Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - Sammy and More

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

Sammy - Initially, I was a bit underwhelmed by the Watkins signing. I had this image in my head of what Watkins is. But after perusing all the Watkins analysis posts out there, especially our own Wendell Ferreria's yesterday, my eyebrows have been raised. I was completely unaware of his blocking ability (if the Packers are actually going to run the ball more FOR REAL this time, that's big). And then to see the structure of the contract, with only $350K guaranteed and a plethora of performance-related incentives - it's a steal! I expect to see a career year from Sammy - if he can stay on the field. And that of course, is the BIG issue. 

Gutey does it again - It's becoming clear that these types of moves will be a defining part of Brian Gutekunst's legacy in Green Bay. De'Vondre Campbell, Rasul Douglas, Dennis Kelly, Sammy Watkins - all players brought in on inexpensive one-year deals giving them an opportunity to ball out and land a better contract, with the Packers being the beneficiaries of their excellent play for that season. And for those that do ball out, the contract can even come from the Packers! Gutey made some bigger free agents splashes when he first came to town, but these types of consistent sneaky-good free agent moves are what most Packers fans were calling for under Thompson's watch.

Sitting and Smiling - That has to be what Jaire Alexander and his agents are doing as the market for top cornerbacks gets set.  First Xavian Howard and now Denzel Ward have signed big contract extensions. Of course, the devil is in the details of how those deals are structured and how much money is guaranteed. While Ward's deal seems bigger, it's roughly 70% guaranteed, whereas Howard's is 100% guaranteed money (which is crazy IMO). Regardless, Jaire will get paid by the Packers, it's just a matter of where the two sides meet.

WR angst, TE getting ignored - Personally, I'm on a crusade to bring back the TE into the Packers' passing offense. In addition to running the ball more (lip service or will they actually do it?), it would go a long way towards mitigating the loss of Adams and MVS.  We've all seen the cutups of a wide-open Josiah Deguara being ignored throughout the playoff loss, and some will blame it on the early drop he had in that game. But to force the ball to "favorite" receivers because of one drop... I digress. What I really want to say is let's USE the tight end as a passing weapon. Hopefully the return of Robert Tonyan (another "favorite" of Aaron Rodgers), will grant me my wish and make for a more unpredictable Packers' offense. 

I NEED IT - I'll likely re-think this right before the draft, but as of right now, here is my order of  Packers draft NEEDS. If you have a different order, let me know in the comments.

1) WR
2) EDGE
3) OT
4) S
5) DT
6) ILB
7) TE
8) IOL
9) CB
10) RB
11) QB

Of course, VALUE often supersedes NEED, and to that end, I wouldn't be shocked if one of the top-3 DTs are available at 22 and the Packers take him. 

 

 

__________________________

"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

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14 points

Comments (247)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:27 am

Great thoughts again this week, Al. I totally agree - on all points.

Here’s one custom built draft solution that might be helpful:

22 WR Chris Olave
28 OT/OG Darian Kinnard
53 EDGE Sam Williams
59 WR Alec Pierce
93 TE Jelani Woods
132 S Bryan Cook
140 EDGE Alex Wright
171 TE/H Chig Okwonko
228 OT Cordell Volson
249 OG Jason Poe
258 WR Deven Thompkins

Should be interesting to see what Gutekunst & Co. do with the cap relief provided in Alexander’s upcoming contract extension. Cheers!

Go Pack Go!

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:32 am

Kinnard with a first?

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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:47 am

Hell yes. STEAL there. No joke.

Go to packers.com and look at our roster. That OL looks like a M*A*S*H* Unit.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:06 am

He had a fourth rd grade, but All-SEC. The rest of your lineup is solid.

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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:01 am

4th Round grade assigned by whom?

I’m sorry, but Kinnard is Athlon’s #32 ranked player overall. I’ll take that to the bank all day.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:55 am

Consensus has him at #66, and that's always where I start from. The huddlereport doesn't have a profile on him but has him as the #12 OL, which would normally put him in the third round.. Walterfootball, who I hold in regard, has him in the top half of the first round. PFN/Tony Pauline have him as a Day 2 guy who is freakin' ginormous but doesn't have as much polish as you'd like. This is important, because he might have to start as a rookie.

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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:55 am

* Not an ideal build for an offensive lineman, thin in the arms
* Many difficulties arise form pass blocking on an island
* Beaten around the edge without slowing the rusher down and can lose face up against stiff contact due to not having the ability to stop backwards momentum
* Move to guard is likely in his future
* Deep drop steps aren't natural and stiff contact jolts him mid-stride
* Loses on counter moves, thrown to the side when top heavy or leaning too far over, specifically when run blocking
* Whiffs on cut blocks

— excerpt from David Bakhtiari draft profile

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Turophile's picture

April 21, 2022 at 04:28 pm

I wouldn't take Kinnard over Tyler Smith at 28 (Tulsa)

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:53 pm

I glanced at Athlon's data. OK, they had Kinnard @ #32 on their List as a Guard.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:01 am

I have Two OT and a Guard mocked at all times. I see the Full View, Nijman is a backup.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:01 am

I think Nijman is a very good backup, who will be a starting tackle in this league. Whether that happens in Green Bay or elsewhere remains to be seen. At the end of this season, he will be a 26 year old unrestricted free agent. Somebody is going to pay this guy.

Full view is we need 9 offensive linemen suited up, and you can pretty much count on your #8 and #9 guys starting games for you, probably in the playoffs. Plus one or two more on the practice squad who are on your gameday roster by the end of the season.

So yeah, we should be strengthening this unit, and not with a bunch of Day 3 and UDFA guys.

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croatpackfan's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:21 am

yeah, in the past we should pass David Bakhtiari (4th round), Josh Sitton (4th round), Corey Linsley (5th round), TJ Lang (4th round), JC Tretter (4th round) etc

I would not draft any OL before 4th round. Packers obviously lucky with OL drafted in the 4th round (not later than 5th).

It is interesting how bunch of Day 3 guys pans out for the Packers...

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:51 pm

Yes, we've been blessed with some excellent mid-round OLmen, but that's far from a guarantee. It has also helped that for 30 years we've had QBs who were hard to sack.
Obviously NO one expected Bakhtiari to play as well as he did, much less as a rookie!
But Elgton Jenkins was pick #44, and he's a much better example of what you get picking higher.

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dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:58 am

"At the end of this season, he will be a 26 year old unrestricted free agent"

Sporttrac caught me on this before and I think has this wrong. He was an ERFA this year, and I think will be an RFA next off-season....so the Packers will have the ability to tender him again next year, but he could still get poached by other teams.

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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:13 pm

The Packers did have OT Bamidele Olaseni in for a visit last week… You want some fun, look him up. Holy crap.

6-7 348 with 36 1/2” arms… and, the kid can seriously play LT. Watch his film where he literally destroys and rag dolls at will… wow.

David Bakhtiari looks like a little boy in a garage band next to this kid.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:53 pm

Clearly the Giants need to draft Olaseni and Faalele. :-D

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Minniman's picture

April 20, 2022 at 03:45 pm

Faalele is a sleeper pick - as the saying goes, you can't teach size or speed.

Is it just me or are the middle round draft options this year the most intriguing than they've been in a while!

Perhaps its that extra year of prep for some that have elevated their games from being complete and utter speculation to being able to see transferrable NFL traits.

If the draft falls poorly for the Packers, I wouldn't be averse to trading one of the 1st rounders and getting a couple of extra picks in rounds 2 and 3.

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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:05 pm

The draft in completely loaded where we really need help. Don’t be surprised if we hit S at #22 or #28, as it’s not the deepest class this year, and Gutekunst is likely thinking ahead to the cost of Amos’ next deal. That would fit the MO.

GB might want to get the best of the lot early, and there’s some good ones, but, I’d say a handful at best. After that, and, it’s a good handful of talent, it will fall off quite fast.

Cine or Pitre are my favs early. Cook & Joseph Day 2. Maybe they can steal Markquese Bell Day 3. That’s the handful I know and like. Probably are more, but haven’t dug real deep there.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 21, 2022 at 03:39 am

Yup. Nijman was an ERFA and will be a RFA in 2023.

A first round tender next year should keep Nijman in GB (and getting a first for him wouldn't be a bad outcome for the former UDFA). A second round tender might suffice, depending on how much and how well he plays in 2022.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 03:13 pm

No doubt. It is the Reason I have chosen to keep the QB upright and on the field if they make it to the playoffs by selecting the OTs and a Guard to provide competition up front. May the best man win. Same logic on the TEs. Not looking for projects, but guys who can go inline and make the catch on 3rd and short to move the chains. I like Deguara as the HB , if they ever get back to WCO basics, they would have a Fullback on lead draws, pass pro and the wheel routes 1:1 with a 180# cornerback.

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Minniman's picture

April 20, 2022 at 04:10 pm

To prove your point - when the Packers OL was decimated these past 2 seasons, not even Davantae Adams could bridge the gap when Rodgers was either throwing early or on the run.

As fascinating as some of these WR prospects are in how they could complete a plays, being young and new, it will be of greater importance that Rodgers can be kept upright and given the time to accommodate their years 1 & 2 miscues.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 06:31 pm

My Stew provides both options.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:15 am

Thank you for drawing attention to the offensive line. It needs attention. I went to Defcon 4 on the offensive line about a month ago, when we lost Taylor and Patrick. Our starter at LT has been out with an injury since 2020. Our best OL, is injured and not expected back until at least mid-season. Our starting center only played in 5 games his rookie season because of injury. Our starter at RT is undetermined, and there's no real quality depth.

If we don't attend to this in a serious way in the draft, I'll be at Defcon 3.

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Bear's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:50 am

With all those problems what was their record ?

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 03:14 pm

When it mattered, one and done.

4 points
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:44 am

Hell yes. STEAL there. No joke.

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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:49 am

Olave is the high-volume, top possession, never drops, buttery route running QB’s best friend WR.

Kinnard is a beast, and would be a steal at 28.

Williams, a beast DE, one like we haven’t had here in quite a while. Great EDGE with the numbers to prove it.

Pierce is a tough looking, fast and effective deep threat from a BCS team.

Woods, a remarkable target at TE to develop.

Cook, just about as baller as it gets at S. This kid has it all. Insane value here.

Wright, I like what I’ve heard about him so much, I’d buy the company.

Okonkwo. LOOK OUT. LaFleur’s dream pick here.

Volson. Beast. Nasty sexy beast. Just what you want at OT, and he’s got all the tools for further development.

Poe, the fastest pulling OG in this draft.

Thompkins, small, but TOUGHT, FAST, RELIABLE, BALLER! Deven also happens to be the FBS leader in Deep Ball Receptions. Great KR/PR, and Jordan Love’s former teammate.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:04 am

Sam William is fast off the edge. Can he hold point? Wright is an interesting prospect from UAB. Not seeing Pierce fall, but he could be there.

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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:18 am

Yeah, Pierce is great and all, but, he runs a 4.41, he’s without a giant volume of receptions (52 in 2021, just 106 total in his 4 year career), and there are others with far better numbers.

I think he’ll be there for us to take if they like.

Williams is a freak for his size, 6-3 1/2 261 with a 4.46? I’m sure they can develop his abilities to hold the edge v. run. THAT’s a crazy number, just .05 off of Pierce’s!!! Holy crap.

Wright? Wow. There nothing but a small amount of tape floating around there on him, but, man, his numbers are freakish as well. Yes to that. Seems from the little I’ve seen, and all that I’ve read, he’d make a perfect addition. Both would with Gary & Preston in a rotation. High octane.

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Minniman's picture

April 20, 2022 at 04:24 pm

Williams would add that piece that we never got to see out of Z last year - that twitchy, bendy get after the QB type.

Gary and Preston bring the power, edge setting and constriction and Williams brings the QB heat.

Hopefully he's got it together between the ears though - it's quite a technical position now to contact the QB without drawing penalties.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 21, 2022 at 03:46 pm

I would now take he and Watson in the first and not look back.

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BruceC1960's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:14 am

I’m a bit concerned a deal hasn’t already been made with Alexander to free up some cap space. Is it possible he will price himself out of Green Bay? The argument was made that we won a bunch of games without 17, couldn’t the same be said for Jaire? Any chance they deal him for a #1 WR or a 1st round pick? Might make sense if they don’t think they can sign him.

6 points
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Minniman's picture

April 20, 2022 at 04:33 pm

Agree, and wonder if the pause is on JA's side (everyone wants to be the highest paid positional player nowadays).

I see a link between Bakh and Alexander's fates if the Packers do have to make him the #1 paid CB.

It will be interesting to see how both players do in OTA's this year - both coming off significant injuries.

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Swisch's picture

April 20, 2022 at 05:02 pm

I'd make a generous offer to Jaire, but we can't write him a blank check -- especially after he missed most of last season with injury.
I'd consider trading Jaire for a wide receiver, but the concern is how much money that wide receiver is going to want. Maybe trade him for a defensive lineman.

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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 06:33 pm

Most here regard him as the best CB in the NFL, Top two, maybe? I’m not seeing any real rush till after the draft. Let the market establish his price, as it is, then work what would be a fair deal, considering his injury, or decide to move on…

OTOH, a lot of good young CBs in this draft. A lot of them. When you can realistically get 4.3 speed with good ball skills mid-late Day 3, that’s a deep class. Might factor into Gutekunst’s thinking. Being steward of the team, it’s fiscal viability, with as strapped as they are currently, without a Jaire restructure?

As others have mentioned, that shoulder…??? Would surprise the hell out of me if he did try to work a trade, but, our cap issues are real. A lotta coin for a CB coming off that shoulder.

And, I love Jaire here. Tough decisions for sure.

2 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 21, 2022 at 03:44 am

A little concerning, but I suppose Alexander and GB were waiting for Howard and Denzel Ward to set the market. So, I think the market is pretty clear now. GB might wait until after the draft, but I imagine they can walk and chew gum at the same time.

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greengold's picture

April 21, 2022 at 06:59 am

Yeah, TGR, I wasn’t really sure what the status of those deals were, heard some rumblings, but had draft blinders on… ha. Doubt Gutekunst will send him out via trade, or let this be much of any kind of impasse being Jaire was his first top choice. That shoulder is a thing though.

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BirdDogUni's picture

April 21, 2022 at 08:15 am

If Gutey drafts a CB at #22, that might tell us if the shoulder or contract is really a thing?

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greengold's picture

April 21, 2022 at 11:07 am

Exactly. Could easily see CB Andrew Booth Jr. with the 22 and Lewis Cine at 28. That would address some things. In a deep WR class? Deep OT/OG class. Deep EDGE class? We should probably be ready for just about anything a week from today. I'll be putting my helmet on.

Can't wait till Green Bay is "ON THE CLOCK," and ESPN cuts to commercial.

Fun times. Fun times...

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:24 pm

Every mock since January has the Packers taking Olave with their first pick. Now everyone else has joined in on the Olave love train. That almost guarantees Gute will pick someone else.

5 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

April 20, 2022 at 03:08 pm

Thank God! ; P

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Minniman's picture

April 21, 2022 at 01:19 am

I'm neither on or off the Olave bandwagon, but for anyone who is, have a look at the OSU vs Nebraska game - the one which Garrett Wilson was out.

TL;DR - He saw only 7 receptions that game (for 61 yds), behind the sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba with 15/240 (and who in the back half of the season poached more and more targets off of both Wilson and Olave).

I'd have expected Olave to be the WR1 in that game and get the most targets. Its sobering to see that this was not the case.

For Olave to succeed at the 2022 Packers he's going to need an ensemble around him to carry the load.

1 points
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Guam's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:45 am

Do you really believe QB1 will accept a more run heavy scheme? I would love to see it happen using our excellent running backs and good blocking TE's and WR's, but I am afraid that is just a off-season illusion. Aaron Rodgers wants to sling the ball and he will do just that despite the fervent wishes of many Packer backers.

The only real question I have in Al's draft order is OT. The issue is the health of Bahk and Jenkins. If both those two return healthy (plus Nijman), the need for an OT drops significantly. If one or both are questionable to return to full health, OT becomes a much larger priority. For me, OT is either #2 or #6 in priority, depending on how the health questions for Bahk and Jenkins are answered.

8 points
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:31 am

Personally, Guam, I do see the need for a starting caliber OT added, either top of draft, or via FA with monies freed up by Jaire signing an extension.

We have to have the horses up front, and, man, take a look at our current roster for a refresher… it’s looking as much ALL HANDS ON DECK as WR.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:08 am

1st: WR , Edge or OT
2nd WR, OT, DT
3rd Edge or CB
4th S, DT,or CB
5th OT, TE
7s trade up to the sixth. TE
7th gunners
Pick up Ingram as a Free agent Edge

Two WRs high ( Burks/ Olave; Watson /Skyy) Two OTs( Lucas, Chris Paul) DT ( Hall), CB ( Taylor 4.36) can also go FS , convert Tycen Anderson SS to ILB. TE( Kolar, Krull) McBride will be off by high 30s.
Trade downs get picks for Sp Teams. Love is now the Wild Card. Lot of players to poach off other squads at cut down time. I believe he moves all over the board to bring depth to the second and fourth rounds.

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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:56 am

Here’s what I consider a great mix of adds for the Packers that touches all the need bases, with exception of S, which they can find after roster cuts… can’t hit them all sometimes. I still like Vernon Scott, and I hope he can return healthy. I also really like Innis Gaines. The cupboard is not bare at S if both players return healthy and show progression this year.

These are all very serious, tough, fast, dynamic, physically gifted & brutally competitive (Olave, yes, as an unstoppable chain mover and red zone scorer with 35 TDs) players:

22 WR Chris Olave
28 WR Velus Jones
53 OT/OG Darian Kinnard
59 LB Troy Andersen
93 TE Jelani Woods
132 CB Zyon McCollum
140 EDGE Alex Wright
171 TE Chig Okonkwo
228 OT Cordell Volson
249 OT Bamidele Olaseni
258 WR Deven Thompkins

SPEED plus all the other goods delivered where needed. WRs respectively as listed 4.39, 4.31 and 4.35. Both TEs listed are the top two fasted TEs in this class. Andersen has a 10 RAS. I won’t bother looking it up, and Zyon has a 4.28…

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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:52 am

If Rodgers and LaFleur don’t accept a more diverse attack including all catchers and the ground game the result is likely a futile season. Adams isn’t going to be replaced by a rookie or any one individual this year.

On the OL, we can’t rely on any ACL to be back to the prior position early. While I personally am happy to see Nijman start, I think we need depth and that it generally helps to let these guys have a year in the system. I think this may well be Bakh’s last year. Picking now gives us a strong base for the year after. I agree it’s more likely in the mid rounds than early, as Al’s order would appear to imply. I would actually have liked a DL early, but I think that cupboard bare and the value is later this year.

All that said, and much as I think we got a great value pick up in Watkins I’m not going to fight his history of not being an every down player. He will help, but we need to obtain 2 regular downs workhorse WRs from this draft. We need competent players whether it not Watkins and Cobb are available. That means 3 WRs picked if we are serious,

7 points
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Guam's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:08 am

Do you really believe Rodgers will author "a more diverse attack including all catchers and the ground game"? I would love to see it, but I seriously doubt it will happen. If MLF and the Packers truly wanted to utilize the ground game, they could have traded Rodgers for a boatload and had Love hand the ball off. They kept Rodgers and we will see more of the same passing offense.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:55 am

If we want to win, both he and LaFleur have to. Whether they will is going to be a big factor in determining the wisdom behind what has happened this off season. It’s a legitimate but obvious question that is clearly being posed by this roster at this point.

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splitpea1's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:09 am

Rodgers may not have much of a choice. There's going to be a hodgepodge of receivers on the roster at first with a pecking order that is yet to be determined. One preseason is not enough time for him to establish a rapport with any one particular receiver like he did with Adams. So Rodgers and MLF will have to spread the ball around and utilize the running game more you would think--at least in the beginning part of the season.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

April 20, 2022 at 04:27 pm

They will have to have a more diverse attack without #17. When #17 was out with an injury the offense was pretty darn diverse, including a productive Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams involved more in the passing game. Dillon has the tools for that as well, and with Tonyan re-signed, he will add to the diversity of the passing attack. I think all the injuries along the O-line had their collective effect on the running game last year and we will see that improving this year. There is zero reason to develop a ground based offense with one of the best ever passers at the helm. There just needs to be enough balance to tire out the defense and keep it honest by having a true and productive running threat.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:33 am

Guam, that's the Question of the Day. Personally, I think Rodgers would like to win the Super Bowl so he could serve a giant cup of STFU to all his critics. Or he'll fail, again, and his legacy as the guy who couldn't gets chiseled deeper into the stone. I think/hope this is his last season.

Here's our offensive line situation. Over the last two seasons, we've lost Wagner, Linsley, Patrick, Kelly, and Taylor to retirement or FA. These guys were all veteran starters in the playoffs. We've "replaced" them with Myers (who was hurt most of the year) and a bunch of Day 3 guys. I think that Runyan and Newman and Nijman played very well, but my point is that we're losing premium beef of the line and we're not replacing it fast enough.

If we want to retain Jenkins, (which we do), then we'll have to pay him LT money, because other teams will offer him that. If we're going to pay him LT money, that means we might as well play him at LT, and I think that this will be Bakhtiari's last season in Green Bay . At center, we're hoping Myers can stay healthy for more than 5 games this year.

At RT, people think Nijman deserves a shot, and he does, but he's also our only backup LT at the moment, and Bakhtiari might need more backup than we're thinking. So essentially, we need to draft somebody who can start at RT, because he'll have to if an injury occurs to Bakhtiari or Nijman. IMO, that means a blue chip guy on Day 2, not a 5th round guy with potential.

At guard, we have Runyan, who has been a dependable player at LG, and Newman, who struggled but battled as a rookie. After that, nothing. I guess Hanson is our nominal backup center.

We dress 8 OL: Bakhtiari, Runyan, Myers, Newman, Nijman....Hanson? Van Lanen? And that's before we lose anybody else to injury. Do you see why we really need to upgrade here? We have a 39 year old QB who needs protection and two excellent RBs who need holes.

I think protecting the QB is job #1 for this offense, because if he's protected, we usually score enough points to win. So put me down for an extra helping of offensive line in this draft.

5 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:44 am

Very good points Leather. When I was younger, I would be bummed when the Pack drafted an OL player. I viewed it as the ultimate boring pick and wanted the sexy WR or RB that everyone knew and I had visions of Howard Cosell recounting their flash plays at halftime during MNF.

BUT, games are controlled and the tempo set with the big guys up front.

5 points
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Leatherhead's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:55 am

It's like insulation. Boring. But damn useful when the weather is cold.

If I were the GM of the Packers, or any other NFL franchise, I would try to assemble the best offensive line unit, 1-9, that was practical. Most of them are going to have to be on their rookie deals because good, veteran linemen are expensive.

In my entire life, very single QB and RB look better when they have good blocking in front of them. Truly. Even Csonka. Even Brady. And these guys do get beat up over the course of training camp and 17 weeks of games and practice, so you really need a bunch.

3 points
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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:28 pm

Completely agree. To some extent, even moreso with defenses being built more and more to stop the pass.

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Since'61's picture

April 21, 2022 at 10:08 am

LH I agree. Any offense only goes far as their OL takes them. It's one of football's constants from era to era.
Thanks, Since '61

2 points
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greengold's picture

April 21, 2022 at 10:13 am

Yep. This game really is won in the trenches. The Packers are in a far more precarious spot than I originally thought going into this process. There's really very little depth, quality depth on our OL.

Same with EDGE. IDL looks fine, but we'll be in trouble without some top talents added behind Gary & Preston should injury hit.

0 points
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:47 am

They'll dress 9 OL with the game day actives rule for OL. If anything, that emphasizes the need for depth even more.

Hanson is a curiosity--here's a guy who they carried on the PS in 2020, and they kept on the 53 all season in 2021, but never used...he played 5 snaps in week 8 (at G) and one against the Lions in week 18. Very Yosh-Nijmanesque (and reminiscent of Lucas Patrick) in that regard. They must think they have something there, and they might see him as the next Lucas Patrick.

2 points
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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:31 pm

I think Hanson had everything you want (athletic, good size, smart, team captain) except strength. I've assumed they've been trying to get him strong enough for the NFL, and was finally getting there last year.

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 06:54 pm

Hanson bench pressed 33 times. The rest of his combine was well below expectations though. That had teams worried about his athleticism. He is a guy with really good film and looks mobile but didn’t show that in testing. He was consistently effective (no sacks in his first three years I think) and a leader but teams got wary after the combine. He’s an example of a very low RAS player Gute liked, presumably based on film contradicting his testing.

1 points
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Guam's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:38 am

All good points about the O-line LH. I agree that they are going to have to play Jenkins at either LT or RT because he is going to command tackle dollars on his next contract. If the Packers think they are going to cut/trade Bahk after next season, then they must draft OT high this year and get him ready. If they think their starting tackles are going to be Bahk and Jenkins for the next 2-3 years with Nijman as a swing backup, then a high OT pick is one that will accumulate dust on the bench, which is not consistent with the current "all-in" mode.

I am less concerned about the IOL as I will be very surprised if Myers and Newman don't make the usual second year jump. I think the Packers will be fine with Runyon, Myers and Newman as starters and Hanson and Van Lanen as backups. I wouldn't be surprised to see a late round edition to that bunch.

I am bad at predicting Packer draft choices, so I will watch with interest what the Packers actually do. I think how they address the O-line is the biggest question mark I have and what they do will provide insight into what they are thinking about Bahk, Jenkins and Nijman.

3 points
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:36 am

"I am bad at predicting Packer draft choices"

Yeah, I mostly quit trying to make predictions a long time ago and distinctly remember when they were on the clock a few years ago saying, "please not Rashan Gary" and after they dealt up "please not Jordan Love." Mostly I like the lead-up and window shopping for prospects, but recognize that the draft is hard to judge on a single pick: you've got to look at the whole (well, mostly rounds 1-4) and see the big picture.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:58 am

I’m great at predicting. Not so good on the outcomes.

I suspect I’m going to have even more company than usual in that this year.

3 points
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:01 pm

I’m a card carrying member of that club! See you at the next support group meeting.

0 points
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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:33 pm

I resemble that remark! :-D

2 points
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:37 am

You know what I could really go for right now? That giant, steaming cup of STFU you speak of. That sounds good. We’ve been waiting 11 years… lol.

Anyhow, I love this, LH. Great breakdown on the truly desperate need for QUALITY additions on our OL.

If you see me throwing a mock without OT and OG up top, it’s because I’m assuming Gutekunst will use $$$ freed up with a Jaire extension there in FA, or via trade.

There has to be NFL ready talent added at both positions, IMO. Ones capable of starting. Agree with you 100% here.

-1 points
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:37 am

The Packers actually ran the ball LESS in 2021 (41.4%) than they did in 2020 (43.8%)...keeping in mind that in a 60-snap game, you're talking about 2 plays per game. That's easily explainable by game flow.

I come back to the fact that the Packers need to threaten with the run as much as they actually need to hand the ball off. Meaning: when they run the ball, they need to be proficient at it...enough so that even in some marginal down-and-distance situations, defenses will respect a run formation when the Packers line up in one. Obviously, the Packers still need to run the ball often enough to make it a consideration.

3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:58 am

By handoff or pass, the RB ends up with the ball more on more than half of our plays.

0 points
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Since'61's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:39 am

Agree LH, which is a solid reason for drafting an RB by round 4 or 5 at the latest. Thanks, Since '61

0 points
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:47 am

AJones is probably in his last season in GB. They'll have to figure out how to handle that. Is Kylin Hill going to make it back? Do they like Patrick Taylor? They'll need a guy to split carries with Dillon.

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:01 pm

Hey, in my mocks, I take a RB at #59, usually Isaiah Spiller. He's great insurance and paves the way for next season as a replacement for Jones. Pretty much assures that we'll be able to line up a healthy, dangerous RB on every snap this season.

This is nothing against Taylor or Hill, but I just think we can/should upgrade that unit, considering it's better than half the offense.

4 points
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:17 pm

If Hill hadn’t blown his ACL last year, it would arguably be one of the best RB units 1-3 in the NFL…

Now, drafting a top RB is a very smart play.

0 points
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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:40 pm

Really liked what we saw of Hill, but I've been drafting Kyren Williams at 92 or 132 in most of my mocks. I really see a cross between Aaron Jones and Walter Payton in his play. If he ran a 4.4 instead of a 4.56, I think he'd be a second-round pick, but I think his style is perfect for Green Bay: great pass-pro, great receiving hands, ridiculous balance and slipperiness, excellent reading the field and blocks, etc. He also did a great job returning some punts.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 03:24 pm

Haskins from Michigan for the other power back in the room.

0 points
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Slim11's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:27 am

I think OT should be #1 shifting WR and EDGE to #2 and #3, respectively. Otherwise, I agree with the way you prioritize the Packers’ needs in this draft.

0 points
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:40 am

More and more analysts saying the Packers will not take a WR until round 2, and that they'll prioritize OL/DL/Edge in round 1.

2 points
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Since'61's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:34 am

Agree Dobber. I have been advocating for a DL and Edge with first round picks. I would be happy with an OL as one of our first round picks as well. Stay safe. Thanks, Since '61

1 points
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:48 am

Quality trench players are always good picks.

The ILBs get markedly better playing behind higher end DL...

3 points
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:54 am

Not afraid of that at all. What I am afraid of is waiting until #53 for our first shot at addressing the WR position. That, to me, would be foolish.

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:20 pm

I think that quite a few quality WRs will be available after the first wave of WRs is gone. I also think that now that we have Watkins, Lazard, Cobb, and Amari that we only need one WR.

I think if they want to strengthen the Oline, they trade down and get a pick in the second and third and use them both to get some starter-ready linemen.

The DL/Edge pick strikes me a little as "gilding the lily". We have a very good defense and return virtually everybody. We signed Campbell, Douglas, Reed, and Nixon. We're getting Alexander back. Stokes might be better, and Slaton, too.

Yes, we need a 3rd edge in the rotation, and last year Jonathan Garvin did a good job in that role. He played 400 defensive snaps for us last year. Essentially, we'd be using a high pick to take snaps away from Garvin.

Similarly, how many snaps does a rookie DL get with us this year.? We only play 2 on quite a few downs and probably average 2.5 DL per snap. We like Clark on the field.. Slaton is a first down/short yardage run plug. Lowry and Reed probably combine for 1 of those 2.5 guys.....I just don't see it. It's an indulgence, IMO.

-1 points
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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:44 pm

Agree (as usual) LH.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 04:18 pm

I caveat this by saying I’m not convinced, because I think it is highly dependent on what positions:players are actually taken early, even within the WR group. I don’t think we jump for additional slot types given that other groups are much thinner. If there’s an equivalent value, take the player at a position of need where the group is thinner and the drop off is faster. But always remember that, this year, some positions have to be filled by players and ones that can contribute now. OLB and WR particularly will have to fill significant snaps. OL and S is probably next but likely back ups and DL doesn’t offer much early this time.

1 points
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Starrbrite's picture

April 20, 2022 at 06:16 pm

Agree with Dobber and Since’61—I’m nearly always about defense in the early rounds.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:39 am

I agree with your priorities in terms of positions, though I think we will see some duplicated, notably WR and perhaps OL. I’m not worried about whether we pick up RB or QB during the draft (assuming Hill is likely to be healthy), I think Taylor and Hill work again plus a UDFA and that Benkert is fine as number 3 QB this year.

I think the one missing piece is ST. I think we pick up a couple of players purely on ST acumen late. I’d love a returner of kicks and punts (if we haven’t got one earlier) to compete with Rodgers and, perhaps, Gafford. But I’d be happy to see a really good gunner who is otherwise purely developmental in the 7th regardless of nominal position. Dare I say LS? I never thought I would. Maybe they can find these in UDFA, but I would be happy to devote the late draft capital to snag ones we think can really help.

As to the use of TE/Hback/WRs not named Adams. That’s got to change. If we just insert another name for Adams’ then we will likely fail again. It’s up to Rodgers and LaFleur to spread it around to all catchers, including Dillon and Jones as part of an accepted plan.

It’s also critical that they be willing to use backups if there is an injury. The refusal to try Taylor after Dillon went down still sticks in my throat as much as the option to mess with the OL starting that game. It may not have worked but to not see was criminal given how that game developed

4 points
5
1
greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:02 am

I expected more from Taylor than what we saw last year, and Hill is another ACL… might be really smart to draft one of the best RBs in the draft, add the horses up front, and, RUN TO DAYLIGHT.

LOL. Always fun to say, even though it mostly falls on deaf ears.

If you want a returner, there’s none better than Velus Jones Jr. 3000 KR yds in his career at USC & Tennessee without a single muff…*** that’s an insane number.

2 points
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PeteK's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:37 am

I would take Jones with a 5th round pick. I like his speed, maturity, and versatility. He can be a returner, gunner, WR, and can run the ball on occasion.

0 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:27 am

If you think we're going to get Velus Jones in the 5th round, I would like to remind you of AJ Dillon. (I was hoping to get him in the 3rd or 4th round, but we drafted him in the 2nd round.)

If you really want Velus Jones, you'll likely have to draft him before the 5th round IMO.

Teams like the Packers, who have definitive need for WRs and STs are going to prioritize these guys much higher than other teams and draft pundits.

If we get him in the 5th round, I will be very happy and surprised.

*The good thing is they all can't go before the 5th round, so someone will be there. Maybe we'll get lucky and Velus will make it to our 5th round pick?

4 points
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:47 am

He will not. I’ll guarantee it.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 04:25 pm

3rd is as high as he should go as a pure receiver. Anything above that is overestimating his receiving. I’d say he’s worth a late 4th as a returner alone though. I think there is a strong chance that he gets hugely overdrafted.

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

April 21, 2022 at 08:39 am

In my simulations, Velus Jones is always there at #132. Until this week, when all of a sudden, he's not. He's moved up. He's still a Day 3 guy, but earlier in the 4th round.

How many kicks are we actually planning on returning this year. At least one, each game. Figure a couple of scores every game. Four kickoff returns per game? Five? Multiplied by 17.? That's like 70 or 80 in a season.

Now, you subtract all the kicks we don't return. That's going to be about half. So we're looking at MAYBE, POSSIBLY, 35 or 40 kick returns.

The ONLY thing I'm looking for on kick returns and punt returns is not turning it over. The actual return means little, as most returns are near or below the average and a few longer returns pump up the stats a little. So I can't get excited about starting outside the 30 a couple of times in a season.

I like Velus Jones at #132. I think I might like Tyquan Thornton a little more.

0 points
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greengold's picture

April 21, 2022 at 10:04 am

Yeah, I've always looked at his return skills as nothing more than a bonus, really, LH. Have seen the changes affecting the kicking game much like yourself.

Thinking more pure WR with him, really. I look at how he plays, the elusiveness, the speed, the routes, the toughness and most of all, the effectiveness, and I see him as a legit WR1 candidate. More so than just about any WR in this draft.

His after catch production is off the charts. With 4.31 speed. He can play Slot, Split-end, Flanker all with aplomb. Add in his multiple Jet concept abilities, and he seems the perfect fit, really.

I'm projecting his Pro qualities exhibited in what was far from a straight line path to getting reps to prove himself. That's all.

Nobody appears to agree, because either they haven't really delved into what he offers as a WR, or haven't seen his film. The guy makes people miss with regularity.

Trusting simulators? Not for me. That's why I want to delegate draft resources in a higher pick to secure a player I believe is top of the mountain in this class. That's all, and I'm barking up a forest of wrong trees with this.

Watching his tape, his uncanny abilities scream out plain as day. Stuff you cannot teach. He's got as good or better numbers in After Catch Production than Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams... the entire lot.

Is that not one of the most important parts of LaFleur's stated scheme? Jet? With 4.31? And good size, well built? Tough? Confident in himself enough to transfer out of USC to TEN for more reps to show his wares? I like that.

Let's put it this way, does it sound reasonable a WR with 4.31, 75% Catch % on 62 receptions for 807 yds and a 13.0 average, #1 overall in YAC, YAContact and Missed Takles Forced at 6-0 200 would be available at #132? 62 receptions on just 82 targets?

If we don't take him, KC, SF and TEN are all lined up to do so.

Pretty much the last I'll say on him. I just encourage others to watch his play.

Aside from that, I think the Packers will add quality players to WR and elsewhere to make this a better team in a week. There is some great talent right where we need it. I'm very confident this will be a good draft for the Packers.

0 points
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:49 am

Hi Pete, if I may ask, why would you risk losing such a valuable WR/KR waiting until R5?

I haven’t been blowing smoke with this kid. He’s legit, and former Trojan Keyshawn Johnson said on his show KC will probably add him R1 to replace Tyreke Hill. TEN also wants him badly. Read up on him.

I’m trying to help with these shares. To me, he’s my #1 pick. He’s that good. I’ll take him over Olave or Burks any day.

He had just 4 fewer receptions than Treylon Burks’ 66. He’s the top WR in combined YAC, YAContact and Missed Tackles Forced. VJJ has the highest Catch% of all WRs in this class at just over 76%. He couldn’t be more perfect for what we want to do, especially with his 4.31 speed. He got all his numbers playing at Power 5 schools USC and Tennessee.

There is not one WR better in this draft for screens & Jet concepts.

He averages 8.32 yards after catch. Jones averages over 4 yards after contact, and forces missed tackles on 26% of his receptions.

I do not get this, other than the entire draft industry missed on the kid - and he doesn’t touch the legit value slots he should hold in draft simulators… because they all missed - not because they’re right.

His numbers simply DO NOT LIE. Neither does his tape.

Watch his highlights, and you’ll see. Immediately.

0 points
2
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PeteK's picture

April 20, 2022 at 02:30 pm

I know he's a bit faster in the 40 than Rodgers, but they seem to be very similar. However, he does seem to be a better returner.

1 points
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 02:48 pm

Oh, Pete, if you watched his highlights, there’s no way you’d say he and Amari Rodgers are similar… Night & Day.

-1 points
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2
jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 03:40 pm

Calvin Austin mentioned as well as Skyy Moore. You know Andy is drooling and diagraming NEW Plays as we blog.

2 points
2
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blondy45's picture

April 20, 2022 at 06:00 pm

Velus Jones is 25 years old. He is not my cup of tea. Over-under? IMO pick #100. He is not a top 100 player. He is not a blocker, special team's players do not contribute volume wise, & we do not need more one-dimensional slot WRs. I would draft him in the 5th (171) but will not be available there. Give me Jalen Tolbert at #59!

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 21, 2022 at 04:10 am

Velus didn't return punts. Kick returners are getting less and less work.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 21, 2022 at 09:14 am

Punt returns are what we really need. Kick returns are something Gafford has done in the NFL, and he’s cheap. If we sign a returner it’s got to be because we believe he’s an upgrade on punts. Jones has returned one punt in college: It’s possible but speculative.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 21, 2022 at 11:13 am

Skyy Moore can do it all.

1 points
1
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:13 am

I’d forgotten that Hill’s knee was diagnosed as an ACL. Yes, that might change things, though I think Gafford could handle kick returns and has in the NFL.

0 points
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1
BirdDogUni's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:39 am

Hoping Gafford can handle the "Irvin" role. Can't teach speed and he's got speed. Be nice if he developed into a viable contributor. That would definitely take the pressure off of a rookie having to perform day one. Depth, STs, Gafford could be a real dark horse this year.

He could also not make the 53, so I'm not going to get too excited just yet.

0 points
1
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 04:27 pm

Definitely might not make the 53. If he does it’s as a KR/option type as you say.

0 points
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packer132's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:43 am

Great post Al, and I like your top #11. Teams will trade and make surprise picks before Green Bay, though the many mock drafts have been interesting. I saw Sports Illustrated posted 14 probable picks for the Packers, and all good selections. I think a WR in 1st and 2nd, and probably again late. Last year's draft produced 3 starters, and I am hoping for a similar result this year. Only one more week of waiting!

6 points
6
0
LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:49 am

Both OL and Edge are very deep. I think #2 and #3 priorities respectively as an OL, if good enough to start, will play many more snaps than an Edge prospect, who would play situationally, behind Smith and Gary.

WR as #1 priority is essential for Gutey to get his highest rated prospect on his board asap. Then he can go shopping on Day 2 for a second prospect.

I am thinking there may still be a 3rd WR selected on Day 3 with ST ability but it is not a pressing need with Taylor, Blair, Gafford, Winfree on the roster and doubt a 7th or even a 5th rounder would supplant all 4 young Packers WRs. A few of them, perhaps all 4 will make cutdown day very difficult.

With Lazard, Watkins, Cobb, Rodgers, Taylor, Blair, Gafford, Winfree, Daftee #1, & Draftee #2...they have 10 WRs to select from for the 6 that will likely make the 53. Can't keep them all.

I don't think they keep 7 with more emphasis on the run game and TE/RB pass game hopefully getting more emphasis.

3 points
3
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TxPackFan's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:55 am

I would be stoked if we could get Kevin Austin on Day 3. The guy is a physical freak who because of circumstances had limited opportunity in college, but made leaps and bounds and came on strong the end of last year. He needs time to develop, but he would be the most physically gifted receiver we've had in year and years, by a pretty good amount. 9.94 RAS. Great speed. Elite explosion. Elite agility. Built almost exactly like Davante coming out of college. TONS of upside. If we could guaranty to get him, I would be fine passing on a Day 2 guy. but of course you can;t guaranty that.

0 points
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:52 am

"I am thinking there may still be a 3rd WR selected on Day 3 with ST ability but it is not a pressing need with Taylor, Blair, Gafford, Winfree on the roster ..."

I think you value those guys more than I do. All are replacement level or below, positionally. Only Taylor played very many ST snaps (and they didn't trust him enough to play him with the offense)...the others struggled to be active. I think they're all easily replaced.

4 points
4
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LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:13 am

I am just not sure a 5th or 7th round rookie WR draft choice would automatically replace all 4 young Packers. Always a possibility a great WR prospect falls into the 4th round.

I still do not see why ESB took snaps from Taylor who played very well in the preseason and made the 53 (while ESB was cut and made it to the PS).

3 points
3
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:44 am

I don't get it, either...ESB seemed to be in someone's sweet spot with regard to sticking on the roster, that's for sure...

"I am just not sure a 5th or 7th round rookie WR draft choice would automatically replace all 4 young Packers."

LOL! I had visions of the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where he plays all 9 baseball positions at once...

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x863b6k

I bet Bugs has a great RAS. ;)

4 points
4
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:07 am

I’m guessing someone was upset Gute cut him. Gute was right and EQ was given time I think Taylor or even Winfree deserved and overall would have made better use of.

2 points
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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 01:21 pm

It really was surprising--I'd even say shocking-- to see ESB get snaps over Malik Taylor. I always assume that it's because the coaches see so much more in practices, and we have to base things just on games.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 03:54 pm

Equan was a drafted guy over a street FA who happened to be the better player. Thinking along those lines doesn't always put your best on the field.

3 points
3
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HawkPacker's picture

April 21, 2022 at 08:26 am

Also, if you remember, Rodgers liked ESB!

0 points
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:50 am

Yeah. All those guys should probably be replaced. Don’t know much about Gafford other than his 4.28…? If I remember right?

We’ll see. I’m 100% certain Rich Bisaccia has his KR/PR requests in with LaFleur & Gutekunst. I’m not concerned about this in the least.

2 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:43 am

"I’m 100% certain Rich Bisaccia has his KR/PR requests in with LaFleur & Gutekunst. I’m not concerned about this in the least."

I will definitely be concerned if we go into the season with Amari Rodgers in that role. SMH

3 points
3
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:02 am

Fair points, though I’m baffled at the handling of Taylor, he clearly isn’t seen as a key offensive prospect. The one who is worth keeping an eye on is Winfree. He actually might break through I think, if he can stay healthy. Blair they obviously like since they e had him for almost 2 years. Why? Maybe he will show us this summer.

3 points
3
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greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 01:11 pm

I agree Coldworld, to the point where our real total WR “needs” are possibly just one or two good ones from this draft. Winfree has been developing in system nicely. Been thinking that for a while myself.

The thing that gets me is the AR “trust,” garbage. Is he also making demands upon who we take and where in this draft? I mean, it seems so far fetched, and then, it doesn’t.

Will his influence have an effect, where we do take 3 or 4 WRs? Ignoring other great players available at other positions? They did say he’d have more of a voice in draft discussions…

Man, there’s so so much we do not know. Whatever. We’ll see.

1 points
2
1
PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 01:18 pm

Agree about Winfree. I've wondered if he isn't a poor-man's Davante, having a rough year in fan's eyes, but the coaching staff clearly saw a lot of potential in practices. He might take a big step up this, his fourth year.

0 points
1
1
TxPackFan's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:20 am

Good article. It's nice to see people willing to reconsider positions they've already staked. Says a lot about you.

It seems also lost in most peoples' opinion re: Watkins is how he would have performed if he had just managed to play full seasons. Full seasons would have gotten him 800-900 yards per year in both LA (where he shared targets with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp) and KC (where he "shared" targets with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce). Those would be pretty solid numbers for those situations, again...IF he had stayed healthy. That contract was perfect. My guess is, while healthy he'll be our #1 guy. If he stays on the field, he should pretty easily make most of those max numbers. And if he reaches those max numbers, we'll have gotten a bargain. Key for him of course is staying on the field, not lack of talent.

The other thing his signing does is give draft flexibility. Prior to his signing, having to develop or wait for an injury to heal on a kid we were drafting was a deal breaker. After all, we're all-in on the last couple -- or one ? -- seasons of Aaron Rodgers' career. If you're committed to that -- which we've done -- then there is no time to waste...the guy you pick has to be ready to dominate now. Not in 2023. Not in 2024. Now. Signing Watkins takes away that need for "now". We can pick a guy who might take a year to settle in and develop/heal.

As for draft needs, I'm more for drafting into the positional strengths/depth of the each years' draft classes. Eventually it evens out and you have a stronger roster for it. Having said that, I can't disagree with your assessment of team needs and priorities. And as luck would have it, those needs/priorities pretty well match the strength/depth of this year's draft class. It's a deep receiver class. It's a deep edge class. It's a fairly deep O-line class.

The one point I would make on that is the presence of Elgton Jenkins makes me combine IOL and OT and just say O-line. If the top tackles are gone and a Zion Johnson or Kenyon Green are available, I'm 100% OK with drafting either one of those dominant interior linemen, moving Jenkins outside where he would also thrive, and having Nijman be the swing, I would be just fine with that.

BTW...one guy I would be super happy to see the Packers get in the 7th round is Purdue RB Zander Harvath...to develop as an TE/H-back. Guy is 6'3" 230, has fantastic hands, decent speed, elite strength, good explosion, elite agility...AND he used to be a linebacker so you know he'll knock heads on teams while he gains a few pounds and learns the nuances of the new position. 9.83 RAS as a TE.

7 points
7
0
murf7777's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:18 am

Good comments TX, but I'd disagree with one of those. "The other thing his signing does is give draft flexibility"......Because Watkins is oft injured you cannot count on him for the season. With that in mind, they still need to address the WR as priority #1.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Gutey pick up another WR vet before the season starts. I also think he will draft at least one WR in the top 4. I'd be shocked if he doesn't take one in the first round. Like it or not, I expect trader Gutey to trade up and get his man.

3 points
3
0
TxPackFan's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:33 am

I respect your point, but I'm not as concerned about missed games. Take out the freak foot injury he had in 2016 and he's averaged 3 missed games per year. Adams averaged a couple missed games per year, so it's not all that much difference.

Additionally, unlike his past contracts which had large percentages guaranteed, this contract is almost all based on performance levels and should be a HUGE motivator for him to stay on the field.

Like I said, I respect your concerns, I just don't happen to share them. And Gutey could very well trade up and I would be fine with that if he got "his guy". I just don't think he *has* to any longer.

3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:00 am

Watkins hasn't really been the alpha-dog pass-catcher anywhere for some time. This is the first time that will be the case--at least coming into training camp--since he was in Buffalo. I don't know that a rookie will supplant him in that regard, at least not untiil later in the season, at the soonest.

Contact injuries (broken bones, concussions, torn cartilage/ligaments) you can't project or plan for: they're mostly dumb luck. Soft tissue injuries are more preventable, and guys who get them all the time point to bigger issues in training and self-care. I agree that he's playing for one last payday with significant guaranteed money. He should get the targets, he's got something to play for. Being on the field is the key piece. Go do some yoga and get all flexible, Sammy!

3 points
3
0
TxPackFan's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:45 am

I concur.

2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 04:20 pm

Some people are just more susceptible to issues like hamstrings. Remember Clay? It’s not necessarily indicative of poor conditioning.

0 points
0
0
murf7777's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:12 am

To be clear, I love the value of the signing, my issue is it doesn't mean that WR still isn't priority #1 going into the draft.

5 points
5
0
HawkPacker's picture

April 21, 2022 at 09:31 am

I agree Murf but it still does take the pressure off of taking 2 or 3 early. Now they still will have some draft capital to address other needs as well.

-1 points
0
1
bjkdad44's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:25 pm

I like the idea of Harvard…

0 points
0
0
bjkdad44's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:26 pm

Harvath

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 21, 2022 at 10:45 am

Thank you, he's my Fullback. Some compared him to Mike Alstott from the Purdue Alumni files.. A John Kuhn type guy. I've mocked him daily and was mocked in reply. He's a cog that keeps the wheel moving. Not worried about him off tackle for the one yard TD or 1st down vs. a 195 lb halfback on skates during Tundra Time.

2 points
2
0
greengold's picture

April 21, 2022 at 10:57 am

I like Harvath. Kind of hoping for TE/H Chig Okonkwo, myself. Great blocker and super versatile, tough. I love watching his tape. Sometimes looks like a nice, big blocking WR. Great Jet player too. A dedicated FB would be smart as well with a focused rushing attack.

I just think it's going to be really interesting to see what they do.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

April 21, 2022 at 11:15 am

They have Deguara for the same role. All Big Ten guy.

1 points
1
0
wildbill's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:57 am

Hope it’s 350K, not 350M

3 points
3
0
Spock's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:06 am

LOL, I saw that too and had the same thought. :)

0 points
0
0
Pantz_Burp's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:35 am

Hey wildbill... question. Was it you in an older post that said you are a yooper from Ishpemming in the UP? If so, I was going to give a shout out since my grand parents grew up in nearby Negaunee.

0 points
0
0
Guam's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:30 am

There are a number of Yoopers on this blog and I am counted in that group too (Menominee). Haven't been back in decades, but born and bred.........

0 points
0
0
Pantz_Burp's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:48 pm

Hey Guam, thanks for the reply fellow Yooper!

0 points
0
0
Hematite's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:33 am

PB,
Perhaps it is me you are thinking of.
I'm from Ishpeming.
I'm74 years old so perhaps I may know of your grandparents.
Ishpeming and Negaunee are both small towns that border each other and most everybody knows everybody.
I've run into other Yoopers on this site occasionally but never another Ishpeming Hematite or Negaunee Miner.

2 points
2
0
Pantz_Burp's picture

April 20, 2022 at 08:47 pm

Hey Hematite, thanks for the reply...yep, it is you. Thanks for the UP connection. Indeed, my Gramps worked in the mines. Oh, just had a pastie this evening...always reminds me of visiting Ishpeming/Negaunee. I remember at least waist high snow during Easter time. I was able to see the tall ski jump from my grandparents house. Hope you have a great week (what's left of it).

Thanks again for the reply!

0 points
0
0
Hematite's picture

April 21, 2022 at 05:36 am

👍

0 points
0
0
JerseyAl's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:00 am

haha. That wouldn't be such a steal would it? Thanks for spotting that - I fixed it.

1 points
1
0
Spock's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:01 am

Great column as usual, Al. As someone who has zero interest in pre-draft mocks I'm looking forward to seeing who the Packers ACTUALLY draft so I can go back and read the pre-draft info on them! After the draft is my favorite time of the off season.

3 points
3
0
bjkdad44's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:27 pm

I agree with you… I never read these prognostictors prognostications!

2 points
2
0
Pantz_Burp's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:25 am

Thanks Jersey! I am thinking TE as well but interested to see how the draft board morphs once picks start coming off the board. And, as always...there needs to be OL and DL depth (health) that needs to be addressed.

1 points
1
0
Pantz_Burp's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:08 am

Just a gut feeling, they will draft a RB before Rd 5. Book it! I'll bet my scrapbooking supplies on it and throw in a TJ Rubley rookie card as well!

2 points
2
0
murf7777's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:27 am

The man they should look at is James Cook, Delvin's brother. He's a perfect complement because he's a speedy outside runner and a very good receiver. This was his last year's receiving stats at Georgia 27-284-10.5, four TDs. I see him used as a 3rd down option. He's also projected as a late 3rd to late 4th rounder. Hard to say whether he would be available when the Packers pick in the 4th.

3 points
3
0
Pantz_Burp's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:49 am

Thanks murf...I will be tuning in to the draft and the younger cook sounds intriguing. I don't do any real digging on players but have certainly learned alot from fellow posters. On so many levels, the draft is king. I can't get enough of it. Then, like anything... it's done and then you hear crickets chirping for the longest time. Maybe that is why I look forward to it so much...it doesn't last. Like a summer breeze or a popcorn fart = poof, gone...

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:05 am

A faster James White.

1 points
1
0
BirdDogUni's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:52 am

3 points
3
0
NickPerry's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:23 am

"We've all seen the cutups of a wide-open Josiah Deguara being ignored throughout the playoff loss, and some will blame it on the early drop he had in that game."

I also watched a 60 minute game where Rodgers DIDN'T HAVE IT, and it wasn't just the playoff loss to SF this has happened. What about the throw to Aaron Jones? That was a crappy pass Jones has to slow up and adjust to. It should have been 6, instead in turned out to be a blocked FG attempt. That play was HUGE in that gGB could have had a double digit lead going into the half. Instead the 49ers got life.

For most of Rodgers career I've watched the stare's, the shaking of his head, the eye roll, and then ignoring the player all together, even when Rodgers is screwing the pooch himself. IT IS TIME...For that shit to stop. BE a the leader you claim to be!

I'm finally with Coldworld and others on this. MLF MUST get control of this egomaniac QB. We have a good, possibly great OL, the best one-two punch at RB in the NFL, and a play-caller who has one of the most creative schemes in the NFL. LaFleur, you're the HEAD COACH, it's time you get Rodgers to play the way the offense is designed. Not this middle of the road MLF/Rodgers version.

9 points
15
6
murf7777's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:33 am

NP....sorry to tell you, but Rodgers isn't changing the way he does things and MLF knows that. They wouldn't have signed him again if they were planning on changing the Offense from the MLF/Rodgers version. All great HOF type QB's have a say in how the Offense will be run and yes, they all have big Ego's.

8 points
8
0
Guam's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:59 am

Beat me to it Murf! Like NP I would love to see MLF install his offense, but with QB1, that isn't going to happen. Just like the "illusion of complexity" died on Rodgers' preference for a static set so he could get a better read (never mind the defense also gets a better read...), we will never see the true MLF offense until Rodgers retires.

7 points
7
0
Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 06:08 pm

This is one of the reasons why the extended marriage between LaFleur and Rodgers is a flawed concept in my mind. It’s a shame, but I think we often get the least of both when it matters most.

6 points
6
0
Return_To_Sanity's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:43 am

Imagine John Elway refusing to hand it off to Terrell Davis or Aikman refusing to hand it off to Emmitt. Ive seen Tom Brady win big playoff games taking a backseat to the run game cuz all he cares about is winning.

4 points
7
3
greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:58 am

EXACTLY. Brady has the rings. Rodgers has one, and an armload of MVP participation trophies.

5 points
7
2
murf7777's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:15 am

GG....I agree Brady>Rodgers, but keep in mind almost all of his rings came with a Top 5 D and many times Top 1 or 2. Belichick is a mastermind when scheming game plans and adjustments is also a big reason.

2 points
2
0
BirdDogUni's picture

April 20, 2022 at 01:34 pm

I bet Pete Carroll wishes he would've run the ball at least one more time... SMH

5 points
5
0
murf7777's picture

April 20, 2022 at 03:29 pm

LOL....but, did you know that the "beast" had one of, if not the worst short yardage gains amongst RB's that year? Most don't realize that.

-1 points
0
1
jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 04:26 pm

Vinatieri had a say in two of those SBs and he nailed a couple for AFCCH games.

0 points
1
1
murf7777's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:47 am

I'm sure your comment is a bit sarcastic. But, come on let's at least be fair about this, Rodgers doesn't refuse to handoff any more than other great HOF QB's. Over the last 3 years, The Packers are middle of the pack with the number of rushing attempts while The Tom Brady led Tampa Bay are last in the NFL!

Running the ball has a lot to do with game planning, the personnel the team has and how the opposing defense is playing. Of course, they all audibled out of run plays, but when Aikman and Elway were playing the NFL valued the run more and now with rule changes it is more advantageous to pass more often than run. By the way, the SB winning team the Rams ran the ball less than the Packers.

All winning QB's audible out of running plays because they see an advantage to pass for various reasons. That's one of the major reasons that make them great in the first place. Yes, Tom, John and Aikman would not handoff to a RB if they see advantages in the pre-snap lineup to pass.

4 points
6
2
PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 01:44 pm

We'll never know what the game plan would have been with Bakhtiari, Jenkins, and Myers uninjured. The run game really suffered without them.

3 points
3
0
Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 07:11 pm

Myers? It might have been a mistake to play him at all in the playoff loss.

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2022 at 06:59 pm

Duplicate

0 points
0
0
greengold's picture

April 21, 2022 at 02:57 am

Emmitt Smith was the NFL rushing leader 4 times during the years Aikman guided DAL to 3 Super Bowl wins… Aaron JONES should have been once or twice in recent years.

I know what I’ve seen with AR, and looking back the numbers - along with my many memories of game situations often contradict what you’re saying here. Somebody’s choosing not to run. TWO top RBs sharing 15 carries? 13 carries? The instances of this too numerous to count, for more than a decade.

The one constant remains through that span on this team.

Belichick is a throwback who always employs the run, and always ran balanced attacks, run/pass. Mike Shannahan was that same throwback who ran the ball consistently and Elway understood that. You could see all of this in the play, and we did see it, murf. Didn’t you?

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

April 21, 2022 at 11:22 am

Cannot cut block or crack back any longer. No high/low stuff. The game has morphed into speed to the spot on the outside runs and arm wrestle your opponent for a seam. Straight power works for some teams as they blast the lightweight ILBs. You have a HOF guy like Larry Allen with Nate Newton bringing the bad ass to that crew with Moose the lead Striker, watch out !

1 points
1
0
NickPerry's picture

April 21, 2022 at 06:40 am

You're probably right on all counts. BUT, without Adams something is going to change. Besides, I would think with just about every WR signed somewhere else, I would think Rodgers ego has taken a little bit of a bashing.

It seems players not only don't view GB as a vacation destination, but they sure in the hell aren't lining up to play with the great AR12.

He just might HAVE to run the ball more.

0 points
1
1
beerandbrats's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:59 am

Mighty strong words NP! I agree with you but much easier said than done I'm sure. Just out of curiosity, how do you suppose Mike Holmgren and Aaron Rodgers would have gotten along?

0 points
0
0
LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:22 am

Holmgren has stated a few months ago that he would not put with Rodgers antics.

And if he was the HC/GM now I expect the Packers would be going into next week with the Denver draft treasure and welcoming a few new Bronco players.

5 points
9
4
Bitternotsour's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:14 am

what a load of revisionist crap. holmgren was the coach when brett was drinking his ass off and addicted to vicodin. let's not pretend he was anything other than a tv disciplinarian.

now fritz, i believe fritz would have kicked his ass.

0 points
4
4
murf7777's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:17 am

Lambeau, I don't disagree Holmgren has a stronger personality than Mlf, but saying something and doing it are two very different things. That's why talk is cheap.

6 points
6
0
jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2022 at 07:05 pm

Holmgren defended Rodgers' position during the July '21 standoff with management. He knows the Value of HOF QBs and was mentored by the Master, Bill Walsh in how to handle them.

0 points
0
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:33 am

Yeah Nick, the past few years have been frustrating.

Good old hubris, the fatal flaw of heroes and gods--when you're the multiple MVP, how can you not fall to the demon of pride? It's a shame.

0 points
2
2
bjkdad44's picture

April 20, 2022 at 12:29 pm

I agree 100%

-1 points
0
1
HarryHodag's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:25 am

I fully agree the TE needs to be a larger part of the Packers offense. With Adams gone the passing game will be less predictable. The team also needs a solid blocker for what looks to be a bigger emphasis on the run.
The crowd that wants an aerial circus from Rodgers is likely to be disappointed this season. Ball control, defense, good special teams are just as important as throwing the ball 40 times. This will actually preserve Rodgers. He's not 25 anymore.

I also appreciated your final selection: a quarterback. Ron Wolf believed in drafting one every year and it makes perfect sense as you could hit on a player for next to nothing compared to what the top end QB's are making.

5 points
5
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:28 am

Agree with everything completely HH.

0 points
0
0
Handsback's picture

April 20, 2022 at 09:39 am

Not sure if people on this site listen to NFL on satellite radio, but one of the biggest gripes that the scouts have is with this years wideouts. They don't see any Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, or even Ja'Marr Chase/Jeffersons. There are WRs with first round grades, but they aren't complete. Additionally, Bob McGinn has a newsletter about WRs and echoes the same sentiments that the WRs aren't well rounded.
So where does that put Green Bay's quest to replace Adams and MVS? They have 4 premium picks, do they fill in the roster with high quality players that will fill in the roster with BPA at multiple positions or do they reach for WR ?
For sure Green Bay is going to draft multiple wideouts. The big question is when. I think, not sure but think a WR like Olave, Williams, and Dotson aren't going to be a team's number 1 receiver. London, has speed and quickness issues and according to McGinn's scouts Burks is considered a risky pick and most likely to be a bust!
McGinn's article doesn't mention the area where I think Green Bay is looking and that is in that late second early third round pick. Maybe Watson which is rated as the 49th best player or Tolbert who is rated the 59th best player and finally Pierce, a Jordy Nelson clone, at 67. Pickens is rated at 72, but as everyone knows if a team falls in love with a player they will take him early.
I think Green Bay will use one of their top 4 picks on a receiver and it will be in the second round. That is where they will get their WR that has good route running skills, good speed, (doesn't need to be MVS speed) size around 200 pounds and willing to block.
The other three premium picks will fit the BPA to the Edge, OT, DT, S, or CB positions.
This should be a great draft haul for the Packers this year.

6 points
8
2
dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:14 am

I think WR will slide deeper into this draft than people expect just for the reasons you note: there are questions on many, and picks at value positions (OL, DL, CB) will push those WR further down the board.

1 points
1
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:27 am

Oh boy, I agreed with everything in your post and then you had to go and do the "Jordy clone" thing about Pierce... Does he LOOK like Jordy? Okay. Does he PLAY like Jordy? NOT EVEN CLOSE. Jordy had some of the best college highlights ever; he was incredibly elusive, including as a returner, and screamed "natural athlete." Pierce screams "man-made athlete." He's strong and fast but stiff as a board.

3 points
4
1
greengold's picture

April 20, 2022 at 03:10 pm

This needed to be said. 100%.

1 points
2
1
TxPackFan's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:42 am

I agree. This draft class of receivers, while deep, may not be all it's being cracked up to be. A couple of the best guys couldn't test because of injury, but many of the rest skipped drills. And future draftees and their handlers know pre-draft drills either enhance your prospects or diminish them. So the only reason a healthy prospect skips drills is because they know they'll do poorly.

Why does that matter? Because 10 out of 10 wide receivers who caught 90+ passes last year and who were able to run a 3-cone drill ran it at 7.09 or faster. Agility like that probably matters more than straight line speed. And you have guys like Pickens who refused to run it...because he knows he can't...at least not well...because he lacks the necessary agility. Chris Olave skipped it too. Garrett Wilson ran a marginal shuttle and skipped the 3-cone.

I'll give Treylon Burks points for at least trying...but his agility times sucked. Jahan Dotson too...and he's even small.

Of the more well know prospects only 3 posted even average agility time and they're all likely Day 2 or even Day 3 picks (Christian Watson, Alec Pierce, and Jalen Tolbert). To be fair Watson did run a sub-7.0 3-cone at his pro day. Other than Watson, the one prospect that shows the requisite height, weight, speed, explosion, and agility to dominate isn't being talked about until Day 3 (Kevin Austin).

This class has a LOT of (on a whole) better than average guys and it's deep in that respect. But I don't think three years from now we'll be looking back at this class and saying, "Wow!". It's just not as good as many people think.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

April 20, 2022 at 10:55 am

"Because 10 out of 10 wide receivers who caught 90+ passes last year and who were able to run a 3-cone drill ran it at 7.09 or faster. "

Great point. Three cone, and 10-yard split, are two numbers I look at for WR.

4 points
4
0
jannes bjornson's picture

April 21, 2022 at 11:11 am

Burks is off the list.

0 points
0
0
Bitternotsour's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:17 am

Bob McGinn hasn't been right about anything in 2 decades. When Ron Wolff stopped abruptly Bob McGinn had to have his head surgically removed from Ron's rectum.

4 points
5
1
barutanseijin's picture

April 21, 2022 at 08:12 am

Translation = “Bob McGinn said something about the Packers that hurt my feelings. Wahhh!”

He’s not a Packer fan, which tends to upset homers.

0 points
1
1
Bitternotsour's picture

April 21, 2022 at 05:53 pm

bob mcginn hasn't been right about anything in decades. he's not a talent evaluator, he doesn't seem to understand the modern game at all. he doesn't hurt my feelings, he's just a washed up hack, which is why he got put to pasture by the journal/sentinel.

apparently he still has a fan or two. go figure.

0 points
0
0
MainePackFan's picture

April 20, 2022 at 11:32 am

I listen to NFL on Sirius/Xm all the time. I heard the recap on Bob McGinn's newsletter. I found it quite interesting.

The problem lies in our expectations. I think this WR class will produce a lot of very good players. If we think any of them will be day one superstars, that's our own fault. Much like DA coming out college had warts, these receivers do as well. Draft and develop players that have the drive to get better, to improve on their flaws. DA's work ethic is what made him a superstar, not his 3 cone or his 40 time. That's the key.

The beauty is, they don't have to be superstars year one. They just have to be good young contributing players working on their craft. A receiver like Jahan Dotson can be more than serviceable in year one based on what I have seen from his film.

2 points