The Green Bay Packers have the youngest receiver depth chart in football. Of the 11 receivers on the roster, 10 are first- or second-year players, including seven picks from the last two drafts.
The Packers believe the group can grow alongside quarterback Jordan Love. But a player with actual NFL experience could help ease the burden on Love and the youngsters at receiver/
So, should the Packers sign a veteran before training camp?
The staff at Packers Wire provided their opinions:
It would be easy to say yes given the complete lack of experience at receiver and the potential hurdles that may cause Jordan Love and the passing game, but an affirmative answer better include a few potential options, and therein lies the problem: the free-agent market at receiver is a shallow one, and the Packers aren’t getting DeAndre Hopkins, the top available option. Is there a receiver out there worth spending cap dollars on? The Packers went down this road with Sammy Watkins last year, and while the young receivers on the roster were appreciative of their time with the veteran receiver, he also stole away valuable reps early in the season. This time around, the Packers sound content rolling with the first- and second-year players and letting the group learn on the job, in the fire. Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure spent a lot of time with veterans who know the standard in Green Bay last season, so it’s not unreasonable to think they can be the veterans in the room. Keep in mind, the Packers’ passing game is going to be a two- or three-year building process alongside Love. Growing pains are to be expected.
At this point, no. DeAndre Hopkins has zero interest in playing for a team that doesn’t have an established quarterback or isn’t a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The Packers also don’t have the cap space for a player of his stature. Meanwhile, second-tier options like Julio Jones, Jarvis Landry, and Kenny Golladay are too old and/or don’t produce like they used to. Beyond that, there aren’t too many guys who move the needle. The exciting part about the youth movement in Green Bay is letting the guys grow together, whereas signing a bargain free agent would defeat the purpose. I would let the rookies and second-year receivers get all the reps they can in training camp before making a decision. If they aren’t confident in what they have heading into the season, more options could become available during cut-downs.
I think the Packers are leaving the door open for that possibility but my guess is that they don’t. For starters, Green Bay still doesn’t have much cap space. And are there any realistic options still out there that you want taking snaps away from Jayden Reed, Samori Toure, or Dontayvion Wicks? Obviously, there is risk with this approach. The Packers need to make sure they put enough skill position players around Jordan Love to give him a fighting chance at being successful, and there will undoubtedly be growing pains with such a young and inexperienced room. However, there is also a big reward. By having the young receivers gain that early experience, their learning curves are hopefully shorter, and they are able to make a greater impact sooner. There is also something to be said for the chemistry and rapport that will be built with Love. If the Packers do make an addition, my guess is that it happens once training camp is underway, and they have a better idea of where each of their young receivers is at.