- Rob Demovsky, ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- As we head toward the NFL scouting combine, which begins later this week in Indianapolis, it's time to look at the Green Bay Packers' needs by position this offseason and which prospects general manager Ted Thompson might be taking a closer look at during workouts and interviews.
Here are the previous installments:
Feb 9: Defensive line
Feb 10: Linebackers
Feb. 11: Cornerbacks
Feb. 12: Safeties
Feb 13: Quarterbacks
Monday: Running backs
Next up, Receivers/tight ends:
Why the Packers might need help: Even if the Packers re-sign Randall Cobb, who is seeking a deal that averages at least $9 million per season, the Packers will still have depth issues to address at this position. Behind Cobb and Jordy Nelson, the next-best receiver is Davante Adams, the former second-round pick who had an up-and-down rookie season as the No. 3 receiver. It's possible the Packers won't even offer last year's No. 4 receiver, Jarrett Boykin, a restricted-free-agent tender. Two other draft picks from last season, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis, are still unknowns. Abbrederis spent all of last season on injured reserve after a training-camp knee injury, while Janis spent the entire season on the roster but rarely played. He was inactive for all but three games.
At tight end, the Packers like what last year's third-round pick, Richard Rodgers, showed late in the season, when he became more involved in the offense, but it's still too early to say whether he'll be the playmaker that Jermichael Finley was before his neck injury. Behind Rodgers and Andrew Quarless, the Packers are thin. Once a promising prospect, Brandon Bostick was released on Monday, a month after he botched the onside kick recovery in the NFC Championship Game. They also have undrafted rookie Justin Perillo who was promoted from the practice squad.
WRs/TEs the Packers should be watching: As many as a half-dozen receivers could come off the board in the first round. Thompson, however, loves to take receivers in the second round (Adams, Cobb, Nelson, Greg Jennings all were second-round picks) or third round (James Jones). So he could be keeping an eye on Oklahoma's Dorial Green-Beckham, Arizona State's Jaelen Strong, Auburn's Sammie Coates, Ohio State's Devin Smith and Duke's Jamison Crowder.
At tight end, it's possible the best one in the class, Minnesota’s Maxx Williams, will be available when the Packers pick at No. 30.
Draft priority (low, medium or high): Medium. Their need for another pass-catcher (whether at receiver or tight end) would jump to high if they were unable to re-sign Cobb.
It's time to look at the Packers' needs at receiver and tight end this offseason.