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Garrett Wilson

Wide receiver gets a star-maker in Rodgers

One of the more impressive things I saw in the latest round of exhibition games was the work of Aaron Rodgers and Garrett Wilson. I'm not a Rodgers fan and it can be hard to sign off on a franchise like the New York Jets, but I have a feeling Wilson is headed for a huge campaign.

Rodgers and Wilson were on the field together for just two series in the preseason. The quarterback attempted 9 passes, and 5 of them went to Wilson. He caught all 3 of the catchable balls, including a quick out so quick that I initially didn't even see the ball, and a slick touchdown dart that was also too fast for the defender to turn around.

Rodgers is 39 years old, and there are some questions with the offensive line. To keep him in one piece, there's going to be some quick throws and play action stuff to take the teeth out of opposing pass rushes. That might be a negative for deep threat types like Mecole Hardman, but could be a bounty for Wilson (and the lesser talents at wide receiver, Allen Lazard and creaky old Randall Cobb).

But Wilson is seemingly headed for a huge season, as in a top-10 type of campaign. I hope I'm able to draft him in a league or two, but thus far this year I've been getting early draft spots (and he's gone before my pick comes up late in the second round).

Wilson, of course, was the Offensive Rookie of the Year last year while catching passes from Zach Wilson, Mike White and Joe Flacco. Now he's working with a quarterback who's produced a whole lot of quality wide receiver seasons as a starter.

In the last 15 years (leaving out the two seasons where he missed half the year due to injury, 2013 and 2017), Rodgers has been the quarterback for 17 top-25 wide receiver campaigns (PPR) -- ten top-10 seasons. Five of those were Davante Adams, and perhaps he'd have been putting up big numbers with lesser quarterbacks. But the other 12, while from good wide receivers (Nelson, Jennings, Driver, Cobb, Jones), aren't necessarily any better than Wilson. Fair to say guys like Favre and Rodgers made them stars.

2020Davante Adams149115137418360.41
2021Davante Adams169123155311344.32
2016Jordy Nelson15297125714306.72
2014Jordy Nelson15198151913327.93
2018Davante Adams169111138613329.64
2011Jordy Nelson9668126315284.34
2010Greg Jennings12576126512274.45
2014Randall Cobb12791128712297.47
2008Greg Jennings1408012929265.27
2016Davante Adams1217599712248.79
2012Randall Cobb104809549242.616
2012James Jones986478414226.417
2011Greg Jennings101679499215.918
2009Donald Driver1137010616213.419
2009Greg Jennings1196811134207.321
2008Donald Driver1167410125205.622
2019Davante Adams127839975214.723

It was just a small glimpse of his potential over the weekend; too soon to say with certainty it will translate over the course of a full year. But I'm very interested to see what Wilson, who was the 21st-best PPR wideout as a rookie with the lesser quarterbacks he was working with, is able to do this season.

--Andy Richardson

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