For a wide receiver-needy NFL team, this year’s draft promises to be godsend with the level of talent and depth available. Fortunately for the Green Bay Packers, they fall into that category, seeking one to two receivers via the draft to add to their offense.
Picking at 30th overall, the Packers are in a unique position, however. There is a possibility that the draft’s most sought-after receivers are off the board and the next tier might be filled with too many players to justify taking any one individual at 30. In this case, it may be better for Green Bay to select another position of interest in round one, be it offensive tackle or interior defensive line, and hold off until the second round for a wide receiver. As APC’s Peter Bukowski mentioned in February, the Packers do not need to force a pass-catcher in round one, having found plenty of talent in rounds two or later in the past.
This year, names like CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Justin Jefferson, and Denzel Mims more than likely will be unavailable when the Packers are on the clock based on their current draft stocks. Tee Higgins also is a name that may not be as surefire a first-rounder as many believe, but could land in that territory in addition to Brandon Aiyuk.
With these names in mind, here are some others that make up a group of possible second-round receivers that could bring value and production to the Packers. While not all may be available at 62nd overall, there are a few, like Randall Cobb in 2011, who could fall into Green Bay’s lap.
General Manager Brian Gutekunst notably mentioned exploring the trade market last season for explosive wide receivers. Hamler may be the draft’s most explosive player at the position, estimated to have speed in the 4.2-second range. While Hamler can stretch the field and may be dynamic from the slot, he is just 5-foot-9 and had drop issues during the 2019 campaign. The Penn State product has been compared to players like Tavon Austin and DeSean Jackson, who epitomize the boom or bust labels. But for a team like Green Bay that values run after the catch ability, Hamler could be a game-changer who brings a new dimension to the offense than what currently exists.
Michael Pittman Jr.
The son of former NFL running back Michael Pittman, Sr., Junior is not going to wow scouts with his 4.52 straight-line speed. But the USC star was ultra productive for the Trojans and is simply a smart receiver on the field with his route-running and ball skills, often not revealing the ball’s arrival until it nears his hands. At 6-foot-4, Pittman brings the size that the Packers like and has great hands that allow him to be reliable in traffic and catch the ball at its highest point. It also helps to have a nearly 37-inch vertical. Not only was Pittman a catalyst for the USC offense, he was an effective run blocker on the outside and impacted the special teams units as a returner and gunner. In a year with many receivers projected to go within the draft’s first two days, Pittman is a personal favorite and could quickly become a trusted second or third weapon for Aaron Rodgers.
Like Hamler to a degree, Reagor is electric with the ball in his hands despite being a shade under six feet tall. Reagor appears faster on the field than his 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and adds an impressive 42.5-inch vertical. For Green Bay, the TCU stud would immediately be able to help in the return game, while adding value from the slot. Like Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden, discussed in more detail last week, Reagor brings versatility and could be a creative option for the Green Bay offense in a variety of packages. Consistency was questioned in his final collegiate season, one affected by a struggling offense, but Reagor would be a dynamic option if he falls to the end of round two.
Laviska Shenault, Jr.
Shenault and Reagor both began the draft process as late-first prospects, but have slid to some extent since then. For Shenault, a big part of that slide has been a core injury that required surgery earlier this spring, another in a line of injuries over the past couple seasons. Durability could push Shenault to the end of round two, but when healthy he is another multifaceted piece that brings physicality. The old mantra for an offense is to get the ball in the hands of its best player and that is what Colorado did with Shenault. He was often featured in the wildcat package as well as in reverses and the quick screen game, where he could make a man miss and get to the second level. Although he ran a 4.58 at the Combine, Shenault is sneaky on tape and can also stretch the field vertically at 6-foot-1, creating enough separation for the catch and often breaking away from the pack afterwards. Shenault could be yet another intriguing jack-of-all-trades in the second round for the Packers if he continues to drop.