Talking Wide Receivers: NFL Draft Possibilities That Fit the Packers

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Packers Wide Receivers, NFL Draft
Packers Wide Receivers

With Donald Driver retiring and Greg Jennings putting his house up for sale, the Packers will be kicking the tires on Wide Receivers. The 2013 NFL draft has a talented group of prospects, so if you need one, it’s a good year to go shopping.

The Packers still have one the best WR groups in the NFL, with or without Jennings and Driver. Jennings leaving will make a hole in the group, but not as large are some think. Jennings has missed half of the regular season games with injuries the last two years. Driver was used very little this last year, where his smile and leadership will be missed, his production will not be.

Jones had his best year, lead the NFL in TD’s and reduced his dropped passes significantly. Nelson is still on the rise as a WR. Cobb when he was drafted, I called a steal, and he has shown that to be very true. His play and continued development is a huge plus for the Packers.

After those three, it’s unproven developmental players. Boykin could become a very nice procession type receiver or even more, he has good size at 6-2 and 217#. His testing numbers are almost identical to James Jones coming into the draft, not fast 4.57 40 time, Jones 4.58. Both have good quickness showed in there ten yard times and good agility. Boykin does have great hands and a excellent coach so I give him a 4th round type grade going into this next season.

Jeremy Ross is the other interesting WR to develop. He showed his ability with the ball in his hands returning punts and kick offs. Good size at 6-0 215#, 4.44 speed and a very nice 1.50 ten yard time.

I give extra credit to development players already on the team. The NFL training, coaching with the added experience of being a Pro gives these players a step up over most rookies. Regardless of those players the Packers are going to have to look at drafting a WR, and making it a priority to sign some UDFA’s for development on the practice squad. Wide Receiver might have the deepest talent in the 2013 draft, intriguing prospects can be found through the 4th round and even beyond.

The number one spot is being fought over by Keenan Allen 6-3 210# out of California and Cordarrelle Patterson 6-3 205# Tennessee. What I found interesting about Allen, one of his scouting reports had him compared to Jordy Nelson. Allen will be a top 15 pick IMO.

The 2013 draft has a group of 15 or 16 Wide Receives that fall into the top of the second to the top of the 5th round. That group comes in all shapes and sizes ranging from 5-9 175# Tavon Austin out of West Virginia at the top of the second to Rodney Smith 6-5 219# Florida State who is ranked in the 5th right now. I will say that many of these prospects will be moving up and down the draft rankings after the combine and Pro Days, but we have to start some place.

Do you look for another Jennings type receiver, 5-11 197#, 4.42 40 time, good, but not great 1.57 ten yard time, excellent agility with a 4.18 short shuttle and a 6.69 3 cone drill, Or a different type of receiver? Do you draft someone high in the draft or look for talent you can develop? I would not want to see the Ted Thompson draft a RB, TE or a WR in the first round. And Ted Thomson has not drafted a WR, RB or TE in the first round yet. I’ll take the best defensive player they can get at any position with that first pick.

But we are here to talk WR’s so lets look at what is what and who is who. I will give you some names I think fit the Packers, DeAndre Hopkins 6-1 200# Clemson , Aaron Dobson 6-3 # Marshall, Quinton Patton 6-0 202# Louisiana Tech, Da’Rick Rodgers 6-2 206# Tennessee Tech, Chris Harper 6-1 228# Kansas State. Other then Patton, all of the ones I have here are over 6’ and over 200#.

This goes back to a requirement set by Bill Walsh on WCO wide receiver prospects you can read here.

Where the offense the Packers run is based in the WCO, it is of course an evolved variation. But when you look at the type of WR’s that have done well in the system, they usually fit those size and physical parameters. The Packers ask their WR’s to block both in the run game and WR screen patterns and down field. The Packer also utilize back shoulder passes and timing routes, where body control is important. These bigger WR’s also have a easier time getting off the line of scrimmage.

Lets start with DeAndre Hopkins, Aaron Dobson and Quinton Patton, they all fit the Packers well. These three prospects are all ranked in the top to middle part of the second round right now.

Da’Rick Rodgers is one of the most talented WR’s in the draft, but he has shown a ten cent head at times, being suspended at Tennessee and moving to Tennessee Tech.

Not much for highlights for Chris Harper, but you can see a couple nice plays here.

So what should the Packers do? Move up get one of the top two WR’s? Make another 2nd round WR pick? Ted has picked if I remember correctly 4 WR’s in the second round. Or go with what the team all ready has and address other needs? If I have to pick one out of the group outlined, Aaron Dobson interests me the most, but each are a good fit for the Packers offense.

 

  • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

    I haven’t done a whole lot of research yet but am looking forward to the combine. I’ve got the DVR all set for each day to record. I’d like to see the Packers get either Jessie Williams or John Jenkins in round 1. In round 2, the Safety from Fresno St or either Robert Woods from USC or Quinton Patterson from La. Tech, both WR. In the 3rd round the best offensive lineman available. The 4th round a inside linebacker like the kid from Kansas St. Now if T.T. was to go get a player like Sammie Hill, the DT that’s a free agent from the Lions, and Steven Jackson, both whom I think could be had for a reasonable price to play for a team that can win now, that would be the cherry on top. Well am I dreaming or would this be a awesome draft!

    • Dobber

      TT? Sign someone?

      • FireMMNow

        i am a big jesse williams fan but i think he is a second round guy. i google imaged jenkins and the first picture that came up was him sleeping…SUCKING HIS THUMB!!! that almost makes him undraftable.

        the LB from Kansas State is Arthur brown and he is looked at as a late first to mid second round pick by most people. some think he can be a 3-4 ILB but i see him as more of a tampa 2 guy.

        big fan of quinton patton. very smooth guy. and that is what TT always looks for. natural receivers that are fluid athletes.

        • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

          So what if Browns there at #53 when the Packers draft in the 2nd round? Run up with the card and pick him right? BTW, Thanks for the input!

  • lmills

    Da’Rick Rogers is a physical specimen. If he interviews well, that’s my pick in the 2nd.

    • FireMMNow

      Da’Rick rogers scares me. he has maybe the best hands in the draft but he reminds me of alshon jeffrey. not quick out of his breaks. not a bad player, but there are players i like quite a bit more. TT rarely goes after guys with character issues, and rogers has that in spades.

      • MRK

        I like Dobson better than Rogers – crisper routes and just a good hands. He catches everything away from his body and has great concentration (See ESPN Top 10 Play catch from few years ago).

  • Dobber

    One thing that’s left off the description of these WCO/Packer receivers is that they tend to come out of college as mature route-runners. I remember Jennings as being scouted that way, and I think Nelson was as well. Correct me if I’m wrong. Both Thompson and McCarthy have talked about how important that quality is for receivers because it signals not just good coaching and preparation but also football smarts and an ability to adjust in-game.

    Which of these receivers above have that in their scouting reports?

    • http://TalkinPackers Yoop

      All of them are good route runners. And good after the catch.

      • FireMMNow

        i do not see da’rick rodgers as a good route runner. he has fantastic size and hands that allow him to make contested catches, but he does not look quick in and out of his breaks to me.

  • FireMMNow

    I am a big fan of Quinton Patton. fits what TT wants in his receivers to a tee. fast enough, catches everything with his hands, smooth route runner and athlete with excellent body control. body control is extremely underrated. guys that can twist and get their body into position from awkward footing is often the difference between a interception and a big play.

    chris harper reminds me of james jones. big thick bodies. harper is maybe a little better leaper than james, but once again hands catchers.

    hopkins looks great to me. on a team with sammy watkins, hopkins was the go to guy. like him a lot.

    dobson is a guy that i am not high on. he looks okay, but not real explosive. terrance williams is another highly ranked guy that i would not be interested in. body catcher, kind of stiff.

    other guys to keep an eye on, justin hunter. will probably move back up boards with a blazing 40. the guy makes a ton of big plays, but natural catching ability has been questioned.

    stedman bailey. the most product WR in college football. on the small side, but has a thick lower body and is a more powerful route runner than you would think. fantastic hands, great body control. is he fast enough? he made lots of big plays at WVU, but combine will be big. if he can run in the high 4.4s or real low 4.5s i would be all over him. i like him a lot.

    cordarelle patterson will be gone, but he may be the best athlete in the draft.

    tavon austin is 1a for athleticism. size is a concern for me, but the guy is absolutely lightning with the ball in his hands.

    • Savage57

      A GLIDER. GOTSTA FIND A GLIDER.

      I remember the moves that Jennings made on the DB in a Sunday night game – it was an in-out-in combination that left the defender and his jock 3 yards behind Jennings as he glided into the end zone. Collinsworth couldn’t stop chuckling about it and neither could I.

      I don’t follow College football close enough to know who in the draft class might be that guy (living in the South I get enough SEC BS to make me puke), but I hope that TT looks for a body type, play history and combine stats that are as close to Jennings-like as possible.

  • Ron LC

    Thanks for the highlight Vids. I don’t know much about any of the receivers highlighted. They all look like all-pro candidates basd on the film. We all know that can’t be true. That’s why I rely on you guys who spend the time and effort to helps out.

    Thanks for your efforts. One thing I do know is the Pack will probably go for a WR no lower than #3. Even though according to the MJS Jennings is not getting the monetary interest he expected. I still see no way he’s back as a Packer.

    One thing most don’t see in the GB passing game is that it functions as a team. There has not been a clear-cut #1 receiver for a while. The decision TT and MM will make is how well a guy fits nto that team.

    Thanks again for the info.

    • ThomasMagnumPI

      Speaking of Jennings not getting the interest that he expected, I heard that he is asking for $14 million/ year. That seems like double what he will get, but more power to him I guess.

      What is interesting, is that if he is really set on that number, Rotoworld proposes that he will price himself out of the first “round” of free agency (meaning that guys like Mike Wallace and Bowe will get contracts first from the most interested teams) and he might significantly hurt his value.

      Maybe, just maybe, another JJ-type situation happens where Jennings just doesn’t get the interest on the FA market that he was expecting (or should get) and he ends up coming back home for a reduced salary. I would need someone to lay pretty long odds for me to take that bet though.

  • http://TalkinPackers Yoop

    I like to watch the combine, You can get carried away with stats and testing numbers, but I look at it as a tie breaker.
    You take any of the prospects in the videos, you get to see them play the game, but they are now going to have the play that game against NFL competition.
    Are they strong enough? Quick enough? Fast enough? In the case of a WR are they agile enough to create that sliver of separation to be open?
    That’s why for me I want too see a player that has experience, has started multiple years,increased his production when the other teams know you are good.
    My guess is with the talent in the second round at WR, the Packers will take one.

  • Anthony Dilweg

    FireMMNow and Jersey Al:

    I value your opinions very much. I am looking at Keenan Allen as a potential player that could drop into the Packer’s Lap. I know it’s early, and it’s always easy to look at drafting WR’s in the 2nd or 3rd round, cause we have had success with that in the past…..but Allen is not going to workout at the combine, and I anticipate a couple other players jumping ahead of him as the #1 and #2 WR prospects. There will be a freak at the combine that runs a crazy 40 and gets a ton of hype, and the kid out of Tennessee is already probably ahead of Allen. What are your thoughts? If he is there….which I think he could be….I would think that would be the guy you draft. I am looking at the 1st round, and there are not many sure thing Front7 Players that are worthy of the pick. Is Keenan Allen a no-brainer if he is there?
    Thank you for your time….I’ll take the answer sitting down….thank you….

    • FireMMNow

      all your points are valid. is he a no brainer? i am not sure. i think WRs in the second and third round will provide similar value. he would be hard to pass up, but it all depends on who is still there. some people have him as the clear cut #1 or #2 WR, but i do not see it quite that simply. i do agree that he could be there late first round. every year there seems to be a WR that drops a little bit.

      I agree 100% in regards to front seven players in this draft. beyond lotululei, bjoern werner and jarvis jones i do not see any true difference makers in the first round. i think the DL class is somewhat deep, but the top talent is not there. I really like the WR, OT and CB spots in this draft. That is where there will be a lot of value in the first couple rounds. then i would think about DL and OLB in rounds 3+.

      • Stroh

        Agree about the WR being better value in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I like Keenan Allen if he falls to 26, tho I have a few other players I think would make more of an impact than Allen. Allen has #1 WR written all over him tho and he would probably be the higher rated of them.

        If the Packers draft a WR high, and I don’t know that we should yet, I like Allen in the 1st, and Patton and Dobson as the best fits for the Packers. Thats just my initial impression, as I haven’t really studied WR much yet. Been focusing on other positions of need for now.

      • ThomasMagnumPI

        What about Cornelius “Tank” Carradine?

        http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=90466&draftyear=2013&genpos=DE

        Seems like he could be a guy to offer some dynamite value, and some scouts call his tape more impressive that Bjoern Werner.

    • http://TalkinPackers Yoop

      I think you would have to draft Allen is there at #26, run up with that card. I even saw a Mock draft with Allen being the Packers first pick.

      • FireMMNow

        what if jarvis jones is there due to his spinal stenosis and teams before the pack are scared of him? doubt it will happen, but i always hate to say no brainer. but i will say, it would be very difficult not to take him.

        • http://TalkinPackers Yoop

          After Murphy, Thompson and Collins I highly doubt the Packers would draft someone with any Spinal disorders.

        • ThomasMagnumPI

          From my caveman understanding of the disorder, it seems to be a chronic rather than acute condition. If he is good to go for another 4 years and must re-evaluate after that then I don’t see the problem with drafting the guy. It’s not like TT keeps all that many of his players for a second contract anyhow, so it seems like a reasonable gamble.

          It would be unkind to opposing offenses to have a stable of pass rushers in the form of Mathews, Perry and Jones coming at them, especially when all three of them are fresh late in the game.

  • Anthony Dilweg

    FireMMNow….you should have your own webpage…..and I would love to be able to add my expert opinion to the page. Let me know when you start one up. Ur opinions and outlook to the upcoming seasons and potential draft picks always seem to be dead on. We can let JerseyAl add his points on there at times as well…..

    • FireMMNow

      thank your for the compliment. fortunately i already have a webpage, i am not sure if you have seen it or not. it is called google. it is pretty popular and has provided me with a pretty solid income.

    • Stroh

      “I would love to add my expert opinion…” LMFAO!!! Good one.

  • Scott 1956

    I would love to see them get a WR that can take the top off the defense. I’m talking about real speed. Nelson can get deep, and so can Cobb and Jones. But if they can get someone who is a threat every play he’s in there, the Safeties will not be able to cheat. Plus there would be more room underneath. As well as helping the running game!

    • Stroh

      We faced 2 deep safeties all year long. THe safeties certainly weren’t cheating, they stayed deep. Thats why Rodgers was throwing to Cobb underneath so much. What we need is a consistent running game to get the Safeties to cheat toward the LOS, so we can get Nelson or Jones over the top again. As long as teams are playing 6 or 7 in the box the safeties are gonna stay deep.

      • Scott 1956

        You want a running game, but McCarthy doesn’t! Every year it’s the same thing with him, throw as much as possible, then run to give your WR’s a rest! We listen to the same BS every year. It goes like this, “We have to run the ball more”. McCarthy has to answer this question at least once every year. So if he isn’t going to run the ball, get an actual deep threat. By the way, teams do play 2 deep about 60% of the time against the Packers. Get an actual deep threat, and that pecentage will go up to at least 80%.

        • Stroh

          In ’08 and ’09 Grant averaged 300 carries for the season. I think if McCarthy had a better RB that could consistently produce 1st downs and keep the chains moving he would be more than happy to run the ball more. Grant was never much more than an average RB, if we had one similar or better he would give him 300 carries a year, which would impact the Safties. I doubt it would ever be much more, but thats the only way McCarthy is gonna get teams out of the 2 deep coverage. I’m sure McCarthy realizes thats the only way to open up the passing game like it was in ’11.

  • Scott 1956

    300 carries are less than 20 per game, not exactly a good running game. Besides, this article is about WR’s.

    • Stroh

      Less than 20 carries a game, but enough to keep the Safeties honest. Your the one who brought up the safety connundrum.