If you’ve been taking a Rip Van Winkle-like nap since March 17 and this is the first thing you’re reading since waking up, the Packers traded star receiver Davante Adams to the Raiders. The Chiefs also backed up the Brinks truck for receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency.
So the Packers don’t have a proven No. 1 wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers right now. In their stead, guys like Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins, who have stepped up before in the NFL, will need to do so again to a higher degree. They have two rookies in Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, who flashed in the OTAs but face the fact that rookie receivers haven’t thrived with Rodgers when it counts. They also have Amari Rodgers, the second-year slot receiver who struggled in 2021 but will get another chance in Green Bay’s offense in 2022.
Who knows, maybe they’ll bring in another receiver — Julio Jones? — who is still a free agent and would provide size, speed and a red-zone threat for the best quarterback he has ever played with, joining a receiver room that could use all those things.
Packers wideouts coach Jason Vrable’s group enters the 2022 season accompanied by hype lower than the underground players parking lot being built at Lambeau Field. That said, the Packers also have a quarterback more than capable of making any of those aforementioned players better than they seem on paper.
“I really don’t care,” Cobb said of people doubting the Packers receivers. “I’ve been doubted my whole life. You think I care? I wouldn’t be here. People don’t want me here. I’m here. People didn’t want me to leave. I’m here. People didn’t want me on the Packers. I’m here. People don’t want me traded back here. I’m here. I don’t care what anybody has to say. I’m going to go out and do what I’m supposed to do and have fun doing it, put a smile on my face and try to win some games.”
Why do Packers fans not have faith in the current crop of wide receivers?
Well, for one, they had only one receiver among the top 85 in receiving yards last season, and that receiver is no longer on the team. Adams finished third in the NFL (1,553), Lazard 87th (513), Valdes-Scantling 112th, Cobb tied for 126th (375), Winfree 328th (58) and Amari Rodgers tied for 348th (45). Watkins finished 121st in his season with the Ravens (394), one spot ahead of Packers running back Aaron Jones (391).