You may have heard that Sunday’s effort by Packers rookie receiver Romeo Doubs made him the first non-Davante Adams receiver to record eight receptions in a single game for the Packers since 2018. Certainly, the team missing Sammy Watkins (injured reserve) and second-round pick Christian Watson (hamstring injury) helped him see more touches, but it’s still an amazing feat for a 22-year-old playing against what might be the best defense in the NFL in September of his rookie season.
Historically, Doubs’ 14 receptions, 137 yards and touchdown line over his first three games as a professional is very rare. How rare? So rare that only two players in NFL history, Steve Largent and Marques Colston, have recorded as many receptions, yards and touchdowns as Doubs in their first three games after being drafted in the fourth round or later in the draft. Largent eventually developed into a five-time All-Pro receiver and was named to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team as well as the Pro Football Football of Fame. Colston was never named a Pro Bowler but is enshrined in the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame and revolutionized the “big slot” position that players like the Packers’ Allen Lazard now play.
Your eyes are not deceiving you, Doubs is doing something special right now. After making plays throughout the summer, we’re now seeing him hit a pace that has rarely been set by players drafted as late as he was taken in the 2022 draft. If he sticks to his averages from the first three weeks of the season, Doubs, over a 17-game season, would record 79 receptions for 776 yards and six touchdowns on the year.
Among rookies drafted in the fourth round or later, that receiving yards mark has only been matched by seven players in NFL history. Only three players have hit 776 receiving yards as late-round rookies since 1987: Colston, Mike Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Only St. Brown can match 79 receptions (82) in his rookie season among late-round picks over that timespan, but St. Brown also only had four touchdown receptions in 2021.
In NFL history, only eight players — selected in any round — have matched at least 79 receptions, 776 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns in their rookie seasons: Keith Jackson, Terry Glenn, Anquan Boldin, Michael Clayton, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Thomas, Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. Among those eight players, six of them were drafted in the first 22 picks of their respective drafts, and all of them were selected in the first two rounds of the draft.