Type to search

On Sunday, Jason Wilde, writing for the Wisconsin State Journal, covered a number of topics of interest to Packers fans. When he got to the subject of “standing pat at receiver,” he began in this way:

“While some self-appointed draft gurus saw wide receiver as a clear need after the Packers parted ways with two of their longest-tenured wideouts over the past two offseasons (Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb). . . Gutekunst clearly didn’t see it that way.”

Before I give Gutey (he favors that over “Gute,” so I’ll go with it) the last word, I’ve got to tell you it sounded like Wilde was aiming his remarks directly at yours truly).

I’ll grant you that GM Brian Gutekunst has the experience and the resources that self-appointed opinion givers lack. He’s got an entire team of scouting professionals. He gets an up-close look at players that we don’t get. He has one-on-one interviews with them. It’s Goliath versus David! No contest, right?

But before I slink away in humiliation, let’s take a peek at the results that Gutekunst and his brain trust have achieved over the last six years (give or take) in appraising receivers, including tight ends.

Davante Adams - Packers vs Lions 2018

Davante Adams (17) scores a touchdown during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the last six years, the Packers had a win streak going: Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, Randall Cobb. Since then, though, we’ve had Davante Adams – and an endless succession of receivers who’ve been given two or more years to develop, but haven’t. Here’s some of those guys: Charles Johnson, Kevin Dorsey, Jarrett Boykin, Jeremy Ross, Myles White, Trevor Davis, Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis, Ty Montgomery. . .

And, oh, the carnage at tight end: Tom Crabtree, Ryan Taylor, Richard Rodgers, Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick, Marty Bennett, Emanuel Byrd, and Lance Kendricks. Plus, we let Jared Cook get away. And dare I say the name: Colt Lyerla?

There are others who came and went before we even go to know them: Max McCaffrey, Michael Clark, DeAngelo Yancey, and Malachi Dupre are among the most recent of them.

Counting just those mentioned above, I have the score being one hit and 23 misses. I’ve not included the 2018 receiver draftees, or Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan, or Jake Kumerow, who may or may not still become a solid contributor to the team – but first they have to remain on the 2019 roster come September.

Can you blame me for wishing we had chosen a receiver with a high draft pick last month?

Sure, Ted Thompson was the official GM when a lot of these guys were brought on board, but Gutey began in Green Bay as a scout in 1998, was the director of college scouting from 2012-15, and had the title of director of player personnel in 2016 and 2017. I personally think Gutey was doing more of the acquisition decision-making than the unhealthy Thompson from 2016 on.


Geronimo Allison at Lambeau

Geronimo Allison (81) rushes with the football after catching a pass during overtime against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

At any rate, when he spoke to the press after the draft, Gutekunst stressed that he feels good about the three receivers he chose in last year’s draft, who will vie for playing time along with Geronimo Allison, who’s returning from injury, and Kumerow, who is still trying to catch on in the NFL at age 27. Here’s his take on things:

“You know, I’m really content with the three guys we drafted last year. I think they have huge upsides; I thought they took really good steps last year,” Gutekunst said. “Obviously (with) Geronimo coming back, he’s kind of a veteran guy stepping into that role, and I do like some of our guys that are kind of competing for some spots there as well. It’s not like we wouldn’t add one if we thought the right guy was there, but I like that group.”

Gutekunst has had his ups and downs in less than a year and a half as the general manager. He’s sticking with last year’s receiver group, including the three rookie draftees. I sure hope his contentment is justified.

Rob Born

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



  1. Ferris May 3, 2019

    I think Gutey is right, better to have a group of second year players that flashed ability than a new crop of rookies. I don’t know but Equanimeous and Marquez look like a potential superstars to me. Plus they have the best three part names in the NFL.
    In other news I hear Brett Hundley may start the season under center for AZ. God help them.

    1. Cheese May 3, 2019

      I laughed hysterically when I read that headline.

      “Kliff Kingsbury actually says Kyler Murray might not start Week 1 over Brett Hundley”

      LOL. Funnier than every Key and Peele episode put together.

    2. Howard May 3, 2019

      I mentioned in March that Hundley thought he would get another chance to start in Arizona. My comment in part was as follows:
      Howard March 14, 2019
      “I read someplace that Hundley thinks he can get another starting gig with the Cards if they deal Rosen. Fitzgerald should be as happy as a pig in shit when Hundley destroys Larry’s final year in the NFL.”
      Add in that David Raih is the new Cardinals WR coach and you have a real shit show in the making, or maybe the dysfunction will be so great that the forces may come together. Not.

    3. That was hysterically funny shit, Howard. With Raih as their new receivers coach, Fitzgerald will start acting like Rodgers did the last few years. Saying screw you, and telling the QB where was going, and to just throw it to him.

  2. Cheese May 3, 2019

    While Gute feels good about the three WR’s drafted last year, even if he didn’t it’s not like he’s going to publicly admit that he has his doubts. One thing is for sure, their recent track record with receivers/TE’s has been crap. At least in GB, young receivers typically don’t contribute a ton. It took Davante three years before he started to look like he was worth keeping around and that was with Rodgers forcing him the ball constantly.

    So now, the WR core is Davante, three semi-greenhorns, some UDFA’s, and a group of TE’s who haven’t done much of anything. Not trying to be pessimistic or saying that this team won’t be productive but there needs to be some guys stepping up this year in order for things to look promising.

  3. Carl Christner May 3, 2019

    It seems to me with the record of success the Packers have had recently with receivers why would we waste a 1st round draft pick on one.
    Furthermore didn’t the Packers draft a TE who appears to be a decent receiving TE.

  4. Phil P. May 3, 2019

    I’m not sure why so many people thought the Packers would draft a receiver this year. When you triple dip at a draft position and all three players make the roster, you’re far less inclined to draft at that position the following year. That’s the main reason that I don’t like the concept of triple dipping — puts too much faith in a single draft class to give you all of what you need at a position and then makes you hesitate to pull the trigger the following year, even if better options are available. Double dip? Sure, from time to time (like Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, for one), but that’s as far as I’d go. With Moore, EVS and ESB making the roster, I didn’t seriously consider Gute taking a receiver. Wrote it off.

  5. The OG May 3, 2019

    It’s rare for rookie WR’s to make an immediate impact. They were better off giving the opportunities to the sophomore class plus GMO & Kumerow, then to add another WR to the mix that will be fighting with those guys for opportunities. The majority of the guys you mentioned had 0 business contributing to an NFL roster and didn’t have opportunities because they were buried behind Nelson, Cobb & Adams. Most of those guys were 7th round picks & UDFA that were more or less flyers. The ones that weren’t, Richard Rodgers as a 3rd rounder was at least productive with 13 TDs in 63 games with GB. Quarless was drafted in 2010. Montgomery was a disappointment in the end but he still produced with 10 TDs & over 1,600 yards of offense in 36 games with GB. Abredaris & Davis are the 2 that were anything of misses for what they invested in them with being 5th rounders. Counting Jared Cook is also asinine, he was a hit for the year we had him. I’m counting 1 hit & 4 true misses (Marty B, Abby, Davis & Monty). Lafleur runs more 2 & 3 TE sets then what McCarthy used (mostly 3 & 4 WR personnel) so GB doesn’t need the WR room to be 5 deep like in years past.

  6. Kato May 3, 2019

    Not sure I would call Montgomery an outright miss. He was miscast as a running back because lack of depth at that position and a plethora of depth at receiver. Not to mention that Rodgers seems reluctant to give young receivers a shot most of the time, with the exception of Adams. Remember when he was essentially forced to throw to Janis in the playoff game? I am not suggesting that Janis is a bonafide NFL receiver by any stretch of the imagination. What I am suggesting is unless Rodgers is 100% comfortable with a player, he won’t give them a whole lot of opportunities to make plays on the ball in tighter coverage like he has other guys. Do yourselves a favor and watch coaches film and watch his progressions. You might learn something.

  7. Ferris May 3, 2019

    Kumerow is 6’4″, MVS is 6’4″ ESB is 6’5″ Allison is 6’3″ (seems taller) Graham is 6’7″ Sternberger is 6’4″ Lewis is 6’6″ Tonyan is 6’5″Adams is the shrimp at 6’1″…even Moore and his 2 catches last year is 6’3″
    Just run 12 yards turn around and box out, they are all taller than every corner in the league.

  8. Mitch Anthony May 3, 2019

    In reading Rob’s articles on the issue of drafting receivers I have come down more in agreement with him than not. I looked back at some of the stuff that was discussed in late 17, early 18 regarding the receiver situation and Devante Adams contract extension at the time.

    Now at that time we all knew Jordy and/or Cobb were not long for the franchise, we still had hope for Montgomery, but remember at the time that Adams had taken a couple significant head shots. There was great concern for getting concussed yet again. Thankfully Adams has stayed healthy and not taken more of the dangerous head shots he has before. My concern at that time was a higher draft pick WR to balance out Adams and obtain value from a rookie contract. In one post I think I advocated for Calvin Ridley (now a Falcon) or Courtland Sutton (now a Bronco). In the 2018 draft Ridley went at 26 and Sutton at 40 while the Packers selected at 18 and 45, but did grab Moore at 133, MVS at 174, EqStB at 207.

    Ridley and Sutton have been impactful and contributing players to their teams almost right from the start. For sure, they still need development and they aren’t instant number 1s but it appears that the higher picks adapt a bit quicker and the mid and later picks come along in time and hopefully the diamond in the rough gets discovered after that season or two or three. Maybe the higher picks are able to “earn the trust” of their QBs a bit quicker on those teams. Well, that was then. This year I disagreed with using a first round pick on WR but had thought a great WR could be had in the second round. We’ll see, I guess I’m on board with some of the optimism for a couple three of who we have in development.

    Ferris, don’t forget Allen Lazard. He’s 6’5″.

    1. Kato May 4, 2019

      I seem to remember a dude by the name of Marques Colston that was a 7th rounder that made a hell of an impact from day one. And I can name dozens of receivers taken in the top 15 that we’re disasters. It has nothing to do with where you are taken. It is about system, coaching, and QB play

    2. The OG May 5, 2019

      Also MVS was fairly productive for a rookie wr. 531 yards & 2TDs. Not too far off from Suttons 704 yards & 4 TDs. I agree with u about not taking a wr although i wouldve been ecstatic had they taken AJ Brown instead of Jenkins. I still want to see what these sophomore receivers can do with a healthy AR a hopefully sturdier o-line & a better offense for creating openings