The Packers have had one of the strongest receiving corps in recent years. With two of the biggest names gone, some are concerned that the quality will drop in 2013.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn’t among that group.
“I still like the guys we got,” Rodgers tells Weston Hodkiewicz of USA Today. “We have a lot of talent at that position. I think Randall Cobb is a guy who could be a 100-plus-catch guy every year. James Jones led the league in touchdown receptions last year. [And] Jordy [Nelson] has had some real big years for us.”
The question is whether Cobb, Jones, and Nelson — plus whoever else the Packers have — can make up for the loss of Donald Driver to retirement and Greg Jennings to free agency. Currently, the roster shows five rookie receivers: Sederrik Cunningham, Kevin Dorsey, Alex Gillett, Charles Johnson, Tyrone Walker, and Myles White. In all, seven Green Bay wideouts have two years or fewer of NFL experience.
Still, it shouldn’t be a concern for the Packers. Great quarterbacks make great (or at least pretty good) receivers. The Packers thrived at the position last year despite chronic injuries to Jennings and Nelson. Jones, whom Rodgers lobbied the team to keep when free agency nearly took Jones to the Vikings, had 14 touchdown receptions last year, after having a total of 20 before that in five total NFL seasons.
Was that because Jones suddenly became a great receiver? Or was it because Jones finally got a chance to take extensive reps with arguably the best player currently in the NFL?
Look for Rodgers to help other guys become great receivers this year. And if/when any of them leave, look for the cycle to continue, for as long as Rodgers is among the league’s elite quarterbacks.