GREEN BAY - A good, general rule when trying to decipher general manager Ted Thompson’s approach to roster building is to trust the draft picks.
Even on a day when the Packers kept five undrafted rookies on their 53-man roster.
The Green Bay Packers' top personnel executive doesn’t just hoard as many picks as he can during the spring. Thompson often stays patient with his drafted players when it comes to making final cuts before the fall.
His draft-centric philosophy was reflected in the Packers’ receiving depth chart. Thompson kept seven receivers on his initial 53-man roster, the first time he has done that since becoming the Packers' general manager in 2005. He couldn’t keep them all.
Geronimo Allison, an undrafted rookie, was the most notable receiver released Saturday. Allison made a strong run at a roster spot, enough for the Packers to want him on their practice squad if he clears waivers, according to a league source. He caught six passes for a team-high 119 yards this preseason, including a 51-yard catch in the fourth quarter at the San Francisco 49ers.
Ultimately, Allison picked the wrong team on which to be an undrafted receiver. Five of the Packers' seven receivers were drafted since 2014.
Rookie Trevor Davis, a fifth-round pick, was the latest drafted receiver to make the 53-man roster. Davis injured his shoulder falling awkwardly against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night, but it apparently wasn’t severe enough for the Packers to waive him. Davis had four catches for 45 yards in the preseason.
Though he is 2 inches shorter and almost 10 pounds lighter than Allison, Davis is the faster receiver. He ran 40 yards in 4.42 seconds at the combine, compared to 4.67 for Allison. The Packers need more speed in their receiver group, and Davis’ wheels would’ve made him an intriguing commodity on the waiver wire.
There was no position more intensely contested this offseason than receiver. Ultimately, the jobs settled as expected. Turns out Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis were safely on the roster behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
Now, the question is about roles instead of jobs.
Adams has received the most reps as the Packers third receiver this camp, but Montgomery has also taken snaps outside. Janis can’t be counted out, but he must learn how to consistently catch the football despite a fractured hand.
Abbrederis lines up in the slot, which would exclude him from being the Packers’ third receiver. The Packers still find value in his route running and special teams ability. Abbrederis had two catches for 49 yards against the Chiefs, including a diving, 40-yard grab. He also returned five punts for 71 yards, including a 42-yard return.
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