For the past few seasons with Aaron Rodgers under center, the Packer offense has not simply been one of the best in the NFL. It has become an art in itself, from spreading five receivers, placing your playmakers in receivers Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings in multiple spots to maimize their abilities, and watching Rodgers carve secondaries apart with his strong arm.
Which brings us to one of the main questions of training camp: the receiver position. The Packers have seven receivers all capable of making the roster, but are only known to keep on the 53-man roster. With the likes of young players like Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel, who the Packes thought enough of to raise their salaries to keep them on the practice squad when other teams tried to court them away from Green Bay.
But, can the pass happy head coach Mike McCarthy really afford to keep six receivers?
Currently, three of those spots are locks: Jennings and Nelson are the big time weapons at receiver right now, and with Nelson being re-signed last season to a better deal and coming off the best season of his career, both of these guys are invaluable to the offense. Second-year receiver Randall Cobb is a rising star after sparking the return game for the Packers in 2011 is deserving of more snaps in the offense and could be a speedy option out of the slot position.
To wrap it all up, Packer veteran Donald Driver restructured his contract to stick around, for this year at least. That leaves James Jones, Tori Gurley, and Diondre Borel. The Pack want to keep at most, two of these guys. But should they?
Last year, the Packers kept five tight ends, and left an open spot on their line. The result: an injury bug that hit Chad Clifton (again), Bryan Bulaga, Derek Sherrod, and Josh Sitton.
The Packers have fallen prey to "potential" the last few seasons. Last season, it overloaded on tight ends. Before that, it was keeping three fulbacks for two straight years. And it hurt the Pack to take that spot away from the positions that needed it those years (i.e., safety, offensive line).
Green Bay should be wary of keeping six receivers. It is possible that they make a trade during camp, similar to what they did with Tony Moll when the Packers had numbers at tackle, trading him for safety Derrick Martin. This time, it could be James Jones, as he has value and starting capability for most teams in the NFL. At the least, he would be a great No. 2 or No. 3 option.
The Packers have the numbers they need to keep their passing attack thriving. But they must be careful, least they ignore the defense that led to their downfall against the New York Giants.