Way back in 2014, then-Packers second-round rookie Davante Adams didn't put up prolific numbers but showed signs of breakout potential to come.
To open the 2022 campaign, current Green Bay rookie second-rounder Christian Watson has had a similarly slow start to his career, catching six passes for 51 yards in three games played, and earned a rushing score in Sunday's win over the New England Patriots.
During his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, quarterback Aaron Rodgers likened Watson to Adams as a rookie.
"Look, I tell you, he's got special speed. He really does. He's got incredible stride length," Rodgers said of Watson, per Packers Wire. "When you watch some of the film back, it's similar to watching Davante his rookie year. You know there were games where I didn't give Davante a ton of looks, but you go back and watch the film, and you're thinking, 'Man, this guy is open often.' It's like that from time to time with Christian. There's a few routes, I mean not as much as Davante, I just think Davante was a little more polished route-runner as a rookie, but there are a few times where I might need to give him a second look even when things don't look great from the start because he does have that different type of speed. But we're finding ways to use him, I think, and again, we have to have patience."
Due to injuries and the fact that the Packers had Jordy Nelson and a young Randall Cobb at the time, Adams didn't put up massive numbers in his first couple seasons. Adams had 12 games as a rookie in which he caught two or fewer passes.
Watson missed Week 3 against Tampa due to an injury and has been targeted just 10 times in three games. He played just 18 snaps in Sunday's victory. But Green Bay has tried creative ways to get the speedy rookie the ball, including a jet sweep for a 15-yard TD in Week 4.
"I really feel like he needs some more playing time," Rodgers said of Cobb, per SB Nation's Acme Packing Company. "He's made plays in every game that he's played. He had two huge plays in the game, both on third down. Third and six, he gets on the sideline for 20-something. Third and one, on our last drive, we're like at mid-40s, we do an action, he runs a beautiful through route, I hit him, first down, move the sticks. Then I hit two plays to Doubs. Next thing you know, we're in field goal range. I think he needs more opportunities for sure. He's earned them. Big kudos to him, though, you know. He figured out how to get his body back. He's stayed healthy so far, but he went through the entire offseason program, OTAs, busted his ass and earned the opportunity he's gotten and probably more, so I look forward to some more snaps for him 'cause every time he's out there he's making explosive gains."
In just 107 plays through four games, the 32-year-old Cobb has generated 10 catches for 150 yards on 12 targets, tallying eight first downs, including five third-down conversions.
"I don't know why you're all acting like I'm geriatric. I'm not in a nursing home," Cobb quipped after Sunday's win, per Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal. "This is the best I've felt since I was like 29. I feel really good."
The Packers offense has predictably gotten off to a slow start as Rodgers attempts to gain chemistry with his new receiver corps. Despite the struggle, Green Bay still sits at 3-1 ahead of Sunday's trip to London to face the 3-1 New York Giants. The offense could get rolling in the next few weeks with games against the Giants, Jets and Commanders.