The Green Bay Packers will likely be in the market for wide receiver help this offseason. A player that they could target in the 2021 NFL Draft is Houston’s Marquez Stevenson.
As the Nov. 3 trade deadline nears, Green Bay Packers‘ general manager, Brian Gutekunst is reportedly working the phones in search of help at the wide receiver position. The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman mentioned on Open Book, that the Packers have been in discussion with the Houston Texans regarding wide receiver, Will Fuller.
"The #Packers have inquired more so than any other team for Will Fuller and that interest is serious."
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) October 29, 2020
Fuller, a former first-round pick out of Notre Dame has speed to burn. Fuller has been on an absolute terror this season, scoring in five straight games and three 100-yard games. Before facing the Green Bay Packers and taking a visit to “Jaire Island” Fuller had recorded 50 or more receiving yards in each game this season.
There is no doubt that adding Fuller, a player that Matt LaFleur coached during his time as the quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame, would help Green Bay get back to the Super Bowl. The question is will Gutekunst feel comfortable giving up a day two pick for a player that’s on an expiring contract?
If the Green Bay Packers fail to add a playmaker at the deadline it’s not all doom and gloom. The 2021 NFL Draft has no shortage of options for Gutekunst to address the position, after failing to do so in 2020. One of those options is a player that has a similar skill-set as Fuller. That player is Houston’s Marquez Stevenson.
In 2018, Stevenson recorded 75 receptions for 1,019 yards and nine touchdowns. He displayed his special teams value, returning two kickoffs for touchdowns. As a junior in 2019, Stevenson caught 52 passes for 907 yards and nine touchdowns. He once again returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.
Through three games this season, Stevenson has caught 15 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns. He also has one kickoff return for a touchdown.
Stevenson is a speed merchant. The name of the game is to get him the ball out quickly and let him create after the catch with his elite quickness. Feed him and let him and let him eat after the catch. That speed earned him a spot on Bruce Feldman’s annual “Freak’s List”.
“This might be one of the three fastest men in football…The 6-0, 190-pound senior led Houston with 52 receptions and 907 receiving yards and nine receiving TDs to go with two more touchdowns that came on kickoff returns. Cougar coaches say Stevenson’s top-end speed is as good as they’ve ever seen. He clocked 23-plus mph on his GPS last season and is expected to run the 40 in the 4.30 range.”
With his speed, Stevenson is a big play waiting to happen. According to Pro Football Focus, Stevenson had five 50-plus yard touchdowns and eight plays in which he had 20-plus yards after the catch in 2019. That speed makes him nearly impossible to overthrow.
That speed doesn’t show up in his route running. He needs to become more polished in that department. He’s able to win now playing at the AAC, but he needs to get sharper in and out of his cuts.
“His biggest question is his technique as a route runner,” Jake Schyvinck, a writer for NFLMocks.com said. “He has a habit of body catching, but he’s a role player that creative offenses will like.”
If Stevenson can clean up his route running this season he could play himself into day two consideration. He possesses world-class speed and is the type of versatile playmaker that could carve out a significant role in Matt LaFleur’s offense for the Green Bay Packers.
No matter what happens at the deadline, the wide receiver position is one that Gutekunst needs to address in the upcoming draft. It’s time for the Green Bay Packers to restock the talent inside the wide receiver cupboard at 1265 Lombardi Avenue. Stevenson could be part of that movement.