How Preseason Games Will Impact Green Bay’s Front Office

The pre-season is an ideal time to test young players. And that’s exactly what the moment calls for from a rebuilt Green Bay Packers receiver room. Davante Adams, Marquez Valdez-Scantling and Equanimeus St. Brown are out. Sammy Watkins, Christian Watson, Romeo Dubs and Samory Toure. The preseason games are not only getting used to Matt Lafleur’s offensive scheme, but also a chance to show what this offense can expect in terms of talent – especially for the rookies.

Green Bay’s presumed veterans (Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins) will not play in Friday’s preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers. That means more snaps for the young guys, with the exception of Watson, who is still on the physically unable to perform list.

As such, the Packers should use Romeo Dubs, Juwann Winfrey and Amari Rodgers as their core trio of wide receivers.

“I don’t think we really want to add anything right now,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said at the start of training camp. “I really like our group. I want to give these guys a chance to see what they can do.”

Daubs was the star of Green Bay’s training camp. A promising fourth-round pick, he has the opportunity to stay on track and establish himself as an important piece for the regular season offense. Winfrey was also solid and drew praise from defensive end Aaron Rodgers. The fourth-year receiver finished last season as an active player and is doing enough to be in the conversation to remain an active player.

“I will say that between 88 (Winfree) and 87 (Doubs), there were a lot of positives that make you feel good about the depth we could have in that room,” Aaron Rodgers said.

Amari Rodgers lost weight in an effort to get faster after a disappointing rookie season in 2021, and he looked more comfortable in practice. Without Cobb, he is the primary slot option. The rotation will always provide opportunities for Toure. The seventh-round pick had a relatively quiet training camp leading up to Family Night, but his performance in front of fans was noteworthy.

Undrafted rookie Danny Davis has no real chance of making the active roster barring something extraordinary, but he’s been a reliable piece among the backups. His real struggle is to get back to Green Bay as a practice player, and he’s doing enough to be in contention.

Other receivers on the roster are Malik Taylor and Ishmael Hyman. Taylor has been with the Packers since 2019, but lost his spot this training camp. Hyman has also been in the league since 2019. He spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers, and most recently with the Michigan Panthers of the USFL.

The Packers will hold joint practice and a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints next week. Matt Lafleur has already said that Aaron Rodgers won’t play in this game, so maybe it’s better to keep the veterans out and give more reps to the young players.

In the last preseason game, Rodgers and the starters have a chance to play against the Kansas City Chiefs. Christian Watson, who could be back in about a week, could also see his first game time.

Additionally, there are two shortened dates between games. The Packers will cut their roster from 90 to 85 after the 49ers game and to 80 after the Saints game.

Exhibition games are also useful for the coaching staff to understand where to use each player. For example, the Dubs seem poised to get a Z in this offense. But Matt Mumme, the Dubs’ offensive coordinator in Nevada, told Zone Coverage that the rookie has shown the ability to line up the entire formation, something LaFleur can test.

“As he grew in our Air Raid system, he got around easier,” Mumme said. “It created a nightmare for defenses because they couldn’t just try to take him out or double him to the outside. It created inconsistencies.”

Right now is the best chance for new receivers to show their worth. And now is the perfect time for the Packers front office to find out if their current group is good enough to give Aaron Rodgers a real chance to compete in 2022.

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