15

March

According to Hobbes: Packers Offseason Primer on the NFL Combine: Wide Recievers

Wide Receivers: Here’s the third of a series of articles looking specifically at the NFL combine and the Packers’ drafting tendencies. (read here for the rationale for this series and here for quarterbacks and here for running backs).  This article will use the combine numbers from previous players drafted by GM Ted Thompson as a guide for what wide receivers are likely to fit into the Packers’ scheme.

Again, this is merely an attempt to make a best guess based on statistics at which players the Packers might be interested in, game tape naturally trumps combine numbers, so take all of this with a grain of salt.  But I believe it will make for some interesting discussion. Listed below are two wide receivers in this year’s draft who I think fit the Packers scheme the best, based on their combine numbers.

Statistics of wide receivers drafted by the Packers:

Name Height Weight 40-Yard 3-Cone Shuttle Vertical Broad Bench
Terrence Murphy 6’1” 202.00 4.39
Craig Bragg 6’1” 196.00 4.45 36.00
Greg Jennings 5’11” 195.00 4.42 6.69 4.18 36.50 117.00
Cory Rodgers 6’0” 188.00 4.58 7.38 4.19 33.50 110.00
James Jones 6’1” 208.00 4.54 7.06 4.20 34.00 119.00 22.00
David Clowney 6’1” 190.00 4.36 7.00 4.15 32.50 123.00
Jordy Nelson 6’3” 215.00 4.51 7.03 4.35 31.00 123.00
Brett Swain 6’1” 200.00 4.40
Average 6’1″ 199.25 4.46 7.03 4.21 33.92 118.40 22.00
StDev 1.13 9.05 0.08 0.24 0.08 2.08 5.37 N/A

What the Packers are looking for: Ted Thompson is in love with wide receivers; the Packers had arguably the deepest wide receiver core in the league and it definitely helped them during their Super Bowl run.  Add to that Thompson always brings in a couple of wide receivers into camp and the fact that wide receivers are tied for the most drafted with 8 and it becomes apparent that wide receiver position is a big deal for Thompson (ironically, he’s somehow avoided the curse of Matt Millen by drafting 3 wide receivers high in the draft and hasn’t really had a bust)

12

July

Green Bay Packers WR Status: Jordy Nelson > James Jones???

Jordy Nelson will have a longer and better career as an NFL wide receiver than James Jones. There – let’s just get that out of the way. I have nothing against James Jones, and his hard-luck personal story makes me want to root for him, but I just don’t think he will ever be more than a good NFL receiver. I believe Jordy Nelson, however, has the extras that could propel him to be a quasi-star in the NFL.

Back in early June, I decided I would tell the world why I feel this way. Before I could put fingers to keyboard, however, a host of articles about Jones and Nelson hit the internet. The Green Bay Press Gazette, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Packers.com, TotalPackers.com, bleacherreport.com and probably many more that I just don’t remember, all wrote on the topic.

Talk about overload – who needed yet another article on the subject?  So I shelved the idea. This weekend, however, Alex Tallitsch of the Packers Lounge (now part of CheeseheadTV), published a collection of fan polls. One of them, of course, was “Jordy Nelson or James Jones?” Alex, a firm member of the “Jones is better” camp, was really surprised that Nelson was leading the poll result by a margin of 3:2.

So I decided to give this a shot anyway. If you’re tired of the debate, I apologize in advance, but perhaps I can present a good enough case for you Nelson non-believers.

Many have dubbed this the battle for the #3 receiver spot. Right off the bat, I have a problem with that. If you count JerMichael Finley, the spot Nelson and Jones are competing for is much more likely to be the 4th on the list of passing game targets. And for those of you assuming Donald Driver will be taking a step back due to his age and slight production drop-off the last few seasons, think again.

Driver had surgery on both knees in January and both he and the trainers say he is a “new man.” The last few seasons he has been running on damaged knees. Prepare for a Donald Driver resurgence.

So the point I am making is that this battle is really not that critical to the Packers, and that for at least this year, neither Nelson or Jones will be putting up big numbers. But who most has the potential to do so in the future? Jordy Nelson.