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Lazard Leapt To Starting Job

Brian Gutekunst was named GM of the Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some bad. I’ve been listing his best moves over the course of the last few weeks. Here’s No. 6:

Technically, the signing of wide receiver Allen Lazard could take up two spots on this list. That’s because Gutekunst first signed him off the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad on December 18, 2018, and then signed him again – this time to the Packers’ practice squad – on September 1, 2019. Looking back, it’s hard to believe Gutekunst kept Darrius Shepherd on the 53 instead of Lazard, but it worked out in the end.

Lazard was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster a few days before the opener against the Chicago Bears, and after playing only 21 snaps through week 5, he went on to catch 35 passes for 477 yards and 3 touchdowns in the final 11 games. The former Iowa State standout is expected to compete in training camp with veteran free agent Devin Funchess for the starting job opposite Davante Adams.

There’s no longer any doubt that Lazard belongs in the National Football League. However, it remains to be seen whether he’s capable of getting open against starting-caliber cornerbacks who’ve now had a chance to study his tape. This proved to be the undoing of fellow undrafted wide receivers Jarrett Boykin and Geronimo Allison in recent years. Regardless, Lazard will be counted on to contribute, and that’s something rarely expected of a young player who was released by two different teams prior to his 24th birthday.

#12 – Sullivan Surpised In Secondary
#11 – Veldheer Saved The Days
#10 – Ervin Provided Positive Returns
#9 – Greene’s Injury Hurt Defense
#8 – Lewis Starred Off The Field
#7 – Amos Delivered As Expected

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4 Responses “Lazard Leapt To Starting Job”

  1. Bryan Johnson
    07/06/2020 at 1:22 pm

    I’m pulling for this guy to make it. He seems cut from a different cloth than Boykin/Allison, but he’s still slow by NFL standards. His size and ability to high point the ball work in his favor, for sure, and it’s why his YPC is pretty good. Keep building into 2020!

  2. Tom Moshier
    07/09/2020 at 12:04 pm

    So thru 11 games Allen Lazard caught 35 balls for 477 yards and 3 TD’s. That’s dangerously close to 2 WR numbers. Look, I get the argument. He’s big, he’s slow. He lumbers in and out of his routes. There’s absolutely nothing sexy about Allen Lazard. But when we needed a clutch catch by someone other than Adams, Lazard usually came thru. Between Lazard, Funchess, MVS, EQ, someone will emerge to compliment Davante Adams. I think this whole 2 WR nonsense is way overblown.

  3. Michael Rodney
    07/09/2020 at 12:37 pm

    35/477/3 would be about 50/700/4 over 16 games. I could see Lazard putting up those numbers. They would be almost identical to what Jarrett Boykin did in 2013. The offense hasn’t been really good since 2016 – the last time the Packers had a legit No. 2 WR (Adams).

  4. Tom Moshier
    07/11/2020 at 12:45 pm

    I get the second WR argument and I don’t necessarily disagree. I just see it more as a luxury than a necessity. If you’ve got Lazard capable of 50/700/4. Then it’s reasonable to assume the more talented Funchess is capable of similar numbers. MVS may be a one trick pony, but he’s big and fast and Rodgers loves to throw the deep ball. Let him take his shots 3 or 4 times a game and if connects on one or two there’s your big play. EQ showed promise the end of his rookie year. Then you’ve got Adams, one of the very best. Factor in Aaron Jones and his 19 TD’s and a still very dangerous Aaron Rodgers and that’s plenty to put the fear of god into any DC in the NFL.

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About Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for close to 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2006. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.