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Green Bay Packers WR Christian Watson seen catching the ball in college for North Dakota State.
Christian Watson | Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers will return to the Green Bay Packers for an 18th season to win a second Super Bowl title. The polarizing passer will undertake this venture without last season’s leading wider receivers Davante Adams and Marquez Valdez-Scantling. Rodgers will have to rely on rookie pass-catchers Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samouri Toure this season, and the former player is struggling to catch the ball early in Packers OTAs.  

Green Bay Packers WR Christian Watson was a top 10 prospect at his position in the 2022 NFL Draft

North Dakota State wideout Christian Watson wasn’t part of the first tier of wide receiver prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft. On that list were Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, Alabama’s Jameson Williams, Penn State’s Jahan Dotson, and Arkansas’ Treylon Burks.  

Watson was in the prospect tier behind that with Georgia’s George Pickens, Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore, and Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce.

The 6-foot-4, 208-pound WR was a two-star prospect coming out of high school in Florida and ended up with the FCS North Dakota State. In four seasons with the Bison, Watson played 52 games, caught 105 balls for 2,140 yards, and scored 14 touchdowns.

At the combine, the big target ran a blazing 4.36-second 40-yard dash with a 38.5-inch vertical and a 136-inch broad jump.

Watson’s raw athletic ability and decent production were enough for the Green Bay Packers to take him with the second pick of the second round, No. 34 overall.

Watson has been dropping passes in OTAs with the Packers

NFL rookies are currently participating in their new organizations’ organized team activities (OTAs), and minicamps before 2022 training camp starts in late July.

While these OTAs aren’t the most telling practices in the world, they do allow teams (and fans and media) to get the first look at these new players with their new franchises.

The Green Bay Packers are currently on day four of voluntary OTAs that run through June 3. Packers reporter Andy Harmon is tweeting his observations from this camp, and he shared some insights into Christian Watson’s performance. Harmon wrote:

Christian Watson had another drop against air in drills today. His hands have definitely been questionable. I don’t think there’s been a practice yet where he hasn’t dropped at least one pass. Does it matter much? Prob not – but noteworthy at least.

Other camp observers have noted that the Packers’ fourth-round pick, Nevada’s Romeo Doubs (pick No. 132 overall), is outperforming the player drafted nearly 100 picks ahead of him.

While all this isn’t good news, Aaron Rodgers, the Packers, and all the team’s fans do have one anecdote to point to that says these dropsies can be overcome.

Last year, there was a highly-drafted WR who had a lot of drops leading into the regular season.

And he won Rookie of the Year.  

Ja’Marr Chase is the best-case scenario for the struggling rookie wideout

The Cincinnati Bengals took LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase No. 5 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. At the time, there was a great debate as to whether passing on Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell for Chase was a massive mistake.

The anti-Chase crowd grew louder as the wideout struggled with drops leading into the season. Head coach Zac Taylor even had to address the issue with the media.

So, what became of this un-sure-handed pass-catcher?

In case you weren’t paying close attention last year, Chase has 81 catches for 1,455 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl, won Offensive Rookie of the Year, and helped his team make the Super Bowl.

He did lead the league in drops with 11, but that hardly made a difference as he put up record-breaking numbers.

Can Christian Watson help Aaron Rodgers like Chase helped Joe Burrow last season? Time will tell on that one, but just because he’s dropping the ball now doesn’t mean he’s a lost cause for the 2022 NFL season.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference


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