As the Green Bay Packers get ready to wrap up round two of their OTAs, perhaps the biggest question regarding the depth chart is, “Who will step up as the new WR2 in Titletown?”
#17 Davante Adams
Adams is entrenched as the first option in Green Bay, and some think that he might be the best wide receiver in all of football right now. Following the 2018 season, the Packers were ready to release the somewhat diminutive and oft injured Randall Cobb. His departure truly leaves a void in the Packer passing attack, and the race to see just who steps up to claim Cobb’s old spot will most likely be first and foremost on everyone’s mind when training camp opens in July. Let’s take a look at the rest of the wide receivers currently on the Packer roster along with my evaluation of each as they head into training camp.
#81 Geronimo Allison
“G-MO” was well on his way to wresting the WR2 role from Cobb last year when a concussion put him on the returnable IR position. He returned to action a month later, only to suffer a groin injury which knocked him out for the year and necessitated off-season surgery.
Based on his history in Green Bay, Allison “should” get first crack at reclaiming the #2 role. Remaining healthy will be his biggest hurdle in reaching that goal. Of course, there are a host of others looking to to stake their claim as Aaron Rodgers‘ second option.
“MVS” will most likely be the biggest threat to Allison. After Allison and Cobb were lost to injury last year, Valdes-Scantling, a rookie 5th round draft pick out of South Florida, stepped up to the challenge of replacing them. Although MVS was no diamond in the rough, he did have his moments. If he can pick up the playbook created by new coach Matt LaFleur, he probably has the best shot of pushing Allison down the depth chart.
A 6th round pick out of Notre Dame, “EQ” has tremendous speed and a 15.6 YPR average, making him, at the very least, a very good deep threat for the Packers. Truth be known, he’ll probably need a little more seasoning before he can successfully crack the starting line up on a week-to-week basis.
#82 J’Mon Moore
Although Moore was the first wide receiver taken by the Packers in last year’s draft (4th round, Missouri), he was unable to really digest Mike McCarthy’s playbook through OTA’s, training camp, and during the season, leading Moore to collect just two catches. He did find a niche’ as a kick returner. Moore returned four kicks on the season for a total of 102 yards, or a 25.2 yard average. Unless, the light in his head suddenly goes on, Moore will struggle to get involved in the offense, and may have to settle for another year of returning kicks.
#11 Trevor Davis
A 5th round draft pick in 2016, Davis could be considered to be a slightly older version of Moore. Davis still struggles to absorb the playbook, and consequently looks to serve as not much more than a punt & kick returner.
#16 Jake Kumerow
Signed by the Bengals as an UDFA out of Wisconsin-Whitewater back in 2015, Kumerow also spent a brief period with the Patriots before finally landing in Green Bay at the end of the 2017 season. At each stop along the way, Kumerow failed to ever get promoted to the active roster. Nicknamed “Whitewater Jesus” due to his appearance, Kumerow quickly became a camp superstar in Green Bay, and a favorite of the fans as well as quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He appeared to lock up a roster spot with an 82 yard touchdown during the 2018 preseason. Unfortunately, Kumerow opted to celebrate that touchdown by somersaulting into the end zone, suffering a separated shoulder in the process, and landing him on the IR. He was finally able to return to the Packers active roster for the second last game of the year, where Rodgers made sure Kumerow secured the first (and so far, only) touchdown of his pro career.
Count me among the biggest of Jake Kumerow fans. I think he has an excellent chance of once again securing a roster spot, and if he’s really lucky, he might even earn that WR2 position for the Packers, although realistically I don’t see him rising any higher than 3rd in the pecking order.
The remaining wide receiver candidates truthfully don’t amount to much. Most are “camp bodies” whose only true hope for securing a roster spot is to really step up or due to injuries to those listed above, therefore opening up a roster spot. During the Mike McCarthy era, the Packers generally never kept more that six WRs, and I find it hard to believe that Matt LaFleur would choose to keep more than that. Just for the record, the camp bodies are listed below:
Expect the Packers Wide Receiver Depth Chart to look something like this in 2019:
1. Davante Adams
2. Geronimo Allison
3. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
4. Jake Kumerow
5. Equanimeous St. Brown
6. J’mon Moore