There’s a ludicrous amount of negative talk around the Packers wide receivers.

And it’s completely misguided.

This group of receivers is gonna be just fine.

First, there’s Randall Cobb. Yes, he’s past his prime. At the same time, he’s a shifty receiver who has a unique connection with the quarterback and that should not be undervalued. He also showed he can still produce. In his last game of the season, he put up nearly 100 yards in the first half before leaving the game with an injury – and that was against a Super Bowl champion defense.

Then there’s Allen Lazard. For some reason, there’s a lot of people who still don’t think highly of him. I don’t know why. He took on a role as a full-time starter last year and made the most of his opportunities, scoring a touchdown in one out of every five of his catches. He’s a big-bodied target with a great catch radius and his hard to bring down.

Throw in Sammy Watkins for veteran depth on a prove-it contract. Watkins has been limited by injuries (and quarterback play), but, despite missing 12 games over the last 3 years, he still averaged around 40 catches and 500 yards. That’s solid production for a role player. Watkins, who was drafted # 4 overall, has the skills to be more than just a role player, though. He’s still an elite talent when healthy. He may not be healthy every game, but that’s the nature of football.

Those are three good veteran players, all with different body types and play styles. That kind of weapon diversity is great for playing matchup ball when you don’t want your passing game to run through one receiver.

Then, the Packers traded up to get to get Christian Watson. I know, I know, he wasn’t a 1st round receiver, but he was the first receiver drafted after pick 18. Watson is one of the most physically gifted receivers the Packers ever drafted and has one of the highest ceilings of any receiver in this deep class. The early clips out of camp (albeit without pads) look very promising. If he can pick up the offense, he can add a dynamic element to this offense that they have not had. Adams, Jordy, Jennings – they were all great, but none of them came out of college with the physical talents this kid has.

He wasn’t the only receiver the Packers drafted, either. Romeo Doubs has the speed and route running skills to make an immediate impact in this offense. Whereas Watson is an athletic freak who needs a little polish, Doubs may be a bit more pro ready, despite having a lower ceiling. The Packers even took a flyer on Samori Toure – another receiver with good hands and route running ability – at the end of the draft.

And then there’s the forgotten man: Amari Rodgers. Yes, his rookie season can accurately be described as abysmal. But there’s a reason the Packers traded up on Day 2 to get him last year. At 5’9, 212, he’s built like a bowling ball, presenting a different kind of challenge for defenses. History is littered with successful receivers who had rough rookie outings. There’s no reason he can’t bounce back to become the receiver the Packers hoped he’d be when they drafted him.

Look at it as a group and what do you see?

A rare combination of youth and experience – a group of physically diverse pass catchers that all have unique strengths.

The Packers have half a dozen wide receivers with a legit change to make an impact.

Do I think they’ll all reach their potential?

No.

But they don’t have to.

People get caught up in fantasy stats and miss the fact that a successful NFL passing attack needs weapon diversity more than pinball numbers.

Each of the six top receivers on the depth charge (Cobb, Lazard, Watkins, Watson, Doubs, Rodgers) have a completely different style of play. The Packers can work with that. Depending on what kind of defense they’re playing, what the weather conditions are, and a number of other factors, each of them could potentially be the leading receiver.

That’s just another great part of having a coach like Matt LaFleur and a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers. They can have a different # 1 receiver each week. This is not an offense that needs a stud receiver to funnel the passing game through (we tried that, it didn’t work), this is an offense that needs role players with complementary skills to all do their job.

And that is exactly what the Packers have.

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