Packers X-Factor: Luke Musgrave
With the Packers potentially being shorthanded at wide receiver with the statuses of Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson unknown, the need for Luke Musgrave to impact the passing game increases greatly. With his size and athleticism, Musgrave is a matchup problem, able to stretch the field vertically, win over the middle, and even line up on the boundary with cornerbacks. We’ve seen flashes of his playmaking upside this summer, but there have also been some inconsistencies with drops as well. Musgrave’s presence not only creates big play chances for himself, but for others in the offense with the attentions he draws and spacing he forces defenses to create.
"“He can definitely stretch the field,” said Jayden Reed on Wednesday. “A guy that huge that can run at tight end like that and make big plays, that definitely opens things up for the receiving core. I’m just looking forward to seeing him go out there and do what he do.”"
Also an important aspect of playing tight end is the blocking component. Although the numbers from last season didn’t reflect it, LaFleur was impressed with this Bears’ defense from a season ago and noted their ability to scheme up pressures. I also wouldn’t be surprised if we see Chicago crowding the line of scrimmage more, especially if the Packers are without either Christian Watson or Romeo Doubs, in an effort to shrink the field and bottle things up.
Success for the Packers offense starts with being able to consistently move the ball on the ground, helping to keep Love and the young pass-catchers out of obvious passing situations, not to mention that the run game will also help open up opportunities in the passing game as well. And, of course, giving Love a clean pocket to throw from will be crucial as well. As is often the case with rookie tight ends, blocking has come with a steep learning curve for Musgrave this summer.