The Packers shocked the football world during the annual NFL draft. Perhaps no one group of people were more shocked than their own fans. For months, fans and football analysts alike expected the Packers to draft a wide receiver or two. Instead, the Packers drafted a quarterback, running, back, tight end, and several linemen. No wide receivers. Why? Here at OTHWisconsin, we will give three reasons why the Packers simply did not need one in the draft.
The Way the Draft Board Fell
According to Brian Gutenkunst, the Packers had too low of a pick to get a worthwhile wide receiver in the early rounds. As the draft went on, the only receivers left by the time the Packers selected were not worth the pick at that stage in the draft. Instead, the Packers selected players that they felt would make more of an immediate impact on their team. Some of these players may sit on the bench for a while, but have a better upside (at least for the Packers) than any of the receivers that they could have taken.
The Packers Have a Plethora of Receivers
The belief among fans is that the Packers do not have a true second option at wide receiver behind Davante Adams. While it is true that the young core of receivers had their struggles last season, the key here is that they are young. Adding another young receiver to that core is not going to help the experience factor.
Another thing to consider is that rookie wide receiver rarely have the kind of impact Packers’ fans might expect from a second option. Take Adams for example. In his first two seasons, he had a combined 929 yards and 4 touchdowns. His receiving production during those first two years are VERY similar to the production of Allen Lazard last season.
Adams did not make a huge impact on offense until his third season. Lazard and Kumerow will both be entering their third seasons this year, and with one year of experience in LaFleur’s system, a jump in production is not out of the question.
This Isn’t a Pass-First Offense Anymore
The Mike McCarthy Era in Green Bay is over. Before the emergence of Aaron Jones last season (by the way, it was third year, too), the Packers had not had a reliable running back since Eddie Lacy’s first two seasons. The Packers no longer have to live and die on the arm of Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers, no doubt, is an all-time great quarterback. He still has some gas left in the tank, but at 36 years old, how can one really predict for certain how long he will be able to play? Drafting a young quarterback to learn under him for a few years is just a logical move.
Regardless of how much time Rodgers has left, the issue at hand is what is happening right now. Wide receivers will be able to get open a lot easier if the defense has to respect the run game. Aaron Jones is heading for a big contract at the end of this season, and drafting a durable, hard-nosed back to back him up is also a logical decision. In addition, their running styles are vastly different, making it possible to further keep defense off balance. This is turn, opens the door for the passing game.
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