Have at it: Receiver depth

September, 9, 2009

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

As it turns out, four sentences -- on a Saturday morning over the holiday weekend -- caused quite a stir. For the third bullet point in our daily installment of “Three and out,” I wrote that Minnesota has the deepest group of receivers in the NFC North.

Gasp! Ohhhhhhhh! No he didn’t!

Yes, that was enough to open the floodgates from Wisconsin and the rest of Packer Nation. I believe Jerry of Omaha struck the collective tone: “This just confirms that you go to bed every night with your purple and gold jammys. What a joke having you cover the NFC North for ESPN. Just crawl back to Minneapolis and work for the Star Tribune again. You have zero credibility and objectivity.”

We won’t go through that whole issue again, but I am curious if everyone agrees on the substance of the objection. (It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve swung and missed.) It’s a particularly interesting topic that could spawn a lively debate, especially if you care about the difference between depth and skill.

I think it’s pretty clear that the Packers’ 1-2 punch of Greg Jennings and Donald Driver is unmatched in Minnesota. Jennings and Driver are without question more skillful. But in a top-to-bottom comparison, it gets more interesting. If a starter went down in Green Bay or Minnesota, which team is better equipped to absorb the loss? To me, that’s the definition of depth.

For your reference, ESPN.com editor Jonathan Hudec has given you a position-by-position comparison of each team’s receivers from No. 1 through No. 5. Your job is to decide if you prefer the Packers’ top-heavy construction, or if you would play it safer and take a Minnesota group that includes first-round pick Percy Harvin at No. 3 and ex-leading receiver Bobby Wade at No. 4. Tell me what you think, and we’ll meet here again Friday to hash it out. Have at it.

Matching up Minnesota's and Green Bay's wide receivers
WR Team Player Age 2008 Rec. 2008 Yards 2008 APR 2008 TDs
No. 1 G.B. Greg Jennings 25 80 1,292 16.2 9
Minn. Bernard Berrian 28 48 964 20.1 7
No. 2 G.B. Donald Driver 34 74 1,012 13.7 5
Minn. Sidney Rice 23 15 141 9.4 4
No. 3 G.B. James Jones 25 20 274 13.7 1
Minn. Percy Harvin 21 N/A N/A N/A N/A
No. 4 G.B. Jordy Nelson 24 33 366 11.1 2
Minn. Bobby Wade 28 53 645 12.2 2
No. 5 G.B. Brett Swain 24 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Minn. Darius Reynaud 23 N/A N/A N/A N/A



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