Daily mailbag: Jennings gets his due (sort of)

September, 5, 2008
9/05/08
2:58
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
 
 Jeff Hanisch/US Presswire
 Greg Jennings could have a big season if he can stay healthy. Scouts Inc. rates him as a solid, but not top, receiver.

We didn't hear as many protestations as we thought we might after last week's NFL preview. But we did catch a reasonable tongue-lashing from Joseph, who questioned a Scouts, Inc. rating of 78 for Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings. (A 78 rating falls in Scouts, Inc.'s "solid player" category.)

You need an Insider subscription to get to this, but overall Scouts, Inc. rated Jennings No. 21 on a list of the NFL's top receivers. Jennings actually ranked ahead of teammate Donald Driver (24) but was behind such players as Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes (T-12), Chicago's Devin Hester (T-14) and Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe (T-18).

Joseph of Atlanta writes: Okay, enough is enough and I've gotta ask: what's with the apparent consensus that Greg Jennings is a nonentity? The latest is the 78 rating ESPN gave him in the Packers season preview (8/27). He put up top 10 receiving numbers last year in everything but catches and yards, and with six more catches, would have broken 1000 yards receiving with 11 fewer catches than Plaxico Burress (fewest catches among 1000 yard receivers). And that was in 13 games. Yet Marques Colston is a top wideout? I understand he played with Favre, but did Reggie Wayne (P. Manning), Colston (Brees), or Chad Johnson (Palmer) put up the kinds of numbers Jennings has? Not to mention he's only in his second year, and caught Aaron Rodgers' only career touchdown pass. Add in the three game-winning touchdown catches last season alone, and we've got some pretty awesome numbers for a second-year player. Where's his hype?

Kevin Seifert: Scouts, Inc., had this to say about Jennings in their ratings: "He is a versatile player who can align in multiple spots in the Packers' spread offense. Jennings is a very productive player with enough size to be a big-time threat in the red zone."

I can't speak to the methods of their numerical ratings, but I think that's a pretty accurate assessment of Jennings on a qualitative level. The best thing you can say about Jennings is that's he's productive, especially with 12 touchdowns in 13 games last season. The worst thing you can say is that he hasn't been able to avoid the injury bug.

An ankle injury cost him one game in 2006 and two games last season, and a knee injury sidelined him during the 2008 preseason. To me, the only thing holding back Jennings from a higher ranking is showing that he can play a 16-game season. That would put him on track for surpassing the 1,000-yard barrier that generally brings receivers a level of acclaim.

"Greg Jennings definitely makes a difference when he's out there," coach Mike McCarthy told reporters in Green Bay this week. Jennings will be especially valuable Monday night against Minnesota; highly productive No. 3 receiver James Jones could miss that game because of a sprained knee.

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