Black Friday Wish List? Improving the Roster in 2020

You're the Packers GM. What positions are on your wish list going into the 2020 Draft and free agency?

Though I’m not an avid Black Friday shopper myself, I thought it might be a fun exercise to look at some areas the Packers could improve upon going into the 2020 season. Let’s pretend you’re the Green Bay Packers, and player positions are on your shopping list. Where are you investing the most money in 2020?

General Manager Brian Gutekunst has shown his willingness to improve the roster through every avenue possible, whether that’s exploring free agents, building through the draft, or looking at potential trade targets. And, while I know that none of these 2020 additions would help this current 2019 team, that’s because the 2019 ship is already sailing. This Packers roster is stuck with itself, good and bad, for the rest of the season. While minor additions can still be made in-season (like the Ryan Grant experiment) only once the offseason begins can the Packers begin truly exploring every avenue to improve the roster.

So, let’s get to it. The Packers currently have around $26.5 million in cap space to play with going into the 2020 season, though that number is subject to change as the Packers re-sign and say goodbye to current players. Some of that money will inevitably be used to add street free agents and re-sign current Packers, but who’s on the short list? Who should the Packers be investing in long-term?

First buy: Offensive line help

Right tackle Bryan Bulaga is someone I could see the Packers re-investing in for one or two more seasons. He’s an incredibly solid player, when healthy, and this season has proven as much. Now though, with Bulaga nursing what’s believed to be a week-to-week MCL injury, it’s imperative that the Packers begin looking for their tackle of the future in the draft, even if they do extend Bulaga for a few more years. Look at how well rookie second-round pick Elgton Jenkins has performed at left guard. It’s difficult to imagine the Packers will stick with Alex Light as the heir-apparent at right tackle, as Head Coach Matt LaFleur was unable to commit to him even starting against the Giants on Sunday. The Packers also went as far as to claim formerly-retired tackle Jared Veldheer off waivers as added insurance at the tackle position, once again signaling the team isn't sold on Light being the long-term answer. 

Second buy: Wide receiver(s)

Geronimo Allison, Ryan Grant, Jake Kumerow, and Allen Lazard are all free agents in 2020, with Kumerow and Lazard exclusive rights free agents. At this point, it’s highly unlikely Allison or Grant find themselves back in Green Bay, especially if the Packers like what they have in Kumerow and Lazard (Lazard for sure) and opt to bring both guys back. While the Packers will get 2018 sixth-round pick Equanimeous St. Brown back from injured reserve for the 2020 season, his position on the team is by no means solidified either. I’d like to see the Packers invest some high draft capital into the wide receiver position. And by high draft capital I’m talking day two or better. Aaron Rodgers needs another Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones, or Greg Jennings-caliber pick to pair opposite Davante Adams. Something to note here, the 2020 wide receiver draft class is said to be one of the deepest in recent history, if not ever, so there will be plenty of top-tier talent available should Green Bay wish to invest heavily into overhauling its offensive weapons for Aaron Rodgers. 

I would expect the Packers to spend at least one pick on a wide receiver in the draft, but they also may look to improve the position through free agency, too. There are plenty of intriguing names set to become free agents (at least for right now) in 2020, though a lot of these names should be locked up before then. That said, it’s unlikely, at least to me, to think that Gutekunst would spend a ton of cap space on a street free agent wide receiver when he has contract extensions for players like Aaron Jones and Kenny Clark looming on the horizon. I think it's more likely he takes a look at guys that can be role players on offense without investing too much cap space long term. 

Third buy: Inside linebacker

Whatever happens with Blake Martinez, who’s set to become a free agent this offseason, the middle of the Packers defense needs help. Gutekunst overhauled his edge rushing unit in 2019 signing both Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith to massive contracts, and so far those signings have paid off tremendously. Now it’s time for Gutekunst to invest that same energy into his inside linebacker position. Green Bay currently sits at 28th in the league in yards allowed per game, and a lot of that is due to the defense giving up explosive plays. Against the 49ers alone, the Packers gave up two 40+ yard completions that both resulted in touchdowns. What’s more, San Francisco averaged over five yards per carry on the ground. The team’s weakness? Leaving the middle of the field exposed. It’s been a problem all season, especially against teams with playmaking tight ends. The coaching staff admitted to struggling against crossing routes, and a speedy sideline-to-sideline inside linebacker would go a long way in shoring up the middle of the field. 

Fourth buy: defensive line

Kenny Clark will get paid. There’s no doubt about that. But Kenny Clark can’t be the only dominant force on the defensive line. While Dean Lowry received an extension before the 2019 season began, the team acknowledged that it still needed players like former third-round pick Montravius Adams and undrafted free agent Tyler Lancaster to step up along the defensive line. The Packers did invest a 2019 draft pick into the unit, adding Kinglsey Keke in the sixth round, but Green Bay still needs more firepower to shore up the middle of the line. What’s missing? A player like B.J. Raji (my favorite defensive Packer ever, sorry for the bias) that can stuff the run and hold the point of attack while guys like Za’Darius and Preston create pressure off the edge. This is a position I’d expect to see Green Bay draft early, considering a big chunk of cap space will soon be tied up along the defensive line with Clark’s imminent extension. 

Final buy: Special teams overhaul

The Packers have invested plenty of draft capital into its special teams unit in recent years, drafting both a long snapper and a punter in 2018. LaFleur also brought in a brand new special teams coordinator in Shawn Mennenga, and so far, nothing has changed. The unit remains the worst in the NFL and has a chance to be historically bad. Yes, I mean worst in history. It’s unlikely to me that the Packers move on from punter JK Scott after only his second season, and he does have plenty of talent to play the position, but he needs to get back to flipping the field the way he was able to the first few games of the 2019 season. Green Bay also is in desperate need of a capable returner. Gutekunst traded away Trevor Davis to Oakland for a draft pick, and so far no one has come close to matching Davis’ production. I’m almost certain that one of the new wide receivers that ends up in Green Bay next season will have a strong history on special teams as a return specialist. 

Well, that’s my “Black Friday” wish list. How about you? Let me know in the comments which positions you’d like to see Green Bay address through free agency, and which ones you think they’ll tackle in the 2020 Draft. Remember, we aren't buying people here. Because, well, that's bad for a plethora of reasons I don't need to get into. We're buying positions. Don't forget to consider the team’s cap space! It’s like your own personal Black Friday budget, so hopefully you don’t max out your credit cards...

 

Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and a podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (81)

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fastmoving's picture

November 29, 2019 at 05:59 am

I dont get why someone calls for a wide receiver???? AR does not even use the WRs who already here, not named Adams. And we have a really good group.
Not even the best WR in the world would make a difference. Besides that it would take at least 3 years (if ever) to gain AR trust.
I never got 12 trust thing, must be a code for something (trust=like??!!!). Every other QB uses what has on the field and most times is way less than what we have. Waaaaay less.
But hey, if he dont trust them, lets loose the games

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HankScorpio's picture

November 29, 2019 at 06:10 am

The really strange part is the offense look fine without Adams. Once he came back, they started to struggle more and more. That definitely suggests the issue is approach, not talent. Whether that is on Rodgers or LaFleur or both, I cannot say.

But I definitely agree that other great QBs make due with what they have. And it bothers me more and more that so much is made of "trust" and that it takes so long to build it. Rodgers is paid like a star. If he can't play like one without being surrounded by stars, maybe he's not the guy he is billed to be.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 11:35 am

Exactly. He did it without Adams, talent isn't the issue. The question I haven't figured out yet is whether it's 12 or MLF that reverted once Adams came back.

Most fans can't understand what a salary cap is or why it matters. Every position should just be filled with top draft picks and talented free agent pickups.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 29, 2019 at 02:26 pm

You have 5 skill positions on the offense the QB can use. We have Davante Adams. We have Jimmy Graham for the rest of the season. We have Jones/Williams. Lewis, Lazard, Kumerow, and MSV all get some snaps but they aren’t key weapons.

If we want to be a team that uses the backs, then you need backs because they get hurt. Linemen would be useful. Maybe even a TE to replace Graham next year. But WR? No, that’s a plan for more passing. Count me out on that.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 29, 2019 at 06:47 am

"AR does not even use the WRs who already here, not named Adams. And we have a really good group."

HUH????????

Sorry friend but that IMO is not even remotely true. Just look at the WR groups the Packers had and Rodgers had at his disposal from 2008 when he was named the starter until 2016 when the cupboard ran BARE. One of the absolute best things Ted Thompson did was keep the WR room flush with talent...An ABUNDANCE of it I might add.

2008...Driver, Jennings, Jones, Nelson.
2009...Driver, Jennings, Jones, Nelson PLUS TE's, Finley and Donald Lee who combined for 92 catches and 6 TD's in 2009.
2010...Driver, Jennings, Jones, Nelson PLUS TE's Finley (Injured) Lee, Quarless, FB KUUUUHN
2011... The group on the COVER of Sports Illustrated... Driver, Jennings, Jones, Nelson, Cobb TE Finley, Quarless and KUUUUHN
2012...Driver, Jennings, Jones, Nelson, Cobb, PLUS the TE's. (This was a group that suffered a multitude of injuries throughout the season to just about every WR.) THANK GOD they actually had some depth

(I'm getting lazy and this is getting too long)

2013 through 2016...Nelson, Cobb, Adams, Jones or some combination of those 4. BUT the Packers had always had at LEAST 3 WR on the roster from 2008 to 2016 who could carry the team ANY given week. This was also the period of time when Rodgers was his absolute best! I would bet an amount of money that mattered to me IF Rodgers had a Nelson and Cobb or Cobb and Jones to go with Adams this offense would be unstoppable with Rodgers at QB, EVEN at 35 years old.

Gute MUST draft a WR no later than the 2nd round AND add one in FA. Hopefully, Sternberger develops (I think he does). Then we can HOPE MVS takes the jump next year we hoped for this year and so does ESB. Lazard is a nice story and I hope he sticks. BUT the Packers currently have a roster full of the same type WR. They NEED a Jennings and/or Cobb type badly in this offense.

Oh yea, PLUS ILB, DL, and OL

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fastmoving's picture

November 29, 2019 at 02:52 pm

As much I love Driver, he was a 7th rounder and not the fastest guy in the world. Same thing with Jones, who had some bad years as well.
MVS and ESB could be better than most and Adams is better than Jordy in his prime.
If AR would play like the pre2016 AR, we would had a great passing game.
Last year AR missed a lot of open guys…….
And if I compare it with Brady or Lamar...man, do the have 3 all pros?? They dont have anything special and we have at least an top 5 receiver and two big, fast targets plus Jones. Nobody in the NFL got more, even if we miss a real TE....

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PeteK's picture

November 29, 2019 at 06:07 pm

Enough of this ridiculous chatter. The passing game is all about rhythm , and we have very little because receivers are not getting open. At times Rogers' gets plenty of time and has to abort because no one is open. We have too many receivers of the same mold, lg and not fast with the exemption of MVS ,but not quick. Rogers 64% comp-7.6 per, Brady 62-6.4. As far as Jackson , everyone is so geared up to stop that exceptional run game , I could complete passes in that offense.

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Duneslick's picture

November 29, 2019 at 09:54 am

UDFA 's and 1 late round draft pick. How many time have you seen AR search the field and no one is open

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Big_Mel_75's picture

November 29, 2019 at 11:17 am

To say we have lots of talent at WR is insane. We have one great WR in Adams but after that NOTHING. Should have kept Jordy or Cobb. Drafting 3 in one draft was bad idea as for GB it takes 3 years for them to catch on. MVS Should be alright next year but seems to have taken a step backwards. Brett had WAY more talent through out his time then Rodgers as ever had.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:06 pm

So much hindsight bias.

GB took 3 WRs in 2018, but they also took 2 in 2017. So the issue is the number of WRs drafted in 2018? No, it's that Montgomery, Yancy and Dupre were all poor WRs. Taking 3 in 2018 was an acknowledgement that the team needed more talent at the position. Lots of fans wanted to cut Adams because of his drops just a few years ago, funny how that turned out.

Cobb and Jordy would not improve this WR group in 2019, though I do question Gute's decision to not even try to negotiate with Jordy. It sounds like the guy would have come back for next to nothing.

Brett had WAY more talent... still only found his way to one ring

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PeteK's picture

November 29, 2019 at 06:24 pm

Favre's offense actually performed better after he lost his best receiver, Sterling.

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HankScorpio's picture

November 29, 2019 at 06:04 am

Hard to disagree with any of the positions mentioned in the article.

But on the field, I would add TE to the mix. Graham and Lewis are pretty much used up. Maybe Tonyan or Sternberger can elevate their game but it's pie in the sky to expect both with. They need 2.

Off the field, I'm beginning to think they need to change up their defensive approach yet again. I was fully on board with the choice of Pettine but too many times I've found myself saying "same old Packer defense". Amos, Savage and the 2 Smiths have really been good additions. So I'm not buying the lack of talent excuse as much as I would have after 2018.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:23 pm

I thought Lewis was starting to really add value prior to DA coming back from injury. The RBs were getting all the press, but Lewis was a lot more active and contributing during those 4 weeks.

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4zone's picture

November 29, 2019 at 06:30 am

Too many holes to fill. Pick your priorities then go at it.

By the way, new web design is NOT mobile friendly. Get your IT people on it, its working about as bad as the Packers D is.

Back to the topic, AR needs to quit this trust garbage. That's the coaches job. AR needs to use every weapon on the field, regardless who it is, if coach dont trust them, coach don't put them on the field.

Needs: ILB, ILB, Slot WR, OT, DL, TE, Return Spec. We have the outside pressure, now we need it from the inside too. I'm also thinking a switch back to a 4 -3 might be better. And I think after this year's trend down on D with all the new talent, it's time for an upgrad at D-Coordinator

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Gort's picture

November 29, 2019 at 09:16 am

First, I understand the need to sell ads, but the newest set of "lucky guy" ads that take me away from CheeseheadTV to a new web site must be eliminated.

The old mantra of draft the "best available" applies. Don't target a specific position because that ends with reaching for a project in the early rounds.

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edp1959's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Or maybe you need to quit believing that trust BS is real. Have you heard directly from Rodgers that he doesn't trust anyone, or are you just buying into the same drivel?

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Razer's picture

November 29, 2019 at 06:32 am

Hard to disagree with Maggie on her picks. Get another Kenny Clark type and a true NT and that Dline would be a solid core for the defense. Another stud O-lineman would take the line beyond average. ILB is the new safety "never fixed it" dilemma this team faces. Either we fix this our we stay soft in the middle. A quick twitch WR is a must. Waiting for our WR to get downfield an into the meat of their routes hasn't worked for 4 years.

I'll add one that is not likely to happen but I think is the correct way to run the coaching staff. Stop having your HC as your playcaller. Our HC needs to coach the coaches to get each facet of the game humming. Instead of trying to be the offensive guru at the expense of the whole team. Matt Lafluer has a team that is under performing in all three areas , including the coaches and he has to emmerse himself in an Aaron Rodgers game plan. It is too much and too many things are falling through the cracks.

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4zone's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:13 am

Agree on the play calling. Doesn't seem to be his forte.

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RedRight49's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:33 am

If I was Black Friday gift shopping for the Packers my first purchase would be a gift certificate to the O - Store for a purebred Tackle, ideally one with
a bit of attitude.

And I too would like to see Bulaga extended if a cap reasonable deal can be managed.

I'de also generously gift the Packers a WR and/or a TE early on, unless Sternberger or possibly Tonyan has convinced the brass they are a
legitimate number 1 receiving TE with some blocking chops.

A WR with hands and speed, regardless of how tall he is and wherever Gute can find him, would be a wish on the list answered.

Special Teams desperately needs an infusion (s) be it a new coach and/or a principle returner and hell yes, a reliable punter.

Punters should be tried out frequently from now until next Season's opening game to make certain Scott is the best they can line up with, his regression this year should be unacceptable.

The Pack should enter 2020 with a pretty decent team and through smart acquisitions - the draft, free agency and trade, upgrade their positions in visible need of upgrades.

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scoonie_penn's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:18 am

Maggie hit the mark on definite areas of need. The only spot I would change is moving DL up to #2. From the games GB has lost they have been dominated up front on both sides of the ball. You can't win if you can't control the line of scrimmage.
Gute and co. hit with Jenkins so maybe they can add on another OL who can start. JMHO GB has lost their way with the draft on WRs. If you look at most of the early round players GB drafted, almost all of them were either the all-time leader in receiving stats at their schools or very close. They all were hand catchers with decent to above average speed with excellent quickness.
Somewhere along the way RAS has become valued higher than production and performance. I'm still waiting for the all-RAS players(with low production) to make an impact. J Jones, Burks, J. Moore, R Gary, M Adams. And please lord stop looking to the PAC 12 and Northwestern for defense. This is not to say you can't find some gems, K Clarke C Matthews but watch college football and it's obvious the SEC is #1 conference for defensive talent. Kinlaw(SC) or Brown(Aub) would look really good. Need a WR...maybe check out Johnson from MN. He's a technician on routes, is at or near the tops in WR stats at MN, makes the tough catches, has excellent quickness and good speed. He also competes for every ball. I just read he might be a Day 3 pick.
Lastly it confounds me that GB hasn't drafted or picked up a decent ST returner. Maybe there aren't any around but GB's have been beyond bad.
With that said Gute is moving the team in the right direction. Every team has holes, the NFL is designed to get every team to play at or near .500 if they have a decent front office and coaching staff.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Agreed. The NFL is fun because it's so competitive. To win the SB you need to hit on finding young elite talent, stay healthy and have some good luck. There is no textbook (outside of NE) for consistently winning. It's not as easy as 'just make a few good decisions'.

It's sad when two NW grads beat out Adams for snaps. I think he had 6 in SF. If Gary is ultimately a bust, it'll be so disappointing for fans of Gute. He did so much work acknowledging the need for a rebuild, getting the better of NO in his trades, positioning GB to take the best player available. To swing and miss at #12 made it all for nothing. Christian Wilkins, Brian Burns and Dexter Lawrence were the next three defenders off the board. Ouch...

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 29, 2019 at 07:18 am

It's pretty hard to argue with Maggies list. ILB is a MUST but IMO so is WR. Rodgers is STILL a deadly QB but he needs weapons who can win and do it consistently. While Lazard has been a nice story this season and I hope he continues to grow as a WR, the Packers CAN NOT afford to play the "Hope Game" anymore.

They HOPED MVS and EQ would break out this season or at least one for sure. IMO they were BANKING on that happening. Clearly it didn't and the Packers WR room is a bunch of question marks. They have a BUNCH of the same "Type" of WR's in that room. MVS is fast, but he's a big WR, just like EQ, Lazard, and Kumerow. Now I had HUGE hopes for EQ and I still think he can be a good piece in next year's group. BUT lets face it, NO ONE other than Adams scares a DC on this team.

The Packers paid Rodgers a shitload of money. Call me funny but it sure seems funny you'd give a QB in his mid-30's THAT MUCH MONEY and not surround him with the best possible playmakers you can. IT'S TIME Gute spent some resources on the offense (High Draft Picks and FA). The Defense has been getting it ALL the last several years. IT'S TIME for the Offense to get some love.

BTW... If Pettine can't get this group of players to perform better then maybe, just maybe Pettine isn't the right guy. He's got 5 games to show he's the man. If he can't then get rid of him with the ST Coordinator. The Packers simply can't afford to wait anymore.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Just to be clear...

you think it's funny that Gute isn't surrounding 12 with enough talent (despite Green Bay having the highest offensive payroll in the league)

...and Pettine, whose group is the 28th highest paid in the league, should be doing more with what he has.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 29, 2019 at 07:11 pm

Uncomfortable Truth.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 30, 2019 at 03:00 am

Hmmm...Well with the Salary Rodgers has I'd say that bumps it up quite a bit, don't you? NEXT season once Graham is out, possibly Bulaga, and Lane Taylor drops of the payroll it probably drops a bit too right? I'd imagine QUITE a bit. I think Turner is the Packers RT next season and another Guard is added in the draft. There's also Madison who IF he recovers in time could play RT or RG possibly.

On defense, the biggest reason it's so low is right now 8 of the 11 starters are on ROOKIE contracts. Well, actually 7 since Lowry just signed his new deal which isn't all that pricy anyways. Rookie contracts tend to REALLY drive that down...

...I'd also imagine once Clark signs his new deal and Gute either signs Martinez which wouldn't surprise me or adds another DL or ILB in FA that price gets driven up.

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fastmoving's picture

November 29, 2019 at 02:57 pm

yeah….if you give him that much money, there is not much left for the rest. thats the idea of the SC.
His job is it to make everyone better around him. And again, the WR around him are good enought. What can they do more besides being open......

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Lare's picture

November 29, 2019 at 04:19 pm

The Smiths & Jenkins have been good, but Turner, Amos Savage & Gary have been below average. That's a lot of FA & draft capital invested in non-performance.

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packerbackerjim's picture

November 29, 2019 at 07:35 am

Many fans have overvalued the WRs on the roster. UFAs and late round draftees are what makes up the WR corp, Adams being the sole exception. None of the others could crack most starting lineups elsewhere. Yes they can make a spectacular play once in a blue moon, but none is consistently good, tho Lazard shows some promise. I believe there will be a valuable receiver there in Round 2. It’s a toss up between ILB and OT in the 1st, depending on how the draft plays out. In Gute we trust.

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4zone's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:22 am

pbj, we can't get everything we need, so what do we 'have to have' with those 1st three picks? A 3rd Rnd WR won't do much good, so you have to get one in Rnd 1 or 2. Same with ILB, OT, and DL. Otherwise you have 3 year projects instead of the upgrades you need now.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 29, 2019 at 10:32 am

David Bakhtiari was a 4th round pick and started 16 games as a rookie.
Corey Lindsey was a 5th and did the same thing...Started 16 games as a rookie...

I do agree with much of what you said, but I also think we could find a guard for example in the 4th, move Turner out to Tackle and be good to go on the O-Line.

I'm torn on WR or ILB in the first. I don't know nearly enough to really speak on the draft yet, but there is a BOATLOAD of REALLY good WR's coming out next year. Deep down I know ILB is probably best but damn I want to see Rodgers get some weapons!

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:27 pm

I think drafting a WR in the first is a huge risk, given Rodgers history with young receivers. I have to believe if you draft the next Julio Jones, 12 will find a way to make that work. I just wonder if he'd prefer to get some vets into the mix and make the most out of that. Watching Cole Beasley yesterday had me wondering what 12 would do with a guy like that.

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Michael Hughes's picture

November 29, 2019 at 07:48 am

The drop off in quality in receivers over the years is staggering When we drafted cobb he was WR4. Lazard is probably our WR2 and this is a guy who up until a few weeks ago, no NFL team thought was good enough to make a roster. Realistically Geronimo, Lazard, MVS and Kumerow would be competing for maybe WR5 in Rodgers best years with most of them cut.

And people wonder why the numbers have dropped off. If Rodgers had these guys earlier in his career he probably wouldn't be a first ballot hall of fame player.

Nobody is blind to Rodgers faults but there are two sides to a pass and the second half has been woefully neglected. We probably need to draft it high and sign a solid 2 in free agency.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:16 am

We don't have the money to sign 2 Free Agent WRs. Mayyybe 1 decent one. But we've got to replace ILB. Clarke's deal is going to be a monster. Bulaga maybe? Bakh is coming up. Jones too.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 30, 2019 at 03:14 am

All good points BM but I don't think they'll resign Jones unless he gives GB a HUGE hometown discount. Giving big money to RB is just too damn risky...Especially to those who didn't finish out their first two years and went on IR.

Resigning Bakhatiari scares me a bit. As much as I'd love to see him resigned, I REALLY wonder what the hell is going on with his back this year. He's looked very "Average" this year and sometimes, (GULP) pretty bad. Watching the 49ers and Chargers just manhandle him at times was really concerning as are all the holding penalties this year.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:18 am

We neet a young OT to back up Bulaga/Bakh for when Bulaga gets hurt. And that's assuming we get Bulaga back - which who knows. We need a total overhaul of the ILB position. We're not paying Blake. We desperately need a real 2nd weapon at WR. We need a good 5 Tech. And we need to tell Pettine to get out of the sub packages every dang down so we can actually stop the run.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:52 am

Agree on player positions. But the need for quality across the board will limit Gute. Some of what folks want will come with the younger players growing up. Most of our complaints come from the youth and inexperience of the players. And Pettine already has a serious handicap with the lack of development of ILB, something the Packers as a organization decided to live with in the beginning of the year. Otherwise we would not see Pettine push heavy DB packages even with his 3-3-5 main defense. He just doesn't have the people, and if he goes heavy front, he exposes the Smiths in pass coverage and forces the SS to play even tighter and then it's bombs away. Pettine done a fine job scheming with the limits imposed by draft needs and player youth. Packers are not going to fire him...

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Razer's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:12 pm

I agree with Flackcatcher on the dilemma that Pettine faces. First off, we are starting two Dlinemen who are, at best, rotational guys and the rotational guys are even less. So much for holding the point of attack or heaven forbid - collapsing the pocket. Second, Blake Martinez is the best we have in the middle. The Packers have missed on linebackers and hybrid safeties miserably.

One person I am not blaming is Pettine. Other than the FAs, we might have two draft choices that are performing at a high level, everything else is a work-in-progress.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Thank you, someone actually understands that Pettine is doing a lot, given what he has to work with.

I would be very concerned about letting Blake walk and inserting a draft pick there, especially given that he's the signal caller. I'm all for getting better, but that seems like a plan that could blow up in their face. If GB spends in FA next year, this would be the position to do it.

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Lphill's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:19 am

I would like a tight end like Jared Cook , a slot receiver like Randall Cobb , a safety like Micha Hyde and an inside linebacker like Clay Mathews and a special team guy like Taysom Hill . Then I think the Packers would be complete.

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Houndog's picture

November 29, 2019 at 09:30 am

Lphill,
I literally laughed out loud, you've pretty much covered it, maybe a note to Ted Thompson would get the ball rolling.
Oh that's right, Gutekunst is sitting in TT's chair now. I guess with all the recent roster moves, I forgot!

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Gort's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:08 pm

CMIII did not want to play ILB.

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cms's picture

November 29, 2019 at 04:41 pm

Nicely Done!

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LeotisHarris's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:33 pm

Lp, as long as I'm alive the legacy of Fightin' Joe Callahan will be honored 'round these parts. You know darn well that not only would have Fightin' Joe blocked that punt last night, he'd have scooped it up and scored. In the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln (or maybe it was Gene Upshaw, I forget) "Taysom Hill couldn't carry Fightin' Joe Callahan's jock!"

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Guam's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:34 am

Hard to disagree with Maggie's list. I might add a couple of refinements.

WR: I would specifically target a slot receiver with speed and quickness. The Packers have plenty of tall and some fast WR's, but are sorely lacking a quick change of direction WR who can create separation right from the line of scrimmage. None of our current WRs except Adams can get separation quickly and we desperately need someone else who needs less than 4 seconds to create separation. One of the reasons Rodgers holds the ball so long is his receivers can take too long to get open.

D-line: I agree we need D-line help. My conundrum is Rashan Gary. It seems Gute drafted Gary to be an OLB, but given the success of the Smiths, there simply won't be many snaps available at OLB for at least the next three years for Gary. Does that mean our #12 draft choice is OLB3 for another three years or do the Packers ask him to gain some weight and shift to DE where he can start for the team now. Given his D-line history at Michigan and that he seems better equipped to handle the run than the pass rush (per PFF), some of our answer at D-line may be on the team right now...…. We probably should draft another D-lineman too, but with Gary it may not have be a top priority.

TE: I would add TE to the list. Scorpio nailed it when he said Graham and Lewis are about done. Tonyan and Sternberger might be the answer, but I think some insurance would be a good idea.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:31 am

Excuse me, reality check here. Limited cap space, no matter what moves GM Gute makes. Sure I have a wish list too, but I get to play fantasy football, Gute doesn't. Still, I want him to get as many draft choices as he can, even if means trading down. This team is still too thin at every key position and getting high quality depth for special teams is a priority for this Packers team. Much depends on the young players maturing next year and getting Rodgers out of his habits he develop during the McCarthy years. (All 22 tells a far different story on the 49ers pass defense. Rodgers had WR open, but he was looking at his preferred rather than who was open in the pattern. Slipping into bad habits at the worst possible time...) PS: I hear Dom Capers is available..... :-)

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edp1959's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:53 pm

Funny that you and I see different stories on All 22.

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stockholder's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:48 am

My List: Dump the 3-4-4! Doubt they do that as long as Pettine is coach. So here goes. If the packers don't get to the Super-bowl. Clean House Again! Gone Graham, Lewis, Bulaga, Martinez, and Williams. Sure they did well. But age and injuries are to big of Risk. I want Gary back on the Defensive Line. Dump Allison, Kumerow, and make Lazard a TE. The only two Wrs that should be kept are Adams and MVS. 1.DE/NT Free Agency. #1 Pick BPA!! That should be a WR! This offense needs to keep Arron Rodgers up first.( I have to go RT. )#2. 3. Draft 2 ILBs. Rd. 3. Yes- Gute needs to get an extra 3 this year! Trade the 4, and 5.

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Timeout's picture

November 29, 2019 at 05:47 pm

I agree, Gary and Zadarious are big enough to play DE in a 4-3 when using Hunter and Griffen [Vikings] as examples. Trying to turn Gary into a OLB is something Capers would have done. Another Datone Jones or Mike Neal failure..

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:48 am

First pick at the lower end of the first round BPA ( WR , CB QB, TE or RB) round two move up for one of the OTs left on the board. 5-6 OTs are projected into the first round. Round 3 ( WR or CB), Round four Guard ....Free agency on ILBs

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Not arguing against it, but I think you might actually see a riot in GB if they go CB in the first round. Frustrating that it wouldn't be the worst idea.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 29, 2019 at 02:06 pm

You have to have three to four on the field to cover. King is lost in assignments and Jackson a bust. Hollman not seeing the field, even as a PR, given his 4.3 speed and return [email protected] Toledo? The BPA. My guy was Ferrell at #12 but Gruden took him @ #4. Next on the list was Wilkens as a DT or Dillard as a RT. Winovich is making noise as a three pick for Belichick because he is a player, not a prospect. Gutedkunst has to tighten up the personnel dept or he will be seeing the door close behind him. Not even a low pick moved on a PR/KR type guy??

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sam1's picture

November 29, 2019 at 08:56 am

Hate to say this but I lost a lot of Trust in Rodgers! He has become a 36 year old Diva who when ever something happens looks at guys like he wants to kill them. Usually lately it is Rodgers fault!

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:50 pm

There are a lot of 'observations' about Rodgers that are just dumb. I'm thinking about the fake drama between him and MLF in pre-season for example.

However, I've noticed this year that when the offense isn't doing great, the camera often shows 12 sitting alone on the bench. Sometimes he's up talking to MLF. Why is he never grouped around the receivers or the o-line trying to talk strategy? Or trying to get feedback? Could be nothing, but it doesn't seem like something a leader does during a game.

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Razer's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Total agree. Aside from the optics, you'd think the leader of the offense would be working on solutions to bed-shitting

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mrtundra's picture

November 29, 2019 at 09:01 am

We need O Line help, now! RT, RG and Center are all areas of concern. Bulaga is always playing hurt. Draft a RT who can play right now and spell Bulaga for an extended period of time. RG: Billy Turner doesn't seem to be the answer at RG. He seems to screw Linsley over several times a game by shifting his efforts to helping the RT block his man rather than staying put to help Linsley with the pressure up the middle in the A and B gaps. Center: Linsley has been getting beat like a drum when the pressure is heavy. Defenders should not get past him but then you see Linsley following the defender all the way to ARod. LT and LG are solid, most of the time, with LG being our strongest position on the team. A proven back up player to spell Bahk, once in a while would be good. The Packers have ignored the O line in the draft, for years, prior to them picking up Jenkins this past draft. I wish our needs list wasn't so dire the year OG Quenton Nelson and OT Mike McGlinchy were both on the boards, or in the last draft when Dalton Rizner was there for us. We would have had to move up to grab Quenton Nelson, but I think it would have been worthwhile to do so. If GB had gotten two of these guys mentioned, our O line concerns would have been lessened considerably. We could then concentrate on WRs, TEs, RBs, QBs and Defensive players.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:42 pm

GB has a top 10 offensive line. Other teams have good pass rushers, which is why GB gives up pressure just like other top offensive lines do.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 29, 2019 at 09:32 am

1. QB is the most important position and ours will turn 37 next season.

2. We want to be a running team but both our backs will be in their contract year.

3. We do not have enough guys who can cover and tackle.

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stockholder's picture

November 30, 2019 at 01:48 pm

QBs Not god enough. Rbs won't happen early. ILBs could change that. Best bet @30 OL. Best bet @ 60 RT Best bet @80 LB. So- Trade up Lamb Wr 2nd - Murray ILB 3rd - RT Kid from Oregon ILBs are deep this year.

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Houndog's picture

November 29, 2019 at 09:42 am

Pretty much anything that can clog the middle of that sieve we call our defense would work for me.
When was the last time the Packers 'went for it' on a top notch linebacker, maybe when they moved up for Matthews?
Another WR would be nice too, but they usually take a year or two to get there, and there's that ever present 'trust' issue, so.........
I say trade Murphy, for anyone related to Bob Harlan!

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Gort's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Not sure that I continue to believe the narrative that it takes a WR years to develop. Maybe that problem lies elsewhere.

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Pizzadoc's picture

November 30, 2019 at 08:27 am

Maybe we need a first round WR. Even our second rounders have taken years to develop.

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PatrickGB's picture

November 29, 2019 at 10:02 am

Bring back Campy as O-line coach. Draft or buy a good WR. Draft or buy a premier MLB. Fire the STs coach!

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Packer_Fan's picture

November 29, 2019 at 10:04 am

My wish list. First a FA ILB. Dump Graham for more money. They aren't using him for that amount of money. Keep Lane Taylor and move Turner out to tackle. I would then get a DL FA. Not a top one, but good and reliable. Draft needs are Offensive tackle, WR, ILB, another DB. It's sad that King is playing so poorly.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Letting breeland walk was a mistake. everyone said it was because he was guaranteed to start in KC. Not sure why it was such a slam dunk that he wouldn't have started over King here. Maybe because people expected Josh Jackson to actually play this year.

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Qoojo's picture

November 29, 2019 at 10:12 am

I want a thinking coach. Given 2 weeks of preparation, a coach that will devise a game plan to handle the pressure. Not one that watches the jailbreak and decides that lack of dedication to the run is what the main issue is (because he was taught the run game counters said pressure).

At this point, I have no idea what the defense needs. They perennially suck. They don't look as bad this season due to being bottom of the barrel bad in the past couple of seasons. I guess ILB and more DL help.

OL is always a priority for me. Keep Rodgers clean and healthy, and you have a chance. Follow what the patriots did for Brady.

Scott is an indoor or southern punter. Crosby is getting too expensive. Returner. I guess they should have paid the money to get the good ST coach.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 29, 2019 at 11:05 am

It's hard to argue with any list that is made up from so much obvious needs.

Where is the " as long as we have Rodgers ' crowd to dismiss having any needs at all?

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Leatherhead's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Taryn. We’re heading for 12 win season. Obviously, there’s a lot of good football players on this team.

We shouldn’t make holes just so we can fill them with guys that we hope will be better.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 29, 2019 at 01:26 pm

This team isn't getting 12 wins as they will be hard pressed to get 11.

Obviously this teams average grade of players is at best a C+.

Nobody is making holes just to be filled with hopefuls...we've had these holes and have been trying to fill them with hopefuls.

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Gort's picture

November 29, 2019 at 02:21 pm

Lots of us, myself included, didn't see through the early season smoke and mirrors. Now reality is setting in.

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packergal's picture

November 29, 2019 at 02:42 pm

I agree with you, Taryn.

Hopefully Giants and Washington = W.

Next, as much as I despise thebearsstillsuck, Trubisky has played better recently and if Akeem Hicks returns in 3 weeks, Rodgers could be in trouble and running for his life all day.

Vikings and Lions are dangerous and potential L
That means 10 and hopefully 11.
GO PACK!

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Big_Mel_75's picture

November 29, 2019 at 11:20 am

I agree with the list but I think that ILB needs to be #1. Then WR #2, OL #3, DL #4 and add a playing TE could replace WR

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 29, 2019 at 07:41 pm

The best ILBs will be gone by the later picks of the first round. MAybe only one or two rated as # 1s unless the juniors declare.

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Razer's picture

November 29, 2019 at 12:26 pm

It is funny with all my moaning about the defense and lack of quality on the Dline, I totally forgot about our 1st round pick. yeah - exactly. Hope he's not the new Nick Perry

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blacke00's picture

November 29, 2019 at 06:53 pm

He is

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mbpacker's picture

November 29, 2019 at 02:27 pm

I would concentrate on best player available. However, we need to find a future OT, ILB, and an explosive receiver who can get separation on a consistent bases. But in general, I think we need to load up on the DL, ALA San Fan. It is much easier for DB to cover when there is a good DL that is deep, and can both put pressure on the QB and be stout against the run.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 30, 2019 at 01:24 pm

Then you have to lose over a seven year period and get successive high round picks.

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Timeout's picture

November 29, 2019 at 05:35 pm

Players yes but no coaching issues? Special teams has been as bad as always. A good kick returner may help a little but it seems there is always a free tackler or two on punt returns and kick returns. The very healthy defense is no better than years past even with the free agent additions and 2 first round picks along with Pettine returning. A new D-coordinator and special teams coach should be considered as well.

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GLM's picture

November 29, 2019 at 07:34 pm

I like where this article takes us, as we're all looking at where the team is at, and where we think it should go. You've all got solid posts, and very good points made. Let me add this to the mix:

1) Did any of you think we would be 8-3 here? I was hopefully optimistic at the beginning of the season, and I projected 11-5, or better. I think the Pack is right on track to surpass that, and if they go 4-1 from here, and maybe even 5-0, then that is a successful season no matter which way you look at it. They may not make the Super Bowl, but I'm still damn proud of what they've accomplished. Matt's first year as head coach has been quite good...he needs to learn to take the points, when necessary, but that's something experience teaches.

2) Gotta' fix the middle of the defense. I don't know that there's a draftee or a FA available next season who could make that difference, but if there is, then the team needs to add that player, or players.

3) Need more from the TE position. Figure it out. See point #2 above.

4) OT, or a solid swingman is essential to add. Find one.

5) 4-3, or 3-4? Very good question. The Packers have the guys to play a 4-3, especially if they draft another playmaker on the DL. I'm no expert, but maybe that configuration would work better than a 3-4, especially since your OLB's are the Smiths...it is certainly better against the run.

6) Another upgrade at corner may be necessary. Where is Josh Jackson? Maybe a veteran addition here would help.

7) Last, but not least...the 2020 draft class is said to be one of the deepest ever at WR. Better grab one, and keep the competition strong there.

Lots to fill on that wish list. Let's worry about that later, and watch our team finish out the season. Maybe another shot at SF is just what they need. If we win out, going 13-3, we'll have a hot hand going onto the playoffs. I like those odds.

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Since'61's picture

November 29, 2019 at 07:35 pm

Since the Packers will have between 10 - 13 wins this season we are probably going to have somewhere between the 22nd and 28th pick.
Hopefully #32. My point is that we probably need to go with BPA in the first round and since this is a strong year for WRs we should probably the best WR on the board at the time we draft. It is an area of need and even as a rookie a WR can make an impact in his first season.

After that we need an impact ILB. Then I look for a DL, OL and a TE. Later on a WR/ST return specialist. Use FA for the remaining gaps and depth as best as possible.

IMO we are a WR, a TE, DL and ILB away from a pretty complete starting 22. With those 4 positions improved plus improvement from our current 1st and 2nd year players we should have a pretty competitive team. MLF will be in his 2nd season as an HC and that should be a factor as well. For now I prefer to focus on this week's upcoming game and I'll worry about next season when this one is over. Thanks, Since '61

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JohnnyLogan's picture

November 30, 2019 at 01:46 pm

We have a lot of needs but it still burns to know we'd have one less if Gute hadn't tried to outsmart every GM by taking a potential bust, now actual bust in Gary. Imagine one of the WR's; Hollywood Brown, McLauren, Metcalf... or Oliver or Burns or, or, or... so many better choices. But he went with a guy who was hurt and hadn't impressed in college because he ran fast for a big guy. Gute's drafting is as responsible for the holes as TT's. Two drafts, 3 starters, out of 19 picks. Pure awful. He goes into his next draft near the bottom. He should fire all his scouts. He'd have done better simply paying a few bucks for a mock draft subscription, all of the mock drafts were better than his. He's the biggest hole we've got at the moment.

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harmonxjim33's picture

December 12, 2019 at 07:25 pm

I'de also generously gift the Packers a WR and/or a TE early on, unless Sternberger or possibly Tonyan has convinced the brass they are a legitimate number 1 receiving TE with some blocking chops.

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