Shhhhhh… be vewy, vewy qwiet… It’s
wabbit wide receiver season…
Trapper Ted is up to his old tricks., i.e., his normal off-season compulsive collecting of no-name wide receivers. On Wednesday, the Packers signed Alex Gillett, a 6’1″, 214lb former QB turned receiver from Eastern Michigan.
That brings the number of wide receivers currently on the Packers roster to eleven. That may seem like a lot at first glance, but it’s actually fairly normal for the Packers. I know this because I remember calling a few years in a row for the Packers to carry one less wide receiver on the camp roster so that they could bring in a second placekicker to make Mason Crosby actually, you know, earn his spot.
But no, we can’t waste a precious roster spot on a second kicker, I kept hearing. Well lo and behold, look what the Packers have done this season. Hey, they even went out and got an Italian kicker – Mama mia!
But before this veers off into another epic Crosby rant (I’m kind of due, aren’t I), let’s get back to the subject at hand.
The argument in favor of bringing so many receivers to camp has always been that they need camp bodies to run routes during practices so the main receivers don’t get worn out. I totally bought into that theory, but still felt it was a waste with the Packers only keeping five wide receivers – until last year.
Last season, the Packers actually brought 12 receivers into camp. (Borel, Boykin, Brewer, Cobb, Driver, Curenski, Gurley, Jennings, Jones, Moss, Nelson, Smithson). Many speculated they could keep seven. I expected them to keep six, what with Donald Driver being given a mercy roster spot after his fan popularity shot through the roof thanks to his Dancing with the Stars win. But seven?
The two players most assumed had the best chances of being #6 and #7 (Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley) were sent packing, while relative unknown Jarret Boykin (a rookie camp tryout invitee) was the surprise choice as the #6 receiver. In October, the Packers signed Jeremy Ross to the practice squad and signed him to the active roster on Dec 1. So the Packers did end up with seven wide receivers after all.
What will happen this year? Of the current eleven wide receivers on the roster, only Cobb, Nelson and Jones have more than one year of NFL experience. Scary, if you think about it too much. That basically means there’s a wide open 8-man competition for 2-3 spots. Household names like Sederrik Cunningham, Kevin Dorsey, Charles Johnson, Tyrone Walker, Miles White and the newly signed Gilettt will be battling Boykin and Ross to be part of this Packers receiver corps. Warm and fuzzy?
Think about that for awhile and it will become even more clear why the Packers drafted two running backs…
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.