USA Today

The Packers may be favorites to repeat as NFC North champions in 2022, but their wide receiver room is a lot less proven than in years past. Now, weeks ahead of their season opener, Aaron Rodgers is starting to take notice. The reigning MVP has talked up the team's veteran successors to All-Pro Davante Adams, since traded to the Raiders. But he was especially critical this week of the younger pass catchers down the depth chart, criticizing both their recent drops and route-running.

"The young guys, especially young receivers, we've got to be way more consistent," Rodgers said Tuesday, per ESPN. "A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. We've got to get better in that area."

Rodgers, again, has been complimentary of his primary receivers, namely fifth-year veteran Allen Lazard, longtime slot target Randall Cobb and free-agent addition Sammy Watkins. With second-round rookie Christian Watson sidelined while recovering from knee surgery, however, he's had to lean more on reserves like Romeo Doubs, a fourth-rounder, to uneven results. Doubs had a touchdown in the Packers' preseason opener but also dropped passes in the game, as well as at joint practice with the Saints.

"We're going to play our best guys when the season starts," Rodgers said. "And whoever those guys are, those guys are going to get the reps. It's the guys I trust the most and the guys the coaches trust the most. A lot of it is just the simple responsibility in the offense. Way before body positioning and movement and throw, and all that stuff, are you in the right spot at the right time? Are you running the right route?

"You keep dropping the ball, you're not going to be out there," he continued. "It's going to be the most reliable guys that are out there. The preparation and the job responsibility is most important. There's going to be physical mistakes, like we've talked about, but if you're going out there and dropping the ball and somebody else behind you is in the right spot all the time and catching the ball, that guy's going to play."