Five X-Factor Players Who Will Help the Packers Return to the Playoffs in 2020

This week, I reveal five x-factors who will help the Packers return to the playoffs in 2020. 

There are indispensable players on each NFL roster whose performance cannot be replaced.  For the Packers, it’s names like Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Davante Adams, David Bakhtiari, The Smith Bros, Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander, and Darnell Savage among others.  This article is not concerned with the top ten players who you simply can’t live without; for this piece I am focusing on the Packers x-factor players that will complement the stars on the roster and make the team more complete.  Remember, these players were just as important to the success of last year’s team and it is safe to say that the Packers would not have went 13-3 without big performances from these x-factor players.

Some players from last year’s list of X-Factors will be making a return appearance in this year’s list because they have carved out a vital role for themselves in 2019.  The First two names on this list, I feel are pretty obvious as Kevin King and Allen Lazard emerged as indispensable members during the 2019 season.  Kevin King was able to make big play after big play in the 4thquarter and Allen Lazard emerged as a legitimate number 2 receiver towards the end of the season.  The Packers will be looking for both players to continue to build on their 2019 performances.

Next on the list is a high-risk high reward free agent acquisition that Brian Gutekunst brought into the fold this offseason, Christian Kirksey.  Kirksey has both the makeup and the tools to be the missing link that the Packers have been missing in the middle of the field for quite some time.   In the past, Kirksey’s Achilles heel has always been injuries.  This season, the Packers have to hope Kirksey can stay healthy and dominate the middle of the field like his tape shows he can do.  Furthermore, if rookie Kamal Martin can return healthy there is a real possibility that this position of weakness can not only become a position of strength, but, can make the Packers one of the best defenses in the NFC.   

I know the trendy pick for emerging players on defense this year is Rashan Gary, and although I do think he will contribute to the front seven much more in 2020, my pick to emerge on the front seven is Jonathan Garvin.  Garvin’s 2018 season at Miami certainly set him up to be a greater pro prospect then he was viewed at after this previous season.  In 2018 Garvin had 5.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and 60 total tackles.  His 2019 play dipped just enough for him to slide to the end of the draft, but, Garvin’s power 5 pedigree and solid camp has me thinking that he is one of those diamond in the rough players that will make big plays when he is given his opportunity.

Finally, anyone who has been following me this offseason knows how high I am on Equanimeous St. Brown so if I picked him that wouldn’t really be much of an X-Factor pick now would it? So, with that being said, my final x-factor for the Packers in 2020 has to be Jace Sternberger.  Although we didn’t see much from Sternberger on the stat sheet in 2019, I believe it was a crucial year in his development.  He definitely was able to hone his skills and benefited from taking the year to pick up on the nuisances of the NFL game. When he did see time on the field, he showed the ability to get open (especially in the NFC Championship Game), make chip blocks, and cover his assignments.  This season Sternberger has a chance to develop a rapport with Aaron Rodgers and become an indispensable part of the Packers offense by season’s end.  I really think Sternberger will have a really nice 2020 season and put himself in a position to make the year 3 leap. 

Recapping My 2020 Packers X-Factor Players  

  1.  Kevin King
  2. Allen Lazard
  3. Christian Kirksey
  4. Jonathan Garvin
  5. Jace Sternberger

The emergence of these players and others will be one of the determining factors of whether the Packers end up making the playoffs and repeating as division champs or missing the playoffs entirely.  

The difference between winning and losing in the NFL is so miniscule that each playoff team needs x-factor players to emerge every season or else close wins will become close losses which is why the Packers hope these players (and more) will deliver in 2020.

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (51)

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Archie's picture

September 06, 2020 at 06:16 am

The Packers are a young team on the rise, led by a veteran HOF QB. Rodgers, Adams & Jones give them their BIG 3 on offense. BAK gives them the great LOT that all great offenses need. Jenkins is rising to great stature as well. If all the pieces around these guys, continue to improve, as they should given their age and increased comfort with the offense, the offense should produce great moments and lots of big wins. Looking forward to see the rookie contributions of Dillon and DeGuara.

On defense, the secondary combined with the pass rush are young, talented and have already produced so the sky is the limit for those two units. Can we stop the run, or at least slow it down enough so that our pass rush and secondary can do its job? That is the big Q. Kamal Martin would have helped. R Gary should help, as should Kirksey. Can Keke be the surprise player that solidifies the front 7? If he can, and if Martin can be at full power by Thanksgiving, DEC should be a great month for this team.

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Bure9620's picture

September 06, 2020 at 06:51 am

Interesting to see you have Garvin ahead of Sternberger as the Packers are kind of expecting Sternberger to be TE1 and to be a primary contributor.....I like Garvin, surprised he fell to the Seventh round, I had him as an early day 3 pick...i am also high on EQ and still think he has the most potential of the young WRs...I like his hands, his athleticism, his route running, his run after catch ability and his blocking ability and willingness.....

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Coldworld's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:56 am

I’m hoping that Sternberger is the real deal, but I actually have a suspicion that Tonyan might be the surprise in that group.

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greengold's picture

September 06, 2020 at 09:01 am

I was thinking the same thing... Deguara could turn a lot of heads this season as well.

Really a shame Jace was assaulted last preseason by the jerk off from HOU. Rocket shot to his head in a practice with NO HITTING. Having suffered a serious closed head injury myself, I know it can take you out of your game.

Tonyan sounds like he improved greatly in TC, having worked out in the offseason with Kittle couldn't hurt either.

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Stroh's picture

September 06, 2020 at 01:55 pm

So far in camp Tonyan has been the more impressive TE, not Sternberger, at least from what I've heard. Its not unusual for TE to take into year 3, so counting on Sternberger might be premature. But its what we all hope for, it might just be too early for Sternberger.

Makes no sense to me to have Garvin over Gary! NONE. Garvin will be lucky to see the field this season behind the Smith's and Gary. Garvin might get the number of snaps Gary had last year if he's lucky, but then the Packers also kept Ramsey, so Garvin might have to split his limited snaps w/ Ramsey.

Its way too early to call Savage indispensable. THe Packers (and Fans) certainly need him to become that but as of now he needs to be in the X Factor category, not the indispensible category.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 06, 2020 at 06:57 pm

I agree about Tonyan. It is his third season as a TE. That doesn't mean I have lost faith in Sternberger, just thinking that Jace's improvement might be substantial while not making him a star in the league.

I agree with Stroh that Savage's additional development is not necessary. I do think he has the upside to become a fine free safety and an eraser for mistakes by others. I like the top three CBs, bearing in mind that when a part-time player becomes full-time or almost full time like Sullivan, some opposing teams might find cracks in his game. What I don't have is any faith in the CB depth should King, Jaire, or Sullivan miss time. I'd love it if Savage could erase mistakes made by Jackson and of course by the big three CBs.

Pretty sure Keke would have cracked my list of 5 X players.

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stockholder's picture

September 06, 2020 at 07:46 am

1. Kirksey 2. Gary 3. LanCaster 4. Sullivan 5. Martin? Sorry but I don't believe anybody on this offense will be an X factor. If Rodgers plays well, the offense will. The Defense is the key to the return to the playoffs. 1. Kirksey must not get injured. 2. Gary's development helps the front seven. 3. LanCaster- If he has developed some pass rush ability. He's my guy next to Clark. The Trench needs Beef. 4. Sullivan. The slot is the key. 5. Martin?. Who plays next to Kirksey? I've been begging for this position to be fixed since CM3 left. It is the X factor.

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SpikeHyzer's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:54 am

It was never CM3's natural position and he felt it was a demotion to have to play it. He was elite at OLB but just barely above league average at ILB.

We've been pretty bad at ILB since before he switched from OLB, so it's a lot longer than that moment.

And, until we move on from busts like Lowry and Lancaster, the DL will never be good. They're both terrible to this point--worse than Adams--and neither have any athleticism or upside.

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Coldworld's picture

September 06, 2020 at 09:03 am

In fairness Lowry was bad last year, but decent before that. I don’t know why he slid. Perhaps the team does.

Lancaster was poor late. I think that’s the only way to put it. If no injury factor, I don’t really get it. I don’t care if he never gets a sack: his purpose is to be a wall against the run. Late last year he was more of a gate.

I’m hoping that the work KeKe did on his body in the off season shows up and he becomes a factor.

It’s hard to know with the guys in the middle without preseason games unless they are outright terrible. This year we had none and much less of a view even if practice.

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PeteK's picture

September 06, 2020 at 10:13 am

He is not up to par for a championship team, but I do not consider Lowry a bust as his play is decent. Lancaster is a decent rotational player. Now Adams is what I consider a bust.

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BradHTX's picture

September 06, 2020 at 10:44 am

Neither Lowry nor Lancaster is a bust.

Lowry was a 4th round comp pick (ie, bottom of 4th, top of 5th) and Lancaster a UDFA. The fact that they are even useful rotation players given their draft status makes them draft hits, given that day 3 players rarely amount to much.

Now if you want to argue that Lowry shouldn’t be starting next to Clark when his ceiling seems to be “useful rotational player,” you’re perfectly correct.

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SpikeHyzer's picture

September 06, 2020 at 11:43 am

If by useful, you mean we can plug them in for a play or two while someone is on the bench after getting his bell rung and recovers, then both the L boys are useful. Productive is another matter as BOTH ranked in the bottom 10 players in the league at their position last year.

Once Adams is healthy, one of the two will be cut and Monty will get the 3rd most snaps behind Keke in every game after that.

People want to say Adams is a bust already, but he's shown more in practice when healthy than either Lowry or Lancaster.

He's an x factor for me because I do feel he's about to have his big leap and break out.

In baseball and basketball, rotational players basically ARE the busts of any given draft, those guys taken 10-32 that could be great but never get there and carve out long and mediocre careers.

That's why L and L are busts. Their only use is when other guys go down for a play or two, which usually gives those guys more time to recover, as the potential for a good defensive stop flies out the window and turns into points for the other team with them on the field.

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Stroh's picture

September 06, 2020 at 02:17 pm

Adams is easily one of the 2 biggest busts on the Packers roster! He was pumped up all last offseason then when the games started he disappered! That has been the case for his entire life. Same in college and same in NFL! Adams had his big shining opportunity last year and HE SUCKED! He's lucky they even brought him back this year.

Adams was given his big chance and he flat blew it!

Lowry is a low end started, high end backup. Lancaster is a backup at most. The fact both are playing alot is a testament to how POORLY Adams played last year! He did next to nothing in camp this year. He only showed he could get injured on one practice and sit his ass on the IR (probably). Adams is a complete BUST!!!

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Stroh's picture

September 06, 2020 at 02:17 pm

Adams is easily one of the 2 biggest busts on the Packers roster! He was pumped up all last offseason then when the games started he disappered! That has been the case for his entire life. Same in college and same in NFL! Adams had his big shining opportunity last year and HE SUCKED! He's lucky they even brought him back this year.

Adams was given his big chance and he flat blew it!

Lowry is a low end started, high end backup. Lancaster is a backup at most. The fact both are playing alot is a testament to how POORLY Adams played last year! He did next to nothing in camp this year. He only showed he could get injured on one practice and sit his ass on the IR (probably). Adams is a complete BUST!!!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 07, 2020 at 01:11 am

I have no idea why you like Montravius Adams, but this is one of several comments you've made in support of Adams. Adams sucks. That 43 PFF grade was well-earned. He didn't outplay anyone in TC since he got hurt before the first practice and only participated in walkthroughs. He has never been as good as Lowry, Lancaster and Keke on the field. No idea why GB gave Adams more snaps than Keke last year, but it was not due to performance.

Adams is on the low end of the replacement level and is close to the reject level. He has talent, but underperformed it in college and now in the NFL. Maybe the coaches feel he has matured: that's the only reason I can speculate about to keep him.

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Stroh's picture

September 06, 2020 at 02:03 pm

Totally disagree about Matthews. He's one of the rare LB that could play any LB position in any defense and play it at a Pro Bowl level. He certainly transformed the Packers run D when he was at ILB!

Matthews doesn't want to play ILB, but at this point in his career, it may be the position he is best suited for as an every down LB. He could play ILB on run downs and help w/ the pass rush in passing situations. I don't think he wants to play anything other than OLB and pass rusher tho.

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blacke00's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:03 am

IMHO, one of the "weak" area's of last year was the play of AR...yes Rodgers! He was not sharp in many situations. He missed open receivers overlooked others. Maybe it was the new system? Many his bad footwork? Whatever? He sounds like he's more focused, he's analyzed his technique and believes he can play better... If AR's play has(will) improve I think they'll (Packers)have a very nice year.

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Bure9620's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:53 am

You are correct, he was not sharp, held the ball WAY too long and had lazy mechanics, was not stepping into throws which contributed to the offense being out of rythym..maybe what he noticed from 2010 practice will help him step into throws

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Stroh's picture

September 06, 2020 at 02:28 pm

Stepping into his throws is exacly what he was doing in '10 and hasn't done for the past 3-5 yrs. I've watched many games from early in his career this year, while working from home. Its obvious that throwing off his backfoot and from different arm slots are exactly what his problems were mechanically. Assuming that si what he saw as well, this has the potential to be a Rodgers MVP season. Even w/ poor mechanics he made the Packers WR decent last year. Adams is great w/ of w/o Rodgers, all the other WR need Rodgers to be great for them to be productive.

Rodgers fixing his mechanics/footwork can elevate his game and thereby the WR behind Adams. I'm expecting a tremendous season from Rodgers. An MVP season is not out of the question IMO.

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PackfanNY's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:10 am

Just based on what we’ve heard I think the X factor is Josiah Deguara. I am simply basing that on the fact that we have heard that the Packers want to implement a more LaFleur like offense. Sounds like Deguara is the kind of hybrid TE that will be used all over the field. On top of that, our TE group (unless Sternberger makes the jump) is not great. That means someone will have an opportunity to step into the void. That guy might be Deguara.

I see some people picking Garvin. Unless someone gets injured I can’t see him getting much action. Seems more like a development guy. I don’t see a lot of reps for him in Year one.

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Coldworld's picture

September 06, 2020 at 09:07 am

Someone has to take in the role of dropping into coverage. Preston Smith can do that, but we will want to move him around. Garvin looks like he might be a more obvious fit in that role than Ramsey. If so, he could play quite a few snaps. Ramsey seems more like a rush type, albeit based on limited observers comments from camp.

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greengold's picture

September 06, 2020 at 09:35 am

In TC reports, Ramsey had a near INT, and it sounded like he was performing well in coverage. I'll look forward to seeing him play this season for sure.

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Stroh's picture

September 06, 2020 at 02:34 pm

I agree and Ramsey is more likely the coverage OLB that we lost in Fackrell. Garvin is srictly a pass rusher and he's behind the Smith's and Gary in that department. Garvin might get the least snaps of all the OLB. Gary should be the X factor among the OLB. Savage is still in the X factor category as well. Between Gary and Savage both making a big jump in year 2, the Packers Defense could make a large move in defensive rankings. Certainly won't be due to Garvin and probably not Ramsey either!

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PackfanNY's picture

September 06, 2020 at 11:51 am

Coldworld, Maybe your right. It would be a big success if our 7th round pick gets quite a few snaps. I’m skeptical but your scenario would be good news for our draft. So here’s hoping.

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packerbackerjim's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:17 am

My pick is Dillon. MLF should play him selectively, mostly late in games and goal line situations. I expect him to really be a factor in the second half of the season when his legs will be fresh.

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Spock's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:40 am

"...when his legs will be fresh." Legs? I think you mean tree trunks. :)

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packerbackerjim's picture

September 06, 2020 at 09:46 am

Haven’t seen thighs like that since Eric Heiden.

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PackfanNY's picture

September 06, 2020 at 11:52 am

Earl Campbell.

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Stroh's picture

September 06, 2020 at 02:43 pm

LaFleur should start getting snaps for Dillon is every situation early, not just late or goal line. He's the thunder to Jone's lightening. The more Dillon is involved early the better the Packers offense will be. By the 2nd half of the season, Dillon should be splitting carries w/ Jones almost equally. Jones will still get a few more carries and by far the most receptions. Jones's touches and snaps were still being managed by LaFeur last year and they will be again this year.

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optimisticfan's picture

September 07, 2020 at 07:55 am

This depends on Dillon’s blocking. Jamal Williams reportedly has improved his athleticism/quickness and had a great TC per Rodgers. Williams is the best blocker of the three. Jones and Williams being in makes defenses have to on guard for run or pass and unlocks the complexity of MLF’s schemes. Until Dillon blocks well and gets the playbook/routes down well, teams hedge toward run when he is in.

Early on Jones probably gets 50%, Williams 35%, and Dillon 15% of RB responsibilities? Later on definitely increase Dillion’s use but hopefully it is a versatile 3 headed monster this year.

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Stroh's picture

September 07, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Well there's no doubt it depends on Dillon's blocking to some degree. But this isn't an offense that changes play alot at the LOS. So when LaFleur sends in his play and the package of players, he knows what role each will be in. Rodgers changing plays is really the only caveat and that should decrease markedly this season. It's LaFleurs offense now for sure and much less Rodgers. So the blocking piece while a factor is mitigated to a large degree. But yes, Dillon has to show he can pick up the blitz.

Last year it ended w/ Jones getting 60% of downs and at times maybe 10% they had Jones and Williams on the field together. The TE is more what unlocks the complexities of the offense. Having 2 TE can mean anything from being in a run heavy offensive set with both TE inline to going 4 wide (2WR and 2TE). Now that is diversity!

Williams is a great blocking RB,unfortunately that is by FAR his best trait as a RB. If they really want to get the running game going (and they certainly do), then getting your best RB and best TE all on the field the most does that. Dillon is superior to Williams running the ball, Jones is the superior receicver.

Williams will start the season w/ similar snaps to Dillon, but by mid season Dillon will have started getting more of Williams share and Jones will continue to get his 60% of snaps rate. Dillon starts at about 20% and by mid season should be closer to 40 or 45% and Jones and Dillon being on the field together will replace Jones and Williams together.

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Lphill's picture

September 06, 2020 at 08:38 am

My list had two players , Gary and Sternberger will make the biggest contribution, one on defense and one on offense , my third would be Summers if he gets some inside playing time.

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Stroh's picture

September 06, 2020 at 02:59 pm

I'd go w/ 3. Gary, a combination of Sternberger or Tonyan and Savage. Savage is very much still an X factor. He has a tremendous amount he can improve on from last year and is not consistent. The TE has seemed to be more Tonyan than Sternberger so far. It may be too much to expect Sternberger to have a drastic improvement. So Gary, Savage and Tonyan/Sternberger are my 3. And now that I think of it. Keke and EQ are among the Z factors that could make that category as well. I already think Dillon will have a big role so I'm not including him.

Certainly not Garvin.

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SpikeHyzer's picture

September 06, 2020 at 09:02 am

I think those 5 are not x factors, but starters for whom we know what we have and expect production.
An x factor is someone unexpected who steps up.
Here's my list at mostly the same positions:
1--Sullivan. Hasn't proven it yet over a whole season with a starter's amount of snaps.
2-- ESB. We know Lazard would have had 60 catches last year if he'd played 3/4s of a season of snaps (about what Davante played while missing 4 games; I expect 60-70 from Lazard).
3--Burks. Kirskey will come to play. Will his fellow starter at the position, a guy who hasn't yet played?
4-- Garvin. I simply agree with this one.
5-- Tonyan. He should steal most snaps from Jace early on and if Big Bob can be the best player at that position this year, he will elevate a terrible group up to mediocre or slightly above average.

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greengold's picture

September 06, 2020 at 09:38 am

As I already consider King and Lazard supreme x-factors for 2020, I'll stick with new faces that we'll be seeing as starters this season:

1. Kirksey
2. Summers
3. Keke
4. Dillon
5. Deguara

Kirksey is well established in Pettine's system. Man! Can that guy play. He sounds night and day from Blake Martinez. I expect big things from him this season, and being fully healthy, he seems a great fit in this defense. Just what we needed.

Summers was the top performer in the NFL during last year's preseason, and I think he will be solid until Martin is able to return. He's a super bright player with supreme athleticism. I think he will work out great alongside Kirksey. Ty Summers is a better football player than some may realize, and he may help the Packers win some crucial games while Kamal Martin is on the mend. Last I heard was Burks was injured late in TC, so I'm assuming this is Ty's shot.

BTW, Martin is the REAL DEAL. This kid is going to be something else when he gets back healthy.

Kingsley Keke is a BIG x-factor, as he came in with some really good tools to work with, and I suspect with more reps, he will supplant Lowry as the starter there.

AJ Dillion is THE guy who will continually get us out of 3rd and short, 4th and short jams to extend drives, and I suspect he will be equally as good near the goal line. Add to that, Dillon coming in on 3rd and short may lead to some explosive plays in play action.

Deguara is a rich talent for LaFleur to use, and he's bright enough to pick up this offense in year 1. I expect we will be seeing the magic that LaFleur has in scheme with a heavy dose of Deguara in 2020. He'll be lining up all over the place. He's a great blocker too, with solid route running and hands as a receiver. Super tough too. Deguara will make it difficult on opposing defenses and their given personnel groups. Here is where we are going to see a boatload of mismatches, as multiple plays can be run from the same personnel groupings in LaFleur's offense. That has me thinking Deguara has the potential to be a monster x-factor.

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SpikeHyzer's picture

September 06, 2020 at 11:35 am

King and Lazard will be exactly what they were last year, even with slight improvement (King will be great in the Red Zone while getting some picks, which may increase if Gary adds more QB pressure, and Lazard will catch the 60 or so balls he would have caught if he'd have played a full season). That is expected production and not an x factor.

Summers, Dillon and Deguara are not only not the day one starters, but only Summers has a chance of taking that job by mid season (if Burks completely flames out and Martin doesn't get back soon). Dillon will only get starts if Williams goes down and as the 3rd back won't have a huge impact this season. Deguara's impact will also be mostly on special teams and in gadget formations (and his blocking won't show up on stat sheets).

Kirksey also has an established track record and if we get him at his best and healthy, he's way above average (but we should expect that and not see him as an x factor).

I like to think the 5 x factors will all be unexpected surprises.

Keke is a good choice and was my runner up in 6th place to my list of 5.

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hobowilly's picture

September 06, 2020 at 10:04 am

Hey guys. My pick is Dillon, with honorable mentions to both MLF and coach Gray. Some of you may know my comment style-i often speak of the coaching angle and what that has to do with wins & losses. Having MLF as our HC is a big time game changer; one main example is his ability to win 50/50 games (thus far) as his predecessor unfortunately didn't have that late game "situational awareness". Moreover, i don't believe MM knew how to use his TE's either-case in point how MLF brought out the Big Dog last year and so let's just see how he uses Jace and see how he utilizes his new swiss army knife in Deguara.
Getting to the SB, IMHO, will take an improved D and let's thank the Lord that Gray jumped ship and came to GB (that hurts the Queens as well). It could just be that if Pettine leaves, Gray could may well be a strong candidate for D HC.
So, Aaron Jones is my "veteran choice" for X factor, but coming any where close to the dynamic season he had last year will be quite a challenge. His skill set is there, but oppositions will look for him now. Personally, i thought selecting Dillon can prove to be a brilliant pick as i had him as a top 3 back in the draft (not 5 or 6 like most services). Picking Deguara where they did is a puzzle for me, but i do believe it's MLF's guy and we'll see more of him than perhaps a typical rookie because of how MLF wants to use him. Wouldn't it be weird if Deguara turns out to be more of an impact this season than Sternberger?! ....perhaps wishful thinking, LOL.

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SpikeHyzer's picture

September 06, 2020 at 11:26 am

I would not at all be surprised if Deguara had more impact than Jace, but I think a fair amount of that might not be the stuff that shows up on fan stat sheets (but the teams and some services do track key blocks and when they fail). And I think, with other players being given more defensive attention, any catches he does make will be the kinds of little difference makers that move the chains on 3rd down.

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Stroh's picture

September 06, 2020 at 03:27 pm

I'm sorry, but its these kind of comments that are ignorant and just piss me OFF!

McCarthy's offense, his original offense was very TE centric. If McCarthy had his way Finley would have been catching 80-100 a year and over 1200 yds! Thats what he wanted and liked. But when Finley was injured and missed time early in his career, McCarthy realized he had to diversify the offense and he put more on the WR. After Finley's career ended (much too soon) McCarthy never had a TE worth going to alot. I mean, R Rodgers could catch anything, but he was a plow horse to Finley's thoroughbred race horse.

Same w/ the running game. When McCarthy had a RB (Ryan Grant and Lacy) they got plenty of carries and over 1000 yds.

The simple FACT is, for the most part McCarthy didn't have a capable RB or TE that was worth getting the ball to. And in many cases when McCarthy did call run plays, Rodgers simply changed it from a run to a pass. And McCarthy was fine w/ that since Rodgers was an all world QB.

Now lets consider McCarthy in Dallas. He has a plethora of WR and one of the biggest stud RB of this generation. Do you really think McCarthy is going to allow Dak freakin Prescott to change from run to pass and take the ball out of Zeke Elliot's hands? Hell No!!

You simply have no clue what so ever! You need to thank McCarthy for bring a SB back to GB in the same way fans do w/ Holmgren, who BTW has the same number of Lombardi Tophies as McCarthy!

Try learning a bit before you spew crap, that couldn't be further from the truth, in the future!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 06, 2020 at 10:19 am

Reading everyone's thoughts makes for an exciting time of year!

ESB - Tonyan - Summers + Dillon

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PeteK's picture

September 06, 2020 at 06:37 pm

We need to stop the run, it's our Achilles heel. So having a disruptive Gary upfront could be of great help, followed by a healthy Kirksey. On offense, Swervin Ervin gives us that quick twitch slot which has been missing since Cobb left. Sternberger should be that pass catching blocker who helps extend drives and keeps the D rested. I thought that there were too many 3 and outs last season.

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RedRight49's picture

September 06, 2020 at 10:56 am

AJ Dillon may be a true X-Factor for the Packers if he plays anywhere near his hype and headlines.

Dillon should help wear down opponents DL and LBs if he has the burst and power combo we've read about.

AJ can wear 'em down and Jones can race past 'em.

Dillon may really be an X-Factor in short yardage situations in the red zone and at the goal line and, sustain and extend drives and keep the Packer's D off the field and fresh.

If Dillon is the player I believe he can be, he can open up a wealth of opportunities in the offensive playbook and help keep the ball in the hands of Number 12 and out of the hands of opponents.

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dobber's picture

September 06, 2020 at 11:02 am

5 X-factors: players who haven't "done it" before and who will be counted on to contribute...need to step up for this team to improve in 2020.

1. Darnell Savage. Added stability to the deep secondary, but was not an impact player. Great defenses get great safety play. Savage becoming a playmaker deep and providing the ability to walk up and cover in the slot will really help. Yes, a starter in 2019, but could be transformative for this defense with a jump in play.

2. Bob Tonyan. I know, more people are all over Sternberger, but Tonyan is the one who had the better camp (while Sternberger struggled with Covid and was nearly invisible) and seems to be first in line to be the pass-catching/move TE. There are a lot of routes to be picked up with Graham's departure and this offense can't afford for the TE position to regress.

3. Oren Burks. This is his last best chance to show he belongs. Burks is the likely candidate to step into the Antonio Morrison/BJ Goodson early-down/base ILB position. If he can show coverage chops, he adds even more. Until Kamal Martin comes back and rounds into playing shape, Burks will likely play a lot of snaps and needs to elevate that position.

4. MVS. We've heard it before...he's fast, he's full of promise. Now he's finally had a good camp and could provide diversification in the offense and a needed distraction and deep threat across from Davante Adams. He doesn't need to be perfect, he just needs to do the things he's asked to do well. With EQ having a quiet camp and shaking off the rust from a year off, the WR2/3 position is there for MVS to take.

5. Josh Jackson. Jackson is the dime CB and likely to be the first sub on the outside. CBs get hurt. It's a way of life in the NFL. The Packers are going to need Jackson to play important snaps at some point. His ability to step up and get it done could save games for this team and make the upcoming off-season decision on King a little easier.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 07, 2020 at 01:15 am

Spot on for four of the five aspects and probably at 5 out of 5. I am tempted to replace Burks with Keke, but IDK, I think that's just because I like Keke a lot. I do think Lowry and/or Lancaster can rebound to being positive players on the field, so perhaps Keke's jump is less necessary than Burks'.

I don't like the drop off if Burks isn't any good. Martin can return for week 9, and might need another week or two. He will still be a rookie just starting out in the NFL. One can expect bumps in the road along with flashes. If he'd had had a full season, by the end of the year he might really have rounded into form. Some rookies need 6 or 10 games and others don't really make big improvements until year two.

Edit: Players can return (be recalled) from IR after three weeks this year. I've read that there is no limit on the number of players that can be recalled from IR but I haven't verified that. I think it was in the Covid changes rather than in the CBA itself.

I don't know how long Martin will be out. I gather his injury will take longer than 3 weeks to heal.

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optimisticfan's picture

September 07, 2020 at 08:38 am

Dobber,
I like your list but I think Keke is in the top 5 and I’ll give Sullivan the edge over Jackson. I’m optimistic that Sullivan plays way more because King is going to stay healthy this year (I knocked on some wood).

1) Savage
2) Keke (increased mass gives him an integral role in pass and run)
3) Burks early/Kamal Martin late
4) MVS
5) Sullivan (can he keep the slot near as lockdown as T. Williams’ expertly did last yr?)

The TE group to me is definitely an x-factor in the offense, but I see (hopefully) more of a mix of all of the TEs contributing so no one TE is an x-factor. I think Lewis will take a lot of snaps from Tonyan and Deguara to make it more of multiple rotational systems (at different roles of TE1, In-line, H-back)

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Keek's picture

September 06, 2020 at 11:21 am

Who is going to play next to Kirksly at inside LB? Burks is banged up and Martin is out. Do we pick up a free agent cut?

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Keek's picture

September 06, 2020 at 11:21 am

Who is going to play next to Kirksly at inside LB? Burks is banged up and Martin is out. Do we pick up a free agent cut?

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

September 06, 2020 at 12:19 pm

Nuisances? I think maybe you meant nuances?

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

September 06, 2020 at 01:14 pm

I’m going to say:
1. Swervin’ Ervin. Not only an exciting return guy, but the kid can give the team a boost running a reverse of catching a screen pass.
2. Sullivan. I love what I’ve seen of this kid.
3. Kirksey. We need improvement at ILB SO BADLY!
4. Keke. If only because we need him to step it up so much.
5. Adrian Amos. Only because he’s not listed in the 10 obvious top players and collectively with Savage and the cornerbacks he makes for a potentially great secondary

Now, because I’m feeling a bit curmudgeonly I’ll start a different list. These are the guys who need
To PROVE IT OR LOSE IT:
1&2. MVS and ESB. Enough with the “great potential” talk! Prove it or lose it!
3. Montravius Adams.
4. Oren Burks.
5. Josh Jackson
As Kevin Greene said, “it is time!”

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 06, 2020 at 07:41 pm

Deguara has to master a few roles before he can make an impact. AR also needs to recognize and gain confidence in Deguara and this scheme. I don't think AR really has had a guy like Deguara on the team before. I think it is a two-pronged test that needs to be mastered before we fans see big dividends.

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Stroh's picture

September 07, 2020 at 01:18 pm

I completely agree TGR. In fact I mentioned that on another site or article a week of 2 ago. Lets hope that by the end of the season, he will have proficiency in those varied roles. But yeah, given that he has so many roles he'll be used in, it will take him time to get on the field more regularly. Spot on as usual TGR!

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