Romeo Doubs has received a lot of hype from Aaron Rodgers in training camp after the Davante Adams trade blew the Packers’ wide receiver depth chart wide open.
But heading into the team’s second preseason matchup of the season Friday against the Saints, Rodgers’ patience for the team’s wide receiving corps had worn thin.
“The young guys, especially young receivers, we’ve got to be way more consistent,” Rodgers said earlier in the week. “A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. We’ve got to get better in that area.”
Doubs made his case against the Saints, logging three receptions for 24 yards and his second touchdown in as many weeks, a beautiful grab in front of Saints defensive back Brian Allen, who was left deflated after the play.
Goodness, @RomeoDoubs. 😳
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) August 20, 2022
Doubs, a fourth-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, has been a bright spot this summer. He had three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers in the Packers’ preseason opener. The score came on a blown coverage by San Francisco.
A Concept you see all over the NFL.
Empty with RB or TE outside to create mismatches inside. 49ers end up with a safety 1 on 1 with Doubs and get burnt. pic.twitter.com/SsygifvrZT
— Trey Anderson (@TreyAndersonQB) August 13, 2022
The Saints had a rookie receiver of their own flash on Friday. Chris Olave has generated a lot of buzz as the No. 11 overall pick, New Orleans’ highest-drafted wide receiver since Wes Chandler was taken third overall in 1988. He’s wearing No. 12, last worn by franchise icon Marques Colston. So, yes, the expectations are high.
Olave got the hype train rolling with a pair of catches for 28 yards against Green Bay, including a touchdown in which he sneaked between defenders and caught a delivery from Ian Book.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 20, 2022
Could Romeo Doubs lead the Packers in receiving in 2022?
Doubs has looked the most comfortable among the Packers receivers who have been on the field in the preseason, but that has to be taken with a grain of salt.
For starters, Green Bay’s veterans — Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb — aren’t playing, not to mention Rodgers himself. Second-round rookie Christian Watson has also yet to see the field as he recovers from a knee injury.
With that being said, Doubs’ performance and the praise from Rodgers is heartening, and it isn’t a stretch to say he could be a breakout candidate. Anyone who can win 50-50 balls in the end zone is sure to become a Rodgers favorite.
The Packers’ trade of Adams was a compelling move for myriad reasons, not least that it expressed a lot of faith in Rodgers to make it work with the remaining wideouts. Lazard, Watkins and Cobb are known quantities, so it could be argued that Watson and Doubs have the highest ceilings on the team, and only one of them is getting reps right now.
Could Chris Olave lead the Saints in receiving in 2022?
The shifty Olave will be sharing a depth chart with Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry, two NFL veterans with strong track records.
He gets the added benefit of coming into an offense where the quarterback, in this case Jameis Winston, isn’t familiar with the top receivers. Thomas didn’t play in 2021 because of injury and Landry was with the Browns.
With that being said, Olave’s breakout potential is tempered by the Saints offense’ and an offensive coordinator (Pete Carmichael) who does know Thomas. Thomas has had the lion’s share of targets for the Saints in the past, so expect him to get touches early and often this season.
Olave does provide a vertical threat, however, and he showed deftness in working in and out of coverage against Green Bay. But the reality is that the Saints are coming into the season with an established hierarchy of receivers who should still be in their prime.