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Bo Melton hopes late-season heroics are just the beginning

Packers receiver excited by the possibility of playing his younger brother this fall


GREEN BAY – It's a play the Packers wanted to hit all spring.

So, when a sprinting Bo Melton turned his head at practice on Tuesday and saw the ball had yet to come out of Jordan Love's hand, the second-year receiver had a feeling what was about to come next.

"I thought, 'Oh, it's gonna be in the air,'" said Melton, smiling.

Sure enough, it was. Moments later, Love unfurled his finest throw of the day to hit the speedy wideout in stride for a 75-yard touchdown on just the second 11-on-11 play of the workout. Talk about picking up where you left off.

Last season, there was perhaps no better story in Green Bay's locker room than Melton, who broke out during the Packers' playoff push after spending a majority of the year on the team's practice squad.

In fact, Melton wasn't even on Green Bay's 53-man roster when he became the first Packers receiver to register a 100-yard game in 2023 after his six-catch, 105-yard performance in a 33-10 thrashing of the Minnesota Vikings on New Year's Eve.

The Packers signed him to the active roster the following day.

"I think it's a great story just being persistent and to continue to push forward even when maybe the stacks are kind of put up against you," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said. "Some guys come in and make an immediate impact and other guys have to just continue to battle and show that resiliency that it takes and just continue to chop away, and when given the opportunity that's when you like to see those guys go out there and perform, and he's done that."

While Melton faced a steep climb up the NFL ladder as a former seventh-round pick, LaFleur mentioned the elite intangible the former Rutgers standout possesses: Speed. Melton clocked a 4.34 time in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2022, a value asset he's used to threaten the top of a defense like he did Tuesday.

He just needed the opportunity. Melton first joined Green Bay's roster as a late-season signing in 2022 but came up short in his bid to make the roster last summer after the Packers drafted three receivers for the second consecutive year.

Praised for his professionalism on the practice squad, Melton parlayed his late 139 offensive snaps into 16 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown, providing a surge of confidence entering the offseason.

"That's what I was brought here for – make plays. I just wanted to show that to them," Melton said. "When they actually see it (in a game), it's like, 'OK, this is who Bo is.' Along with the great athletes we have in the room who can make plays, too, it was added like 'Dang, we got Bo now.' I felt good to be another asset to the team whether they use me at wide receiver or special teams."

It's been a banner offseason for the Melton family. Along with Bo's ascent, his younger brother Max was selected in the second round (No. 43 overall) by the Arizona Cardinals in this year's NFL Draft. It was the highest a Rutgers player was drafted since Anthony Davis and Devin McCourty both went in the first round in 2010.

Bo and Max played two seasons together in New Brunswick, N.J., and continued to train on Rutgers' campus in the offseason even after Bo moved on to the NFL. With Max projected to be a Day 2 pick, Bo sat right alongside his little brother when the Cardinals came calling this past April.

"That meant everything," said Melton of his brother joining him in the NFL. "He went to an official visit to Arizona, so when I saw them on the clock, I was like, 'Man, they're gonna call him.' They called him. My family was crying. They were excited."

Not that Bo needed any more motivation this summer, but the Packers and Cardinals are scheduled to play this October at Lambeau Field. After years of playing football in the backyard, it's possible the two could line up across from each other in an actual NFL game.

As an occupant in one of the deepest position rooms on the roster, Bo knows there's still plenty of work to be done to not only claim a roster spot this summer but also earn snaps in the fall. Sure, it's been a great first chapter, but Melton plans on writing more pages.

"It was a nice journey just to be from practice squad to playing, but my goal was never just to be a practice-squad player in general," Melton said. "I'm wanting to be a player in this league for a long time. I've been around a lot of good players here that motivated me during the whole year when I wasn't playing.

"When I started to play, it was nothing different. I know when you do good things, good is expected. At the end of the day, I'm just gonna keep doing what I've been doing. That's been working since I was a kid."