Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - Valentine's Day is Coming.

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

This is the time of year when you pick "your guys." Players you think will surprise most people and become bigger contributors than expected. Last week I went with Bo Melton, the de-facto "sleeper" among the Packers WR group. This week, I'm going with Carrington Valentine. Now, you could make the argument a guy that started 12 games last season can't be a "sleeper." However, he was thrust into a starting role due to injuries and with first round pick Eric Stokes healthy and returning to the team, most people would assume Stokes will win the starting outside corner role opposite Jaire Alexander. Ironically, like Valentine, Stokes was also thrust into starting role as a rookie due to Jaire Alexander's injury.

This shapes up to be a camp battle to watch, with the 1st round pick Stokes favored to win the job. I personally feel Valentine will make it very hard for the Packers to keep him on the sideline and at the very least, earn some type of rotation role during games. But I'll go one further - I think he can win the job outright. His confidence and aggressive nature are a perfect fit for the new defensive attitude that blew into town with the arrival of Jeff Hafley. He's bigger and stronger and the difference has been noticed by Matt LaFleur, the Packers' WRs in practice, and Valentine himself.

Also remember that the Packers declined to invoke the fifth year contract option for Stokes even as they already knew he was healthy again. I think Valentine's Day is coming.

NOTE: After writing this, I listened to Lafleur's interview from mini-camp and he singled out Valentine as someone who has "stood out" and said "he's got a really bright future." So maybe I'm on to something.

The number of Packers players saying how much they like Jeff Hafley, his system, how he coaches and teaches, etc. is striking. They all stop short of saying "it wasn't like this under Barry," but we know that's what they're saying.

Because three is not enough, the Packers are interested in taking a look-see at 2024 All-UFL kicker Jake Bates. In college, he was just a kickoff specialist but found his placekicking groove in the UFL.This is just Gutey turning over every stone and some other teams are interested as well, so stay tuned on this one.

Tucker Kraft was out of his arm sling today and is progressing as expected.

Jordan Love's contract is coming soon. Love stated he was optimistic it would get done before the start of training camp. When asked why he was optimistic, Love simply replied, "it's just what I've heard." Sounds like he's not too worried about it.

How cool was it that we got Brian Gutekunst to come on Packer Transplants? Big day for CheeseheadTV! 

Just under six weeks until training camp starts (July 22nd) and we do this thing all over again...

Go Pack Go!

 

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHEESEHEAD NATION WEEKLY NEWSLETTER HERE.

__________________________

"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

__________________________

14 points
 

Comments (46)

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

June 12, 2024 at 06:13 am

Al, I think you ARE onto something. Valentine is a special player. I'll never forget my shock that he was still there, at pick #232, our first of 4 R7s in 2023. Athlons had him ranked as the #71 prospect overall in their Top 100.

The skinny on why he dropped was that he was "too aggressive." Sign me up! Here's some of my draft notes on him:
__
Pick #232 CB Carrington Valentine - Kentucky (33rd CB taken. #71 Overall - Athlons, #137 Overall - Daniel Jeremiah)
6-0 193 4.44 (72%) 39” vertical (85%) 128” broad (86%)

LENGTH, SPEED, AGGRESSION, TENACIOUS, MIRROR, FLUID, Changes direction on a dime.

INSTINCTS. Very strong in zone coverage. Also +press-man.

Exceptional athlete. Twitchy quick w track star long speed.

Long arms to succeed in press-man coverage, AND heavy, solid zone experience. Reactive, fluid & sticks to WRs.

Sees routes develop and able to run with receivers. +drive mechanics in zone. Eager to jump slant routes. VERY COMPETITIVE. Takes completions personally. Innately driven and DB Coach’s dream. Led Kentucky in PDs with 17.

Works hard in RUN D.

STs >>> Regular on KR coverage, PR coverage and PR teams

Boundary CB in zone heavy scheme with enticing blend of tools/physicality perfect for NFL.

NEGATIVE: allows big plays +20 (8) Also needs consistency tackling in run game. Just needs to polish skills & technique both coverage & v. run.

Long, athletic, aggressive CB yet to reach ceiling as man cover, ball instincts and technique - all underdeveloped. Zone/Press corner projection.
__

I appreciate your sharing LaFleur's comments on Valentine. That kid's got one hella lotta promise in our secondary, and he's fearless. I'm a Stokes fan too, and looking forward to seeing who wins that starter spot opposite Jaire outright.

Great news on Kraft too. I was hopeful he'd recover quickly, as I firmly believe he is another steal from the same draft class as Valentine. Athlons is the benchmark for me in terms of prospect rankings, as a simple resource, and their Draft issue is always published well before the Combine. They had Tucker Kraft ranked as the #18 Overall Prospect in their Top 100...

JL's going to be that TC superstar who walks in with the new deal. It's the Packer way...

Brian Gutekunst on Packer Transplants... I've been pounding hours on my work, and just saw this last night. Had to do a double take. I'll definitely be dialing that in today. Kudos to all of you at CHTV. Quite the get. Well done.

11 points
13
2
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

June 12, 2024 at 12:56 pm

I make no predictions, but I'm stoked to see Stokes play his best ever. He's the fastest man on the team, and there are times that helps; Miami is on the schedule, right?

Obviously Valentine is a special player, and I hope they give coaches nightmares about who should play. GB with too many great DBs?!? Yes please :)

3 points
3
0
NickPerry's picture

June 12, 2024 at 06:15 am

"Just under six weeks until training camp starts (July 22nd) and we do this thing all over again..."

Music to my ears...LETS GO!!

14 points
14
0
TKWorldWide's picture

June 12, 2024 at 06:47 am

“So maybe I’m on to something.”
Take away that fifth word, and I resemble that remark.

Valentine vs Stokes for CB opposite Jaire…I wonder if either of them could contribute at nickel corner? We all love Nixon, but he’s not exempt from competition for playing time on D as well.

8 points
8
0
GregC's picture

June 12, 2024 at 07:00 am

Stokes vs. Valentine is the second most interesting training camp battle, after Walker vs. Morgan at left tackle. (My #3 is Clifford vs. Pratt for backup QB.) The stakes aren't quite as high at CB because players can be rotated more easily there than on the offensive line, but one of the two players is bound to have a much more prominent role in the defense than the other.

Who would you say had the better rookie season, Stokes or Valentine? I'm thinking Stokes was a little better, but maybe that's just an impression because he was a first round draft pick. With Valentine, it seemed more likely that he was overachieving and would come back down to earth. But in 12 starts, that never happened.

It's interesting that both the CB and LT competitions involve an overachieving 7th round pick vs. a 1st round pick, but they are looking like very even matchups at this point.

10 points
10
0
greengold's picture

June 12, 2024 at 07:13 am

Yeah, Greg. Funny to know Rasheed Walker - also - made Athlons Top 100 Prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft, coming in at #93 overall. Solid value at Pick #249. PFF, Ourlads and The Sporting News all had Walker ranked in the same general vicinity.

Personally, I believe Rasheed Walker will be our starting RT for years, and that Jordan Morgan will win out that LT position in TC.

3 points
5
2
Cheezehead72's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:27 am

Oh there are battles all over the field that is what should make a better team.

7 points
7
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dobber's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:30 am

"It's interesting that both the CB and LT competitions involve an overachieving 7th round pick vs. a 1st round pick, but they are looking like very even matchups at this point."

Just goes to show that it doesn't matter where you find these guys, just find them!

7 points
7
0
PeteK's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:59 am

We also have some interesting battles at ILB, S,RB, and maybe Morgan at G (even though I think he will backup 3 positions).

3 points
3
0
mnbadger's picture

June 12, 2024 at 11:25 am

kicker
GPG!

4 points
4
0
T7Steve's picture

June 12, 2024 at 07:27 am

I think there will be plenty of room for both Stokes and Valentine with all the looks reportedly used on this D. Especially as we're so young at the safety position.

"Brian Gutekunst on Packer Transplants" Even Spoff and Hod are directing people to visit CHTV for different opinions that they'd rather not talk about on their site. At first it was rather tongue in cheek or if you want off the wall stuff, but now they actually sound like they might check the site out every now and then.

5 points
7
2
Cheezehead72's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:26 am

I have noticed that and there are many more topics they will not bring up on the site. But it is understandable.

4 points
4
0
mrtundra's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:45 am

Packers.com is where you go to find out whose birthday it is, etc.. I love "The Rock Report" and the "Three Things" segments they post, when camp comes around. I'll bet they have their hands tied if they want to report anything that is even remotely considered controversial. They work for the Green Bay Packers organization and have to mind their "p's" and "q's." I wish they would stream the games, on their site, outside of the Green Bay area, though.

4 points
4
0
T7Steve's picture

June 12, 2024 at 10:46 am

I think you can get the Packer feed game on a home station computer, but no other way. I'm going to experiment starting with the game in Brazil because I'm horrible about trying to stream something on my TV and too stubborn to do the pay for view suff.

You have to read some of Cliff's historical notes. Those are very enjoyable too.

2 points
2
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 13, 2024 at 02:32 am

You'll be fine. Enjoy!

1 points
1
0
stockholder's picture

June 12, 2024 at 09:49 am

People would rather live a lie that reinforces their beliefs.
I'm sure they understand that.

-4 points
2
6
TKWorldWide's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:31 am

This is a great site. These guys grind. Lots of differing views and inputs from the posters. After spending some time here, it really feels like you get to know the writers as well the commenters. Keep it all going, I say.

13 points
13
0
greengold's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:50 am

Agree, TK. IT's the coolest Packer fan site around. 1 bazillion percent.

8 points
8
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

June 12, 2024 at 03:53 pm

And bazillion's Sister, Bazinga!

3 points
3
0
JerseyAl's picture

June 12, 2024 at 04:30 pm

Thanks guys!

3 points
3
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 12, 2024 at 04:42 pm

Thanks to you and the whole gang, (really) at CHTV!

3 points
3
0
stockholder's picture

June 12, 2024 at 07:42 am

You say Valentine.
I say Stokes will still start.
There is a thing in GB
where you wait your turn.
Especially if they're in that last year.

New defense new Lies?
You will never hear any thing
that brings up Insubordination.

Congratulations at getting Gute on.
But when you do the "Deep Thinking dive".
The "Land scape changed" is still BS.
Especially when a player goes to the Vikings!

Loves contract - Bad vibes coming?.
Especially when the Lions are better odds.

-17 points
2.5
19.5
Tundraboy's picture

June 13, 2024 at 02:34 am

Hmmm. Half a person agrees and a half doesn't

1 points
1
0
stockholder's picture

June 13, 2024 at 07:06 am

A lot of people don't agree with me.
It's much easier to down vote and apologize later.
By the way- How did Bahks last contract turn out?

2 points
2
0
Cheezehead72's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:08 am

I agree with you Al on everything you wrote in this article. No I am not just trying to influence a payment but if you are thinking of making such I can give you the information you will need.

I agree the GMs job is to consider any player because you never know under which stone you will find gold. Jake Bates will go to the Giants. Much less competition.

Speaking of the Giants i am going to announce my out on the limb prediction for next year. Dak will be the Giants QB next year. Write it down and get back to me next year.

1 points
4
3
LeotisHarris's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:37 am

The aforementioned Gutekunst visit raises a plethora of questions. Along with the massive, well-earned street cred for CHTV, can we speculate Brain has bonuses in his contract that kick in if he chooses to interact with Nagler? Regardless, well done guys. Quite an accomplishment for a coupla "bloggers."

8 points
8
0
mrtundra's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:37 am

The Packer Transplants show with Brian Gutekunst is a must see, IMO. Nice job getting Brian on the show! I also like Valentine. I'd love to see the battle between him and Stokes for that CB spot, opposite Jaire.

6 points
6
0
greengold's picture

June 12, 2024 at 08:55 am

I'm just waiting for Brian's visit to Corey's place. It's gotta happen. It will happen... Corey will dial him up with some great peppers for sure.

6 points
6
0
packerbackerjim's picture

June 12, 2024 at 09:54 am

I agree with your belief in Valentine. However, my pick for surprise is LVN as I think his will be a quantum leap under Haffley’s defenses, a 3 down dynamo.

3 points
3
0
TKWorldWide's picture

June 12, 2024 at 11:04 am

Good choice! What I love about both him and Rashan is that they are both very capable of handling the running game as well.
Years ago, Vic K used to talk about this issue w/4-3 defensive ends: you can have a guy who’s stout vs the run, OR, you can have a pass rusher, but the guys who do BOTH are rare. I think GB has two of them. (Now get out there and prove me right, boys!)
GPG!

2 points
2
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

June 12, 2024 at 03:55 pm

LUKE NESS MONSTER!!

0 points
1
1
Packer_Fan's picture

June 12, 2024 at 10:19 am

My polluted thoughts. I think the defensive players didn't like playing for Barry. Having a passive system with players that normally are aggressive, (IMHO) just doesn't fit well for me. And it showed with comments from Alexander and Campbell. Attitude is a big deal for the defense.

So in comes Hafley with an aggressive attitude. And the players are reflecting that new attitude. This year the defense at some point will get handed their lunch as all defenses do. I am looking forward to the playoffs and an aggressive DC stops a late 4th quarter drive and the Packers win the game. Something that Barry couldn't do three years in a row.

9 points
9
0
TKWorldWide's picture

June 12, 2024 at 11:09 am

Totally agree. And when (not IF) this style of play leads to occasionally getting gashed, I hope the fans stay on board!

(BTW: were Barry’s defenses REALLY that good at limiting big plays? Maybe…I have no data. But my eyeballs and my memory recall lots of times when mediocre QB’s had all day to throw and were completing 15 yard passes consistently to wide open receivers over the middle. Oh, AND light boxes giving up gobs of yards on the ground leading to consistently favorable (for the offense) down and distance situations. Yuck!)

5 points
6
1
dobber's picture

June 12, 2024 at 02:27 pm

"So in comes Hafley with an aggressive attitude. And the players are reflecting that new attitude. "

Jobs, playing time, and potential future contracts are on the line when there's significant turnover in a coaching staff.

2 points
2
0
Bitternotsour's picture

June 12, 2024 at 10:20 am

Regarding Brian Gutekunst on Packer Transplants, man, if Bob McGinn was still alive he'd be furious.

0 points
2
2
barutanseijin's picture

June 12, 2024 at 03:44 pm

I guess this is supposed to be humor, but lest someone think it factual:

Bobby McGinn is alive and well and still putting s out a draft guide and an occasional article.

8 points
8
0
jlc1's picture

June 12, 2024 at 10:33 am

As for MLF's comment, or any coaching comment really, it is meant to say something it doesn't on its face. "A really bright future" sounds alot like, "stick with us kid even though you're getting sidelined". Or, "Hey Stokes step it up". Or "any GM interested in a trade"? Or maybe, we can hope, it means what Al thinks it does.

-1 points
1
2
Untylu1968's picture

June 12, 2024 at 11:51 am

Or they actually just think he's young and talented, with a bright future ahead??

5 points
5
0
splitpea1's picture

June 12, 2024 at 11:15 am

The thing that stands out with Bates in his UFL season is his accuracy from 40-49 yards: a perfect 7/7. Carlson was only 50%: 4/8. Bates' overall FG accuracy was a little lower than Carlsons', mainly because he was 6/10 from beyond 50 yards, whereas Carlson was 3/5. Bates also made two kicks over 60 yards.

The kicking competition should be wide open; the more the merrier. Other teams are also interested in Bates, so we'll see how this goes.

1 points
2
1
Coldworld's picture

June 13, 2024 at 07:58 am

Bates tailed off in the second part of the UFL season. His overall conversion rate was more than 6% lower than Carlson’s. Yes, he’s got some power, but he arguably won his award on the first half of the UFL season not the whole one.

-2 points
0
2
Lphill's picture

June 12, 2024 at 11:51 am

Stokes if healthy will beat out Valentine.

1 points
4
3
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

June 12, 2024 at 03:59 pm

Maybe... I'm more interested in creative and skillful use of available talent.

1 points
2
1
HarryHodag's picture

June 12, 2024 at 12:05 pm

I don't see the 'battle' as an 'either/or' issue. You can never have enough good cornerbacks, especially with the blizzard of high quality receivers in the league. But Valentine exemplifies a point I always like to make: high draft picks aren't always sure-fire winners. Ron Wolf became Ron Wolf Hall of Famer based on his ability to find good players in the lower ranks of the draft. Gute seems to also have this ability.

The bottom line is 'can a college player become a professional player'? Valentine is the latest example of being able to win a job with ability and tenacity.

5 points
6
1
Oppy's picture

June 12, 2024 at 05:57 pm

Al, if this is the time of year we all start picking "our guys", I'm going on the record for the long-term dark horse at the safety position: Oladapo is my guy.

It probably won't be this year, but I like the tape on this young man and I feel he will be a valuable contributor for the Packers in the long haul.

Just putting it on the record.

0 points
1
1
Leatherhead's picture

June 13, 2024 at 09:27 am

Wow, just a year ago, Gutekunst was part of the 1265 "clown show". The team was a "dumpster fire". Coldword wanted LaFleur fired. We didn't know if Love could play.

It's truly amazing to me how much the sea has changed in one year.

0 points
1
1
Bitternotsour's picture

June 13, 2024 at 02:35 pm

I still harbor significant questions on LaFleur and especially Murphy, but I never doubted Gutekunst. I never had a moment of reservation moving to Love at QB.

1 points
1
0