Earlier this afternoon we broke down the wide receiver position in Green Bay. Next up is a prediction of which players will make the roster and which players will be looking for a new home when the season rolls around.
In case you forgot the voting process, we had five writers submit their full roster predictions, complete with projected starters and backups. We took the number of players at each position that were chosen most frequently, and the individual players who were put on the roster most often. All writers agreed on the "big 3", as well as the fourth receiver. However, after that, no other vote was unanimous.
Wide Receivers on 53-Man Roster: SIX
No surprise here. Jones and Cobb carried the Packers' wide receiver core a season ago with Nelson missing four games, Jennings missing nearly half the season, and tight end Jermichael Finley's early-season production problems.
The Packers will get a 100 percent healthy Jordy Nelson to start the season which is bad news for any defense in the NFL — we look for Nelson to take the next step in his career and be a possible Pro-Bowler. Cobb wants to catch 100 balls this season and that is a strong possibility. Round out the starters with James Jones (who led the NFL in touchdown receptions a year ago) and the Packers once again have three legitimate "go-to" receivers.
Although Boykin played sparingly last season, he still showed some signs of a productive wide receiver. He was able to take snaps away from Donald Driver towards the end of the season and took advantage of his time. As the only remaining player outside of the big three with any substantial experience in the Packers' offense, he seems like a logical choice to make the team as the #4 receiver, and appeared on every writer's ballot.
In his rookie season Jeremy Ross played in a special teams role only. It is tough to project how he will do in the NFL because he hasn't taken a snap in a meaningful game at wide receiver in the NFL. If he can forget about the debacle in the playoff game against San Francisco last season, Ross is the favorite to be the punt and kick returner (although Jonathan Franklin may have something to say about that). Ross has a lot of speed as seen in his few punt returns a season ago. He makes the team based on those special teams considerations, with the hope that he can contribute in some small way on offense as well.
The surprise vote comes in the form of Myles White, the rookie free agent who has been receiving praise this off-season from multiple sources in the organization. While the voting was split closely between White and another rookie wideout, the fact that he has been on the field for the full off-season program gives him an edge over the two receivers drafted in the 7th round.
As mentioned above, we projected the two draft picks to miss out on the opening-week roster. However, you can count on at least one of the rookie draftees to make the practice squad, and we'll let you know which one of them (or both) we project there when we recap the full 53-man roster in two weeks.
The other young receivers all have extremely long odds to make the team. Boykin overcame similar odds last season, but we see White as being the only undrafted free agent with a great shot at it at this point.
Josh will be up next, covering the tight end position on Thursday.
More from Acme Packing Company:
- Packers Roster Predictions - Running Backs: Lacy Takes the Reins
- 2013 Packers Self-Scouting: Running Backs
- Victor Cruz Saved the Packers Millions on Randall Cobb
- Packers Roster Predictions - Quarterbacks: Harrell Backs Up Rodgers Again
- 2013 Packers Self-Scouting: Quarterbacks