Ted Thompson is not known for picking offensive skill players in the first round of the draft. In fact while GM of the Packers he has only picked one, quarterback Aaron Rodgers. This does not mean that he does not pick offensive skill players high though; Thompson has spent many second round picks on wide receivers as well as a running back (Brandon Jackson). This year there are plenty of talented wide receivers, and a few tight ends, that may interest the Packers; especially given the long term needs at wide receiver and tight end. With this in mind we are going to look at a few wide receiver prospects that could fit with the Packers in the first or early part of the second round (if the Packers trade down).
Keenan Allen, California
Tex highlighted earlier today that the Packers are at Allen’s pro day. In many ways Allen fits the mold of the typical Packers wide receiver for the past decade. He is 6’2" 206 lbs with long arms and good sized hands. He is a very good all around athlete but does not possess eye popping measurables or elite straight line speed. Allen’s game is based on sharp route running, good moves after the catch, and a highly competitive attitude. In fact he has drawn comparisons to Jordy Nelson. The big question is going to be the condition of his knee after an injury that he suffered in 2012.
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Like Allen, Hopkins is a player with good but not great measureables (6’1" 214 lbs, 4.51 40 yard dash at the Combine). He makes up for this with crisp route running and deceptive strength given his lean frame. He is a tough physical player who is not afraid to fight through press coverage and can go up for any jump balls. Once again this is not a player with elite speed, so he’s not going to beat NFL corners with his legs alone. He also has displayed some focus issues, and dropped passes as a result.
Robert Woods, Southern California
Woods is a tough receiver who is willing to make tough catches over the middle as well as block. Drops are a rare occurrence for Woods because of his fast hands and superior hand eye coordination. Woods also has experience as a kickoff and punt returner. Woods has suffered several ankle issues over his career which could be a red flag. He also has been known to be overly aggressive in fighting with defenders downfield leading to an occasional offensive pass interference flag.
Justin Hunter, Tennessee
Hunter has the elite size and speed that NFL teams covet, but some of the attitude issues that teams fear at wide receiver. Hunter is tall (6’4") and fast (4.36 40 yard dash at the Combine), but is lean weighing only 196 pounds. He does not have the strength to get off press man consistently and has lack some of explosive burst he had earlier in his college career after suffering a knee injury in 2011. He has also displayed some focus issues and poor body language during games. Hunter probably has the most upside of any receiver in this draft and could become a top 10 receiver, but he is going to be a project and may not pan out.