The Green Bay Packers have the best receiving crops in the NFL. Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, two elite receivers, are complemented with James Jones, Randall Cobb and Donald Driver. Throw in Jermichael Finley, one of the better tight ends in the NFL, and you have the best group of pass catchers in football. With offseason workouts opening up, here are some bold predictions for each player in 2012.
Bold Prediction: Nelson leads team in yards and touchdowns.
Jordy Nelson is the deep threat for the Green Bay Packers. It is his job to challenge opposing safeties and take the top off the defense. With his speed and route-running ability, Nelson will be a big play machine this season. Expect him to make multiple 20-plus yard plays a game and to raise his average yards per catch from 18.6 in 2011 to over 20 in 2012. Over 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns aren't out of the question for Nelson in 2012.
Bold Prediction: Jennings stays healthy and catches 85 passes in 2012
Greg Jennings missed three games in 2011 and still caught 67 balls. As the de facto possession receiver for the Green Bay Packers, Jennings gets most of the passes on the underneath routes.
With Nelson ensuring that Jennings faces single coverage, look for Jennings to average over five catches a game. While he may not have impressive yards and touchdown totals, Jennings will make sure the offense moves the chains.
Bold Prediction: Driver retires after the 2012 season.
As great as Donald Driver has been for the Green Bay Packers, his career is coming to a close. Jones and Cobb are overtaking Driver on the depth chart, and he is slowly losing his playing time. Driver also battled various injuries throughout 2011, and at 37 years old, look for Driver to retire after the Packers win Super Bowl XLVII.
Bold Prediction: Jones doesn't drop any balls that would be for big plays or touchdowns.
If you've watched the Green Bay Packers play, you know James Jones has a tendency to drop balls that are sure to be big plays. After putting in the work during the lockout and making a relative improvement in 2011, look for 2012 to be the year that Jones finally hangs onto the ball. This should be the year that Jones firmly entrenches himself as the No. 3 receiver for the Green Bay Packers.
Bold Prediction: Cobb develops into a dependable receiver.
Randall Cobb had an up-and-down rookie season in 2011. He had good games against the Saints and the Chiefs, but disappeared against the Chargers and Giants. Considering Cobb's age and experience, his inconsistency was to be expected. After a full offseason in which to work with Rodgers and the rest of the offense, look for Cobb to step up his game in 2012. Forty receptions, 500 yards and a couple touchdowns should be expected.
Bold Prediction: Finley stops dropping passes and finally becomes an elite tight end.
Jermichael Finley has all of the physical tools you'd want out of a tight end. He's big, fast and strong, and he absolutely oozes potential. While he didn't have a terrible season in 2011, it was marred by drops and he led all tight ends with 11.
After receiving a new contract in the offseason, hopefully Finley can focus solely on football and claim his spot as an elite tight end. Expect a season of 65 receptions, 950 yards and 10 touchdowns out of Finley in 2012