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Article:PPP: Wide Receivers

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Wide receiver was probably the most successful position for the Packers in 2007. Donald Driver continued to show he is one of the best in the league, while Greg Jennings emerged as a star. Rookie James Jones started out hot but faded for a bit. He still played an intricate role in the offense. After coming back from suspension, Koren Robinson teamed with Ruvell Martin to round out the dangerous Big 5 offensive formation.

Donald Driver Rec: 82 Yds: 1,048 TDs: 2 AVG: 12.8 Long: 47

Driver continued to lead a young Packers receiving corps in 2007. Driver's play was phenomenal down the stretch, especially in games such as the Thanksgiving match-up against the Detroit Lions where Driver recorded 10+ receptions and 100+ yards. Age is slowly catching up with Driver, but he remained Brett Favre 's favorite target even though Jennings emerged as a more than viable option. I expect that next year Driver will take on the roll of the second receiver and be new quarterback Aaron Rodgers ' veteran presence.

Greg Jennings Rec: 53 Yds: 920 TDs: 12 AVG: 17.4 Long: 82t

The 2007 season was Jennings' breakout performance. He became Favre's big play target while establishing himself as one of the NFL's best WRs. He's young and fast and could be poised to take over the number one receiver spot from Driver. Jennings could definitely be a Pro Bowl receiver next year.

James Jones Rec: 47 Yds: 676 TDs: 2 AVG: 14.4 Long: 79t

Jones came out of nowhere as a third-round pick from San Jose State and showed he could be a good wide receiver. He got off to a fast start, but after the Chicago game in which he fumbled on two consecutive possessions in the red zone, his looks diminished extremely. Favre compared him to former Packers wide receiver Sterling Sharpe and it is said that Jones has "hands of glue." Jones should get more chances next year as he grows, gets mature, and, hopefully, gets better.

Koren Robinson Rec: 21 Yds: 241 TDs: 1 AVG: 11.5 Long: 43

I have read that Robinson will not be back next year, but I have yet to read into that claim. After he came off of suspension, Robinson gave the Packers their much needed fifth option to create mismatches. Robinson also boosted the kick return game. Robinson would be missed if he does not come back, but he would leave a void for Martin to fill.

Ruvell Martin Rec: 16 Yds: 242 TDs: 4 AVG: 15.1 Long: 36

At 6'4", Martin is oozing with potential. He has shown just flashes of brilliance to the disappointment of many, but he became a great red zone target with his four touchdown receptions in 2007. If he continues to develop and build up a rapport with Rodgers, he could have a very bright future ahead of him.

2007 Grade : A-

2008 Outlook Next season looks very bright for these young stars as they continue to develop. Driver is getting old, but the emergence of Jennings and Jones can help offset Driver's negative progression. There will be growing pains as many of these guys are young, and they will have to deal with a new quarterback in Rodgers. However, we can still expect these receivers to produce in 2008.

2008 Projected Grade : B+

Draft Needs I suggested in a past entry that James Hardy be the solution for the Packers wide receivers, as he would join Martin as a big physical presence. He is slated as late first-round, early second-round pick, and the common consensus is the Packers will draft a cornerback with their first round pick, making it unlikely they will draft him. Other potential draft picks could be Andre Caldwell from Florida, Earl Bennett from Vanderbilt, Mario Manningham from Michigan, and Jordy Nelson from Kansas State. Those are the wide receivers I would see them taking in the second/third-round time period. Other wide receivers that could be available later in the draft are Louisville's Harry Douglas, Coastal Carolina's Jerome Simpson, Appalachian State's Dexter Jackson, Oklahoma State's Adarius Bowman, and Michigan's Adrian Arrington. I almost definitely see the Packers picking up a wide receiver at some point during the draft.

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