2019 Draft Class Production and 2020 Preview

Before we look ahead to the 2020 NFL Draft, let's see how the 2019 draft class performed for the Packers. 

With the 2020 NFL Draft only a few months away, the Packers will inevitably be doing their homework on just about every player available. But first, let’s take a look at the 2019 draft class, how they performed in year one, and what might be expected of them in year two. 

Round 1, Pick 12 - Rashan Gary (OLB)

Rashan Gary is going to be a very good edge rusher in the NFL. There are plenty of expectations that come along with being such a high first round pick, but Gary did play well in his limited opportunities. He was on the field for 24% of defensive snaps (244 plays) this past fall, behind two edge rushers having career years in Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. He also remained behind now free agent Kyler Fackrell who played 40% of the team’s defensive snaps. 

With Fackrell a free agent, it’s expected that Gary will see a significant increase in playing time as the team’s third rusher. While Fackrell still could come back on a team-friendly deal, the Packers didn’t draft Gary as high as they did to only give him a quarter of the team’s defensive snaps beyond year one.

General Manager Brian Gutekunst has praised Gary repeatedly already, saying he reminds the staff of a young Za’Darius Smith with his ability to get after the quarterback from anywhere along the line. In his first season, Gary accumulated one fumble recovery, two sacks, three quarterback hits, and 21 total tackles. Pro Football Focus attributes Gary with 15 total pressures on 145 pass rush snaps. Look for those numbers to skyrocket in year two under position coach Mike Smith. 

Round 1, Pick 21 - Darnell Savage (S)

Savage was almost excluded from this list given his current role as a starter on defense, but I decided that’s what made him especially important to highlight. As a rookie, Savage played in 14 regular season games for the Packers (losing two to injury) with two interceptions, five passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and 55 combined tackles with one quarterback hit. 

PFF gives Savage an overall grade of 68.0 for year one with a coverage grade of 74.2. A lot will be expected of Savage going into year two opposite Adrian Amos, and having made the PFWA All-Rookie team in 2019, his arrow is trending up in 2020. 

Round 2, Pick 44 - Elgton Jenkins (OL)

Jenkins took over at left guard during Week 3 and never looked back. He was another name almost excluded from this list given the phenomenal impact he had on the team in year one, making the PFWA All-Rookie team with Savage. 

Jenkins played 964 snaps on offense in 2019 and allowed zero sacks with only one quarterback hit. PFF gives him an overall grade of 69.2 with a pass blocking grade of 73.6 and a run blocking grade of 65.7. While Jenkins did have eight penalties called against him in 2019, which tied for third, the severity of those calls was questionable at best in most instances. 

Jenkins is another name that GM Gutekunst expressed a ton of excitement about in his season-ending presser, saying Jenkins has the potential to be a player like T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton on the all-time list of guards for Green Bay if he puts his mind to it.

Round 3, Pick 75 - Jace Sternberger (TE)

Sternberger unfortunately lost most of his rookie season to an ankle injury sustained during the fourth preseason game, but he did make an early impression once he returned to the field in November. With fullback Danny Vitale sidelined with his own injuries, Sternberger actually saw a number of snaps in an H-back, lead-blocking role. 

Sternberger only saw one target in the regular season outside of his role as a blocker, but he did have a nice showing for a rookie in the playoffs. In the team’s two playoff appearances, Sternberger had three total receptions for five yards and one touchdown, the first of his career. One of those completions also came at a pivotal point in the Divisional Round of the playoffs and earned Green Bay 15 yards from a penalty. 

While the stats don’t jump off the page for Sternberger in year one given he only played 6% of snaps on offense, he has a big opportunity moving into year two. Veteran Jimmy Graham is a player many expect Green Bay to move on from, and Marcedes Lewis is a free agent this offseason. Robert Tonyan is an exclusive rights free agent, so while he’s likely to remain a Packer, the tight end position is in a bit of influx right now, and expectations are there for Sternberger to become TE1 in his second season. 

Round 5, Pick 150 - Kingsley Keke (DL)

Keke saw only 9% of snaps on defense for the Packers in 2019, playing behind Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Montravius Adams, and Tyler Lancaster, but he looked good in his limited opportunities. 

Pro Football Focus gives Keke an overall grade of 63.4 with a run defense grade of 68.3, an area the Packers defense desperately needs help at. For context, that’s a higher run defense grade than Lowry (65.0), Adams (39.0), Lancaster (67.6), and even Clark (67.8), despite the sample size being small. And in Clark’s case, his 87.0 pass-rushing grade more than makes up for his run defense score. 

While Keke only played in 94 total snaps for the Packers, he was credited with one pressure and one quarterback hit in his 54 pass rush snaps, and three run stops on 39 run defense snaps. Keke is the perfect candidate for a year-two leap given the production he showed in limited reps. 

Round 6, Pick 185 - Ka’dar Hollman (CB)

Hollman played only four snaps on defense in 2019, so there’s barely a sample to assess at this point, but he did play 8% of special teams snaps when he was active on game day. Hollman finds himself kind of buried on the current depth chart behind starters Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, and now free agent veteran Tramon Williams. Whatever happens with Williams, Hollman will be competing for playing time with former second-round pick Josh Jackson and 2019 standout Chandon Sullivan. 

PFF does give Hollman an overall grade of 79.5 in those four total snaps, with a coverage grade of 76.6. Hollman only allowed a passer rating of 39.6 when he was on the field. Hollman will be a name to listen for during training camp and the preseason to see if he can climb the depth chart and earn snaps on defense in year two. 

Round 6, Pick 194 - Dexter Williams (RB)

Like Hollman, Williams was only active four games this season, so his sample size is incredibly small. In those four games, Williams had five rushes for 11 yards, giving him a 2.2 yard average. He only played in five total snaps on offense, but did see 9% of special teams snaps in 2019. 

The Packers’ backfield remains wide open behind Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. However, when Williams got injured early in the season, Green Bay went as far as to activate Tra Carson from the practice squad, who saw replacement snaps ahead of Dexter. 

Williams averaged 3.5 yards per game in the preseason and looked good as a weapon in the passing game for Matt LaFleur. That said, he never put everything together going into the regular season (though he wasn’t given many opportunities to do so). While the Packers front office loves the upside of Williams, he’s likely one of the players from the 2019 draft class that will be competing for his roster spot in 2020. 

Round 7, Pick 226 - Ty Summers (ILB)

Summers didn’t take any snaps on defense in 2019, but he played a whopping 72% of special teams snaps for the Packers in his first season. With inside linebacker Blake Martinez entering free agency, Summers’ position remains up in the air along with fellow ILB Oren Burks. Summers showed flashes in the preseason, tallying 29 total tackles with one interception and one pass defensed, but he didn’t make it onto the field in the regular season opposite Martinez like Burks and B.J. Goodson did. With Goodson also a free agent this offseason, Summers could find a role on defense as a rotational coverage linebacker in the middle of the field, depending on what the Packers do at the position in free agency and/or the draft. 

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcasts for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (95)

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stockholder's picture

February 18, 2020 at 01:53 pm

The 2019 draft class had 1 good player. Jenkins! Who would have thought. A Rookie could play so well. We had Taylor. Gutey brought in Turner. You just never know. It had to be a mistake. Jenkins would have never been taken had Gutey not gone after Savage. And While he seems to good to be true. We didn't have to trade any other picks for him. We didn't have to give up a #1 for the OL. Hopefully he'll be a building block for the wall, a long ,long, Time.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 19, 2020 at 09:51 am

It was a solid draft by Gutedkunst, given the reaches and busts in 2018. He has to come to the plate big time for 2020. This is a reload, no rebuilding. Some of the scrubs showed their limitations. If they are retained, there will be no
championship season.

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stockholder's picture

February 19, 2020 at 06:56 am

I never said it wasn't a solid draft. Jenkins was the stud of the draft. Jenkins was the standout. Jenkins was the player that played heads above the others. The selection was a bargain. People took it as a knock on Gute. If I was going to knock Gute, I would have been more precise. I still believe his selections can work out like Jenkins. Given his Reaches and busts???? That was not what I was referring too. I wasn't twisting a knife. Jenkins was the best pick. PERIOD!

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 19, 2020 at 09:37 am

Just commentary, not a response to your post. Yes, the 2018 draft now seems to be reaches and busts considering Jackson, Burks and Ja'Mon as the trifecta.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 19, 2020 at 09:52 am

Stockholder, I see your confusion and made the typo correction.

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Handsback's picture

February 18, 2020 at 03:02 pm

This draft will far exceed Gutsey's first effort in 2018. Savage and Gary will be solid for years and we should see marked improvement in both players next year. Jenkins was the best rookie this year but expect all of them to contribute in the future.
Hope 2020 is as good as last year.

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dobber's picture

February 18, 2020 at 03:18 pm

Savage was an improvement at FS, but he wasn't a game-changer. Safeties tend to need some time developing, so here's hoping he becomes more of an impact player in 2020.

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Lare's picture

February 18, 2020 at 04:08 pm

Savage's biggest problems were taking bad angles to plays and making sure tackles. Not surprising considering the difference in speed between college and the NFL.

Jenkins is the star of this draft, the rest appear to be around average.

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Mojo's picture

February 18, 2020 at 03:23 pm

Really the only players whose sample size is large enough to grade are Jenkins, Savage and Gary.

Jenkins was fine, Savage so-so and to me Gary was a disappointment. I don't care what anyone else says about grooming Gary for the future or that the Smiths are in his way. Rookies can play if they're good (see Nick Bosa). And it sure as hell doesn't explain why he got so many less snaps than Fackrell. I'd give this group a B, mostly because of Jenkins.

For the rest of them, if anyone says they know one way or the other how they'll perform in the future based on the year just ended, they're blowing smoke (or smoking blow).

PFF giving Hollman a 79.5 grade on four nondescript snaps. Shouldn't they have a minimum before assigning a grade?

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CAG123's picture

February 18, 2020 at 03:55 pm

Well if they had Nick Bosa playing OLB instead of his natural position he'd probably have less of an impact as well.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 18, 2020 at 04:45 pm

Maybe we see more hand in the ground action next season from Gary, assuming his shoulder is healed? He just turned 22.like Savage. A lot of the FANs have limited memory regarding Pro Players, especially Hall of Fame Players.
Take your pick from the Lombardi squad. Willie Davis, Willie Wood, Ray Nitschke, Bart, Farve. None started as rookies or made big contributions until their 2nd or 3rd seasons. This gratification now mindset is mindless. I watch the Film, not the rating service.

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Stroh's picture

February 19, 2020 at 08:05 am

First Joey Bosa walked into the NFL as an OLB , not DE and played very well. That wasn't an issue w/ the Bosa's because their dad, a Former NFL player himself, taught them the finer points of rushing the QB before they even arrived at Ohio St. If Gary had an NFL dad to teach in the same way as the Bosa's, he would have been considered a far superior prospect than either of the Bosa's. Gary has alot more to learn whereas the Bosa's walked into the NFL ready to play and with no learning curve. That is rare for players to be ready from day 1, much more the exception than the rule.

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Since'61's picture

February 19, 2020 at 08:54 am

Good point Stroh. Also, Gary came into the NFL after his Junior year in college. He may have been better prepared for the NFL had he played his senior year. In which case he would probably be a top 5 pick this year.

The way I see it is that the Packers will have their first round pick from this year's draft plus Gary ready to contribute in 2020. Effectively giving us 2 first round players for 2020. Thanks, Since '61

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 19, 2020 at 09:40 am

'61, most draftniks had him pegged btw #6-#10 last year.

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Since'61's picture

February 19, 2020 at 05:57 pm

Agree, that is why I think he would have been a top 5 in 2020 draft. Thanks, Since '61

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CAG123's picture

February 19, 2020 at 08:59 am

We're not talking about Joey Bose we're talking about Nick Bosa and their dad teaching them a few tricks and pointers about the OLB position is no where close to having to learn the position and its responsibilities. This is where Gary is going to spend the majority of his time. And I'm not sure your information about Joey Bosa is correct.

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Stroh's picture

February 19, 2020 at 04:19 pm

The Bosa's are virtually identical, so if talking about one, your just as easily talking about the other. Read their draft profiles. The dad, a former NFL DL himself, practically had them NFL ready when they arrived at OSU, much less the draft or rookie season. We're not talking a few tricks and pointers. We're talking advanced NFL level techniques across the board, particularly in pass rush.

Gary in comparison was an infant in regards to those techniques, thanks to his college coaches.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 19, 2020 at 05:45 pm

The old man definitely had them ready for NFL technique and playing fast and low.

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CAG123's picture

February 19, 2020 at 07:17 pm

We're literally talking about Nick Bosa though the guy that was in the same draft class as Gary Joey coming in as an OLB is irrelevant to that. Gary is being asked to switch positions which is going to take time something Nick Bosa doesn't have to worry about. Also Im not disputing what you said about their father I was referring to you saying Joey came in as an OLB. He was a DE in college and plays strong side DE in the chargers 3-4.

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Stroh's picture

February 20, 2020 at 12:08 am

Nick and Joey are virtually identical players. What's said about one applies to the other. They both played DE at OSU and Joey walked into the NFL and played OLB as a rookie. Joey Bosa is a 34 OLB for the chargers, they play a 34 D. He and Melvin Engram are the OLB.

First, you disputed the degree that their Dad had them ready. Saying "a few tricks and pointers".

He's not a 34 DE, he's more a 34 OLB who is like Z Smith and Gary, insomuch as he can put his hand in the dirt and rush or he can stand up and rush. He doesn't play strong side, he plays both sides and his game against the Packers he beat Bahktiari for a couple sacks. He plays both standing and hand in dirt and when they go to nickel he mostly rushes from a 3 pt stance. Not that that means much. Z does alot of that himself.

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dobber's picture

February 20, 2020 at 05:04 am

I hear they even have the same pharmacist.

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Since'61's picture

February 20, 2020 at 08:39 am

Cookie! Thanks, Since '61

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CAG123's picture

February 20, 2020 at 09:58 am

What are you talking about? Virtually identical? Did Nick Bosa play OLB this year? If not then whatever point you’re trying to make is irrelevant! We’re talking about Gary and Nick Bosa that’s it the other Bosa was two draft classes ago which holds no relevance to the comparison of Gary and Nick Bosa. Joey Bosa plays DE thats where he spends most of his time and that’s what he’s labeled as Z plays OLB that’s where he spends most of his time and that’s what he’s labeled as. Where is this even going? I made a simple comment about Nick and Gary’s situations being different and here you are talking about Joey Bosa. Geez

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Jonathan Spader's picture

February 18, 2020 at 10:27 pm

Bosa was a second overall pick and not a great comparison for Gary as the best overall talent in the draft. I'd compare Gary to Brian Burn who was available sand still be disappointed in Gary lol.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 18, 2020 at 07:55 pm

Nick Bosa was a first round pick, not second.

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Jared's picture

February 19, 2020 at 02:29 am

Like he said “second overall pick”.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 19, 2020 at 09:10 am

Initially he said "second round pick". Obviously he came back to edit it. Calm down.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 19, 2020 at 10:41 am

Agree on the sample size, and that Jenkins was our draft gem.

Fackrell played because he was a veteran coming off a double digit sacks season. He’s not going to make costly mistakes as much.

Look.....EVERY THING went right at OLB. Both Smiths played well and stayed healthy, so you want them on the field. Fackrell stayed healthy and played well. Now, Fackrell will leave in FA and Gary will get more snaps and this is all part of the plan for the defense that we’ll have during Rodgers last years. Look at all the defensive guys that are under contract for the next couple seasons: Savage, Amos, Alexander, Jackson, Hollman, Smith, Smith, Gary, Lowry, Summers. I’m probably forgetting some.

The point is that Gary is part of a plan and we shouldn’t be guilty of premature evaluation.

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Stroh's picture

February 19, 2020 at 06:26 pm

Most fans are always guilty of permature ejac, er evaluation.

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albert999's picture

February 18, 2020 at 03:34 pm

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mamasboy's picture

February 18, 2020 at 03:37 pm

Gary may be great someday,but the 12th pick shouldn't be a back up to Kyler Fackrell.

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CAG123's picture

February 18, 2020 at 03:52 pm

He should be if he's learning a totally different position.

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albert999's picture

February 18, 2020 at 03:58 pm

Why draft him 12 to have him as a back up or a different position?
Doesn’t make any sense especially that high of a pick

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CAG123's picture

February 18, 2020 at 04:04 pm

I mean that's on Gute not Gary all he can do is learn the position I honestly hated the pick knowing they were going to do this when they had actual edge rushers to choose from but here we are again.

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dobber's picture

February 19, 2020 at 09:11 am

Every college player is a projection to the NFL.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 18, 2020 at 05:02 pm

Tell Pettine. How did Jonah Williams do? or Lindstrom? Out for the year. Let's go to fallback argument #one. Jeff Simmons. He played in 9 games and started 3. Two sacks ,same as Gary, but with Less pressures and QB hits.
Beside Deebo Samuel who else performed big time?

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 18, 2020 at 05:16 pm

Fackerell had a year in Pettine's system, had 10 sacks, is a physically mature player. The question should be directed to Fackerell as to his limited production in 2019?

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CAG123's picture

February 18, 2020 at 05:35 pm

All this poo pooing on Gary but what were you guys expecting? I hated the pick at first because I knew it came with a position change and after TT tried and failed with that 3 different times I didn't want to see it again but here we are. I was expecting more out of Savage than I did with Gary knowing he had the two Smiths ahead of him and Fackrell coming off a 10.5 sack season. We might have seen more from him if he played more in his natural position. With Fackrell most likely gone this will be the year to keep your eyes on Gary.

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Guam's picture

February 18, 2020 at 04:38 pm

Sorry CAG - I was typing while you posted and didn't see your comment on the position change issue which I very much agree with. I think Gary gets a pass this year, but the pressure to perform will be on next year.

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Guam's picture

February 18, 2020 at 04:11 pm

I wasn't enamored of the Gary pick at #12 because he was one of those players that was going to have to change position in the pros (from a down DL to a standup OLB) and because of that I didn't expect him to have much impact - and he didn't. Gary may work out to be a great player, but the jury is still out for me. Let's see if there is a year two jump as he learns the new position.

I very much like the Savage and Jenkins picks - both played well for rookies and I believe have bright futures. Whether this draft is a good one or a great one will turn on Sternberger and Keke. Both need to get stronger in the offseason, but have the potential to be starters. Year two will be very interesting for them.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 19, 2020 at 03:16 am

I had Thornhill, the other safety on the all-rookie team who got a 71.5 pff grade, as the top safety in the draft. I know Savage had the flashy 4.36 forty time, but Thornhill ran a 4.42 at the combine, and added 21 reps (Savage had 11) and a 141" broad jump (Savage had 126"). Thornhill is an inch and half taller as well. While those two 4th round picks could have been useful, Thornhill declined to run a 3-cone or a 20-yard shuttle at the combine and also declined at his pro day, which makes one wonder.

I do hope Gute isn't going to make it a habit to fall in love with players/prospects. So far, he has traded up for Savage and Burks, at least let Gary fall to the packers, and must have been besotted with Graham given the price.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 19, 2020 at 04:26 am

Thornhill is a bit older than Savage and had a better defensive scheme to work with, especially having Honey Badger
setting the tone next to him. Either guy would make me happy to be on the Packers. The move for Burks was totally off the wall.

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albert999's picture

February 18, 2020 at 04:17 pm

I agree Gary was wrong pick so work him in if you can and if not trade him early to get something for him

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albert999's picture

February 19, 2020 at 02:23 am

F u and your thumbs down
U have a better option

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albert999's picture

February 19, 2020 at 02:25 am

F u
What’s ur option smart boy

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WMA's picture

February 19, 2020 at 08:36 am

Personally do not give thumb down votes but since they are available and one posts one will get thumb down votes. If thumbs down bother you so much maybe you should not post. Rather you would continue to post as enjoy your perspective at times.

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Lphill's picture

February 18, 2020 at 06:34 pm

I was most surprised that Summers never got a chance in the defense except for special teams. Go to YouTube and watch Captain America Ty Summers highlights and explain to me why he got no snaps on defense .

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albert999's picture

February 18, 2020 at 05:07 pm

I think a lot of people and a lot of things didn’t get a chance with all the changes

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stockholder's picture

February 18, 2020 at 05:15 pm

It is very disturbing. A guy gets drafted on his 40 time. Can tackle on special teams. Yet, gets no plays to get out off the bench.

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albert999's picture

February 18, 2020 at 05:42 pm

Couldn’t agree more

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PatrickGB's picture

February 18, 2020 at 10:20 pm

Perhaps Summers did not know the system well enough and perhaps he had a starter ahead of him who did?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 19, 2020 at 03:22 am

Because he looked like the world's poorest tackler during the preseason?

I would have liked GB to have given him some snaps, but the team played a lot of close games. Still, I think he could have gotten his feet wet in a couple of games.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 19, 2020 at 04:14 pm

I think it is understandable, that giving how short both OTA and training camp are Pettine would want to play his most experience people in his system. I think that is why we saw so much of the 3-3-5 with the hybrid in the first half of the season. Green Bay DB was the most veteran group in terms of playing together, which allowed Pettine to let the Smiths freelance in his system with a decent level of success. Burks injury really hurt the ILB group, and forced Pettine to play a second DB more inside than normal. Packers got gashed when they were forced to play a 3-4-4. They simply did not have the players for it this year. Outside Martinez, they had nothing. Just like the offensive line, the Packers chose to carry developmental players on the defensive roster. That's what rebuilding organizations do. (In Burks defense, he was never ready to play till mid season. Like Jackson, his injury was far more serious than the Packers let on.)

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flackcatcher's picture

February 19, 2020 at 04:26 pm

And even if Pettine wanted to play Summers, there wasn't enough time for him as a rookie in training camp. I keep saying this, but the NFL and NFLPA does far more harm to themselves and the game with the gutting of OTA and training camp.

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OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

February 18, 2020 at 06:52 pm

Really only Jenkins and Savage can be graded on sample size. Jenkins was a wall and Savage took some time, but he really grew into the role late. If Gary can get more time as the 3, which he should now that he's had a year to learn the position, he'll show why he was taken where he was (10 sacks in '20).

Much like another post, if Jace and Keke can turn into reliable starters, this class has the makings of a great one by Gute.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 18, 2020 at 10:22 pm

I get that Savage was up and down, but I don't know how anyone doesn't see the potential. If he puts in the work he will make a Pro Bowl. Ditto on Jenkins.

The jury is still out on Gary and Keke, but I think both have big time potential.

I can't tell what to make of Sternberger and the rest.

But you tell me, if you net two quality starters out of a draft class in year 1, and another two starters (Sternberger by default and Keke if he pans out) and a key rotational player (Gary) in year 2, how is that not a home run of a draft?

Oh and don't forget Yosh Nijman. Hellava year. ;-)

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albert999's picture

February 19, 2020 at 02:23 am

Jury out doesn’t win

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 19, 2020 at 03:24 am

Yes.

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yooper81's picture

February 19, 2020 at 06:30 pm

Yes on Savage. I bought his jersey, that's how much I believe. Once he gets "it" consistently both himself and Amos will be special.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 21, 2020 at 09:48 am

I agree. I think it’s a good draft, so far, with a chance to get better.

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

February 18, 2020 at 10:51 pm

If you combine Gutey’s 2019 draft with his free agent signings, I’d say he kicked ass. Here’s hoping he does just as well this year.

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PatrickGB's picture

February 19, 2020 at 07:46 am

The rub is that this year we don’t have the money and draft position to do as well as last year. It’s going to be a year where Gute and Ball have to be more of cap wizards. Draft and develop may come to the forefront again.

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dobber's picture

February 19, 2020 at 09:28 am

The hope is that last year's draft and FA classes narrowed some of the holes that need to be filled, so hopefully some smart drafting and strategic FA signings will make a difference.

"Draft and develop may come to the forefront again."

This is a draft and develop league. Teams can't have sustained success over the long term if they don't have some reasonable success in developing their picks.

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Stroh's picture

February 19, 2020 at 08:17 am

I don't understand... Your doing a review of the Packers '19 draft class and you almost exclude the 2 picks that played and started almost every game. Why on earth would you consider excluding them, when they should be the players most highlighted! Makes no sense.

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Since'61's picture

February 19, 2020 at 09:40 am

deleted

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Since'61's picture

February 19, 2020 at 09:39 am

For those who are upset that Gary did not make the NFL HOF yet. Let's consider that the Packers only signed Z. Smith and that Gary who came out as a Junior played Preston Smith's 870 snaps instead of just 244 snaps on defense.

If we extrapolate Gary's results for 244 snaps into P. Smith's 870 snaps his results for the 2019 season would be:

870/244 = a factor of 3.56

Solo Tackles - 46 ( P.Smith - 36 or +10 for Gary)
Assisted Tackles- 28 ( P. Smith - 20 or +8 for Gary)
Sacks 7 (P. Smith - 12 or -5 for Gary)
TFLs 11 (P. Smith - 11 Even for Gary)
QB hits 11 (P. Smith - 23 or -12 for Gary)
QB hurries. 7. (P. Smith - 11 or -4 for Gary)

This table tells me that Gary would have had an excellent rookie season had he played the same number of snaps as Preston Smith. Gary has better numbers against the run while Preston has better pass rushing numbers but Preston has been playing against professional OLs for 4 more seasons than Gary entering 2019.

I don't know what Gary will evolve into over the next 2-3 seasons but let's give the guy a chance and cut Gute a little slack at this point. Gary may never reach the NFL HOF but he may become a foundational player for the Packers defense for years to come and when his rookie deal is done we may be worried if we can afford to keep him on he team.

As for the rest Savage looks like he will be at least a solid player, Jenkins a potential All-pro, Sternberger still a ?. Keke we'll see. As for the rest they are about equal to UDFAs at this point. Thanks, Since '61

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dobber's picture

February 19, 2020 at 10:13 am

"This table tells me that Gary would have had an excellent rookie season had he played the same number of snaps as Preston Smith. "

It also tells us the Packers made two excellent FA signings and that those two guys stayed healthy. Both great outcomes.

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Since'61's picture

February 19, 2020 at 06:01 pm

Dobber we agree completely as usual. Gute completely transformed our OLB unit into one of the strongest units on the team. Hopefully he can do the same for our ILB unit and our WR position group. Thanks, Since '61

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Stroh's picture

February 19, 2020 at 06:15 pm

JJ Watt rookie season. 48 total tackles and 5.5 sacks, if you want to continue the extrapolation.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 20, 2020 at 05:01 am

Preston Smith dropped into coverage about 150 times (which is too much and double his career high). Trust me, Gary didn't drop into coverage much at all. Probably never. That would change the factor from 3.56 to 2.95. However, dropping into coverage still allows that player to come up and make tackles on receivers and rushers and even once in a while get a pressure stat.

I do agree with the gist. I made a post noting that Gary was first or second on the team in tackles per snap at about 11.09. Preston had 34 hurries to Gary's 5 (x 3.56 = 18) Gary blitzed only 5 times whereas Preston blitzed 36 times.

Stats only tell one so much, but Gary was pretty good against the run and wasn't as bad at rushing as at least the extremists suggest. One thing that concerns me is that GB is probably losing Fackrell and his 415 snaps. Gary can soak those up, but Fackrell also dropped into coverage. Pettine is going to lose what little deception he had. Every OC will know which OLB is going to drop into coverage, since it is rare for ZaDarius. Tim Williams had no coverage stats in 119 snaps with Balt. in 2018. No idea what Greg Roberts brings to the table, but his scouting report lists loose hips and fluid in space at 6'5" and 260 lbs.

* I confess to being (IDK) enamored or too intrigued by Greg Roberts, who has not even practiced for GB yet. I just can't forget that Gute broke the bank for him when he gave Roberts $72K guaranteed, an unprecedented move in GB. Heck, that's pretty much all I know about him other than he played under three different DCs for Baylor.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 20, 2020 at 08:10 pm

TGR, Gute is like Ron and Ted, big video guy. Only he and his eval team know what they saw in Roberts that the rest of league did not. My wild guess is they fell in love with his production on the field. (TCU is still an mess by Div 1 standards. Clan Flackcatcher got lots of strange, and I do really strange stories about the going on in that program…)

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scoonie_penn's picture

February 19, 2020 at 10:07 am

Donte Jones, Mike Neal, Nick Perry, Jamal Reynolds.. I'm not sure which is most closely resembles. I'm hoping he blossoms next season but JMHO with any significant playing time 50% of the snaps he'll find his way to the IR.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 19, 2020 at 10:46 am

Jamal Reynolds was selected by Mike Sherman in his first draft as GM. Sherman was a horrible GM, so enough said there.
Jones , Neal and Perry were all examples of Thompson's inexplicable habit of drafting big, slow defensive linemen and, predictably, unsuccessfully trying to transform them into linebackers. All three failed, with the possible exception of ONE decent season from Perry. None of them possessed the athletic abilities of Gary.
No guarantees of Gary's success at this point, but comparing him to those four is unfair, in my opinion. I'll trust Gutekunst on this pick until proven wrong.
And predicting someone will eventually end up on IR is a real reach.

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MWendlandt's picture

February 20, 2020 at 12:38 pm

Actually, Jamal Reynolds was drafted by Ron Wolf. It was his final first round pick before turning the team over to Sherman fully. He traded up with Seattle. He got Reynolds. The Seahawks got Hasselbeck and the original first round pick, which became Steve Hutchinson.

Either way, Gary won't be anything like those guys. Jones never got over an injury in his first camp, Neal and Perry weren't consistent enough. Gary has a much higher ceiling than any of them.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 20, 2020 at 07:59 pm

While injury ruined Perry career, he was effective in both Capers and Pettine's systems. He was too brittle long term for the Packers. Mike Neal was to be blunt blackballed out of the league over PED. He, too, was good in Capers system when healthy. (PED is not the only reason Neal's career ended early, I'll leave it at that.) Neither was 'just a guy'. Like others, I thought the Gary choice was a risk. But one with long term up side if successful. Some times one must look beyond the numbers.

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CAG123's picture

February 19, 2020 at 02:53 pm

How about none he’s a far better athlete than any of those guys. And did you mean Datone Jones?

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Stroh's picture

February 19, 2020 at 06:22 pm

Sorry to disapoint, but wrong on all accounts, and very much revisionist history.

Datone Jones was drafted as a DL not an OLB, he was moved to OLB, after not being able to make it as a DL. Exactly like Mike Neal. Drafted as DL didn't cut it and moved to OLB to try to salvage a career or draft pick.

Jamal Reynolds as mentioned by someone, was a Mike Sherman draft pick after trading Hasselbeck and getting the #10 pick instead of the 20+ pick they were supposed to draft at.

Perry ran a very similar 40 to Matthews at 270, instead of 240 for Matthews.

Any thing else I can clear up for you?

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 20, 2020 at 09:33 am

Jones, Neal and Perry were all DL in college that were converted to OLB when they came to GB. I'm not sure where Reynolds was drafted has anything to do with anything. Or Perry's 40 time compared to Matthew's for that matter. We were comparing those four to Gary, not Matthews

What exactly was it that you cleared up again?

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Stroh's picture

March 07, 2020 at 03:04 pm

Jones and Neal both started in GB as DL played 2 or 3 yrs as DL , before beinng moved to OLB. They weren't drafted to play OLB. Hope that clears it up for you. So yeah, revisionist history.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

February 19, 2020 at 11:47 am

Your best effort to date. Congrats on a really well done artilce!

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ILPackerBacker's picture

February 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm

The snap counts should indicate a couple of other things too.

It should be obvious that if Gary has 20 some percent and Kyler 40 some percent and both Smiths were 80 some percent that something does not add up.

It should be equally obvious that players were getting snaps while other players, in particular Gary, were sitting and the sitting player was the better option. this indicates a DC who was not sure what he was doing and was limited in what he saw.

Gary in a few snaps at DT with both Smiths looked outstanding, but after success Mike P gave it up. Nobody took it away.

Gary at DT with both smiths and Blake out and a DB in for passing situations? Never happened.

Mike P is getting exposed in both talent evaluation and his (in)ability to scheme what he has instead of what he wants

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 19, 2020 at 01:03 pm

285, says it all. No excuse for that disgrace.

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dobber's picture

February 19, 2020 at 01:06 pm

"It should be obvious that if Gary has 20 some percent and Kyler 40 some percent and both Smiths were 80 some percent that something does not add up."

Percents are typically reported as percent of total defensive snaps played. Different personnel units will have different groupings of players, and since Z and Gary can play OL and OLB, that will allow the Smiths and one if not both of Gary and Fackrell to be on the field at the same time. So those numbers aren't going to add up to any preset total.

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t-wrecks's picture

February 19, 2020 at 02:03 pm

I'm more concerned with how useless the 2018 draft was, outside of Jaire:

Packers 2018 draft class
Round 1 (18): Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Round 2 (45): Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Round 3 (88): Oren Burks, LB, Vanderbilt
Round 4 (133): J’Mon Moore, WR, Missouri
Round 5 (138): Cole Madison, T, Washington State
Round 5 (172): JK Scott, P, Alabama
Round 5 (174): Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, South Florida
Round 6 (207): Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Round 7 (232): James Looney, DE, California
Round 7 (239): Hunter Bradley, LS, Mississippi State
Round 7 (248): Kendall Donnerson, EDGE, Southeast Missouri St.

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stockholder's picture

February 19, 2020 at 05:57 pm

Can't fault the extra #1. I wanted Vita Vea. Most mocks had Davenport. Both made the All rookie team. CB set the draft, But Gutey screwed up with #45, 88, 133, 138. Picking 3 Wrs was the mistake. #45 should have been a LB Why? because he took one in the 3rd @ #88 Bad Trade! He could of had OL/,WR and TE Thomas #133 OL/WR - Moore was the wrong pick.The scouting report said he dropped balls.

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CAG123's picture

February 19, 2020 at 07:37 pm

I still don't know why he choose Jackson the scouting report highlighted a guy that was fit for a zone team. He's not physical, stiff hips, lacks speed to play press, he's plays the ball extremely well, short area quickness even grading him on Gute's athletic scale he doesn't fit the mold the guy fell to the second round for a reason. I was only hopeful for the pick for two reasons one is because he went to Iowa and they've been producing some DBs that aren't the best athletes but have high football IQ the second being he use to play WR.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

February 19, 2020 at 02:47 pm

The 2018 draft showed, that at least in his first year, Gute was not a great evaluator of talent. He then began 2019 even worse, with the #12 pick he whiffed. You can all show examples of other players who made it in year two, three, four... but the eye test still works at times. Gary was drafted because he's a big guy who runs fast. But when on the field he looked to have no moves, not a great push, and no twitch. In fact, he looked awkward. He was a disappointment in college but the argument then was he was a decoy, or he was double-teamed, wait till he gets to go one-on-one in the pros. Well, he only went one-on-one last year and looked about the same as he did in college. Gute was solid in FA but this year, when drafting, he might have to throw out all those who've been advising him the last two years and just do the dartboard thing. He'll do better.

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driftinreno's picture

February 19, 2020 at 04:07 pm

GARY is a bust....sorry

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 20, 2020 at 09:49 am

Really? After one year. Learning a new position while playing behind the Smiths, who both had career years.

It's a shame you weren't in the draft room to share your evaluating talents.

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CAG123's picture

February 19, 2020 at 09:20 pm

You do realize he's playing OLB and not DE right? His presence at Michigan helped make Devin Bush a top 10 pick and turned Chase Winovich into a sack machine.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

February 20, 2020 at 04:56 pm

"His presence at Michigan helped make Devin Bush a top 10 pick and turned Chase Winovich into a sack machine." That sentence has been repeated ad nauseam to account for Gary's poor stats. It's all we heard, he was a decoy, double-teamed, blah blah blah. Why can't we simply judge him now based on his play? He may turn out a Hall of Fame player, I hope so, but at the moment, he's not very good.

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CAG123's picture

February 21, 2020 at 10:02 am

What would you be judging? The guy is learning a new position there’s going to be a learning curve. If watched the tape you’d see teams double him and try not to run the ball in his direction the attention he got kept Devin Bush clean and allowed Chase to dominate 1 on 1. Look at Chase’s sack numbers and tell me how he wasn’t the one getting doubled teamed.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm

When he gets his reps, he should be a guy that can play up or down. A multi-tool like Za. The idea of worrying about Fackerell's replacement may not matter if the guy signs at fair value. If somebody dishes the cash he will go and get anothe Edge from the draft. Maybe a guy that can go inside or outside and give you some 4-3 flexibilty.

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246toothpicks's picture

February 20, 2020 at 10:41 am

I would like to see Ross Blacklock as a first round pick. We need another dynamic presence on the interior of the D line to pair with Kenny Clark. Lowry, Lancaster and Adams are decent rotational guys, but should not be starting. Pick up a WR in round 2 (I like Gabriel Davis) there will be several good ones to choose from.

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dobber's picture

February 21, 2020 at 10:04 am

At this stage, prior to the Combine, I would love to see Blacklock at #30 for the Packers pushing Lancaster immediately into a backup role behind Blacklock and Clark. Good depth.

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