Aaron's Answers: Will young WRs see field?
Throughout the offseason, I’ll be answering reader questions in a weekly mailbag here at PackersNews.com. If you’d like to submit a question in the future, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just because the players have the week off doesn't mean you don't have Packers questions. As always, I'm here to give you my humble opinion on whatever's on your minds. Let's get to it.
From Kevin McDonnell:
Do you think the Packers have done enough yet relative to pass rush? I don't. What are your thoughts about the rumor circling around that the Packers are thinking about signing Elvis Dumervil? Assuming the medical checks out (partially torn Achilles tendon), would that a good move? Would it be the best move?
It’s certainly something they could look at, Kevin. I’ve been saying they should look at Dumervil pretty much all offseason.
However, he’s a 33-year-old coming off a pretty significant injury who would realistically only be a one- or two-down player. Maybe if Dumervil were willing to sign for the veteran's minimum with no guaranteed money, so there’s no penalty if they end up cutting him during camp, the Packers would think about it. But I tend to think they’ll see what they have over the course of OTAs and minicamp before making a move.
As to your first point, I agree with you. I think the pass rush overall is still a concern for this team.
From Thomas Mrozla:
I know it’s early (both in the season and in the morning), but what needs to happen for the young receivers to get a shot in a real game?
It's a crowded position with a lot of talent on the front end (Nelson, Cobb, Adams, Allison...I imagine Bennett will now see a lot of passes thrown his way). However, these young guys have a lot of potential and could make an impact.
The problem I see is that, if someone goes down, the next man up is not always the best man for the job. Nobody likes injuries. Do you think "the next man up" sacrifices better talent at the bottom of the roster for guys who have just been on the team longer and have game experience?
Not at all, Thomas.
Those guys are the starters and regular contributors for a reason. I know fans get all excited about new talent on the roster, but realistically, everyone from this draft class is going to be fighting for scraps unless injuries happen.
The best bet for guys like DeAngelo Yancey and Malachi Dupre seeing the field in 2017 is for them to tear it up on special teams. Actually, that’s their ticket to making the roster, too.
Now, that's not to say one of them can't come into camp and light it up, making it hard for the team to keep him off the field. But the odds aren't great. Playing wide receiver in the Packers' offense requires a lot, including earning the trust of the quarterback. That's one reason it was so impressive to see a guy like Geronimo Allison do so well so early last year. But remember, even after a strong camp, Allison wasn't on the initial 53-man roster.
There's a lot of pass-catching talent in Green Bay. The rookies have a big hill to climb to see the field this year.
From Tanner Martin:
While naturally all of the focus is on the 2017 draft picks right now, I got to thinking about which guys from the previous two drafts will be growing into larger roles.
From the looks of it, all but one pick in the 2015 draft should have a role this year (yes, that counts backup QB), and all of the 2016 picks are in the mix this year, though some seem less likely to play much.
Who do you feel from these drafts are most likely to take a big step forward and become a factor in the team's long-term plans?
Great question, Tanner, and it hits on something my colleague Tom Silverstein has been saying pretty much all offseason.
While the Packers appear to have a chance to get a contributor or two from this year’s draft, if they’re going to see real improvement in 2017, especially on the defensive side of the ball, it will most likely have to come from their last few draft classes.
To that end, I think they have a chance to see big steps forward from Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry. As I said during my Facebook Live session on Thursday, I also think Damarious Randall takes a big step in the right direction after a supremely disappointing 2016.
One guy who I think falls into this category as well is Ty Montgomery. The offense really came alive last year when they finally settled on using him out of the backfield on a full-time basis, and that was after an offseason where he had done minimal work there. It will be interesting to see what he’s capable of after a full offseason working as a running back.