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