The Green Bay Packers are short a proven No. 1 pass catcher on the roster, but they may have had the weapon they need in the wide receiver room all along.
A rookie has stolen the show on offense during the first week-plus of training camp, though it hasn’t been the one some Packers fans probably thought it was going to be. While second-round pick Christian Watson has been sidelined since June after undergoing knee surgery, fourth-round selection Romeo Doubs has been lighting it up daily at practice.
Everyone from the field to the front office has taken notice, including Doubs’ new quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who is coming off back-to-back MVP awards. Rodgers had strong praise for the newcomer when he spoke with the media following practice on Wednesday, August 3.
“Every single day, there’s been at least one ‘wow’ play from him,” Rodgers said of Doubs. “That’s kind of rare for a young guy like that. Now, we’ve had some guys over the years do that, but they’re all in the top 10 in Packers receiving history.”
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Doubs Turning Heads of Packers HC Matt LaFleur, GM Gutekunst
It wasn’t just Rodgers who was complimentary of Doubs’ time with the team so far this preseason. General manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur have also taken notice.
“It’s a great start, it’s a credit to [Doubs’] preparation and how he’s attacked the opportunities,” Gutekunst said Wednesday. “He was a very productive college player, a guy who can win a multitude of different ways — route running, speed, power, explosiveness. He’s really attacked it. [Coach LaFleur] has talked about his preparation, his habits, and that’s allowed him to take advantage of these opportunities.”
Matt Schneidman of The Athletic detailed one such opportunity that presented itself Tuesday during one-on-one practice routes, in which Packers’ pass catchers went head-to-head with members of the team’s secondary.
“Romeo Doubs burned [cornerback] Eric Stokes down the right sideline for a TD from Rodgers,” Schneidman tweeted. “Stokes slammed his helmet after.”
Doubs has both length and high-level speed, rendering him a potential deep threat in Green Bay’s offense. At 22 years old, Gutekunst has said Doubs was probably one of the most NFL-ready receivers coming out in the 2022 draft.
The wideout stands 6-feet, 2-inches tall and weighs 204 pounds. He also produced consecutive years with more than 1,000 yards receiving during his final two seasons at the University of Nevada, which is a rare feat to accomplish at any level in any conference.
Packers’ Christian Watson Still Healing From Minor Knee Surgery
If the Packers did find a diamond in the rough when they drafted Doubs, the team has a solid chance of going two-for-two on its top two wide receiver selections this season.
Watson has even better measurable qualities than does Doubs, though he has not had the same chance to showcase them. Green Bay placed Watson on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list prior to camp, where he remains after what Gutekunst described as a knee injury that is not “long-term.”
“It was one of those things where we came out of OTAs and there was kind of a thought process, ‘Do you want to try to push through the season and finish this after the 2022 season, or should we just go ahead and do it now?'” Gutekunst said on July 27. “And we just did it now, so he’ll miss a little bit of time in camp, but it’s nothing long-term.”