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As each day draws nearer to April 25, the more serious I get about that # 12 draft pick. Also, the more excited. And nervous, and anxious.

I’m not feeling the excitement among the fans, however. Don’t you realize how momentous an occasion the 2019 draft will be for the Packers?

According to almost every forecaster, not a single wide receiver will have yet been selected when the Packers go on the clock at the NFL draft at # 12. I don’t exaggerate when I say this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Green Bay Packers. They likely will be able to take the first wide receiver selected in this draft – and that’s without having to do any trading up.

For some reason, wide receivers are seldom taken real early in NFL drafts, especially of late. The first WR taken in 2016 was at # 15; in 2017, it was # 5; in 2018, it wasn’t until # 24.

The Packers have had a wide open (or nearly) field like this maybe twice before. In 1989, choosing second overall, they went with Tony Mandarich, and thereby failed to make the playoffs for the next five years. Troy Aikman went before him. After that, you’d probably have to go back to 1957, when Green Bay selected Paul Hornung with the first overall pick. – I remember it well. These are opportunities not to be wasted.

Let’s acknowledge that, other than a quarterback, the position that offers the most playmaking and game-changing opportunities is wide receiver. GM Brian Gutekunst is no Ted Thompson – I’m trusting him to know that picking the best wide receiver is the only call to make this year at pick # 12.


D.K. Metcalf - Ole Miss WR

D.K. Metcalf (14) catches a touchdown pass against Kentucky Wildcats cornerback Lonnie Johnson (6) in the second half at Commonwealth Stadium. Ole Miss defeated Kentucky 37-34. Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

An Historic Opportunity

Quick quiz: how many wide receivers have been selected with the first overall pick in the NFL draft? I’ll get back to you.

Here are who I view as the most notable first (or as specified) WRs taken in the last 11 years:

  • Julio Jones – 6th overall (2nd WR chosen) by Falcons n 2011
  • A.J. Green – 4th overall by Bengals in 2011
  • Mike Evans – 7th overall (2nd WR chosen) by Bucs in 2014
  • Demaryius Thomas – 22nd overall by Broncos in 2010
  • Jordy Nelson – 36th overall (3rd WR chosen) by Packers in 2008
  • Dez Bryant – 24th overall (2nd WR chosen) by Cowboys in 2010
  • Sammy Watkins – 4th overall by Bills in 2014

The first wide receivers drafted in the past three years have yet to make a name for themselves: D.J. Moore, taken 24th by the Panthers in 2018; Corey Davis, taken 5th by the Titans in 2017; and Corey Coleman, taken 15th by the Browns in 2016. Davis, though, quietly turned in a line of 65 catches for 891 yards and 4 TDs last year. Moore showed considerable promise, with in his rookie season, with 55 catches for 781 yards and two TDs. Coleman, who has already been traded once, has only 738 yards of receptions in three years.

Wide receivers taken first overall going back to the 1950s were: Keyshawn Johnson, taken by the Jets in 1996; Irving Fryar, taken by the Pats in 1984; and Dave Parks, taken by the 49ers in 1964. No article about the history of wide receivers should exclude Jerry Rice. He was chosen 16th overall, despite coming out of Mississippi Valley State, by the 49ers, the third WR taken in 1985.

Marquise Brown Oklahoma Sooners WE

Marquise Brown – Oklahoma Sooners – USA Today Sports

Top WR Choices in 2019

As I’ve previously pointed out, WalterFootball issued its draft forecast for 2019 [https://totalpackers.com/2019/04/packers-draft-day/]. They predict that the first four wide receivers to be selected will be: D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss) at # 15; Parris Campbell (Ohio State) at 22; A.J Brown (Ole Miss) at 26; and Deebo Samuel (S. Carolina) way down at 38.

NBC Sports predicts the top WR choices will be: D.K. Metcalf at 12 (and going to the Packers); Marquise Brown (Oklahoma) at 26; A.J. Brown at 33; and N’Keal Harry (Arizona State) at 36.

CBS Sports has this order of WRs: Metcalf at 22; Harry at 27; Marquise Brown at 30; and A.J. Brown at 32. They also have team-by-tem draft charts – and there they predict the Packers’ will take Marquise Brown with the 26th pick. They also think the Packers will trade away that twelfth pick.

Drafttek.com has this lineup: A.J. Brown at 21; Metcalf at 22, Harry at 28; and Hakeem Butler (Iowa State) at 22.

Bleacher Report has it this way: Metcalf at 17; Marquise Brown at 20; and A.J. Brown at 22.

Sporting News.com predicts the only wide receivers to be selected in Round 1 will be: Metcalf at 7 and Marquise Brown at 22. This is the one forecaster that thinks another team will select a wide receiver prior to the Packers getting to pick.

Pro Football Focus doesn’t say when they’ll go, but they have the top WR’s in this order: Metcalf, A.J. Brown, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (Stanford), Andy Isabella (Massachusetts), and Marquise Brown.

I should add that most of these forecasters have Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson (Iowa) being selected before any wide receiver. I think that’s folly – wide receivers are generally more impactful than are tight ends.

Tomorrow, I’ll present data on the above nine wide receivers, and will try to pick who will be the first WR chosen – I hope by the Packers – on April 25.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. thomaslind949yahoocom April 13, 2019

    Most if not all, of the Patriot Super Bowl wins have come without an elite wide receiver. They didn’t when Randy Moss was with them. I read an article recently where they talked about winning a SB without a great wide out. I’m pretty sure they said most of the winners period, didn’t have elite talent at receiver.

  2. Andrew Lloyd Peth April 13, 2019

    We have a lot of youth, size, speed, and good hands at WR. Unless Gute thinks Metcalf is ready to improve his routes and break out, I can’t imagine a receiver at 12.

  3. KILLER April 13, 2019

    Check this out….


  4. Ferris April 13, 2019

    If Devin Bush and Metcalf are available, don’t they have to take Bush? I need to call John Dorsey…he seems to be right most of the time. I wonder if Green Bay ever had a shot at him as GM? Oh yeah that’s right they kept senile old Ted instead.

  5. Larry April 14, 2019

    Their are very few mistakes Gute can make at #12. However, the most egregious one and quite frankly stupid one would be WR at twelve. The eyes don’t lie is such a simple concept for me when watching college football. The only WR who really jumps off the screen is Brown from Oklahoma. But, his foot injury is a HUGE red flag. A young Deebo was mesmerizing before the injuries took their toll.

    There will be a very good defensive player when Gute picks. The only acceptable alternative would be Hockenson at #12 cause it fixes the TE position for the next 10 yrs, or an OL stud. So Rob, if you are gonna write nonsense, I hope your WR evaluations are done based on watching at lease 2 or 3 games of these WRs each. Preferably, you had cash wagered cause it’s surprising how well one pays attention when money is involved. I’m a nice guy so I’ll save you some time. NONE of them are worthy 1st rd picks. You also need to understand the concept of the route tree cause some of those guys ran 4 basic routes.

  6. PF4L April 14, 2019

    Well….i’ll say this. Rob has his opinion, he’s wanted a blue chip wide out for at least a couple years. Nothing wrong with having an opinion. I say stick to your guns and what you believe.

    My opinions a lot of the times differ from Rob and i didn’t always show respect in my words. These days i’m trying to stay more cognizant of that. One day, it dawned on me how much work Rob puts into his articles and writings for this site. Giving us content for discussion. Probably doing it for free and for the love of the Green Bay Packers.

    That demands respect.

    Keep up the good work Rob.

  7. TyKo Steamboat April 16, 2019

    Safety, Middle Linebacker, Defensive Tackle, Tight End & Right Tackle are ALL greater positions of need on our roster

  8. Tom April 20, 2019

    Over the past 30 Packer drafts only 1 wr drafted rd’s 4-7 went on to success: Donald Driver rd7. Adams rd2 Cobb rd2 Jordy rd2 James Jones rd3 Jennings rd3 Walker rd1 Ferguson rd2 Freeman rd3 Brooks rd3 Sharpe rd1. The past 4 drafts Packers only selected 1 wr in first 3 rd’s, 2015 Ty Montgomery rd3. I think we are due to draft some skill position players in rds 1-3 and get back to being an elite offense.