The Packers unexpectedly lost their No. 1 receiver via trade to the Raiders. It was, or at least should have been, regarded as an all-hands red-alert in Green Bay. Through free agency, however, they did nothing to get another No. 1 receiver.
Enter the draft. They had two first-round picks. They didn’t trade up to get one of the top receivers.
G.M. Brian Gutekunst downplayed the decision to not get a No. 1 receiver in the first round, pointing to the fact that the Packers have nine more picks and several more months until they play a game that counts. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has bought in to the all-is-well vibe, repeating a common mantra from Packers fans who think serenity now will indeed prevent insanity later.
“We’ve had a lot of success with second- and third-round receivers in Green Bay,” Rodgers told Pat McAfee last night. “You look at Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb. James Jones in the third round. Obviously, Davante Adams in the second round. Those guys turned out pretty good.”
Rodgers is right, but there’s a huge difference this time around. None of those guys were expected to walk through the door as the No. 1 wideout. Currently, the Packers don’t have one. They clearly need one. And whoever they get will have that extra pressure to become not just good but great. The legacy of Aaron Rodgers is, in many respects, riding on it.
We’ll see who ends up getting that opportunity tonight. There’s a chance, given the circumstances, it could be more curse than blessing.