Jared Abbrederis and the Idea of Jared Abbrederis

Jared Abbrederis and the Idea of Jared Abbrederis

The Packers are taking eleven wide receivers into camp this year, but don't be fooled: the position group is already set.

Barring a catastrophic injury, the Packers will emerge from the preseason with six wide receivers, and we already know who they will be: Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis, and Trevor Davis. You're kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

I know the off-season news cycle has determined that there must be some sort of position battle between three players at the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart, but there isn't. The only meaningful struggle is between Jared Abbrederis and the Idea of Jared Abbrederis.

How the Packers' wide receivers stack up

Second-year pro Ty Montgomery showed more than enough last season to merit more time and attention this year.

Second-year pro Ty Montgomery showed more than enough last season to merit more time and attention this year.

Let's take a brief look at the group as it stands.

Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are shoo-ins. Barring any repeats of last year's nightmare in Pittsburgh, they'll be on the final 53.

Davante Adams is a second round pick, and other than Jerel Worthy and Brian Brohm, every Ted Thompson second round pick has lasted at least three seasons in Green Bay. I'm not here to argue whether he does or does not deserve a third season (though I would say he does), but I do think it's a virtual certainty he gets one.

The same goes for Ty Montgomery, who showed more than enough last season to merit more time and attention this year, assuming his injured ankle has healed.

That brings us to the Janis/Davis/Abbrederis triumvirate that as been identified as the likely group battling for one, maybe two roster spots.

I agree with that assessment insofar as that it's the three guys being considered for two spots, but it's not a battle: Janis and Davis are in. Abbrederis is out.

It's nothing against Abbrederis. He's a fine third string slot receiver. Janis and Davis just offer more in areas that matter for bottom of the roster guys.

First, there's Janis. In size, speed, jumping ability, and every other possible measurable, he is vastly superior to Abbrederis. It is not close. Coupled with his special teams acumen, it barely matters that he's less polished receiver. He's just more valuable.

And then there's Davis. He's slightly smaller than Abbrederis, but he runs faster and jumps higher and also happens to be an excellent returner. As a more recent draft pick with a far less spotty injury history, it's really a no-brainer to take Davis over Abbrederis.

Jared Abbrederis and the Idea of Jared Abbrederis

Jared Abbrederis enters his third NFL season with the Packers in 2016.

Jared Abbrederis enters his third NFL season with the Packers in 2016.

In reality, that leaves us only with the position battle I mentioned earlier: Jared Abbrederis against the Idea of Jared Abbrederis.

The real Abbrederis is the guy we've seen so far: small-ish, not overly fast, but a good route runner with dependable hands.

The Idea of Jared Abbrederis, though? That's the hometown-boy-turned-folk-hero who ended up in Green Bay after conquering adversity at the in-state university.

That's the guy who represents the hopes and dreams of the railbirds ringing Ray Nitschke Field. That's the guy who's probably friends with or related to a sizeable portion of the Lambeau Field crowd every Sunday. That guy is almost impossible to beat, because he doesn't really exist. At least, not the way fans want him to.

And that's why the real Jared Abbrederis is going to have a tough time winning a job with the Packers this year.

The Great Guard Disaster of 2005

The Great Guard Disaster of 2005

Ty Montgomery is Catching Pokemon at Lambeau Field

Ty Montgomery is Catching Pokemon at Lambeau Field