The national and local media is unwittingly setting up a key Green Bay Packers player for failure in 2022.
By now we all know that Green Bay needs a new No. 1 wide receiver with Davante Adams now playing for the Las Vegas Raiders.
But who will that No. 1 wide receiver be?
It appears that the media is doing all it can to hype up Allen Lazard as that player. And maybe that will be the case, but it feels like there’s an unreal amount of pressure being put on Lazard right now.
Just check out some of these headlines/tweets.
Can Allen Lazard be 'that guy' to replace Davante Adams as WR1 for Green Bay Packers? https://t.co/6atS3libBi— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 1, 2022
Obviously, it doesn't work this way, but if you simply doubled Allen Lazard's targets from last year (60 to 120, which is reasonable) and used his career averages for catch%, yards/target, TD%, he'd finish the 2022 season with…— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) July 31, 2022
82 catches, 1,092 yards, 10 TDs.
None of this feels fair to the former Iowa State wide receiver. Maybe Lazard becomes a star for the Packers in 2022. No one quite knows yet.
But if Lazard finishes the season with 900 receiving yards, which would almost double his previous career high (513 receiving yards in 2021), will he be viewed as a failure because he didn’t match Adams’ production?
He certainly shouldn’t be. 900 receiving yards for a player who was an undrafted free agent would be an incredible accomplishment. But it’s not the type of production you expect from a WR1 — especially one that plays with Aaron Rodgers.
The media should relax on Lazard a bit. Let him develop at his own pace. Don’t put such massive expectations on a player who wasn’t signed to be a replacement for Adams. This situation isn’t what the Packers envisioned for Lazard back in 2018 when they signed him. He was never supposed to be “the guy”. So now that he’s in that position, maybe it would be better to just let him be Allen Lazard instead of “the guy who is replacing Davante Adams”.
Featured image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports