What do you guys think?
Identifying top WR options for Packers on Day 2 of NFL Draft
32 minutes ago
The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft saw six wide receivers selected, but there’s still plenty of talented pass-catchers on the board heading into Day 2.
Most of the remaining options don’t project as future No. 1 receivers, but several of them have the potential to become high-end No. 2 options.
Here are a few of the top options for the Green Bay Packers in Rounds 2-3:
Denzel Mims, Baylor
(AP Photo/Jerry Larson)
Mims could have easily been a first-round pick, but he’s still available before the start of the second round. He’s big (6-3, 207) with a large catch radius and freakish athleticism (4.38 40, 6.66 3-cone, 38.5″ vertical). He’s a fairly nuanced route runner who knows how to get off press coverage, and he shows solid run-after-catch ability.
One of Mims’ biggest concerns is his hands. He has a career drop rate of 11.4%, per PFF’s Mike Renner, which is a pretty high figure, but also a slightly misleading one. In 2018, Mims had an astonishingly high drop rate of 16.7%, but he was playing with a broken hand at that time. In 2019, however, it was a respectable 9.6%. His hands could be a little more consistent, but they’re not bad enough to be labeled a flaw. With that being said, there are some areas for improvement.
Mims needs to get off the line quicker and he could still polish some things up as a route runner, but those things shouldn’t stop him from making an impact as a No. 2 receiver right away. Over time, he could develop into a No. 1 option. Mims shouldn’t last long into the second round, so he’s probably more of a trade-up candidate than “hope he drops to 62” type of player.
Tee Higgins, Clemson
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Higgins is another big Clemson receiver prospect (6-4, 216) with great ball skills and contested-catch ability. He’s a little bit stiff-hipped and he doesn’t have great separation quickness, speed or dynamic run-after-catch ability, but the things he does well – winning contested catches, making adjustments to off-target throws, creating separation with hand-fighting and stacking defenders on vertical routes – make him projectable as a quality secondary receiver. Higgins doesn’t really fit the typical Packers’ mold of wide receiver and he could be off the board by No. 62, although there’s a chance he drops that far because of his athletic testing. If Higgins does drop to No. 62, though, he’d be a clear upgrade as the No. 2 receiver in Green Bay.
Laviska Shenault, Colorado
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Shenault is an explosive athlete with exciting run-after-catch ability and strong hands. He’s a versatile player that can be used in a Deebo Samuel-type role as a runner on jet sweeps/direct snaps, receiver out of the backfield, slot or boundary receiver. The big concerns with Shenault are his lack of nuance as a route runner and injury history. The Colorado product has had labrum and toe surgeries during his college career. As a route runner, he doesn’t do much to sell fakes or create indecision in cornerbacks, but he can snap off breaks sharply. Shenault has a chance to make it 62, but it’s not guaranteed.
K.J. Hamler, Penn State
Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
The Penn State wide receiver is one of the fastest players in the draft. He’s small (5-9, 178), he won’t win many jump balls and he’s a bit of a body catcher (which can lead to drops), but he’s crafty as a route runner, he can get open at all three levels of the field, and he’s an electrifying player after the catch. Hamler shouldn’t last long into the second round, so the Packers may need to move up to get him.
Michael Pittman Jr., USC
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Pittman Jr. is a big receiver (6-4, 223) with solid top-end speed, a large catch radius and great hands. He wasn’t asked to run many routes in college, but he showed he could separate with physicality and keep cornerbacks guessing with head fakes and footwork. He’s not an elusive player with the ball in his hands and he doesn’t have much burst, but he’s tough to bring down. He probably won’t be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL, but he could develop into a nice No. 2. Pittman Jr. should come off the board around when the Packers are slated to pick in the second round.
Van Jefferson, Florida
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Florida wide receiver is one of the best route runners in the class – perhaps second only to Jerry Jeudy. Against LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr., arguably the best defensive back in college football last year, he put on a route-running clinic, catching four passes and a touchdown in their one-on-one matchups.
The reasons he won’t be a really high pick are his athleticism and run-after-catch ability. Jefferson has average top-end speed, he doesn’t offer much as a deep threat and he’s not very dynamic after the catch, but he’s got a pretty good set of hands and he can get open consistently in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field. He likely won’t ever be the focal point of an offense’s passing attack, but he’ll be a good complementary receiver and a reliable chain-mover on third downs. Jefferson could go as high as late second round, but third round seems more likely for him.