GREEN BAY - In the NBA, we talk so much about the “Big Three” three stars or standout players who lead the way. The Packers receiving corps has a “Big Three” of it’s own:
- Randall Cobb who led the team in receiving yards last year
- James Jones who led the NFL in touchdown catches with 14
- Jordy Nelson who led the club with 1,263 yards and 68 catches with 15 TDs in 2011. He missed 4 games and parts of 2 others due to a hamstring injury last season but still caught 49 passes for 754 yards and 7 TDs.
Depth at receiver is a bit of a question mark after the retirement of Donald Driver and the free agency exit of Greg Jennings to Minnesota.
Looking to step into the breach are young veterans Jeremy Ross who came on to return kicks and punts at the end of last season, and Jarrett Boykin - a lanky prospect who caught 5 passes for 21 yards last year.
Two 7th round draft choices, Kevin Dorsey out of Maryland and Charles Johnson from Grand Valley State, are potentially two very good prospects.
These two kids missed time due to injuries this spring, but should be ready to go by the start of camp. They both bring a combination of size and speed to the party.
Johnson at 6’-2” and 215 lbs. has run a 4.3 forty.
Dorsey’s production at Maryland last year was impaired by a number of injuries at the quarterback position. In two years as a starter he made 81 receptions for 1,088 yards 13.4 average and 9 touchdowns.
I believe the Packers have plans to use tight end Jermichael Finley to take up the slack at receiver when they flex him off the line.
Bottom line, the Packers will be fine on the field at wide receiver despite the loss of Jennings and Driver.
The Packers are bringing seven - count ‘em - seven tight ends to camp this year, led by Jermichael Finley who last year set a franchise record for most catches by a tight end with 61.
As mentioned, I believe "J-Fin" will see a lot of action in a wide receiver role.
He appears to be in fine form coming into this season having had a good off-season. The Packers are paying him $8.25 this season so he will be featured.
D. J. Williams, a third year player out of Arkansas, had a very good off-season and this is a big camp for him. The Packers believe he has the ability to have a break out season.
Ryan Taylor is a special teams coverage ace and a jack of all trades in this corps. Position coach Jerry Fontenot says Taylor can do whatever they ask of him.
Matthew Mulligan is the lone veteran free agent acquisition by the club. He is a massive blocking tight end at 6’-4” and 267 lbs. and is evidence the Packers are serious of establishing an effective running game.
Andrew Quarless was the Packers' most complete tight end when he went down with a devastating led injury at the Meadowlands in December of 2011.
Quarless missed all of last year, but in the off-season appears to be ready to resume his career.
Brandon Bostick is a down field receiver who was on the practice squad last year.
Jake Stoneburner, a rookie free agent out of Ohio State, showed up in the rookies mini camp in early May with his ability to stretch the defense downfield.
With Finley’s role both at tight end and wide receiver, how well Williams comes on along with the muscle of Quarless and Mulligan, the Packers appear to be well stocked at this position.
They should be. They’ve stocked seven quality players at this position.