Create Account

Or log in with Facebook


Log in

Or log in with Facebook

Cory's Corner: Packers Are Deeper Than You Think

By Category

Cory's Corner: Packers Are Deeper Than You Think

It all comes down to prime-time players in the NFL. 

The more you have, your winning chances go up significantly.

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco recently came out with his Top 100 NFL players. His No. 1 selection was Aaron Rodgers followed by Tom Brady. He chose Rodgers because, “When he's on his game, and on the field, there is nobody better.”

Judging by the number of absurd throws that Rodgers has made in his career, that is most certainly true. He throws receivers open, can complete Hail Marys and is excellent when throwing under duress as evidence by his 62 percent passing when facing the blitz in 2016. 

But this isn’t just about Rodgers. It’s about how well-rounded the Packers are. Green Bay has Rodgers, David Bakhtiari (39), Mike Daniels (58) and Davante Adams (94) in Prisco’s Top 100 list. 

Those four players have an average of score of 48, which is better than Matthew Stafford (68). 

What’s ironic is that the average also beats out that other team to the west of Wisconsin. Everyone raves about how deep the Vikings’ talent is and how Minnesota will carve up the NFC North next season. 

Harrison Smith (16), Xavier Rhodes (27), Adam Thielen (92) and Everson Griffen (98) have an average of 58.25. Now, to be fair, I think Thielen should be higher because he was eighth in the league in yards after the catch last year. 

Even with Thielen moving up to 75, the Vikings are still below the Packers. And it all comes down to the quarterback position. Minnesota is betting $84 million that Kirk Cousins can answer its prayers, but that’s a huge gamble on the most important position in sports. 

If Rodgers can stay healthy, the Packers are not only talented; they are the most talented team in the NFC North. The list also shows how important Bakhtiari is. The left tackle is entering his sixth season and is ranked ahead of Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. 

That’s saying something when a left tackle is placed ahead of those quarterbacks in a quarterback-driven league. It also shows how important Bakhtiari is to the Packers’ success. Forget Rodgers’ health, if Bakhtiari gets injured, the entire line will fold and Rodgers will be forced to run for his life — and likely get injured.

A lot has to go the Packers way, but they aren’t as thin you think. And let’s not forget that the two-headed monster of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams was not even mentioned. 




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 is also nearing completion of a master's degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter @Coryjennerjohn

NFL Categories: 
  • Like Like
  • 0 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (43) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

hodge555's picture

Quote "His No. 1 selection was Aaron Rodgers followed by Tom Brady. He chose Rodgers because, “When he's on his game, and on the field, there is nobody better.”"

I'm a Packers fan anyway so this is just gravy but I have to say Aaron is just prime time. The stuff he does is just amazing to watch. I just don't get that watching players like Brady.
I know friends who are supporters of other teams and even they like to watch Rodgers play, so it's no wonder the TV companies like to move Packers games to prime spots.

Nick Perry's picture

When Gutekunst took over GM duties I thought the Packers best chance at another SB with Rodgers would probably start in 2019. I thought BG had been left a roster with far to many holes in it for the Packers to be serious contenders in 2018. But Gute has IMO done a pretty damn good job rebuilding this team on the fly in just a few short months.

Yes the Packers still have holes but not nearly the number they had when Thompson was replaced. A lot of things have to go right for the Packers to win a SB in 2018 but that would be the case in ANY season... The SB winner HAS to have a little luck on their side. But the Packers are much, much closer to being a team that could win it all in 2018 IMO. But as we've seen with other teams one draft class can completely turn a team around. THIS past draft and the signings of Wilkerson and Williams and a new DC has the makings of completely turning this defense around.

If the Packers defense can be close to a top 10 unit and the injury Gods smile down on them, this team is more than deep enough to win in 2018.

Razer's picture

...But Gute has IMO done a pretty damn good job rebuilding this team on the fly in just a few short months...

So true. I too thought that this was a 2 year turnaround but Gutekunst has made some solid, solid moves to improve this team. It appears that they pick the right guy for GM and he isn't wasting any time. Arrows up!

stockholder's picture

Gute = So far so good. Coaching changes = Excellent. Change, and Wilkerson were needed. Williams = Leadership. The CB set their draft. To get 2 in the Top 4, is beyond expectations. TT failed at Defensive Depth ! Outlook Positive+++. Offense = A-Rod's back, Graham,TE depth, and the RBs are talented. Question marks = Offensive Line Too average. Need more like Bahk. Linsey must stay Healthy. Threats Wr.= A-Rod must find new chemistry. Adams and Cobb are not enough. This group needs to step up in a big big way. Beat the Vikings and Win the division First!

Bert's picture

Dittto that Nick. Count me as a skeptic-turned-optimist also. I was convinced that Gute was dealt a weak hand and there was no way he could shape the roster into a SB contender in one off season. But I think he has done about as good a job as he could do. Very impressed with his work to this point. At least "on paper" he has really solidified the roster for a serious run in 2018.

Rak47's picture

I don't think Gutekunst is done tinkering with the roster. If the right player becomes available on the open market he's shown he's not afraid to go get them. There are usually some surprise salary cap casualties going into, through, and coming out of camp.

murf7777's picture

NP, while I'm an avid reader i haven't posted on here much. I enjoy reading and learning from your insightful posts. I agree with your opinion except that it will take a top 10 or even 5 defense to win the big game. History has proven that the large majority of SB’s are won by a team with a top 10 defense. I didn't take the time to review the stats but it is probably more like top 5.

That being said, it is certainly possible for that to happen with Pettine and what i think might be the best DL. There are a lot of things that must happen but i still believe the game is won in the trenches and a great DL can minimize other deficiencies.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I am getting old, Murf, so I grew up on the "defense wins championships" adage. I have to wonder though if the new rules suggest that "offense wins championships" ought to be considered. Philly won the super bowl 41-33. I don't think that's conclusive evidence or anything, and it is nice to have a good defense to go with a good offense.

My own conclusion though is that a team has to be able to score 30 even against a really good defense.

Oppy's picture

The only adage or axiom that deals in absolutes that should be treated as gospel is "Scoring more points than your opponent wins championships".

Anything else is rubbish.

Rak47's picture

Overall NFL defensive rankings are based on yardage given up per game. A much more telling and more important statistic is scoring defense. Brady has never won a SB without a top 10 scoring defense, in fact the only QB who has in the past 30 years is Drew Brees who did it in 2009 with a N.O. defense that was ranked 21 or 22 in scoring defense, I believe.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Touche, Oppy.

Bearmeat's picture

It's still a 2 year turn around. I firmly believe Green Bay will be better in 2019 than they will be this fall. However, that doesn't mean that the 2018 Packers can't win it all - Gute has done a very good job this offseason. Without a doubt. Yes, they have some holes (OLB, WR, RT?), but on paper, they are more than talented enough to win it all if some things drop their way.

Let's start by beating the Purples. I hate them. ;)

PatrickGB's picture

Every year during the off season I am excited about our team and hopeful for a run to the playoffs. However this year seems different. I feel even more so! The only rub is that the NFC also seems better as well. This years competition seems tougher. So it’s important that our defense shines and we avoid the injury bug as much as possible. Unlike most posters I am NOT sure about our backups. But then again I also felt the same way in 2010...

ShanghaiKid's picture

I’m just not sure I agree with the assessment. If you look at it objectively, I think the Vikings probably have better overall talent at the skill positions not including Rodgers. And until proven otherwise still have a defense that’s head and shoulders above what the Packers currently field.

The obvious take, and truth, is that Rodgers tilts the field. But he can’t cover everything. In my opinion the Packers are an Adams injury away from looking like the 2015 offense. Double Graham stack the box and play 1-1 on the outside because Allison isn’t beating a No. 1 corner, and Cobb isn’t a game changer any longer. I’ve maintained I think the best shot st a SB is 2019. BK has done fantastic this offseason, but it just speaks to how badly TT missed his last few drafts and FA signings that they are still plugging the same holes the roster had in 2015. Here’s to a great 2018 GPG.

gr7070's picture

The author doesn't understand what depth means.

He's looking at the few peak performers on teams; he's calling peak, depth. Joy

Instead he should be looking at the best, say, 10 or 15 players on each roster. Or looking at a list of the top 300-400 players. Or some extended number of players.

The difference between the two is a pretty simple concept. To most.
That's not directed at the commenter.

dobber's picture


Tarynfor12's picture

Because we have a better average of some players than other teams determines the Packers have a better chance to win. What exactly is that..a playoff spot,Division title again? We've been doing that,so what has actually changed.

The Packers are the team that is automatically rated as a favorite to...succeed,as long as Rodgers is healthy. But the expectation of advancing further than having success,Division or playoff spot, is as mundane as the yearly expected SB.

Didn't the Packers have like 6-7 players in the top 100 before and still do no better than what was...average?

LayingTheLawe's picture

Success can not be measured as winning the super bowl and nothing else. That would mean that at your job you are either the president of the company or you are a failure. You really need to set some meaningful benchmarks of what constitutes success or you are just going to be continually disappointed in sports.

Handsback's picture

This is a bigger subject that depends on what happens at TC. Every year it seems Green Bay has a bunch on injuries entering the season opener. An example, two days ago was watching the Cowboys/Packer game from last year and Green Bay had two starters on the oline out of five that were playing in that game. So the Oline was very fragile last year at the start of the season. It was a great game and in spite of the starters being out...Rodgers pulled the game out again.
So unless the Packer's 3rd string guys are as good as the first string....let's revisit this thread once the season starts.

JohnnyLogan's picture

Were coaches also rated? Rodgers is maybe the best QB ever, but Brady has almost filled two hands with rings. He sits calmly in the pocket and destroys defenses, not because he has better talent on his side, but because of coaching, management and scheme. McCarthy kept Dom Capers for years after his sell date. Thompson refused to plug holes in FA. And our offensive and defensive schemes were so predictable that the other teams knew our playbook better than their own. Thompson is gone. McCarthy should have gone with him. I'm hopeful our new offensive and defensive coaches make the difference this year. They'll be more important than us having a slightly better rating of valuable players by some sportswriter.

Since '61's picture

Cory, it's quite a leap to presume that from an arbitrary ranking by one alleged NFL pundit that the Packers are SB ready.
We know that we have the best player in the league at QB and we know that Bakhthiari, Adams and Daniels are all very good players but that doesn't mean anything.

The right side of our OL will be a question mark until they play in an actual regular season game. The same is true for both our OLBs and ILBs. An even larger question mark exists at CB and for the secondary as a whole. Beyond that all of our depth behind our starters is virtually untested when it matters.

Having said that I still believe that Gute has done a very good job in his 1st year as GM with the coaching changes, his draft picks and his FA signings. He has strengthened our TE, DL, and CB position groups, assuming our rookie CBs can contribute effectively. He has provided some creditable depth at OL as well.

But for now all of this is on paper. First this team must remain healthy. To me this means getting through TC intact. If that is accomplished we can set up our depth and STs with the 53 best players. Even then with all the new additions to the roster it could take anywhere from week 1 to week 10 for this team to gel especially on defense with a new DC. Again assuming that the team remains relatively healthy.

To me, for this team to make a deep playoff run they will not only need to win the NFC North but also a achieve a 1 or 2 seed and get some home field advantage during the playoffs. I am not disputing that the Packers will make the playoffs but I don't think they are ready to win and go deep in the playoffs if they play on the road this season. Next season, yes. This season not yet, unless they are healthy, get hot and Rodgers plays lights out on the road as he did in 2010.

If everything breaks correctly, including home field advantage in the playoffs, then yes this team could be the 2018 version of the 2017 Eagles, especially with Rodgers at QB. but let's get through TC at least before we put this team in the SB based on the arbitrary rankings of one NFL analyst. Thanks, Since '61

Oppy's picture

Averages are just that, averages, and do not necessarily reflect a meaningful data point when we are talking about the "average" talent level of a group based on the talent level of individuals. Median talent level might be a better gauge than mean in this case.

Either way, we're talking about subjective player ratings to start with. Second, it is (IMO) silly to talk about the strength of a team based on what would statistically be only 13-18% of the "Starters" (assuming each team has 3-4 players in the Top 100, and there are 22 positions between offense and defense). This also completely ignores the contributions of nickle/dime backs, personnel in other-than-base offensive and defensive fronts, and of course, special teams players.. none of these even account for "depth" players that fill roles as relief when starters need a breather, role players for pass rush/extra safety in box, or those who play significant snaps due to starter injury.

If football is truly the ultimate team sport (and I think it is), it is a fool's errand to attempt to predict success or strength of team based upon the average subjective ranking of so few players on a given team.

zerotolerance's picture

So what if team X has only one player in the top 100 and this player was ‘ranked’ number 3. Then that team’s ‘average’ would be 3.00. This ranking by average is useless without even looking at the ranker.

marpag1's picture

Bingo. It's a totally worthless criterion, no matter how you look at it.

Even if someone says "but it's a ranking of ONE HUNDRED PLAYERS" (wooooh!), still, that's a paltry 6% of NFL final rosters. When training camps end, there will be 1,696 rostered NFL players.

realitybytez's picture

"Those four players have an average of score of 48, which is better than Matthew Stafford (68).

What’s ironic is that the average also beats out that other team to the west of Wisconsin. Everyone raves about how deep the Vikings’ talent is and how Minnesota will carve up the NFC North next season. "

how does a discussion of the four "best" players on the team translate to better depth? imho, depth is all about what you got after the top 22 players. who's the next man up? because those are the guys that are going to determine the success or failure of the season in today's nfl.

Oppy's picture

Spot on. I didn't mention this in my rant, and you're correct, the article does erroneously claim "depth" yet only looks at the very small number of elite starters on a given team. Somewhere, something got mixed up between concept and execution in this particular article.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Gute has worked wonders, but Minnesota is still more talented--maybe substantially so.

murf7777's picture

An encouraging thought for the day....I read an article on football outsiders on building a super bowl defense. The article showed the top 20 teams year over year defense turnaround rankings since 1989 and our new DC Pettine was the coaching change on two of the teams! NYJ and Buffalo. Hope he makes it number 3.

hodge555's picture

Speaking of depth though I'm actually quite excited to see how our 3 new tall & fast WR's work out. I know that typically WR's don't shine in their first year but these are all physical freaks :-)

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I think they help some now, but will explode in 2019.

Great draft picks.

TheBigCheeze's picture

"Everyone raves about how deep the Vikings’ talent is and how Minnesota will carve up the NFC North next season."--------REALLY???......just who are these "Everyone"???.......HA!!!!......delusional viking fans, that's who.....Packers will once again...own the north......

cap'n kirk's picture

I'm not sure why anyone would call Jones/Williams a "two-headed monster". I'm a BIG fan of AJ, but Williams looks like a JAG to me. Williams is a good blocker, but his vision/acceleration are not good. Dalvin Cook will be a monster in 2019.

cap'n kirk's picture

Give me Cook\Murray. Cook is on a different level, from all those other guys. Aaron Jones is a tier below. The rest are all JAGs. If Mashed Potato Mike was smart, he'd use Ty in the slot, not at RB.

croatpackfan's picture

One of the conclusions I took from the article is: Aaron Rodgers will be injured if David Bakhtiari will be injured! So, I vote to sit David Bakhtiari for whole season and post season to avoid any possible injury of him, so Aaron Rodgers will be OK!

4thand1's picture

Every team has holes. No team can dominate on defense and offense, it's one or the other. The skill positions are hard to replace, WR, CB, edge rusher, and as we all know QB. We have addressed positions of need, TE, CB, and running back. The right side of the o-line is a question. It's really hard to have depth at the spots were high salaries dictate what you can spend. Big men up front is a good start, and we have good ones.

Oppy's picture

"No team can dominate on defense and offense, it's one or the other."

1996/1997 Green Bay Packers?

Oppy's picture

Other teams with both a top 5 total offense and top 5 total defense in the last decade:

2015 Seattle Seahawks
2014 Denver Broncos
2013 NO Saints
2012 Denver Broncos
2010 San Diego Chargers (#1 total offense AND #1 total defense!)

Packers barely missed out of making my list in 2009 (#6 tot. Offense, #2 Defense)

Anyways, the point being, it's not easy to field a team that dominates on both sides of the ball, but it's certainly far from impossible and should be the goal for every team, every year to aspire to.

Ken's picture

Instead of looking at the top 100 players, I think it is more telling if we look at how many pro bowlers or close to pro bowlers Pack have on its roster: On defense, Matthews, Perry, Daniels, Kenny Clark, Wilkerson, Ha-ha and Martinez. That's 7 starters who have Pro Bowl talent.

On Offense: Rodgers, Adams, Graham, Bahktiare, Bulaga (injury). that's 5 but we have to overweight Rodgers so maybe 5.5.

On special teams: Crosby

That's a total of 13.5 starters that have been named Pro Bowlers or who are Pro Bowl caliber. that is a large number.

The problem in the past have been injuries and poor coaching (Capers) and to some extent McCarthy (playing not to lose).

The Packers do have talent but have holes in the depth at WR and LB.

Bure9620's picture

Agree, the Packers have a better o-line, QB and TE group. I would but our D-Line against theirs as well. The Vikings are good team but the pundits love affair with them is way over the top for a team that got worked by the Eagles, and needed a miracle play to beat NO at home. Their 3rd down defense will surely come back to earth this year as well as last year was historic. Not amazed at all by their O-line.

Koosh's picture

Lol Theilen! Diggs is so much more dangerous! Stats aren't everything. And TDs mean more than yards. Adams being lower that Theilen is a joke.

If Rodgers has to run for his life, he'll be injured...? Because he's super injury prone?

And the two headed monster of backup RBs!

Let me guess, Haha and Cobb shouldn't be rated any higher than a 72 in Madden too, right?

PAPackerbacker's picture

There's a good mix of veterans and veteran back ups, plus some promising rookies. The key will be for everyone to stay healthy and injury free. And it's time for some of the 2 and 3 year players to step up and make an impact, especially in the secondary.

DetroitSUCKS's picture

we need Charles Martin back for a game so he can pile drive CouzinBreeder over in Minny payback time

sumitchoudhari7's picture

Nice post thank you for sharing it

Log in to comment, upload your game day photos and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.

Or log in with Facebook

Packers Tickets, Ticket King


"The Bears still suck!"
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."