Josh Edwards with CBS Sports released his most recent 2023 NFL Mock draft on Thursday, September 22. The mock featured the Atlanta Falcons taking Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud with the first overall pick, while reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young went second to the Seattle Seahawks.
Edwards didn’t have the Packers taking a player until the 28th overall pick, but the choice would end a 20-year streak of the team not taking a wide receiver, with Green Bay taking Maryland wideout Rakim Jarrett.
“Maryland has not played any Power 5 competition for fans to become familiar with Jarrett’s game,” Edwards said. “He has the upside to be an early-round selection. Green Bay has historically bypassed the idea of taking a wide receiver in the first round, but maybe that is part of the reason it finds itself in the current predicament.”
The Packers have picked a handful of wide receivers in the second round over the years, including Christian Watson in this most recent draft, but Jarrett would be the first wideout taken in the first round since Javon Walker in 2002.
Who is Maryland WR Rakim Jarrett?
He may not have the national recognition of a player like Jaxson Smith-Njigba or Jordan Addison, but Rakim Jarrett has a dynamic skill set that could make him a very fun wide receiver at the pro level.
Jarrett was a 5-star recruit out of St. John’s High School and the top player out of the Washington D.C. area in the class of 2020. Top-tier programs like Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and Ohio State had offered Jarrett, but he decided to stay closer to home and play for the Terrapins.
The blue-chip recruit carved out a role immediately with Maryland, and over his first two seasons he caught 79 passes for 1,081 yards, and seven touchdowns. He hasn’t had a huge impact through three games in 2022, but he’s still had 11 receptions for 196 yards and a touchdown, averaging a career-high 17.8 yards per catch.
At 6’0″ and 190 pounds, Jarrett is primarily a slot receiver with good size for the position. The film shows a receiver who can quickly get open off of the snap, and a tough player to bring down after the catch with good contact balance and play strength.
With Randall Cobb nearing the end of his career at 32 years old, Jarrett could be an ideal replacement in the slot in Green Bay’s offense.
How Are Green Bay’s Young Receivers Doing?
It’s exciting to look ahead to next year with the Packers adding yet another weapon, but fans should still be excited about the potential of the team’s two rookies in Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs.
While neither player has yet to find the end zone, Doubs and Watson are the two most-targeted wide receivers on the team. They’ve only combined for 11 catches for 107 yards through two games, but it appears that the team is making an effort to get the two young wideouts more involved in the offense.
National outlets will point to Watson’s big drop while wide open on a potential 75-yard touchdown in the season opener, but the two players have unique skill sets that should help Green Bay’s passing game open up as they get more comfortable later into the season.