Grading the Packers 2021 Draft Class After One Season

The Green Bay Packers selected nine players in the 2021 NFL Draft. Unlike 2020, the players selected in 2021 had an offseason with OTAs, a full training camp and got to play three preseason games to prepare for their first regular season NFL action.

But how did the draft class do in their first year? Here is an in-depth look at the Packers 2021 Draft class and how they performed in their rookie season.

Grades are based on a combination of performance and expectations so a seventh round pick that has equal statistics to a third round pick would receive a slightly higher grade. They are based primarily on rookie season performance with long-term potential also being taken into consideration.

Round 1 (29) CB Eric Stokes

Stokes had a good rookie season after being forced into action sooner than expected due to Jaire Alexander’s injury.

Stokes played in 16 games, starting 14. He showed excellent speed and cover ability although he still struggles to adjust to the ball when it’s in the air and that sometimes results in completed passes when Stokes is in position to break up a pass.

For the season, Stokes had one interception and broke up 14 passes while making 55 total tackles. According to pro-football-reference.com, opposing quarterbacks completed just 49.5 percent of their passes when throwing to receivers covered by the rookie cornerback out of Georgia. Their quarterback rating was just 71.2.

From the time he stepped onto the field at OTAs, Stokes had a good attitude and work ethic and wanted to learn and get better.

Stokes earned a spot on many NFL All-Rookie Teams this year and deservedly so. While he still has room to improve his technique, Stokes was asked to do more than expected sooner than expected and passed nearly every test. He has Pro Bowl potential down the road if he continues to learn and develop.

Grade A-

Round 2 (62) C Josh Myers

Unlike Stokes, the Packers coaching staff did expect Myers to win the starting center job in training camp and Myers did just that.

Myers started the first four games of the season and called the signals for the offensive line. He graded out better as a pass blocker than a run blocker but proved to be an adequate starter as a rookie.

Like many first-year offensive linemen, he struggled most when trying to pick up stunts and blitz packages when he was asked to switch blocking assignments on the fly.

Myers missed a game with a broken finger and then returned a week later only to suffer a serious knee injury that kept him out of the lineup until the season finale in Detroit. He managed to play all 56 snaps against the 49ers in the playoffs.

Myers showed potential and should develop into a steady and reliable starter but he still has a lot to learn after missing nearly two-thirds of the season due to an assortment of injuries.

Grade: B-

Round 3 (85) WR Amari Rodgers

Once the Packers traded for Randall Cobb, we knew it was unlikely Amari Rodgers would see significant action on offense in his rookie year. In 16 games, Rodgers had 103 snaps on offense and was a non-factor as a receiver.

The Clemson alum caught four passes for 45 yards and ran the ball once for 11 yards. Rodgers showed himself to be a willing blocker despite his lack of size. On offense, the Packers will look for Rodgers to play an expanded role in 2022.

Rodgers was also the Packers primary punt returner and returned kicks often during the second half of the season after Kylin Hill was injured. Unfortunately, Rodgers was indecisive and had trouble fielding punts cleanly. He averaged 8.3-yards per punt return and 18.1-yards per kick return. He officially fumbled twice but also had some muffs and missed return opportunities that lowered his grade.

Rodgers struggled as a rookie but few rookie receivers have a major impact in their first season. Even Davante Adams was a disappointment in his first few campaigns.

Rodgers didn’t add much to the offense and struggled on special teams but still has potential to become a contributor.

Grade: D+

Round 4 (142) G Royce Newman

Newman won the starting right guard position in training camp and started the first 16 games of the season. The University of Mississippi product graded out better as a pass blocker than a run blocker according to PFF.

Newman struggled for most of the season with stunts and blitz pickup and was considered the weak link of the offensive line through late November.

The light seemed to go on for Newman in December and January and his ability to pick up stunts and blitzes improved, as did his run blocking. In some late-season games, he even graded out as one of the best offensive linemen on the team.

If Newman continues to grow into the position, he could hold down a starting spot at guard for years to come.

Grade: C+

Round 5 (173) DL T.J. Slaton

Slaton played in all 17 games as a rookie as part of the Packers defensive line rotation although he didn’t start any games. He played 24 percent of the team’s defensive snaps and finished the season with 23 total tackles, one sack and two quarterback hits.

He also contributed on special teams, playing 143 snaps there.

Slaton is very agile for a 330-pound lineman and he showed flashes of the ability to penetrate against the run and to provide some pass rush push from the interior line.

His run defense grade was a bit of a disappointment but the former Florida star is still learning how to play in the NFL.

With the departure of Kingsley Keke, Slaton’s role on defense should increase significantly if he shows progress in 2022.

Grade C+

Round 5 (178) CB Shemar Jean-Charles

Jean-Charles had a big jump to make from Appalachian State to the NFL. He played in 14 games as a rookie with most of his action coming on special teams. He had 231 special teams snaps and 37 on defense with many of them coming in garbage time.

Jean-Charles struggled in coverage in those limited snaps. According to pro-football-reference.com, opposing quarterbacks completed all six passes they attempted to receivers covered by Jean-Charles and they had a quarterback rating of 115.3. Obviously, this is a small sample size, but it’s clear the rookie was not ready yet for a larger role on defense.

Jean-Charles is smart and has good ball instincts so the potential is there for him to do more in his second season.

Grade: C-

Round 6 (214) G Cole Van Lanen

Van Lanen was released by the Packers on the final cut of the preseason and signed to the practice squad. He played one offensive snap in the Packers Week 17 win over Minnesota.

The Packers will bring Van Lanen back for training camp in 2022. The former Wisconsin Badger needs to be more consistent in his pass blocking technique to earn a roster spot next season.

Grade: D+

Round 6 (220) LB Isaiah McDuffie

McDuffie was injured for much of training camp but had a strong final preseason game against Buffalo to earn a roster spot. McDuffie played in 13 games for the Packers and was credited with two tackles. All his action came on special teams and McDuffie did not take a snap on defense.

McDuffie has decent speed for a linebacker and was known as a heady player in college. He will return in 2022 to compete for a depth spot on defense.

Grade: C-

Round 7 (256) RB Kylin Hill

Hill made the team as the third running back and primary kick returner. He played the first eight games of the season before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

The seventh-round pick out of Mississippi State carried the ball 10 times for 24 yards and caught one pass for five yards. He also averaged 19.9-yards on 10 kick returns with a long runback of 41 yards.

Hill suffered the injury in the game against the Cardinals when he ran a kick out of the end zone that he should not have returned.

His future will largely depend on how well and how quickly he can rehab his knee. The Packers were high on his potential before the injury.

Grade: C+

Overall, the Packers got three starters in this year’s draft (Stokes, Myers and Newman) and some special teams contributors. All nine players played in at least one game for the team in their first NFL season. The key to the overall success of the draft is to have one or two additional players become consistent contributors or to have some of the starters develop into blue chip or red chip players.

While it is impossible to accurately grade a draft for at least three years, the class of 2021 made some solid contributions overall and has the potential to develop into a good draft class.

 

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

NFL Categories: 
8 points

Comments (43)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
wildbill's picture

January 29, 2022 at 12:16 pm

Nice breakdown, thanks

2 points
2
0
wildbill's picture

January 29, 2022 at 12:18 pm

Deleted

2 points
2
0
Alberta_Packer's picture

January 29, 2022 at 03:24 pm

I think that the grades are fair and representative of the rookies performances. Although judging strictly vs. other NFL rookies - I would have given Stokes and A+ and Newman a B - particularly as a 5th rounder who was thrust prematurely into action but got progressively better.

Otherwise, I think that Meyers will be a fine center but Creed Humphrey may be better - with all-pro potential. And Gutekunst could have taken Humphrey instead of Meyers.

Biggest disappointment - Amari Rodgers - as a 3rd rounder. There is little that he showed from this year that he'll be much better next year. Oh well.

8 points
9
1
Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 29, 2022 at 12:37 pm

So far, Gute seems to have done a better job than both the Vikings and Bears GM's who were terminated by their teams this year. In the longer term, Gute's legacy may ride on the play of Love when and if he takes the field for the Packers. He did trade up in the first round to draft him, so there is a lot riding on the outcome. This year, I thought we got some decent production out the draft class and that was done drafting near the bottom as we have done often in recent years and that is not a bad thing. I hope it all turns out well for Gute and the Packers.

10 points
11
1
GregC's picture

January 29, 2022 at 05:09 pm

I don't think Gute's legacy rides on Love. That's only one pick, although obviously it was a big one. Even good GM's often miss on first-round players. If Love fails, Gutekunst will have other opportunities to find a QB. He's done well enough so far to have earned the right to stick around for at least a couple more years, regardless of what happens with Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love.

1 points
3
2
Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 30, 2022 at 09:21 am

There is certainly truth to what you say regarding the failure of first round picks failing to meet expectations.

For the Packers, the Tony Mandarich pick is the most obvious selection I can think of off the top of my head which occurred in 1989 with the second pick in the first round. Especially in such a talented draft considering out of the first five players selected all are in the NFL Hall of Fame except for Mandarich: Troy Aikman, Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, and Deion Sanders.

2 points
2
0
Gee's picture

January 30, 2022 at 01:43 pm

Hmm Comparing Gute with Pace and Spielman, is a real low bar. Besides if I'm honest right now the Viks have the best pick right now in Jefferson and the Bears have the pick with the supposedly most upside in Fields. All I care about is this question, is Gute is doing than the person he replaced? For me the answer is yes. TT last five years or so, were just bad IMO and too many misses in the premium rounds 1 - 3. Look no further then Watt- King and don't get started with Thornton, Perry, and Worthy picks. Ugh

1 points
1
0
Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 31, 2022 at 12:58 pm

Had the Packers not been so successful during the regular season, Jefferson would likely be wearing Green and Gold instead of being a Viking. Thus when comparing the draft and the success of a General Manager, where they make their selections within the framework of the draft itself does make a significant difference.

It worked the same when we were kids playing pickup ball. Each captain would pick among the kids playing and when we finished picking who we wanted, the last couple of kids being picked were likely not nearly as good as the first one or two.

2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:42 pm

I’d give Stokes an A+ for a rookie. Healthy, not a liability and effective and athleticism obviously apparent. He should only get better. Looks like we got great future value for his pick, we certainly did this year. Made the team better as a rookie.

Myers I’d grade at C at best, given availability, where he was picked and performance. He shouldn’t have played on his return in retrospect. That’s not to say I don’t like his potential, but he never really got settled. Humphrey comparisons are premature at this point, although Humphrey wins on availability.

Newman is tough. He’s got all the physical tools and can really run block as well as protect against vanilla, hence his all pre-season ratings. Unfortunately he was bamboozled too easily by NFL coordinators. He did get better. By the end, he’d improved considerably. I think we would have been better with Patrick at C and him at RG against the 49ers. As a rookie guard, he’s probably a physically better player than expected and he did seem to learn as time passed. He was a third day pick. I think he exceeded expectations for one as a rookie and shows plenty of upside. B.

I would grade Slaton a little higher, for a 5th round pick I think he’s ahead of the curve and shows a lot of potential upside. B-.

Hill I will grade lower. He took himself out on a knucklehead decision and thus availability counts against him, but I think former UDFA Taylor is ahead of him starting next year. C- A little less than expected, despite being a 7th.

SJC was awful except on STs where he was OK. McDuffie did so little it’s possibly incomplete. However, we picked SJC up for potential not readiness, so it’s hard to say he disappointed. At this point neither challenge for anything other than STs. Based on playing time, C- and D respectively. I’d hoped McDuffie would make at least some impact on STs. He couldn’t even get activated mostly in a year where help was needed.

Van Lanen gets an incomplete. He did about as much (or little) as I expected. He needs development and that was known. If he can take strides in the weight room and preseason then he might prove valuable depth in a year where Turner and Kelly likely leave. It’s up to him, but nothing to go on yet.

Rodgers was completely unprepared for what we threw at him and looked overwhelmed. Trying to convert him from a player schemed open in space to a full route tree receiver was an enormous ask. I expected him to be used as an option type this year, akin to Ervin. We never saw him handed off to and, when we did play him didn’t play to his strengths. He looked to be unsure and overthinking and nothing like the athlete one sees on film. D- because of where we picked him, but I really think the coaching staff get an F for how they handled him. Next year will tell whether he can come through this and start to show if he is an ugly duckling or not.

6 points
6
0
dobber's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:44 pm

Agree on Newman. A B is fitting for a day-3 rookie who started capably for essentially the whole season.

4 points
4
0
Alberta_Packer's picture

January 29, 2022 at 03:42 pm

Excellent supplementary CW - though we differ on Humphrey - who earned the PFF 1st team all-pro honors and is seen by many as one of the top rookies from last season's draft class. Still, I think Myers will be a good center, and "yes", he should have remained on the IR.

Upon 2nd thought - this year may have been unfair to Rodgers - so a 2nd developmental year should be owed him before any final verdict is made.

1 points
2
1
Coldworld's picture

January 29, 2022 at 04:11 pm

I’m not knocking Humphrey. I’m pointing out that I don’t know what Myers is. Promise but too little availability to really judge and hampered by an injury for part of what we did see.

2 points
2
0
stevebooth8739@gmail.com's picture

January 31, 2022 at 03:31 pm

Interesting situation with the two Centers drafted. Each of them had positives and negatives coming out of the draft. Humphries had more medical issues but was considered by many to have a higher upside.

Myers was bigger and better built and had excellent experience. We really don't know what the University staffs said about either of them.

They were a horse a piece. And, the Packers have been significantly burned in the past by medical issues.

0 points
0
0
GregC's picture

January 29, 2022 at 05:13 pm

What struck me most about Amari Rodgers was that he just did not look like a dynamic player. He looked kind of slow, and I didn't see him make any good moves. He did not flash at all, not on one single play as far as I can remember. I hope that was just the result of him overthinking, but I'm skeptical at this point.

4 points
4
0
stockholder's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:03 pm

They played well. Gutey wants the Fit. So forget the BPA. I understand the grades. But don't like the better player being passed over.

-4 points
2
6
dobber's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:44 pm

"Gutey wants the Fit. So forget the BPA."

Since when is the player who is a bad fit the BPA?

6 points
8
2
stockholder's picture

January 29, 2022 at 03:13 pm

Huh? Do you understand the meaning of BEST Player AVAILABLE?

-4 points
2
6
dobber's picture

January 29, 2022 at 03:55 pm

Personally I think a wrecking bar is the best TOOL available pretty much all the time, but it's awful for setting a screw.

I think we both have to settle for being mostly clueless, then.

2 points
4
2
jurp's picture

January 30, 2022 at 09:46 am

Apparently you fail to comprehend that the best player available for one team may not be the best player available for other teams. For example, 23 teams decided that Aaron Rodgers was not the Best Player Available in the 2005 draft, yet for the Packers he was definitely the Best Player Available.

-2 points
1
3
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 30, 2022 at 11:04 pm

Stockholder,
I don't typically question the teams draft choices too much because they know so much more than we do.

However, I like Myers and he is going to be a very good player. However, I have a feeling Myers was chosen for Rodgers and more of a passing game. Should Rodgers be traded the Packers undoubtedly will become a run first team with Love. I wonder in this scenario if Humphries would now be the preferred choice?

1 points
1
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 30, 2022 at 11:04 pm

Stockholder,
I don't typically question the teams draft choices too much because they know so much more than we do.

However, I like Myers and he is going to be a very good player. However, I have a feeling Myers was chosen for Rodgers and more of a passing game. Should Rodgers be traded the Packers undoubtedly will become a run first team with Love. I wonder in this scenario if Humphries would now be the preferred choice?

0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:17 pm

I've been as critical of Royce Newman as anyone, but for a 4th round guy to come in, lock down a starting job from day 1, and play reasonably well, that is a quite a feat. He got better as the season went on, and not everyone does. If Hill gets a C+ for spot duty and injury, and Jean-Charles gets a C- for playing special teams, then Royce Newman is an A- for starting on offense the whole year.

13 points
13
0
Swisch's picture

January 29, 2022 at 02:30 pm

Interesting decisions to not play Nijman and Newman in the playoff game against the 49ers.
A related matter is whether Myers was adequately ready to go for the playoff game as far as his both injury and time to get back in form.
Then there's the matter of Bakh coming back for the last game of the regular season, but not being able to be on the field for the playoffs. What happened with that?
Have we received answers from LaFleur about these decisions?
This may be a good subject matter for CHTV to probe for an article.
One point for discussion is whether continuity from a makeshift line that seemed to be effective and performing increasingly well as a unit would have been better in the playoffs than trying to plug in guys returning from injury who may not have been adequately healed or sufficiently rounded into form.
Then there's the matter of moving Turner from right tackle to left tackle, while inserting Kelly at right tackle seemingly from out of nowhere.
It seems a curious handling of our blockers, and it would be good to explore what happened to the good and the bad.

7 points
7
0
LeotisHarris's picture

January 29, 2022 at 02:59 pm

Swisch, Nagler's January 25th CHTV piece, David Bakhtiari wants you to know what's up, will give you the details you seek on Bakhtiari.

6 points
6
0
dblbogey's picture

January 29, 2022 at 03:51 pm

I think they overthought this and made a bad decision. It should have been
Yosh, Runyan, Myers, Patrick and Turner.

11 points
11
0
dobber's picture

January 29, 2022 at 03:56 pm

I think you're right: they outsmarted themselves and ended up with a line that was less than the sum of its parts.

6 points
6
0
Coldworld's picture

January 29, 2022 at 04:16 pm

They certainly did in hindsight. The question is who is “they”. I’m inclined to think Rodgers pushed for it once Bakh was out.

2 points
3
1
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 30, 2022 at 04:02 am

OC should have been Patrick with Newman at RG. Probably Nijman at LT and Turner at RT, but that's debatable.

2 points
2
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 30, 2022 at 03:05 pm

No, that group got them where they landed. They should have started.

0 points
0
0
coolhand's picture

January 30, 2022 at 03:15 pm

mlf did the same thing last year against Tampa after Bahk got hurt, putting Turner at LT and that slug from Detroit at RT. He should have moved Jenkins to LT and put Runyan in at LG. It worked earlier in the year.

0 points
0
0
GregC's picture

January 29, 2022 at 08:42 pm

Kelly did not come from out of nowhere, he was the right tackle for most of the second half of the season, but you are right to question the O-line configuration. I had a bad feeling when the opening lineup was announced and Turner was playing left tackle, where he struggled so much in the loss to the Bucs in the playoffs last year. On the other hand, it's possible that any lineup would've been dominated by the 49ers, considering that David Bahktiari and Elton Jenkins were unavailable. That's a serious loss of talent. The poor play of the O-line, not Aaron Rodgers, was the main reason the offense was ineffective against the 49ers.

-4 points
0
4
Swisch's picture

January 29, 2022 at 09:05 pm

It seemed as though the offensive line was doing very well without Bakh and Jenkins, and that our production on offense was considered among the most prolific in the NFL.
***
It wasn't the offensive line that cause Rodgers to neglect a wide-open Lazard for a double-covered Davante on the last play of the game for the Packers offense, and possibly the last of Rodgers' career.
I'd be glad for anyone to look through the rest of the game to see if our receivers were generally well-covered or if there were open receivers that Rodgers was ignoring.
That one play of Rodgers at the end, though, seems to be enough to have cost us the game.
Lazard was so open that he may have been able to run into scoring territory for an eventual field goal or touchdown, which also would have kept the 49ers offense from getting the ball back with as much time on the clock for what turned out to be their final and winning drive.
Against a tough defense such as the 49ers, it was even more critical for Rodgers to take advantage of any opportunities that did arise to move the ball downfield.
***
All of this is not meant to be overly argumentative, Greg, and I appreciate your comment.

6 points
6
0
blacke00's picture

January 30, 2022 at 08:06 am

Very good comments! You hit the nail on the head with your questions about MLF decision making.

MLF decision making needs to be graded. I think he did a rather "piss poor" job of preparing the team for that game. All the questions you brought up are exactly the questions I had. I agree a article on the subject might be interesting.

I think he did a lot over thinking....a real lot! I think these guys (the coaches, MLF in particular) are so wrapped up in their own little world that they can't always make good decisions. This is almost tongue in cheek, but it might pay for these guys (coaches) to ask an "out sider" for opinions. I would almost wager that some of guys on this site (writers and contributors) could contribute a better approach to overall game planning than was done for the 49er game.

2 points
2
0
Swisch's picture

January 30, 2022 at 09:37 am

While a head coach could go crazy listening to all of the fans all of the time, I agree that a head coach would do well to listen to some of the fans some of the time.
It may not be a bad idea for him to have a couple of outsiders he talks with from time to time to get a different perspective on the team.
***
What I would like to know is how much LaFleur listened to Rodgers in making his decisions, including playing Bakh against the Lions.
In general, how much of the influence of Rodgers went into the seemingly contradictory decisions to not play starters in the preseason but to play the starters in a meaningless game at the end of the regular season?
I would think just about any opposing defense would be more dangerous with regard to injuries in a regular season game than in a preseason game -- in the sense that regular season games are more intense with more blitzes and other schemes.

0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

January 29, 2022 at 03:22 pm

It's always interesting to see how players did, especially if you have a viewpoint on the drafted players before they have had a season with the team.

I was fine with Stokes (when drafted), mainly because he has that crazy speed - I didn't love him, but was fine with him. He turned out better than I hoped.

I was OK with Myers (the only o lineman pick I somewhat liked). I think he'll be fine, but he will forever be compared to Creed Humphrey, a perfect 10 RAS score center who has played very well and went with the next pick. Myers may prove more heady in the long run, we'll see.

As for the other O linemen, I didn't think much of Newman or Van Lanen. Newman has not looked that good through a large part of the season, but he was rounding into shape recently and playing better - I think I'm going to be wrong about him. Next year will be the key.

My second favourite pick WR Amari Rodgers ha been a disappointment. However, WRs take time to learn to play at the NFL level, so it is still much too early to dismiss him. As of now though, he isn't showing anything.

My most favourite pick RB Kylin Hill looked good while he was healthy, but got injured........still an incomplete grade on him. I still think he was a steal, but you need to see it on the field.

Of Slaton, Jean-Charles and McDuffie, I liked Slaton the most and McDuffie the least. Going to need another year for all of them to see if they have anything, but Slaton's play has been encouraging.

Overall, not a great year of predicting for me, but hey, you think what you think, sometimes you are right and sometimes you are wrong - you just have to acknowledge when you DO get it wrong, otherwise you are just fooling yourself.

I could go into more detail on the players I did like........but that would take ages. Suffice to say the Lions got many of the 50+ players I liked, while the Packers only took one (RB Hill in round 7).

My overall grade for the 2021 draft after a year - solid - not great but solid.

4 points
4
0
BirdDogUni's picture

January 29, 2022 at 07:18 pm

My biggest disappointment is Amari Rodgers, hand down. He might be the slowest returner I've ever seen. Unless he somehow magically becomes faster, I don't see how he could help the Packers... Ever...

3 points
3
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 30, 2022 at 03:10 pm

A wasted three pick...again they draft a guy with no speed.

0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

January 31, 2022 at 03:34 am

So jannesbjornson, you would have dumped Davante Adams after his rookie year (had a 4.56 40 time before being drafted).

Receivers can win in several ways. Great route running, strength to outmuscle defenders, great height to outreach defenders, great hands to pluck anything near. To focus purely on speed is naive, you must consider the whole package.

While Amari has shown nothing yet, most receivers need at least two years to see what they have.

1 points
1
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 30, 2022 at 04:14 am

A-: Stokes. 1st rounder starts and plays as pretty good starter.
C: Myers. 2nd round centers should be able to start.
D-: Rodgers. Can't run routes, can't return. Hope for better.
C+ Newman. 4th Rd OG started. Got BETTER as year went on.
C+ Slaton. 5th RD DL provided fairly decent snaps.

INC: all the rest.

This doesn't have anything to do with my prognosis for these players. Stokes' grade would be higher as he looks like a late 1st round quality starting CB. Myers looked best early. Not sure if his initial injury hampered him and then the finger and knee. Jury is mostly out for me. I don't see the upside in Rodgers, but maybe there is more speed and burst than was apparent. Newman looked very promising. Looks like physically he can play in the NFL. Love that he improved over the course of the season. If opponents studied tape, they didn't find physical things to exploit and one can hope experience will teach Newman to pick up stunts. Slaton was not as stout as I expected but much quicker. Good stuff there to build upon.

2 points
2
0
HarryHodag's picture

January 30, 2022 at 07:55 am

Myers and Newman were starters on an o-line that produced a 13-4 season. Stokes held up against some of the top receivers in the NFL. Slaton saw considerable playing time on a much improved defense.
Rodgers was the only disappointment. When the team was short receivers at one point of the season he wasn't on the field and that told me much. I think he has the potential to improve, but we'll wait and see.

This draft appears to have provided some solid players for the future. Contrast it to the prior year where Love remains an unknown, Dillon and Runyan are future potential stars, Deguara and Scott could be ok players and the rest are out or on the margin.

The prior year produced three starters: Gary, Savage and Jenkins. What you're seeing is about a 50 percent 'hit' rate, about average for the league. This year's rookies could well produce more long term players than previous years, so as of now, the most recent draft is a good one.

1 points
1
0
mrtundra's picture

January 30, 2022 at 08:02 am

I'd want to give Amari Rodgers more playing time at WR before I give him any kind of grade. As a returner, he left a lot to be desired, on the field. Most of that was due to Kylin Hill being a knucklehead, running the ball out of the end zone, only to get injured and to miss the rest of the season. Give Amari some reps at WR and see how he plays there. He was a good player at Clemson and he deserves a shot at playing his natural position.

0 points
0
0
Duneslick's picture

January 30, 2022 at 12:35 pm

My main problem with Rodgers is not lack of production because he is young it is lack of quickness, speed and running instincts which none of this can be taught. These are major attributes for someone playing his position and i dont see him improving on them.

0 points
0
0
jont's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:30 am

MrT, I agree with everything you've written about Amari, and I am thinking more about your line "I'd want to give Amari Rodgers more playing time at WR before I give him any kind of grade."
True, but why didn't he get that time at WR? Certainly the team needed WR help all year yet he didn't get out there, even with Cobb went down. What did the coaches see... or not see?
Not encouraging.

0 points
0
0