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Packers' Matt LaFleur would like to add to wide receiver room: 'Some veteran leadership would be nice'

The offseason focus in Green Bay revolving around Aaron Rodgers relegated all other storylines to afterthoughts -- like the Packers' blaring silence in free agency, where they mostly re-signed their own depth players to low-cost deals.

While the attention is on the (presumed) transition from Rodgers to Jordan Love, less has been made about who the new starting QB will be throwing to.

Last week at the Annual League Meeting, coach Matt LaFleur was asked about the lack of depth in the WR corps.

"We're going to have to add some bodies to that room," LaFleur said at the time, via ESPN. "What do we got, like five guys on the roster right now?"

Exactly five guys. None with more than 14 games of experience. Christian Watson (14 games played) leads the way, followed by fellow 2022 rookies Romeo Doubs (13 games) and Samori Toure (11). Jeff Cotton (one game in 2021 with Jacksonville) and Bo Melton (zero games) are currently the final two players in the WR room.

"Well, I think some veteran leadership would be nice," LaFleur said. "Although I think guys like Allen (Lazard) and Randall (Cobb) did such a great job last year kind of taking those guys under their wing and showing them the ropes and the expectations and the practice habits that you need to have to go out there and play at a high level. But there's going to be a lot of growth with those two guys, certainly Romeo and Christian. And then you've got Samori Toure and we've got a small glimpse of Bo Melton last year."

Suggesting adding a veteran 'would be nice' is playing it softly from LaFleur.

According to Lazard, the Packers showed little interest in bringing him back. Cobb could conceivably tag along with Rodgers to New York. Green Bay hasn't demonstrated much known interest in big-name veteran free agents as the pile has been picked over. At this point, the like of Jarvis Landry, Chosen (Robbie) Anderson, Byron Pringle, N'Keal Harry, or older vets like T.Y. Hilton are the best of the remaining options.

At some point, general manager Brian Gutekunst will likely add an inexpensive veteran or two. But the Packers are counting on Watson and Doubs to continue to develop in Year 2. Green Bay could also add another rookie to the mix from the draft.

LaFleur specifically noted the Packers expect more from Doubs after his season puttered to a close after an optimistic start following an ankle injury.

"I don't know if [Doubs] ever got back to what we had seen early in the year, but I expect to see that when he comes back," LaFleur said. "I want to temper this comparison here, but he's got some Davante Adams-type movement skills in him. Now he's got to learn when to use and how to harness that. I don't think there's a route he won't be able to run. We just have to give him enough reps where he can continue his progression."

The Adams comparison is a lofty one, but Doubs did show promise in training camp last season that he can be a go-getter in tight quarters. Moving forward, how he and Watson mesh with Love will be the ultimate factor in how well the Green Bay offense hits the ground running in 2023.

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