Green Bay Packers Will Boast the Deepest WR Corps in 2013, Again
The Green Bay Packers may be going through some changes at the wide receiver position, but that won't keep them from being the deepest team at the position.
Donald Driver announced his retirement last week, and Greg Jennings' contract is done. If Jennings and the Packers don't come to an agreement on a contract, the team will be just fine.
With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, it's easy for any wide receiver to develop quickly, as we saw this year. His elite arm can help any receiver become a dangerous threat.
While there are other teams that are deep at the position as well, the Packers boast the deepest group of wide receivers in the NFL. While it's not guaranteed that Jennings will return, this will look at the players that will be back barring anything strange happening.
Hamstring issues were a problem for Jordy Nelson this year, but a full offseason of rest will make him a big threat for the Packers next season.
Before the injuries, Nelson was having a great season. In his last two games before going down, he caught 17 balls for 143 yards and four touchdowns. He finished the year with only 49 catches, but he averaged over 15 yards per catch, while also ending with seven scores.
If Jennings leaves, Nelson will likely take the top spot on the depth chart at receiver. It won't be anything new to him, as he was asked to fill in for Jennings during his absence.
There aren't too many receivers as consistent as Nelson when healthy. That will be the big factor for not only his success, but the team's success. If he works on getting healthy over the offseason, he will be an elite receiver next year.
Despite leading the NFL in receiving touchdowns, James Jones was relatively unnoticed by many. He wasn't selected in the Pro Bowl, and was considered the third or fourth string receiver on the team.
It was hard for Jones to get the attention of others in the NFC when player like Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson were dominating as well. However, 14 touchdowns is something that can't be overlooked for next season, as he will be a big threat yet again.
The biggest improvement over this season was his hands. Over previous seasons, Jones had disappointed many by making big drops. This year, he made some of the most amazing catches in the league, and made them consistently.
Next year will be just as exciting for Jones, as he will likely become a bigger part of the offense, especially in the red zone.
Randall Cobb was best known as an explosive returner last year, but now he has become a reliable option at wide receiver.
After not doing much besides returning a kickoff 108 yards for a score in his rookie season, he developed quite nicely during his second year. He led the team with 80 receptions and 954 yards receiving. He also had eight touchdowns, behind only Jones for the most on the team.
Besides his receiving abilities, he also became a threat in the backfield. With such a depleted group at running back, Cobb was able to make a few big run plays, throwing off defenses. On just 10 carries, he ran for 132 yards.
Rodgers will like having Cobb back, as he causes opposing defenses to put a lot attention on him, leaving others open. It will likely be a less productive year for Cobb through the air, but that will give others the chance to make big plays.
Little is known about Jarrett Boykin, but he began to show some promise for the Packers late in the year.
The rookie out of Virginia Tech was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Packers. He was the all-time leader at Virginia Tech in both receptions and receiving yards.
During the preseason, Boykin showed some promise. He was very strong and aggressive towards the ball and reminded a lot of fans of Jones. He had 13 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown during the preseason, and showed off his speed often. His speed, however, was a problem as his 40-yard dash time was 4.71 seconds at the NFL Combine.
Boykin could begin to see more snaps next year, especially if Jennings decides to leave. With a good offseason, he could find himself as a good possession receiver for the offense.
The Packers have a lot of competition for the deepest group of receivers.
The New York Giants have a lot of talent at the position, but Victor Cruz has yet to be re-signed, and the team will also have to consider paying Hakeem Nicks. The team has limited cap space, and it is unsure if they will be able to afford both players.
The Atlanta Falcons have Julio Jones and Roddy White, but after those two players there isn't much to their group of receivers. Harry Douglas is there, but he is nowhere near the level of Cobb or Jones.
The Baltimore Ravens have Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, and even Jacoby Jones. However, Jones was more of a return threat than anything, much like Cobb was.
Despite a lot of talent for other teams, the Packers have the strongest group of receivers in the league. Both Cobb and Jones would be able to go to a few places and be top receivers.
Although it is unlikely, Jennings may still stay on the team. The Packers may also draft another receiver. It's difficult to predict these things right now, but either situation could cement the Packers as the top group of receivers.
For the moment, it's still a debate for who has the deepest corps of receivers. However, the Packers still have the feel of the best receivers in the league. With arguably the best quarterback in the league throwing to them, it's hard for them not to have fun out there.