Greg Jennings: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

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Greg Jennings
Greg Jennings

1) Introduction: Greg Jennings is unquestionably the primary receiver for the Green Bay Packers, and despite his elite level of play, he is somewhat of an underrated receiver in the NFL. He has become the biggest focal point for the Packers offense, though his stats for this year took a hit when he was sidelined with an MCL sprain for a few weeks in December.

2) Profile:

Gregory Jennings, Jr.

Position: WR
Height: 5-11
Weight: 198 lbs.
AGE: 28

Career Stats: http://www.packers.com/team/roster/Greg-Jennings/5d816530-555b-43a8-b01c-cbc8a1f211f8

 

3) Expectations coming into the season: Number one wide receiver. Though the return of Jermichael Finley figured to draw some targets away from Jennings, he was still considered the main guy among the Packers receiving corps. He is considered one of he best route-runners in the league and can be highly effective from the slot.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: It’s hard to pick any one highlight for Greg Jennings since he operated at such a consistent level throughout the season. His back shoulder catches were things of beauty, one of which gave him the Packers’ first touchdown of the season against New Orleans. It’s hard to forget him going untouched into the endzone against the Broncos, and Jennings’ diving touchdown after a catch-and-run against the Falcons showed off some of his athletic ability. As for lowlights, his two big missed opportunities in the Divisional Round against the Giants were gut-wrenching to say the least.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Missing the last three games of the regular season is the biggest red mark on Greg Jennings this year. His 949 total receiving yards is his lowest since 2007, and his 14.2 yards per catch the lowest since his rookie season. Still, Jennings posted a career-best 67.7% catch percentage and was outperformed only by Jordy Nelson, who had an extra three games to put up big numbers. And at the end of the day, it’s hard to imagine the Packers winning 13 games without him.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Greg Jennings had the second-most receiving yards of 11 different targets against the Giants, but that’s not saying much for that game. There was an obvious misread between him and Aaron Rodgers on their first drive that lost them a touchdown, and his inability to secure an endzone pass in the third quarter deflated much of their remaining hope. He does get credit for three of their first downs, though.

 

Season Report Card:

(B-) Level of expectations met during the season
(A) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(B-) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade for the year: A-

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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  • Ron LC

    His role in the Packer offense is to be consistent. He did that in spades until the injury. I’m giving him an A. He did everything he was asked to do.

    We are lucky that the offense going into 2012 is led by guys like Greg. That giove TT the luxury of fixing that crappy defense.

    • Chad Toporski

      In cases like Jennings, I struggle with the question of how much the injury should affect his overall grade. It was mostly his 3-game absence that pulled him down to an A- for me.

  • ELo

    Not sure I completely agree on the grade. While drops went down in 2011, they happened at crucial moments. Undoubtedly the best backside receiver in the NFL, but this wasn’t an “A” year, particularity with such a weak game against the Giants. Have to go B+.

  • Zack

    Am I the only one who thinks Jordy Nelson was more of the primary reciever than Jennings this year? I agree with all grades except contributions durring playoffs. should be a C he didn’t play well. He made gut wrenching mistakes that game when we needed him to come through the most. The only reciever that deserves more than a C for the giants game is Donald Driver.

    • Oppy

      Zack,

      While Jordy had an outstanding year- no argument about that- and ultimately ended up with the better stat line on the season, I don’t think you can make a legitimate claim that he was the “more primary” WR this season.

      Jordy Nelson was extremely productive before Jennings went down with injury.. But that insane production was on very limited targets compared to Jennings. That’s a good thing, no question about it- his efficiency was stellar. But he was often only targeted 2-3 times a game.

      Greg Jennings was the go-to guy who was always on the field and more often than not moving the chains throughout the course of the game.

      Jordy was, and is, a great WR, he is clearly the true #2 on this team, and is more than capable of being a true #1 on more than half the teams in the NFL.. But Jennings was still the guy this season.

      • Zack

        I understand your point. He did have more receptions per game that he played. But you can’t judge the merrit of a player based on what they could have done IF they weren’t hurt. If that was the case then Peyton Manning would have won MVP of the league this year instead of Aaron Rodgers. I guess I’m a little mad that jordy didn’t make the probowl this year even though he was amazing.

        nfc WR’s TD’s YD’s
        Steve Smith 7 1394
        Roddie White 8 1296
        Greg Jennings 9 949
        Larry Fitzgerald 8 1411
        Calvin Johnson 16 1681
        Jordy Nelson 15 1263<=== did not make it

        Even if you think Greg Jennings is the packers primary reciever instead of Jordy you have to admit that jordy deserved to be in the probowl more than Jennings.

  • Dan

    He and Nelson are studs! Can’t wait for Cobb to breakout next year. Throw in Jones, Finley and Gurley , what a great receiving crop. I think DD will be gone…but who knows?

    • Zack

      I agree about Cobb. I brought this up before on another post but didn’t get any feedback. Does Cobb remind anyone else of Darren Sproles? While obviously not an exact clone he has a very similar skill set. Hopefully the packers staff spends alot of time analyzing how to integerate him into the offense… not to repeat the mistake that the Chargers made underutilizing one of their best weapons then trading Sproles to a team that knows how to use him. Hopefully fumbling is just rookie jitters that he’ll shake off next year… if he can fix that flaw we have an explosive talent that I think will be the most exciting player to watch develop… again, it’s on the packers staff to do the leg work and integrate him into they’re game plan and on Cobb to quit fumbling.

      PS Who the hell is Gurley?? lol

      • Zack

        BTW, before anyone says it; I am aware that Cobb is a reciever and Sproles is TECHNICALLY a RB but the point is that they have a similar skill set and I think that Cobb could fit the same purpose for the Packers that Sproles did on the Saints adding a layer of unpredictability to the Packers already stacked offense. He also reminds me a little bit of Wes Welker (small, shifty WR). It depends on how the Pack wants to develop him because he will have to become a much better route runner if they use him like Welker but I’d be more happy to see them develop him like Sproles… maybe convert him into a type of situational running back. One thing is for sure, they NEED to develop him and use him somehow. He’s too good to not see alot more of next year.

        • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

          Zack,

          I don’t really see the Sproles comparison. I don’t think Cobb would ever be used much in the running game. Maybe an annual reverse play (not something MM is a fan of). I see Cobb being used on wide receiver screens and quick outs where he can juke people to gain some extra yards and also on crossing routes, where the idea will be to get him some open space to run in after the catch.

          I do agree he’s the change of pace that the Packers WR corps needed, and the type of player I wanted to see drafted as far back as 3 years ago (with return skills, of course).

          BTW, his report card is coming up this afternoon…

          • Zack

            lol yeah maybe I was getting a little creative. Although if I was on the coaching staff I would definitely explore his ability in that type of capacity. If he seemed to have a knack for it I would use it, if it didn’t work then scrap it. Not an all purpose back by any stretch of the imagination. sproles is a running back that splits his RB duties with WR duties. I have this vision of Cobb as a WR that would occasionally split his recieving duties with being used out of the backfield… not a dedicated back and still more of a reciever than RB, just as sproles is more of a RB than reciever. Again maybe a little creative but not unthinkable for me. Might I pose the idea that the reason that you don’t see the comparison is because Cobb hasn’t ever been used that way?

      • Oppy

        Zack, Tony Gurley is a WR that was picked up by the Packers last year as an UDFA and flashed enough talent that the Packers put him on practice squad. He’s tall, a long limbed long strider that gets after the ball. He also had shown a knack for blocking punts and kicks, oddly enough, during camp.

        About half way through the year, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran an article about Gurley, where a number of the Packers’ starting DB’s commented on how good he is and that he’s a challenge to stop. Some of the WR’s also chimed in that he was very talented. It is RARE to hear starters for an NFL team giving those kinds of props to a practice squad player…

        Towards the end of the season, the Minnesota Vikings, and perhaps some other teams, made offers to Gurley to join their 53 man rosters (A chance to actually play in the NFL, and a very substantial pay raise). The packers immediately gave Gurley a big raise (kind of unheard of for a practice squad player) and Gurley stayed with the Packers. It’s probably safe to assume the Packers have plans for Gurley to be promoted to the active roster when Donald Driver retires or is put out to pasture, and safe to assume they told Gurley as much.

        The question “Who’s Gurley?” is probably going to be answered within the next season or two, and a number of fans (including Jersey Al) think that answer might end up being “A game changer”.

        • Zack

          Cool. Thanks for the info

  • Shavager

    Don’t get the connection to Cobb and Sproles, at Kentucky Cobb’s main position was WR, only time he ran the ball was out of a wildcat set or on QB option plays that Kentucky used him at the QB spot trying to capitalize on his versatility as an athlete. Never saw him at RB position in SEC games and he doesn’t have Sproles speed. Jennings had a typical great year especially with defenses targeting him early opening up opportunities for othere WR’s. Missing three games hurt him, no matter what the coaches said.

    • Zack

      Yea lol I kinda said that as a fleeting thought now yOu guys talked me Out of it =P either way I’m excited to see him develop and I’m glad to hear that others feel the same

  • Tarynfor 12

    With DD more likely moving on and JJ needing to improve much more than some admit,Cobb may become the 3 WR on the team and would love to get a really good KR/PR/SPTGunner/WR and probably the most underrated and the sleeper of the draft…Devon Wylie-Fresno State.5’8″-185lbs-4:32.