Over the next two weeks, Acme Packing Company will break down the Green Bay Packers' 90-man roster to analyze each player and his chances of making the roster. That breakdown includes an expansive discussion those returning on existing contracts as well as the team's additions from the offseason.
Wednesday brings the wide receivers to the forefront. The group, of course, endured multiple injuries throughout the 2015 season and seeks to rebound now that its best player nears a return to the field.
Jordy Nelson, No. 87
H/W: 6-foot-3, 217 pounds
2015 stats: n/a
Though it took until after the Packers' Week 7 bye for the loss of Jordy Nelson to fully manifest, the team never approached its previous offensive heights after an ACL tear sidelined the wideout during the preseason. Defenses quickly stopped respecting Green Bay's ability to attack deep and took away the middle of the field by double-teaming Randall Cobb. Though not every offensive fault resulted from Nelson's injury -- running back Eddie Lacy's weight gain and subsequent ineffective play made the unit one dimensional -- his absence even weighed down reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers.
By all accounts, Nelson appears on track for a full recovery well before the start of the upcoming season. That doesn't mean the Packers can simply expect the offense to revert to its pre-2015 form. Nelson turns 31 at the end of May and had other smaller though still significant health concerns prior to his knee reconstruction. Still, even if he has to play more in the slot moving forward à la late-career Larry Fitzgerald, the offense should still enjoy a noticeable boost.
Randall Cobb, No. 18
H/W: 5-foot-10, 192 pounds
2015 stats: 79 catches, 829 yards, six touchdowns
Though able to play in all 16 regular-season games last season, Randall Cobb never seemed to bounce back from the severe shoulder sprain he suffered during the Packers' second preseason game. Outside of his two-game stretch against the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs -- during which he caught 15 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns -- Cobb managed just 64 receptions for 622 yards and three touchdowns on the year.
Part of Cobb's struggles came from the extra attention defenses applied to him with Nelson out. That presumably changes in 2016 with the Packers' No. 1 receiver back in the fold. If Cobb has more room in which to operate and stays healthy, the team has no reason to believe he can't return to the form that made him a Pro Bowler two seasons ago.
Davante Adams, No. 17
H/W: 6-foot-1, 215 pounds
2015 stats: 50 catches, 483 yards, one touchdown
At one point prior to the 2015 regular season, everyone from the Packers' head coach to its superstar quarterback pegged Davante Adams as the team's "offseason MVP." That led to outsized expectations for the former second-round pick, who summarily delivered a disappointing performance. Adams, who battled ankle injuries throughout the year, averaged just 9.7 yards per reception on a robust 93 targets.
The underwhelming year has led Adams, only 23 years old, to a career crossroads. Now healthy, he can either fulfill the promise of his rookie season or continue to falter when called upon in an offense that needs someone to hold down the boundary receiver spot opposite Nelson.
Ty Montgomery, No. 88
H/W: 6-foot, 216 pounds
2015 stats: 15 catches, 136 yards, two touchdowns
Though his rookie season lasted only six games, Ty Montgomery demonstrated both why the Packers thought enough of him to invest a third-round selection and the reasons 93 picks transpired before he came off the board.
Montgomery possesses tremendous athleticism. At 221 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds and posted a 40 1/2-inch vertical. Those physical gifts allowed the Stanford product to slash through defenses for two touchdowns and average 31.1 yards per kickoff return. At the same time, Montgomery's issues with ball tracking showed up as well. Against the San Francisco 49ers, the wideout dropped a would-be long touchdown pass on the game's opening possession. An ankle injury sidelined him after Week 6, and ultimately required season-ending surgery.
Green Bay views Montgomery as a versatile piece. He has played on the boundary, in the slot and lined up as a running back.
Jeff Janis, No. 83
H/W: 6-foot-3, 219 pounds
2015 stats: two catches, 79 yards
Jeff Janis still only has four career receptions during the regular season, which gives him a roughly 1:100,000 catch-to-Twitter-shout-out ratio. At the same time, the wideout's 145-yard, two-touchdown showing in the Packers' NFC Divisional Round game against the Arizona Cardinals demonstrated what Janis can accomplish when he marshals his abilities. Heading into Year 3, Green Bay may finally discover whether it has a reliable deep threat on its hands, or "just a guy."
Jared Abbrederis, No. 84
H/W: 6-foot-1, 195 pounds
2015 stats: nine catches, 111 yards
A fan favorite after walking on at Wisconsin, Jared Abbrederis has stayed relatively quiet during his first two years in the league. He spent all of 2014 on injured reserve after tearing his ACL, and started last season on the practice squad. Unlike Janis, who possess both great size and speed, Abbrederis physically resembles a slot receiver. He can still help the Packers in that role, though the team may not have room for him if he doesn't raise his play.
Ed Williams, No. 19
H/W: 6-foot, 196 pounds
2015 stats: n/a
Ed Williams joined the Packers late in the 2015 offseason and managed to snare a coveted spot on the practice squad. That alone reveals that the team believes he can develop into a useful player. At the same time, the extra competition at wide receiver in 2016 could push Williams to the side.
Jamel Johnson, No. 10
H/W: 6-foot-2, 217 pounds
2015 stats: n/a
Jamel Johnson joined the Packers' practice squad last December after the release of defensive back Kyle Sebetic. He rejoins the team for his first offseason in Green Bay, though he faces perhaps the longest odds of any returning wideout.