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Cheese Curds, 7/16: Are Packers planning to use more big receivers in the slot?

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After years of little else but 5-foot-10 Randall Cobb in the slot, Mike McCarthy and company may be moving towards bigger players there.

NFL: Green Bay Packers-Organized Team Activity Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

One thing that is clear from this offseason is that the Green Bay Packers like big receivers. From the team’s three rookie draft picks all standing 6-foot-3 or taller to the acquisition of veteran tight ends Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis (both 6-foot-6 or taller), there is a lot more height in those two rooms than there was a year ago.

One area where the Packers might use some of those players in new and different ways is from the slot, a position that often has belonged to Randall Cobb almost exclusively. Yes, the Packers have used Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams inside on occasion, but the slot has typically been Cobb’s primary responsibility.

However, in 2018, some of those bigger receivers may get some playing time at Cobb’s traditional spot. The reasons for this are numerous. First, the team has no proven outside receivers opposite Adams, which might put Cobb in line for more snaps on the boundary. Second, Graham’s tape — though you may have to look back to his time in New Orleans to find the best examples of this — show him to be an excellent weapon when he’s split off the line from the slot.

Finally, the rookies might be able to contribute there, as in the case of one of the draft picks who surprised in spring practices with his potential from that position. In today’s curds, we’ll lead off with a story on that player, 5th-round pick Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Versatility a nice bonus for Valdes-Scantling | Packers.com
MVS showed some shiftiness and ability to play in the slot during spring practices, which was not a widely-projected spot for him after his selection. However, passing game coordinator Jim Hostler likes his "suddenness," and having a 6-foot-4 player lining up inside would be scary for smaller defensive backs.

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