There has been a lot of attention given to the Green Bay Packers and their situation at wide receiver, and rightfully so. They traded away one of the best players in the league at the position in Davante Adams and saw their No. 2 receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling depart as a free agent as well.
Speculation of how they will replace those two has run rampant. The team traded up in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft to select Christian Watson out of North Dakota State. One player that could help fill the void that is flying under the radar is veteran Sammy Watkins.
Watkins was signed the week before the draft and will provide the team with some veteran insurance on their depth chart. While some naysayers don’t believe Watkins will even make the team come Week 1, there is a reality in which he becomes the team’s No. 1 receiver by that time.
Injuries have been a big problem for the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He has only one 1,000-yard season on his resume, and it came back in 2015, his second season in the league. He has yet to reach the 700-yard mark since, but there is optimism as the Packers’ wide receiver/passing game coordinator, Jason Vrable, coached Watkins during his time in Buffalo.
Being reunited is something that has reinvigorated Watkins and should lead to him being part of the game plan early and often.
“He said to me, ‘Man, it’s different. I’ve been in four systems in the last four years, just getting back to what you coach. You know, Vrabs, it’s been fun hearing you coach the same stuff then as now.’ He knows the details. He’s in a good place right now and I’m really excited about him.”
Knowing the system a little more than his teammates should help Watkins acclimate himself to Green Bay. That, combined with his work ethic, could result in the best production Watkins has had in years.
Fit is always key to finding success in the NFL. You can be the most talented player, but if your skillset doesn’t fit what the coaches are running, it will be tough to succeed. For Watkins, he has matured and is a good fit in Green Bay according to Vrable.
“He was just a young rookie before and now he’s a grown man with a family and living life the right way, and trying to do as much as he can to get back and get another Lombardi, which he’s one of the few guys who’s held one up that I’ve been around,” Vrable said, via the team’s website. “That’s his goal. Sammy is just smiling and happy to be in a building where he feels a good fit right now.”
As of now, it is all positive vibes for Watkins. Hopefully, that continues as he has a chance to become a key cog in this Packers’ offense with so many targets up for grabs.