Everyone keeps questioning the Green Bay Packers receiver room, but it sounds like they already have an answer when it comes to who steps up in Davante Adams’ place.
The Packers quietly signed former first-rounder Sammy Watkins back in March. Since then, the Packers have been rather outspoken when it comes to their expectations in 2022.
And the advertisements have come from the two most important figures on the team – head coach Matt LaFleur and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“Obviously we have history going back to L.A. together,” LaFleur told reporters back in June. “So that definitely gives you a pretty good idea of what he’s capable of doing. I don’t think his game has fallen off, at all, since we were together in 2017. A little bit of it has been a lack of opportunity.
“He’s a guy that’s out there working hard and he’s going to be a big part of our offense.”
“There’s definitely going to be opportunities for him to make plays in this offense,” Rodgers told reporters in June. “I think he has everything right in front of him to have as productive a year as he wants to.”
Now, per Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed, Watkins’ current trainer, Bert Whigham, has joined in on projecting a big season for Watkins:
“That guy is going to be good for the Packers. He started working with us like seven weeks ago, and he said he wanted to be ‘college Sammy.’ Sammy is going to have a big year. He told me, ‘I want to be Clemson Sammy Watkins.’ And I was like, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ He’s just up there squatting 405 for eight right now like it’s nothing. He started around 218, and he’s at 225 right now, too. He’s going to go be a No. 1 in Green Bay.
“Sammy’s going to kill it. I have no doubt. He hasn’t trained like this since college. He’ll say that. ‘I haven’t worked like this since college.’ We’re spending two-and-a-half, three hours on the field in this heat every day. And that sounds crazy, but that’s what your body has to go through so when you get to camp, it’s easy. And that’s been the knock on him. He gets hurt. Well, he hasn’t pushed his body in the offseason, and he’ll admit that.”
That’s pretty big. Especially considering it’s obvious the Packers didn’t envision Watkins becoming the team’s top target when they signed him back in March. His veteran minimum salary of $1.2 million easily reflects that.
The Packers struck gold with De’Vondre Campbell last year. Can they do it again with Watkins in 2022? It will certainly go a long, long way in helping the Packers assemble the league’s best record for the second year in a row, if he does.
You can check out Kyed’s entire column, here.
Featured image via MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK