The Green Bay Packers finally did what they had the chance to do nine times in last year’s NFL Draft and failed to do — draft a wide receiver. Green Bay selected Amari Rodgers, a Clemson product, in the third round. While the drafting of Rodgers is sure to bring more talent to the receiving corps, there is no doubt that the Packers could use some extra firepower, especially if Aaron Rodgers doesn’t return next season. With the draft over and the top free agents already scooped up, who’s left? Here are the top five free agent wide receivers still available for the Green Bay Packers.
Free Agent Wide Receivers Still Available for Packers
Not only is Golden Tate arguably the most talented wide receiver left, he could also mend some fences for the infamous “Fail Mary” he played a part in. Tate’s resume needs no defending, as he has posted three seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards. Although that may seem like a long time ago, the most recent instance was only in 2017. When you take into account his last stops have been with the Eagles, Lions and Giants, it’s no wonder why he couldn’t replicate another season with the same success.
Tate has openly said before that he would love to sign with the Packers. While he is 32 years old, he rarely drops the ball and is a solid secondary target. Defenses would have to think twice before leaving him in single coverage with no help, which is what some teams may have to start doing to try to stop Davante Adams. Tate is a former Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champ who needs a team and could be signed for cheap. Why not take a chance?
One of the disadvantages of playing for a garbage team like the Jacksonville Jaguars is nobody watches or cares what you do outside of Florida, apparently. While Dede Westbrook only played two games in 2020, he only missed one game in the two seasons prior. He only started 20 of those games, but still had 66 receptions in both seasons, along with 717 and 660 yards, respectively. Westbrook combined for eight touchdowns to only nine drops. While that may sound high, he was targeted 101 times both seasons as well, so obviously the onus is on the quarterback play instead of his hands.
Dede Westbrook is far from the piece that puts this offense over the top, but he’s damn good and somehow still available. Westbrook also has experience as a punt returner, which is something the Packers desperately need. Green Bay could get him for cheap and get some good play out of him. Just imagine what stats he would’ve put up with an Aaron Rodgers targeting him as opposed to the Jaguars’ quarterbacks.
No matter what you think of him as a person or personality, there is no doubt that Dez Bryant is a competitor. Bryant, at his prime, was one of the most feared receivers in the league. While Dez is far from his prime, he still has some gas left in the tank. He is only 33 years old and coming off of a disappointing season with the Baltimore Ravens. Dez caught six receptions for 47 yards and two touchdowns. While that’s far from production Packer fans want from a prospective wide receiver, it’s worth noting that production was with Lamar Jackson as his quarterback.
I can’t believe it myself, but the former Cowboy would be a good guy in the locker room too. Not only does he want to win at all costs, he is willing to give everything to keep playing. He has made it known before he would like to play with Aaron Rodgers (if he comes back) and would also be able to help the other young receivers on the team improve as well.
If you haven’t heard of Marvin Hall before right now, you likely aren’t alone. Hall has bounced around to three teams in a short four-year career. His only season over 300 receiving yards was 2020, when he caught 18 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns. While those stats certainly aren’t pleasing to the eyes, he has had a QB rating of 96 or higher when targeted each of his four seasons. When you take into account he’s played for the Falcons, Lions and Browns, that’s pretty impressive.
The most alluring part of Hall’s game is his blazing speed. While Pro Day 40 times are always going to be questioned as to whether or not they are 100% accurate, it doesn’t take away from the fact that he ran a 4.28. He hasn’t had much success as a special teams returner, but every Packer fan knows he can’t be much worse than what they’ve had.
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What if among the free agent wide receivers available, there is someone who is 6-3, can run a 4.39-second 40-yard dash and has a 43.5-inch vertical? That’s what you get with Emanuel Hall. The undrafted wideout from Missouri posted 1,657 yards and 14 touchdowns in just 18 games during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Injuries were certainly a concern in college, but his production when he was on the field was not. His durability concerns were the reason he went undrafted and bounced around from team to team before tearing his Achilles in June of 2020.
The injury isn’t ideal and his durability concerns should surely be noted as well. However, Emanuel Hall was second in yards per reception in the entire NCAA two years in a row, and top-10 in receiving yards in the SEC over that same period. He has the talent, but he just needs a shot. Hall has only been on practice squads to this point, and while he might not be the sexy option, there aren’t many options there. He could be signed for cheap and the potential alone would be more than enough cause to take a low risk chance on him.