Tyrone Walker, rookie Packers receivers impress
Wide receiver Tyrone Walker.Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - Make no mistake: nobody’s going to write home about a five catch, 41 yard performance.
But on a night when the Packers failed to score a single point (regardless of what replays might show on James Starks’ ill-fated goal line plunge), Tyrone Walker’s stat line was the lone bright spot.
The undrafted rookie out of Illinois State isn’t especially big or fast, but he found the right spot often enough to snag five passes in his first significant professional action.
Up until the first days of training camp, rookie seventh round picks Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey were expected to be the main contenders for the last spots at the bottom of the Packers’ wide receiver depth chart. Both possess enviable size and speed, but they both succumed to injures on day two of training camp and have hardly been heard or seen since.
“They’re both impressive physical presences standing on the sideline,” said Rich Gannon during Friday’s television broadcast. “But that’s all they’ve really done. Stand on the sideline.”
Walker and fellow undrafted rookies Myles White and Alex Gillett are giving them no pity. Being a seventh round pick gives you very little in the way of advantages over your fellow rookies, and Walker, White and Gillett are making up ground in a hurry.
Gillett’s three catches Friday were second on the Packers only to Walker. And while White didn’t catch a pass, he beat Cardinals’ rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu on the Packers’ last offensive play, although Mathieu grabbed hold of White’s arm and prevented a pass completion. A penalty probably could have been called, but it was just that kind of night for Green Bay.
Nevertheless, the production for the rookie receivers was evident, and given that they’ll likely only be playing spot duty behind the big three of James Jones, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, one has to feel fairly confident that whichever of them ultimately does land on the roster will surely be able to contribute when called upon.
Jon Meerdink is a news anchor and reporter with your Packers flagship, 620WTMJ. He's also the founder, writer and editor of packerperspective.com.