The Green Bay Packers enter the 2021 NFL Draft with a plethora of needs. Some of these are immediate, others are in the future. On of these future needs is at wide receiver. The Packers have a good core of wide receivers currently on the roster. However, none of them are under contract beyond this year.
While it is a foregone conclusion that Davante Adams will receiver an extension, the rest of core is in question after this season. In preparation for this, the Packers could look to draft a wide receiver in the second round of this year’s draft. This is a strategy that has worked out for the team in the past. After all, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams were all second round picks. If this is the direction in which the Packers go, here are three wide receivers who could be available in the second round.
Amari Rodgers- Clemson
Amari Rodgers may be one of the best wide receivers in this entire draft class. However, he will likely fall to the second round due to an ACL injury suffered in college. In 2019, he suffered an ACL tear in a spring practice. Against all odds, he was back in six months and played in 13 games that year. His explosiveness, though, did not return as quickly as he did and he had just 426 receiving yards all year.
2020 was a different story. This past season, Rodgers’ explosiveness returned and he had the best season of his college career. He logged 77 receptions for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns. Most scouts project Rodgers to be a slot receiver, which is a need the Packers have even now. Drafting Rodgers in the second round might be their best-case scenario, even with more immediate needs.
Tutu Atwell- Louisville
Tutu Atwell might be the fastest player, let alone receiver, in the draft this season. This past season, Atwell played in nine games, catching 46 passes for 625 yards and seven touchdowns. After suffering an injury that limited him late in the season, Atwell opted out of the team’s remaining games and declared for the NFL Draft.
Atwell’s best season was his sophomore year in 2019. That year, he caught 69 passes for 1,272 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is considered undersized for his position, standing five foot nine and weighing 165 pounds. However, he is an incredibly physical player that does well blocking downfield. This is the kind of player that the Packers love for their system. In particular, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard have become above-average blockers. Atwell, pegged as a slot receiver, would fit the Packers’ system perfectly.
Terrace Marshall Jr.- LSU
Terrace Marshall Jr. is one of the more underrated wide receivers in this draft. Part of this is due to the talent that was above him at LSU, including Justin Jefferson who was drafted by the Vikings last season. However, the six foot three wideout is a great talent that projects to be a good number two receiver on any NFL team right away.
This past season, Marshall played seven games before opting out and declaring for the NFL Draft. At the time of his decision, Marshall was having the best season of his college career. As a junior, he had 48 receptions for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns. The previous season, in 2019, he had 46 receptions for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns in 12 games. Had he played the full season in 2020, he would have undoubtedly had a monster of a season.
The Packers lack a true second threat at wide receiver behind Davante Adams and Marshall could fill that role. He sometimes takes his eyes off the ball to look downfield, which results in drops. This, no doubt, will draw the ire of Aaron Rodgers in practice, but is something that he can fix with proper coaching and motivation. He also can go up and grab high throws, which would be helpful for this Packers’ offense. The Packers do need a slot receiver, but if Marshall is available when the Packers pick in round two, he might be worth the pick.
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