Packers’ Rookie Making Strong Case As No. 1 Wide Receiver

Getty Romeo Doubs #87 of the Green Bay Packers catches a touchdown pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game at Levi's Stadium on August 12, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

There’s a new man in the Green Bay Packers wide receiver room, and while he may not be a household name yet, he’s trending hard in that direction.

Green Bay drafted three rookie pass catchers in 2022. Second-rounder Christian Watson received top billing of the three for much of the offseason, and logically so, as he was the first player the Packers picked at the position. But it is fourth-rounder Romeo Doubs out of the University of Nevada who is turning heads, including that of his legendary quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Doubs showed out during the team’s first preseason contest against the San Francisco 49ers Friday, pulling down three catches on seven targets for 45 yards and a touchdown from Packers’ backup signal caller Jordan Love, per statistics provided by ESPN.

The young receiver is also showing out daily in practice with performances that have Doubs’ bosses taking notice and has Rodgers comparing him to some of the best pass catchers to ever do it in Green Bay.

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Aaron Rodgers Sounds Off on Romeo Doubs’ Stellar Preseason Play

Rodgers Contract

GettyQuarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers warms up before the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field on January 16, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Rodgers was not timid in the least 10 days ago when discussing Doubs’ progression through his first-ever NFL training camp.

“Every single day, there’s been at least one, ‘Wow!’ play from him,” Rodgers said during a post-practice media session on Wednesday, August 3. “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.”

General manager Brian Gutekunst spoke to the same success on the same day when asked about his fourth-round draft selection, who is quickly rising to the top of the Packers’ wide receiver room.

“It’s a great start. It’s a credit to [Doubs’] preparation and how he’s attacked the opportunities,” Gutekunst said. “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. [Head coach Matt LaFleur] has talked about his preparation, his habits, and that’s allowed him to take advantage of these opportunities.”

Doubs Battling Watson, Lazard And Watkins For Top WR Job

Lazard Returns Green Bay

GettyWide receiver Allen Lazard of the Green Bay Packers warms up before a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park on November 3, 2019 in Carson, California.

If Doubs is to slide into the top spot on the depth chart, he is going to have to overcome some solid — yet far from insurmountable — competition.

There were thoughts that Watson, Doubs’ fellow rookie teammate, would have a legitimate shot to compete for the No. 1 receiver spot. That could still prove the case at some point in 2022, but Watson underwent minor knee surgery just days before camp opened — a setback likely to disadvantage him to some degree early in the year, as Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings is now less than a month out.

The two other most probable candidates to become Rodgers’ top target are Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins. Lazard has been a No. 3 option for most of his career in Green Bay, but he produced a career year in 2021 that included eight touchdown receptions. He’s also the wideout on the roster with the most experience catching passes from Rodgers, save for Randall Cobb who is well past his prime.

Watkins was a top recruit in college and owns a Super Bowl ring he won as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, but he has under-achieved based expectations when he entered the NFL. He joined the Packers as a free agent addition during the offseason, having played most recently with the Baltimore Ravens.

Either Lazard or Watkins may start the season as Rodgers’ go-to guy, but Doubs is a smart bet to rise to those responsibilities at some point in 2022 considering his current performance arc.

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bob mendez
bob mendez
1 month ago

as soon as I saw his college tapr was going to be better than Watson far more polished. he looks a lot like Jerry Rice waist down when running

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