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Pack-A-Day Podcast - Episode 268 - Draft Preview Part 18 - Inside Linebackers

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Pack-A-Day Podcast - Episode 268 - Draft Preview Part 18 - Inside Linebackers

Andrew Mertig and Kyle Fellows are joined by special guest Dan Dahlke to breakdown the inside linebackers in the 2019 NFL draft class. Kyle and Andrew also make their predictions about who the Packers will select in the first round of the draft.

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Andy is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and owns & operates the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Andy has taken multiple courses in NFL scouting and appears weekly on 107.5 The Fan in Green Bay to breakdown film. This past season he was an analyst on Green Bay Nation on WFRV TV in Green Bay. Andy grew up in Green Bay and is a lifelong season ticket holder; follow him on Twitter at @sconniesports.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (47) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Lphill's picture

if Bush or White are there at 12 how can you pass them up? cant make the same mistake as passing on Watt.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

I agree with you & I wonder who thumbed down on you.

90% of the fans plus Kipers/Mcshay/Mayock types would have chosen TJ Watt for the Packers, but TT knew better.

Bush has incredible speed & anticipation. Imagine our defense being known as "fast" and ferocious.

He might be 1 inch shorter than White, but he might be a better NFL football player.

Old School's picture

Still thinking that TJ Watt, playing behind Matthews and Perry, would have done better than Fackrell's 10.5 sacks last year. Fine. And who would have been playing CB?

Watt's a fine player, no doubt. But you have to put an entire team on the field. We finished 8th in sacks last year without him. I don't think he'd have made nearly the impact of a healthy King. Yes, King has been injured, but you don't have any control over that.

I thought King was the right choice then, and I still think he is.

Samson's picture

TT's long gone. --- No need to apologize for him anymore.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Weird there's a scout on the Packers named Ted Thompson. Maybe they are cousins? ~~~~~~~~

Old School's picture

Why on Earth would I have to apologize for a guy who got his team to the Championship game 4 times in 10 years and won a Super Bowl? Not to mention turning around our salary cap situation and being voted Executive of the Year by his peers?

Demon's picture

Old School by that wisdom, do you think Justin Harrel was the right pick too?

As little as King has contributed to the team you can say that he was/is the right choice? In what universe? An UDFA would have provided as much to the Packers as King has to date.

I guess we all need a hero to worship, its too bad yours only did his job the first half of his career.

Old School's picture

I think that when you draft players, you put in all your due diligence. That includes medical history. I don't think you can say "this guy was a bad pick" because he was injured. It happens.

Now, if your medical staff examines these guys and says "There might be a problem here", then that's a different story.

King, when healthy, is a very good cornerback. He's been injured a lot. He's only played in 15 of a possible 32 games. I think writing him off at this point is clearly a case of premature evaluation.

All my heroes are dead. Except Bart Starr. Truly, I don't think I will ever understand why somebody who alleges he's a Packer fan, would come on a Packer fan board, and talk trash about a guy who did a lot of good for the organization for a long period of time. In our 100 year history, Lombardi, Lambeau, and Ron Wolf were better GMs than Thompson. That's some pretty good company, IMO.

Cubbygold's picture

There were tons of stories about the great group of DBs coming out of Washington around the time that King was taken. With how desperate GB was at that position, it was a great pick. Fans who don't understand their own hindsight bias are the worst.

Guam's picture

At the time, CB was a position of dire need. OLB not so much (Mathews, Perry and Fackrell). You can go back to every draft and pick someone better than your draft choice, but King made good sense at the time and he is a good player. I am not defending TT (2015 draft still hurts), but I don't believe King was a bad choice.

jannes bjornson's picture

First of all Watt would beaten out Perry without hesitation. Perry's Dead Cap was the only reason to keep him around the past couple of years. The best Pass rush is a rotation of four Edge people and 3-4 D linemen.
L'attack, toujours, l'attack.

Handsback's picture

Watched a ton of film on White, and he definitely won't be a bust. Also don't think he's a top ten player. I know I'll get a bunch of blow-back, but he's not under control when he's attacking the LOS. He gets there fast, but not in control. So for Green Bay's team....less bam and more chase would work for me.
So IMHO...he's a top 15 player, but not top ten and definitely not top 5. I'm not going to review film on Bush, lack of time/effort/lazy, but don't think ILB will be a pick at 12.

Old School's picture

That's almost exactly what I see, and I agree that he's not a Top 5, but he's definitely a top 15. All along, I have said that somebody would fall to us, because somebody always does, and I've thought that person would be White.

We need a starter at ILB, and if White is there, I think we'll take him. Our ILB group right now is the last year of his deal...Burks, and not much else. Ryan is gone. We need a starter.

As he ages and gets experience he'll have better control. If you put him in the middle of your defense, your defense gets better.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Antonio Morrison was brought in for Pipkins who would have been cut. Pettine made good use of him. Do we need an elite ILB in Pettine's scheme? I'd rather see the #12 pick invested in the DL if the right player falls to the Packers.

OS do you see Josh Jones as an ILB/Safety/and or Bust?

Old School's picture

I think Josh Jones is a good football player who doesn't have a position.

You can't play him at safety in the base, because teams will just spread out and isolate him in coverage and we'll get hurt. You can't play him at ILB in the base because he's just not stout enough to fight off a 315 lb guard, a 250 lb fullback, and then make a tackle.

I look at him and kind of see Von Miller, actually. I think he'd be best as a weakside backer in a 4-3.

You may think we don't need an elite ILB, but if Martinez gets hurt, who are we going to line up? If we'd get White, or even Bush, we'd have an option. Similarly, this could be Martinez' last year in Green Bay and we'd have the same issue next year....who are we going to line up.

Our DL has two players in their contract year, Lowry and Daniels, and I'm assuming we'll resign one of them. We also have Clark under contract. Montravius Adams is in the third year of his rookie deal. Lancaster played a lot of snaps for us, and he's under contract.

So that's 5 right there, and we normally have 5 on the active roster.

Additionally, we could resign Wilkerson if we choose to....he's still available. And we have Fadol Brown, Eric Cotton, James Looney and Deon Simon competing for any remaining spots and all of them are practice squad eligible.

I'm not seeing a DL early in the draft this year. Perhaps next year, but I think that barring injury in training camp, you'll see Daniels, Clark, Lowry, Adams, and Lancaster as the 5 active guys on opening day.,

Guam's picture

I would be happy with either DL or ILB with our first choice. We definitely need some help at ILB as we really just have Martinez and Burks right now. Whether the help is at #12 or later I think depends on how the draft falls. It could also be Josh Jones if he puts on some weight. I am not high on Adams and believe we could use another DL. That could be Wilkinson or a draft choice. My hope is the Gute uses #12 on the best defensive player available. I am tired of watching other teams run a track meet over our defense.

jannes bjornson's picture

The Big guys are the priority and Edge. Without the D line causing trouble the O-line would just blow White or Bush back five yards. Not too many Ray Lewis' running about the planet.

Titletown tremor's picture

The injuries we had late last year showed how terrible our depth on the d-line was. With the pending free agency of Daniels, and our lack of quality depth, d line is a major need and if a d line player grades out and is available at our spot, I see us spending an early (rounds 1-4) on a two gapping d lineman. I think it’s almost certain.

Demon's picture

Put me down for Jones being a bust.

Old School's picture

Lots of people thought Arod was a bust after two years. And Fackrell. There's a reason these guys sign 4 year deals and are rarely released during that time. Being a 21 year old in college playing against future PE teachers is different from playing against 27 year old men who spend the entire offseason in the weight room. It takes some time.

I'd also point out that Jones has had two defensive coordinators in two years. And as I've mentioned before, considering how poorly our defense has played, evaluating individual players is kind of like grading the Titanic survivors on their swimming skills.

He's going to be on the roster this year, and he's going to get snaps. Let's see how he does.

Barazinho's picture

Trading down and getting Bush in the later teens/20's would be more appropriate. If one of the edge guys is there (and they pick him at 12), Bush is not be realistic at 30. Getting an additional 2nd or 3rd rounder would be a good backup option - maybe get Thornhill and Winovich in the 2nd with the 2 picks.

Samson's picture

About 152 hours & the Pack's roster improves once more. -- I have little idea what Gute will pull off but regardless, it'll be a massive improvement over TT's last 4 or 5 drafts. -- Really feels like the Pack are headed toward being a complete team (instead of just AR).

Old School's picture

So the guy who was Director of Scouting under Thompson, and then promoted by Thompson to be Director of Player Personnel, is going to be a massive improvement over Thompson?

From 2014 until 2017....Thompson's last 4 drafts, we drafted Jamal Williams and Aaron Jones, Kyler Fackrell and Dean Lowry, Davante Adams, Corey Linsley, Kenny Clark, Clinton-Dix, and a host of others. In fact, 30 players that Thompson drafted in those four years are still in the league, and many of them are starters for the Packers or some other team.

Please go ahead and tell me all the GMs who did better over that period of time. I'll wait.

leche's picture

He also swung and missed a lot in those drafts, particularly in the earlier rounds...
2014- Khyri Thornton was a 3rd round pick that never played, Carl Bradford was a 4th round pick that never played. Both of those guys aren't in the league anymore
2015- Damarious Randall was a 1st round pick who never lived up to it and we traded away for peanuts. Quinten Rollins was a 2nd round pick who was never able to take over a starting role and was released after 3 years. Ty Montgomery was a 3rd round draft pick who never did anything until we converted to RB out of desperation and then cut.
2016- Jason Spriggs was a 2nd round bust. Kyler Fackrell was a 3rd round pick who was completely lost his first 2 seasons (and still is against the run) who has made 9 starts in 3 years and despite 15.5 sacks in 45 games, he only has 9.5 in 43 of those
2017- Kevin King was a wasted use of our 1st round pick that could have been TJ Watt... He's played 15 games over 2 seasons. Josh Jones and Montravious Adams both look like busts who can barely get on the field from the 2nd and 3rd rounds respectively...

Those early round draft picks need to be guys who can come in and make meaningful contributions and take over the starting job sooner rather than later... This last 4 years has been a lot more misses than hits for him

Old School's picture

Every GM in the NFL swung and missed a bunch too. It's the nature of the beast.

Lphill's picture

There was another bust d line pick can’t even remember his name. From UCLA I think

Jonathan Spader's picture

@LPHill Datone Jones 2013 1st round pick.

Samson's picture

Gute has a set. -- TT never did. -- Makes a difference.
My guess: you have a large framed pic of TT over your fireplace mantel.
Embrace the future --- You're living in the past.

Old School's picture

And what is Gute's set? I would LOVE to hear you explain this, as well as how you know what his set is, and that Thompson didn't have one.

I suspect it's just another one of your baseless assertions.

Samson's picture

It's called a set of balls. (aggressiveness, fortitude, fearless, ....)

Old School's picture

Well, you probably know more about other guys balls than I do.

Samson's picture

Another old perv. --- Too bad your comrades (Kirk, Dash, etc.) aren't here anymore to back your BS.

Demon's picture

Youre not exactly namIng the NFC probowl roster there Old School. Kenny Clark excellent pick. Adams very good pick. Linley good value. Fackrell still unknown. Clinton Dix? Ygbsm right?

With all this talent, we can see why the packers have won the last 2 superbowls. Oh wait......

Samson's picture

OSchool has a habit of grabbing at 'selective' data to make his case for embracing the past. -- He'll need to get "onboard the train" when the new GB Pack finish the 2019 regular season with 11 or 12 wins in the regular season & a solid run in the playoffs. -- Believe me, the North Division will be kneeling before the Pack again starting in a few months.

Old School's picture

Samson has a habit of making this personal. He can't just disagree on the issues, he has to make it about the person.

30 players in four years who are still in the league. Fact. Not a selective fact. An absolute fact. Even more amazing when you only start with 7 picks each year, so that's 28 if you hit on every single one.

And if the 2019 Packers have 11 or 12 wins, it'll be with quite a few players that Thompson drafted. The starting QB, starting RB, #1 WR, and just about the entire starting offensive and defensive line.

I would be willing to be quite a bit of money that Gutekunst will not make it to 4 Championship games in the next 10 years.

Samson's picture

I'm dismayed that you take everything so personally. -- Truth is simple: -- Most of your posts are negative about today's Pack. -- You're always talking about what has been -- instead of looking forward to the positive changes that have occurred since MM/TT took the bus out of town.

Maybe you need to skip the next 2-4 seasons as a Pack Fan. -- Switch teams. -- Sounds to me like you're a perfect candidate to be a Viking Fan.

Old School's picture

Most of your posts are about me, and not football. I don't know why I arouse you so much. Maybe it's my set.

Samson's picture

Another one of your delusions.
I try valiantly to avoid your posts because you repeat yourself over & over & over & over again.
You need some new material. --- Try being 2019 Pro-Packer instead of emulating your idols all the time (Kirk, Dash, etc.)

I'm inviting you to the light. -- You need to leave the darkside behind.

Demon's picture

Thats an empty bet. There is a very good chance that gute will not get to NFCCG 4 times in the next 10 years. TT had a once in a generational talent at QB. Those dont come walking thru the door every day.

If Gute is able to get to the NFC CG before AR retires with the roster that he inherited it would be a huge success.

Old School, you can not belive that Ted did the best job he could have. you are welcome to believe your delusions. TT stunk at his job for years but he wasnt alone. You can add MM to that list too.

At least Murphy did see there was a problem. Albeit 4 years too late. The change in management structure which i dont like was put in place because of the failures of TT and MM.

No more free passes and no more guys sleeping in their office or skipping meetings for massages. Accountability for management , coaches and players. About time!!

Old School's picture

A once in a generation talent? Like Drew Brees? Like Russell Wilson? Like Patrick Mahomes? Like all the other future HOF QBs in the league? Roethlisberger? Manning? Manning? Brady?

Here's the deal: Aaron Rodgers is a very good QB. So are lots of other guys. And how did the Packers end up with Rodgers?

We were in the NFC Championship game in 2014 and 2016. If you consider that a failure, then you're entitled to your opinion but I don't share it.

Old School's picture

So that's the standard? Only Pro Bowl players? Just solid, legitimate, NFL players don't count? all the organizations that won more Super Bowls than the Packers during Thompson's tenure. New England, the Giants, Pittsburgh. That's it.

leche's picture

Since Thompson was hired (I won't include that Super Bowl a month later):
Patriots have won 3
Steelers have won 2
Giants have won 2
Packers have won 1
Colts have won 1
Saints have won 1
Ravens have won 1
Seahawks have won 1
Broncos have won 1
Eagles have won 1

That's like a third of the league... He's had 2 of the most talented QBs ever for his entire tenure and he did something that a third of the league did in his timeframe... That's not nearly as good as you think it is.

Especially considering:
Patriots have been to 5
Steelers have been to 3
Seahawks have been to 3
Giants have been to 2
Colts have been to 2
Packers have been to 1
Bears have been to 1
Cardinals have been to 1
Saints have been to 1
Ravens have been to 1
Niners have been to 1
Broncos have been to 1
Panthers have been to 1
Falcons have been to 1
Eagles have been to 1

That's half the league... He's shooting league average with a Favre+Rodgers QB... Still think his tenure was commendable?

Old School's picture

Yeah, those other teams had garbage at QB. I mean, Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger, Manning, Manning, Wilson, Ryan, etc.

How did we end up with Rodgers again?

Demon's picture

Since you think going to NFC title games is such a major accomplishment. When i get a minute i will look up title games since thompson hs been gm and compare against the rest of the leage. The results i would assume to be average.

Old School's picture

I think that of the GMs in my lifetime, he ranks below Lombardi and Wolf and ahead of everybody else.

stockholder's picture

What aren't we seeing? Thats the question! Did we see the division opponents getting stronger! Did we see Arron Rodgers getting hurt? Did we see two seasons of losing? What we saw was pressure to hit on every draft. Rebuilding the secondary. Wasting Arron Rodgers window,( to win another Super-Bowl.) And players of quality, leaving. 1. Our biggest failure has been giving up on players. Drafting the immature player! Giving away picks. Comparing players to other players. Lets just stop. The packers have issues. The players that made the jump are Adams and Jones. We brought in FAs that are going to show more then the ones their replacing. And your telling me we want a TE/OL over DL. What planet are you guys from? College kids are Kids. You won't pick @12 again, ( if you keep believing you'll be winners next year.) You will never get the trench to win a big game. Because the top 10 is about DEFENSE! It will always be what Arron Rodgers can Do. Nothing will change. The way to change a game is with defense. If the packers don't get a DL in the first round, They will never return to the glory years. You can't buy a defense.. You have to draft it. Teams Lock up their BEST defensive stars. Some escape due to cap. What player do the packers have on defense they can lock up. They formed a better defense to help them win. Don't slam the door now. Defense must be picked in the first round.

RickInCali's picture

I strongly agree with this. I will say though..... If we can’t get Burns or Oliver - we have got to move down. To reach for either of the consensus top 2 ILB would be a horrible overpay. There isn’t a CB worth 12. There isn’t a safety worth 12 and please don’t try to sell me on any other DT being worth 12 — if you watch tape.....even Oliver is scary with his height issue if we didn’t have the Smiths. The Clemson guy at 12? Horrendous reach. Watch Sweat vs Risner (I watched every snap) and you’ll be with me that this dude is a hard pass....even without a heart condition.

I am also not taking DK or a TE that is likely to play 30% of snaps this year. We could easily go OT if we needed a Left Tackle but you are going to go with that at 12 when the guy would have to play out of position (if at all)?

Also don’t buy into “you need a trade partner”. Seattle has no picks and we have a ton. There is a deal to be done there. Pats have a ton of choice picks in the heart of value territory, along with the Texans. The Raiders have those 2 lower 1sts and need to show they made good decisions on Mack and Cooper. I trust BG to make the most of this. I think he has made shrewd moves across-the-board thus far. Good acquisitions, good decisions on whom to let leave, and a great decision on getting MM out when an opportunity presented itself.

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