Grading the Pack - Preseason Week 2

Preseason week two is in the books and Green Bay put together a really solid game on both sides of the ball. Going into the week fans were curious to see whether or not Taysom Hill, Michael Clark, and Max McCaffrey could maintain their hot starts while hoping for turnaround performances from Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy. After this week's performance, fans will continue to have concerns over Jason Spriggs and continue to remain excited about Taysom Hill. How did everyone grade? Find out below. As always, you can find a full explanation for how I grade at the bottom of the page. If you have any questions, always feel free to comment below.

Top 5 Offensive Players

Aaron Rodgers +2.5
Taysom Hill +1.5
Brett Hundley +1.4
Geronimo Allison +1.1
Kyle Murphy +1.0

Bottom 5 Offensive Players

Jason Spriggs -2.1
Joe Callahan -1.0
Kofi Amichia -0.75
Geoff Gray -0.45
Adam Pankey -0.35

Top 5 Defensive Players

Christian Ringo +1.3
Marwin Evans +0.85
Quinten Rollins +0.8
Mike Daniels +0.75
Reggie Gilbert +0.75

Bottom 5 Defensive Players

Cody Heiman -0.7
Derrick Mathews -0.4
Raysean Pringle -0.4
Izaah Lunsford -0.3
Ricky Jean Francois -0.3

Quarterback

Green Bay was lead by their stellar quarterback play in this game as three of the four quarterbacks put together impressive touchdown drives. Joe Callahan really struggled to find any rhythm in the offense, although it certainly wasn't all his fault. It's worth noting the majority of Taysom Hill's positive grade was in the run game and both Hundley and Rodgers easily outperformed him as a passer.

A. Rodgers +2.5
T. Hill +1.5
B. Hundley +1.4
J. Callahan -1.0

More on Taysom Hill from Cory:  https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/corys-corner-taysom-hill-is-here-to-stay-1...

Running Back

Two games in and we haven't really resolved much at the running back position. There's a fairly significant opportunity for one of these young running backs to gain significant playing time but we haven't seen anyone step up and claim the role yet. To be fair, the run blocking of the second and third offensive lines hasn't been anything to write home about.

K. Phillips +0.6
A. Jones +0.4
J. Kerridge +0.2
D. Mays +0.1
A. Ripkowski -0.1
J. Williams -0.1
T. Montgomery – DNP
W. Stanback – DNP

Wide Receiver

Geronimo Allison has officially taken his game to a new level in year two. He had two separate quick receptions in which he made multiple defenders miss after the catch. Allison looks more confident and has a little extra swagger to his game this year. Once he returns from suspension he is the unquestioned fourth wide receiver on this team. I know people seem to want to cut Janis but he's been a step ahead of the younger receivers thus far. For those championing Michael Clark, he was the last position player to see playing time on either side of the ball.

G. Allison +1.1
J. Janis +0.7
J. Nelson +0.6
M. Clark +0.25
D. Adams +0.15
R. Cobb 0.0
M. McCaffrey 0.0
D. Yancey 0.0
M. Crockett -0.1
T. Davis -0.15
M. Dupre – DNP
C. Pearson – DNP

More on Jeff Janis from Zachhttps://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/janis-once-again-finding-his-preseason-nic...

Tight End

All four active tight ends graded positively this week, although Bennett would have graded negatively if it weren't for his impressive touchdown catch to end the opening drive. Bennett hasn't been as crisp as he can be in run blocking but his big play ability is already showing up.

M. Bennett +0.9
E. Byrd +0.5
L. Kendricks +0.3
R. Rodgers +0.3
A. Peck – DNP

Offensive Line

This was one hell of a bounce back week for Kyle Murphy who graded as the worst offensive linemen on the team a week ago. Robert Leff also had an impressive game and was the top performer on the third line. Unfortunately Geoff Gray came back to earth a little bit but wasn't terrible by any stretch of the imagination. Jason Spriggs had a night to forget but it's worth mentioning that he has had 16 plays over the past two weeks that have graded positively. There are periods of play where Spriggs looks like he could handle the left tackle position. For Spriggs it's all about staying focused and finding a way to stay consistent.

K. Murphy +1.0
D. Bakhtiari +0.7
R. Leff +0.6
B. Bulaga +0.5
T. Evans +0.5
J. Evans +0.1
C. Linsley 0.0
L. Patrick -0.2
J. McCray -0.25
L. Taylor -0.3
A. Pankey -0.35
G. Gray -0.45
K. Amichia -0.75
J. Spriggs -2.1
D. Barclay – DNP

More on J. Spriggs from Al: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/tracking-every-jason-spriggs-rep-vs-the-re...

Defensive Line

As noted in my Tweet below, Christian Ringo is quietly having himself a very nice preseason. Ringo is in quite the dogfight for one of the last defensive line spots on the roster but as it stands today I would put him above Price and Lunsford for the final spot. If he keeps having games like this he won't have a problem cracking the rotation. Thankfully Dean Lowry's injury doesn't seem to be serious and Kenny Clark continues to play big time football.

C. Ringo +1.3
M. Daniels +0.75
K. Clark +0.45
D. Lowry +0.1
B. Price -0.2
R. Jean Francois -0.3
I. Lunsford -0.3
M. Adams – DNP 

Edge

Reggie Gilbert continues to be the player to watch at the edge position as he's put together back to back impressive weeks. In week three I'd like to see him get more playing time with the starters to see if he can hang with the first team or if he's a product of lesser competition. Outside of Gilbert this group was a bit too average and lacked any big plays off the edge.

R. Gilbert +0.75
C. Matthews +0.3
J. Letuligasenoa +0.2
J. Elliott +0.1
N. Perry 0.0
K. Fackrell 0.0
J. Calvin -0.1
V. Biegel – DNP

Linebacker

Not sure if it was due to the injuries or if it was planned but the big change here was the move of David Talley from edge to more of an inside linebacker role. Talley graded out ok in his new position but his versatility will help him as he tries to make Green Bay's practice squad. Jake Ryan graded well early, earning positive grades on the first two plays of the game. Cody Heiman meanwhile saw significant action at linebacker and looked the part of a rookie undrafted free agent. He got beat easily for a touchdown in pass defense and failed to make an impact in the run game.

J. Ryan +0.3
B. Martinez +0.15
J. Tripp +0.1
D. Talley -0.1
J. Thomas -0.25
D. Mathews -0.4
C. Heiman -0.7

Cornerback

It's probably worth noting that Mike McCarthy stated this week that Josh Hawkins was their top rated corner, so you probably want to listen to him, but I had Quinten Rollins grade out slightly better in my evaluation. Hawkins certainly had a nice week but Rollins was active in both pass and run defense and was solid all the way around while he was in the game. I still liked what I saw on tape overall from Lenzy Pipkins even though he graded out in the negative. LaDarius Gunter started the game out hot and with a pretty solid grade but really got worse as the game went on. Donatello Brown keeps moving up in the depth chart and is playing solid football. 

Q. Rollins +0.8
J. Hawkins +0.4
D. Holmes +0.2
D. Brown +0.15
K. King +0.05
L. Gunter -0.2
L. Pipkins -0.2
R. Pringle -0.4
D. Goodson – DNP
D. House – DNP
D. Randall – DNP

More on Hawkins from Michelle:  https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/green-and-bold-josh-hawkins-nails-his-audi...

Safety

Marwin Evans is really putting on a show in the preseason and it's been fun to watch. Green Bay has six safeties worth keeping and another (Taylor) who is worthy of a practice squad position. If Green Bay views Burnett and Jones as linebackers, players like Joe Thomas and Jordy Tripp could find themselves on the way out because of the tremendous depth at safety.

M. Evans +0.85
M. Burnett +0.3
A. Taylor +0.25
Clinton-Dix +0.2
K. Brice 0.0
J. Whitehead -0.2
J. Jones – DNP

Here you can find a running list of how all players have graded throughout the entirety of the preseason: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/grading-the-pack-preseason-grades-total-458

Finally, here is a breakdown of the order that each player entered the game, by position:

How I Grade

  • Each player starts by getting a zero or neutral grade on a play. If they performed as expected on a play, their grade stays at zero.
  • For a slightly above or below average play, the player gets graded -0.1 or +0.1. The vast majority of grades on the vast majority of plays are graded -0.1, 0, or +0.1.
  • The highest and lowest grades on an individual play are +2.0 and -2.0 respectively. These would be large, game-changing plays.
  • I won’t grade a play negatively if I cannot tell which player was at fault.
  • Most of the time it’s impossible to tell the play, so I’m not grading on the execution of the play call as an NFL coach would.
  • The goal of this exercise is to grade every snap over the course of the season to get a long-term view of which performers are performing well and which are not meeting expectations. This is very similar to what Pro Football Focus tries to achieve. Is it perfect? No. But what you are getting is a consistent grader who is watching specifically Packer games and putting multiple hours into every week to breakdown film and assign grades.
  • Grades are for offense and defense only (including two point conversions). Special teams does not factor in.
  • Preseason does not have All-22 film which makes this exercise even more challenging than usual
  • Bigger plays in the game such as a 4th and 1 or a two-point conversion are weighted higher than say a normal 1st and 10 play to start the game.
  • Lastly, the grades do not necessarily reflect who the best players are on an overall basis. As an example, Morgan Burnett may grade almost two full points below Jermaine Whitehead. Does this mean that Whitehead is the superior player to Burnett? No. It means that given the opportunities each player was given, Whitehead performed at a higher level for this individual game.

Please feel free to ask questions or comment below!

__________________________

Andy is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and owns & operates the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Andy has taken multiple courses in NFL scouting and is an Editor for Packer Report. Andy grew up in Green Bay and is a lifelong season ticket holder - follow him on Twitter @AndyHermanNFL!

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Comments (20)

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Turophile's picture

August 25, 2017 at 05:43 am

Excellent again, Andrew. I'll be referring to this often.

I particularly appreciate your addition of a chart showing when players came in. That is one indication of how players are stacked best to worst (though it shouldn't be viewed as definitive). One example as you mentioned, would be WR Clark. I think he has an excellent chance of the PS, due to his height/speed, but as MM said, he has a long ways to go yet, which is why he comes in so late.

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Klincker's picture

August 24, 2017 at 03:24 pm

Hey Andrew,
I watched the game live, and thought Geoff Gray wasnt that bad (the eye test), and didnt think that he would grade out in the minus category. Do I need to re-watch the tape to see what I missed?

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AndyHerman's picture

August 24, 2017 at 03:48 pm

No need to rewatch, he only had 4 negatively graded plays but two were fairly egregious. He really played well week 1 though. Overall Gray has had a very nice preseason. I would have liked to see him show up a bit more in run blocking; an area I believe he can really excel in.

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Klincker's picture

August 24, 2017 at 03:50 pm

So, you think he is good in pass pro, but needs work in run blocking?

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AndyHerman's picture

August 24, 2017 at 03:52 pm

Actually the reverse. I think he has the ability to be a very good run blocker who will need work on his pass protection. Week 1 he showed off his ability to make an impact in the run game, this week he was just average. I wanted to see him dominate in the run game more this week than he did.

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Klincker's picture

August 24, 2017 at 03:54 pm

Ah, okay, I misunderstood. I'm pulling for the guy, because he's from where I live, in Winnipeg.

Thanks for replying and the analysis Andrew!

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AndyHerman's picture

August 24, 2017 at 03:59 pm

Anytime! Thanks for reading!

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Mojo's picture

August 24, 2017 at 03:28 pm

Good to see my man RIngo having a nice camp. He just looks bigger and more explosive to me than in the past. A Daniels, Clark (also doing well I hear), Lowry, RJF and Ringo rotation sounds pretty good to me. See if they can keep Price on the PS (pay him higher like they did last year). This unit could be a strength.

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RobinsonDavis's picture

August 24, 2017 at 10:12 pm

Supposedly, Ringo is also one of the true "good guys" of society. Someone you just want to root for.

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Since'61's picture

August 24, 2017 at 03:37 pm

Good job Andy! Thanks, Since '61

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Roadrunner23's picture

August 24, 2017 at 06:24 pm

Very impressive Andrew, much appreciated from these Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Kudos.

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flackcatcher's picture

August 24, 2017 at 07:20 pm

Nicely done Andrew. Thanks.

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RobinsonDavis's picture

August 24, 2017 at 10:27 pm

Thank you, Andy!! I want ALL the players to do well, and understand it is a process. WE really need Spriggs, Murphy and anyone expecting to be one of the backup offensive linemen to excel these next two weeks. I am rooting for them, but uncomfortable with the inconsistent play. Looking forward to your next assessment!

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Dzehren's picture

August 24, 2017 at 10:35 pm

Great article!! Well done.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2017 at 07:05 am

Fantastic job well done!

These grades seem to be spot on!

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GVPacker's picture

August 25, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Very concise breakdown Andy I enjoyed your analysis !

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Steve Cheez's picture

August 25, 2017 at 05:40 pm

I guess it is a good sign when some of the lowest grades are players that I've never heard of!

I'm sure putting all this together is a ton of work, Andrew, so thanks for taking the time to make sure we all have something to talk about.

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PackerfanAuggie15's picture

August 26, 2017 at 05:31 am

I believe we need either Elliot or Fackrell (or both) to grade out at starter levels this year. Andrew, in each of their cases what do you feel is holding them back, hand/foot work? Strength? Saavy? Other?
Thanks again for must read content!

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AndyHerman's picture

August 26, 2017 at 08:34 am

I agree they both need to have better seasons this year. Clay never makes it a full season and Perry's had injury issues too. Kyler and Jayrone will likely end up starting at some point this season.

To answer your question, Elliott is an effort guy. He's not twitched up or super toolsy, he works hard. His effort shows up on tape but at this point in his career it's unlikely we see a jump to a starting caliber player. He's a solid rotation player and a core player on your special teams. You need guys like Elliott on the roster even if he's not a dominant edge rusher.

Fackrell has more talent but he just hasn't seemed to put it all together yet. I do think he will be a 5-7 sack guy this season with solid playing time as he does show a propensity to make flash plays sometimes out of nowhere. If you are looking for a guy to make a jump I'd put money on Fackrell over Elliott but wouldn't hold my breath.

As the season progresses don't be shocked if Dean Lowry establishes himself as the 3rd best pass rusher on the outside. Look for him to play as almost a 4-3 end while Perry or Matthews play standing up on the edge on the other side.

Lowry - Clark - Daniels - Perry on the line with Clay as a LB who can swing outside, blitz inside or cover could have a lot of potential on obvious pass downs.

Thanks for reading!

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PackerfanAuggie15's picture

August 26, 2017 at 01:35 pm

Well, lets keep our fingers crossed Matthew's and Perry stay healthy, so the boys have more time to develop.
Thanks for the reply!

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