Maybe Jared Abbrederis fell a bit farther than expected in the 2014 NFL Draft, but not many Wisconsin Badgers fans will be complaining anymore. The Green Bay packers drafted the former UW wide receiver with the last pick in Saturday's fifth round, No. 176 overall. The pick was the 36th in the fifth round and a compensatory pick for the Packers.
In Abbrederis, the Packers get one of the draft's best route-runners and a player who was almost always Wisconsin's sole consistent receiving threat over the past two seasons. In four years at UW, caught 202 passes for 3,140 receiving yards (15.5 per catch) and 23 touchdowns. While the Badgers struggled to find a consistent quarterback following Russell Wilson in 2011, Abbrederis seemed to get better and better, finding his way downfield for big plays and managing to get open on plays where Wisconsin needed him most. A highlight of his career was last season's game at Ohio State, where Abbrederis torched Ohio State star cornerback (and, as of Thursday, first-round pick) Bradley Roby for 207 receiving yards.
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How good can Jared Abbrederis be on the Packers?
Now with the Green Bay Packers, Jared Abbrederis has slim competition to become the most productive Wisconsin receiver product in recent history.
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Now, the Packers bring Abbrederis into a group of receivers including Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jarrett Boykin, Kevin Dorsey, Chris Harper and Davante Adams. Abbrederis most likely needs sometime in the Packers' weight room to add to his 6'2, 190-pound frame. It goes without saying, too, that Abbrederis needs to prove his ability to stay healthy -- a struggle with concussions might've affected his draft stock this weekend.
From Andrew's scouting report on Abbrederis, in which he suggests a NFL comparison of Derrick Mason:
He's definitely going to be a media favorite from jump street. The narrative writes itself: A walk-on quarterback who took to the wide receiver position so well he played regularly as a redshirt freshman and grew into one of the best the Badgers have ever had at the position. There will be adjectives. Truck commercial adjectives by the paragraph.
But this sells Abbrederis short. He's definitely football-intelligent, and no one is doubting the toughness or the character. But here's the secret: Jared is a good athlete, and arguably the best cornerback he faced had to deal with him one-on-one and got eaten alive. Sure, Ohio State's Bradley Roby has probably been slandered in front offices about the nation for being a man of low moral fiber, but Abbrederis' 10 catches and 207 yards on one of the higher-upside players in the draft isn't just on grit and pluck and other sports forum-based adjectives.
Of course, Abbrederis comes in close to a finished product. He has top-notch route-running skills, with a double-move or two in his bag of tricks that would get him open deep. He also has very soft hands, and was forced to develop a good catch radius in the past couple of seasons for no particular reason. He keeps good control of his body, and will consistently be in the right spot for the ball.
We'll have more on Abbrederis and other Badgers picks throughout the day right here on Bucky's 5th Quarter.