The Green Bay Packers have had some luck with their rookie wide receivers this season in Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, so general manager Brian Gutekunst decided to add another rookie wideout to the active roster.
After racking up another win on Christmas Day against the Miami Dolphins, the Packers are firmly in the mix in the NFC’s playoff race. The offense is starting to produce more thanks to the emergence of Watson, but with the recent release of veteran receiver Sammy Watkins, there was room for another wideout on the active roster.
The Packers announced a handful of moves via their team website on Tuesday, December 27. Along with placing Dean Lowry on injured reserve and releasing Tipa Galeai, the team used their open 53-man roster spot to sign rookie receiver Bo Melton off of the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.
It’ll be tough for Melton to crack into the team’s preferred rotation, especially with the regular season just a couple of weeks away from ending. However, if the rookie can impress enough in the coming weeks, there’s a good chance that he could make the 53-man roster in 2023.
Who is Bo Melton?
He may not have been the biggest name in the 2022 NFL draft, but Melton’s skill set and production in college makes him an interesting pickup for the Packers.
Melton was a 4-star recruit and one of the top high school players in the state of New Jersey back in 2017. His offers included programs such as Michigan, Ohio State, and Oregon, but Melton ultimately decided to stay close to home to play for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
After seeing some action in his first couple of seasons, Melton finished his career as a five-year contributor for Rutgers. He finished his career with two All-Big Ten selections and two years as a team captain, catching 164 passes for 2,011 yards and 11 touchdowns.
That production, along with impressive football instincts and route-running ability, helped Melton get taken in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks. While he wasn’t outright released by the Seahawks, he was on the team’s practice squad due to the team’s crowded receiver room before being picked up by the Packers.
Now, Melton will have a chance to keep his NFL career alive by proving enough over the final weeks of the 2022 season to start his campaign in 2023 to land on another 53-man roster.
Green Bay’s Rookie Receivers Are Ascending
Melton has some tough competition in Green Bay, with fellow rookies Watson and Doubs already ascending as young talents for the Packers.
Doubs got off to a stronger start than Watson, but a high-ankle sprain caused him to miss multiple games in the second half of the regular season. Still, the fourth-round pick out of Nevada is looking like a steal, catching 39 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Watson got off to a much slower starter despite being the higher draft pick. The second-round rookie out of North Dakota State dropped what would have been a 75-yard touchdown on his first ever NFL snap, then proceeded to miss multiple games due to injury. However, the 6’5″ speedster has caught fire as of late, racking up eight total touchdowns over a four-game span to thrust him into the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation.
Even Day 3 rookie Samori Toure has shown flashes in limited action for the Packers. While fans clamored all offseason for the Packers to spend premium assets at the receiver position, Watson and Doubs have eased fans concerns about what the future holds for the team at wide receiver.