If there is one position that Packers General Manager Ted Thompson knows how to draft, its wide receiver. Like any GM in the NFL, Thompson’s draft record is far from perfect but its hard to argue with his results at receiver.
Back in 2006, Thompson found his first gem when he drafted Greg Jennings out of Western Michigan. Then he followed that up by selecting James Jones in round three of the 2007 draft, Jordy Nelson in round two of the 2008 draft and Randall Cobb in round two of the 2011 draft.
Say what you will about Thompson — he knows a good wide receiver when he sees one.
After losing Jennings to the Vikings last offseason and Jones to the Raiders this offseason, it seems like a good time for Thompson to work his magic again and find another stud receiver to add the Packers already explosive offense.
Currently, the Packers top three receivers on the depth chart would be Nelson, Cobb and third-year man Jarrett Boykin, who had a breakout season in 2013 with 49 receptions for 681 yards and three touchdowns.
However, after those three, the Packers have little in the way of proven commodities at the position. The only other receiver on the roster who caught a pass last season was Myles White, who had nine receptions for 66 yards last season in limited action.
So, while the Packers may be happy with the top-3 on their depth chart, they need to add another playmaker to the group, especially with both Nelson and Cobb headed for unrestricted free agency after the season.
One such playmaker that would fit perfectly in Green Bay is Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Jared Abbrederis.
Abbrederis is the classic Thompson prospect at wide receiver. He’s a senior, he played extensively in a pro-style offense and was highly productive. Last season, the 6-1, 195-pounder hauled in an impressive 78 receptions for 1,081 yards and seven touchdowns.
For his career, Abbrederis caught 202 passes for 3,140 yards and a total of 23 touchdowns. He has is also a solid returner with a career average of 10.7 yards per punt return and 25.8 yards per kickoff return, with one punt return touchdown to his credit.
The two-time All Big-Ten selection doesn’t possess tremendous size or speed but he is an outstanding route runner with very, very good hands, great body control and above average ball skills.
Abbrederis is not a Calvin Johnson type and is definitely not the most talented receiver in the draft. However, he is an experienced receiver, whose skills should translate very well to the NFL game. He is also a hard worker, very coachable and has high football intelligence.
From this perspective, he projects best to be an outside receiver in the NFL but could develop into a slot type of receiver, a la Brian Hartline with the Miami Dolphins due to his quickness, great route running and reliable hands.
Simply put, with the right quarterback in the right system, Abbrederis could be a very productive receiver right away and if the Packers were to draft him, he would fit perfectly with Aaron Rodgers.
One of Rodgers greatest strengths is his pinpoint accuracy, which gives him the ability to throw wide receivers open. This type of quarterback is perfect for Abbrederis because he is not only a great router runner but has great football instincts. He also has the body control and reliable hands needed to excel with Rodgers back-shoulder throws and quick on the fly adjustments.
Thompson knows how to pick receivers and Abbrederis is exactly what he’s looking for, experienced, NFL-ready and versatile. In short, he’s a perfect fit for the Packers and armed with two-third round picks this year, it would not surprise me if one was used to keep the talented Wisconsin wide out close to home.
Want to form your own opinion — check out Abbrederis video highlight below: