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Pre-draft picture: Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard have big part to play in new-look receiver room   

Rehabbing Robert Tonyan looks to bounce back, Marcedes Lewis set to make history in 2022

WRs Allen Lazard & Randall Cobb
WRs Allen Lazard & Randall Cobb

"Pre-draft picture" is a position-by-position look at the Packers' roster heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. The series continues with the receivers and tight ends.

GREEN BAY – It seems like an eventuality the Packers will draft a receiver or two during next week's NFL Draft after the departures of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Whatever talented is added, however, Green Bay will still be relying on returning veteran wideouts Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard to set the tone for the offense, both on and off the field.

Cobb enters his 12th NFL season and 10th in Green Bay. The sixth-leading pass catcher in franchise history returned to the Packers last July following a trade with the Houston Texans.

The 5-foot-10, 192-pound receiver fell right back in sync with Aaron Rodgers, who housed his close friend and longtime teammate for a few weeks while Cobb and his family searched for their own accommodations during training camp.

Cobb caught 28 passes for 375 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games and was having his best game of the year against the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 28, when he sustained a core-muscle injury on a 7-yard touchdown catch before halftime that required surgery. He finished with four first-half catches for 95 yards.

Cobb also served as a mentor to 2021 third-round pick Amari Rodgers, whom he's known for the past 12 years as Rodgers' father, Tee Martin, coached Cobb at the University of Kentucky.

"Randall is a tremendous leader," said third-year receivers coach Jason Vrable, who had passing game coordinator added to his title this offseason. "If you talk about guys I've been around over the last 10 years, he's up there as the best.

"You can't have enough Randalls on your team, ever. I think the more you have, I think the more W's you end up with at the end of the season. I truly believe that."

With Adams (Raiders) and Valdes-Scantling (Chiefs) residing in the AFC West, Lazard is now the longest-tenured consecutive receiver on the Packers' roster after opening eyes in 2019 as an undrafted free agent during training camp.

The 6-foot-5, 227-pound wideout has since become one Aaron Rodgers' most-trusted targets and a staple of Matt LaFleur's offense over the past three seasons.

Lazard has amassed 109 receptions for 1,448 yards and 14 touchdowns in 42 regular-season games (25 starts) and earned a reputation for being one of the league's best blocking wideouts.

Take a look at the top wide receiver prospects heading into the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Packers gave themselves another option last week when they picked up ninth-year veteran Sammy Watkins, the former fourth-overall pick who has 5,059 receiving yards and 34 touchdowns in eight NFL seasons.

Watkins got off to a solid start during his only year in Baltimore in 2021, catching four passes for 96 yards in the regular-season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders. He was slowed during the second half of the year by thigh and knee injuries.

The Packers also are counting on a sizeable Year 2 jump from Amari Rodgers, who caught just four passes for 45 yards in 103 offensive snaps as a rookie. Rodgers' history of versatility at the University of Clemson played a big role in Green Bay trading up to draft him to be a pre-snap motion option in LaFleur's offense.

Also competing for spots are third-year veterans Malik Taylor and Juwann Winfree, practice-squad holdover Chris Blair and speedster Rico Gafford, who signed a futures deal with Green Bay in January.

Taylor has the most experience of the group. A member of the team's practice squad in 2019, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound receiver has caught seven passes for 80 yards and a TD in 25 games, while being on mainstay on Green Bay's special teams units.

Winfree began last year on the practice squad before seeing action in seven games with the Packers last season, catching eight passes for 58 yards while playing 143 offensive snaps.

Take a look at the top prospects at tight end heading into the 2022 NFL Draft.

While there were sweeping changes to the receiver room this offseason, the tight end position remains intact other than a switch from Justin Outten to John Dunn as position coach.

The Packers re-signed fifth-year veteran Robert Tonyan at the start of free agency. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end is just one season removed from catching 52 passes for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2020.

Tonyan had 18 receptions for 204 yards and two TDs before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last October in Arizona. Both General Manager Brian Gutekunst and LaFleur have said Tonyan is ahead of schedule on his recovery.

Returning alongside Tonyan for a fifth season in Green Bay is veteran Marcedes Lewis, who's looking to tie Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten for the most seasons played by an NFL tight end (17).

Lewis, who turns 38 next month, is coming off his best statistical season with the Packers. The 6-foot-6, 267-pound tight end hauled in 23 passes for 214 yards last season while remaining one of the game's top blocking tight ends.

After recovering from his own ACL injury, former third-round pick Josiah Deguara picked up some of the slack after Tonyan's injury. His 25 receptions for 245 yards and two TDs led all Green Bay tight ends in 2021.

Dominique Dafney and in-season addition Tyler Davis also return after playing 167 and 121 offensive snaps, respectively. The Packers also added former New Orleans draft pick, Alizé Mack (6-4, 251), in February.

Pre-Draft Roster Series:

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