely wrong
Watson had a rough start in Week 1 when he dropped a sure touchdown pass on his first snap. He hasn’t had much of a significant role since. Watson is rated at 56.1 overall by Pro Football Focus. Watson followed up his bummer of a debut with a decent game against the Chicago Bears in Week 2 when he caught all three of his targets. He was sidelined in Week 3 before only catching one of his three targets this past weekend against the New England Patriots.
Watson has a steep learning curve coming out of college. Watson played for an FCS School, North Dakota State, for five seasons. (He redshirted his freshman season.) It will take Watson some time to adjust to the speed of the NFL. Watson still possesses speed and agility, and he will likely improve throughout the season. But for now, he hasn’t lived up to his second-round billing.