Young Pass Catcher Emerging as Packers Second Option at WR

Packers Offer Rodgers

Getty Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the third quarter of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Green Bay Packers‘ offense is liable to take the form of pass catching by committee this season, as the wide receivers currently rostered are either young and unproven, past their primes or career underachievers.

However, one NFL legend turned analyst believes that the team’s two rookie options will eventually ascend to the top two spots on the depth chart. Christian Watson, who the Packers traded up to draft early in the second round, unsurprisingly appears the clear favorite for the No. 1 job. The less likely outcome on draft weekend roughly a month and a half ago, but growing more and more possible by the day, is that fourth-round selection Romeo Doubs will claim the No. 2 spot.

Maurice Jones Drew of NFL Network on Monday, June 20, broke down the touch distribution among the league’s most crowded position groups, including Green Bay’s wide receiving corps. He believes that when all the dust has settled, Doubs will be MVP Aaron Rodgers‘ second favorite target behind Watson, despite the quarterback’s reputation for minimal patience with young pass catchers.

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Jones Drew Breaks Down Packers’ Situation at Wide Receiver

Romeo Doubs

GettyWide receiver Romeo Doubs of the Nevada Wolf Pack eludes Luq Barcoo of the San Diego State Aztecs during the first half of a game at Qualcomm Stadium on November 9, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Jones Drew acknowledged that Green Bay’s passing attack will undoubtedly be altered by the departure of All-Pro Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders and wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling to the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason.

But different doesn’t necessarily have to mean considerably worsened if Watson and Doubs can rise to the occasion.

It’s a tough assessment when looking at this group, but I believe Watson will emerge as Aaron Rodgers’ go-to target. The Packers traded up to select him 34th overall, and he’s the highest-drafted wideout by the Packers since Rodgers became the starting QB in 2008. The 6-5, 208-pound rookie will be tough to defend, with quickness in and out of his breaks and downfield speed.

[Sammy] Watkins, entering his ninth season, has a real opportunity to have a career season catching passes from the back-to-back MVP, but he MUST stay healthy.

[Randall] Cobb has great chemistry with Rodgers, so expect the vet to get his share of targets. [Allen] Lazard, who signed his restricted free agent tender last week but still desires a long-term deal, has a chance to be a playmaker in 2022, but to me, the fact that the Packers drafted two players at his position is telling.

That brings me to Doubs, who I’ve heard nothing but good things about since he arrived in Green Bay. He has strong hands and can take the top off the defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fourth-rounder ends up as the team’s WR2 at some point during the season.

Doubs Has Makings of Quality NFL Wide Receiver

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Packers

GettyWide receivers Randall Cobb (left), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (center) and Allen Lazard (right) of the Green Bay Packers work out during training camp at Ray Nitschke Field on July 29, 2021 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The 22-year-old Doubs played his collegiate football at the University of Nevada. He stands at 6-feet, 2-inches tall and weighs 204 pounds.

Doubs recorded back-to-back seasons in college with more than 1,000 yards receiving, an uncommon feat even among pass catchers who went on to successful NFL careers. Perhaps Doubs’ greatest value, as Jones Drew mentioned, is his potential as a deep threat option for Rodgers in Green Bay’s offense.

“He’s got length, he’s really fast, he’s a big-time playmaker, and he’s done it for multiple years at Nevada,” Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst said of Doubs after drafting him. “He’s probably one of the more polished players coming out of college just because of his experience. We’re excited to see what he can do.”  

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