Jared Abbrederis was the one Green Bay Packers receiver flying under the radar this offseason.
All eyes were being focused on every other receiver for various reasons. Can Jordy Nelson come back as strong as he was? Can Randall Cobb bounce back after a disappointing season? Can Jeff Janis make the leap and earn Aaron Rodgers’ trust? Will Davante Adams show something or is this the end of the line? Where does Trevor Davis fit in?
There are a lot of questions surrounding the Packers’ receiving corps. None of them revolve around Jared Abbrederis, who, depending on who you ask, is either in the running to be the No. 3 receiver or most likely to be cut.
Abbrederis has just been going out there, doing his work and keeping his mouth shut.
On Thursday, coach Mike McCarthy acknowledged the guy.
“I think Jared has had his best offseason. I think his route running is exemplary for a young guy, his ability to recognize coverages,” McCarthy said.
“The details of techniques and route running, I think he’s exceptional. … He plays the position technically and fundamentally at a very high level.”
That’s pretty much what we’ve heard about Abbrederis from day one (at least when he wasn’t injured, which was often).
Great route runner, fundamentally solid.
You can bet these characteristics are not lost on Aaron Rodgers. In fact, Rodgers lobbied for more Abbrederis toward the end of the 2015 season.
The question about Abbrederis is where he fits. He’s 6-1, 195, so he’s certainly not the biggest receiver. Some people will tell you that makes him a slot receiver. Those people will also tell you the Packers already have a slot receiver in Randall Cobb. Abbrederis isn’t supplanting Cobb at that position.
The Packers run a vertical passing game that, ideally, relies on two big, fast outside receivers. Can Abbrederis fit that role? He doesn’t really look the part, but we’re going to reserve judgment.
Abbrederis is the type of player that doesn’t look like much and then goes out and surpasses all expectations. We saw that at Wisconsin. We can also tell you the Packers have been using Abbrederis on the outside during the offseason program.
That alone doesn’t make him an outside receiver, but the door is open.