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Cory's Corner: Green Bay's Wideouts Are Ready

You can stop the Doug Baldwin talk now. 

Granted, Baldwin has proven to be a solid NFL wideout, averaging over six touchdowns a season in eight years. He has caught 68 percent of his passes in his career and he has started 44 of his last 48 games. 

The Seahawks recently terminated his contract and now many Packers faithful think Brian Gutekunst should diversify Green Bay’s receiving corps. 

No way. Even if you put aside the fact that Baldwin has had three offseason surgeries on his knee, shoulder and a sports hernia procedure, I still wouldn’t bring him aboard. 

Is this receiving corps mainly young and unproven? Yes. But now is as good a time as any to believe in this unit. Geronimo Allison, Equanimeous St. Brown, Marquez Valdez-Scantling and J’Mon Moore are capable. There’s no need to bring in more questionable talent. 

And obviously Gutekunst agrees. If he had any doubt about this group, he would’ve dipped his toes in the wide receiver pool during the NFL Draft. 

The Seahawks parted ways with Baldwin for a reason. They fear that the 30-year-old won’t be able to play at a high level anymore. And obviously, after three surgeries, he probably won’t.

Last year, the Packers wideouts were coming into their own. St. Brown led the Packers with 94 receiving yards vs. the Jets and Valdez-Scantling had two games over 100 yards. 

Are there question marks? Very much so. Allison is coming back from a torn adductor muscle. “I tell people that it honestly felt like my testicles twisted,” Allison told ESPN in March. I have had hernia surgery and that sounds light years worse. 

But I like Allison. He has a rapport with Aaron Rodgers and that’s something that you cannot put a value on. He showed great hands last year with a catch percentage of 66 percent, but most importantly, he’s hungry. Allison signed a one-year deal for this season and has a cap hit of $2.4 million. It doesn’t hurt that he also wants to stay in Green Bay. Those three factors will make Allison a big weapon next season. The secret is out on Davante Adams, so Allison should see plenty of favorable matchups next year. 

The Packers’ receivers are ascending. The last thing they need is someone new that takes away their confidence and most importantly, their precious reps with Rodgers. The best thing this group needs now is to get in synch with their quarterback. Adams and Rodgers have a nonverbal language when they both see something they like. 

That’s what this group must strive for, because when that happens, opposing secondaries don’t have a chance. It’s not strictly a talent thing with Rodgers, it’s a chemistry and deep understanding thing. A new guy would put chemistry behind the eight ball and force new relationships to gel in a much shorter window.

I like this unit. They are capable, hungry and on the doorstep of doing some special things. 


Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (74) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Savage57's picture

If Gute's good enough with the position group to ignore it in the draft, I'm good with it. The WR corps the Packers have assembled has shown they have nothing but upside.

That, and not thinking I know more than a NFL GM keeps me from fretting about the situation.

TheVOR's picture

Green Bay's Wideouts Are Ready - Ya, sorry dude, but exactly Devante Adams is ready. If, (and we all know that " if IF's and Butts were Candy and Nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas") MVS makes a 2nd year jump, he's probably going to factor in. Exactly everything else on the roster is a giant question mark. This team is In Love with G-Mo's work ethic, but again, last year a total bust with the all too familiar injuries, and everything else is a an absolute question mark. The fact that Trevor Davis and J'mon Moore are even on the roster is a complete joke, neither is an NFL caliber receiver, one (Davis) just can't play, and the other learned everything about being a WR from Caesar Chavez (little hands of stone). Moore will drop his way out of the NFL, was a wasted draft pick, dropped balls get you beat, and his hands are terrible, prove me wrong you waste of a draft pick you! This team should have selected a few more WR's, oh ya, I forgot, Gutz traded away the 2x - 4th round picks, never mind,.. Not only are we "NOT READY at WR, but we have a roster of question marks. We need another veteran. They should se if Jordy has a year left at a reasonable Salary, that would actually be a good acquisition at this juncture while all the roster fodder develops. Add all this to the fact that Rodgers is Horrific at developing WR's.. I don't but it, sorry.. This group has so much to prove it's not funny..

sam1's picture

Well now it sounds like you have all the tools and knowledge about how to be a WR, now get your butt out there and beat out those guys and do it now!

Coldworld's picture

If we have “a roster full of question marks” I fail to see how one more mid level receiver will make a difference. And let’s be honest, mid level is the best that is out there. Jordy is probably not much of an upgrade over Allison at this point. Probably wouldn’t see the field much after the first week or two, as Allison might not if MVS, EQ or others makes leap. Not making a meaningful difference, sorry.

CalPacker's picture

I agree there are question marks, but the last impression I had of this group was from the Jets game, where guys seemed to be getting open pretty consistently, and Rodgers ended up throwing for 442 yards. Allison maybe doesn't get great separation on his routes, but he fights back to the ball and gives Rodgers a clean target off schedule. Moore never saw the field, but my understanding was that his biggest issues were mental, which hopefully will diminish in year 2. So not a stellar group, but serviceable enough for the kind of schemes LaFleur will be cooking up for us?

holmesmd's picture

Adams dropped plenty of balls his first few seasons. You don’t know what you’re talking about dude. G-Mo was on track to rack up over 1000+ yards before he got hurt

TheVOR's picture

G-Mo was hurt, and how many balls did Adams drop last year. There is a difference between a guy who develops, and a guy with genuinely "Bad Hands". He was drafted coming out of College with known drop issues. Wasted pick..

Again, the bane of every Rah Rah fan's existence, is the dreaded "If".. If he doesn't drop balls, if G-Mo can stay on the field, if they make 2nd year jumps. If If If.. All I'm saying is that entire group outside of Adams and MVS are nothing but a bunch of roster fodder. Nothing proven, nothing veteran enough to be counted on or a known commodity.

Here's an If for you, If Moore made a 2nd year jump, he's still be mediocre, because he was a total let down! That group still boasts the mighty talent of Trevor Davis? How is Trevor Davis still on this roster?

I really wish that If's and Buts and hope and expected 2nd year jumps meant anything, but they don't. The stable is full of nags! Jmon Moore, man, wheres the pride.. Roster Fodder...

jannes bjornson's picture

If a veteran frees up at cut-downs that can contribute, bring him onboard.

4thand1's picture

The Packers receiving corps has size, speed, and the route running of Adams and Geronimo. If just one of the 3 young guns drafted last year makes a big 2nd year leap, we'll have a great receiving group impossible to defend. The chances of 1 of the 3 stepping up are pretty good odds, 2 would be fantastic.

fastmoving's picture

I agree with every single word in Corys post and that was not often the case before since he is writing here.

The WR corps could be special and has a lot of upside overall. Even when they play the way the did last year and AR is halfway back to himself, it should be more than enough.

Samson's picture

"could be special"
I agree but all you're referring to is potential. Potential in the NFL exists on all teams, even the teams with losing records.

"more than enough" ----- for what? -- Is it enough to cover for an injury to D. Adams?

PeteK's picture

I think that nightmare exists with all teams with top receivers. Unless the running game and defense pick up the slack.

porupack's picture

MVS and ESB showed in real game time that they are capable of competing in the NFL among veterans, already as rookies. Moore and Kumerow are at the stage of "potential".

But MVS and ESB have already proven their 'floor'. Their ceiling is still "potential".

dobber's picture

""more than enough" ----- for what? -- Is it enough to cover for an injury to D. Adams?"

I think he had his fingers crossed when he wrote that "more than enough" line.

In the end, I won't worry about Adams being productive. Even with injuries to Allison and Cobb last season, he was uncoverable at times and had twice as many catches as the next receiver. Does #12 lock onto him? Yes. But whomever is covering him is likely to be getting extra help most of the time...until someone else in this group of pass catchers proves they can beat their single coverage and threaten defenses on a regular basis.

It seems that every year, the Packers have a position they cross their fingers on and hope they don't get burned: CB, OL, OLB, ILB, S...each of those has taken their turn in recent years. Most of those thin groups have been exposed by injury or by guessing wrong on players. WR is shaping up to be a prime position for this in 2019.

zeroluv's picture

These receivers are one their second year! Relax with your stupid comments. Potential is key to any NFL team. MVS and EQ both played well and better than MOST veterans. This article is on point

Samson's picture

Your opinion does not guarantee a thing.
Brett Swain, Kevin Dorsey, Jeff Janis, Charles Johnson, Jared Abbrederis, Ty Montgomery, Malachi Dupre, DeAngelo Yancey. ...All drafted by the Pack since 2008....Guess what? ... None are a GB Packer.

jannes bjornson's picture

Now the League has film on them. Will they be able to ascend the ladder and develop a Pro Game or be set back in a sophmore slump? Watching mop up duty in the fourth quarter is not the same as delivering the big play
in a critical game during the season or playoff hunt. Get another veteran onboard.

fastmoving's picture

yeahh, potential. first of all is potential much better than a vet who was good somewhen in his carrer. even he has proven something in the past doesnt mean its a sure bet. and I dont even talked about the cap hit.
Besides that is way more about AR potential.......

And if you are afraid Adams gos down, you should be afraid of AR, RB, CB too and all the other positions. Makes no sense, you can not backup every position (where you got playmakers) twice.

WR is the deepest group and if Adams goes down, AR ist forced to throw to the other guys. could be something good too.
Compare our corps to NE, MIN or Chicago... whatever. Can you see. Dont know a lot of better groups.

So in the end, thats what "more than enought" means to me. Even when something happend (and it will), we still have enought because we had more than we need before….. Just one ball and only 3-4 positions per snap.

jannes bjornson's picture

If the queens are moving Rudolph make a play with a one year deal and see how it plays out. Double TE sets with Graham from day one. The Blocker in reserve with Sternberger learning as he goes. Now you can compete for the playoffs. This waiting 3-4 years for a guy to show is pointless with Rodgers ready to wind it down in four years.

Coldworld's picture

Potential gets you over the top. Average gets you maybe a low playoff seed (and likely not in the North). Have we learned nothing since 2015?

arthurl's picture

I tend to agree also with comments and article. If Allison stays healthy he has that chemistry with Rodgers. Now need the same for one of these 2nd year guys which I feel will occur
I also feel team should bring Nelson back to work with these young guys and be safety net for Rodgers.

Coach JV's picture

Dude... nobody is bringing back Nelson. Get over it. And he wouldn't be a safety net... with his loss of speed, he would only be a liability.

Sentimentality has no pace in football rosters.

fastmoving's picture

a very slow safty net……….who wont save anything. its 2019

Coldworld's picture

He is a craftier but slower version of Allison at this point.

MarkinMadison's picture

I think insurance against an injury to Adams is the only argument for adding another vet. I'm not against adding a vet, but injury insurance is probably not a good enough reason in this situation. There are lots of things about this team that point towards 2020. The WR group is one of them. But as I've said before the last Super Bowl run came one year earlier than anyone thought likely, so you never know. I'm good with the WR group. If a running back that fit came open though, I would think they should consider adding him.

Handsback's picture

MarkinMadison, you took my entire thoughts so all I'll add is ditto.

Boneman's picture

I think the new scheme has as much to do with not addressing the receiver room as any confidence Gutie has in individual improvement. I think we'll see far less 3 receiver sets and more tight end and RB packages with only two wide-outs. With that in mind its easier to see why they wouldn't add Baldwin or any other player.

Coach JV's picture

Bingo... everyone is thinking in MM's past mindset about 3 and 4 WR sets... but LaF rarely uses 3 WR's at the same time. He's more fond of utilizing TE's and RB's in the passing game.

We are fine at WR...

dobber's picture

It's MY hope that LaF will be more married to getting his best play-makers on the field than he is to position packages.

Coldworld's picture

And to mixing that up to use different skill sets in different situations, not the same old formations regardless of personnel of the late MM era.

jannes bjornson's picture

Talent beats potential. If there is a deal to be made in the receiving department Gutekunst should be all ears. Improve the lineup.

Samson's picture

Who's talking about Baldwin?
Otherwise, the gist of your blog is somewhat correct. (IMO)
But, there are several months yet before the final 53 are completely assembled. -- My guess is a few potential WRs that may add to GB's talent pool at WR may become available.
GB is no longer the same old same old.--- Gute/MLF are a new "win-now" regime.

dobber's picture

I think they're better situated to win in 2020.

Samson's picture

You keep saying this throughout your posts. -- Win what? -- North Division? -- NFC Championship? --- SB?
It's probably just as easy to predict "complete success" for 2019 as it would be for 2020. -- There are so many factors that are part of "complete success". -- IE... injuries.

jannes bjornson's picture

They have the talent to win it all. Get it done. No excuses from the Fans.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

Why did the author mention J'Mon Moore but not mention Jake Kumerow whatsoever?
Kumerow showed a lot more, and did a lot more, than J'Mon did.
And QB1 surely trusts Kumerow more, so far.

I'm not saying Kumerow will get a chance to blossom into an Adam Thielen or even Ruvell Martin, but his name should be mentioned if Moore's is.

PeteK's picture

Absolutely, I believe he's sure handed and solid route runner.

Coldworld's picture

I think he and Allison fill similar niches. If Moore does get it, he has the talent to end this endless conversation. So let’s hope he does.

LambeauPlain's picture

Totally agree and exactly what I was going to post. Kumerow showed his “potential” when he got snaps on the field. Moore showed very little.

I hope Kumerow erases the diving forward roll from his moves.....and Moore takes a huge step up this year.

dobber's picture

Ruvell Martin's bloom was a pretty short one.

jannes bjornson's picture

Thielen did not blossom at age 27 for starters. Kumerow will fight it out with Gutekunst's pick, Moore, and Shepherd in the PR/KR hunt. Davis is a fraud. The wild card is Lazard as a big possession guy who can block downfield in the outside zone.

Coldworld's picture

Driver didn’t blossom for a long time. Sure was worth the wait though.

jannes bjornson's picture

DD came from Alcorn A and M not a guy who played three years in the SEC.
There was never a question about DDs desire or hands. He just needed to pack on some muscle. Farve loved him from day one of camp. Rodgers trusts Kumerow more in comparison to Moore.

greengold's picture

Personally, I really dig Darrius Shepherd... I believe he makes this 2019 roster and becomes an instant contributor. He's very, very much like the Randall Cobb of old, and I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes one of Aaron Rodgers' favorite targets from the WR group next to Adams. Pure slot WR with a ton of experience and skill. Tough as nails.

I do like Geronimo, MVS & ESB as well, but something tells me the Shepherd kid is going to be a gem.

Coldworld's picture

My heart tells me the same. If he can add a competent traditional slot option and return kicks then game day options are even broader.

Christian Roussel's picture

Offenses like Lafleur's create great opportunity for YAC. If you look at EQ's highlights from Notre Dame, it's hard not to get excited about what he can do this year.

Nick Perry's picture

I love EQ and will think he was one of the best "Steals" of the 2018 draft. Personally I started looking at him in the 3rd, suggesting in the 4th, suggesting louder in the 5th, and screaming "PICK EQ" by the 6th...

The only think that concerns me a little is his desire to be great for 60 minutes over 19 games a year and that's only because of things I read. Personally I thought he had a decent season as a WR in Mike McCarthy's offense, hell he didn't really play until like week 5 IIRC.

But I'm also excited about MVS too. Anyone who works with guys like Randy Moss in the off-season to improve his craft could do a lot worse.

In this offense, in MLF offense the Packers don't need 3 or 4 WR on the field at once to be great. With the athletic abilities EQ and MVS have those two I believe they'll thrive in this offense with the ability to gain a LOT of YAC.

Instead of WR it wouldn't surprise me a bit to see who the Packers might pick up at RB. The depth there is still a little concerning IMO. I'm all for Aaron Jones getting 20 carries a week. I just don't know if he can hold up.

Coldworld's picture

MVS has the speed to really take the top off defenses plus height too. He will benefit greatly if the O line can keep the pocket intact regularly this year and Rodgers can plant properly. He under and overthrew MVS a great deal more than is normal for AR last year.

Christian Roussel's picture

Offenses like Lafleur's create great opportunity for YAC. If you look at EQ's highlights from Notre Dame, it's hard not to get excited about what he can do this year.

dobber's picture

I think he's the early favorite to be first in the slot in 11 personnel, and that means he's going to get plenty of chances.

Christian Roussel's picture

Sorry about this second post. Got a little impatient at my old computer.

LambeauPlain's picture

I believe Sternberger will get increasing snaps as the season unfolds and ML & Hackett will run many more 2 & 3 TE sets that will confuse defenses with similar looks with run and pass options.

The TEs and RBs will be used a lot more this year.

PeteK's picture

I'll say it again, great reason to watch preseason games. There should be increased comfort between QB and receivers. However, much will depend on improved blocking , so Turner, Martin, Jenkins will hold a key to the offense's success.

dobber's picture

We should see a lot more starters playing snaps this preseason than in the past.

Coldworld's picture

I certainly hope so. I get the risk of injury, but I can’t be the only one who remembers how out of sorts they were in the first half of the opener.

Patrick Helms's picture

Bingo. Best comment here. It's all up to the Oline. This game is still won in the trenches.

porupack's picture

I don't get all the fretting about young WRs. After college tape, extensive evaluation, then coaching and a year of experience some people think these guys are inept, sure to fail neophytes. Sure glad these types are GM of any team I like.
Draft, Develop and Do; The way to develop a young cadre of WRs is to coach, insert and trust them to rise to the occasion. On-the-job learning is better than sitting behind a simulation game or sittting on a bench and "abSORBing" some vet's tricks on the stadium screen. Best way to ruin a new hire is to coddle and expect little.

Hope to see GB go back to the day when the QB distributed the ball to 10 different receivers; WRs, TEs RBs. GB has excellent young, hungry cadre all competing with each other, and DAdams to learn from. This is ideal way to build the team and save cap for the Dline studs next year.

jannes bjornson's picture

At least he didn't draft Metcal. That disaster was avoided and shut up the fantasy crowd on the blog.

Coldworld's picture

That would be wonderful. Not least because then all parts of the offense are getting on the field and involved and we are cycling through different looks and personnel matchups. Truly would be wonderful.

albert999's picture

kumerow,shepherd and sternberger will big the big surprises if given the playing time

stockholder's picture

It seems to me that the most logical reason is mistakes. Who can make the jump, or who keeps making rookie mistakes. Can MVS stay on his feet. Can Moore stop dropping passes. Also can Allison/Davis show they can return without further injuries. Penalties, and Bad Blocking are not going to tolerated. Stop the holding, or hit the road. The Wr position will be a dog fight. It's not just about catching the ball. If we see the run game as expected. Blocking is vital. The packers will not tolerate mistakes. Either the improvement is clear. Or the less sexy, will be the replacement.

albert999's picture

very well said

Coldworld's picture

Most college receivers don’t know how to block. So I think it likely that you will still see growing pains from younger receivers.

A few programs are exceptions. One is the program from which Shepherd comes. Another reason he might be a dark horse.

JohnnyLogan's picture

Aaron Rodgers had 143 more yards passing last year than... Eli Manning. Let that sink in when you daydream about how great our receiving corps is going to be with the only addition being a rookie TE. MVS had a couple of good games then disappeared. EQ had a few nice catches. Allison is slow and easily covered. Moore couldn't get on the field. They were all late round picks for a reason. Now the hope is that they will turn into legitimate #2 receivers in the league, and if Adams goes down one of them will have to be a #1. Ugh. I like Jenkins for the OL, but Gute should have drafted a receiver in the 2nd, especially after Madison returned. Wolf's often said his greatest regret was not giving Favre enough weapons. Gute should tape that to the top of his computer.

Coldworld's picture

Aaron played on a broken leg, missed games and behind an offensive line that in which Taylor was hampered by injuries, Baluga was out for a few games and the right guard was a turnstile and the scheme was collapsing.

And Rodgers still beat Manning? Let me think about that as you suggest,

Makes me think that, if Rodgers has two legs, a functioning O line and a scheme that is even a little more imaginative then he could light things up this year. Even more so if we have a top half defense that could actually get us the ball back.

Heck, if our receivers could do that last year under those circumstances, imagine what they could do this year even if they don’t improve!

JohnnyLogan's picture

Finding excuses is easy, even Eli has some. But you may be right. I did think Adams was a bust after his first year so there's that.

zeroluv's picture

Thank God you are not the Packers GM. Drafting a WR this year would be a HUGE mistake. First off, this years WR pool was average at best. Not one stood out as a top flight WR. Jenkins was absolutely the right pick! In fact he was a steal that late in the second round. He has a first round grade on him. Also....Geranimo Allison is a great #2 and has great hands. His game speed is solid if you watch his games and he runs perfect routes. If the Packers truly need a WR they can sign one via Free Agency as a one year rental and wait for a good draft class at WR to draft one. I will say this again...THANK GOD you are not the Packers GM.

ILPackerBacker's picture

Many want Baldwin?

Were there pink elephants and leaping deer among them? I know a lot of packer fans, nobody talked about baldwin, not one.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I have no comment.

CalPacker's picture

I'm also excited to see how LaFleur uses Jones in the passing game, especially in the slot or even out wide. He doesn't need to have amazing hands or routes to get big YAC, which I hope will distract the safeties and open things up more for our WRs....

dobber's picture

Just get him the ball in space.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

"now is as good a time as any to believe in this unit. Geronimo Allison, Equanimeous St. Brown, Marquez Valdez-Scantling and J’Mon Moore are capable. There’s no need to bring in more questionable talent."

LOL. That's called framing a question. I agree though that questionable talent shouldn't be brought in as indeed we have enough questionable talent at WR already. I imagine some folks wanted Gute to bring in superior talent. [To be clear, I'd take Jenkins over AJ Brown but Jenkins or Deebo Samuel is a very close call.]

Now is as good of a time as any to start believing in the special teams units.

jannes bjornson's picture

Samuel was the guy to take in the #30 spot ,if they wanted a WR over a safety, but Needs ruled the day. Jenkins takes Taylor's job and keeps Rodgers out of the hospital. Something had to be done to secure the Inside

zeroluv's picture

Jenkins was absolutely the right pick. With Madison coming back we have some great competition and depth at OG. We don’t need a WR...not even Deebo Samuel. MVS and EQ are both 6’5 which is awesome! Allison is a good #2 and was breaking out before he got hurt. He will have his break out this year no doubt. I think he has a chip on his shoulder now. Our WR Corp are better than average and all 4 are young! Drafting a WR to me would have been a wasted pick. Especially since this years draft wasn’t loaded with top WR talent.

On another note...I would look for a trade partner for WR Moore. I hate to give up on him but he isn't as refined as MVS and EQ and I don’t think there is space for him long term. Seattle needs a WR now and Gutey has a relationship with their GM. The Houston Texans and the LA Chargers need a WR as well. Just could be a win win for both teams.

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