The Green Bay Packers selected 11 players in the 2022 NFL draft. The hidden gem of the draft class could be Samori Toure. The Packers selected the Nebraska wide receiver with the 258th overall pick.
Toure tore up Big Sky Country in Missoula as a member of the Montana Grizzlies. In 2019, Toure recorded 87 receptions and set the program record for receiving yards in a season (1,495). The Oregon native also caught 13 touchdown passes.
Toure finished that season on an absolute terror. During the final six games of the season, Toure caught 48 passes for 905 yards and 10 touchdowns. In that six-game span, Toure had four 100-yard receiving games, including a record-setting 303-yard game. Toure also had three games where he hauled in three receiving touchdowns.
In his lone season in Lincoln, Toure was the top pass-catcher for Nebraska. Toure caught 46 passes for 898 yards and five touchdowns. He led the Big 10 in yards per reception (19.5) and tied the program record for 100-yard receiving games in a season (five).
“One year player at the University of Nebraska after transferring from Montana,” Brian Gutekunst said in a sitdown with Packers.com. “Another polished guy. Had a lot of success at both schools. He stepped up his level of competition this past year, and watching him flourish at Nebraska as he had in the past really gave us confidence that he could come in here and make a difference.”
Toure joins what’s now a crowded wide receiver room that consists of Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Sammy Watkins and Amari Rodgers.
With a lack of “top-end” talent at the position, snaps will be up for grabs and Toure has the talent to work his way into the rotation.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Toure said. “I’m going to have to go out and compete…I’ll never shy away from competition. I’m ready to go.”
The quickest way for Toure to see the field is on special teams. He has experience as a kick returner and has the speed (4.44) to carve out a role as a gunner.
“I’ve had special teams snaps throughout my career at Montana,” Toure said. “That’s something I can be really good at it. I’m going to put a lot of focus towards it entering the NFL.”
Toure is a balanced route runner. He’s a fluid athlete and is sharp in and out of his breaks. He enters his routes with smooth acceleration. He does a great job of setting up double moves by using subtle head movements and has the long speed to get behind the defense. Toure is a very effective downfield threat with his burst and ability to stack cornerbacks. He has natural tracking skills.
The Nebraska wide receiver has some juice after the catch with his quickness and toughness. He has long strides that eat up a lot of grass. Toure has the vision of a running back and does a great job of fighting for each yard.
It’s no secret that Matt LaFleur likes his wide receivers to be good blockers out on the perimeter. Toure is able to lock up defensive backs on the outside and shows the “want to” for that side of the game.
With his ability to play on special teams, Toure will make it difficult for Green Bay to keep him off the 53-man roster.
On top of all that, Toure checks all the boxes as a wide receiver. He’s a big-play threat. He’s a polished route runner with reliable hands.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler listed Toure as Green Bay’s day three pick that could surprise.
The third wide receiver drafted by the Packers in the class, Toure has the talent to out-play Doubs and possibly compete with Watson for early playing time. The Montana transfer averaged 19.5 yards per catch in 2021 and tested well above average, which matches the tape. Toure’s phone was blowing up in the later rounds with teams hoping to sign him as a free agent, and the Packers decided to bypass the competition and make him a draft pick.
Toure was a record-setting receiver at his high school in Portland. He set receiving records at Missoula. In his lone season at Nebraska, Toure led the Big 10 in yards per reception and tied the program record for 100-yard receiving games in a season. He’s been a playmaker wherever he goes. It would not be surprising to see him develop into a playmaker for the Packers.