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Preseason Review: The Packers Wide Receivers

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All of the Green Bay Packers quarterbacks played great against the Cardinals, Aaron Rodgers was the lowest rated at 126.0, but the receivers deserve credit for catching 15 of 19 passes thrown to them. It was a notable game in that I did not see an appearance by either James Jones or Jordy Nelson. Unless I missed it, I didn't see them line up with multiple wide receivers while the first team offense was playing. Also, no appearance as a receiver by Randall Cobb, who had his night cut short by a knee bruise on a return.

The Packers were focused on running the first team offense primarily with the base package of Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, and the returning Jermichael Finley. Finley did look good, two of his four receptions went for first downs, and his only missed reception was a deflected pass that Rodgers admitted he could have thrown better. Jennings had his second TD reception of the preseason, another difficult to catch off-shoulder pass to the front pylon, and he looks ready to go. I've been really impressed with Driver, who looks as good as ever, and seems to have put his nagging injuries from last season behind him.

When the backups came in, Chastin West was the star of the show. He caught all 5 passes thrown to him for 134 yards, including a 97 yard touchdown reception. He ran good routes, but wasn't particularly challenged as the Cardinals backup defensive backs were playing off of him. He's a lot better than he was last preseason, and the Packers will have a difficult roster decision with him. I can't imagine he'll spend another season on the practice squad since he's likely drawn the interest of other teams this preseason.

Three receivers who got playing time, Tori Gurley, Antonio Robinson, and Kerry Taylor, all looked good. Gurley stood out because the Packers don't have many receivers with his height (6-4) and, unlike in his game against the Browns, he showed good hands and caught every pass thrown to him. Taylor doesn't have blazing speed, but he caught a TD pass in traffic and showed some hustle as a returner. None of them have a chance at cracking the roster, but I wouldn't be surprised to see one of these guys show up on the practice squad or with another team.

One receiver that really disappointed, and probably ended any chance he had of making the practice squad, was Diondre Borel. The undrafted rookie looked good against the Browns (except he had one drop) and was drawing praise from Mike McCarthy during the week. Against the Cardinals, he fumbled and lost a kickoff return, and committed a false start penalty at receiver that had him pulled from the game. My disappointment stems from the fact that I thought they had something unexpected in him, and now he won't make the team.