How the Packers offense goes about life without All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams will be the main storyline in Green Bay during training camp and through the 2022 season. Jaire Alexander is doing his part to help cope with the loss.
The Packers cornerback said part of his plan this summer is helping a young Packers WR corps get up to speed.
“I’m going to make it as hard as I can for those guys because I know on Sunday it’s going to pay off. Iron sharpens iron,” Alexander said earlier this month, via USA Today’s Packers Wire. “However I can help to make them better, I’m going to do that.”
Green Bay traded up in the second round to select WR Christian Watson and picked Romeo Doubs in the fourth round of April’s draft. The rookies will join veterans Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins and Allen Lazard to round out Aaron Rodgers’ passing targets this season.
While Watson has plenty of experience around him in the wide receiver room, the North Dakota State product is welcoming Alexander’s tutelage.
“It only makes me better,” Watson said. “He’ll tell me straight up exactly why he broke on my route, exactly which indicator I gave on the route, and I know if I get open then I know it was a great route for me.”
Listed at 6-foot-5, 208 pounds and posting a 4.36 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, Watson has the physical traits to be a No. 1 receiver. He caught 43 balls for 800 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior season and is being regarded as one of the second-round steals.
“It’s definitely a great experience to get to go up against him and him obviously coaching me up, even though I’m on the other side of the ball,” Watson said.
Packers rookies getting a crash course from those opposite them on the practice field has been a familiar situation as of late. And it’s been a successful scenario for the most part.
Alexander experienced that himself ahead of the 2018 season with Adams welcoming him to the pro level. He went on to make 11 starts as a rookie and has since grown into one of the top CBs in the NFL. Green Bay rewarded Alexander with a four-year, $84 million extension on May 16.
Most recently, CB Eric Stokes was put on the fast track as a first-round rookie last season. Adams was again there to provide a look of what it takes to cover one of the NFL’s elite receivers, and Stokes overcame some early-season growing pains to eventually become the Packer’s No. 1 cover man after Alexander went down with injury.
Replacing Adams’ 123 receptions, 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns from last season is production not even established All-Pros can promise, yet the opportunity will be there for Watson to hit the ground running in the Packers’ potent offense. Alexander is doing his best to get him ready for a key role.
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