Green Bay Packers fans are excited to see what second-round pick Christian Watson can do as a rookie, but fellow 2022 NFL Draft pick Romeo Doubs has a chance to carve out his own role in the offense in his first season.
Doubs was selected in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Nevada. He was a consistent playmaker for the Wolfpack, posting back-to-back seasons with 1,000 receiving yards in his final two years of college. He finished his college career with 225 receptions for 3,322 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Although he didn’t qualify for a Relative Athletic Score (RAS) due to a lack of official measurements, Doubs has good size at nearly 6-foot-2 and 201 pounds with 10-inch hands. After missing the Combine and Pro Day workouts with a knee issue, he did hold a personal workout a few days before the draft that saw him reportedly run the 40-yard dash in around 4.50 seconds. But regardless of his timed speed, Doubs’ tape shows an impressive athlete who runs like his hair is on fire.
The first thing that stands out with Doubs when turning on the All-22 film is that he fires off the line of scrimmage with great acceleration and explosiveness. While prospects like Chris Olave were described in this year’s draft as smooth receivers, Doubs is the opposite of that, running with aggressiveness and violence with his release.
Doubs can shoot out of a cannon off the line. Impressive acceleration. pic.twitter.com/IV97gscWUR— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) May 31, 2022
Doubs was often called a vertical threat by draft analysts because of his acceleration off of the line of scrimmage and top-end speed. However, with the way defenses played against him by having defenses backs play off coverage against him, Doubs typically won as a senior with comeback and out routes.
In the handful of games I watched, there were a handful of examples of Doubs creating separation against soft coverage, gearing down by chopping his feet and attacking the ball rather than waiting for it to come to him.
Doubs runs so hard on his routes.— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) May 31, 2022
Does a good job of gearing down by chopping his feet and coming back to the ball. Creates separation with the DB expecting him to go deep. pic.twitter.com/W8jYpKoT5F
I really, REALLY like how hard Doubs runs on his routes.— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) June 1, 2022
Consistently creates separation on out-breaking and comeback routes. pic.twitter.com/55w9015ZhE
That’s not to say that Doubs isn’t a deep threat. The Packers rookie does a great job of setting up defensive backs when deep downfield, and also does a great job of tracking and attacking the ball when it’s in the air.
A couple of Doubs explosive plays came on broken coverage, but this post-corner route against Air Force highlights how the former Wolfpack receiver can manipulate a DB with subtle moves, then adjust his route to make a play on the ball after creating separation.
There's a lot to like here.— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) May 31, 2022
Creates separation on the post-corner route. Tracks the ball well and adjusts his route to make the catch. pic.twitter.com/dClLfC8NnA
Doubs can also be a threat to take the top off of a defense when going against press coverage. While he didn’t face a ton of it at the college level, Doubs’ explosiveness and competitive toughness on the line of scrimmage can help him burn defensive backs and catch them flat-footed.
Doubs vs Press Coverage pic.twitter.com/no3z6BasFe— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) June 1, 2022
The Packers lost the best wide receiver in the league at creating separation off of their release in Davante Adams. While Doubs is far from a polished prospect, plays like this should get quarterback Aaron Rodgers excited about his new weapon.
Adams was also used heavily in the screen game, and there doesn’t appear to be a reliable option to replace the superstar wide receiver in that part of the offense. Doubs might be that replacement given some of the plays he made in the screen game in college.
With his size, vision, and explosiveness, Doubs was a dangerous player with the ball in his hands and blockers in front of him. Here are a few examples of Doubs making plays in the screen game.
I like the idea of getting Doubs the ball in the screen game. He's a big body WR (6'2" 201 pounds) and can pick up yards after contact. pic.twitter.com/N4ZINw9TNV— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) May 31, 2022
Another play from Doubs in the screen game. pic.twitter.com/7nyXV8V7z5— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) May 31, 2022
Doubs’ biggest weakness is what might keep him off of the field, especially in head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense. The Packers rookie showed a lack of effort as a run blocker, something that LaFleur notoriously emphasizes with his wide receivers.
There were far too many instances of Doubs showing almost no effort as a run blocker. That can be ignored when plays are going away from him, particularly in Nevada’s air raid offense where Doubs needs to save his energy to continue running routes. Still, it’s worth noting that the effort usually isn’t there even if he’s needed as a second-level blocker.
This is what a typical blocking rep looked like for Doubs.— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) June 1, 2022
Something LaFleur is definitely going to work with the rookie on improving. pic.twitter.com/SLcqfwaATP
Whenever I see a weakness in a prospect, I want to try and find a play to show that the player can still make that play. There weren’t a lot of good examples, but this play against Air Force shows that Doubs can at least engage with defenders and hold his block long enough to help out his running backs.
I've rewatched two games, and this is the first time I've noticed Doubs actually block someone.— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) May 31, 2022
And it wasn't bad! pic.twitter.com/jqUFD3oxbZ
Doubs’ effort as a blocker will likely determine how often he sees the field as a rookie. There will be some intense competition at training camp to determine the pecking order at the wide receiver position, but Doubs has the athleticism and route-running ability to establish himself as a key contributor if he can clean up a few things.