Packers History Of Drafting Wide Receivers In The NFL Draft

April and the intriguing annual ‘NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting’ or simply the NFL draft is now complete. Barely two months after the fascinating Super Bowl LVI clash between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, each NFL franchise is seeking players who can fit into their roster and propel them to greatness.

With the NFL schedule out in mid-May, placing a bet on the ongoing draft can be pretty fun, not forgetting the upcoming games. At some new sports betting sites, having a go at which players may or may not join a particular team when placing your stake can be thrilling. You can invite your friends and see who can outwit the other while betting to spice things up.

Need to fill holes now

Fresh from winning the NFC North for the third year running, the Packers lost the Divisional playoff to the 49ers 13-10. However, Green Bay are already in full swing in the latest NFL draft, adding Georgia’s defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt and linebacker Quay Walker to their squad with their first-round picks.

A bone of contention from fans is the Packers seemingly unwillingness to draft wide receivers, one of the positions in their attack they feel needs attention. On their 22nd pick, Green Bay barely had any wide receivers to choose from, and instead of capturing an offense player to aid Aaron Rodgers, they skipped on a wide receiver.

A peek at the Packer’s history of drafting wide receivers paints a gloomy picture. The last time they drafted a wide receiver in the first round pick was in 2002 in Javon Walker. A wunderkind at the time, Javon Walker captured the eyes of many while playing college football at Florida State, and Green Bay didn’t waste time drafting him.

In each of his first two playoff games against Atlanta in 2002 and Seattle in 2003, Javon had 100 receiving yards, becoming the fourth player in NFL history to do that. He was selected for the NFC’s Pro Bowl team in the 2004 season due to his famous antics. During the first game of the 2005 season, Walker got an injury and was subsequently placed on the injured reserve. He would, later on, be traded to the Denver Broncos in 2006.

One of the best ever

You have to jump back another 14 years to when the Packers drafted a wide receiver. In 1988, Sterling Sharpe made his debut rookie season with Green Bay and had a tremendous impact. Starting all sixteen games, Sharpe caught 55 passes and, in his second season, was leading the NFL with 90 receptions, the first Packer to achieve that feat since Don Hutson in 1945.

A few years later, the 1992 season saw him attain the coveted ‘Triple Crown’ of the receiver position—top in receptions, receiving touchdowns and receiving yards—becoming one of only seven NFL players to attain that title.

The Packers found a gem in James Lofton in 1978, fresh from Stanford University. With Green Bay, James enjoyed a stellar career, being named in the NFL Pro Bowl seven times and was the all-time leading receiver with 9,656 yards, which Donald Driver later broke.

The frequency of drafting wide receivers in the past wasn’t far apart, and in 1973 the Packers got their hands on Barry Smith. Barry played for three seasons, with Green Bay achieving 692 yards. The Packers drafted Larry Elkins in the 1965 NFL Draft first round but later joined the Houston Oilers, where he spent three seasons.

From their history, the Packers tend to overlook the wide receiver position, with the reasons being anyone’s guess. However, the receivers brought in usually perform and either set or break records. With the current draft going on and no wide receiver brought in yet, it’ll be interesting to see how Green Bay will fare in the offense come next season.  

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