The Green Bay Packers have a lot of versatile weapons on offense that could play in the slot, but no clear pure slot receiver. So who will fill that role?
Last season, Matt LaFleur experimented with almost every single weapon the Green Bay Packers had in the slot. Darrius Shepherd made the team out of camp as the only player with a true slot skill-set and play style, but he quickly fizzled out and was relegated to the practice squad.
Basically every receiver on the roster spent time in the slot, from Davante Adams to Jake Kumerow. They all bring different skill-sets to the position and can be used in different scenarios anywhere from downfield shots to crashing in for run blocking. The most obvious choice for a slot receiver is a natural receiver so there will be plenty of those playing the position this season.
Tight ends like Jace Sternberger and Robert Tonyan could split out from their normal three-point stance connected to the line. They have enough versatility in their games to be a big slot and hopefully overpower smaller nickel cornerbacks. Don’t expect to see Marcedes Lewis out there, though, as most of his skill set is built around blocking as an extension of the offensive line.
The final, and possibly most compelling option are running backs, specifically Aaron Jones and Tyler Ervin. Both spent some time out there last season and Jones had great success early in the season when teams tried to defend him with linebackers before seeing his receiving prowess. Ervin has great versatility and will be used in a number of ways, and one of them could be out of the slot.
The possibilities are nearly endless for the role that this spot could play in LaFleur’s offense as a fun chess piece. So who will play it the most this season and how will the role vary based on who’s out there? We’ll start with the natural wide receivers that could work out of the slot each in their own unique way.