With the NFL trade deadline just a few weeks away, it is time for Green Bay Packers’ GM Brian Gutekunst to add a new receiver to this team.
By the end of the Ted Thompson era in Green Bay, this Packers’ roster was fairly depleted and void of playmakers at a number of key positions. As a result, now second-year GM Brian Gutekunst went on a spending spree this offseason and based on the early results, he should be the clear-cut favorite for Executive of the Year.
Well Gutey, as fantastic as your current offseason additions have been, it is time to make one more big move. The Green Bay Packers were aggressive in addressing clear needs at the edge rusher and safety positions over the offseason, yet as free agency and the NFL Draft went by, they didn’t address the wide receiver position as many had expected.
Instead, they chose to rely on their in-house options and a big question surrounding this Green Bay Packers team as the season began was, who would step up and be the number two receiver behind Davante Adams? And truthfully, we are six weeks into the season and we still don’t have that answer.
While there have been some big moments from receivers not named Davante Adams, including a couple of touchdowns from Geronimo Allison, a few big plays from Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS), and a nice fourth quarter for Allen Lazard, the overall production has been inconsistent and sporadic. Even though the last few weeks other receivers have had the opportunity to make plays without Adams in the lineup, for the most part, the unit has been quite underwhelming.
During the Dallas and Detroit games, the receiving core would catch just 16 of the 31 passes thrown their way for 226 yards. MVS has only six targets in those two games, Allison has a case of the drops on a weekly basis and has caught only 5 of 13 passes, while Darrius Shepherd had a pass bounce off of his face mask that resulted in an interception.
And as disappointing as those overall numbers and performances have been, they’ve actually been inflated by Lazard’s fourth quarter on Monday Night. If we take Lazard’s big quarter out of the equation, Aaron Rodgers is completing below 50 percent of his passes to his receivers for only 161 yards in two full games of action.
While where a player is drafted doesn’t determine their level of success in the NFL, this is a receiving core made up primarily of undrafted rookies, except for MVS but even he was a fifth-rounder. Their overall inability to create space to get open has been the biggest issue and even when a big pass is completed – just look at MVS and Lazard against the Lions – it is because Rodgers has thrown a near perfect ball while his receivers are blanketed in coverage.
With all of that said, this isn’t just an issue because Adams is out, even when he does return, the Green Bay Packers will still need to address the receiver position and add another weapon to the passing game. Currently, they sit at 5-1 as well as 3-0 within the NFC North and they have plenty of potential to make some noise in the postseason.
However, if they are going to make a run at the Super Bowl and compete with the top teams in the NFC, they will need another receiver opposite of Adams that can create for themselves and make some plays. With nearly $10 million in cap space available this season as well as almost $23 million projected for 2020 according to Spotrac, the Packers do have some wiggle room to add another player.
Although there is no evidence that these three receivers are even available for trade, some names that would be a good fit for Green Bay are Mohamed Sanu of Atlanta, Corey Davis of Tennessee, and Emmanuel Sanders of Denver. While players of that caliber may not end up being on the market prior to the trade deadline, Brian Gutekunst needs to get on the phone before October 29th and try to add another weapon to this Green Bay Packers passing attack.