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5 Guys that Have to be Good: Geronimo Allison

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5 Guys that Have to be Good: Geronimo Allison

5 guys that have to be good is a series that I've been running for a number of years.  It focuses on five Packers players that need to have good seasons for Green Bay to return to Super Bowl glory.  You won't see Aaron Rodgers or even Davante Adams on this list.  It's not a list of obvious guys that make a ton of money that have to play well for the team to succeed.  These are "X" Factors, like Desmond Bishop and Bryan Bulaga in 2010 that could mean another run at the Super Bowl.

Stay tuned to PackersTalk.com and of course CHTV the next few Fridays and Mondays for the rest of this series.

The Packers have improved in a lot of spots on both sides of the ball.  The tight end group is completely re-worked and the running back group is a bunch of talented guys on rookie contracts, likely to develop and round out their games.  Where the Packers will clearly be missing at least past production is with the departure of Jordy Nelson.  Nelson had a poor 2017 season and specifically failed to elevate his game when Rodgers was injured and Hundley had to step in.  He was, however coming off of a 97 catch 1200+ yard season in 2016.  No one outside of Davante Adams shows the potential for that kind of season, even with Rodgers at QB for 16 games.

Green Bay is about as set as you can be at three spots in the pass catching group.  Randall Cobb is the clear starter at slot and Dvante Adams is one of the top young wide receivers (still just 25 years old) in football.  Jimmy Graham can either man the spot that Nelson used to, or play in-line at tight end.  If Graham is out wide or playing the slot Philbin and McCarthy can use Marcedes Lewis, one of the best tight ends in football.  If Green Bay is truly going to use a three wide receiver set, they're gonig to have to do so with a receiver much less accomplished than Nelson.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (48) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Barnacle's picture

Another quotation and a question. How could anyone “like” nothing?

Handsback's picture

"Geronimo Allison has to be good." Ross, you were right to compare Geronimo's ability to Jarrett Boykin and point out that the top three receivers: Cobb, Adams, and Graham will be playing quite a bit. You add catches to the RBs and the other TEs and actually how much will Geronimo be targeted? When you're talking about the 4th receiver, you are hoping he could take over one of the top three positions in case of injury (in Geronimo's case I'm not sure that's possible).
So I would say the 4th and 5th receivers will have to play lights out in preseason to make the team and while I like Geronimo....he has to step up his performance to keep Davis, Clark, and the flock of rookies at bay.

Hawg Hanner's picture

Took a look at his 2016 Combine evaluation. My guess is given the infusion of new talent, he is on the bubble.
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Strengths Can steer clear of press coverage with foot quickness and head fakes off the snap. High point pass catcher who gets full extension when trying to pluck the high throws. Able to stick the landing when making a touch catch near the boundary. Angular receiver who will fight through a tackler after the catch. As a blocker, squares up his target and gives above average effort as a blocker on the edge. Grinds on film. Voted team captain multiple weeks in 2015 and takes his role of team leader seriously.
Weaknesses Below average deep threat. Rare to see him run a go route past a cornerback and make himself an open vertical target. Lack of deep speed allows cornerbacks to sit on underneath routes. Ohio State cornerbacks ran his routes all day long. Focus drops an issue this year. Had drop rate of just over 11 percent this year. Play speed into routes needs to improve. Hip stiffness prevents him from sinking hips into breaks. Below average acceleration out of breaks. Too often crowds himself against the boundary.

Archie's picture

What? No mention of Ty Montgomery? Allison may be ahead of all the rooks and 2nd year guys this year but he is just a place-holder till the new guys get up to speed. When Pack goes two TEs which I think will be a fair amount this year, there will be only 2 WRs on the field. The 3rd WR will be whomever lines up in the backfield. Allison may get the majority of his targets in 4 WR downs, which will be few and far apart. So unless injuries hit at WR, GMO will not be playing a feature role in this offense. Therefore, I don't think it is as critical as the the author thinks it is that GMO has a big year. Maybe a couple of hundred yards and a couple of TDs. Fantasy ballers should look to Adams to pick up lots of Jordy's targets. Graham remains a wildcard in my mind, as does Cobb. So I'm looking for Adams to have a Sterling Sharpe type year. Our #2 WR may be drafted in R1 or R2 next draft. By then the younger guys will have sorted themselves out. All 5+ of them could emerge to be really good WR3.

Community Guy's picture

tangential topic here: this preseason, i am looking forward to seeing which of the bubble wideouts: Davis, Clark, Yancy, Moore, MVS, or St. Brown, shows the most toughness.

Ferrari Driver's picture

With a salary cap and free agency, it's reasonable to expect to have area in the team structure that are not solid.

If we have to play Allison most of the year, I believe we will still function as well as any of the top four teams in the NFL.

I look for substantial improvement in the defense this year due to improved players and Pettine as the coordinator. No team in the NFL will have a cakewalk playing this year's Packers.

stockholder's picture

Allison is not a #3 WR. Period. The guy has not caught over 300 yards in any season. He had his chance. We drafted guys that have a high SPARQ 2018 rating. We can't Keep wasting time on want a bees. That will never be! The fact that Allison is still being considered a must guy, is troubling. He is not going to push anyone. He's only going to be a road Block for others. Move along Ross.

Turophile's picture

But stockholder........Justin's figures show how very unlikely it is that the Packers get much out of rookies.

So, however much you don't like it, guys like Clark, Yancey, Allison, Davis (who all have at least a season under their belt) will almost certainly have to do the bulk of the WR work, opposite Adams. Next year it could all change, but this year, that is how it is.

stockholder's picture

4.7 speed. If you look at past wrs that became ranked 1,2,3. (Past 20 yrs) All had more total yds early. Allison has fumbled at least twice. He'll never be a gunner. You could hope for Bill Schroeder, but bill had speed. The 73 yd catch was a fluke. He had trouble with separation as the season went on. If the unit is going to improve as a whole. You can't have road blocks or players that just won't be starters. We now have the TEs too. Even Williams had more yards. He's cheap but the rookies are the future.

Turophile's picture

As you say the rookies may well be the future (I hope at least one of them shines).

Still, this year you'll probably have to rely on Allison far more than you are comfortable with. If not him, then it's Davis, Yancey or Clark instead - and I don't feel significantly better off with any of those three, over Allison (not this year, anyway).

That lack of a starter-quality receiver opposite Adams makes him (Adams) one of the most crucial Packers that need to stay healthy this year. I know we have TE/WR Graham as well, but if Adams goes down, the Packers are right up against it.

Turophile's picture

I think the quality of scheming against specific opponents (overseen by Philbin) will help the offense as a whole to take a nice jump...........but helping rookies ? Maybe just a little bit, not any big jump.

I think his input on the re-vamped playbook (he may even have the lead on this) will also help the offense step away from predictability, but again, not that much help for rookies.

I think that rather than Philbin helping rookies, the benefits of his return will be felt more as those rookies mature, and gain understanding and playing time. So, bottom line, I agree with you.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Philbin was OC when James Jones produced nice numbers as a rookie (676 yards) and was on the offensive staff when Jennings put up 632 yards as a rookie.

I don't know how much Phibin had to do with Jennings and Jones versus GB just being short on receiving talent (and still having Favre at QB). Philbin was OC when Nelson put up 366 yards as a rookie and AR was QB.

Lare's picture

I would be surprised if Allison makes the final roster unless Cobb is put on the PUP list. I'd guess that two of the drafted WRs make it in addition to Adams & Davis and possibly Clark and/or Kumerow.

PatrickGB's picture

Davis should have been that 3rd WR. He has the speed but not the connection with AR. I realize that he was a later round pick so it’s no surprise. It’s a shame that other team needs have prevented us from an early round WR pick like we have in the past. I blame Capers and to some small extent TT for that.

Hawg Hanner's picture

How true that draft failures prevented devoting a high pick to WR in recent years

Rak47's picture

Hey Patrick, here's a thought. Ask a few Vikings fans how they like their 2 pro bowl 1st round drafted WR's. Oh wait, they don't have any 1st round pro bowl WR's, their pro bowl WR's were a 5th round pick (Diggs/Maryland) and the other was an undrafted FA (Thielen/UMinn/Mankato St). Good coaches now how to implement talented players regardless of their draft status. Btw they do have one WR they drafted high in the 1st round (Laquon Treadwell/Ol' Miss) a few years ago buried down their depth chart and is on the bubble this year for a roster spot.

dobber's picture

You forget Cordarelle Patterson, too. Just throwin' that one out there....

Fordham Ram's picture

The quorum here seems to be blowing 'Mo Allison off. If he has earned Rogers trust he's doing something right despite his lack of speed, hip stiffness or height. Intelligence plays as much a part in this game as physical attributes. He has game experience, knows how to get open, and has made some clutch catches to keep the chains moving. Suspect he'll keep the rookies at bay for another season or two before they gain enough experience to overtake him or obtain Rodgers trust. I doubt they cut him. With the extra playing time he'll receive with Jordy being gone, he may even surprise.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree with a lot of this. The problem is that while Allison has positive traits, given the strengths of the established players ahead of him who are certain to make the team and play a lot, Allison's strengths aren't what we particularly need. He is certainly on the bubble.

Rak47's picture

Imho, Allison is going to make every wanna be armchair GM in Packer nation eat crow. It always so easy to tell the wanna be jocks who never played any organized ball as well who simply quote numbers or statistics. People who actually played almost never quote stats when evaluating a player as they know that, that is only representative of a portion of what a player is asked to do. lol, at people who say Allison had his chance and the Pack should move on. I guess that's what happened to Jordy then, he got his chance without AR and did nothing with it so the Pack moved on. I guess stats lines are the only measurable average fans understand so they simply quote them repeatedly, mostly in cherry pick situation regarding their favorite or least favorite players.

Oppy's picture

For what it's worth, Ron Wolf never played organized football and he is responsible for one of the most widely acknowledged and prolific pro football scouting trees of the modern era.

None the less, I agree that stats by themselves don't tell a complete story. Watching players play gives context to the stats. At the same time, statistics are factual data- they are records of events that occurred... but there's always more information available from watching play on the field than there is to be found on the stat sheet.

Rak47's picture

No disrespect Oppy but I fail to see your point regarding Wolf. Comparing an NFL executive who has come up through the ranks as a scout, personnel director or whatever to the avg fan on a blog site is a good example of why I said what I did. The avg fan "thinks" they know as much as an NFL GM {especially in talent evals}. Not saying that's you in any way just saying it's not reality it's a pipe dream. Realty is that the knowledge of the game these guys have far exceed the knowledge of 99.9% of all football fans worldwide.

marpag1's picture

Literally every single talent scout in the whole history of football has looked at player production as a key element in their evaluation process. While WRs certainly are asked to perform some tasks that are not so easy to measure statistically (such as blocking, reading defenses, etc.), the lion's share of WR production can be measured statistically in catches, yards and TDs, etc. To suggest that "real talent scouts" pay little or no attention to such things is bonkers.

Maybe you LOL at 'average fans.' Me, I LOL at average fans who have somehow convinced themselves that they are not average fans.

dobber's picture

"Maybe you LOL at 'average fans.' Me, I LOL at average fans who have somehow convinced themselves that they are not average fans."

Al, can we put this at the top of the front page of CHTV?

...and props to marpag for his use of the word 'bonkers'.

Rak47's picture

Ty for reading my post. And adding to my point. However let me clarify a couple points for you since your reading comprehension is apparently not up to snuff. First off I personally never mentioned talent evaluators/scouts in my post, you did. I referred to most people who actually played the game not evaluators. Now how you associate the two to make them one I have yet to figure out. Evaluators are paid to look at and critique every aspect of a players game including stats. I'm sure someone on here appreciates you letting everyone know what evaluators do for a living, just not me. It is not hard to tell which dog has been hit by the rock thrown into the pack, just listen to the one doing all the yelping. In other words if the shoe fits wear it. Lol, as I said before at the avg fan.

marpag1's picture

We're talking about talent evaluators and scouts because you're talking about "wannbe GMs" who are trying to evaluate talent as if they were scouts. Does that clear it up for ya, stud?

LOL.

Rak47's picture

I'm talking about fans when I say wannabe GM's not evaluators stud. Even though half of them wanna be GM's too. Does that clear it for you stud. Only a special mind could turn a convo about fans who think they're GM's and translate it to mean a convo about scouts. lololol, Once again get up to snuff on your comprehension it's sorely lacking. I'm sure there's remedial stuff online that can help you.

Oppy's picture

Rak, no disrespect taken. I'm just an opinionated fan, just like the majority of us around here at CHTV... I don't pretend to be, or have any (dis)illusions of being, a professional caliber NFL scout, GM, or coach. More importantly, I don't think the typical, average fan (or CHTV poster) believes he/she is either. However, there are definitely one or two people around here who have, more than once, suggested that their thoughts and analysis are just as qualified as professional talent scouts.. but I don't think, as opinionated as many of us are, that is a normal or typical belief among us.

Anyways, I'm just pointing out that having played or not having played isn't the end-all, be-all of talent scouting or heading up football operations. I'm Certainly not comparing Wolf to an average fan. I thought you were implying that those who never played the game were unqualified to assess talent or manage football operations.

Rak47's picture

No Oppy it was not my intention to say people who have not played are clueless. If I presented it that way to you I apologize for not being more clear. I was referring mostly to the "negative/grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" fans who all swear that anything that could be wrong is wrong then try and use stats to back their arguments. I really do respect others opinions but when they're rooted in negativity without actual facts I personally find them amusing, especially with politicians.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

IMHO, Rak47, labeling people who simply hold other views about wide receivers as "wanna be armchair GM's" and "wanna be jocks who never played any organized ball" seems a bit harsh.

Allison has his positives and weaknesses. I think his positives offer some stability for 2018, but would tie up a roster spot better used for developing higher athleticism and potential for 2019 and beyond.

I don't "wanna be" a GM or jock. I only "wanna be" a fan with an opinion...just like you.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I agree.

Another reason I'd opt for keeping all the rookies over Allison is the simple fact that he has only 1 year left on his contract. So keeping him costs us a better young talent with more years, while not providing a difference-maker at WR.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Allison is under contract for 2018, and will be an RFA in 2019. Trevor Davis is under contract for 2018 and 2019. Yancey, Kumerow, Michael Clark are under control through 2020. The rookie draft picks through 2021.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Sorry, double post. Blaming Bubba.

Rak47's picture

Say what? Who exactly did I label? Now saying people who never played the game"never played" is labeling people? That is the problem with the world now days, you can't even call a spade a spade which is exactly what it is without some one trying to castrate you for it.

WKUPackFan's picture

Saying that someone who disagrees with you is being too harsh is an attempt to deflect criticism of your opinion. Similar to saying that multiple people disagreeing with name calling Gute as "Toothless" constitutes a lynch mob.

Someone who says that they "have a plan" for cutting Cobb and proceeds to list 7-8 points in support of said plan is presenting themselves as a wanna be GM.

Someone who constantly refers to the actual GM as "Toothless" is presenting themselves as a wanna be President of the organization.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I realize that he has the TE designation in front of his name, but playing him in-line looks like misuse to me. He appears to block pretty well in space, but struggles in-line, and his chips leave a lot to be desired. Of course, Bakh doesn't need help, so I'd expect to see Graham next to Bakh a lot.

Graham played 45% of his snaps in the slot, whereas Nelson lined up there 29% of the time. Cobb is still the preferred slot WR. Finally Seattle lined Graham out wide for over 200 snaps, not that his stats suggest that helped.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

The question is, should we panic and settle for Allison's low upside while focusing only on 2018? This will mean cutting a much higher upside guy, letting him go to another team.

I prefer developing superior talent and focusing on 2019. Let's not forget the disaster produced by a low athleticism WR core over the past couple seasons. Rodgers running for his life while sub-standard athletes struggle to create separation--that's no future for our great QB.

Our new GM is trying to re-make Ted Thompson's disaster. I say we stop panicking, show some patience, and let him develop a real WR group.

Coldworld's picture

He may not be a potential 1or 2, but Allison is a valuable safety net for this year. If a rookie surpasses him that is great, but he has shown that he can fulfill a role. As such, he will almost certainly be a part of the depth chart to start the season and will likely remain so unless we win the lottery by witnessing at least one rookie or practice squander from last year clearly surpass him and our WRs stay injury free.

dobber's picture

I think this is the best summary of the point of this article. Maybe Ross points to Allison as needing to be good, but I think it can be broadened more to be 'the player who is the 3rd WR' that needs to be good for the Packers. Allison just happens to be the guy in that role right now. Don't care if it's Allison, Davis or one of the rookies, that player is going to play a lot of meaningful snaps (especially since every team is going to lose player games to injury) this season and needs to be more than just a jersey on the field.

OK...I lied: I really don't like Allison or Davis all that much, so I'm hoping one of the other WR on the depth chart takes the job by the horns and wins it in camp.

"...unless we win the lottery by witnessing at least one rookie or practice squander from last year..."

Practice Squander was my HS nickname...

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

We played 11 personnel 65% of the time last season. I am envisioning Adams and Graham split wide, Cobb in the slot, with Marcedes at TE next to the RT as the most common formation when we're in 11 personnel. I see Adams split wide, Cobb in the slot, Graham in-line (or flexed slightly) near Bakh, and ? split wide opposite Adams as the next most common grouping. I guess I am thinking Graham lines up wide over 300 snaps, and ? is there for 200+ snaps. Things will change up at times due to match-ups and players missing a game due to injury.

I am not sure where that leaves Lance Kendricks, who is a shade under 6'3". He is a veteran, so I imagine he'll get some snaps as a receiver (and at H-back), but we do have a lot of receiving candidates who have his height and better speed, but not his experience or blocking ability. I imagine Kendricks will play in-line of course. Perhaps Lewis and Kendricks in 21 personnel with Adams and Graham split wide (Graham blocks reasonably well in space).

porupack's picture

Allison has proven some reliability and is worth keeping as coaches certainly have some faith in him. But I believe the drafting of 3 athletic WRs are clear sign that Packers want more out of WRs. Having AJones suspension for 2 games gives Packers some room to put in a rookie on the 53 and some live action. The rookie that is elevated will have had tough competition in pre-season, so he won't disappoint when called in.
By mid-season, I expect Justin will need to gladly revise his 4:98 stat above. JMon will establish himself as the 3rd WR.

Guam's picture

We have two established WRs (Adams and Cobb), five veteran WRs (Allison, Clark, Davis, Kumerow and Yancey), and three rookies (Moore, MVS, St. Brown). Assuming we keep six WRs, I suspect it will be Adams, Cobb and two from the veterans and two from the rookies. I don't particularly care which of the two veterans it is, but I believe R. Uglem is correct that one of them is going to have to produce early in the year if not all year. Rookies WRs just seem to struggle early.

I do hope we get to stash the one rookie WR we don't keep on the 53 on our practice squad. All three have exciting athletic ability.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I'd love to stash one on the PS, but it won't happen. Whoever we cut from that group is gone.

So the question is, do we consider Allison's short-term reliability worth giving up a higher upside talent? My answer would be "No," but I'm sure the Packers will make the mistake and let one go.

Guam's picture

Dobber, I think you and I just said the same thing at the same time.

dobber's picture

I'm that dog that finds a bone from time to time... ;)

EdsLaces's picture

Geronimo reminds me of a poor man's T.O. I think he has all kinds of potential just needs targets .

Dzehren's picture

I think 1 of these 5 guys has to be good- Davis, Clark, Geronimo , St Brown , JMan Moore

Mojo's picture

I'll go out on a limb and predict by the end of the season GMo will be an afterthought as his targets are replaced by a steadily improving J'Mon Moore.

Moore is a significantly better prospect. They're both about the same height and both disappointed in the 40, but Moore kills Allison in the 3-cone. He's just more explosive coming out of his break.

Moore had a ton of production in the tough SEC and is known to be a good fast twitch route runner which should endear him to QB1. Showed good YAC in college too.

Better more powerful athlete than GMo. Just more with Moore. By the end of the season we'll have forgotten GMo was even on the roster.

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