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Our NFL draft analyst, Ryan Wood, talks to Wes Hodkiewicz about the Green Bay Packers' need for a tight end and the top players available in the 2015 NFL draft. (April 21, 2015) Press-Gazette Media

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Randall Cobb's decision to re-sign with the Green Bay Packers last month prevented general manager Ted Thompson from being forced to reshuffle his list of offseason priorities.

Drafting a receiver would've become a major need had Cobb signed elsewhere. Even with significant defensive deficiencies, Thompson might have been tempted to use his 30th overall pick on a wideout.

2015 NFL DRAFT: More Packers draft coverage

With Cobb back, the Packers' receiver position will be a strength in 2015. Cobb will join top-threat Jordy Nelson to give Green Bay two Pro Bowl-caliber receivers flanking MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Davante Adams, a second-round pick last year, highlights a young and promising depth chart behind the record-setting duo.

But Green Bay still could use the draft's early rounds to bolster its passing game.

The tight end position is the one potential weakness in what amounts to one of the NFL's most complete offenses. While Thompson did well selecting California tight end Richard Rodgers in last year's third round, the position remains thin on depth and athleticism entering 2015.

Minnesota's Maxx Williams is the draft's consensus top tight end after leaving the Golden Gophers with two years of eligibility remaining. Williams redshirted his first year because of a bruised sternum, but he caught 61 passes for 986 yards and 13 touchdowns over the next two seasons. He also compiled an impressive highlight reel with an uncommon knack for making difficult catches, often in big moments.

"He's got special ball skills," Minnesota tight end coach Rob Reeves said. "He's got phenomenal hands. He can go up and track a football, go up and get it. The amazing catches that you see on Saturday, he makes them during the week in practice. So that, I think, is probably the No. 1 biggest thing that catches peoples' eyes, is just the plays that he makes. He's athletic with the ball in his hands."

Reeves said Williams is a "well-rounded" tight end — a willing blocker, not just a receiving threat — but still has room to grow before he's a complete player. Williams is young and raw, turning 21 years old last week. As Williams matures, Reeves expects he will become a better blocker.

Right now, Reeves said, Williams plays "a little high" with his pads, something he can correct with continued work in the weight room and refined fundamentals. Williams also must improve his route running, Reeves said, especially against man-to-man coverage.

"I don't think by any means is he a finished product right now," Reeves said. "I think there's a lot of development left in him, and to me that's a good thing because I think he still has a pretty big ceiling. As he grows and matures — and the more football he plays — I think he's going to do nothing but get better."

To get Williams, the Packers would almost certainly have to draft him in the first round, with the lone exception being if they trade back into the early second round. By the time their second pick arrives at No. 62, he'll be off the board. With inside linebacker, cornerback and defensive tackle occupying Green Bay's three biggest needs, spending a first-round pick on a tight end might be a stretch.

With little depth at tight end in this draft, there are few opportunities for the Packers to add athleticism at the position lower in the draft. One exception is Miami tight end Clive Walford, who ran a 4.79-second, 40-yard dash at the combine and could be available in the second round. MyCole Pruitt of Southern Illinois might be the most athletic tight end in the draft — his 4.58-second dash led the position group — and will likely be taken in the third or fourth round.

The Packers also could opt to draft another big-framed, soft-hands tight end in the mold of Rodgers. Green Bay has interest in Penn State's Jesse James, according to DraftInsider.com, reportedly either hosting him on a visit or working him out remotely. James, whose 4.83-second combine 40 was similar to Rodgers' 4.87, could be an option in the draft's middle rounds.

Then there's Devin Funchess of Michigan, one of the draft's most intriguing prospects. He played receiver in college but lacks the speed to play full time on the perimeter in the NFL, evidenced by his 4.7-second, 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in February. Funchess has the potential to be a prolific pass-catching tight end matched against safeties in the middle of the field, but he's never been an inline blocker on running downs.

Funchess' lack of experience blocking in the running game isn't unique in a draft thin on traditional, dual-threat tight ends who can catch passes as effectively as they block.

"They're just not asking kids to do the things we grew up watching, for those of us at a certain age," NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said. "I'm 50, and we were used to that tight end, and John Mackey was your ideal. He would block like crazy, and he would run up and down the field, and he was a freak of nature. Then came along the Kellen Winslows of the world, but now we're not asking them to do very much of that, especially in spread offenses."

More depth at wide receiver

Unlike tight end, there is a wealth of draft talent at wide receiver.

A year ago, the NFL welcomed an unprecedented wave of receiving talent. Green Bay was among the many beneficiaries leaguewide, drafting Adams on the draft's second day.

Adams finished his rookie year with more 38 catches and 446 yards, more than Nelson and Cobb had in their rookie seasons, and with three touchdowns, more than James Jones had as a rookie. In a testament to the depth of last year's rookie receiving class, Adams failed to crack the top 10 among 2014 rookies in any of the three categories.

Scouts believe the 2015 receiving draft class has a chance to be as deep, talented and immediately productive as last year.

Several receivers could be selected on the draft's opening evening, including likely top-10 picks Amari Cooper of Alabama and Kevin White of West Virginia. But talent at the top is not what makes this year's receiver class special.

It's the depth after Round 1 with the likes of Auburn's Sammie Coates, Kansas State's Tyler Lockett and Duke's Jamison Crowder.

"A lot of wideouts this year, man," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said at the scouting combine in February. "Just like last year. It's exciting how deep you can get in this wide receiver class again with quality players."

The market

Rising stock: Rutgers tight end Tyler Kroft had a disappointing junior season, but scouts have been impressed with his combination of size (6-5, 246) and speed (4.75).

Falling stock: Auburn receiver Sammie Coates was projected as a first-round prospect early in the pre-draft process, but teams have been turned off by his consistent issue with dropped passes.

Sleeper: Southern Illinois tight end MyCole Pruitt didn't play against the stiffest competition in college, but he may be the most athletic prospect at his position in the draft.

Top 5 tight ends

1. Maxx Williams, Minnesota

Height: 6-4

Weight: 249

Class: Sophomore

Stats: 36 catches, 569 yards, 8 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.78

Projection: 1st-2nd round

Blurb: Williams left school with two years of eligibility remaining, but the draft's top tight end has the ball skills to immediately boost an offense's passing game.

2. Devin Funchess, Michigan

Height: 6-4

Weight: 232

Class: Junior

Stats: 62 catches, 733 yards, 4 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.7

Projection: 1st-2nd round

Blurb: Funchess may be the draft's toughest prospect to project, but he can help an offense in short-yard passing situations — especially in the red zone.

3. Clive Walford, Miami

Height: 6-4

Weight: 251

Class: Senior

Stats: 44 catches, 676 yards, 7 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.79

Projection: 2nd-3rd round

Blurb: Walford is about as complete as tight ends get in this draft and could provide good value after the first round.

4. Tyler Kroft, Rutgers

Height: 6-5

Weight: 246

Class: Junior

Stats: 24 catches, 269 yards

40-yard dash: 4.75

Projection: 3rd-4th round

Blurb: Another natural receiver who lacks ideal blocking skills, Kroft has been rapidly moving up draft boards based on potential.

5. MyCole Pruitt, Southern Illinois

Height: 6-2

Weight: 251

Class: Senior

Stats: 81 catches, 861 yards, 13 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.58

Projection: 3rd-4th round

Blurb: Perhaps the most athletic tight end in the draft, Pruitt will face a steep learning curve transitioning from the Missouri Valley Conference to professional football.

Top 10 wide receivers

1. Amari Cooper, Alabama

Height: 6-1

Weight: 211

Class: Junior

Stats: 124 catches, 1,727 yards, 16 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.42

Projection: Top 10

Blurb: Cooper dominated at the top level of college football last season and has the physical tools to be considered the top prospect in a loaded receiver draft class.

2. Kevin White, West Virginia

Height: 6-3

Weight: 215

Class: Senior

Stats: 109 catches, 1,447 yards, 10 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.35

Projection: Top 10

Blurb: White blew away personnel evaluators with a 4.35-second dash at the NFL scouting combine, showing an superb blend of size and speed.

3. DeVante Parker, Louisville

Height: 6-3

Weight: 209

Class: Senior

Stats: 43 catches, 855 yards, 5 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.45

Projection: 1st round

Blurb: If the Minnesota Vikings select him at No. 11 overall, Parker could be reunited with college teammate Teddy Bridgewater.

4. Breshad Perriman, Central Florida

Height: 6-2

Weight: 212

Class: Junior

Stats: 50 catches, 1,044 yards, 9 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.26

Projection: 1st round

Blurb: Since the end of the college football season, no receiver has moved up draft rankings more rapidly than Perriman.

5. Jaelen Strong, Arizona State

Height: 6-2

Weight: 217

Class: Junior

Stats: 82 catches, 1,165 yards, 10 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.44

Projection: 1st-2nd round

Blurb: Strong's top-end speed is respectable, but he's considered the draft's premier possession receiver.

6. Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri

Height: 6-5

Weight: 237

Class: Sophomore

Stats (2013): 59 catches, 883 yards, 12 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.49 seconds

Projection: 1st-2nd round

Blurb: Off-field issues led to Green-Beckham's dismissal from Missouri, forcing him to miss the 2014 season, but the former top-ranked high school receiver has too much talent for a team to not give him a chance early in the draft.

7. Nelson Agholor, USC

Height: 6-0

Weight: 198

Class: Junior

Stats: 104 catches, 1,313 yards, 12 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.42

Projection: 1st-2nd round

Blurb: The draft has several receivers who can help as returners at the next level, and Agholor may be the best of that group.

8. Devin Smith, Ohio State

Height: 6-0

Weight: 196 pounds

Class: Senior

Stats: 33 catches, 931 yards, 12 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.42

Projection: 1st-2nd round

Blurb: The draft's premier deep-ball threat could be a big-play receiver in the NFL, but Smith has work to do before becoming a complete player.

9. Phillip Dorsett, Miami

Height: 5-10

Weight: 185

Class: Junior

Stats: 36 catches, 871 yards, 10 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.33

Projection: 2nd round

Blurb: Dorsett lacks size, but with a blazing 40 time he's dangerous with the ball in open field.

10. Sammie Coates, Auburn

Height: 6-1

Weight: 212

Class: Junior

Stats: 34 catches, 741 yards, 4 touchdowns

40-yard dash: 4.43

Projection: 2nd round

Blurb: If not for a consistent case of drops, Coates might be a lock to be drafted in the first round.

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