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Cheese Curds, 4/1: What are reasonable expectations for rookie wideouts?

The Packers seem poised to draft at least one wide receiver early. But what should fans really expect from them as rookies? Also, a story about mystery ham that has the world transfixed.

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Are the expectations for rookie receivers really too high? Each of the last two years, a first-round receiver has had a massive rookie season. Interestingly, both were teammates on LSU’s 2019 national championship team, with Justin Jefferson coming out in 2020 and Ja’Marr Chase last year.

Can the Packers expect a similar day-one impact from a receiver if they draft one in the 20s? Jefferson was picked at #22 overall two years ago, and the Packers have the same selection in this year’s draft. Perhaps Chris Olave, who has similarly smooth route-running to and even better speed than Jefferson, could step in and be a day-one starter.

Then again, the track record for receivers taken in the range of the Packers’ picks is highly inconsistent. Great players like DeAndre Hopkins and Jefferson have gone in the 20s, but so have massive busts like Laquan Treadwell. Surely that’s a reason to argue that Green Bay should take multiple bites at the apple at the same position in this draft — more picks means more chances you’ll hit on a winner.

Four weeks from today, we’ll know what the Packers did on in round one of the draft and whether a receiver (or two) is among the team’s first-round haul. Until then, it’s still all just speculation, but perhaps the best strategy will be to add multiple players as well as a veteran to get the team through 2022.

Check out some more discussion about that topic, some comments from Mark Murphy, and the discovery of some mysterious ham in today’s curds.

Murphy, Packers bracing for ‘interesting’ draft | Packer Report
Murphy mentioned the Packers' glut of draft capital when asked about the team's perceived lack of talent at wide receiver, saying "I think we can really help ourselves."

NFL Draft History Shows Danger in Packers Relying on First-Round Receiver - Sports Illustrated
While this look at first-year impact from wide receivers drafted in the 20s is a bit of a downer, it seems to presume that 800 yards is the minimum for an "impact player."

Sportsbooks set wins for Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 11.5 for 2022 NFL season | ESPN
The Packers' over/under for 2022 is 11 wins, according to the Caesars sportsbook, putting them behind only the Bills and Buccaneers who both have 11.5.

Falcons CB Casey Hayward on narrative Atlanta is rebuilding: 'Who says we can't' contend? |
Hayward, the former Packers corner, is now on his third team since leaving Green Bay, but he has been good to great in each of his previous two stops. Now in Atlanta, he thinks his new team could still contend despite being counted out by most observers -- their over/under is 5.5, tied for the lowest in the NFL.

Ezra Johnson helped usher in a new wave of NFL pass rushers |
During a 26-year gap between Willie Davis and Reggie White, the Packers got only one defensive lineman in the Pro Bowl. That was Johnson, who made it in 1978, his second year with the team when he unofficially recorded 17.5 sacks.

The enduring mystery of the Hobsonville Point ham | The Spinoff
Jamón ibérico is worth around $2400 for a full leg, and one ended up appearing out of nowhere on the streets of an Auckland, New Zealand suburb. It has now set off a firestorm of speculation about where it came from and why someone would leave it in the street.