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Packers’ Receivers Failed to Provide YAC Attack

Check out the missed-tackle numbers in Green Bay compared with the rest of the NFL's receiver corps.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – It’s no secret the Green Bay Packers need help at receiver. Davante Adams was an army of one for a receiver corps that included Adams (second round in 2014), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (the final pick of the fifth round in 2018) and Allen Lazard, Geronimo Allison and Jake Kumerow (all undrafted).

Here’s another unnoticed byproduct of a receiver corps that’s come from such humble draft roots. According to Pro Football Focus, the entire receiver corps forced a total of nine missed tackles. Kumerow, of all people, forced three missed tackle on his 12 catches. Adams forced two on 83 receptions, Valdes-Scantling forced two on 26 receptions (but none in the final 14 games), Lazard forced one on 35 receptions and Allison forced one on 34 receptions.

San Francisco’s Deebo Samuel and Pittsburgh’s Diontae Johnson led the league with 18 missed tackles apiece, according to PFF. Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin forced 17, and Tennessee’s A.J. Brown and Denver’s Courtland Sutton forced 16 apiece. Individually, 18 receivers forced more than the Packers’ group combined. One of those was Randall Cobb, who forced 10.

Adding insult to injury, Samuel, Johnson and Brown were rookies. The Packers, of course, did nothing to upgrade their receiver corps, instead betting on improvement from within from 2018 draft picks J’Mon Moore, Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown. That didn’t happen; Moore was cut, St. Brown was injured and Valdes-Scantling fell off the face of the earth during the second half of the season.

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The Packers traded up from No. 30 to take safety Darnell Savage at No. 21. San Francisco landed Samuel at No. 36. With slot experience and the running skill of a running back, he would have been a perfect fit for the Packers. For the Niners, he contributed 57 receptions for 802 yards and three scores. Samuel’s 494 yards after the catch were more than any of the Packers’ other receivers gained in total.

The Packers took guard Elgton Jenkins at No. 44 of the second round. At No. 51, the Titans took Brown, who turned into an immediate star with 52 receptions for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns. Brown gained 462 yards after the catch; Lazard was second among the receivers with 477 yards overall. At No. 66 of the third round, the Steelers grabbed Johnson, who caught 59 passes for 680 yards and five touchdowns.

Savage and Jenkins were all-rookie players, so there should be no regrets from general manager Brian Gutekunst. Still, the missed-tackle numbers are yet another reason – as if one was needed – why receiver needs to a priority this offseason.