I’ll address the current status in a bit, but first let’s review recent history: the Packers’ receiver problem has been three years in the making.
In 2017, signs of trouble were clear: Jordy was in his ninth season. James Jones had been let go the year before. Randall Cobb was coming off two years of underperforming, and Ty Montgomery had been switched over to being a running back. How did the Packers respond? They drafted DeAngelo Yancey and Malachi Dupre in Rounds 5 and 7.
In 2018, Green Bay inexplicably jettisoned Jordy Nelson, who proved he still had skills, even though Derek Carr rather than Aaron Rodgers, was throwing to him. Then, instead of drafting a first or second round talent, they chose three draft-and-develop prospects: a fourth-, fifth-, and sixth rounder. They also stuck with an increasingly injury-prone eighth year man, Randall Cobb, who unsurprisingly failed to produce even four hundred yards of receptions.
I guess the front office was counting on Geronimo Allison, who did not have a long or great career at Illinois, and whose 40-yard dash time was 4.67 seconds. Many currently consider Allison the team’s second-best wideout, though he’s in his fourth pro year without surpassing 303 yards in a season.
Despite the above history, in 2019 the Packers drafted no wide receivers.
Drafting three receivers in 2018 was as much a curse as a blessing. The team had little choice but to keep all three players on its roster. Development was hindered, as there was not enough playing time for them all. Also, using seven roster spots for one position left the team without proper depth at other positions last year.
Health has also been a factor. Allison, Kumerow, and Davis – all are on the spindly side – have proven to be susceptible to injuries in their brief pro careers.
What the Packers desperately need is for more than one of its inexperienced receivers to step up, bust out, and become solid and reliable targets – this season – for our marvelous, but aging, quarterback.
Here’s the list, from oldest to youngest, who are lined up behind Davante Adams: Jake Kumerow (27), Trevor Davis (26), Geronimo Allison (25), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (25 in October), J’Mon Moore (24), Allen Lazard (23), and Equanimeous St. Brown (22).
There are others, including two undrafted rookies, Darrius Sheppard (North Dakota State) and Kabion Ento (Colorado), and 181-pound Teo Redding – but these guys aren’t ready to play for a team with post-season goals.
A bunch of receivers who have some promise will have to be let go by the final cut this year. It’s likely that Moore and St. Brown will compete for the roster’s sixth and final receiver slot come September, with the other being picked off the practice squad.
My belief is that the team’s prospects this season are highly dependent upon the improvement of Valdes-Scantling and Kumerow – both of whom Rodgers seems to have confidence in.
MVS has an enormous ceiling: he’s 6’5”, a great leaper, and the fastest receiver the Packers have had for what, ever? (Help me out, has the team ever had a receiver with a dash time under 3.7?) He can play above a defense, and he can get behind a defense. He should become a star in time, but this team doesn’t have time on its side – 2019 needs to be the year for him, and he’s off to a fine start so far at training camp.
As for Kumerow, he’s done everything right for two years now – it’s time to roll the dice and designate “Whitewater Jesus” as a starter for the opener against Chicago. This guy has profited from four years of development as a pro.
As I see it, the WR pecking order looks to be: Adams, Valdes-Scantling, Kumerow, Allison, Davis, and Moore or St. Brown. Going into training camp, I thought Davis was a sure goner, but his stock has risen.
Should this lineup be insufficient, the team might need to increasingly resort to other available targets. I believe Jimmy Graham, playing without a fractured thumb, will be better utilized in 2019. Robert Tonyan could be in store for a breakout year, especially if a two-tight-ends formation becomes a feature of the Packers offense.
Finally, I’m looking for a 64-catch season for Aaron Jones. Last year, playcaller LaFleur called often on number 33, mediocre Dion Lewis, who rushed 155 times and caught 59 passes for the Titans. LaFleur has got to be drooling at the prospect of a game changer such as Jones catching around four passes every game this season.
Sub 3.7 dash? I don’t think so?
Oops, MVS had a 4.37 second dash time – fabulous for anyone, phenomenal for such a big man.
Well done Rob. I’m not going to say Gute created his own receiver problem, because that horse done died already. Is it safe to bring up the elephant in the room yet? His name is J’mon Moore and we haven’t heard his name called in this off-season or camp, which isn’t a great sign. I haven’t heard St. Browns name called either, but at least he showed he had something of potential last season.
I keep scanning this article for something i don’t agree with and….nothing. There are a lot of questions to be answered here, so it’s basically just another off season for the Pack. A lot of questions, fewer answers. In about 3 months, we’ll have some answers.
We keep hoping for Allison and Davis every season, but we were ok in years past so it wasn’t a pressing need, but this is their time now. The trick is, being available to take advantage. I have to agree with Rob, i think MVS has star player written all over him. So much so, in a couple years i could see him challenging for the #1 spot. If shorty (Alexander) and MVS turn out to be playmakers, that could turn around Gutes 2nd draft class.
As far as Kumerow, i’d love to see him get his chances, they have to target him, lets see if it happens.
I’m so turned off by Graham, i don’t even think about tight ends anymore. (SERENITY NOW!)
Rob also brought up a good point with Aaron Jones, i think LeFleur game plans him some targets. But as with Davis and Allison, he needs to be available. You’d think Jones would break a few more long catches than he has, we all think he has the tools, maybe LeFleur can put him in a better position to break some of those.
So here’s the bottom line….Most people think Rodgers had a terrible season last year. But here’s the thing, with basically only 1 veteran receiver, he throw for over 4,400 yards. That was 6th best in the league last season.
With that group, that’s saying something.
Work is almost over and i have to get ready to leave, plus i rambled on long enough.
And here we are, projecting based on the best case scenario with Lafleur. All we can do till the real games start.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how these holdovers will perform in the new offensive system. Maybe Trevor Davis is a stud and has had his ability suppressed in McCarthy’s offense all these years…… Lol. It seems to me Gute is taking a wait and see approach with the guys they have now, before possibly retooling the position next off-season
Not sure why you are worried about the wideouts. We arent even to the first pre season game and kevin king pulled his hammy trying to cover these speed demons.
Promising things to come with this group of wideouts but they need to start practicing against our second and third string dbs so they dont wear our starting secondary out like they did to king.
I had to re-read that multiple times to try to digest that…i’ll keep trying.
I don’t see a scenario where Kevin King is on the team next year. I think it is obvious at this point that he cannot be counted on. To do so is detrimental to the team. Time to move on call it a failure
Its a round about way of mentioning Kevin Kings injury.
Kevin King injured, no way…send that China Doll on his way already.
This isn’t going to be a pass first offense, it will be a run first offense.
Now what happened to the top rated Rams offense when Gurley’s knee got sore?
I’m more concerned about the running back situation, because Jones won’t last a while season.
Forget the speed demons, Stiggy. I’m starting to think he could pull a hammy shadowing a tortoise!
No one wants slow or unathletic players, but there’s so much more to the game than speed. The Davis family has consistently drafted speed demons, how well has that worked out for the Raiders? From what I’ve seen of Gute, it looks like he’s trying to model the Packers in the form of the Patriots – build a top ten defense around a Hall of Fame QB. Seems like it’s worked out well for the Patriots, does anyone have a problem with that?
Hell no…i don’t have a problem with that.
Sounds easy enough…Let’s do this.
The Packers defense was a top 10 team in sacks last year. The Packers in the off season tried to upgrade their defensive line and outside linebackers to get even more pressure on the QB. The Patriots were ranked #30 by sacks. They don’t seem to care much about getting to the QB. Yet, they won the Super Bowl.
Every year the Patriots give up tons of yards ranking near the bottom of the NFL, but they are near the top when it comes giving up points.
What the Patriots do that the Packers don’t is they make sure they have solid defensive backs. They aren’t afraid to pay in free agency for corners, like Aqib Talib, Darrelle Revis, Steven Gilmore and others, plus they drafted good players.
Deep is correct….”What the Patriots do that the Packers don’t is….” and from there you can start writing a list…not overpaying players, getting talent on the cheap even if for short term, installing accountability from top to bottom, having a need area, and fixing it in one off season, (not years) etc,etc,etc.
If copying the Patriots way to success was easy, everyone would be doing it. You need the right people in place. Murphy,Thompson/Gute vs. Kraft/Belichick. Hmmmm.
Here’s one of the biggest difference between the Packers and Patriots….if a player can’t help the Patriots win, they are quickly gone, one way or another. Maybe that’s why they don’t over pay players, because they couldn’t have that freedom.
To compare the Packers and the Patriots as somewhat equals, is ignorant.
When,….i said, when…the Packers have a top ten defense, give me a shout. But even having a top 10 defense and a HOF QB doesn’t make you the Patriots.
Would have been a solid article except for the omission of how well Shepherd has looked. Good route runner and ideal for the slot. Was a beast at NDS.
Hey, all that matters is the Packers will beat the Bears in the season opener. Where was this article last week? Didn’t matter last week that the final roster hasn’t been determined yet or even which China dolls return to form (King). By my count from all the preseason hype I’ve come across since training camp began, the Packers need to keep like 11 WRs.
Homers at other sites are thinking the Packers are gonna have like a top 5 defense. Plus factoring in all the potential surrounding the offense, the Packers ought to be re-writing the record books with like 12,000 yard of offense and 120 TD’s. Not to shit on anyone’s parade, but I’m not buying any of it until we actually get to see some results.
I get the euphoria surrounding McCarthy being gone and the excitement to see the changes LaFleur brings. But Trevor Davis? When the hell is Rodgers/LaFleur gonna have time to feature the “new and improved” Davis? Our savior Crosby at kicker isn’t getting any younger and apparently still doesn’t have any real competition to actually push him in camp. Bulaga is still being counted on as 1 of the 5 starters on the O-line. How many games will Aaron Jones be good for without being dinged up? We’ve been burned going down this road way too often. Temper the enthusiasm; they still got Murphy running the show from his ivory tower.
I’d like to see the Packers trim the WR corps to five. There’s a fixed number of balls to be caught, and if you have a TE corps with a Jimmy Graham along with a couple of youngsters who are really just chunky WR’s, a new face at FB whose strength is catching the football and a RB who is productive in open space, get the ball to some guys who don’t attack the defense from the edge.
Good news Kabion Ento is not a receiver, so no worries on cutting The Receiver Ento. The Packers are trying to convert Ento to a CB.
One thing to remember about all the receivers after #3 or maybe #4, they are not going to make the team this year unless they can contribute on STs. Watch as the preseason progresses and what ST groupings the receivers play on and if they are on 1st, 2nd or 3rd teams. Are they making plays on STs and moving up the ST depth chart? If not I don’t see them making the team this year.
It appears Kumerow continues to impress in camp. call me crazy but is Kumerow the next Jordy Nelson?
You are nuts. Far from sold on him
My thought was the next Janis instead of Jordy…too soon? ha ha!
Hmm….I’m still upset that Rodgers and McCarthy hated Janis and ruined his career. (Yes, that’s sarcasm).
By all accounts Rodgers loves him some J K and LeFleur is too nice of a guy to hate anyone.
Yea….i could be all wrong about Kumerow, but in my defense i got really, really thirsty and chugged down
some ice cold kool-aid.
If we’re going to start getting serious about turning this thing around, when do we cut Spriggs? Iv’e spoken at length about keeping bad players around that don’t seem to have any upside, but they insist on keeping that roster spot filled with dead weight.
They just waived Spriggs. Another in a long line of USELESS TT (The Frugal GM) draft picks . . .
King is next….I hope
You are a damned prophet. He was just cut an hour ago.
I could see him being picked up very quickly, by the same team that grabbed Nick Perry.
Damn PF4L, ask when they are gonna cut Murphy next my man! Outstanding! Are you still peeved about Cole Madison though?
Who is Cole Madison? OH wait….i know. I was not really mad at him, if someone gave me $324,000 for not doing shit, i’d probably take it also.
But…….if i were the Packers and he said he’s going home for the season, i would have requested the check back and told him we’ll hold it for him when he’s able to come back and sustain employment.
We’ll see what happens with him. One of the many entertaining aspects this team provides me.
Murphy will be let go on Mon. Dec 30th. The day after another season ending loss to the Lions. Not because he deserves it
(which he does). But because they got rid of all the fall guys under him, and it’s his turn. Tick-Tock.
I’m not sure Cole Madison will make the team, but if he does, and is a good player then the one thing to consider is that Madison missed the entire season last year. With the designation the Packers gave Madison last year it would mean the Packers have Madison for 4 years including this year. Last year would not count as an accrued season for Madison.
Not sure if the Packers played hard ball on the signing bonus as those can be prorated over the course of the contract, but I don’t think the Packers can give on the accrued seasons as that was part of the agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA.
Good call on Spriggs PF4L. As I said last year before the final cuts expect Gutekunst to cut or trade players that aren’t working out and/or have a short time left on their contracts. Gutekunst has a vision of what he wants to see in players. We may not like all the moves (Jordy/Graham) but Gutekunst wants to make this team stronger, faster, and more physical up the middle. You can see that is Gutekunst intent in the majority his moves last year and this year. We will see how those moves work out.
I think it’s easier for a GM to get rid of failures that they didn’t draft. But i will add, that behind the draft curtain, it was Gutes job to recommend the draft picks, to put his stamp on it, so to speak. Maybe he even had more influence than that in the last 4 or 5 years. One of the reasons he wasn’t my pick to be GM.
Gute may have some vision, but what he doesn’t have so far (up to date) is a great track record in the draft and free agent acquisitions. To be more precise, his free agent signings so far have been horrible. his draft class could turn itself around with the emergence of MVS, and Alexander.
I can’t speak on this years draft and free agency for obvious reasons, but suffice it to say, he better have found some real talent (maybe a difference maker or two) or he maybe sealing his and Murphy’s fate.
If you come into a GM position on a team that’s annually regressed, You sure as hell better hit in the draft and free agency. If you expect to win………anything.
Speaking of…..when was the last time we drafted a difference maker…..anyone?
PF4L What makes you so sure that Elliot Wolf did not have more say in recommending those draft picks in the last 4 or 5 years than Gutekunst? Not to say Gutekunst didn’t make some bad recommendations. Every GM, scout and player personnel man makes mistakes. I don’t know for sure who made those decisions or recommendation, or who voiced concern over the decisions?
Maybe the reason other teams wanted to bring in Gutekunst for GM interviews and re-interview Gutekunst over Wolf is because of some of the decisions and recommendations Wolf made over the last 4 or 5 years? The Packers would have more information than anyone on how Gutekunst and Wolf positioned theirselves on draft picks and free agents over the years. Gutekunst won out on his record over Wolf, or maybe it was just Gutekunst would agree to less money and control over Wolf? I don’t know, but what I do know is Ron Wolf in part said every GM makes mistakes, you don’t want to make to many and when you do you want to correct those mistakes as quick as possible. I see Gutekunst trying to correct past player acquisition mistakes as quick as possible now that he is GM. It is all a big guess that the majority of those mistakes are on Gutekunst or Wolf. Personally I put them on TT and Murphy. I guess others can put them on Gutekunst or Wolf.
Yea, Wolf could share the blame, but i don’t remember bringing up his name. Gute is a strong voice there who absolutely adored Thompson. I wouldn’t be surprised if Thompson got Gute the job. Gute is there, Elliot is long gone, so my focus is on Gute because he’s the only one that matters. If we had to hire from within, Wolf would have been my choice, but my first choice was to hire someone from the outside. Murphy f’d up when he could have gotten Dorsey before the Browns signed him. But that was after someone had to tell Murphy to do his job and replace Ted.
There are a lot of possible reasons why Wolf didn’t get the nod. Broken past promises, attitudes, Teds recommendation, Wolf’s refusal to be neutered to take the job, etc and probably 50 more.
Gutes first move…was to cut Jordy, and then give him an insulting offer to stay. Keeping Cobb because he was younger (even though at the time i said it didn’t matter how young Cobb was , he will be gone next season. Replacing Jordy with tight end/receiver Jimmy G. Well, Cobb and Jimmy equaled 4 combined TD’s. That was a HUGE fail. Then the draft, then the nightmare of the 2018 free agent signings.
Neither of us know the details of what goes on over there at 1265 Red China, we can only speculate….but here’s what we do know….the clock is ticking on Gute, Murphy, and Rodgers, Rodgers doesn’t have time for a 5 or 6 year plan. This team needs some talent and playmakers and we need them yesterday. Jimmy Graham isn’t cutting it.
PF4L, The reason Wolf’s name is relevant is because Wolf was in that front office group making personnel decisions and recommendations just like Gutekunst. You were the one that said “But I will add, that behind the draft curtain, it was Gute’s job to recommend the draft picks, to put his stamp on it, so to speak.” I think if that is one of the reasons a person does not like Gute then you have to consider that Wolf was also in that position, at least I saw Wolf sitting right by TT on several draft days. Wolf wasn’t sitting at the kid’s table and neither was Gutekunst, but who knows?
The one thing I do know for sure is at the end of the 2015 season Wolf and TT were hand in hand greeting players coming into the locker room from the playoff Victory over the Redskins. Gutekunst was nowhere in sight. In 2015 I believe Wolf was The Packer upper managements favorite to replace TT. Something changed in Wolf’s status after the 2015 season with the Packers and other teams looking for GM candidates.
Personally I would have liked to see Dorsey as GM, so we agree there. Short of Dorsey the correct path of change would have been fire and replace Murphy and then let the new President select his new GM and let that GM select his head coach, down the line.
I know some may not agree, but it is impossible to know who made or forced some of last years off season moves. I believe and have said here many times that I believe McCarthy forced some of the moves and Murphy was on board to try and show McCarthy the Packers were going to give McCarthy a fair shot to continue as head coach after 2018. McCarthy always said he wanted big guys (TEs) to go down the middle. McCarthy I’m sure wanted a big, and big name TE in the 2018 off season. Guess what MM received, Graham. McCarthy spoke highly of Dix in the 2018 off season and spoke poorly of Randall. Guess who gets traded and who stays at least until Gute knew the season was lost. Nelson was less than enthusiastic and I believe showed his frustrations about McCarthy’s failed experiment, Hundley, guess who gets cut. It is also my understanding that Ball is the one in charge of contracts. The obscene contract to Graham and the embarrassing offer to Jordy could be just as much if not more on Ball and Murphy than Gutekunst. When your the GM you have to accept the responsibility and take the heat even if you are not fully in agreement with the decisions. I don’t think all the decisions last off season were Gutekunst’s decisions, even though I have not seen Gutekunst try to put those decisions on others. However, I will say there have been 2 or 3 articles come out this off season quoting inside sources, or persons with knowledge, that have been critical of Murphy, Ball, and McCarthy, or all three at the same time, but have not been critical of Gutekunst. I believe several of last years off season personnel decisions were made by Murphy to appease McCarthy until the season was seen to be a lost cause. But that is just me. This year is a different story except maybe some of the contract values for free agents.
To me the last two drafts are on Gutekunst, and we should remember half of those picks have not even taken a NFL game snap and the other half have not started their second year of NFL game snaps. I’m all for urgency as I’m sure fans for all 32 NFL teams are. I know full well Rodgers days are growing short fast. I do think you have to give a new GM with a meddling president more than one year. Maybe after this year my mind will change about Gutekunst.
PF4L August 7, 2019
Yea, Wolf could share the blame
Ok, i just read the rest of your post. It seems to me if we ever got together and discussed the Packers, before we knew it, 8 hours would have gone by and the only sign of that would be my level of intoxication :)
I know it seems i’m not giving Gute a chance, in your eyes. But as i said from day one, he has a huge job, he has to fix a lot of sins, and he has to hit on player acquisition with little room for error. My point is that, So far it hasn’t played out that way. Maybe some his fault, some other peoples. Regardless, he’s in charge of player acquisition. I don’t make things up when i critique Gute. I have nothing against him. Other than i include him in part of the problems of the past as he had a seat at the table, Wolf included.
As i read your post it reminded me of how easy a book could be written about how mismanaged this team is. I think back to Murphy wanting to make Russ Ball the new GM. I ask, what qualified him. What player evaluation skills does he possess? Has he even been a scout? Director of scouting? He has no player evaluation experience at all. But then again, Murphy didn’t have any NFL executive experience either and look at the great job he is doing. I want to write examples of how much of a fuck story Murphy has been as the President of this team, but i’d never finish.
You wrote about getting a new a President and hiring down the line. That was the right and only correct thing to do, because all the changes happen at once, like ripping off a band-aid. The way the Packers did it, Fire Capers(one year gone) Fire Ted (another year gone) Fire McCarthy (another year gone) It will be Murphy next, and then, 4 years gone from when you first fired Capers.
The correct way as you stated, New President, hire down…one year. If this team doesn’t win in 19…..we may see that after this season and start over again.
In other words….more wasted years. Some people like to rip on Rodgers, As i have said in the past…..Rodgers is the least of this teams problems.
I don’t think you are to hard on Gutekunst. I agree he has to hit on way more than he misses on and last year he didn’t hit on much in free agency. I just think some of those decisions were made for him by Murphy to appease McCarthy. My biggest concern last year regarding Gutekunst was his Inability to strengthen the offensive line. Byron Bell and a group of undrafted free agents as guards, and no decent backup tackles just did not cut it for me when you are protecting your franchise.
I hope Gutekunst can pull this off with some help from LaFleur and Rodgers, because if he doesn’t and Murphy goes, and he should, then really the Packers would need to let the new President start over from top to bottom as we discussed. The decision to make a change at GM should have been after the 2015 season. I thought for sure TT would make that decision, but when he did not it was Murphy’s responsibility to be in charge and make TT go. Murphy failed years ago as you have wrote many times and it is still haunting the Packers.
Remember I’m not suppose to drink, but I could make an exception.
The truth of the matter is that Gute is in no mans land, he’s in an almost impossible situation, He’s being asked to repair years of talent regression. He’s being asked to fill (repair) all the holes that this team has accumulated over the years. He’s being asked to be a magician. Each wrong move he makes puts him further behind. Whether he’s making the move. or Murphy is.
As far as Murphy, he probably gets a passing grade concerning the business end of the franchise. (sans the millions payed to non active executives).
The problem is, he bears responsibility for football operations. which apparently, he only discovered that a year and a half ago.
This team is broken and broken from the top, and Murphy is to blame. I don’t say that out of spite, i say that because it’s completely true. Murphy has no business running an NFL football team as far as football operations, and it shows, clearly.
Off the cuff thoughts…..could it be that McCarthy didn’t want Russ Ball as GM to save Murphy from himself? Would we have a power structure change had McCarthy not intervened on the Russ Ball promotion? Why is it, if you don’t get promoted in Green Bay, you get a promotion and a pay raise as consolation? Was it because Ball earned it by providing such team friendly player contracts? This team is a hot mess.
kumerow is “spindly”? i can’t post pictures on this site, but http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/video/2018/08/09/0ap3000000946741_video_cp.jpg
By most accounts, Rashan Gary has been the most impressive player in camp. That is promising.
Speaking of promotions, It would not suprise me at all that if Murphy was fired that Russ Ball or Ed Policy would be promoted to President.
Oops must have missed hitting reply. This was for you PF4L and your last comment.
OMFG…I never thought that far ahead. I just cried uncontrollably.
This is what i’m talking about people. It should come as no surprise to anyone why Howard
belongs in the top 5 must read comments in here.