Impact rookies can come from anywhere. Players who didn’t come off the board until day two or day three emerge as key contributors. Romeo Doubs of the Green Bay Packers is fast becoming a contender to do just that in 2022.
Doubs was not taken until the fourth round in this year’s NFL , the second receiver selected by the Packers after Christian Watson in the second round. Yet it is Doubs who is seemingly primed to blossom into a key target for Aaron Rodgers as the Packers look to fill the void left by Davante Adams and contend for the Super Bowl despite the exit of the five-time Pro Bowler.
The former Nevada receiver has been the star of Green Bay’s preseason so far, following up a performance against the San Francisco 49ers in which he caught three balls for 45 yards and a touchdown with another impressive showing in the Packers’ win over the New Orleans Saints.
Doubs finished with three catches for 24 yards and another touchdown, hauling in a fade route for a score in the corner of the end zone.
His successive strong showings in preseason follow a camp in which Romeo Doubs has been the subject of consistent praise, including from his future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Related: Top 2022 NFL Rookie of the Year candidates
Romeo Doubs vindicates the plaudits
The latest justification of that praise saw Doubs use his 6-foot-2, 204-pound frame to make a spectacular catch over a defender on a fade route in the end zone for his second touchdown of the exhibition season.
But Doubs has demonstrated that his game is about much more than sheer size.
As he proved in his debut against the 49ers, Doubs has the ability to win with his route running. His touchdown versus the Niners saw him beat the coverage from slot defender Ka’dar Hollman with a jab step to the left, exploding out of his break on the slot fade route to gain significant separation, which he easily maintained because of impressive speed.
Doubs is a height-weight-speed receiver who does not need to rely solely on his physical traits to succeed, and the skill set he has to get open downfield is complemented by a catch radius that should be hugely beneficial for Rodgers when he attacks deep.
Rodgers can be devastatingly precise when he pushes the ball downfield, but Doubs’ frame and potential to excel in contested catch situations can help mitigate deep passes from Rodgers that lack pinpoint accuracy.
Related: Romeo Doubs prepared to step up amid Aaron Rodgers criticizing receivers?
Romeo Doubs is an overlooked rookie
If Doubs’ preseason performances do translate into the regular season and he clearly has the trust of Rodgers and a Packers team heavily favored to win the NFC North and go deep into the postseason, the former Wolfpack star will be in an excellent position to contend for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Six players – Breece Hall, Kenny Pickett, Skyy Moore, Chris Olave, George Pickens and Jalen Tolbert – are seen as better bets to claim the prize, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. However, as the leading candidate to replace Adams as Rodgers’ favorite target, none of that group can claim to have the same level of opportunity that Doubs may enjoy on a team many expect to be in the final four.
It is easy to overreact to preseason games, but Doubs’ early strides are worthy of taking seriously and could result in first-year honors for a receiver who appears to have been foolishly overlooked on draft weekend.