With a shift in approach under Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur, the Packers are counting on second-year pro Allen Lazard being more than just a feel-good undrafted story. The 6-foot-5, 227-pound receiver emerged from the practice squad last year to catch 35 passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns over the final 11 regular-season games.
Green Bay also has high hopes for 2018 draft picks Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown, who caught 21 passes for 328 yards as a rookie before sustaining an ankle injury last preseason that landed him on season-ending injured reserve.
Like St. Brown, Valdes-Scantling made a Year 1 impact. He cracked the starting lineup and caught 38 passes for 581 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie and had a pair of 100-yard games in the first month of the 2019 campaign before encountering some adversity.
Jake Kumerow, the oldest receiver on the roster at 28, also will have his eye on more playing time in 2020 after catching 12 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown in 328 offensive snaps.
With the departure of Geronimo Allison in free agency, the Packers acquired Funchess as a veteran insurance policy. The former second-round pick has caught 164 passes for 2,265 yards and 21 TDs over five seasons with Carolina and Indianapolis.
Funchess, 26, hoped to parlay his one-year deal with the Colts last spring into a lucrative long-term deal but saw his season end prematurely after breaking his collarbone in Indianapolis’ regular-season opener.
Like most years, Green Bay has several promising young receivers competing for roster spots behind its veteran core, including former tryout player Darrius Shepherd.
The former North Dakota State standout was the only undrafted rookie to make Green Bay’s 53-man roster last summer on the heels of an impressive camp and preseason in which he caught eight passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns. He spent the first six weeks on the active roster before finishing the year on the team’s practice squad.
Malik Taylor was one of five players to spend his entire rookie season on Green Bay’s practice squad. The former Ferris State receiver signed with the Packers prior to the start of training camp last July and played in two preseason games.
Green Bay also signed a unique wild card in Canadian Football League standout Reggie Begelton, a 6-foot, 200-pound receiver who caught 102 passes for 1,444 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Calgary Stampeders in 2019.
Finally, the Packers round out their receiver depth chart with undrafted rookie Darrell Stewart, who finished third in Michigan State history with 150 career receptions. Equipped with both kickoff and punt returning credentials, the 6-foot, 212-pound receiver totaled 2,363 all-purpose yards (1,640 receiving; 551 kick return; 152 rushing; 20 punt return) in 43 collegiate games.