With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb due to hit free agency next offseason, the Packers could be looking to draft a wide receiver in April.
Or maybe they’re confident that they can re-up with Nelson and Cobb and aren’t worried about finding another receiver in the draft.
Or maybe they think they have a capable replacement for Nelson or Cobb already on the roster, and the rest of us just don’t know about him yet.
That last scenario seems by far the least plausible, but you never know. Nobody heard of Jarrett Boykin, but he became a reliable receiver and might step into James Jones’ role in 2014 if Jones signs elsewhere.
Of the Packers four “unknown” wide receivers currently on the roster, which one has the best chance of turning into a player? Here’s what I think:
Some were saying White was the fastest receiver in training camp. He was also a hurdling star in high school and was signed by the Packers as an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech. Speed and athleticism isn’t the issue for White. Size is.
White is barely over 180 pounds and probably needs to buff up if he wants to stick around and have a legitimate shot at cracking the lineup. If White gets bigger and improves, he can potentially be a deep outside burner who would be a nice complement to the bigger Jordy Nelson, Jones (if he re-signs), Boykin and Cobb (who likes to work inside).
White was called up off the practice squad for the middle part of the season and didn’t do much in 123 snaps. Of course, he didn’t have Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, either. White’s season came to an end early when he tore cartilage in his knee.
He used to play for the Seahawks so he must be halfway decent, right? Well, maybe.
Harper has the size (228) to be another Boykin-type of receiver — tough to bring down and holds his own blocking. But there must be a reason he was cut by the Seahawks (and later by the 49ers) not long after getting drafted in the fourth round. Bob McGinn ranked Harper 12th in his pre-draft wide receiver rankings and quoted scouts who said Harper catches well in traffic and can play in the red zone.
Harper is worth taking another peek at during training camp, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
A hamstring injury landed Dorsey on injured reserve before he could do much of anything.
The Packers picked Dorsey in the seventh round despite the fact that he had poor senior season at Maryland where he caught only 18 passes for 311 yards. Scouts liked Dorsey’s size and his ability to to go after passes no matter what’s going on around him, but nobody was too impressed with his speed.
He played 24 snaps in the exhibition game against Seattle and looked physical, if nothing else.
Will Dorsey come back from his year in the training room ready to take a leap forward and turn some heads? We’ll find out soon enough.
A wrist injury landed this rookie free agent on injured reserve at the end of July. I’d be surprised if we see him dress for the Packers again.