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Jordan Love believes Packers 'don't have to have' a No. 1 wide receiver

Jordan Love's first season as Green Bay's starting quarterback was a rousing success despite him having an inexperienced wide receiver room that lacked a true No. 1 target.

The makeup of Love's wideouts remains the same entering 2024, and while Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed or Dontayvion Wicks have the opportunity to make strides this upcoming season and perhaps become that prototypical No. 1, the Packers QB doesn't think it's all that necessary.

"I think you don't have to have a No. 1 receiver," Love said this week, via the team's official website. "I think it works out well when you can spread the ball out and you got different guys making different plays and you can put 'em in different areas.

"I think it puts a lot more stress on the defense and the calls that they can get in, so I think in the long run it helps us not having a No. 1 guy, a true No. 1 guy, but I think all those guys can step up and be the one any given day."

Last year's numbers reflect an equitable distribution of opportunity. Reed led the group on the season with 64 receptions for 793 yards and eight touchdowns, but Doubs (59/674/8), Watson (28/422/5; nine games) and Wicks (39/581/4) weren't too far behind. The group had their single-game moments along the way with each leading the team in receiving on at least two occasions throughout 2023.

Love finished top 10 in the league in passing yards (4,159), passing touchdowns (32) and completions (372) with a 96.1 passer rating as he led the Packers to a surprising playoff run to emphasize a successful first season at the helm.

"You can plug any of these guys at any position and they'll go out there and make plays," Love said. "I think a little of that was proven last year. We had different guys injured throughout the season and guys had to move around a little bit, play some different spots that they might not have been used to, so I definitely think that is the case.

"But you look at these guys, each person has their own skill set and what they do great. That's the key, is trying to find that and put them in the best position to be successful."

Doubs, Reed, Watson and Wicks aren't the only potential contributors, either. Bo Melton might also find himself in the rotation in 2024 following a late-year emergence during his rookie season, and Malik Heath and Samori Toure round out a talented group procured by general manager Brian Gutekunst.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur believes having a deep collection of receivers is a good problem to have.

"It's more about the collective unit of all those guys and just the rapport that they're building with Jordan throughout the course of the offseason," LaFleur said. "I'm excited to get to training camp with them. All those guys had their moments where they were the leading receiver in a game. I feel really good about the collective unit. The hardest part is we feel so good about them, it's hard to get everybody the amount of touches that you'd like to get, but that's a good problem to have."

The Packers were obviously confident in the young WR group after forgoing any additions through free agency or the draft. They instead brought in running back Josh Jacobs, 2022's rushing champion, who figures to complement Green Bay's passing attack (and compensate for the loss of RB Aaron Jones). They also used a first-round pick on tackle Jordan Morgan to bolster the offensive line, and added a potential rookie contributor in third-round RB MarShawn Lloyd.

The Packers' first season without Aaron Rodgers went better than many expected thanks to Love and Co. The 25-year-old QB is now in line to receive a major extension after cementing his status as Green Bay's future, with or without a No. 1 wide receiver.

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