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Cheese Curds, 1/16: Young wide receivers can be Packers’ building blocks

There is reason to be hopeful for the long-term future of the Packers’ receiving group, particularly after the emergence of Christian Watson.

NFL: JAN 08 Lions at Packers Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers drafted three wide receivers in 2022, and in their rookie season, all three provided some moments of brilliance. From Romeo Doubs’ early contributions to Samori Toure’s big score on a scramble drill to Christian Watson going nuclear over the span of a month, each of the three rookies showed reasons to think that, in time, they can develop into valuable pieces of the Packers’ offense.

Watson is of course the potential superstar of the group. His eight-touchdown blitz in the span of four games left Packers fans salivating, and with good reason. The pure speed and the physical presence that he brings make him a potential All-Pro, and he should take a big step forward next year.

Romeo Doubs’ game tailed off significantly after suffering an ankle injury, and although he dealt with ball security issues throughout the season, he also made his share of highlight-reel plays. A late touchdown in a win over the New England Patriots sent that game to overtime and will be a play to build on.

Finally, Samori Toure did not play much on offense, but his big highlight was something that almost no other Packer was able to do all season: read an extended play with Aaron Rodgers scrambling and get open for a touchdown. All three players should be key components of the offense next season, both on merit and due to necessity, with the Packers seeing multiple veterans heading to free agency.

Before we discuss the young wideouts, let’s also give another shout-out to the Packers’ pro personnel department for finding another diamond in the rough who earned a first-team All-Pro honor.

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This cutup of postseason interviews finds the rookie trio all thinking back on their first NFL campaign together.

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You can be forgiven if you didn't pay close attention to where Watson lined up, but he was in the slot for about a third of his snaps, catching 16 of 22 targets with three touchdowns from that alignment.

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With a base salary of $705,000, this equates to about one-third of his game check for the week 18 game, but there appears to be no suspension coming.

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Jones has some remarkable efficiency numbers, ranking 7th all-time in yards per carry (5.11) among the 400-plus running backs with at least 600 carries. That surely helps explain why Brian Gutekusnt said the Packers plan on him being back in 2023, which will almost certainly require the team to rework his contract to lower his $20 million cap number.

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I like to imagine that they found it after getting a paper jam error.