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Unpacking Future Packers: No. 13 Anthony Schwartz

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Next up in the Unpacking a Future Packers countdown is Anthony Schwartz. The Auburn wide receiver checks in at number 13 in the countdown.

When Auburn’s Anthony Schwartz steps on the football field it’s a safe bet that he’s the fastest man on the gridiron. In high school, Schwartz won the state title in the 100 and 200 meters in the state of Florida. In 2018, he was named the 2018 Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

Speed kills and Schwartz has world-class speed. At Auburn’s pro day, the speed merchant clocked a 4.25 40-yard dash. 

That speed landed Schwartz on Bruce Feldman’s annual “Freaks” list prior to the 2020 season. The Auburn wide receiver was No. 10 on Feldman’s list. 

The fastest man in college football. The 6-0, 180-pound junior has the track credentials to back it up, too. In 2017, he set a world youth record with a 10.15 100 meters in the Florida Relays, and he also won the Florida Class 2A 100m (10.07) and 200m (20.41) titles in record times. His ability to accelerate for such a length of time and distance wows coaches.

Schwartz is usually tied up with track competitions away from the football season, but he was able to train with the football strength and conditioning program for an extended time this off-season and has increased his vertical jump three inches. On the field, Schwartz has been a playmaker for the Tigers, catching 41 passes in 2019. He displayed his world-class wheels when he outran Texas A&M’s defense on a 57-yard touchdown rush on the opening drive of their road win. He averaged 10.7 yards per carry on 11 rushes last season, with two going for touchdowns.

In 2018, Schwartz scored five rushing touchdowns and added two receiving touchdowns. The following year Schwartz recorded 41 receptions for 440 yards and one touchdown. He added two rushing touchdowns.

This past season Schwartz led the Tigers in receptions (54) and recorded 636 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Speed kills and Schwartz has speed for days. He has the speed to take the top off a defense. With that world-class speed, teams have to play off and that’s where Schwartz makes his killing on tunnel screens and underneath routes. According to Pro Football Focus, Schwartz had 241 receiving yards on screenplays, the second-most in college football.

With his speed, he’s an absolute headache for defenders with the ball in his hands. He eliminates pursuit angles with his 4.25 speed. According to PFF, he averaged nine yards after the catch this past season. He’s a home run threat anytime he has the ball in his hands. According to Dane Brugler, Schwartz had six plays of 50-plus yards in 2020. 

Schwartz is more than just a deep threat. He’s an exceptional route runner. He bursts in and out of his breaks without throttling down. His ability as a route runner is something he wanted to show scouts at Auburn’s pro day. 

“I can run routes,” Schwartz said. “I can get in and out of my cuts. I’m good at changing direction…I’ve been working on my routes. Getting faster and getting crisper…I’m more than just a deep-ball guy. I’m more than just a track guy. I’m an NFL wide receiver.”

Schwartz would eat in Matt LaFleur’s offense. He can line up in the slot or out on the boundary. The dynamic wide receiver could be utilized on jet sweeps and he can line up in the backfield as a running back. 

“I feel comfortable playing inside and outside,” Schwartz said. “I don’t really have a preference. I’ll play wherever a team needs me. I feel comfortable playing both.”

Fit with the Packers

Every NFL team is looking to add more speed to their team. The Green Bay Packers are coming off a season in which they were the No. 1 scoring offense in the league. 

Adding a wide receiver isn’t the top need for this team. The top three are likely set with Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Allen Lazard. However, pull back the curtain and they currently have no wide receivers under contract following the upcoming season. 

It’s time for the Packers to restock the talent inside the wide receiver cupboard. Adams is likely the only wide receiver that’s currently on the roster that will be on the roster when the 2022 season kicks off. 

If the Packers don’t add a wide receiver in the first two rounds, Schwartz could be in play for Brian Gutekunst in the third round. Imagine adding the fastest wide receiver in college football to the No. 1 scoring offense. With his speed, he’d put a lot of stress on the defense. 

“I think I could be a good deep threat for the offense,” Schwartz said. “I could be a guy that could complement Davante Adams. He takes the coverage all to his side. I think I could go in there and complement him on the other side…I’d just add another fast option to that offense, especially with a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers that can get the ball anywhere. It would be great to play with that organization.”

The damage that Schwartz could do in Green Bay’s offense is exciting to think about. With his speed, he’d give the Packers a dynamic wide receiver that can take the top off a defense, while giving teams fits on underneath routes. 

The Packers have the reigning MVP in Rodgers. They have a mad scientist at the controls in LaFleur. They have the best wide receiver in football with Adams. They have a Top 10 offensive line. They have a Top 10 running back in Aaron Jones. 

Now imagine adding the fastest wide receiver in college football to that mix. To quote Lucius Fox, good luck. 

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