The Green Bay Packers are getting big plays from a rookie receiver during training camp, just not the one they expected.
Second-round pick Christian Watson has been sidelined after knee surgery earlier this summer. Instead, fourth-round pick Romeo Doubs has hit the ground running, making splash plays that have even reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers gushing.
“Every single day … there’s been at least one kind of ‘wow’ play for him,” Rodgers said Wednesday, via the Associated Press. “And that’s kind of rare for a young guy like that.”
With the Packers trading Davante Adams to Las Vegas and Marquez Valdes-Scantling signing in Kansas City, it’s a wide-open battle for receiver reps in Green Bay.
Hearing Rodgers’ praise of the rookie is an excellent start to camp, but Doubs knows he must continue to stack big days.
“I feel like my camp is going really good,” Doubs said. “But just for myself, I continue to tell myself just focus on what’s next throughout the day. I just make sure I try not to get too high or low with myself.”
The 6-foot-2 Nevada product combines good speed and size and has shown the ability to beat defenders with the ball in the air during the early stages of camp. Gaining Rodgers’ trust is a good first step in the rookie winning a significant role out of the gate.
“I have to set myself at a standard to make sure Aaron has enough trust in me regardless of me being a rookie,” Doubs said.
As for Watson, the second-rounder doesn’t have a target date for his return but has been picking the brains of Rodgers and veteran receivers Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard to get mental reps on the offense.
“It’s definitely frustrating, but I’ve tried not to let that affect me too much,” Watson said. “There’s still things I can do to get better and still be a part of everything, taking mental reps and still being in the playbook. So I try to look at positives and kind of stay away from the negatives.”
If Watson can return soon and make up for lost time, and Doubs continues to shine, the Packers will have the makings of an intriguing young duo to develop as they attempt to win their fourth straight NFC North title.
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