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Do the packers have the best WR core in the league?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by ivo610, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Raptorman

    Raptorman Vikings fan since 1966.

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    Most thought he wasn't starting the first game of the season either. I don't know if he gets 2,000 yards or not. But had the run the first 6 games of the season like he did the last 10 he would have busted the record wide open. If he doesn't, it's not because he's not trying. It's because he's not getting the ball.
     
  2. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    According to history (his own and everyone that has run for 2000 yards) he will be lucky to get 1500
     
  3. paulska

    paulska Cheesehead

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    Perhaps I am uninformed, but I don't know that anyone thinks Harvin is worth 67 million because he's a true #1 option- to be truthful, I don't think the Packers have a true #1 option in the way that the Lions have Megatron, Falcons have Roddy White, etc, etc. I think the Seahawks gave him the big money because he's so versatile. He can play on an island, he can line up in the slot, come in motion, catch swing and screen passes out of the backfield as a back where you've already got 3 WR sets in place. His touches will be more varied than the touches true #1 receiving options get- you don't see Marvin Harrison with Peyton, Megatron with Stafford, White with Ryan, taking handoffs, running end arounds or sweeps, taking shovel passes as a checkdown with potential for huge YAC in mismatches against ILBs.

    Rice is the prototype #1 in Seattle in terms of size and classic WR attributes- tall, long, speed that can stretch the D deep, can throw him the jump ball because he's a mismatch for pretty much any CB in the league one on one. He's just finally healthy after signing his huge walk from Minny deal, and I think that having Harvin provides the Seahawks with the kind of gameplan flexibility that we enjoy in having guys that don't have to be thrown to 150 times each to be effective and dynamic like Megatron or Roddy White. He's worth the money, at least from an analytical perspective, because of how he complicates matchups for other talents, which is sort of the logic that is often bandied about with Finley and his intrinsic value to our scheme despite not putting up Witten-esque totals.

    That said, I think the question of who has the best WR corps is a lot of fun to kick around because you have to look at it in terms of player vs. player from top to bottom of the depth chart, and then weigh it against total production from the unit and far tougher measures to quantify that make a difference like contribution in the run game, blocking downfield and role in YAC for other WRs on the team, etc.

    Whether we're the clear cut best, I would say that I think our unit as a whole is a real strength of the team, and performs at a level that at least puts them in the discussion for consideration as the best. If we have a fly in the proverbial ointment, it remains the dropped balls for me... That said, we see some amazing catches out of a variety of guys each season- the group is fun to watch, and Edgar Bennett continues to press ball security and turning drops into receptions. I think we can expect a strong season out of them again.
     
  4. paulska

    paulska Cheesehead

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    The guys at coldhardfootballfacts.com would strongly disagree with you- their analysis of passer differential rating during the Super Bowl era shows a clear cut connection between championship winners where your QB consistently outperforms the opponents as a bedrock must if you're going to bring the hardware home.

    That said, Ponder won't necessarily need to win the passer rating title away from ARod, but if he's not a high 90's guy and the Vikes D can't consistently keep opposing QBs to 75 or significantly less per game, the stats show their chances are severely diminished...

    I think your point about whether or not three rookies on D can add enough to the D to consistently suppress QB play to a degree where Ponder's play outstrips it and is a clear reason why they win is well taken. History will show that it's rare for a significant portion of a draft class to become home runs in their first year together. They will at least need one of these guys to light it up, and the others to be upgrades over what they have now. That Vikes secondary has been atrocious for a LLLLLLOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG time... :)
     
  5. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    To me, the #1 is a guy who sees a disproportionate number of targets; a guy who's given the opportunity for 90+ catches and/or 1,200 yards while collecting first downs. If that's out of the slot, so be it. As I noted earlier, I think it's more relevant to think of receiver groups, including TEs, not WR groups, for the obvious reasons. So as far as I'm concerned the TE can be the #1 receiver. Cobb might emerge as ours, running mostly out of the slot.

    Sydney Rice might look like a #1, but he's 4 years and a couple of injuries removed from his breakout 2009 season which turned into a breakdown. He played all 16 games last year...50 catches. I don't see any reason to think he'll return to 2009 form. And I wouldn't necessarily think of the big guy with long speed who's often sprinting for show as the #1 when he's paired with a possession receiver pulling down 90+ balls and moving the chains. Now, that's not to diminish the value of a stretch-the-field player; but if the object of the stretching to open up the field for a some other playmaker, the latter is the #1.

    Compare and contrast Boldin vs Smith in the playoffs last season. Boldin was money out of the slot, and that made him the #1 in that pair. Little Welker catching all those balls in phone booths out of the slot was the #1 for a number of years in that 4500 - 5500 yard passing offense.

    Now, I don't doubt they'll be using Harvin all over the place...I already referred to him as the ultimate Swiss Army knife. But at nearly $11 mil per year, they'll be throwing him the ball...a lot. Otherwise, Danny Woodhead was available for a lot less money.

    I'm disinclined to rate the Packers group beyond saying they're pretty darn good and, most importantly, good enough to win. Rating would require me to go through the rosters and drafts of every team, an exercise I'm disinclined to do.
     
  6. Raptorman

    Raptorman Vikings fan since 1966.

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    You make the assumption that it's only three rookies that need to make an impact. What about the players they drafted the last few years? Those are the guys I am looking at. Smith, Cook, some of the other young DB's. Those are the guys that will make or break the Vikings D. Not the one D lineman who might play 50% of the downs this year. Allen and Robison both played hurt last year, and I am sure that made some difference. It will be an interesting year that's for sure.
     
  7. Raptorman

    Raptorman Vikings fan since 1966.

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    Back to the thread. The Packers have one of the top WR's corp. On the flip side, is it the WR's that make the QB or the QB that makes the WR's? Or, is it a combination of both? Personally, I think it's a combination of both.
     
  8. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Of course it's a combination. One could argue % allocations for success or failure in case by case bases.

    A stark example in the "what happened to him" category is Larry Fitzgerald. Playing in his prime at age 29 in 2012 we see a dreadful stat line. On a 153 targets, he made 71 catches for a dismal 46% completion rate from a guy who ran a lot of possession routes. 11.2 yds. per catch. 4 TDs. His productivity per target was miserable! That kind of completion rate should be reserved for deep ball receivers who come away with 17+ yards per catch and something more than 4 scores.

    Did Larry develop the dropsies? I don't think so. Is he in physical decline? Highly doubtful. The fact he played in a devolving offense with a rotating collection of bad QBs supported by a terrible running game has everything to do with it. A receiver can't make catches if the QB makes a habit of not getting him the ball when he's open and forces it to him when he's not.

    On the flip side, the idea that Nelson and Jones would lead the league in TD catches would have seemed highly improbable before it actually happened. That's all about Rodgers preying on #2 corners. Nelson and Jones are pretty good ballplayers. But they don't have above average speed for wideouts and their drop rates are fairly high. When Nelson led the league, he had not even been coached up on the full route tree. Without an elite level QB you would not expect either of these guys to lead the league in anything.
     
  9. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    I'll try to be brief. During the 2012 season Jones drop rate was one of the lowest in the league. Speaking of Packer players having high drop rates, Cobb was among the league leaders in drops with 9 in 2012. Players sometimes have problems and work through them. Let's hope that's the case with Cobb.
     
  10. ClemsonFan

    ClemsonFan New Era Packers Fan

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    We did last year but not this year. That honor goes to the Broncos.
     
  11. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I'll be very brief. James Jones had the highest drop rate in the league over the three year period of 2009 - 2011. I would expect some regression to the mean.
     
  12. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    I'll be even briefer. I expect the performance in 2012 to continue. The new mean will then become 2012 and 2013.
     
  13. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

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    HRE, I might have to disagree with u....somewhat....on Nelson not having at least above average speed. Remember, he did play hurt and that DID affect speed and overall performance. In 2011, he was the "burner" who stretched out the defense.....easily I might add. He was VERY underestimated by almost all DB's and proved that fact by simply killing them in a foot race. He is fast, and if he is fully recovered, watch out in 2013.
     
  14. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    Jordy has been timed at 4.49 in the 40 yard dash. I also consider that above average.
     
  15. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    That would be average for an NFL wide receiver. Jones is about the same; on the field Nelson looks a tad faster in 4th. gear.

    These guys are pretty good football players. They're quick out of their breaks, run good routes and exploit weaker match-ups. Jones in particular is a good blocker. Despite the fact they're both strong guys for WRs, we've seem them struggle at times against press coverage. Both have drop histories.

    I'm skeptical Jones has fully resolved those issues...I still saw little bobbles, two hand pulls to the body, and a few body catches last season. He had a low yard-after-catch number. Part of that is making 1/4 of his catches near the goal line or in the end zone; part is slowing down his upfield move a bit to secure the ball first.

    Their key virtues is they have those quick breaks and they get where Rodgers expects them to be. That may not sound like much, but it 's plenty.

    I'm disinclined to make them out to be more than they are.
     
  16. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    I've seen the average for an NFL receiver listed from 4.4 to 4.56. Kinda leads me to believe that average is a subjective thing. Regarding Jones, his per catch average was 12.3 last year which is pretty darn good. In addition to Jones making a lot of catches near the goal line he also makes a lot of tough third down catches, many near the sidelines. I think the drop thing with him is in the past and prefer to look at things going forward which started in 2012. Cobb was the biggest dropper on the team last year yet you seldom see that brought up.
     
  17. ExpatPacker

    ExpatPacker Cheesehead

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    For the Packers to have one of the top WR corps in the league this year Jordy can't have the injury problems he had last year. One of the most interesting things for me this year is to see who takes over the #4 spot. Will it be Boykin or will we see one of the rookies emerge?
     
  18. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

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    The main reason any drops that Cobb had that were not brought up in conversation is that he MADE UP FOR THEM. He knew he made a mistake and ramped it up a notch and made up for it multiple times over.
     
  19. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    I don't remember Cobb making any statements during the season that he knew he made a mistake and therefore ramped it up. His drops were a pattern throughout the season so I'm somewhat puzzled by the "He made up for them" ?
     
  20. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I've brought it up in the past, in the context of the over-bitching about the Finley drops.

    There's a couple of reasons one tends to look past those Cobb's drops for now:

    - He was in his second year in 2012, first with significant snaps, and his game is in steady ascent...when a guy is this good, while evidencing correctable mistakes in route running, it can be said with some confidence we've not seen all of his upside. It's hard not to be enthusiastic.

    - The guy is quick in everything he does. Further, his acceleration curve his smooth right into 4th. gear. He doesn't have true long speed without that strong 5th. gear, but he plays more like a 4.3 guy over the first 30 yards rather than his 4.45 Combine average time would suggest. You see it in the returns and the occasional run around end.

    - The guy is highly dangerous in space...outstanding instincts and vision. I think this is what gets most people excited. When you seem him catch slants in space you feel he's a threat to break it. The guy just looks like a playmaker. The eye test is backed up in the stats...exactly 1/2 of his yards last season were after the catch.

    - He's got fairly soft hands. Those drops look to be a product of overenthusiasm with the prospect of turning up field to break a play. He may or may not get over it, but if the cost of eliminating 5 drops per season is a more deliberate player, I'll take the drops.

    - The guy just flat out gets open. 80 catches on 104 targets for a 77% completion rate in 2012 is very high on the NFL scale even among the high percentage slot guys. Considering the 9 drops, he was open enough on 89 of 104 to draw a catchable pass...that's a pretty stunning 86%.

    - There's evident fun, or joy if you will, in his game. You can see it even if you can't measure it.

    - Wrap it all up and he can beat you anywhere on the field within 40 yards of the line of scrimmage. The guy has a ton of tools.

    Jones, on the other hand is more of a grinder/gamer with a more narrow set of skills. His hands are not particularly soft. He cut down on his drops but appears a bit more deliberate when he's not just in the moment jumping for a ball. He's slow off the line and does not have long speed. He's not particularly fluid.

    That takes us to his strengths. He's strong and adept in forearming off a DB to get into his break or make a play on the ball. He's got a powerful 3rd. gear. With that package, it makes him deceptive and dangerous at the point of engagement at 10 or 15 yards in off coverage. At that point he can blow by for separation with that 3rd. gear or get a little physical and break off. Jones usually wins or loses at that 10-15 yard point. His route running was much improved last year. He's a good blocker.

    Jones is at somewhat of an advantage in being one of the guys that opponents are least worried about. Finley is a preoccupation among opponents. Jennings, when he played healthy, had to be acknowledged as the #1 target. Cobb came to be recognized as a dangerous individual. Nelson (Toto notwithstanding) showed he had some serious game in 2011. So be it...the point then becomes how Jones capitalizes on those opportunities; the 14 TDs says pretty decent football player, especially for a 3rd or 4th. option. But if anybody thinks he's developed into a Cris Carter ("but all he does is catch touchdowns"), they will be disappointed. Defenses will adjust and he's hit his upside.

    I think it was Jones, not Nelson, that opponents underestimated in 2012. For what it's worth, Jones is from San Jose.
     
  21. paulska

    paulska Cheesehead

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    I don't make that assumption, but I hear what you're saying. One reason I feel that the improvement/sudden impact will need to come from the three rookies is because the Vikes haven't shown the ability to draft and develop young talent the way the Packers have been able to do. I don't mean to say that we have an airtight process where we have elite talent at a vast number of positions, only that in most cases the people starting for us have been in our systems since being drafted or signed from college, and that their proficiency is definitively tied to the coaching and role they have been given to play.

    While I hate playing against him, Allen is a sheer force of nature and unreal competitor; I do have my doubts about his ability at this point in his career to be consistently healthy enough to deliver the dominance we have grown accustomed to seeing. Robison remains an up and down quantity, and given the way the Vikes D has been coached, that won't change much.

    Aside from Antoine Winfield, who else in the defensive backfield (OK, Darren Sharper several years back) has really risen to widespread recognition as a top player for the Vikes? They have plenty invested in the talent at those positions based on draft and free agent signings, but little meaningful return on them. To me, the Vikes just don't coach positionally as well as most of our positional coaches do.

    I agree wholeheartedly that this season is going to be interesting, not just to see what happens with the rest of the teams in the division, but with us too- can we continue to be consistent in execution in areas of strength, and can we become more proficient and effective in areas where we've been lacking? Fun stuff to see unfold for sure...
     
  22. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

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    Not saying that he came out in some interview and said that......it was his body languge going back into the huddle....you can tell he was doing the "my bad" gesture to arod and then next play or a few plays later, he would break on out for a good gain. Not to mention he was clutch last year and if not for him we would have lost a couple more games.....he saved our butts with that fantastic catch vs the Lions.
     
  23. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    Cobb isn't alone in the 'my bad" thing. Players do that when they make a mistake sometimes. I've seen angst on the faces of plenty of players after a mistake. I still don't see the ramp up thing. Like I said drops continued. Sure he made a nice catch against the Lions. Jones clutch catches are the ones that stood out to me last year.
     
  24. mcoomer146

    mcoomer146 Cheesehead

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    We do have one of the best in the league, but we also have Aaron Rodgers, who, with Lacy in the backfield, will be even better with some good protection.
     
  25. APGu28

    APGu28 Cheesehead

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    LOL. Best receiving core? Come on. Teams that have better receiving cores:

    Denver
    Seattle
    GiantsEagles
    Cowboys
    Falcons


    I may be forgetting some as well. The Vikings aren't even that far behind.
     

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