Allen Lazard was supposed to have a breakout 2020 season after finishing the previous year extremely strong. And it looked that way after he accrued 254 receiving yards, 13 receptions and two touchdowns in the Green Bay Packers‘ first three games. Unfortunately, an injury sidelined him after Week 3 and he wasn’t able to return until Week 11.
Lazard wasn’t able to re-establish his elite early season form, only racking up greater than 65 receiving yards once over his final nine games (including playoffs). That performance seems to have tempered his expectations heading into this summer, but Lazard could still be in for a breakout season if everything falls his way.
With the Packers’ top four wide receivers returning, plus Devin Funchess and rookie Amari Rodgers, there should be plenty of competition behind Davante Adams at the position. Lazard will be pushed each and every week, so let’s make some predictions about what his 2021 season will look like.
The Green Bay Packers are looking for a second wide receiver to step up. Let’s make bold predictions about what the 2021 season holds for Allen Lazard.
3. He has more than 7 drops.
Lazard recorded five drops on 46 targets last year, a horrendous 10.9 percent drop rate. Lazard needs to improve his hands moving forward, as the Packers’ offense can’t continue to overcome the drops from everyone not named Adams. If Lazard stays healthy this year, I expect that overall number to climb, even if the percentage drops. That’s why I predict he’ll have seven drops–due to increased games and an increase in targets as a result.
Other players in this series:
2. He sets career-highs in receptions, yards, and receiving touchdowns.
Sticking with the theme that Lazard will play more than the 10 games he did in 2020, I predict he’ll set career-highs in receptions, yards, and receiving touchdowns next year. Heck, he would’ve done so with one more game played in 2020. The numbers he has to reach are modest–36 receptions, 478 yards, and four touchdowns–something he should be able to do in a gassed-up Packers’ offense.
1. He gets surpassed by Marquez Valdes-Scantling as the true no. 2 receiver.
Despite setting career-highs, Lazard will get passed up by Marquez Valdes-Scantling as the Packers’ true no. 2 wide receiver behind Adams. Valdes-Scantling has elite speed and has zero issues getting open, especially downfield. However, he struggled with drops even more than Lazard did which led to his limited playing time. I predict he’ll get that together entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal and will be in for a breakout season (more on that in his prediction section coming tomorrow).
That means Lazard will see himself slip on the depth chart to the No. 3 receiver spot and will have more limited opportunities. Lazard will still be fairly productive considering the explosiveness of an Aaron Rodgers’ led offense, but his playing time will slip.