Offseason Progress Report: Receivers

The top of the depth chart is excellent with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Can one of the young receivers duplicate Jarrett Boykin's accomplishments from last season?

With four weeks of offseason practices behind them, Packer Report is taking a position-by-position look at the Green Bay Packers, continuing with the wide receivers.

Depth chart

84 Abbrederis, Jared WR 6-1 195 23 R Wisconsin
17 Adams, Davante WR 6-1 212 21 R Fresno State
11 Boykin, Jarrett WR 6-2 218 24 3 Virginia Tech
18 Cobb, Randall WR 5-10 192 23 4 Kentucky
6 Dorsey, Kevin WR 6-1 207 24 2 Maryland
1 Gillett, Alex WR 6-1 214 23 1 Eastern Michigan
13 Harper, Chris WR 6-1 228 24 2 Kansas State
83 Janis, Jeff WR 6-3 219 23 R Saginaw Valley State
87 Nelson, Jordy WR 6-3 217 29 7 Kansas State
19 White, Myles WR 6-0 182 24 2 Louisiana Tech

The answer

Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb form about as good of a receiver duo as there is in the NFL. Nelson had a season every bit as good as his 2011, when he led the league with 15 touchdown catches. Nelson set career highs with 85 receptions for 1,314 yards while adding eight touchdowns last year.

Those are impressive on their own but amazing considering Aaron Rodgers missed half the season with a broken collarbone. With Rodgers, Nelson caught 49 passes for 810 yards and seven touchdowns. Put those over 16 games, and that's 98 receptions, 1,620 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Receivers coach Edgar Bennett called Nelson the "blueprint" that the other receivers should emulate.

"You wish all your guys shared that competitive nature, that mind-set, that attitude, that drive, that professionalism," Bennett said. "As far as what it takes to be a true pro, he's that guy. I kept saying it last year. He's one of the best at his position. No doubt about it. He's one of the best at his position. He should've went to the Pro Bowl last year. But that's fine and dandy."

Cobb was limited to six games by a broken leg. His 31 receptions for 433 yards and four touchdowns put him on a 16-game pace of 83 receptions for 1,184 yards and 11 touchdowns. According to's data, among receivers who have caught 25 passes, Cobb ranked first among receivers in catch percentage in 2011, second in 2012 and first in 2013.

As long as he picks up where he left off last season, Jarrett Boykin provides a quality No. 3 receiver. He'll need to come up big, considering the Packers lost James Jones in free agency and might not bring back Jermichael Finley. Boykin, like Jones, is a big, physical, sure-handed receiver who is tough to bring down in the open field.

The question

Which young receiver will seize his opportunity, like Boykin did last year?

At some point, the Packers probably are going to be forced to count on one of their rookie or second-year receivers to make some sort of impact. Without Jones and Finley, the Packers really only have Nelson, Cobb and Boykin as proven targets. Every other receiver on the roster has combined to catch nine passes -- all by Myles White -- and there certainly isn't an established standout among the tight ends.

The Packers invested heavily in the draft, with second-rounder Davante Adams, fifth-rounder Jared Abbrederis and seventh-rounder Jeff Janis. All had their moments during the offseason workouts. Still, the truth of the matter is rookie receivers simply don't put up big numbers. Over the last eight drafts, rookies have posted only three 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

"There's a lot of information. There's a lot to learn," Bennett said. "And, obviously, the schemes, the concepts that goes along with that, the fundamentals and the techniques. And also having a clear understanding as far as what the defense is doing. You have to understand coverage. And then there's the chemistry with the quarterbacks that you are working. That's why it's so important to make the most of your opportunities in practice, because it's one thing to do it in the classroom; it's another to actually be able to go out there on the football and physically execute it."

Roster prediction

Nelson, Cobb, Boykin, Adams and Abbrederis

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and, and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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