Skip to main content

10 on 10: Packers look to ride youth movement at receiver

A look at the 10 receivers competing for jobs in Green Bay’s offense this season

WRs Samori Toure, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs
WRs Samori Toure, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs

GREEN BAY – As the offseason program reaches its midway point, the Packers are embracing the prospect of possessing one of the youngest receiving corps in team history.

Green Bay currently doesn't have a wideout older than 26. Four have played a regular-season snap and none played more than one NFL season.

Excitement rivals the inexperience, though, as seven of the 10 receivers on Green Bay's roster were former NFL draft picks, while Christian Watson returns after an impressive second half to his 2022 rookie campaign.

"It certainly a very talented room," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said. "It's going to be a hell of a competition in terms of who's getting the snaps because at first glimpse … (these) are some talented guys. They're going to be exciting to work with."

Here's a look at Green Bay's 10 receivers, beginning with the five returnees:

Christian Watson (6-4, 208, second year)

There was arguably no bigger Packers playmaker during the second half of last season than Watson, a lengthy and agile speedster who shattered multiple team rookie records during his 14 appearances.

Initially hampered by knee and hamstring injuries, the former North Dakota State standout rebounded to catch 31 passes for 523 yards (16.9 yards per catch) and seven touchdowns during his final eight games. Watson also added four carries for 61 yards and a rushing TD during that same stretch, while earning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month honors in November.

Watson was responsible for five of Green Bay's 10 longest offensive plays in 2022, including a 63-yard touchdown pass from new starting quarterback Jordan Love in Philadelphia.

Romeo Doubs (6-2, 204, second year)

Doubs carried over his prodigious production at Nevada and hit the ground running during his first offseason program in Green Bay. The former fourth-round pick earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Week honors after catching three passes for 73 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay in Week 3.

Doubs injured his ankle on the first play in Detroit in Week 9, causing him to miss a month. He finished his rookie season with 42 catches for 425 yards and three TDs. A native of Los Angeles, Doubs continued to work out and catch passes from Love this offseason.

"Romeo's out in California, we kind of train with the same coach, so that one's easy," Love said. "I think it's beneficial. Anytime you can get extra reps outside of here and just kind of work and build that chemistry, it's huge."

Samori Toure (6-1, 191, second year)

Toure made the Packers' 53-man roster after being the 28th and final receiver drafted in 2022. Following a decorated run at Montana, Toure made a successful transition to the Big Ten while leading Nebraska with 46 receptions for 898 yards and five touchdowns in 2021.

While a healthy scratch during the first six games of 2022, the 25-year-old wideout showed he could keep the big plays coming in the pros once given the opportunity. He hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers in Buffalo en route to finishing his rookie season with five catches for 82 yards.

Bo Melton (5-11, 189, first year)

A seventh-round pick by Seattle, Melton spent most of his rookie season on the Seahawks' practice squad before signing with the Packers on Dec. 27.

Known for his speed, Melton clocked a 4.34-second time in the 40-yard dash at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. Following .02 seconds behind was Watson, whom Melton trained with during the pre-draft process at Bommarito Performance Center in Miami.

Melton, who tallied 2,176 yards from scrimmage at Rutgers, was allowed to participate in the Packers' rookie minicamp two weeks ago because he was inactive during the team's final two regular-season games.

Jeff Cotton (6-2, 206, first year)

Signed to the practice squad last November, Cotton is actually the oldest receiver on the roster at 26. The former Idaho player started his NFL career in 2020 after signing with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent. Cotton also has had practice-squad stints with Jacksonville and Arizona, appearing in one game with the Chargers as a COVID-19 replacement.

The five rookies

Jayden Reed (5-11, 187, Michigan State)

Reed is latest in a series of second-round picks the Packers have invested into the receiver position, joining Watson, Davante Adams (2014), Randall Cobb (2011), Jordy Nelson (2008) and Greg Jennings (2006).

A shifty, dynamic playmaker, Reed notched 4,341 all-purpose yards with 30 touchdowns in four collegiate seasons (three at Michigan State, one at Western Michigan). His past experience as a returner with three punts returned for touchdowns was an added bonus for the Packers.

Reed ran a 4.45 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine, though vice president of player personnel Jon Eric-Sullivan said the Packers clocked Reed as low as 4.37. The team believes he'll be a good complement to Watson and Doubs, while also fitting well into LaFleur's offensive scheme.

"I'm ready to go out there and compete with all I got. I'm going to let the play speak for itself," Reed said. "I'm a punt returner, kick returner, slot guy, outside guy. Just me being able to play in different spots on the field, I think I can help in that area."

Dontayvion Wicks (6-1, 206, Virginia)

A big-play machine at Virginia, Wicks averaged 18.8 yards per catch over his four college seasons. He broke Herman Moore's 31-year-old single-season receiving mark at the school after catching 57 passes for 1,203 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior in 2021.

Wicks' numbers tailed off following Bronco Mendenhall's resignation, but his past production and athleticism (39-inch vertical at the NFL Scouting Combine) make him an intriguing add to the Packers' receiver room.

Grant DuBose (6-2, 201, Charlotte)

Like Toure a year earlier, DuBose was the last receiver taken – 32nd overall – in the 2023 NFL Draft. At 21 years old, DuBose is the youngest receiver on the Packers' roster, and the first player Green Bay has drafted from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which added its football program in 2008.

DuBose received just one scholarship offer – Division II Miles College (Ala.) – out of high school. He entered the transfer portal after his freshman year after the football program suspended the 2020 season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He caught 125 passes for 1,679 yards and 15 touchdowns over two years at Charlotte before turning pro. DuBose ran a 4.57 time in the 40 with a 35-inch vertical at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"I always knew I'd get here one day," DuBose said. "That was the goal. I just didn't know when. I knew an opportunity was going to present itself. I just always wanted to stay ready for it. That was my thought process through that year, that COVID year when I was back home."

Duece Watts (6-1, 196, Tulane)

Watts, who signed with Green Bay as a college free agent, was a three-year starter at Tulane who hauled in 81 passes for 1,407 yards and 16 touchdowns in 37 games. He began his college career at Jones County (Miss.) Junior College, where Watts caught 47 passes for 702 yards and five touchdowns in 2018-19.

Watts, whose given name is Natorian, played with his twin brother, Nataurean or "Phat," at both Jones County and Tulane. Watts ran a 4.59 in the 40 at his pro day with a 37½-inch vertical and 17 bench reps.

Malik Heath (6-2, 213, Ole Miss)

Also signed as a college free agent, Heath caught 131 passes for 1,720 yards and 13 touchdowns over three years in the SEC (two seasons at Mississippi State, one at Ole Miss). Last fall, Heath led Ole Miss with 60 receptions for 971 yards and five TDs in 11 games.

Heath was considered a top 10 junior college recruit after his two seasons at Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College. He was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.64 in the 40 with a 34-inch vertical and 6.96 time in the three-cone drill.