Packers wide receiver room: Who makes the cut?

NFL

Green Bay Packers’ Equanimeous St. Brown runs a drill during an NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Green Bay, Wis. (WFRV) – The Packers wide receiver room is quickly becoming the hottest spot in Green Bay, and it is getting crowded already.

Green Bay is set to acquire Randall Cobb from the Houston Texans. Adding the veteran, and friend of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, would give the Packers 13 on wide receivers on the current 90-man roster.

  • Davante Adams*
  • Reggie Begelton
  • Chris Blair
  • Randall Cobb
  • Devin Funchess
  • Bailey Gaither
  • Allen Lazard*
  • Amari Rodgers
  • Equanimeous St. Brown*
  • Malik Taylor*
  • DeAndre Thompkins
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling*
  • JuWann Winfree

The question then becomes who do the Packers keep on the final 53 man roster at the end of training camp?

You can pick as many at 6 players

Since 2011 they’ve kept seven wide receivers coming out of camp twice (2018 & 2016), six receivers twice (2019 & 2012). For the most part they’ve kept five wide receivers under Ted Thompson and now Brian Gutekunst.

That includes last season with Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown, Malik Taylor, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling making the cut.

Expiring Contracts

There’s a couple guys entering the final years of their rookie deals, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown.

Valdes Scantling is coming off a bounce back year in 2020, with over 600 yards receiving and six touchdowns, and proved to be the deep threat Rodgers and the Packers were looking for.

St. Brown returned to the field last season after missing the entire 2019 campaign due to an ankle injury. He also missed time in 2020 while on injured reserve due to a knee injury, but came back to register a catch in seven out of the last nine games.

Return of Funchess

Devin Funchess is a big wild card for the Packers heading into camp. The veteran wide receiver sat out all of last year due to COVID-19 concerns, and has not played a snap in the NFL since week one of the 2019 season when he was with the Colts.

During his four years with Carolina, before heading to Indianapolis for one season, Funchess racked up over 2,200 yards with 21 touchdowns. He also proved to be one of the Panthers most durable players having played in 62 games during that time.

P-Squad to 53

Every year there’s someone that makes the jump from the practice squad to the 53 man roster. Predicting who that is before camp begins is not exactly east.

In 2020 it was Malik Taylor that made the jump over Reggie Begelton at the final roster cuts. Could the former CFL star get back in the mix again? Begelton was able to stay with the team on the practice squad throughout the season, and gained plenty of reps during OTAs with some of the big names sitting out.

Another name to watch would be Juwann Winfree, who was signed to the Packers practice squad in October and went on to play in two games for the green and gold last season. A groin injury during training camp last year with Denver led in part to Winfree hitting the market after roster cuts last summer. Back to full health the third year receiver out of Colorado looked good during OTAs and minicamp, and could be a name to watch for that final roster spot.

Other Position Groups

The other position groups on the team, especially the offense, will have a big impact on how many receivers the Packers keep at the final roster cuts on August 31st.

That’s especially true for the offensive line with 13 players on the current roster heading into camp.

Last year the Packers kept nine on the initial 53 man roster. There will be plenty of questions in that group though. Like the availability of tackle David Bakhtaran at the start of camp as works his way back from an ACL injury.

They also have a lot of young linemen on the roster with six being drafted in just the past two years. That includes new center Josh Myers, who was picked in the second round out of Ohio State to replace Corey Linsley.

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