Jennings evolves as Rodgers' go-to guy

Third-year pro surpassing Driver as Packers' top receiver, says Packer Report's Todd Korth

Nothing lasts forever and so it appears that there is a changing of the guard as the Green Bay Packers' go-to guy on offense this season. Greg Jennings is quickly becoming Aaron Rodgers' top wide receiver ahead of veteran Donald Driver.

For many years Driver hooked up with Brett Favre and led the Green Bay wideouts. He has had more than 1,000 yards receiving in each of the past four seasons and was named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad the last two seasons. Driver headed into this season as the team's top receiver on paper, but that has changed through the first two games.

Jennings had catches of 62 and 60 yards as part of a career-high output of 167 yards in six receptions Sunday in Green Bay's rout over the Detroit Lions. Jennings leads the league with 258 receiving yards. He has 11 catches for a gaudy average of 23.5 yards.

Meanwhile, Driver had seven receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown against the Lions. Driver is averaging only 8.2 yards with his co-team-high 11 catches.

Though Driver and Jennings are tied in catches, Jennings has been making the big plays, picking up where he left off after the 2007 season. Last year he had 12 touchdown receptions in 13 games. Six of those TD catches were for 40-plus yards.

"I think he's a very versatile receiver," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "I think he gives you the ability to play inside, outside. We don't just run certain routes with him. We run up-the-field routes with him, double-move routes. Just the last two weeks he's been productive. And I really view the whole receiving corps that way. I think they're all versatile."

Jennings rise isn't totally surprising. He has made steady progress through his first two seasons with the Packers since he was selected in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft. Jennings finished with 45 catches for 632 yards as a rookie and 53 catches for 920 yards last year.

Some feel that he should have made the Pro Bowl squad last year after tying for seventh in the NFL in scoring for non-kickers with 72 points. But he missed the first two games of the season with an ankle injury and did not play in the regular season finale as McCarthy rested a number of regulars in preparation for the playoffs.

This year, however, he is healthy and seems to be on the same page more often than not with Rodgers. McCarthy doesn't see it quite the same way, though, it may be an attempt to be diplomatic.

"I think Aaron is doing a really good job of making the decisions based on what the defense is giving him," McCarthy said. "Greg has benefited from it, and you'd like to see the ball continue to be spread around. That whole group takes great pride in yards after the catch. But there's definitely a chemistry that's building with the quarterback and the whole perimeter group, and it's nice when the quarterback and perimeter are on the same page because you have productive days like we did (Sunday)."

So far, however, all indications are that Jennings will finish with more catches and yards than any of the other receivers, including Driver. If there ever was a time for a young quarterback like Rodgers to develop a similar on-field relationship that Brett Favre had with Driver and Antonio Freeman and Robert Brooks, that time is now.

Driver, 33, is in his 10th season, which is far longer than most receivers last in the league. He is still effective and worthy of starting, but Jennings is quickly becoming the team's go-to guy.

Todd Korth writes for and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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