The Packers lost two of their top receivers this year when Marquez Valdez-Scantling signed with the Chiefs and Davante Adams forced a trade to the Raiders to play with his college teammate Derek Carr. They have started their rebuild of the position today with the signing of Sammy Watkins. They are far from done reshaping the receiver room but Watkins is far better than a lot of people are giving him credit for.
What to expect from Watkins
It’s our best guess that Watkins is going back to doing what he did earlier in his career. Being a deep threat to try to replace the loss of MVS. In the first 4 years of Watkins’s career, he averaged a depth of target at 15.275 yards downfield. In the past 4 years with the Chiefs and Ravens, he averaged a depth of 9.875 yards.
He wants the deep threat for those two teams who had Tyreek Hill and Marquis “Hollywood” Brown as their deep threats. When he focused on being more of a deep threat and less of a possession receiver he had a far greater impact on the game. He will focus on being the deep threat for the Packers
Sammy Watkins has officially signed with the #Packers.
As long as he’s on the field, Watkins can be a playmaker in the Packers offense…
Regardless, they must hit WR heavy in the draft. pic.twitter.com/tx37O2xc9p
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) April 14, 2022
Experience with Matt Lafleur
Sammy Watkins and Matt Lafleur have a history together. Lafleur was the offensive coordinator for Watkins when he had his lone season with the Rams. In that season Watkins had one of his best seasons. When targeted he had a passer rating of 122, 33 first downs, and an average depth of target at 15.2 yards.
Career numbers that might surprise people
Watkins has been productive and has helped out his QB when healthy. In his career, he has a higher passer rating when targeted than; Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson, and AJ Green. Sammy Watkins when healthy and at his best can have a huge impact on a team.
What if it’s bad for the Packers?
The reality is even if Sammy Watkins is bad, it doesn’t change much for the Packers. Right now they have a receiver room led by Allen Lazard who has never been a number 1 receiver. The Packers at a minimum will ask Watkins to be a leader in that room, even if his production is trash he can have a large impact on young receivers like Amari Rodgers and potential rookie receivers. At the end of the day, Watkins has playoff experience and a SuperBowl ring.
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