Dubs compete in Watson’s shadow

There’s no doubt that Christian Watson is the darling of the Green Bay Packers’ 2022 draft. The second-round pick gets most of the attention from the media and fans. Green Gold’s loyalists desperately want him to be part of a team that includes Sterling Sharp, Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb, Jody Nelson and Davant The latest heir to a legacy of great catchers, including Adams.

Romeo Dubus received little, if any, such attention. This is understandable. He was drafted on day three and in the fourth round. He played in Nevada, in the low-key West Hill Conference, against West Coast schools that were largely foreign to Parker fans. No one hyped him up among pre-draft receiver candidates. In the CHTV Draft Guide, Watson was named the second-best receiver in the class. Doubs barely made it to the top 20 at No. 19.

So why did Pro Football Focus recently list the Doubs as one of the top six players selected for Day 3 with their “best first year”? Maybe it’s because he leads all college football teams in “deep touchdowns” in 2020 and 2021. He caught 15 of them, defined as outgoing passes of 20 yards or more. Last season, the Nevada quarterback threw 25 shots at the Dubs. He caught 12 of them, averaging 37 yards per catch. To quote his former offensive coordinator Matt Mumm, the Dubs are “one of the best deep-ball trackers I’ve ever seen.”

It didn’t take long for this talent to show up in Green Bay. During a rookie minicamp practice, the Dubs caught three long passes that immediately caught the attention of the coaches. His long bomb skills are especially notable considering he doesn’t have super fast speed. The Packers think he’s “somewhere at 4.5,” according to general manager Brian Gutekunst. Afterwards Doubs said: “It’s not just about being fast, it’s about making sure you know the technique of just running deep, whether it’s in the deep low post in the middle, running the ball, making sure you stack (defenders), making sure you have the technique and the fundamentals. work.” (via Packer Central)

Reminds you of anyone? Isn’t that the mantra that Davante Adams has always pursued? His speed is not as good as his technique. I’m not comparing the two. I’m just pointing out that the Dubs are ahead of the game because he didn’t rely solely on his talent to get open and catch the ball in his college career. He already knew that technology was everything. This will serve him well at this level.

Another reason Packers fans are excited about Christian Watson is the possibility of his return to play. Here, too, Doubs deserves corresponding attention. As a freshman, he got his first touch of football in his first game, and he also kicked an 80-yard ball to score.

Watching his highlights, there aren’t many boxes he doesn’t check. He makes sharp cuts for depth. When he’s guarded, he’ll catch the ball in the crowd, using his 6-foot-2 frame to protect smaller defensive backs. He runs well on shorter possession routes and shows excellent control of his feet on the touchline. When the game is down, he knows how to get back to his quarterback. He keeps the ball away from his body. I was impressed with a lot of his catches, just like Alan Lazard.

Like Watson, Doubs didn’t play top games in college for the most part. But he did line up against the opposition, and he prevailed. He is the first team in all conferences, leads the league in TD receptions and ranks second in yards per catch. In a game against Fresno State, he caught 19 passes for 203 yards. Pro scouts think he’s good enough to be invited to the Senior Bowl.

Lance Zierlein of nfl.com writes that Doubs’ biggest flaw is that he’s a straight-line runner who has a hard time breaking free from the shackles of news coverage at the NFL level. This seems to be a common challenge for any rookie receiver. Marquez Valdes-Scantling had the same tough start but improved enough to sign a nice second contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. Doubs are a quick learning curve, as evidenced by the mini-camp.

I have a crush on this person. I wouldn’t be surprised if he outperforms Christian Watson this year.

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