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Grading the Pack - End of Year Review 2018

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Grading the Pack - End of Year Review 2018

The talk this week is rightfully going to be about the Packers new head coach Matt LaFleur. And while it’s incredibly exciting to get pumped about a new coach and start looking ahead to 2019, I’m not quite ready to move past 2018 just yet.

After grading every single player on every single play all season long, it only makes sense to go back and take a deep dive and look at the results. In truth, this is my favorite piece that I will write all season long. Over 400 hours went into grading players this year and this is really the final fruits of that labor.

It was incredible to go back and look at which players were really the core players on this team, and which players it’s time to move on from. Last years’ grades were fairly indicative of what was going to happen this year. At this time last year Lance Kendricks (-7.90), Justin McCray (-14.90), Jason Spriggs (-13.10), Josh Hawkins (-5.90), Kentrell Brice (-5.10), HaHa Clinton-Dix (-9.40) and Kyler Fackrell (-5.20) all looked like they should have been moved on from.

Instead Green Bay held onto the entire group except for Josh Hawkins who was released during final cut-downs. Kendricks (-1.45), McCray (-6.90), Sprigs (-5.70), Brice (-6.20), and HaHa (-5.95) all graded out in the negative once again. The lone player from that group that showed real improvement was Kyler Fackrell, who ended this season with a +3.15 grade.

I also love using this as an opportunity to finally compare my grades against Pro Football Focus’s grades. During the season I avoid as best I can any grading that they complete for Green Bay. It wasn’t until today that I really went through and compared our grades. Overall our grades were very similar; although by far the biggest difference in grading was with HaHa Clinton-Dix.

So without further ado, here are your final grades and notes for 2018:

Highest Graded Offensive Players

Davante Adams +15.30
David Bakhtiari +13.80
Aaron Rodgers +13.75
Corey Linsley +10.00
Aaron Jones +9.85

Adams was deserving of every ounce of recognition that he received this year. He has been on an incredible tear these past two seasons and has really come into his own as one of the top receivers in the league.

I think the most interesting player on this list is of course Aaron Rodgers. Aaron graded out well for both myself, and Pro Football Focus. Both of our grading systems give credit to big plays and significantly downgrade turnovers or turnover worthy plays. While Aaron had his struggles this year, he still had a propensity to make big plays and largely avoided plays that would turn the ball over. Because of that it’s very hard to grade him down in any significant way.

While my grading scale absolutely marked him down for holding onto the football, throwing the ball away, and missing check-downs and open receivers, his big-plays and impressive throws far outweighed those negatives.

Maybe the most important point with Rodgers is a lot of what I believe was an issue with him this year was not gradable, at least not by me. What I mean is that there would be times that a wide receiver would break open on one side of the field but Rodgers was reading the opposite side. It’s impossible to know what the progression was and whether or not he missed a read at the line of scrimmage.

My hunch, after watching every play all year, is that there was some of that going on, but without knowing the play or progression you simply can’t tell. And when you watch the play it’s tough to downgrade Rodgers because he never saw the receiver open in the first place.

So at the end of the day, Rodgers had more good than bad, but he still left plenty of plays out on the field. Truthfully, he’s a very difficult player to grade.

Highest Graded Defensive Players

Kenny Clark +13.10
Jaire Alexander +7.00
Mike Daniels +6.85
Kyler Fackrell +3.15
Tramon Williams +1.25

Green Bay had three plus defensive players all year (when they were healthy) and those three players were Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander, and Mike Daniels. After those three there was a pretty solid drop off.

You then had Kyler Fackrell who had a nice season but would still be best used in a situation role, and Tramon Williams who did his best to play between corner and safety and hold his own. This defense needs an influx of playmakers, especially at the edge and safety positions.

Lowest Graded Offensive Players

Byron Bell -13.50
Justin McCray -6.90
Jimmy Graham -6.25
Jason Spriggs -5.70
Lucas Patrick -3.35

I said going into the season that my biggest issue with Brian Gutekunst’s offseason was his inability to fill the hole at right guard and provide additional offensive line depth. Spriggs and McCray both graded horribly a season ago and to expect them to be the starting right guard and backup swing tackle was simply too much to ask. Bringing in Byron Bell wasn’t the answer either because his tape from last season was just as bad while his tape this season was even worse.

Jimmy Graham was also a major disappointment. I gave him the benefit of the doubt at the beginning of the season because it takes tight ends time in this offense to really gain some sense of rhythm—especially with Aaron Rodgers. But Graham never found that rhythm and he never brought anything to the table. He was a well below average blocker, lost any run after the catch ability, and his red zone prowess completely fell off the face of the earth this year. At the end of the day he was an overpaid decoy who didn’t do much to help this offense in any capacity.

I will say this about the tight end position, however. When Marcedes Lewis and Martellus Bennett were having their conversation on Yahoo and mentioned that this offense does the tight ends no favors, I do absolutely agree with them. This offense doesn’t do anything to scheme their tight ends open and it runs them on endless flat routes and crossing routes which are easily defendable. Hopefully this is a position that Matt LaFleur will be able to unlock in 2019.

Lowest Graded Defensive Players

Clay Matthews -9.30
Nick Perry -7.65
Reggie Gilbert -7.10
Kentrell Brice -6.20
HaHa Clinton-Dix -5.95

It will come as no surprise to learn that edge rusher and safety were the two biggest issues on defense. As I gave Jimmy Graham the benefit of the doubt early this year, I also gave the benefit of the doubt to HaHa Clinton-Dix coming into this year. I had him as my lowest graded defender a season ago, but I really thought a portion of that was how Dom Capers was playing him.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Mike Pettine came in and the results for HaHa were exactly the same. There was a lack of effort and an allergy to tackling that plagued Clinton-Dix throughout his last season and a half in Green Bay. The fact Brian Gutekunst was able to get a 4th round pick out of Washington made it one of the most shocking moves of the entire season. There is no question that Washington completely regrets that trade at this point.

For those that think I’m being hard on Clay and Perry, it’s worth noting that I had a very positive grade on Matthews a season ago, and Perry had a high grade to start the year last year before falling off and suffering another injury. You could tell that Perry lost a great deal of his athleticism after his injury from last year and was never 100% this year.

Either way there is no way that either Clay or Perry should be on this team in 2019 as it’s time to completely rebuild the edge position from the ground up.

Highest Rated Individual Games (Offense)

Aaron Rodgers +4.05 – Week 2 – Vikings
Davante Adams +3.05 – Week 6 – 49ers
Aaron Rodgers +2.85 – Week 1 – Bears
David Bakhtiari +2.65 – Week 3 – Redskins
Aaron Rodgers +2.45 – Week 11 – Seahawks

Aaron Rodgers really started the season well with two back-to-back impressive games against the Bears and Vikings. Davante Adams also had a vintage performance against the 49ers as he finished the game with 10 catches, 132 yards and 2 touchdowns. While Rodgers received a lot of credit for bringing the Packers back in that game, this was a matter of Davante willing his team to victory.

Highest Rated Individual Games (Defense)

Kenny Clark +1.75 – Week 8 – Rams
Jaire Alexander +1.65 – Week 8 – Rams
Jaire Alexander +1.65 – Week 2 – Vikings
Jaire Alexander +1.60 – Week 1 – Bears
Kenny Clark +1.45 – Week 10 – Dolphins
Mike Daniels +1.45 –Week 9 – Patriots

Two really impressive defensive performances against the Rams unfortunately went for naught as Ty Montgomery fumbled away the chance to win the game, but the performances by Clark and Jaire in that game should not be forgotten.

It’s insanely impressive that three of the top four defensive performances on the year were from Jaire Alexander. He hit a bit of a rookie wall as the season progressed, but he came out of the gate on fire and should have an even more impressive sophomore season.

Lowest Rated Individual Games (Offense)

Byron Bell -2.75 – Week 8 – Rams
Byron Bell -2.30 – Week 9 – Patriots
Byron Bell -2.30 – Week 5 – Lions
Jason Spriggs -2.25 – Week 15 – Bears
Justin McCray -2.20 – Week 1 – Bears

The offensive line can win with Bakhtiari, Taylor, Linsley, and Bulaga but just about everyone else is a major liability (although Alex Light did show some promise in week 17). Spriggs, McCray, and Bell all had some brutal performances and Bell’s game against the interior defenders of the Rams was the worst of all.

Lowest Rated Individual Games (Defense)

Clay Matthews -4.35 – Week 1 – Bears
HaHa Clinton-Dix -3.45 – Week 5 – Lions
HaHa Clinton-Dix -2.25 – Week 8 – Rams
Kentrell Brice -2.05 – Week 3 – Redskins
Kentrell Brice -1.95 – Week 2 – Vikings

Clay Matthews didn&rsquwo;t show up for the entire game against the Bears week one until he roughed the quarterback on 4th down which gave Chicago a second life. Thankfully the Packers were able to shut them down but it was a really tough performance from Clay.

HaHa’s game against the Rams in week 8 was the final nail in the coffin as he was traded to Washington a few days later.

Highest Rated Offensive Players per Snap (Min 100 snaps)

Aaron Jones +0.0262
Davante Adams +0.0161
Aaron Rodgers +0.0136
David Bakhtiari +0.0134
Ty Montgomery +0.0120

For just about the entirety of the season fans, analysts, players, and just about everyone else you could think of were openly wondering why Aaron Jones wasn’t getting the ball more. Of course, everyone was right as he had the highest grade on the team on a per-snap basis. When he was consistently given an opportunity he made the most of it and was a dynamic playmaker.

It may come as a surprise to see Ty Montgomery on here but he just barely made the cut for 100 snaps. His special team’s issues didn’t play a part in these grades and overall as a running back he was solid. Had he played 500 snaps his grade probably would have averaged out more but his low snap count helped him in this instance.

Highest Rated Defensive Players per Snap (Min 100 snaps)

Kenny Clark +0.0182
Mike Daniels +0.0164
Jaire Alexander +0.0092
Ibraheim Campbell +0.0058
Kyler Fackrell +0.0051

The player that really stands out here is Ibraheim Campbell. While he also barely met the 100 snap threshold, he was an impressive player in his limited time before getting hurt. Green Bay would be wise to try and bring him back on a cheap deal and have him compete for a spot on defense. He’s a strong special team’s player who could make an impact as a box safety if his playing time this year was any indication.

Lowest Rated Offensive Players per Snap (Min 100 snaps)

Byron Bell -0.0256
Jason Spriggs -0.0196
Justin McCray -0.0144
Lucas Patrick -0.0121
Marcedes Lewis -0.0087

If you played along the right side of the offensive line and your name wasn’t Bryan Bulaga you made this list. Again, the right guard position was a huge reason why this offense had so many struggles in 2018.

A lot of the talk at the tight end position was about why Marcedes Lewis didn’t get more snaps. The truth is he didn’t deserve them. An argument could be made that a lot of his snaps were plays in which he came in cold, played one or two snaps, and then exited the game again. This is true and maybe with some regular playing time he would have played a bit better, but he was incredibly inconsistent as a blocker and never brought anything to the table as a pass receiver. This was unfortunately another miss by Brian Gutekunst.

Lowest Rated Defensive Players per Snap (Min 100 Snaps)

Nick Perry -0.0253
Reggie Gilbert -0.0146
HaHa Clinton-Dix -0.0130
Clay Matthews -0.0123
Jermaine Whitehead -0.0120

HaHa Clinton-Dix and Jermaine Whitehead were already shipped out midseason due to their play and Perry, Clay, and Gilbert could very well be following them this offseason. As mentioned above, safety and edge rusher were the two albatrosses of the defense and new starters will need to be acquired from free agency, the draft, or via trade.

Highest Rated Games – Total Offense

Week 2 – Vikings +10.00
Week 1 – Bears +9.80
Week 4 – Bills +7.65

Green Bay really had a nice day against the Vikings in week two, but the penalty against Clay forced the game to go longer than it should and cost Green Bay a win.

The Bears game in week one was all about one impressive half of magical football. Chicago did their best to help Green Bay out, like dropping the game-sealing interception, but Green Bay made Chicago pay for their mistakes en route to an epic second half comeback.

Highest Rated Games – Total Defense

Week 4 – Bills +6.10
Week 10 – Dolphins +4.60
Week 1 – Bears +1.35

This defense didn’t have a ton to celebrate in 2018 and injuries really set them back, but the week four performance against the Bills was beautiful. They played a near flawless game as they shutout the Bills.

Lowest Rated Games – Total Offense

Week 17 – Lions -5.00
Week 5 – Lions -1.95
Week 12 – Vikings -1.85

Once again, no surprise here, Green Bay couldn’t muster a single point against the lowly Lions in the final week and it was easily the worst offensive performance of the season. Interestingly enough, the Packers two worst graded games on offense were both against the Lions.

Lowest Rated Games – Total Defense

Week 2 – Vikings -8.00
Week 16 – Jets -6.55
Week 3 – Redskins -6.05

Had the Vikings game not gone to overtime on an awful call that game would have graded out much better. It was the Jets game that was really the tough game for the defense as the Jets had a very mediocre offense coming into that week but Green Bay just had no answers. Yes the Packers were beat up but the fact they couldn’t contain the Jets’ offense was concerning.

2018 Total Offensive Grade: +33.70

The grade here probably seems way too high but it’s really important to remember how the grades work. You can have a play where Aaron Jones loses 5 yards on a run and it’s a net positive for the players. Yes the play was a negative, but on the play you could have four offensive lineman, a tight end, and a fullback all grade positively on the play while one offensive lineman missed their block and had a negative grade. The net grade was probably +.1 or +.2 but the play lost 5 yards.

It’s incredible to watch every play all year and see just how many fail because of one player’s mistake. It’s really why the right guard position as such a disaster. If Green Bay could have even received average play from right guard this would have been a totally different offense.

2018 Total Defensive Grade: -24.85

This grade is much more indicative of how the defense played as a whole. Yes there were some promising performances and Green Bay was able to generate a lot of pressure, but these were schemed pressures and not pressures that were won by individual players. Mike Pettine deserves a lot of credit for how he came up with unique pressures and concepts with less than ideal talent.

Most Games Played without a Negative Grade

Mike Daniels – 10
Ibraheim Campbell – 3

Mike Daniels didn’t have his best season by any means but he didn’t have a single game in which he graded in the negative. He did a lot of the dirty work that kept players like Blake Martinez clean and even though he didn’t get to the quarterback or have as many impact plays he was still a large net positive for Green Bay.

I should note that earlier this week I sent out a tweet that stated Davante Adams went a full two seasons without grading in the negative and, unfortunately, when going through the stats one more time he did in fact have one slight negative grade in week three against the Redskins which is why he’s not on this list.

Most Games Played without a Positive Grade

Byron Bell – 10
Lucas Patrick – 5

A total of 15 games were played between Patrick and Bell and all 15 were graded in the negative. Justin McCray wasn’t much better as he had seven games grade in the negative to just a single positively graded performance.

Most Games with a Positive Grade (Offense)

Davante Adams – 14
David Bakhtiari – 13
Corey Linsley – 12
Jamaal Williams – 12
Aaron Rodgers – 11

Corey Linsley played in every single snap this year and graded positively in 12/16 games. He was a true workhorse in the middle of the line.

David Bakhtiari was on pace to grade every game in the positive until he injured his leg and had trouble anchoring. He really gutted it out as you could tell he wasn’t quite the same post-injury.

Most Games with a Positive Grade (Defense)

Kenny Clark – 12
Mike Daniels – 10
Jaire Alexander – 10
Tramon Williams – 10
Kyler Fackrell – 9
Dean Lowry – 9

There wasn’t a ton of stability this year for Green Bay’s defense but these six players played with the highest level of consistency and could be counted on to put together a good effort on the field.

Most Games with a Negative Grade (Offense)

Jimmy Graham – 12
Byron Bell – 10
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 8
Lance Kendricks – 8
Marcedes Lewis – 8

As mentioned above Jimmy Graham never got in a rhythm and while his thumb may have played a part he actually got worse as the season went along. Byron Bell was never good and never got better, while MVS was simply a rookie who needed more time to work on his craft. His flash plays were special and if he can put it all together—look out.

Most Games with a Negative Grade (Defense)

Reggie Gilbert – 14
Clay Matthews – 13
Josh Jackson – 11
Montravius Adams – 10
Kentrell Brice – 9

Not a lot of people talk about Gilbert but after a strong preseason he never materialized as a viable edge rusher. Josh Jackson is the player here that really showed some promise early in the year but then his technique and footwork failed him as the season went on. Jackson wasn’t always put in a position to succeed as playing slot corner at the NFL level was about the worst position for him possible, but he has a lot of work to do in the offseason to be a starting level corner in this league.

2017 + 2018 Top Rated Offensive Players

Davante Adams +35.15
Aaron Rodgers +33.95
David Bakhtiari +31.80
Aaron Jones +18.85
Corey Linsley +18.50

This is the first time I have multiple years of data to go off of so it was fun to see some of the top rated players over the two year period. It was no surprise that these were the five that rose to the top of the leaderboard and, again, it shows just how valuable Davante Adams has been to this team.

2017 + 2018 Top Rated Defensive Players

Kenny Clark +24.05
Mike Daniels +13.15
Jaire Alexander +7.00
Morgan Burnett +4.40
Damarious Randall +4.35

This is a pretty crazy list. First of all the drop-offs from Clark to Daniels and then Daniels to Alexander are huge. Clark has been head and shoulders the best player on defense over the past two seasons. What’s even crazier is that the last three players on the list only had one season each. I understand the issues that Damrious Randall may have been causing, but the trade of Randall for Kizer was one Green Bay has to wish they could have back.

2017 + 2018 Lowest Rated Offensive Players

Justin McCray -21.80
Jason Spriggs -18.80
Byron Bell -13.50
Lance Kendricks -9.35
Jimmy Graham -6.25

Bell and Graham made the list even though they were only on the team for one year a piece, but the two years of dismal performances by McCray and Spriggs really stand out.

2017 + 2018 Lowest Rated Defensive Players

HaHa Clinton-Dix -15.35
Kentrell Brice -11.30
Nick Perry -8.00
Josh Jones -7.15
Reggie Gilbert -7.05

There were a lot of people who had questioned my grade on HaHa Clinton-Dix both last year and the first half of this year. So much so that I started to question it myself. So during the bye week this year I went out and performed a full breakdown of HaHa Clinton-Dix and once again I believed my grades to be true. Sure enough Clinton-Dix was traded one week later and then went on to play poorly in Washington.

The truth is I wish it would have turned out different, I wish he would have found a way to turn things around when Pettine came to town like I thought he had a chance of doing. It just never worked out and Green Bay was wise to move on.

Most Improved 2017 to 2018

Bryan Bulaga +9.10
Kyler Fackrell +8.35
Justin McCray +8.00
Jason Spriggs +7.40
Lance Kendricks +6.45

McCray, Spriggs, and Kendricks are mostly on this list because their 2017 season was so bad, but the interesting name on this list was Bryan Bulaga. The talk of his decline are greatly exaggerated, and in fact his last couple games this season were really good and he actually graded out the highest player on offense in week 17 for me. He actually had a negative grade in limited time in 2017 and easily outperformed that in 2018. Green Bay can’t count on him to stay healthy, which is an issue, but at $8 million next year if they can get 12 games of Bryan Bulaga, that’s well worth the price in today’s tackle market.

Largest Regression 2017 to 2018

Clay Matthews -14.80
Nick Perry -7.30
Randall Cobb -6.55
Aaron Rodgers -6.45
Lane Taylor -4.90

The hope for Rodgers is that the reason for the decline was due to injury and that he’ll be able to bounce back with a healthy knee and a new scheme. Meanwhile the writing is on the wall for Clay, Perry, and Cobb. Clay and Cobb are free agents while Perry should become a cap casualty. These regressions go a long way in explaining the decline of the 2018 Packers.

2018 Draft Class

Jaire Alexander +7.00
Josh Jackson -4.90
Oren Burks -1.10
J’Mon Moore -1.95
Cole Madison – N/A
JK Scott – N/A
Marquez Valdes-Scantling -1.90
Equanimeous St. Brown -1.00
James Looney -0.55
Hunter Bradley – N/A
Kendall Donnerson – N/A

Total: -4.40

Brian Gutekunst hit a home run with his first round pick Jaire Alexander and the fact he was able to gain another 1st round pick in the process is truly impressive. After the first round, however, things are fairly sketchy. The upside that EQ & MVS showed was enough to pay off those two picks, but there are serious questions about everyone else on the list. Josh Jackson has a lot of work to do before he’s ready to be a full-time NFL corner, and Oren Burks and J’Mon Moore never found any footing this season.

We’ve learned from players like Davante Adams and Kyler Fackrell not to judge too quickly, but this draft class needs to show improvement to pay off the investments that Brian Gutekunst made in this years’ draft.

2018 Free Agent Class

Muhammad Wilkerson +0.30
Bashaud Breeland +0.25
Tramon Williams +1.25
Jake Kumerow -0.25
Jimmy Graham -6.25
Marcedes Lewis -1.65
Byron Bell -13.50

Total: -19.85

For the second year in a row, Green Bay’s free agent crop has been a pretty major disappointment. Technically Jake Kumerow and Bashaud Breeland weren’t part of the free agent class but they were worth noting either way. Wilkerson wasn’t bad but he didn’t live up to his billing even when healthy, while Graham, Lewis, and Bell struggled consistently throughout the course of the year.

The lone player who played up to expectation was Tramon Williams who was supposed to come in and fill in as a stop-gap in the defensive backfield and did just that, grading out positively as a hybrid corner/safety and helping out wherever he was needed.

2019 Unrestricted Free Agents:

Clay Matthews -9.30
Randall Cobb -0.20
Muhammad Wilkerson +0.30
Marcedes Lewis -1.65
Lance Kendricks -1.45
Byron Bell -13.50
Davon House -2.20
Bashaud Breeland +0.25
Eddie Pleasant -3.65
Ibraheim Campbell +0.65
Jake Ryan – N/A
Dan Vitale +0.00

Total: -30.75

This one should be simple, re-sign Ibraheim Campbell to a small deal to compete in camp and let the rest walk. I know there is a lot of nostalgia with Clay and Cobb but we saw the decline from 2017 to 2018 loud and clear. I know some people think that Clay could fit as an inside linebacker but the truth is it’s time to get younger, faster, and more aggressive. Clay gave this team some great years but he just doesn’t have it at that same level anymore.

Players that I was Higher on than PFF:

Corey Linsley - My grade +10.00 – PFF Grade: 73.7
Jaire Alexander – My grade +7.00 – PFF Grade: 72.4
Mike Daniels – My Grade +6.85 – PFF Grade: 71.2
Lane Taylor – My grade +6.40 – PFF Grade: 64.8
Tony Brown – My grade -0.55 – PFF Grade: 48.8

None of these were super egregious, but there were a handful of players that I had a higher grade on than Pro Football Focus. It’s easy to see that our grading scales are not apples to apples, but a grade of 10+ should roughly be in the high 70’s to low 80’s, a 7+ should be in the mid to high 70’s, Taylor’s 6.4 should be around the high 60’s and Brown should be around a high mid to high 50. Again, nothing was super off here but I was just a little bit higher on these players than PFF was.

Players that PFF was Higher on than Me:

Dean Lowry – My grade +0.85 – PFF Grade: 73.8
Tyler Lancaster – My Grade +0.40 – PFF Grade: 77.6
Blake Martinez – My Grade +0.00 – PFF Grade: 74.8
Jason Spriggs – My Grade -5.70 – PFF Grade: 64.7
HaHa Clinton-Dix – My Grade -5.95 – PFF Grade: 83.5
Justin McCray – My Grade -6.90 – PFF Grade: 64.5
Reggie Gilbert – My Grade -7.10 – PFF Grade: 63.1
Clay Matthews – My Grade -9.30 – PFF Grade: 63.9
 

Once again, there wasn’t a ton that was massively off, save for the HaHa grade which we already discussed. I was definitely lower on Blake Martinez as well but when you consider that there were 61 players who played for the Packers this year, if we disagreed slightly on about 11-12, and more significantly on 1-2, that’s really not too far off at all. And the other 48 players we were pretty much in complete agreement on.

 

Grading is always going to be in the eye of the beholder but I was pretty surprised to see just how close we were on the vast majority of the grades.

That does it for this years’ grades. Make sure to find the full list of this year’s grades here: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/grading-the-pack-2018-regular-season-totals-547

You can also find the full list of last years’ grades here: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/grading-the-pack-regular-season-totals-454

And lastly you can find last year’s end-of-year review here: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/grading-the-pack-end-of-year-review-519

I cannot thank you enough for all the kind words and comments in the post throughout the year. This is a massive grind and undertaking throughout the season and those positive comments really go a long way. Hopefully next years’ grades will be even better and we will have a few more weeks of playoff grades to put together as well.

Until next year, thanks so much for reading “Grading the Pack” and Go Pack Go!

__________________________

Andy Herman is an avid Packers fan and season ticket holder. He has graduated from National Football Post's and Sports Management Worldwide's NFL Scouting courses and is the owner of the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Find him on Twitter @sconniesports.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (97) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Guam's picture

Once again, many thanks for all of your hard work Andy. I think this is the most informative column in CHTV (apologies to TGR, you are a close second).

The grade on Nick Perry was a bit of an eye opener for me. I knew he was not playing well, but I hadn't realized it was that bad. Early in the season I was in the "keep Perry and Graham" camp because you really don't gain much cap space cutting them this year due to the dead money. I have now moved over to the "cut em" camp as they are not helping the team. It is time to give some young players a shot.

The team will need to take some more chances in free agency as the draft can not possibly fill all the wholes left by cutting Cobb, Graham, Lewis, Matthews and Perry. At least we will have some cap space to try.

Coldworld's picture

There is no doubt that Perry was not up to it this year. My only question is about whether that was due to playing through injury all season as MM stated at some point before he went on IR.

I am not willing to boot a player for roughing it out if true. I have no idea how real the impediment was. Only the Packers staff would know that, but the absolutely bare cupboard at his position makes me wonder if Perry was put in a no win position.

With a new Coach and GM, I am at least hopeful that if he is retained, this will be for the above reason. Under TT and MM I would have suspected loyalty over reality in recent years.

For me, the message here is that Cobb and Clay need to be former Packers. Spriggs’ improvement makes him the hardest of the poorest players to decide upon other than Graham whom I am torn on because I truly think MM could send that position the way of the FB based on his usage of it this year.

Finally, i’d Just like to say how much I appreciate this piece and the series as a whole. Thank you for the very considerable effort!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

McCarthy's use of TEs could make it go the way of FBs. LOL.

Graham had the impediment of AR not practicing during the week for much of the season. OTOH, IIRC (can I find another acronym?), Cook missed some time during training camp.

I think Perry was hurt all season. The film guys (can't remember which one or ones) noted that he couldn't push off on his ankle, eliminating his bull rush, and hence most of his pass rush.

I think I'd ask Perry for a pay cut and replace the money with incentives if he earns them. Certainly $ for sacks, but also for snaps and other realistic goals. IOWs, if he plays well he can earn his $9M new dollars. That's just my opinion, and I understand opposing views.

Minniman's picture

Re aggressively rebuilding in FA next years and the Packers projected cap space:

Guam, I'm not so convinced that the Packers will get much proverbial bang for their buck this FA season.

Last year (2018) - according to over the cap - there were only 3 teams with more than $40 Million in cap space.

This year there are 14.......with the Packers sitting at 14th.

I posted earlier in the week that I think that the top FA's this year are going to get PAID and it looks like that trend will extend into the middle bracket of players as "on-the-verge" teams fill out their rosters.

..... Not to say that the Packers shouldn't swing like heck for as many FA's as they can....... it just looks ominous.

Minniman's picture

PS Andy, if CHTV set up a pay or pledge wall I'd gladly shout you either a beer or tip for your time.

Many thanks for articles this year, the input was insightful, thought provoking and confronting (all at once).

Guam's picture

Minniman: While I agree the Packers are only middle of the group in FA resources, I think it is more about talent evaluation than dollars available. Gute did not have a good FA season last year as only Williams and Breeland worked out well. Graham, Lewis and Bell were clear misses and the jury is still out on Wilkinson. Lots of money not well spent although only Graham will hurt beyond this season.

I believe the Packers have enough resources to resign Breeland, Wilkinson (to a lower priced deal), and two quality free agents. I would prefer a veteran safety and right guard, but would certainly understand another go at the TE position.

With the retention of Pettine, I believe resigning Wilkinson at a reasonable price becomes more likely. With respect to the TE position, I have no idea what MLF thinks about tight ends so I don't know how much priority Gute will put on that position. Should be an interesting FA season!

Since '61's picture

Andy - absolutely excellent and very thorough job. This will be a great reference piece for reviewing the Packers 2019 off-season moves.

speaking for myself it looks like your grades were consistent with the eye tests of most of our posters here and our comments throughout the season. Unfortunately your grades confirm how much work Gute and now Lafleur need to do to get this team back to playoff and SB contention. But there are several solid pieces to build around as your grades also point out.

I appreciate all of your efforts and hard work to bring this information to us and I realize that it is a labor of love. I look forward to seeing more of your future articles. Great job!!! Thanks, Since '61

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

Well said, Since ‘61. Thanks for doing these articles, Andy. The highlight of my in-season weeks!

kevgk's picture

I can't thank you enough for your work. If I had to pick a single reason to browse CheeseheadTV, its this segment. Your work in analyzing film, and collecting video content is great stuff and my favorite column on this site. Thanks again!

Lare's picture

Thanks for all your work on this Andy. As you know, we'll just have to agree to disagree on Martinez. But as Guam mentions above it was interesting to see many of the grades match what we see on the field in spite of what the announcers and sports journalists tell us.

I assume that every team also does a similar analysis of all their players, it'll be interesting to see how this all jibes with their offseason moves.

Dzehren's picture

Great synopsis on the tight end position. I think MFL is going to fix the TE position quickly in 2019.

Coldworld's picture

One of my biggest unknowns about LaFleur is how he will handle the TE role. He lost not only Walker but his back up so early that we never got tape showing much at all.

Handsback's picture

Andrew, great job all year and appreciate the work you put in. The portion of games I saw...your ratings matched what my eyes were telling me.
I think Green Bay found some real diamonds in the rough with MVS, ESB, Brown, and Lancaster. I would like to see Wilks come back fully healthy and Breeland resigned.
The two things the Packers have to do is improve their oline, and figure out how to use the TE. Above all else....probably led to MM's firing.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I wasn't sure if Andy lost his train of thought/overlooked it, but I'd like to see Breeland, Campbell for sure, and Wilkerson for the right price, roughly $3.25M with some incentives. At the end he mentions only Campbell but earlier I thought I remember him writing something complimentary of Breeland and moderately complimentary of Wilkerson.

albert999's picture

Excellent work
Packers brass should all have this on their desks this morning!
Uncle Albert

Bure9620's picture

Great work

packerbackerjim's picture

I think the kudos are well deserved if not universal. I respect your grading much, much more than PFF. The wildly divergent grade PFF put on Ha Ha made me sour in any grade they issued on anyone. I second the suggestion Gute use your year end analysis in making roster decisions and focus for the draft and free agency. Great work!

packerbackerjim's picture

After a nap I realized it should have read “use the analysis as part of the process” in deciding roster, draft, and FA.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Highest Graded Offensive Players

Davante Adams +15.30
David Bakhtiari +13.80
Aaron Rodgers +13.75
Corey Linsley +10.00
Aaron Jones +9.85

I would add MVS above
and add EQ as Honorable mention

JDK52's picture

Wow, incredible work Andy. Really appreciate this!

As others have said, some of these are truly eye opening. I had been of the opinion Graham and Perry should come back simply because of their dead money and maybe they have a bit of a bounce-back year, but MAN they need to go. Literal UDFA's wouldn't be worse than they were.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Highest Graded Defensive Players

Kenny Clark +13.10
Jaire Alexander +7.00
Mike Daniels +6.85
Kyler Fackrell +3.15
Tramon Williams +1.25

I agree with above, especially Kyle Fackerall as situational player.

I believe I would add Breeland above and I would add
Josh Jackson as Honorable mention and maybe he would be great at safety and people seem to like Tyler Lancaster as well.

Old School's picture

Put me down in favor of the "Jackson to Safety" move, with the understanding that it makes us thinner at CB. Right now, King and Alexander are pretty good starting pair, but it was hard to get both of them on the field at the same time. Behind them we have Breeland….if we resign him, and Jackson and Brown, I guess. We'd better pray for good health, or get another CB who can cover, or both.

Old School's picture

Thank you for this thorough breakdown. I don't see how you'd prevent your own confirmation bias from creeping in, i.e. you'd see what you expect to see.

But from the overall team prospective that has the offense at like +33 or something, and the defense at -22 or something, it kind of makes me wonder why we felt such a big need to change the offense.

All the talk about a bad HC, a stale playbook, a boring predictable scheme, lack of talent at some positions.....all that, and still we were better than average on offense.

To me, that looks like a bit of a disconnect.

Rebecca's picture

That’s the way the ball bounces. Your disconnect is trying to balance the equation without taking into account the intangibles like team chemistry, awful special teams, penalties and bad calls which cost games. So yes, there will always be a disconnect between objectivity and subjectivity

Duginske's picture

Great work as always Andy. I agree that its time to move on from almost all of the free agents and rebuild safety and edge. As for your grade differences with PFF, they did something wonky with their Guard and Center ratings this year that has no one above an 85. Linsley as the 6th best Center on PFF makes way more sense with your +10 grade than it does with a 73.7 rating.

GBPDAN1's picture

Byron Bell -13.50
Justin McCray -6.90
Jimmy Graham -6.25
Jason Spriggs -5.70
Lucas Patrick -3.35

HaHa Clinton-Dix -15.35
Kentrell Brice -11.30
Nick Perry -8.00
Josh Jones -7.15
Reggie Gilbert -7.05

We obviously need better O-line (starting guard and good depth) , TE , OLB and safety players.

Shore up these positions in FA and the draft and we will win the division and make a run ( injuries permitting and Rodgers back to MVP form) Go Pack

PS; How disappointing is it to have had so much money tied up in OLB and have season ending grades like that. Who would have guessed Fackrell was going to be our best OLB?

Johnblood27's picture

2018 grade...

Andy Herman - +1000!!!

Thanks for an actual factual (based upon review of tape, not memory) view of the 2018 GBP.

I appreciate all the opinion pieces on CHTV, but your use of facts (with your learned opinion on an actual grade) make this work outstanding.

Thank you for all of your work.

Your revelations on player performance guide my opinion on off-season needs and the best moves to make.

Thanks again.

Rebecca's picture

Don’t ya just love those actual facts, the literally factually based opinions? You can’t beat factually based facts. They’re like super facts, the best facts ever.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Lowest Graded Offensive Players

Byron Bell -13.50
Justin McCray -6.90
Jimmy Graham -6.25
Jason Spriggs -5.70
Lucas Patrick -3.35

Again, I know my opinion doesn't matter although I have been saying the same things forever but I keep getting thumbs down on my comments I do agree with above.

In my opinion and what I have seen is the TEs bread and butter is the red zone. I really thought our TE coach was supposed to be one of the best that we got from Cleveland. I have always been a big promoter of the 2 TE position, especially when we had Jackson and Churmra and the Patriots had Gronk and M.Bennett and Gronk and Hernandez. I thought we really had something with M. Lewis and J. Graham. I am so sick of our TE position sucking every single year and the awful to no play calling. Maybe this is why are WR can't get open, because the other team could care less about our threat at TE!! The above OL need to be cut. Can J. Graham restructure his contract?

Doug Niemczynski's picture

He did have a down year, but I like his work ethic, attitude, demeanor and leadership and seems pretty intelligent.

LeotisHarris's picture

Plus all his friends say he's a great dancer, loves to laugh, and is an excellent cook!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

In regards to Mike Daniels. ..

Jonathan Spader's picture

Graham has 0 incentive to restructure/negotiate his contract. GB got into a bidding war with the Saints for his services. If Graham gets cut he'll be reunited with Brees in 2 sec. Regardless of how good or bad a year he had in GB.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Reports are that LaFleur is retaining our current TE coach, whose name I don't remember well enough to attempt spelling.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Brian Angelichio

Gort's picture

We have a TE coach?

Oppy's picture

You've got a QB in Aaron Rodgers who won't throw a ball over the middle of the field and won't throw up 50/50 balls.

There goes 90% of the passes that most TE's make their bread and butter.

Johnblood27's picture

The Pats were literally KILLING IT with Gronk and Hernendez.

Lphill's picture

nice work and thank you, I know I will get dislikes but I think Mike Daniels is overrated I like him but I don't see anything special, he is not a game changer, Cory Linsley is underrated and people don't realize how important he is to the team. just my opinion .

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Lowest Graded Defensive Players

Clay Matthews -9.30
Nick Perry -7.65
Reggie Gilbert -7.10
Kentrell Brice -6.20
HaHa Clinton-Dix -5.95

And, we were so high on Reggie Gilbert. That tells me our player evaluators suck.

I would still like to keep Matthews as a situational player or moved to ILB under a reconstructed 1 year deal.

One last thing on the offensive side of the ballus that I EXTREMELY disappointed the way the PACKERS miss used RB- Ty Montgomery. If he has a good year with Baltimore next year I will really be ticked off. I realize his QB blocking was not that good, but the could have had him as a WR on 3rd down situations or used 2 RB.
A. Jones or J. Williams in the backfield and Ty in the slot. Don't know, bur if John Harbough can't finf a way then, no one can.

Samson's picture

Some great posts, Doug N.
Agree with much of your evaluations except CM3. -- The Pack need to cut bait with CM3. -- Let him go play out his career on the West coast as a Raider.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Samson,

Raiders don't get ALL the Packers castoffs give the Browns, Vikings, & Seahawks credit where credit is due lol.

dobber's picture

"And, we were so high on Reggie Gilbert. That tells me our player evaluators suck."

That tells us that Reggie Gilbert in small doses does not directly translate to Reggie Gilbert in a regular role.

Coldworld's picture

Perhaps the truest preseason warrior: move over Mr Janis. Now we know why he had to wait so long to get playing time. We were really the ones that called that wrong.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Coldworld Janis never unseated Jayrone Elliot in preseason production. Elliot had 5 sacks in preseason and excited all of Packer nation to have a Perrylike presence in regular season.

LeotisHarris's picture

That's true, Jonathan, BUT *if* Janis had only been given the opportunity to unseat our LB crew he would have unseated all of them. He would have fit into Caper's Crazy Pshyco Zany Nutso Package with 2 DL, Janis as the lone LB (due to his ability to cover sideline to sideline) and 8 DBs. As always, the DBs would run next to the receivers, allow them to catch the ball, then miss a tackle before Janis ran them down 35 years downfield.

A lot of people are saying Janis should be brought back in 2019 to be groomed as our elusive field-stretching TE.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree that McCarthy misused Monty.
I think Capers misused Damarious Randall.

Some players get frustrated and can't channel that frustration in a positive manner. Hmm, I might have had some issues with that but I could simply find another job. These guys can't leave.

Minniman's picture

" I might have had some issues with that but I could simply find another job. These guys can't leave"

and to that point TGR we shouldn't forget that Monty was a college WR who's tape and scout report indicated that he wasn't shy of contact and had good YAC production. He appeared to suck up being moved to RB without dissent for a couple of years and really paid "full" price for his one brain explosion (it was big though!).

I'm not sure how well he'll fit with Baltimore though. If he has a good season next year then it will really mean that Lamar Jackson has changed for the better too.

Bearmeat's picture

I'm in a field that's closed off enough that most can't just leave and expect other work - especially immediately. And I can tell you that that frustration is very very real at times.

Also, there is a certain GB CB (really a FS?) named Josh Jackson who I am very concerned we are going down the same Hyde/Randall route with.

Rebecca's picture

If you look back at Montgomery’s career stats and availability, he is very average and more of a hybrid player without the athleticism of a Kamara type back. He doesn’t have a full season of starting running back type performance in him. Move on. Williams is much better.

johngalt's picture

Great job. You can tell a lot of work went into this presentation. These kinds of posts remind me of how much I really miss when watching a game live. Thanks Andrew.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

We just have to have a great 2019 draft. Do well in free agency and pray for healthy players like Kevin King - CB !!! Go Pack Go !!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

If Daniel Jones (Duke) QB falls to the 2nd round should the Packers make a move for him or go for TE/ WR.

We need help at so many positions...ugh....

Dash Riprock's picture

Great work Andrew Herman!! What is striking to me and not a single person commented on it (surprise surprise) was the total failure of the 2018 draft class and the 2018 free agency class. Out of both classes pretty much ONE player you could say had a major impact and that was Alexander. Breeland had a slight positive grade but barely played. Everybody else was in negative territory. For all you people praising the greatness of Gutey nothing in those grades says he was a success. Nothing. In fact you could say it was almost a total failure. Even more scary was the regression of Rodgers from 2017-2018. Matthews, Cobb, and Perry are old and washed up and most want gone but Rodgers who's older than all of them? What, just an anomaly? We're really living on the edge here wow. If they don't like Boyle or Kizer they better damn well start looking for their next starting qb this year.

albert999's picture

Well said Riproar
Uncle Albert

Tarynfor12's picture

Elsewhere I said Gute has been the best basement furniture mover since his hire.
He has a chance to show his true ability this draft and in FA. If he cannot find it in himself to not resign Matthews or Cobb and cut Perry, I'd have a hard time thinking his future will make the team better. The decision needs to start with your teams worse in order to see clearly what you really have and need to fix it.

ErnieErnie's picture

Why would he resign two guys that cant play? Cobb is a good hit from missing three games in a row and Mathews couldnt tackle my grandmother

Tarynfor12's picture

Ask those here that want Matthews reigned, those afraid of the cap hit to keep Perry and Cobb being a Rodgers favorite who like Perry under performs when healthy and are praised for garbage time stats.

Why would Gute do such...maybe he won't, I just think his decisions on these three will show us we may get more of the same thinking TT gave us.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I can't argue with any of that (except quibble with the QB stuff). So far, not so great, but it is early days. Tramon was an okay signing - bang and buck were roughly in balance. FA definitely was unsuccessful overall. So, Thumbs up!

albert999's picture

I think Lafleur should coach up Boyle instead of drafting a QB
TE and WR free agents or draft
Antonio Brown and Rodgers connecting would be playoffs and not to mention Adams on the other side
WOW

Dash Riprock's picture

I agree Uncle Albert but I don't think LaF will have the time needed to spend with Boyle. I have a feeling he'll be spending it all with Rodgers totally neglecting the rest of his Packer family. I wouldn't doubt if the two go camping together in northern Wisconsin for a weekend or something similar to get to know each other better. Laf is really going to have to be careful how he spends his time with Rodgers vs. others. It could backfire real quickly.

Tarynfor12's picture

He might actually have the time since Rodgers may have LaFleur take the MR. Myagi oath....' I say, you do...no questions."

Dash Riprock's picture

lol.. I guess it's better than Wax on Wax off.

I have no doubt that is going to be the reality of this hire Taryn. Rodgers is a total control freak. We all know this by now. Does anyone honestly believe Rodgers is suddenly going to give up his control tendencies to Laf who's what, 15 years or so younger than the more experienced and super bowl winning head coach Mike McCarthy? Ahhhhh, no.

Dash

albert999's picture

Well said again Riproar
Hire Tony Elliott for OC and or QB coach
He’s the co-offensive coach from Clemson
? Just a thought outside the box

johngalt's picture

Don’t sprain anything patting each other on the back.

Samson's picture

Dash's most accurate statement ever posted on CHTV.

"I don't think".

Dash Riprock's picture

Wow, a personal attack on me because I don't agree with the head coach hire. Wow, Samson. Anything else? So it's join the herd here or be cast out. Isn't that how Nazi Germany operated Samson? Perhaps I salute you next time I talk to you. Would that be preferred?

Dash

Coldworld's picture

Way to spiral it down Dash. Let’s leave comparisons such as that out along with contemporary politics.

I don’t know whether I agree with the hire: don’t see how one can know though with the young coach type of hire. That said, not being certain should include up as well as down.

Samson's picture

Hey Dash
Ever hear Joe C. sing "Cry Me a River" ??
I'm sing'in it right now.

ErnieErnie's picture

Wow, lot of hard work there. Thank You. My sentiments about certain players are confirmed by your numbers that's for sure and your comments about changes that need to be made.
The only area I kind of didnt agree was Rodgers assessment. I thought it was too high and that at best he was average this year. Passed up a lot of opportunites downfield when he thought interceptions were going to happen so he tosses the ball away killing drives.

croatpackfan's picture

What else to say than: BIG BIG THANK YOU, Andrew!

stockholder's picture

Gute tried. But the numbers just aren't good enough. I would like Randall back. And I wonder if we dump these guys. I wouldn't want them back too. So lets do this right. Dump Salary. The grades show they didn't earn it. So how can we dump Mathews, Perry, and Gilbert. How can we dump Graham, Lewis ,Kendricks and springs. I'm going to leave Bulaga alone; because I wonder if he wouldn't have played even better, if the Rg wasn't such a disappointment. The sure fire way to fix the line is Draft a RG. The sure fire way to fix the LBs, is to draft a Pass Rusher. Sign Ryan. But what about Wilkerson. Can LanCaster handle a promotion? I say yes. So going by the grades. Cut Perry and Spriggs! Don't resign Cobb,Lewis, Kendricks, Bell. Mathews, Wilkerson, and Graham still are my tough cuts. Going on need is not the way to win the draft. I'd rather still have Mathews if we replace Wilkerson. (Ankle injuries are the injury that have wrecked careers) If I'm right, Mathews, Graham and Bulaga get paid/retained somehow. ( off year.) Roll the dice again. Frackwell was not a #1 Choice! He replaces Perry. Your grades did confirm what is wrong. We saw that with the grades after Alexander. And you just can't fix everything in the draft.

Coldworld's picture

With hindsight, Randall a mistake and Ha Ha a wise move, both regardless of what we got in return. Net outcome pretty much even.

stockholder's picture

CW- Joe Witt is gone. Not surprised. Shunned or not. They got him a lot of CBs. Hayward ? Rollins? Randall Etc.? Can you see the failure?

Jonathan Spader's picture

I agree with a lot of your points stockholder but there is no such thing as surefire fixes in the NFL. Drafting a RG doesn't guarentee a fix. OL typically take a few years to adjust to the NFL. It's just as feasible that we already have an OL on the roster who takes a step in 2019. Gute could also possibly find the next Jahri Evans.

Once more please learn to find the enter key on your keyboard and break up your long block of text into bite sized thoughts. I know you can do it buddy.

stockholder's picture

That wasn't the case with bahk. There are exceptions.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Bahktiari isn't a great example of an exception he still took some time to transition. Corey Linsley is a much better example IMO. He stepped in and played center after Tretter was groomed for the role. He excelled at it and was compensated by the NFL for outplaying his contract. There will always be exceptions Stockholder. My point is they are exceptions for a reason.

freddisch's picture

Great work. You’re the main reason I follow CHTV

Packer Fan's picture

Good article. With the free agents, I agree on getting rid of them except for Williams, Campbell and Breeland. Perhaps Wilkinson be signed for a low amount. I just wonder about the TE's though. Were they that bad versus how much mis-use by MM. These questions can only be answered by LaFluer, Pettine and BG. It is like Matthews, not worth $12 mil. But he could be much needed depth at $3-$5 mil. We will see how all these things work themselves out.

Oppy's picture

Certainly have to appreciate the massive investment of your personal time to supply us with your findings, Andrew.

Oppy's picture

One thing I've seen stated by numerous people frequently this season is that Davante Adams has had a remarkable run "these last two seasons."

Before even taking a snap in 2018, Adams led all WR's in touchdowns over the previous two seasons. He's on a three year tear. Adams has a truly unique release due to his insanely fast-twitch first steps off the line, and his COD skills are off the charts. It's what makes him nearly impossible to press. He's a beast.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Great work Andy. I upvoted every article you wrote. Thanks for doing the per snap; saved me doing a bunch of math.

Caveat: some positions don't really figure in on every play, so the per snap score of safeties is better than it ought to be (because they had negative grades). We run 40% of the time or so: WRs often won't have much to do on some (not all) runs and QBs just hand the ball off to the RBs, so most of those snaps are ungradable.

Minniman's picture

I'm being kind here to your caveat statement as I'm sure that you didn't want to have to go to nth degree lengths of explanation..... but I'd argue that on those obvious run down if the WR's are really doing their job diligently then they are effectively engaging, blocking or misdirecting the secondary and middle\IL backers - also bringing LEGIT RPO into play.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Thanks. I think you were able to translate my babble into what I meant! WRs weren't the best example. Kenny Clark has a battle pretty much every snap he plays, so practically all of his snaps could generate a grade.

A FS lined up 18 yards from the LOS on 3rd and 2 where the offense runs a fullback dive needs only to take several steps forward if Daniels stuffs the FB for a TFL almost immediately. The only obstacle the FS has to overcome is the density of air. There is nothing to grade, really. I am just suggesting that if a FS plays 1000 snaps, IDK - maybe 250 of them are unlikely to be gradable. The FS isn't engaged by an opponent.

QB plays 1000 snaps and has an overall grade of +50. But on 300 snaps he just handed the ball off. No one gives the QB a plus or a minus for just handing the ball off (yes, QB's can only get a minus if the hand-off isn't clean). 50/1000 = +.05/snap. I'd suggest a more accurate barometer would be 50/700 gradable snaps or +.0714 per snap grade. I just don't have a way to figure out how many "gradable" snaps each player had.

OL might have a particularly difficult block to execute or just have to get in the defensive lineman's way, but OL generally have a battle on most plays. Watch Graham block: just getting in the way on a run designed to go the other way is his forte. But it is gradable.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Kudos Andy. This series rocks!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Andy's Grades through Wk 7:

Offense:
A Jones: .02988 (2.60)
Rodgers: .02167 (9.1)
D. Bakh: .02166 (9.45)
Adams: .01747 (7.20)
L Taylor .0116 (5.05)
T.Monty: .0156 (2.25)
Williams: .0121 (2.45)
R. Cobb: .01196 (2.25)
C Linsley .01094 (4.75)
B Bulaga .00603 (2.30)

VS END OF SEASON

Aaron Jones +0.0262 (9.85)
Davante Adams +0.0161 (15.30)
Aaron Rodgers +0.0136 (13.75)
David Bakhtiari +0.0134 (13.80)
Ty Montgomery +0.0120 (1.80)

Guys who played better early:

Taylor +5.05 @ 7 games; finished +6.40.
AR: +9.1 thru game 7, finished +13.75
Lowry: +2.4 7 games, finished +0.85
CM3: -6.90 thru 7 games, finished -9.30

Guys who improved (or didn't stink as much)

McCray -5.55 @ game 7, finished -6.9
MVS: -1.5 @ game 7, finished -1.90
Morrison: -2.85 but finished -2.90.

Clark, Alexander were remarkably consistent to the good, and Gilbert was remarkably consistent, but in a bad way (-3.60 in first 7 games, -4.05 in the last 9 games. I thought Alexander (+3.05 in first 7 games, then +3.95 in the last 9) reported tailed off? Ah, Jaire missed two games so he was +3.05 in 4 games and +3.95 in the last 8 (he missed game 16). Nevermind.

I didn't do per snap because I don't know if Andy used FO like I had to or if he divided the scores by gradable plays.

Oppy's picture

TGR, wouldn't the guys you have listed as "Guys who improved (or didn't stink as much)" actually be guys who weren't good, and got worse?

-6.9 < -5.5
-1.9 < -1.5
-2.9 < -2.85

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

-6.9 < -5.5 = McCray.

Andy gave -5.5 for the first 7 games = -.793/gm
Andy gave -1.4 for the last 9 games = -.15/gm
-5.55 plus -1.35 equals the total of -6.9 for the yr.

So, first 7 games McCray hurt GB badly w -.8 grade per game. Last 9 games he was better if still not a decent player and graded out at just a mild minus of .15 per game. In McCray's case though he may simply have not played much in the last 9 games. Let's check. His per snap grade above after 7 weeks it was -0.02849 (-5.55). He finished -6.9 on 481 snaps or -.014, (-6.9/481) so McCray was really stinking the place up over the first 7 games but improved his per snap grade a bunch as he managed to finish at -.014 vs. his horrendous -.028 start.

Okay: -5.55 grade on 195 snaps = -0.02846
Last 9: -1.35 grade on 286 snaps = -0.0047.

So McCray improved. Last 9 games he graded 0.00 roughly per snap. That's meh instead of terrible.

McCray had a leg injury August 16 and a shoulder injury Sept. 23. Did these hamper his play early in the season? Did he start to play more like the guy we saw in 2017 in the last half of the 2018 season when his injuries subsided? IDK, but GB and their medical staff would have a better idea. Since he played much better later, I won't be surprised if McCray manages to make the team as a depth guy in 2019 who can play OG and OT in a severe pinch. Can't remember: was he the emergency OC along with Patrick?

I put CM3 in the wrong place. He got better in the last 9 games.
274 snaps (1-7) = -6.00 = -0.0219
482 snaps (9-17) = -3.3 = -0.0068.

So CM3 hurt GB significantly on a per snap bases (-0.02/snap) but got to meh in the last 9 games (almost to 0.00). CM3 could be a function of just getting better or it might be the departure of Perry doing zilch and the increased role of Fackrell.

Lowry's grade tumbled over the last 9 games as he got increased playing time with the injury to Daniels. He was in negative territory late. Could be teams devoted more attention to him and he might be able to counter, or it might be he is much more suited for rotational duty than a full-time part. IDK.

I assume GB has some poor slob in their analytics dept. tracking these trends, probably by DVOA and DYAR.

Oppy's picture

AHh, I see, you were comparing totals from week 1-7, vs. the totals from week 1-16. That makes sense.

Donster's picture

Thank you Andy for this excellent article and your hard work putting it together! Really opened my eyes to some issues with players that I hadn't realized.

As I have posted here before, fixing the offensive line should be priority one this off season. Edge Rusher number two.

HankScorpio's picture

"2018 Draft Class

Jaire Alexander +7.00
Josh Jackson -4.90
Oren Burks -1.10
J’Mon Moore -1.95
Cole Madison – N/A
JK Scott – N/A
Marquez Valdes-Scantling -1.90
Equanimeous St. Brown -1.00
James Looney -0.55
Hunter Bradley – N/A
Kendall Donnerson – N/A

Total: -4.40"

The position coaches that contributed to this are mostly gone already. Whitt, Raih and Moss will not be back in 2019. Only Jerry Montgomery will be back. His limited efforts with Looney were offset by a nice job getting Tyler Lancaster to grade out in plus territory.

We haven't really gotten word on every coach but it struck me that the coaches involved with this sub-section of the grades are gone.

It is a requirement in the salary cap era that guys on rookie deals contribute. It is job #1 of position coaches to ensure that happens. Coaches that can't get that done consistently need to be replaced.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Nice. I blamed Darren Perry for years. Whitt became the secondary guy and couldn't get anything out of Evans, Whitehead, Josh Jones, and Brice or enough out of HHCD. The only safeties that played decently were Campbell (who had started 11 games before coming to GB and played in 43 games since entering the league in 2015) and the old pro, Tramon, who played only CB in GB for Whitt and got his safety experience elsewhere.

Whitt is gone.

OTOH, Whitt probably should get some credit for Alexander and for Tony Brown. IDK what kind of evaluation Whitt got for Josh Jackson. Putting Jackson in the slot was almost criminal, but perhaps necessary. [Off topic: Hawkins play 6 defensive snaps and 81 ST snaps for Carolina and Philly in six games. I just ran across that, not really making a point. Happy that Hawkins got 6 game checks, so he made at least $180K in 2018.]

HankScorpio's picture

I was a big fan of Whitt for years. But those making the case against him have made a pretty convincing one to me. Enough that I don't have any issues with going another direction.

Big gar's picture

I would like to add restructure ar contact. Otherwise get an ol and te

egbertsouse's picture

This is a great feature. The best on the site. And I’m not an analytics guy.

The grades confirm my opinion that Guter gets a C for his first year. An A for Alexander and the extra 1st round choice and a D for everything else.

blacke00's picture

Thank you Andy for your efforts. I can't say "work" because I don't believe you think of this as work! I think you see this as "fun time". Not my "cup of tea", but to each his own.

Before we rant and rave about some of the play of Josh Jones, Josh Jackson, Jason Sprigs and the young receivers.
Remember Damaris Adams second year. He was awful! Dropped passes by the bushelful. People here and at other sites wanted him traded or cut...wasted pick. Do any of you remember that well I do.
In defense of the rookie wide receivers, how may rookie WR make an impact on "any team"? Not many regardless of round drafted, save JJ in Atlanta. Be patient!
Give these young DB's more time to mature at least their 3rd year. (Look at Frackrell)
As I've said before Draft defensive front 7 no DBs high or draft OL/TE high.
At least shore up one side of the ball or the other. Supplement with FA.
I'm anxious to see what the new "regime" will do.

Gort's picture

400 hours, that's 25 hours a week!

THANK YOU Andy.

Your wife is a saint!

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