Cory's Corner: Inside Or Outside Linebacker?

After the NFL Combine, it looks like the Packers must now wrestle with a philosophical question: inside or outside linebacker.

With quarterbacks Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock all expected to go in the top 10 combined with wide receiver D.K. Metcalf looking like Superman in Indy, the Packers will have choices on defense. 

When Ted Thompson ran things, he never gave inside linebacker much of a thought. He drafted 10 inside linebackers with an average draft round position of 4.7 — and that includes A.J. Hawk in the first round. Thompson drafted seven outside linebackers with an average round position of 4.4. 

Now Brian Gutekunst has said that he is going to change things up and do things differently than the previous regime has done. There is also the aspect of second-year defensive coordinator Mike Pettine that had to coach with one hand tied behind his back last year because of injuries and inept play. It also must be added that we don’t even know if Clay Matthews and Nick Perry will be returning for 2019. If those guys don’t come back, edge easily wins out. 

Many had LSU inside linebacker Devin White going to the Packers before the NFL Combine, but Rashan Gary forced himself on team’s draft boards after lighting up Indy with his quickness and jumping ability. Gary was a first-team All Big Ten selection as a sophomore and junior at Michigan despite playing out of position on the defensive line. Gary is very quick at getting around the edge and he can also shed blockers by powering right through them. He’s ranked as the No. 8 overall player according to Scouts, Inc. 

Then there’s Montez Sweat. The Mississippi State star turned everyone’s heads by running a 4.41 40-yard dash — a record for a defensive lineman. Pretty hard to believe he’s 260 pounds. That’s like pushing a piano down a hill and watching it continually pick up speed. He was first-team All SEC as a sophomore and junior as he tallied 22 combined sacks. Sweat runs very chaotic to the ball and is too upright. Scouts, Inc. has Sweat No. 19 overall. 

The fight for the inside linebacker position begins with the Devins. LSU’s Devin White is ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect according to Scouts, Inc. White is a tremendous athlete that has been named first team All SEC as a sophomore and junior and also won the Butkus Award this past year. What concerns me about White is that he missed 15 tackle attempts according to Pro Football Focus and many of his tackles are unorthodox.

The other Devin is Michigan’s Devin Bush. He was a first team All Big Ten pick as a sophomore and junior and was also the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year this past season. He had the second-best linebacker speed at the Combine, behind White and is ranked as the No. 14 player by Scouts, Inc. “What you see on tape is real,” Bush said on Sunday. “That’s what you’re going to get 100 percent of the time and it’s no fluke. I’m a tough player. I play hard, and my film speaks for itself.” He’s right. Bush is a heat-seeking missile when he attacks the line of scrimmage. He does a great job wrapping up and he can also make the big stick when needed. 

The X-factor is Florida edge rusher Jachai Polite. His draft stock has taken a hit thanks to a bad hamstring and some unnecessary comments he made in team interviews at the Combine. But he’s a guy that should be around at 30 when the Packers make their second pick of the first round. According to Pro Football Focus, he won on 18 percent of his pass rushes this past season and Scouts, Inc. ranks him No. 20. 

If the Packers are hoping that Polite is around at 30, then it would make sense to grab one of the Devins early. For a guy whose stock appears to be falling like a rock, he could make a huge impact in Green Bay’s first round. 

 

 

Linebackers drafted by Ted Thompson (2005-2017)

Inside linebackers

2006 A.J. Hawk — 1st

2007 Desmond Bishop — 6th

2009 Brad Jones — 7th

2011 D.J. Smith — 6th

2012 Terrell Manning — 5th

2013 Sam Barrington — 7th

2014 Carl Bradford — 4th

2015 Jake Ryan — 4th

2016 Blake Martinez — 4th

2018 Oren Burks — 3rd

 

Outside linebackers

2005 Brady Poppinga —4th

2006 Abdul Hodge — 3rd

2007 Korey Hall — 6th

2009 Clay Matthews — 1st

2013 Nate Palmer — 6th

2017 Vince Biegel — 4th

2018 Kendall Donnerson — 7th

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (118)

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alinger84's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:14 am

The X-factor is Florida State edge rusher Brian Burns.

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Turophile's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:42 am

Inside or outside linebacker.............or penetrating DL like Ed Oliver, Rashan Gary, Christian Wilkins.

I love what I saw of Burns at the combine, those lingering doubts on his size are dispelled. I rate him above Ferrell (and I like Ferrell a lot) and Sweat (like him too). Devin Smith is behind all those guys (for me).

In the impossible scenario where every one of those guys are available at #12, I think I might go (in order) Oliver, Burns, Ferrell, Sweat, Wilkins, Gary,

I'm also pondering the Packers taking a tackle at #12, like Dillard or Taylor, but overall I'd rather look at what is left on the board at #30 and see if OT is among the best value picks there.

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woody2335's picture

March 05, 2019 at 07:40 pm

When you say Devin Smith are you referring to Devin Bush or Devin White?

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Turophile's picture

March 07, 2019 at 02:07 pm

Devin White

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rutaruloge657's picture

March 06, 2019 at 12:14 am

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GBPDAN1's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:16 am

Edge please

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Coldworld's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:27 am

Assuming one accepts parity of likely available prospects, one has to look as need. The need at OLB is overwhelming.

Put it this way. Suppose we draft an immediate all world ILB. Will that player cover our deficit outside? Conversely if we sign a good OLB, is Martinez going to represent a weak spot or simply not play nearly as much.

While one should never reach on the basis of the above, unless we sign a couple of real threats at OLB in FA, this is not a philosophical dilemma but a dangerous self deception.

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Monsmoy's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:37 am

It is dangerous if not addressed in any way. What about drafting OLB in later rounds? Yes, they may be more containment, but with a threat from the front and inside, that can work. Imagine Ed Oliver and Devin Bush, with, lets say, Justin Hollins and Jalen Jelks on the outside.
You cannot magic success at OLB if the players are not there to draft and if JAllen and Burns have gone by 12, I do not think you have any other top rated options at OLB.

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Old School's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:11 am

We have starters at OLB, Perry and Fackrell. Gilbert can be resigned for the vet minimum. That group was good enough to have us finish in the Top Ten in sacks three out of the last four years.

Inside, we have Martinez and nothing else....and Martinez is in the last year of his deal (just like Fackrell and Perry).

A three down ILB is going to be involved in a lot more plays than an edge rusher is. He might improve us against the run, which is an area where we're not nearly as good as we are at getting to the QB.

We could certainly use an OLB; I just don't think we have to get one in the first round. And as much as I like the idea of a real beast in the middle, I don't think we should fill that in the first round.

I think we're going to have to go for a TE, because you can't run double TE sets without TEs. I think we could trade down to #21 and still get either Fant or Hock plus we'd pick up another pick at #55.

We still need a starting safety, a starting-ready OT, and a front seven defender (Daniels, Lowry, Martinez, Perry, and Fackrell are all in their contract years).

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SJ EC's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:40 am

A very well thought-out comment, but I think counting on Perry and Fackrell to be our starting OLBs is exactly why we need to address this position in the first round of the draft. Fackrell may be onto something moving forward, but I think the verdict is in on Perry.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:40 am

lol you want to go into the season with Fackrell, Perry, and Gilbert as the guys on the outside? Gilbert and Perry had 2.5 and 1.5 sacks each last year and you deem that good enough? No Pettine scheme was good enough to create those sacks. Im not disagreeing with the other needs of this team but to dismiss the OLB position and deem the guys you listed as "good enough" is just laughable. Gilbert wasn't even on the team 3 years ago and Fackrell just broke out this year how much help were they in helping the Pack finish in the top 10?

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 05, 2019 at 10:59 am

Before Pettine coached his 1st game in 2018 Packer fans were drooling. They spoke of how Pettine got production out of JAG OLBs due to the Jets DL and CB play. Now those same fans are screaming for OLB at #12. I'm not saying an OLB isn't the best pick if the right player drops to the Packers. I'm saying take the best player for Pettine's defense.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:11 am

Right "good DL and CB play" our DL couldn't stop the run and the CBs couldn't cover consistently.Now this D did improve they were the best 4th Q def for like half the season and were top 10 against the pass for most of it but the lack of quality LB play and safeties also did them in. If they could snag Mosley and Collins that would help this def tremendously both are expected to test the market. I think a guy like Mosley is made for Pettines def.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:24 am

@CAG I would love to see Mosely in Green and Gold for the right price! I also want to see Justin Houston as a situational pass rusher. Maxx Williams at TE. Lots of options at safety including Collins.

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Old School's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:18 am

CAG....you should stop laughing out loud and read more carefully. I clearly said we could use a OLB.

"Good enough". Well, we did finish 7th in sacks last year with that same group of Perry-Gilbert-Fackrell. And Perry and Gilbert only had 4 sacks between them. So if Perry and Gilbert could combine for more than 4 sacks in 2019, where does that end up ranking us? 5th? 3rd?

So you ADD to that group with a guy.

I also wonder about your expectations. If you draft an edge rusher in the first round you'll be lucky if he gives you 5 sacks. He's almost certain to miss some games. Last year's WonderRusher, Marcus Davenport, got 4.5 sacks. That's worth TWO first round picks?

I see guys that will be available on the 2nd day of the draft that would be a good addition to Perry and Fackrell. I also think there are guys in FA who could help us, like that guy in Denver who plays behind Von Miller....I think his name is Barrett.

As for your parting shot, CAG, a lot of guys helped. Daniels has helped. Lowry helps. Clark helps. Matthews helped. And even Nick Perry helped.

That's kind of implicit in the whole "team" thing. If we could manage to keep guys covered a fraction of a second longer then ALL of our pass rushers would look better. On MOST pass plays, that ball is out of the QB's hands....to an open guy....before the pass rush has a chance.

Like I said. We have issues like stopping the run, or putting 5 guys in the secondary that can cover and tackle. We're GOOD at getting to the passer.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:46 am

You want to depend on Perry to just suddenly be healthy and finish a full season or at least most of it? You want Fackrell to suddenly be able to get to the QB consistently without Pettine dialing up sacks and schemes for him to be successful? And why do you keep using Davenport as an example? The Packers didn't want him they wanted Minkah but the dolphins got him I believe the top guy in last years draft was Bradley Chubb who produced 12 sacks but I guess Davenport fits your narrative more. I also said i wasn't disagreeing with the needs you suggested. You keep missing the point that you just can't constantly rely on schemes and coverage to produce pressure you want a guy that can create that ON HIS OWN the Packers don't have a guy that can do that. We can both win Old School if the packers draft a guy like Burns and bring in Mosley and Collins lol

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 05, 2019 at 12:21 pm

CAG just like Davenport fits Old School's narrative Chubb fits yours. Chubb was considered a #1 pick like Bosa in this draft. Chubb was out of the Packer's reach without trading up to #5 just like Bosa will be out of reach.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 01:05 pm

It doesn't fit my narrative because I haven't mentioned him until now Im not using any particular edge rusher to make my point but if I was it would be a guy the packers would actually want they didn't want Davenport.

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Demon's picture

March 05, 2019 at 10:57 am

Old school you can beat your dead horse statement all you like but it doesnt make it true. The Pack needs an Edge rusher! Now that teams have been reaquainted with Pettines schemes they will adjust. The Pack can no longer get by with smoke and mirrors. Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you truly believe that Gilbert , Fackrell and Perry would prove adequate pass rush , if you believe that sir, you are a fool!

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:03 am

Ever think Pettine's scheme will also adjust as new players are brought in WT? Pettine consistently put up top 10 defenses year after year. Most of NFL play calling consists of smoke and mirrors. Earned the Patriots a SB. Old School's point is with CM3, Fackrell & Gilbert the Packers were still producing sacks. Go back and look at the OLBers Pettine had to work with with his time with the Jets and Browns and tell me if you recognize the names.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:28 am

Yes but he also had one the greatest man to man cover corners ever in Revis a guy that had a whopping 31 pass deflections and 6 picks in 2009, an excellent number 2 in Cromartie, a veteran field general in Bart Scott, a solid to good Calvin Pace. For as good as Alexander is his ceiling is not Revis and Martinez may or may not be as good as Scott I do believe Clark will be an all-pro type player though.

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Demon's picture

March 05, 2019 at 03:58 pm

Also had wilkerson and sheldon richardson

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Old School's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:27 am

White Tornado: Please stop worrying about my horse and read the sentence where I said "We could use certainly use an OLB". It's the first sentence in the 4th paragraph.

Would Gilbert, Fackrell, and Perry provide an "adequate" pass rush?

Didn't we finish 7th in sacks last year with that group, even with Perry missing most of the year? AND with our entire defensive line out injured by the end of the season?

So you take the group that finished 7th in sacks last year. You subtract Matthews. You add bigger contributions from Perry and Wilkinson, who missed most of last season. Why wouldn't that be adequate?

Especially if you add a guy, like I advocated in the first sentence of paragraph #4.

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Demon's picture

March 05, 2019 at 04:37 pm

You are assuming that Perry is on the team. Also that he doesnt get injured getting out of his car in the Lambeau parking lot on the first day of camp. Some pretty strong assumptions there.

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Old School's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:08 pm

I don't have to assume anything. Perry is on the team. He's under contract. End of story. If that changes, it changes. Unless/until it does, he's on the team. That's not an assumption, it's a fact.

I love the injury reference. He's been available for 72% of games in his 7 year career. Do you have any idea what AVERAGE is for that position? I'll give you a hint: It's less than that.

So, no. Not any strong assumptions.

Why is it so hard for you to believe that Perry might be more productive than he was last year, and that Fackrell will be the same player he was last year?

Explore free agency because there are good options there. Then look at the draft after the first round because there are definitely some guys who could work. We are GOOD at getting to the QB and the situation there is not as dire as some others.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 05, 2019 at 05:12 pm

Old School says we have nothing at ILB besides Martinez. I am not sure that is accurate and we need to see how things play out. Does Matthew's resign and does he play ILB? What about a big step forward in year two for Burks? What about FA?

BPA at #12 and #30. At least one of those spots will be an edge rusher if not both. Personally, if the Pack deems #12 to be a guy like Oliver or Gary to be BPA I am totally fine with it as they will bring the heat. However, even with one of those two they still need an edge rusher. The above take place and instantaneously the back defensive end immediately improves.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:01 pm

All available evidence shows that if a team wants a pass-rushing OLB, that player has to be drafted pretty much in the first round and no later than in the top 45 picks. The only exception is Justin Houston, who went in the third due to red flags.

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Old School's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:50 pm

I agree with that. In fact, I'm going to run an analysis of DEs/OLBs taken in the Top 45 since 2010 and get back to you.

I'm back. Sixty players drafted from 2010 to 2018 fit the criteria of OLB/DE. I arranged them by sacks and the top dog is, of course, JJ Watt. 92 sacks in 104 games. It drops off kind of steeply and by the time you get to the #10 guy on that list, Jabal Sheard, you're down

By availability, they're ranked a little different but you still see the same names coming up in the same area. You don't have big sack totals unless you're available. JJ Watt is 10th in availability. Nick Perry is 18th. That's out of all the DEs/OLBs .

If we draft an edge rusher in the first 45, the most likely result has him available for 10-12 games, and he'll average 0.5 sacks/game....if we're lucky. That's going to be around 7-8 a season, but he could have a double-digit season or two, but he'll also have injury seasons where he doesn't and it'll average six or eight sacks a season.....if we're lucky.

I just don't think that's worth a first round pick. Edge rushers are overvalued.

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Coldworld's picture

March 06, 2019 at 06:30 am

Sacks are only part of the story. Disruption is just as important. Fackrell got almost no pressures other than his sacks. Perry got 1.5. His best season was 11. I don’t know where the 12 games comes from, but I’d take your 6 sacks in a heart beat as long as it comes with some pressures.

If we do keep Perry, we still need 2 starting OLBs. Injuries happen and goodness knows some rotation might help with that. It also keeps players fresh without the opponent seeing a lack of outside threat. Sign one by all means through FA. But we still need to draft. If there is a near BPA available go get him. Not only will that help this year but it will enable us to build.

Fackrell is a situational rusher with some coverage pluses. He can be a useful piece of the equation but he isn’t a starter. I was disappointed Donnerson didn’t see the field at season end. He has athleticism but that would suggest either that he is a liability on the field or Philbin was too conservative or both. I will watch him in the off season to see if he can become a football player or show real signs of it.

So, for me, if an OLB is available and appropriately rated, the choice is one of the biggest no brainers we have faced for a while. Going into the season with FA, Perry, Fackrell let alone FA, Fackrell would be unforgivable.

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The TKstinator's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:22 am

I’d say Pettine, Matthews, and Perry will have a lot of influence on GB’s view on OLB vs ILB.

I say, if you want to have a great defense, start with great players. (I know, rocket science.)

I’d also be curious about how GB would rank these 3, not only in importance but how they view their ability to:
A) stuff the run
B) rush the passer
C) blanket the receivers

I recall in his intro interview, Pettine stated “You’ve got to be sound vs the run, but it’s the passing game that can really hurt you.” (That’s not an exact quote, but it’s definitely the gist.)

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Coldworld's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:36 am

This poses a more real conundrum than the article. Our best ILB run stuffers have been Morrison last year and Ryan before, however, both are bigger and slower and liabilities in coverage, leading to the hybrid safety evolving in GB. The same is true on many teams.

So the real debate is what is the ideal role of an ILB? What type of physical metrics should that player have?

My fear is that people are making ILB into the TE delusion of the D. By looking for Mr Everything, you perpetually chase a generational type and scheme on the basis of having such. Sadly, such players are extremely rare. A generational player comes around, as the term implies, so rarely that there are less by far at any position than there are teams. There may be one handful at all positions in the league at any one time.

How then should a rational team approach the future of ILB?

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The TKstinator's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:56 am

1. We all love a good conundrum.
2. I think the value and usage of the base 3-4 is much less than previous years. Nowadays, it seems nickel is the new base.

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Old School's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:14 am

Yeah, we played quite a bit of nickel, even though we couldn't put 5 guys in the secondary who could cover and tackle. We still can't, actually.

I'd like to see that fixed, personally, a lot more than I'd like to see us add another guy who can generate 0.5 sacks/game.

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Coldworld's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:34 am

Disruption from the edge is a major source of secondary performance. That is why the supposed dilemma of the article is no dilemma at all.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:48 am

He doesn't get it man he thinks Kyler Fackrell, Reggie Gilbert, and Perry are more than enough.

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Old School's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:38 am

CAG. Please stop mischaracterizing what I've said. "More than enough"? Those are your words, not mine. I've never said that. I think we were successful at getting to the QB with that group last year, even though Perry missed most of the season (along with Wilkinson).

I've also said....on more than one occasion....that we could use help at OLB. I just don't think a first round pick is necessary because there are affordable options in free agency and some guys who will be available on the second day of the draft.

I think edge rushers are overvalued. Outside of a handful of really good ones, most of them are going to give you 0.5 sacks in a game or less, and they're going to miss games with injuries (that happens when you're battling OTs that outweigh you by 75 pounds week in and week out).

Perry, for example, is routinely slammed for "always being hurt" and yet his 72% availability over his career is definitely better than average for the position.

I don't think we should spend a first round pick on a guy who will in all likelihood only be available for 10-12 games where he'll have an opportunity to get maybe 6 sacks in 640 pass plays. I'd rather have a three down monster inside, or on the DL, or some more help in coverage.

Does this clear it up? Do you understand what I'm saying? Please don't put words in my mouth.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 10:00 am

The answers you want could be coming Old School C.J. Mosley and Landon Collins will be hitting the FA market apparently. You got your three down LB and a quality strong safety.

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Old School's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:52 am

I'm actually kind of looking at cheaper guys. I was high on Collins but the more I thought it through, the less I like it.

We can get three solid players for about $20 million. Tre Boston, who we've talked about on this site, Quenton Spain? who has been mentioned as an OG target, and the guy on Denver who backs up Von Miller. Barrett or Barnett or something.

I also think it's probable that we're going to resign Wilkinson for the vet minimum. Campbell, too.

That's 4 defenders added. Then two more in the first two rounds, and we've added 6 pieces to the 21 guys we suit up on defense:

Daniels-Clark-Lowry-Adams-Wilkinson. Lancaster inactive on the 53.

Barrett-Perry-Fackrell-Gilbert. A draft pick inactive on the 53.

Martinez-Burks-Ryan active and one more on the 53.

King-Alexander-Jackson-Tramon-Brown. Draft pick on the 53.

Boston-Campbell-Jones-Brice. Draft pick on inactive 53.

That's 21 active. I know a lot of people aren't happy with Jones or Brice, but Jones is under contract and Brice is an ERFA so they'll be back unless there's somebody who is better and cheaper.

Of course, this is before the first guy gets hurt.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 01:14 pm

No Breeland? and Boston kind of scares me someone mentioned his ability to play single high but can he really? Single high means nothing gets behind you and if it does you should be ready to lay the wood on the ball carrier. His 3 teams in 3 seasons with a potential for a fourth says to me he's more boom or bust. I just can't see guy with his measurables (6'1 205) with the ability to play single high which any DC would love being bounced around so much.

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Coldworld's picture

March 06, 2019 at 06:35 am

Barrett, Perry, Fackrell, Gilbert plus FA? 2 starters, one with an injury record, a JAG and a situational rusher?

If GB go into the season with that line up heads should roll. If any injuries occurred we would be worse off than last year! I doubt anyone is looking for that outcome here.

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CAG123's picture

March 06, 2019 at 11:55 am

Thats what Im saying but Old School feels EDGE RUSHERS are overrated I mean Barrett is clearly a rotational guy because if he wasn't they wouldn't have drafted Chubb, Perry is on IR as we speak, Gilbert....LOL, and Fackrell just arrived and needed to be schemed free.

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Monsmoy's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:31 am

Not sure this is a new question, nor a philosophical one. It has always been there, emphasised more with the change of HC. We all watched with surprise how Pettine managed to work with little and produce results last season. Likewise we all knew going into last season the 3 at the front were potentially top of the league. If we were to bring back Mo again, we are even better off as Lowry, Lancaster have stepped up with Daniels and Clark. If we were to draft Oliver, then things start becoming very exciting and Pettine has lots to play with.
Whether Oliver joins or not, there is a strong argument to say the pass rush should come from the inside as much as the outside. Looking at the draft, the round 1 edges that can play OLB are few, really only Burns and Allen (now Polite is out of favour). Therefore, rather than taking a Sweat, Farrell etc and taking a year for them to learn the 3:4 scheme, get a top rated ILB. White is a fantastic athlete, but Bush to me has everything (well, not height). His work ethic is brilliant, he comes from NFL stock, he knows the game (used to snow) and he can cover side to side as well as sack the QB up the middle or the edge.
Assuming Burns and Allen are off the board by 12, I would suggest Bush is the best player to take first and so the real question is what is his position worth? Everyone says that ILB is a lesser value position. Personally, I think that is wrong when you are looking at the best of the bunch at any position. If we could trade back and gain something in return and then get Bush, then super, but I think he will go before 20 and so we have to be careful, especially if White goes early.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:15 pm

The defense looked better to me but the stats really didn't move much. To the extent they did, I might attribute it to Jaire Alexander and Breeland (once he knocked the rust off), maybe even Tramon.

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Coldworld's picture

March 06, 2019 at 06:38 am

Old bugbear of attrition had a lot to do with that. Look at who played in the second half of the season. That would be in addition to the decline at safety. Burnett HHCD to Williams and alternating body without the ability to cover in the deep.

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4thand10's picture

March 06, 2019 at 01:48 pm

The 3 DL implemented in the beginning of the year was working fantastic. Then DL started dropping and were forced to revert to 2 DL which didn’t work out very well. If Pettine has enough DL to run with this year...it will be better in spite of what we currently have on edge. We all witnessed huge differences when he was able to implement 3 DL. Lost Wilkerson and later Daniels...pressure up from has a ton to do with CB and Safety play. I would be good with keeping Breeland.

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Nick Perry's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:49 am

IMO Polite shouldn't be a consideration until at least later in the 2nd or 3rd round. Showing up at 258 for the most important job interview you'll probably ever have speaks volumes and it showed in his drills. I've always felt 40 times are a bit overblown Polites 40 was a disaster, just like his interviews.

IF Gute still wants him and he's still available at the end of the 2nd, beginning of the 3rd then move up and grab him. The Packers have to many other needs to be spending a high pick on him. I think I'd rather have one of the Devin's, Gary, or TE than Polite.. Just my thoughts on Polite.

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Coldworld's picture

March 05, 2019 at 02:57 pm

Not sure I would. Talent is one thing but with this sort of behavior, including possibly faking injury to excuse it, the chances are this player will wash out unless he matures darn fast. I’m not willing to waste a mid rounder on a guy who clearly doesn’t get it.

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Nick Perry's picture

March 06, 2019 at 07:21 am

That's a good point too Coldworld. Truth be told Polite scares the hell out of me and let me revoke about taking him at the end of the 2nd. BUT if the Packers moved back into the 3rd depending what they had to give up (certainly one of their 4ths) or even better one of the 4ths I might take a swing.

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RCPackerFan's picture

March 05, 2019 at 07:25 am

In terms of need. OLB.

In terms of importance to the defense. OLB.

Packers have to improve the OLB position this offseason. With a number of OLB's getting franchised plus Brandon Graham getting resigned in Philadelphia, the well is drying up a bit in FA. So looking at the draft.

Currently the latest Mock draft on CBS sports has 3 Edge players going before pick 12. They have the Packers taking Rashan Gary. I could easily see 1-2 more going before Packers pick. Meaning as many as 5 Edge players could be off the board before GB picks. If they want to continue to truly take the BPA, they might have to either move up for the pass rusher they want or they will have to take another position.

For Polite, from what I have heard his comments were fine. I took nothing wrong with what he said.
I do question the bad hamstring though. Was it bad before or after he ran a bad time?
Honestly I would still consider him at 30, or if he fell to 44, I'd definitely take him there. His tape shows he is worth that!

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ShanghaiKid's picture

March 05, 2019 at 08:25 am

I disagree with the notion that edge is that important in Pettine’s scheme. The years that Pettine was coordinating the Jets his best pass rusher Bart Scott. After that it was a bunch of JAG’s (like Fackrell) I’d rather the Packers take superior talent regardless of position in the draft. Use FA to find an edge player.

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RCPackerFan's picture

March 05, 2019 at 12:49 pm

So you are comfortable with going with Kyler Fackrell, Reggie Gilbert and Donnerson this year?
Right now Mathews is a FA, there is a lot of talk that Perry will be released. That leaves those 3 guys.

The best year to really judge what Pettine can do for the defense is in 2013 with the Buffalo Bills. The previous years with the Jets he was the DC but Rex Ryan was still helping run the defense.
With the Bills in 2013, they had Jerry Hughes, Mario Williams, Kyle Williams all with 10+ sacks. They also had Marcell Dareus With 7.5 sacks. Williams and Hughes were Edge players and both had 10 + sacks.

The point being, We have to upgrade the pass rushers on the Edge. Pettine was able to get a lot of sacks this year without having much for edge rushers and using scheme. Imagine what he will do with edge rushers who can threaten the QB at any point in the game. He can't scheme pressure down in and down out. Sometimes players have to be better. Thats where they are at in need of better players at OLB.

Now in this draft if the best player is the OLB they have to take him. If the better player is ILB, take him. If they are equal, take the OLB.

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ShanghaiKid's picture

March 05, 2019 at 02:52 pm

@RC You’re taking my statement out of context. The historical evidence was that Pettine can pilot a good defense without elite edge rushers. Would elite edge rushers help? Absolutely.

My original point was regardless of position they should take the guy who they think is the best football player. This team has a lot of holes and passing up the best talent to fill a need is negligent and reckless. That was my original point.

I never said they should just leave edge alone. I suggested they use FA to fill a need and draft the best/most talented football player.

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RCPackerFan's picture

March 06, 2019 at 08:52 am

Yes, he can get a good defense without top name OLB's. Packers defense was one of the top teams in sacks. But to be fair that is deceiving because while they were good with sacks they were not good in QB hits or pressure.
So Pettine can run a defense without top OLB's. To overcome that with the Jets he had outstanding CB's and other players. The argument that he can do good without good OLB's maybe true, but imagine how good he would be if he had great OLB's.

I agree with you that in the draft that you have to take the best player, and the one that you think is going to have the best future. Which goes with my original statement that if they want an OLB they may have to move around to get one. There could be 5 that go before GB picks. If they want one of those 5 they may have to move up.

The whole premise of this article though is OLB vs ILB. Packers need better OLB's. They have Martinez at one ILB spot. They drafted Burks last year in the 3rd round. I would hope they haven't fully given up on him yet. At a spot where more then one ILB wasn't used a lot last year, they have a greater need at OLB.

I think they should and will use FA to get an OLB. But to get the top players at the position is going to cost a lot of $. Also most of the very top guys just got franchised. Supposedly Ford will be available for a 2nd round pick.
The draft is strong at OLB making it more likely to find a better player at that position early.
But yes, they should take the best player.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2019 at 02:41 pm

Trey Flowers has not been tagged by Bill.

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Monsmoy's picture

March 06, 2019 at 02:39 am

I agree, OLB is important, but it is the sum of the parts that will make this team successful in defense or not.
To that end, I think it is essential we take a proven, but youthful, outside pass rush at FA, and that should be Shaq Barrett at Denver. He is seriously talented but been over shadowed by Denver's big signing ends.
This takes the pressure off the 12 and 30 pick, which will likely be D picks but should be BPA. Burns would be great, but prob not a Bradley Chubb rookie season level. Oliver would make it special up front and relieve pressure on next season's impending contract signing. White and Bush would be great to as they can pass rush up the middle. There are options that should not limit picks to be OLB only

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Coldworld's picture

March 06, 2019 at 06:44 am

If we don’t draft an OLB high in the draft, I think one has to look at two good FAs. Not cheap but it would work provided they have the talent to be disruptive and can stay on the field. At least one needs to be younger so that we have a prospect for the near future too.

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LambeauPlain's picture

March 05, 2019 at 07:26 am

Yes, Edge/OLB needs upgrading specifically....but upgrading the front 7 in general is a sound strategy.

Of the current Packers manning the front 7, only Clark, Daniels and Martinez are dependable top quality players.

Adding White or Bush to pair with Martinez would provide consistent stops on run plays and exciting blitzes....adding Gary or Oliver to team with Clark & Daniels would terrorize QBs up the middle.

I’d like Sweat or Burns at 12, but would be fine with one of the top ILBs or DL. All those guys can pressure the QB.

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Coldworld's picture

March 06, 2019 at 06:46 am

Lowery and Lancaster look like keepers. I agree jury is still out on Adams. Wilkerson looks like he might return. That’s pretty good runstuffing depth.

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Handsback's picture

March 05, 2019 at 07:41 am

Green Bay needs players at all levels. The discussion of edge vs. inside LBs presupposes that those are the only/most important holes in the Packers. I'm not sure that is or will be the case. Green Bay can take the 12th best player in the draft and just about fill a need except for QB.
Example, many say the Packers are strong at RB. They do have a very good back in Jones, but when he comes off the field that outside zone read won't work as well with their other backs. So if the best RB in the draft is available at 12 and you have him as the 5th best player on your board...you take him. Look no further than KC to see what a dynamic back can do to an offense. Hunt had a huge influence in the Chief's success. Same as LA with Gurley, Michael at NE, etc. Green Bay has a very good back, but his injuries make it important to have a clone to be successful.
Starting OT could be sitting there at 12...would you take him? I would think long and hard before passing on him. Do you wait for Daniels to become a FA before you replace him, or use a pick for one of the best DT/DE you will probably have a chance at before he gets to FA?
Green Bay has so many holes/weakness that literally the BPA will improve the team almost immediately.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:51 pm

Hunt is not a good example and is now a Brown not a Chief. How much did a #2 RB improve the Giants? The Chiefs improved due to Mahomes over Alex Smith. Yes Hunt contributed but he wasn't what put them over. Mahomes over Smith was the fuel for KC in 2018.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 05, 2019 at 07:45 am

The answer to all questions is "stick to your BPA board"
PackEyedOptimist's Top 20 Big Board 3-5-19:
1. Josh Allen OLB
2. Quinnen Williams DT
3. Nick Bosa DE
4. Clelin Ferrel ED/DL
5. Devin White LB
6. Montez Sweat ED
7. Rasham Gary DL/ED
8. Ed Oliver DL
9. DK Metcalf WR
10. Kyler Murray QB
11. Brian Burns OLB
12.Christian Wilkins DL
13. TJ Hockenson TE
14. Jonah Williams OL
15. Andy Dillard LOT
16. Dalton Risner OL
17. Greedy Williams CB
18. Jerry Tillery DL
19. Zach Allen DL
20. Nasir Adderley S

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 05, 2019 at 07:47 am

I'd like to put Devin Bush in there at 18, but I'm concerned about how he will do against NFL linemen...

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stockholder's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:45 am

Put him in there. He's better then Gary. He was the heart of the Michigan defense. When have we had a wrap up tackler there? Think a faster Martinez here. He will be better then White. Kiper @20 said he could be the best player in the first round when it's all said and done.

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Swisch's picture

March 05, 2019 at 07:54 am

As much as I'd like an OLB or two early in the draft for edge rushing, a likely star at ILB is better than a question mark at OLB.
It may be that we would be better off taking OLBs later in the draft.
Are there any OLBs later in the draft who may be largely overlooked; and not that far behind more highly regarded OLBs, such as Sweat and Polite?

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lowcsp's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:12 am

Yes there are a few that can be taken in the end of round one or later
Oshane Ximines
Chase Winovich
Jalen Jelks
Just a few that may not defend the run well but could go in on second an third down to rush the passer

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Community Guy's picture

March 05, 2019 at 04:58 pm

how about the now discounted Jachai Polite?

and, i have:

Jaylon Ferguson (not sure about him)
Anthony Nelson (maybe a DE)
DeAndre Walker, and,
Maxx Crosby

too.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 05, 2019 at 08:06 am

You do not have Noah Fant in there. Watched Greedy William's at Combine and fast at about 4.37, however his back pedal and opening his hips when turning around were not good. Maybe correctable? Probably missing a QB or two including Luck. Simmons on DL should also be added to that board even though injured.

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Coldworld's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:40 am

Actually, backpedaling and flexible hips are almost an impossible thing to correct. Athletic attributes as much as speed.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 01:19 pm

and LSU has being lying about his size all year having listed at 6'3 190 checks in at the combine at 6'1 185 we see what Philly is dealing with Sidney Jones who's about his size as well.

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Coldworld's picture

March 05, 2019 at 03:08 pm

Deleted: posted in error

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ShooterMcGee's picture

March 05, 2019 at 08:37 am

Every year it seems a highly rated player slides. Last year it was safety Derwin James. I want the Packers to stop the slide at pick #12 of 1 of the top rated players regardless of position. Smart teams choose BPA. Other teams choose by positional need.

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leche's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:01 am

BPA is a lot easier to do when you're hitting in FA and with past draft picks. A team like New England who never seems to have a huge hole can always draft BPA, but Packers current roster construction, going only BPA is a dangerous game that could leave us with a few giant holes that never get addressed (Edge rusher, safety on defense). You can only neglect that for so long... Are we really going to wait for the 3rd and 4th round for guys like Oshane Ximines and JaQuan Johnson to fill those needs? Does that sound like a football team you expect to be successful next year?

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Coldworld's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:48 am

BPA is important, but it’s kind of simplistic to suggest that there is always a clear BPA. Most often there are two or three very close to each other. At that point, need becomes a clear determinant, or weighting factor.

If the quirks of drafting leads to a top 5 player falling due to a run on QB or other draft oddity, take him. Otherwise need is likely to be a significant factor.

In the example used in the article that would weigh heavily in favor of OLB. Perry, if retained, is oft injured. Matthews is likely gone and Fackrell is at best a situational player. Even if we sign a top FA, that screams need for improvement and potential scale of return for doing so.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:17 am

NE is a terrible example for drafting. Who do they have left at WR in 2019? There are plenty of holes in NE. They just do a better job of patching them in FA than any other team.

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leche's picture

March 05, 2019 at 02:02 pm

Well patching holes in FA is a huge thing considering it's the one thing the Packers have been mostly unwilling to do over the better part of the last decade. You can't just leave a hole as is and play around it...

Also the Pats are smart enough to understand that WR isn't nearly as valuable of a position as most teams/fans think. Their 'hole at WR' isn't really a hole

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 05, 2019 at 04:19 pm

NE only have 4 WRs under contact for 2019 the only 1 people have heard of is Edelman. I'd say a lack of bodies is definitely a hole. As for them not valuing WRs why did they trade for Cooks, Gordon, back in the day Moss? The hole is your entire argument.

As for FA it's 2019 and Gute is the GM not TT.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

March 06, 2019 at 12:37 am

I totally get it and for me free agency is the time to get positional specific and fill the most urgent needs. It also comes before the draft which would help a team be able to stay on the BPA course. Of course need should play some role in the equation but how much I am not sure.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

March 06, 2019 at 03:26 am

I totally get it and for me free agency is the time to get positional specific and fill the most urgent needs. It also comes before the draft which would help a team be able to stay on the BPA course. Of course need should play some role in the equation but how much I am not sure.

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Lphill's picture

March 05, 2019 at 08:48 am

cant pass up Devin White if he falls to 12.

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Dzehren's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:47 pm

What about the other Devin from Michigan?

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:53 pm

He may go to Denver, Detroit, Bungles, you name it but he's not dropping to #12.

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Christian Roussel's picture

March 05, 2019 at 08:53 am

Pass rusher is the second most important position on the roster. Look at the money thrown at those guys. You definitely don't want to reach, but hoping to find your guy by pick 30 or later is a dangerous game. Hopefully with free agency, Gutekunst can put himself in a position where he can get the best prospect available at #12. As of right now, they can go into 2019 with the inside linebackers they have, something they can absolutely not with their outside linebackers.

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LambeauPlain's picture

March 05, 2019 at 01:42 pm

OLBs aren’t the only pass rushers. Pettine likes to rush the QB from all over the LOS. Look at the production of Martinez and Clark last season. Even Lowery got a lot of pressures and hits.

What if Wilkerson returns and Fackrell is actually the real deal. Having a Devin White or Gary in the pass rush mix will make the good Packer pass rush even better.

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Pack71Attack's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:11 am

Move Clay inside and draft an edge replacement. Kyle, Clay, Blake, and say Sweat is a good linebacker core....

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LambeauPlain's picture

March 05, 2019 at 01:46 pm

I don’t think CMIII will play inside for $3-4 mil one year deal. He will hit the market and someone will give him a multi year K for $5-6 Mil/year.

He is gone in my view. Time to reload.

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PatrickGB's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:16 am

There are some real good defensive players this year. Pettine can adjust the defense to the players we pick. So why not BPA?

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Hawg Hanner's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:18 am

It is amazing to see the list of players taken in later rounds. Shows the value of later round picks is not that great and/or old Ted T wasn't that great either. And recall guys the brain trust that went over to Cleveland was doing the scouting for TT.

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stockholder's picture

March 05, 2019 at 10:05 am

History is going to repeat itself. Remember the 2006 draft; when TT prayed Hawk would be there? The Te's were strong that year. Mercedes Lewis was picked at #28. Ferguson was the LT that everyone wanted. But @12 who escaped the busts. Nagata DT! I am begging Gute not to take an OLB/edge. This defense needs new. TE isn't the answer. And neither is OLB. We need a front line that barks: Dooms Day, Fearsome, and All-pros. That put fear into a opposing QB. There is No fear on this defense. It has No Heart. It will take more than a Hawk. Gute must stop the revolving doors. He must draft strength, sure tackling, and 3 down Gutty players. If you please stop and think. Just what happened in the past? Then ask yourself, why is edge the right thing for this team.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:39 pm

Can't an OLB bark?
Can't an OLB put fear into a QB?
Can't an OLB have plenty of heart?
Can't an OLB have strength and sure tackling?
Can't an OLB be gutty?

Yes, an OLB can do all of the above. I don't see a single reason listed that suggests Gute shouldn't draft an OLB.

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stockholder's picture

March 06, 2019 at 07:24 am

Your thinking Mathews. What your going to get is Hawk. Both were moved to the ILB. Mathews moved back out. It's a mistake to draft a OLB @12. I'd rather them trade it. If thats your solution. Which it sounds like thats your choice. It's the wrong choice for the packers future. There has been No greater OLB in Green Bay then Mathews. Do you really believe anyone in this years draft will be equal to Mathews or the great Lawrence Taylor? And we don't have Ray Nitchske in the middle. If you argue that we should take a ILB first, before a OLB I would agree with you

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Flow49's picture

March 06, 2019 at 12:01 am

The middle of our D has been an automatic first down on 3rd and 15 for way too long

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Flow49's picture

March 06, 2019 at 12:02 am

Comment was meant for the post below

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NJMagic's picture

March 05, 2019 at 10:11 am

OLB make headlines, scheme makes a defense. Pettine has shown his scheme is dependent on COVERAGE allowing a free rusher to get home. He VERY rarely asks his OLB to beat someone one on one.

As long as Pettine is our DC, take the potential star at the position. Think of what a true sideline-to-sideline ILB can do for our D. Is anybody else still haunted by Atlanta WR running free over the middle over and over?

Then go ahead and sign Houston for a few years...

And get a workable, experienced safety!

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Coldworld's picture

March 06, 2019 at 07:21 am

Your point is valid. That is one reason why we are likely to see a lot of formations with one true ILB, Martinez, and one or two hybrid or box safeties.

Simply put they should be able to cover better and are both quicker and faster on the schemed blitz. In my view, that’s where the likes of Jones and Burkes fit. If they can’t cover the shallow middle then something is wrong or we just selected the wrong individuals.

For the above reason I doubt you will see a splash ILB sign or draft. It is another reason why adding outside rush threats to help free up internal rushers is important. Most critically, if I am correct, it makes our hole at safety even deeper. In truth though, other than maybe Green, I saw no evidence that Jones or any of the others can play deep. That leaves us with Williams at 36.

Just as we will need Morrisson/Ryan types in run situations, we have to have at least 3 players who can play coverage safety. Typically, that takes experience. For that reason I hope that we are very active in the FA safety market and draft potential there too. Our safety tree is currently all but dead.

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Holecrap's picture

March 05, 2019 at 10:19 am

Were all of the sam mind, we want improvement. Call me crazy but i say think defense, think speed and skill guys. The first two 4ounds are loaded with d.
Get o line help late and free agency. You cant do both this year with the picks you have.
Keep in mind brice, king perry, ryan were injury prone guys. Mathews cant pass rush so there is a lot of need, fix it.

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cheesycowboy's picture

March 05, 2019 at 10:24 am

If Matthews would consider a team friendly deal, move to the inside with Martinez, finish his career and go into the Packers Hall of Fame as a legend, it would open a new world of opportunity in free agency and the draft.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 10:53 am

Thats not too bad of an idea but CJ Mosley would be even better the Ravens are apparently letting him the market I actually like Clay more as a situational pass rusher from different areas of the field the can reduce his snaps and keep him fresh despite his decline I don't think anyone will debate that's he is definitely better than Gilbert and Donnerson and arguably Fackrell.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2019 at 02:49 pm

See what Moseley's price tag is. He would be the cover ILB they need to shore up the Inside. he is a guy Thompson didn't move up four slots to get and waited for the underwhelming Dix. Just hope Gutedkunst sees the forest from the trees and makes shrewd moves up or down.

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CAG123's picture

March 05, 2019 at 03:07 pm

His contract should be some what similar to Wagner's 40 something million with a payout around 10 million annually is the going rate for an elite ILB and Wagner is still the unquestioned best.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:31 pm

Cheesy, I said same thing a week ago and received a lot of down votes. Keep your head down. LOL

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 05, 2019 at 10:59 am

My response regarding OLB or ILB, or any other player at 12 is BPA. No discussion! Get us the best player as they should be a difference maker and the Pack needs one...and more!

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 05, 2019 at 02:51 pm

He could toss darts blindfolded and hit on a player to fill a hole.

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Coldworld's picture

March 05, 2019 at 03:11 pm

And if it is a QB?

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 05, 2019 at 06:38 pm

And what if it is a QB that clearly is the BPA? Do not see that scenario happening at #12 but if there was no question QB was noticeable a higher rated player at 12 than anyone else I would still take him. The Pack did draft Rodgers at the same age Favre was that Rodgers currently is. A BPA at QB would also open up real trading opportunities for one of the QB's.

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Coldworld's picture

March 06, 2019 at 06:52 am

Simply that a QB would not help a team that needs help in the near future. A QB would be a luxury pick.

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OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

March 05, 2019 at 10:59 am

Very interesting read.

So perhaps it scheme dependent. We are all used to filling needs based up 3-4 or 4-3 looks, but perhaps Edge in Pettine's scheme is not as important as inside pressure, at least that's what I've read. If that's truly the case, which is somewhat contradictory to my thinking for a 3-4 front, then Devin White would be the answer, no?

Part of me thinks what is a more likely outcome to be able to double down on a great OLB and ILB in first 3 picks. Is it Devin White @ 12 and Burns/Sweat @ 30 or move up? Or Burns/Sweat @ 12 and Devin White/Devin Bush @ 30 with move up? Seems like both positions are in need for this scheme, so how do we get the BPA for each?

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gary g's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:20 am

Everyone can predict whats going to happen in this draft. Its fun. But until we see how things go in free agency, nobody really has a clue who the pack will target in the draft.

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Coldworld's picture

March 06, 2019 at 06:54 am

Most of our draft expectations will be turned on their head on the day most likely. My fear is the number of generational players people seem to see in this draft. History suggests that may be delusional.

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JHitTheB's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:20 am

I just read an article on NFL.com stating KC tagged Dee Ford but they are willing to trade him to a team willing to pick up his $15mil/yr or sign him long term and send back two 2nd rounders. Go get him Gutey

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Community Guy's picture

March 05, 2019 at 05:07 pm

like Von Miller, Ford is a speed rusher. if Ford loses a step, he is basically done.. just sayin'.. there could be risk there.. also, the Packers seem to really need that draft capital.

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Bert's picture

March 05, 2019 at 11:22 am

ILB, OLB, OL, WR, TE, FS, SS...……...how about just a very good player? Nothing wrong with that.

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Ryan B Dub's picture

March 05, 2019 at 03:38 pm

6 out of 17 isn’t bad. Ugh that list is tough to look at, but they all can’t be elite, or even serviceable for three or four years.

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draftnut59's picture

March 05, 2019 at 04:18 pm

Have I missed something? It sounded like you were calling Rashan Gary an outside linebacker. I thought he was a defensive lineman. I haven’t been wild about him being linked to Green Bay because his college production never matched his physical traits, and guys like that hardly ever work out. But if he played out of position on the D-line, and he’s got what it takes on the edge, I’d like to know more.

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Community Guy's picture

March 05, 2019 at 05:11 pm

as i understand, Gary is a tweener and may be athletic enough to play however you want him.. as i understand, the only question with Gary, as you have written, is his production history.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 06, 2019 at 06:56 am

Gary is definitely not a "tweener." He's an athletic freak who just ran a sub-4.7 40 and had a 38" vertical at 277 pounds! He reminds me of Nick Perry a bit, with his strength being power-rushing, which sounds bad, but Gary's tremendous speed/strength/explosiveness combo could be very effective in Pettine's defense. He was All-Conference as a sophomore and junior and faced a lot of double teams, so his "lack of production" may not reflect his impact. Gary is also very intelligent and hard-working. With better coaching and players like Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels alongside him, he might be a stud.

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Coldworld's picture

March 06, 2019 at 07:05 am

That sounds a lot like Mike Neal and Datone Jones. Not sure about that idea of trying to make a player fit a position. If he isn’t an out and out fit for a position, then he is either a luxury for a well stocked team or a huge risk in rounds one and two regardless of inherent athleticism.

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stockholder's picture

March 05, 2019 at 09:30 pm

He won't get off the line. He's going to get caught up in blocks. I would take Wilkens first. Theres those guys that can get off blocks. And those that can't.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 06, 2019 at 03:46 am

The QB Gardner Minshew's pro day is something I'm going to keep an eye on.

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