Greg Jennings has been one of the best and most reliable receivers for the last three years. His overall numbers speak for themselves. Over the last three years he has 225 catches, 3,677 receiving yards and a grand total of 25 touchdowns. In that three-year span, he’s averaging 75 catches, 1,225 receiving yards and eight touchdowns a year.
In the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl run last year, Jennings played a vital role. While he opened the playoffs with a one-catch dud against a tough Philadelphia defense, he was spectacular the rest of the way. He recorded two 100-plus yard receiving games against the Chicago Bears and my beloved Atlanta Falcons. He also was great in the Super Bowl against a fantastic Pittsburgh defense, helping clinch a title with two crucial touchdowns.
All of this has led to Jennings being regarded as one of the best receivers in fantasy football and understandably so. One of the things owners look for most in a high draft pick is consistency, and Jennings has proven to be a reliable and explosive fantasy player over the years. This consistency has put Jennings in the Top 5 receivers in drafts for the 2011 season.
Once the fist tier trilogy of Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson and Roddy White are off the board, many owners are going to be drafting Jennings next. His current Average Draft Position is somewhere in the middle of the second round. The stakes couldn’t be higher for owners when drafting a player in the second round but the assumption is that because of Jennings overall numbers over the last three years, he’s most certainly earned his spot as one of the best fantasy receivers in the game.
Unfortunately, owners who spend a second-round pick on Jennings could be making the biggest mistake of their draft, potentially destroying any championship aspirations they may have. When you have someone like Jennings, who has a great resume, which now includes a tremendous performance in the Super Bowl fresh in owner’s minds, it might seem like it’s nearly impossible to make a case against him.
It’s not. But to start our case against spending a high draft pick on Jennings, we must now move on to another Green Bay Packer, who holds the key to my entire argument. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Packers’ real No. 1 receiver, Tight End Jermichael Finley.
A Very Brief History of Jermichael Finley’s Career
After a disappointing rookie season plagued by injuries, Finley finally had a breakout game in his second year in Week 4 with an astounding six-catch, 128-yard, one-touchdown performance. It should be noted that in this Week 4 matchup against Minnesota, Jennings could only muster three catches for 31 yards. For the next couple months, Finley was relatively quiet. But once the final month of the season came, something clicked within Finley and he finally became the tight end the Packers had hoped for when they selected him in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Finley’s numbers over the last six games of the 2009 season were very strong and hinted at his explosive potential – catching 34 passes with close to 500 receiving yards and a ridiculous five touchdowns. During this six-game span, Jennings had 29 catches, 511 receiving yards and only two touchdowns. Besides the noticeable touchdown disparity, Jennings’ and Finley’s numbers during this time frame are comparable. Both players were able to coexist and produce good numbers, even if it seemed like Finley was becoming Aaron Rodgers’ preferred red zone option.
As a direct result of his fantastic 2009 finish, the hype surrounding Finley for the 2010 season was at an all-time high. For the first four games of the 2010 season, Finley delivered on his huge promise, having two 100-yard games and catching 21 passes with 301 yards and a touchdown. Jennings, on the other hand, was nothing short of terrible. That’s right … terrible – terrible in a “One of the Biggest Busts of 2010” kind of way after the first month of the season.