May. 30, 2016
Packers' Player Grades and Future: Wide Receivers & Tight Ends
This is a series I will be doing based on the grades for each single Packer and what I believe they earned, along with the future of the position. Today, I will be doing the pass catchers: the wide receivers and tight ends. At this moment, one position seems a little bit more certain than the other, but both groups had great years.
Jordy Nelson: A+
Voted as comeback player of the year in the NFL, Jordy Nelson had one of his better years in the NFL. He was three receptions short of 100, had 1257 yards and an NFL leading 14 regular season touchdowns. We all know about his playoff rib injury, but I think it is safe to assume that he is fine and will be at full strength once again for the 2017 season.
Davante Adams: A
I thought that if the Packers were going to keep six receivers, he was the one out of the group of seven to cut. It turns out, he was the best and most important of those five receivers and has earned himself the right to an extension following next season. All of his stats, 75 receptions, 997 yards and 12 touchdowns, were the best of his career and were all second to Jordy Nelson on the Packers. The trio of him, Nelson and Randall Cobb will be around for the foreseeable future.
Randall Cobb: B-
Speaking of Randall Cobb, he might have taken a backseat to Adams this season. Granted, he only played in 13 games and started 10 so his stats are of course going to be down some, but he came up big when it counted. His three touchdowns in Lambeau against the Giants in the postseason were a huge momentum builder, and it showed that he still is a viable receiver. Likely, he will move into the slot with Adams and Nelson on the edge.
Geronimo Allison: B+
After spending the first six games on the practice squad, Allison quickly moved up the depth chart into an important role down the stretch for the Packers. Had he been on the team the entire season, his grade would be higher, but he has shown that he is the best rookie receiver the Packers had. With his emergence, moving Ty Montgomery to the offensive backfield seems ever more likely.
Jeff Janis: B
I don't entirely know what grade to give Janis, as his main jobs on the team were on special teams, whether it was gunner or kick returner. He is one of our best special teams defenders, but as a wide receiver he had less yards the entire season than he had in those two Hail Mary's in Arizona last season. He's a nice player to stick around, but those of you who believe he is some future folk hero need a reality check.
Trevor Davis: D
I don't like giving rookies F's, but the "great impact" he was supposed to have on special teams and in the passing game didn't happen, and that is usually the case when you spend five games on the inactive list as a healthy scratch. He had three receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown, and apparently had two fumbles as well. Not a good start for the 5th round draft pick.
Jared Abbrederis, Max McCaffrey and Antwan Godley: Incomplete
Jared Abbrederis is now a member of the Detroit Lions organization, and after showing signs at the end of last season, he once again couldn't stay off the injured list with one reception for eight yards. McCaffrey was put on the active roster (but inactive's list) only for the game against the Falcons, and Godley is going to be in camp. Other than that, they had little effect.
Jared Cook: B
Everybody started really loving Jared Cook towards the end of the regular season, and I see why that is the case. He made some huge plays for the Packers' passing game and could be the long lost answer at tight end, should the re-sign him. But, injuries hurt his overall numbers and grade through the first 12 or so weeks of the regular season, so I can't give him that high of a grade. He also only had one regular season touchdown.
Richard Rodgers: B-
I don't understand the hate on Richard Rodgers, as he is a good number two tight end. He had the same number of receptions as Cook (although played in more games) on less targets, and is a good blocking tight end as well. I don't know if he is worth re-signing after his contract runs out, but he has always done a decent job and is worth a roster spot next season.
Justin Perillo, Devon Cajuste and Beau Sandland: Incomplete
Right when it looked like Justin Perillo might become a regular contributor on this team, he got cut when Cook returned from injury. He is now a member of the Chicago Bear's organization. Sandland was signed along with seven other players from the practice squad a few days ago, and Cajuste is one of two who remains unsigned. I honestly have no idea what their futures hold, but both will probably be in camp.
As far as what the future holds for the wide receiver position, every receiver that I have listed (minus Abbrederis) is under contract at the moment, and I would say the Big Four of Nelson, Cobb, Adams and Allison have us pretty well set for next year. Could we look for help elsewhere? It never hurts, and I'm not going to make a prediction on whether or not Thompson will draft a receiver. Maybe we go bring in a cheap receiver from another team too, but I honestly don't think that will happen.
When it comes to the tight end position, it all circulates on what they want to do with Jared Cook. Depth at tight end is a concern, as I have no idea what kind of players Cajuste and Sandland are, so a third tight end is a probable need, and another one if Cook leaves. The tight end free agent class is not as good as the one last season, and Cook probably is the best behind Martellus Bennett of New England. Should Cook go elsewhere, the tight end position is much deeper in the draft. Maybe Thompson takes a chance on Jake Butt in a middle round, or someone else.