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Allen Lazard 'Extremely Confident' as Packers WR1: I'm Doing It on a Different Level

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2022

Allen Lazard (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Allen Lazard said he's ready for the challenge of trying to replace five-time Pro Bowler Davante Adams as the Green Bay Packers' No. 1 wide receiver.

Lazard discussed his more prominent role in the Aaron Rodgers-led passing attack following Adams' trade to the Las Vegas Raiders on the NFL Network's Good Morning Football.

"Extremely confident. It's something I've been working hard at for the past several years," Lazard said Tuesday. "It's not, like, an unfamiliar role for me. I'm doing it on a different level. I'm looking forward to the opportunity."

NFL Network @nflnetwork

"It's not an unfamiliar role for me." - <a href="https://twitter.com/AllenLazard?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@allenlazard</a> on becoming WR1 in Green Bay <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLFantasy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLFantasy</a> sleeper? 📈 (via <a href="https://twitter.com/gmfb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@gmfb</a>) <a href="https://t.co/0QoX5ZRC8t">pic.twitter.com/0QoX5ZRC8t</a>

Green Bay didn't make any blockbuster additions to its receiving corps after Adams' departure in March, a decision that comes with some risk given the back-to-back MVP seasons that Rodgers produced while throwing to one of the league's best wideouts.

Instead, the Packers are betting on their internal options to step up and fill key roles.

Randall Cobb returned to the team last season, but he played a minor role. It's unclear whether he can still produce at the level he did in 2014, when he recorded 91 catches for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns during the second of Rodgers' four MVP campaigns.

Green Bay invested two mid-round draft picks on rookie receivers: Christian Watson, who's missed the start of training camp with a knee injury, and camp standout Romeo Doubs.

The front office also signed Sammy Watkins, who's flashed playmaking ability across eight NFL seasons but has struggled to stay healthy consistently.

Yet, while the Packers feature solid depth at the position, the key question is whether anyone on the roster can come anywhere close to filling Adams' massive shoes. Lazard figures to get the first crack.

Rodgers told reporters in July he's confident in the 26-year-old Iowa State product:

"He's capable of a lot. And the way things have gone with the reps and the guys that we've had here and the targets that we've doled out, he hasn't had a ton of opportunities. Since his first day here, he's turned heads, so it's not surprising for him to go out and have a really consistent day today. But he's been working hard. He has a lot to prove, to himself, to other people, to the team as well. I like a hungry Allen Lazard. It will be an adjustment for us, but I'm happy with Day 1."

Lazard, who joined the Packers off the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad in 2018, is coming off a solid 2021 season. He recorded 40 catches for 513 yards and eight touchdowns in a complementary role.

Now he'll be tasked with handling a sizable increase from his career-high 60 targets last year while often matching up against an opponent's top cornerback.

How he handles that role in the early weeks of the regular season will likely determine whether he's one of the year's breakout sensations or fades into a time-share.

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