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Cheese Curds, 4/21: Are Packers interested in smaller WRs, or is it smokescreen season?

A recent report suggests that the Packers like a small slot receiver.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 04 Western Michigan at Akron Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Smokescreens are everywhere this time of year. The San Francisco 49ers seem to be doing it best, keeping everyone guessing on which quarterback they will take with the third overall pick.

The Green Bay Packers have historically done a tremendous job of keeping their interests quiet. Think back to 2019, when the team drafted Rashan Gary with the 12th pick. Gary said he hadn’t even spoken to the team and was surprised that they drafted him. Ted Thompson famously kept his final board and preferences in his own head or at least limited to his closest, most trusted subordinates.

But this week, we are seeing a report that the Packers are interested in a wide receiver whose size goes drastically against the team’s historical preferences. The report suggests that the Packers are high on a smaller, shifty slot receiver in D’Wayne Eskridge, a 5-foot-9, 190 pound receiver out of Western Michigan. While Eskridge is a good athlete, the Packers have never drafted a receiver shorter than 5-foot-10 in the past two decades, and even then they only drafted one (Randall Cobb) shorter than 5-foot-11-1/2.

If this report is to be believed, it could be a sign that the Packers are indeed softening up on their size requirements for receivers. Then again, they could be looking at smaller receivers to play the role formerly held by Tyler Ervin and to expand that role beyond what Ervin was able to provide.

Still, how much credence one puts into a report like this is entirely up to the reader. Take a look and decide for yourself.

Packers’ backfield will have a brand-new look in 2021 |
The contrast of styles between Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon should be an exciting pairing, and we got to see a glimpse of that against the Titans late last season. There's a good chance that the Packers will want to find a potential RB3 in the draft, however.

Would a Packers' first-round receiver after all this time be set up to fail? - ESPN
Javon Walker was the last first-round receiver for the Packers, taken 18 years ago. They have taken plenty in round two, but if they do eventually take one on the first day, Rob Demovsky suggests that the player will have unrealistic expectations.

Report: Packers high on Western Michigan WR D’Wayne Eskridge | Packers Wire
If the Packers are indeed highly interested in Eskridge, who measures in at 5-foot-8 and ran the 40 in under 4.4 seconds, perhaps they are also in on other smaller gadget receivers like Rondale Moore and Elijah Moore, to name a few. That would just go very much against their historical tendencies.

2021 NFL Draft Consensus Big Board: How 50 combined rankings stack the top 300 prospects – The Athletic (subscription)
Arif Hasan is doing yeoman's work once again, compiling big boards from draft analysts across the internet and giving us an average media board. A few interesting notes: wide receivers like Kadarius Toney and Rashod Bateman line up nicely around 29, while Dyami Brown comes in at 62.

Runner Followed by Black Bear in Grand Teton National Park | Viralhog
This video of a black bear who is far too interested in a human has been making the rounds. Click for a tutorial on exactly the right way to deal with bears (though it seems you can always rely on them to make bad decisions involving quarterbacks).

Finally, congratulations to Kenny Clark and his family on the arrival of a new addition!