Packers 2014 Offseason Review: Judging the need at Wide Receiver

Jonathan Daniel

We evaluate the need for the Packers to invest money or draft picks in upgrading the wide receiver position.

With veteran wide receiver James Jones turning 30 years old in March and him saying that he will test the free agent market, the Green Bay Packers need to be proactive at this playmaking position. Ted Thompson isn't going to overpay for Jones' services, so if he gets a bigger contract elsewhere, he likely will be gone. If this does happen, the Packers will likely need to address the situation with a draft pick in the middle rounds of the draft.

The emergence of Jarrett Boykin as a reliable weapon within the offense softens the potential blow of losing Jones, but Boykin hasn't proven himself to be a full-time replacement just yet. Jones has been a model of consistency and professionalism since battling through drops as a young wide receiver out of San Jose State. He has also become a locker room leader by most accounts.

The real question is whether the organization believes in the young talent of players like Myles White or Kevin Dorsey. If the organization has a long-term plan for that group, they may forego using a draft pick at all and sign a veteran wideout to a league minimum-type deal.

Another influence on the need at wide receiver is the uncertain statuses of tight end Jermichael Finley, who played a critical role as another receiving option, and Andrew Quarless. With Finley's future very much in doubt due to his neck injury and Quarless being a free agent this offseason, the Packers need to address the receiving production from the tight end position as well, and that could manifest itself in the form of another wide receiver.

Finally, we need to also remember that Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson will be free agents after the 2014 season, so any money saved this off-season will be put into the "Save the Playmakers Fund" for 2015.

Due to the production put up by the free agent-to-be in James Jones and the status of the receiving options at tight end, depth at this position clearly needs to be addressed this offseason, even if the returning starters in Nelson and Cobb remain among the league's better receivers.

Need Rating: 5/10

Josh VanDyke covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He is also currently a sports writer for MLive.com. Follow him on Twitter: @JVanDyke24

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