It appears the Green Bay Packers will carry five receivers into the opening game of the regular season.
In perhaps the toughest cutdown at the wide receiver position in recent memory, the Green Bay Packers have reportedly released 2017 draft picks DeAngelo Yancey and Malachi Dupre, in addition to roster-hopefuls Max McCaffrey and Michael Clark.
The moves should be a good omen for former draft picks Jeff Janis and Trevor Davis, whose special teams value carries significant weight for their individual roster chances.
Releasing both rookie draft picks is a surprising move for Ted Thompson and company, as the team rarely cuts rookies drafted in the fifth round or higher. Yancey, a fifth round pick from Purdue, failed to stand out in preseason action besides his 46-yard catch against the Philadelphia Eagles. Yancey’s body type, physicality, and ability to work the sideline initially reminded some of former Packer James Jones out of college, but he struggled to separate from the competition in camp.
Dupre, a seventh round selection, had seemingly picked up the offense quicker than Yancey early in training camp and looked promising heading into the preseason, but was hampered by a concussion suffered against the Eagles. The injury, which kept Dupre out a couple of weeks, prevented the LSU product from seriously contending for a roster spot.
Another surprise in light of those two cuts was the additional release of both McCaffrey and Clark. Though he carried a lesser investment from the Packers than the aforementioned draft picks, McCaffrey flashed skills as a receiver and emergency punt returner, becoming more than just Christian’s brother in the eyes of many Packers fans. Similarly, Clark showed potential as a 6’6” red zone threat, but his raw skills after playing just one season of football at Marshall made him too much of a developmental project for the 53-man squad.
However, each of these newly released players are strong prospects for the practice squad if they clear waivers. McCaffrey himself was signed to the Packers’ practice squad last December before being elevated to the active roster ahead of the NFC Championship Game. There’s little reason to believe the Packers wouldn’t try to stash at least one or two of the receivers on the scout team once again in case of injury or ineffectiveness among their youngest receivers.
With the latest cuts, the Packers’ receiving corps is still to be determined, but the consensus is that they will go into week one with five receivers - Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Janis, and Davis - with Geronimo Allison joining the team for week two after serving his one-game suspension.
Follow along with our Roster Cut Tracker here all day long to see how the Packers get down to a 53-man roster.