Each winter, Acme Packing Company breaks down the Green Bay Packers’ roster from the previous year by position to examine the team’s performance and needs in the offseason. Today we continue this series by looking at the wide receiver position.
When Matt LaFleur was hired as the Green Bay Packers’ head coach, leveling up the passing game was on the top of his to-do list, even while being more committed to the run. However, for a team that saw a significant drop off from contributors from the previous season, the passing game was inconsistent the entire year.
The Packers were pass-heavy all season, calling a pass on 58% off the plays. However, this was a much less skewed than it was in 2018, and much of that was due to meteoric rise of Aaron Jones. Despite the struggles of some of the receivers, the Packers still attempted 35.5 passes per game, 17th in the league. They were middle of the pack for most passing statistics, including 11th in passing yards and 14th for passing yards/game.
When looking at the team on a wide receiver to wide receiver basis, there was a big gap between the players that played well, and the players who played poorly.
Primary Target: Davante Adams
Targets: 127 Receptions: 83 Yards: 997 Yards/Rec.: 12 Touchdown: 5 Reception/Game: 6.9 Yards/Game: 83.1 Catch%: 65.4% Yards/Target: 7.9
Like the last few seasons, Davante Adams was Aaron Rodgers’ and the offense’s go-to playmaker. He led the team in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns, despite missing 4 games. In the last few games of the season, he and Rodgers started to click again in the new offense. In the playoff game against Seattle, Adams looked as good as he ever has, and that chemistry should carry over into the next season now that everyone has full year with a new coach and a new system under their belt.
Secondary Targets: Allen Lazard & Geronimo Allison
Targets: 52 Receptions: 35 Yards: 477 Yards/Rec: 13.6 Touchdowns: 3 Receptions/Game: 2.2 Yards/Game: 29.8 Catch%: 67.3% Yards/Target: 9.2
There is not enough that can be said about the type of season Allen Lazard had. He went from a practice squad guy to a 3rd/4th option to a true #2 option over the course of the season. He was a big part of the 3rd down game plan, and Aaron Rodgers seemed to trust him more than anyone on the offense not named Aaron or Davante.
With a full offseason to work on his game, he will be a solid #2 or #3 option next year for the Packers, depending on what they do in the offseason.
Targets: 55 Receptions: 34 Yards: 287 Yards/Rec:8.4 Touchdowns: 2 Receptions/Game: 2.1 Yards/Game: 17.9 Catch%: 61.8% Yards/Target: 5.2
Geronimo Allison’s season was a let down. He was expected to make another leap this year after being a solid options for Rodgers in a down year last year, instead, he saw his usage and production drop off as the season went on.
Other Options: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jake Kumerow, Ryan Grant, Equanimeous St. Brown
Valdes-Scantling: Targets: 56 Receptions: 26 Yards: 452 Yards/Rec: 17.4 Touchdowns: 2 Receptions/Game: 1.6 Yards/Game: 28.3 Catch%: 46.4% Yards/Target: 8.1
MVS was supposed step up this year and be a deep threat to spread out the defense, but it never seemed to happen. Instead, he struggled to get separation, and by the end of the season he was seeing his snaps get reduced with each game. He is expected to be back next year, but with the type of season Lazard had and the Packers seemingly going after a wide receiver in the offseason, he could be fighting with a returning Equanimeous St. Brown as the 4th option.
Jake Kumerow: Targets: 21 Receptions: 12 Yards: 219 Yards/Rec: 18.3 Touchdowns: 1 Receptions/Game: 0.9 Yards/Game: 15.6 Catch%: 57.1% Yards/Target: 10.4
Jake Kumerow was not expected to be a huge contributor, but came up with big plays whenever he needed to.
Ryan Grant was signed as an in case of emergency guy, but never saw the field.
Equanimeous St. Brown was hurt in the beginning of the season and did not see the field all year. He is expected to be part of the game plan next year, and might be a solid 4th option behind Lazard if the Packers find another wide receiver in free agency or the draft.
Overall Grade: D
The group project grade for the Packers wide receivers is a D, but that is not reflective of each player. Davante Adams was his usual self during the season when he was not dealing with his toe injury. Allen Lazard exceeded expectations, while Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling seemed to fall off the face of the earth.
Next season, the wideout room will most likely look different, and another year in the system could do Adams and Lazard some good. The Packers are expected to go get a solid WR2 in free agency or take a top-rated one in the first or second round of the draft.