The Green Bay Packers have prioritized pass-catchers in each of the past two drafts, but it’s a player they didn’t draft who has created some serious buzz this preseason.
Undrafted rookie wide receiver Malik Heath out of Ole Miss led the Packers with 12 catches and 146 yards gained during the month of August. While Heath isn’t likely to win a starting job out of the gate, he is a member of a ridiculously young group of skill-position players and should get an opportunity to contribute relatively early in his NFL career.
That was part of an argument crafted by Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report on Thursday, August 31, in which he projects Heath to be among the most impactful undrafted rookies in the 2023 campaign.
Unlike fellow undrafted rookie wideouts Elijah Cooks and Jake Bobo, who will play behind established receivers with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, Heath joins a young wideout group that features six guys who entered the league over the last year.
Wide receiver Christian Watson came on strong in the second half of the 2022 term, but Heath can command a fair number of targets as an emerging playmaker behind him.
Packers QB Jordan Love Likes What He Sees from Rookie WR Malik Heath
Heath has also made plenty of believers within the Packers locker room, including perhaps the most important one of all — starting quarterback Jordan Love.
“He’s balled out since he got here,” Love told media members on August 26, per Ryan Wood of USA Today. “I think the biggest thing since he got here is just how aggressive he catches the ball. He attacks it — his mentality. And once he catches it, he’s trying to get those yards.”
Heath gained plenty of yards last season at Ole Miss, hauling in 60 catches for 971 yards and five touchdowns, per Football Reference. He has the kind of frame that should allow him to find similar production at the NFL level given the chance, standing at 6’2″ and weighing 213 pounds.
Romeo Doubs’ Injury May Create Chances for Malik Heath Early in 2023
Injuries inside the Packers wide receiver room may provide an opportunity for Heath early on during his rookie campaign.
Romeo Doubs continues to deal with a strained hamstring, which head coach Matt LaFleur hasn’t been willing to speak about in detail since it occurred. Doubs offered a little insight on Wednesday, though not much.
“Everything’s fine,” Doubs said, per Bill Huber of Packer Central. “I’ll leave those answers up to coach. However, just taking everything day by day.”
Huber noted that Doubs did not participate in practice at all outside of stretching drills to open the session.
Fifth-round rookie wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks out of Virginia also skipped practice Wednesday, as he battles a hamstring issue of his own.