Additional vertical presence at WR could be valuable for Packers

Adding to the wide receiver position in this year’s draft is nowhere near a necessity for the Green Bay Packers. However, an additional vertical presence within the offense could be valuable.

Whether or not Christian Watson is getting the ball, when he’s on the field, his presence is felt. His big play ability because of his speed alters how defenses defend this Packers’ offense.

When there is a legitimate vertical presence to account for, it creates better spacing underneath and more room for other pass-catchers to operate. We’ve also seen Watson’s gravity at work, with defenders giving him more attention, which again, opens up opportunities for others.

On the flip side, when defenses do not fear getting beat deep, they are able to play closer to the line of scrimmage, shrinking the field, which makes moving the ball both through the air and on the ground more challenging.

Due to the impact that a player with vertical speed can have on the offense, investing in some insurance in that role behind Watson may be the prudent move for the Packers.

Now, of course, Jayden Reed, Romeo Doubs, Bo Melton, and Dontayvion Wicks all have the ability to win downfield, but not in the same capacity that Watson does. As I mentioned already, defenses defend the Packers differently when he’s on the field.

“He gives different looks for defenses with his speed, big play ability,” said Reed of Watson. “We get different looks. When he’s out there, you have to know he’s out there as a defense. 9 being out there, you have to be aware of that. No doubt that’ll help out the whole offense, executing and everything.”

It’s also important to note that what Watson brings to the table from a size and athleticism standpoint isn’t easy to replicate or find. On top of that, with how loaded the Packers’ receiver room is, if they were to make an addition at the position, along with being able to stretch the field, this player would have to contribute in other ways as well to justify taking up a roster spot.

With five picks in the top 100, GM Brian Gutekunst has what every team wants: flexibility and options. Although there are far more pressing needs than receiver to address, because of the high number of picks the Packers have, Gutekunst has the ability to draft a receiver if the right player is available while still tackling higher priority needs.

One of the aspects that made this Packers’ receiver room so difficult to cover is that they have a wide variety of skill sets on the roster, allowing Matt LaFleur to get creative with his play designs and calls. But there is only one true vertical option in Watson, and with the impact that he can have on opposing defenses, having a secondary option to fill that role may not be a bad idea.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire