Green Bay Needs Another Pass Catcher
ESPN came out with an article called Biggest 2016 draft needs for every NFL team, in the article Green Bay Packers reporter Rob Demovsky wrote this:
"Even though Pro Bowl receiver Jordy Nelson is expected to make a full recovery from his ACL reconstruction, the Packers are going to need another target for Aaron Rodgers and a passing offense that finished an uncharacteristically low 25th in the league. Whether that's a receiver or a tight end, it has to be the No. 1 priority for GM Ted Thompson in this draft. He has never taken a pass-catcher in the first round. Now is the time."
Yeah, or not. This year has been more than enough proof that Green Bay needs to go elsewhere other than building through the draft. Now is the time to go out and get a pass catcher that's somewhat established and has some speed.
With Jordy Nelson coming back; Green Bay should look for someone with speed to take some of the pressure off Nelson so he isn't the only deep threat.
In the last two drafts Green Bay has taken four wide receivers and two tight ends.
2014: Davante Adams - 2nd round, Richard Rodgers - 3rd round, Jared Abbrederis - 5th round, Jeff Janis - 7th round.
2015: Ty Montgomery - 3rd round, Kennard Beckman - 6th round.
Out of all six of these players, only two have really made a difference catching the football the last two years. Wide receiver Davante Adams the past two seasons and tight end Richard Rodgers this year. Rookie Ty Montgomery showed some brief flashes of talent but he went down in week six with a season ending ankle injury.
Tight end Richard Rodgers has come become a reliable option for Aaron Rodgers. However, Richard Rodgers is not much of speed guy and he only had two games with more than 60-yards receiving.
He's probably going to be the started for next year because of lack of options this offseason, which isn't a bad thing because he's a reliable red zone threat. But he's a second tier tight end at best outside of the red zone.
Wide receiver Davante Adams had an interesting year to say the least. But what we found out is that he is for sure a number 3 and maybe a number 2 receiver for the team. He 10 dropped passes this year, which tied for most on the team with Randall Cobb.
At times he had problems getting open like the rest of the Green Bay wideouts but had a season high in targets (21) against the Lions. Which means that Aaron Rodgers tends to look his way more often than not. Adams had an ankle injury that sidelined him for three games and may have affected his productivity but either way it was a disappointing year after an impactful season as a number three guy in 2014.
There are two options that I think are possibly-maybe worth a first round pick if they're going to go after a pass catcher. Baylor receiver Corey Coleman who is probably the best deep threat in this draft. However, I don't think that he will end up falling that far into the draft especially with Minnesota and Cincinnati a couple picks ahead.
The other option for a pass catcher is Arkansas tight end Hunter Henry who looks to be the most worthy of a high draft pick at his position. Henry may be the best at his position in this draft class but I'm not sure that he is worth a first round draft pick. I think he's probably more of a second round pick but again I don't think he'll fall to the Packers in the second round.
I would like to see Green Bay go out in free agency and get a wide receiver like Darrius Heyward-Bey or Travis Benjamin type. Both guys are considered speed demons and are known for getting behind defenses.
Speed and acceleration cannot be taught. It's a God given ability that some have and some don't. Speed is exactly what Green Bay needs next season with James Jones who turns 32 in March and it will be unlikely he gets resigned, Adams proving he's unreliable and Cobb proving he's not a number one guy. And I just don't think bringing in another rookie to fill that void is the answer.