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Packers Draft Special: Re-setting Team Needs

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Packers Draft Special: Re-setting Team Needs

Day one of NFL free agency came and went.  Green Bay signed no one, and Packers fans took to the internet to show their dismay by panicking in a very complete and total way.  Then we all went to bed and woke up the next morning.  Green Bay spent day two of free agency as a very busy front office.

The Packers first agreed to terms with Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Za'Darius Smith.  That kicked off the day's festivities and caused Packers Twitter to awaken.

Player Position Rank
Jimmy Graham TE1 48th of 70
Byron Bell RG1 70th of 77
Josh Jackson/Kevin King CB2 ~95th of 112
Tramon Williams S1 67th of 93
Josh Jones S2 70th of 93

The Packers also identified pass rush (correctly) as a place that needed to be improved.  Green Bay didn't have excellent grades in that area, but they weren't in the bottom 30%.  Kyler Fackrell ranked 43rd out of 103 qualifiers at EDGE, Clay Matthews 59th.

Let's view things in percentiles now, and compare the 2018 holes that were addressed with their replacements.

2018 Starter Position Rank & Percentile Replacement Rank & Percentile
Byron Bell RG1 70th/77 = 9th Billy Turner 33rd/77 = 57th
Tramon Williams S1 67th/93 = 28th Adrian Amos 8th/77 = 90th
Kyler Fackrell EDGE1 43rd/103 = 58th Preston Smith 19th/103 = 82nd
Clay Matthews EDGE2 59th/103 = 43rd Zadarius Smith 33rd/103 = 68th

So to put the above research in the simplest terms, if you go by PFF's rankings, Byron Bell's film says that he is as good or better than 9 percent of the guards playing in the league.  Billy Turner's film is as good or better than 57% of the guards playing in the league.

What's the big deal?  Why is that so cool?  Where there are two reasons really.  The first is that there is tremendous value in having the baseline of your lineup be more that of an average player instead of having multiple true liabilities on the field.  Good teams have average starters.  What they don't usually have are train wrecks.

Beyond that I would argue, and so would PFF, that Amos and Both Smiths range something closer to "good" or in Amos' case "elite".  Even just making it that much closer to competency at most positions is a massive move forward.  The only issues that haven't been tended to are cornerback, a spot where Green Bay has two top 50 draftees in a position that more often than not takes a few years of NFL development, and tight end (though they did re-sign Marcedes Lewis).  That's a position that needs to get taken care of in the draft.

Speaking of the draft, that brings me to the second point that I'm making.  What the Packers really did here was purchase the ability to be flexible in the draft.  

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Ross Uglem is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @RossUglem 

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (138) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

If TJ HOCKENSON is the BEST TE prospect in years why would you not draft him at #12 or move down a little get some extra picks and then move back up.

How many times and years and late round draft picks and free agency do we have to deal with 30+ year old TE. Let's get the TE position FIXED once and for ALL !!

Wasn't it nice to not have to worry about the QB position or out LT position where we can on other positions?

jannes bjornson's picture

Offense will ge t attention with the #12 or #30. Depends which defender falls. If they get picked higher then an offensive difference maker will be selected. You cannot have three and outs. Your defense could be rated #1 but if its on the field all day you will lose in the fourth quarter.

stockholder's picture

First off Fant will go before Hoek. 2. Any TE will not see the field. The hole is ILB and Wilkerson. The biggest mistake in Packers draft history will be taking a TE. Defense wins games. Not TEs. You want 3 down starters or a bench warmer?

Dragon5's picture

not to mention the right side (Daniels) becomes FA next year

Doug Niemczynski's picture

The biggest holes are the Packers not converting on 3rd downs on offense and not getting TDs in the RED ZONE and Hockensen TE will you give you both FANT cannot except deep passing threat and then ee kick a lousy good for nothing FG.

And, not stopping opposing teams on 3rd down

So Gute use your magic and figure it out now!

Dragon5's picture

as long as they dump Graham...

jannes bjornson's picture

Dragon, how do the numbers lay out for the draft's success?

dobber's picture

"The biggest holes are the Packers not converting on 3rd downs on offense and not getting TDs in the RED ZONE and Hockensen TE will you give you both FANT cannot except deep passing threat and then ee kick a lousy good for nothing FG."

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to steal second base or launch the missiles.

The TKstinator's picture

Who is “Hoek”?

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

LOL!

Good one!

dobber's picture

That bastard in the funky hat who wouldn't leave Peter Pan alone?

packerbackerjim's picture

Biggest draft mistake? How about Bruce Clark, Jim Stillwagon, Jerry Tagge , Rich Campbell, Tony Mandarich?

Nick Perry's picture

OR...Jamal Reynolds, Justin Harrell, or trading away the chance to draft TJ Watt...should we keep going...Sigh...

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Packerbackerjim,
Please STOP! Please!

Such bad memories...

BoCallahan's picture

If you are going to say, Stillwagon, you might as well add Madison to your list. They were both 5th round picks.

Dzehren's picture

Wilkerson DL from Clemson is growing on me. Pro Football focus & Daniel Jeremiah from NFL Network have Wilkerson ranked as the 5th best prospect yet most project him to go after pick 20.... Charles Davis just projected Wilkerson to GB @ 12 earlier today.

Rak47's picture

Wilkerson? I think you mean Christian Wilkins.

Dzehren's picture

RAK47 yes- ur correct- Wilkins—. Thanks

jannes bjornson's picture

Wilkens dominated the D line for that group. Dexter lawrence, Ferrell is rated right behind Bosa and Allen for the Edge. You have to look at their complete body of work on that team. There is a reason they won the National Championship. You want these achievers on your squad.

sherrmann1806's picture

Here is my 2 cents worth regarding Christian Wilkins..........DO WHATEVER U HAVE TO DO TO DRAFT THAT GUY! He, in my opinion is going to be an ELITE STUD AND MULTI PRO BOWL player!!

As a matter of fact, i would LOVE for the packers to see if they could trade up to get Linebacker Devin white who i think will also be an elite stud multi pro bowler and possible Hall of Fame type career! Then find a way to package your 30th with additional picks to acquire Wilkins!!

If u get those two.........then u may very well have set yourself up with these future studs to be Superbowl contender within the next year or two! once again, just my two cents worth and prediction!........don't get me wrong, there are numerous guys in this draft that have a chance to be elite stud talents...the guys that i mentioned...are my favorites!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Exactly!! He is Gronk and Kelce rolled into one.
I hope :)

Monsmoy's picture

I agree with much of what you say, but not all. ILB is now the main D need and Bush after a trade back to around 17 would be perfect. However, if Fant goes first there is a good chance Hock could be there at 30 and that would be a win. Instead of it being the "biggest mistake in Packer's history" it would be a a great acquisition

jannes bjornson's picture

Gutekunst has his pick of the litter. Wilkens is starting to make sense. Daniels is gone next year and we do not know if he will hold up this season. Remember when he went down the inside pressure suffered and opponents ran on the Pack. If Simmons was available it would be a toss up between them. Oliver is a consideration, but he may not fit a 3-4 scheme. Grab a TE in the second round. Sternberger is moving up boards and Josh Oliver can play the seam as well as Fant. #30 should be a FS or OT.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

No way FANT goes before HOCK.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Prepare for the inevitable Doug! By it happening it may allow Hock to slip to the Packers at #30.

Rak47's picture

Fants sub 4.5 time in the 40 along with his workout and measurements most likely pushed him to the top of the TE's list.

4thand10's picture

So how do we know Clay isn’t taking Jake Ryan’s place? Ebron was a first round prototype TE at the time he was drafted...6’4 250. He was taken 1st Rd #10. 750 yards with the Colts. Graham had 636...on a very Gimpy Packers team with no WRs outside of Adams and a rushing attack that really didn’t scare anyone. Not to mention 2 to 3 dbs all over him stealing his pocket change in the end zone every time because they knew he was getting the ball.This will be year 2 of Graham and Mercedes Lewis. Yes, they are older but that’s a pretty good tandem.

Yes draft a TE , but I personally wouldn’t spend a top 15 pick on Hock. Not when there’s a NT , RT and a legit #2 WR to be had or even another OLB/ Edge. I also would look at the best big RB on the board.

The stealers for example were better with Brown and JuJu and not just one or the other (just an example). People like to talk about Jermichael Finley around here... his biggest year he had 750 yards, BUT LOOK at the WR talent around him at that time. We don’t have anything close to that kind of WR talent behind Adams.

Swisch's picture

Doug, I almost want the Packers to draft Hockenson just for your sake.
I guess that's because I appreciate your enthusiasm and decisiveness regarding him.
After this momentous free agency for the Packers, we should approach the draft similarly in the sense of picking the players we are really excited about at just about any position (not QB) -- guys we think will be awesome NFL football players.
It seems Hockenson may be one of those guys, and possibly even worthy of pick #12.
Should be a fun weekend of selections!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Thank you sir. And, I'm going to buy my Hockenson Packer Jersey today!!

stockholder's picture

It won't be in Green and Gold!

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Swish,
I just said pretty much the same thing on another thread about loving Doug's enthusiasm for Hock. Have to love the enthusiasm but Gute really cannot afford to lock in on one player as we all know. He really has to assess team needs and best player available.

I really think Hock will be available until anywhere starting around #25 and possibly to just before #30 (believe someone might jump in right before the Packers if they like him enough). Fant mind you could possibly go as high as #12 but I'm thinking more in that #15 - 20 range. I want a big body preferably on the DL like an Oliver or Simmons now that we have the Smiths. I would not complain on White or Burns either. However, without any question Fant being a hybrid TE (more like a WR) would totally change the Packers offense making it explosive. With Lewis re-signed Fant could possibly be that luxury selection allowing the Pack to move back a few spots from #12 and picking up an extra selection. I would be completely on board with a move such as this if at #30 and with the extra selection the Pack draft defense.

Swisch's picture

It does seem that if Hock is available at #12, it would be hard to pass on him with the idea he would still be around at #30 (or even at #20).
If he can block and catch, then it's kind of like drafting a lineman and a receiver in one person.
I like Doug making the tough call to go for Hock at #12 (as I understand him).
Hock may not be the only excellent pick at #I2, but I'd love to have a premier tight end on the Packers -- so I'm in for Hock if he appears to be that guy in the next couple of years (and perhaps a solid contributor right away).
Also, after free agency, I'm leaning toward offense for the draft at tight end and lineman.
My question to Doug is why he likes Hock so much more than Fant and Smith Jr. (with apologies if he's already answered this elsewhere).

Iowapackerfan's picture

Being a Packer fan in Iowa, I've been watching Hockenson and Fant a lot the past two years. Believe me, Hock is better. Who killed the Wisconsin defense this year? Answer: Hockenson, not Fant. Fact is, Hockenson passed up Fant on the Iowa depth chart, and that's why Fant didn't take part in the bowl game. Hockenson is a man, Fant is a whiner. Hockenson has better hands, bigger frame, better blocking skills, more tenacity, and better work ethic. Easy choice. Don't get all excited by some fancy combine numbers.

Nick Perry's picture

Thank you Iowa...… I understand the combine is a valuable tool and the drills they run do provide some useful information about that player. But when such a HUGE deal is made about two tenths of a second it drives me nuts.

Player A out plays player B all year long. He demonstrates he's a better blocker, has better hands, and runs better routes while ON the field playing football yet player B should now be drafted before player A because he ran faster in SPANDEX? Get the heck out of here.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

We say defense every year

Minniman's picture

A good point, but I'd say that a change in coaching regime resets such a "counter" as they will have different takes on the types of players sought.

It's probably cold comfort, but barring a few isolated individuals, at least on paper this year's draft aligns better to the defensive side of things - so as frustrating as the last couple of draft years have been (especially 2015), this is probably not the year to draw such a line.

I personally would be thrilled if the Packers were able to trade down a couple of spots, grab Hock, BPA @ #30 then Simmons early in the second (with said pick) then BPA with the mid-second.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

With your thoughts but would swap out Hock with Fant. Very much like picking up Simmons with a trade up in early round two. I think he will be there for the first 2 or 3 spots in round 2.

Minniman's picture

As contradictory as this may sound (as they have 2 distinctly different playing styles) I wouldn't be despondent if they took Fant over Hock - I guess it would be an early bellweather on how the Packers intend to play offense (and TE) under MLF.

I do see Simmons as the consolation back-pocket high value pick for early in the second round for the team that's prepared to red-shirt most of his first year. Jaylon Smith is repaying that foresight to the Cowboys now.

Gman1976's picture

Here’s my TE Solution: Resign Jared Cook, let Jimmy Graham go, and spend the 2nd or 3rd rounder on best available TE.

WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

It doesn't just matter that he's the best prospect in this year's draft or even in several years. If there are other TEs that can get the job done without using that draft capital, you can pick a player earlier in the round that is at a premium position. And just b/c he's the best TE in awhile, doesn't mean he's better than some of the other players with first round grades. You assign the player a grade, and then pick by grade and not by position. If there are a bunch of players with the same grade, then you pick for need, otherwise pick the higher graded player. He will improve your team more than a lesser rated guy at a position of need.

ILPackerBacker's picture

I love the spirit of optimism and the post is well thought out even though I have a big disagreement with you on the value of PPF. Yet since that is more about the trenches I think there is value in their work and real value in what you wrote.

Thanks, well done.

jannes bjornson's picture

The blue chips will come in the draft. Think Big Picture. There will be capable veterans starting and the greenhorns can pick it up as they go instead of being tossed into the scrum.

Dragon5's picture

White
Oliver
Sweat

Would be nice to have all 3 available at 12. Hopefully we get a run on QBs prior to our pick. Rosen tradebait, particularly to NYG#17 is the match that can start the fire and have DEN, CIN, MIA, WAS get aggressive to trade up for Lock, Haskins, Jones. If Giants do get Rosen, #6 will be a key trade up spot since they're in rebuild mode.

Using the classic Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, If Quinnen Williams is still available at OAK#4, trading #12 #30 #114 #150 for #4 & #106 #140 is ideal trade up scenario assuming GB brass is in love with him and he's far superior to Oliver, Wilkins, or Lawrence who offer better value in the first round. The added perk of this trade would be to get to the top of day 3.
Would be insane to think OAK would then have 4 1st rd picks #12 #24 #27 #30! If all 3 premier TEs end up being forecast as 1st round picks, trading #44 #75 to OAK for #27 can still get us back in the first round to nab a TE before NE does. I'd hate to see us lose a shot at (WR) Hakeem Butler & (S) Amani Hooker though.

stockholder's picture

All three work for me. In Case it doesn't. I have two that should be taken by Gute later in rd. 4. ILB=. David Long 5'11' 227 OLB = Hollins 6'5'' 248

albert999's picture

love it!

puffybabyman's picture

Love David Long. Has a knack for being able to knife through the OL despite his size. Very underrated. Hard pass on TE at 12 from me also. Not a position I consider worthy of ever drafting that high.

jannes bjornson's picture

They could all be gone by the 10th pick.

Cubbygold's picture

I like this idea. If, as the author is stating, the roster has no glaring immediate needs, then the correct play is to decrease the number of picks and increase the quality. Go get the #1 guy on our board.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

The Josh Jones train is about to leave the station if he doesn't get it done this year.

I really hope it does. Very athletic guy. I'm not 100% sure what his problem is exactly.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I mean I hope he gets his issues fixed on the field, otherwise we have WASTED a 2nd round pick along with our other 2nd Jason Spriggs pick.

Both of these guys were TEAM NEEDS and they failed us. And, don't forget one of our biggest BUSTS at #10 DE- Jamaal Reynolds (Florida State)

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Dragon,
Lots to think about there!

I really like Butler and seems like he might have a chance of being available at #30, however and this is really thinking out of the box. With all the Packers needs they need either a good TE or a good slot WR (preferably both) but they do not likely have the draft capital to pick-up top notch guys at each position.

Butler makes zero sense to draft IMO unless the Packers move Adams to the slot WR where he would absolutely dominate. This would resolve the slot WR issue. I could even see the Packers doing this even without selecting another WR as long as Geronimo and the 2nd year WR's show strong promise. If the Packers made the later moves above and did select a Fant or Hock I really do think the Packers offense would be unstoppable (if they picked up another OL and possibly if Madison came back bolstering the OL).

I know the Adams move to slot WR probably messes with many people's mind because why mess with a good thing right? Adam's is not fast but he sure is twitchy with great instincts and movements. Strength, size, soft hands, and leaping ability. The guy would dominate inside even more than outside. By moving him in it would give all the other WR's a chance to grow and flourish if the powers to be deem them quality WR's.

Dragon5's picture

Butler profiles best to be on the outside, but also played A LOT of slot 2 years ago. The most overlooked aspect of slot imo is hands, cuz missed / tipped balls in the middle are highly susceptible to get picked. He says he fixed his drops so we'll see. Versatility of using both Adams & Brown in the slot keeps D coordinators guessing even more.

Of Moore, MVS, and Brown, I believe Brown emerges as best of that trio and pushes Allison for #2WR by end of '19. I'm all for trading MVS and / or Moore now and especially sell high if they exceed expectations this year.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

I agree about St. Brown.

Have no idea how Moore is going to turn out but believe of the 3 rookie WR's he would translate best to slot (assuming he can catch the ball). More compact, strongest of three, and used in KO's for reason.

I love Butler...I really do but a real luxury pick. However, I have been saying the Pack now will have one luxury pick after FA and I am positive it will be on the offensive side

jannes bjornson's picture

Dragon don't forget about Alan Lezard. He may become the short field possession guy. Great hand s and route running ability, just slow off the line. He has the strength to handle press coverage.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

Is it really too early to give up on Josh Jones? I think he’s a backup/special teams guy at best.

Jonathan Spader's picture

There's a reason rookies are on 4 year contracts not 1 or 2. Pettine has shown that he has the ability to use his defensive players effectively. Josh Jones has elite athleticism it seems like his football IQ is what's been holding him back. He looks lost or lut of place more often than not. If Pettine can carve out a role for him, keep it simple, and the light bulb turns on for JJ he could be a lot of fun to watch.

CJ Bauckham's picture

Josh is also on his second coordinator in 3 years, and like everyone else, is only in his second year in Pettine's system. Imo, if after this year he's still floundering, then you can consider giving up on him

jeremyjjbrown's picture

This is great work Ross!

Packer Fan's picture

I thought the article was good too.

Lphill's picture

Packers checking out Devin Bush today, how great would it be to have Devin White or Bush in the middle. the defense would be set for years . Irv Smith Jr is my choice for tight end, the Patriots are going tight end at 32 so we cant pass him at 30 because Hockson and Fant will be gone at 30 if the Pack go defense at 12.

stockholder's picture

Seen 1 mock that has us taking Bush @12

Dragon5's picture

Bush=7 life path (most prone to injury)
Other 7s in first two rounds where I'd think twice...

-Dwayne Haskins
-DK Metcalf
-Jeffrey Simmons
-Jerry Tillery
-Mack Wilson
-Kelvin Harmon

Does anyone have dob for Cody Ford & Andre Dillard? Can't find them online...one site has Dillard 10-03-2001 which I find difficult to believe.

Dzehren's picture

Dillard & Ford are both seniors in college..... Can't find DOB either

BradHTX's picture

“7 life path”? What does this mean?

jannes bjornson's picture

Thank you Dragon. I would avoid all of the above even w/out knowing the life path. Hai !

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

SH,
I would be wildly thrilled if this happened!

The TKstinator's picture

If you look at enough mocks you’ll see GB taking almost everybody.

Iowapackerfan's picture

Smith is too short. 'Bama listed him at 6'4" but he measured 6'2" at the combine. Too short for an NFL tight end in my opinion.

Rak47's picture

Not buying into Irv Smith. At 6'2 240 lbs he's only about two Big Mac's heavier than D.K. Metcalf, a WR. I'm not convinced Smith can block and seal the edges in the zone running scheme at 240lbs.

Packer Fan's picture

I am excited. I always felt that adding just one edge rusher was not enough. Well, Gute goes and gets two very good, above average edge rushers. Amos is a good safety with his head on right - obviously better than Dix. Turner brings an ability that's good enough. Yes one or two may not pan out, but that happens with players that you have on salary, like Perry.

Regarding the draft. If an elite player comes up at 12, take him. Other wise trade down a few to get another 2nd or 3rd rounder. Bush, Oliver, Hockensen, or whoever they think is best. Remember, we all want a specific player, but the draft is so variable that it is difficult to get the players we name. Gotta trust Gute to pick guys like Alexander and bring in good depth.

jannes bjornson's picture

Depending who may fall from the QB over reach, it makes sense to move down 2-3 slots. A lot of depth in the 2nd and 3rd round. Good values.

Swisch's picture

Interesting and enjoyable essay, including good perspective on the upgrades with free agency.
It seems to me that Cris Collinsworth is possibly the best announcer around as far as analyzing the NFL, so it would likely follow that PFF would be one of the best references for evaluating NFL players.
Just watched the NFL Network documentary on Collinsworth -- part of its series, "A Football Life" -- and was struck by how gangly he was when he was drafted. It goes to show how it's good to go beyond the combine measurables.
Also part of the documentary was how hard Collinsworth works to prepare for games. It seems his PFF would be just as thorough.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

A quote I always remember Collinsworth saying years ago is that "one of the perks of being an NFL football player is you have access to way more beautiful woman than you have any right to".

Really? LOL!

johngalt's picture

Strong work Ross. Let’s not get cute. It’s so rare to have two 1’s. Stay put- Oliver/White then Fant. Nothing but net.

RCPackerFan's picture

Since GB used FA to add talent to the roster and used it to address the top 3 needs, they now have the ability to simply take the best player available in the draft. That to me is one of the biggest hidden benefits of them signing the 4 FA's.

I still think they need to add another Safety, and more OL, and more depth at OLB. But its not as big of a need as it was.
OLB I think they still could look at one in the first round or higher in the draft. Za'Darius can be moved around. On 3rd and long he could be lined up inside, which creates an opening at OLB. If they could get a speed rusher that can bend around the corner I think that would be a great addition!

I think TE is one of the greater needs. While they have Graham, Lewis and Tonyan, I think they need a young guy that could be a field stretcher. Also they need a guy that can take over for Lewis & likely Graham next year.

I think they need another OT. A guy that could take over the job from Bulaga a year from now. And a guy that can take over the job from Spriggs.
And they will always need OL depth.

Another position that they always draft is CB's. While its not a 'need' you can never have to many good CB's. And if Breeland leaves, that leaves us with Alexander, Jackson, King, Brown. If there is an injury depth gets really thin.

I would also like to see them add another RB. DL depth too. They could use a shifty slot WR type of player too.

I think from this point forward the greater need positions are TE, OLB, S, RB, ILB
The positions that I think can use more depth or help at are CB, WR, DL.

Cubbygold's picture

Right. These FAs aren't cheap, but what's the value of being in a position to truly take BPA, raising the likelihood of a successful draft that produces multiple starters. If you hit on two or three guys, playing on rookie deals, that allows you to let higher priced guys walk or stay out of FA.

Imagine if GB hits on a TE and RT, both guys playing on rookie deals. What does that do to the cap over the next four years? Rather than paying Bulaga and Graham, they're covered on cheap deals.

stockholder's picture

I believe Gute won't take an OL.unless it's Williams. [email protected] But White proved himself at the combine. He must be given every consideration now. Sounds like you still want Poilite later. Which has more merit then a TE. I say Safety more then TE. The better safeties for development are later. But Adderley proved himself in the senior Bowl. (Was named Captain. ) Have to see his pro day! I think he's the leader @30 for me currently. This also could push T.Williams back to CB. Then draft a safety and RB late. 5.6.6.7. The @44 is where they take a WR if they take one.

BoCallahan's picture

I’m hoping Sweat is there at #12. Do you realize his 40 time was faster than Cobbs & Jordy’s? I did a little checking; his 40 time was even faster than Darren Sprouls without even breaking a sweat. How sweet would it be to add his 6’5”/260 pound frame to our defense?

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Sweat is interesting as he can obviously put quite a bit of weight yet on his lanky form. If I have a concern with Sweat he does not appear as athletic and be able to bend and get low around the edge like Burns. Between the 2 I'd take Burns because of age and Burns seems much more athletic to me even though Sweat is faster.

Gman1976's picture

I’d love to have him, but since he had such a great combine he will probably go early.

Gman1976's picture

I’d love to have him, but since he had such a great combine he will probably go early.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

RC,
Such a shame the Packers did not play Tonyan more last year particularly in the last few games to really gauge his talent and upside. I think there is talent and upside there, however simply do not know how much. Last year's coaches were such a dissapointment. Instead, they wanted to play an old TE with a bad knee and a broken thumb who could not block or catch let alone get open. Go figure!

I have mentioned this before but with the Ohio State DB tearing his pec muscle at the Combine who was likely the fastest player at the combine I wonder if he might be available late 2nd round (possibly move back from #44) or somewhere in the 3rd round. I would definitely think long and hard about being able to get good value on him somewhere along the way shoring up the backfield.

PeteK's picture

Add an O lineman instead of OLB

Guam's picture

RC - generally very much in agreement with your post but I would place a higher priority on D-line than you have. We have two reliable starters (Clark and Daniels) and three JAGs (Lowery, Adams and Lancaster). I don't subscribe to PFF, but I suspect the grades on the last three would indicate they are just rotational players. That leaves us one starter short of a complete D-line. Given that the strength of this draft is D-linemen, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the Packers devote one of our top three choices to a D-lineman.

PeteK's picture

I give Lowery more credit .

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Per PFF:
71.2 - 58th DI Mike Daniels
73.8 - 42ndd DI Dean Lowry
76.5 - UR M. Wilkerson (UR means unrated - too few snaps)
77.5 - UR Kyle Lancaster
69.3 - UR M. Adams NT (still above average)

It was a good group. I thought Daniels' grade was low.

SterlingSharpe's picture

Daniels was a shell of his former self. I hope that was an abberation, not a sign of things to come.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Nice post. GB can do in many different directions, but there is no way to avoid the issues with Daniels and Bulaga entering contract years.

FA right tackles cost a fortune. One option is to draft one. Probably in a better position to get one this year than I hope we will be in next year, barring another draft trade coup by Gute. Even waiting to draft one in 2020 means a rookie starting RT, unless Spriggs steps up.

DT talent is off the charts in this draft. Hard to ignore the strength of a draft, though it depends on how much Gute moves around and whether it falls well for us.

jannes bjornson's picture

OT no lower than the # 30 pick. There will be DTs in the second if he goes in another direction @ #12. Gerald Willis, Christmas from FSU, ...I believe Spriggs should be cut loose despite his low contract number.

Don Guske's picture

Pick an offensive lineman and give Rogers more time and it won't matter who the tight end is!

Cubbygold's picture

Using lewis appropriately would help too

Doug Niemczynski's picture

And, when was the last time that worked? You had SOLID OL against Seattle in 2013 NFC Championship gsme and we had to kick like 4 lousy FG. But we had to blame the special teams guy for going after the onside kick when he wasn't supposed to!!

All year the RED ZONE was an issue and it cost us going to the SuperBowl because it has been ignored way too much, mainly because McCarthy had absolutely no clue what a TE is used for.

Lare's picture

Everyone is assuming Gutekunst signed Billy Turner to play RG. IMO, he may very well have signed him to play LG after watching Taylor struggle last season. I look for the Packers to pick another OL pretty high in this draft, someone that can start at RG and even LT when Bulaga gets injured again.

I also expect Gutekunst to get a good RB either in free agency yet or the draft. There's no way they're going into next season in a run-first offense with only Jones and Williams on the roster.

jannes bjornson's picture

Lare , I agree with your assessment. Taylor is a weak link in the chain especially for a wide zone run scheme. The opening game against the Bears, he was a sieve and Rodgers was almost lost for another season. Gutey will move on an OT high and another guard to compete. Alex Light is also in the conversation.

Dzehren's picture

Let’s pick a plug & play OL at pick 30 or pick 44. Start at guard then move to tackle next year.

jannes bjornson's picture

They need a top OT talent to cover for Bulaga when he goes down or Heaven forbid Bhaktiari. Let's take a deep breath and remember, " Protect the Franchise".

Qoojo's picture

I don't see any needs reset after FA. They dumped 2 guys, and picked up 2 guys (smiths) to replace them. They got some depth for one spot on OL, and a safety. Safety seems like the only box they checked.

I still see take a pass rusher at 12 before everything else, unless the talent left doesn't warrant the pick. Still need a lot better depth at OL. I think they could use one of the Iowa TEs.

Basically, not much, other than Safety, has changed, and even at safety, a draft pick wouldn't be out of line.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Go Marquette Warriors!
Go Milwaukee Bucks!

Sorry, just had to get that out there!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

D. Sproles "mighty mouse" would not be a bad pickup. The guy is an ageles wonder.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Don't forget Andy Isabella for slot wr and Holyfield RB out of Georgia (UGA)

Ross Uglem's picture

there is basically no history of a running back as slow as Holyfield being effective in the NFL.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

ok..i will go along with the 4 thumbs down for Sproles.

Minniman's picture

I'm interested to hear/see how he goes at his pro day on March 20th. His tape looks way better than that 40 time (4.78) suggests. I'd like to know what his 10-yard split time is then 3 cone drill. He may bode better as a chain mover or short yardage warrior than the "home run" hitter.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

jeez..what was up with the 4.78 40 yd dash by Holyfield..in the combine .something wrong. .

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Goodbye Dash! Enjoy the Browns!

I am a Packer fan for life and while I did not like what took place for the previous 3-4 years I like the direction they are going.

I have always like Dorsey and am not surprised he is doing well and will continue to do well.

Lare's picture

I doubt if Rash is leaving. Those in charge of CHTV obviously want inane posts like his here, regardless of how immature they are.

Jersey Al's picture

Those in charge of CHTV want people to express their opinions as long as there is no hate or personal attacks. Those in charge of CHTV don't have wants with respect to comments beyond that.

Dash Riprock's picture

Why would I leave Lare and miss out on all the fun reading your swell posts about me. I've been talking football all day while you have been talking about me.

I have no desire at this point of doing what Kirk did and leaving for Cleveland. He's a NeverMurpher and that's his choice and I respect him for his choice. Do I hope he comes back here? Absolutely as I think he's the biggest asset Cheeseheadtv could have and why I suggested a GoFundMe to possibly pay him a salary to stay here. I don't particularly like being insulted by the likes of you, Since 61 and even Mojo (disappointed big time) all because I enjoy coming here talking football. The fact it might not be what some of you want to hear should be celebrated. Diverse opinions to me make for the best discussions.

Dash

Southside's picture

If I were Gutekunst, I would stay distant from Oliver. His size, the competition he played against in the ACC and his diminishing production on the field this past year are all warning signs. I think he has the potential to be a bust at the next level. Just my personal opinion.

ILPackerBacker's picture

Lynn Dickey and 7 current packer reports run a 40 yard dash faster than Cobb.

Who would have thought that fact would be similar to posters on this site?

Michael Grunewald's picture

I think you are point blank in position to take the best player avaialable, regardless of need. That’s what activity in free agency will do for you. Draft and develop, yes. But, when you miss early and often for five to six years, you WILL have holes that are better plugged in free agency.

IMO, it would be a huge mistake to pull the trigger in a TE at 12. The world may be in love with Hockenson, but the 5th round Kittle is outperforming the guys that went in the first round. In no way, shape, or form, is Hockenson the best player - regardless of position - atbthat spot. With all that defensive talent in the board, and the annual overreaches at the quarterback position, you bet there will be superior talent available here in that end if the ball.

albert999's picture

Go get Cordell Paterson if he’s still available

Jonathan Spader's picture

Patterson signed with the bears for 2 years 10 mil.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Depending on his price I agree. Dangerous returner and I liked him at RB but not receiver. Moore and Cordell have bad hands in common.

HoLeCrap's picture

I say you take the best o lineman avail at 12. Then te or safety. Got to build the o line to stop rodgers from throwing the ball away to avoid a sack.

Minniman's picture

Respectfully, if the draft falls that way and the BAP @ #12 is Oline then so-be-it - but why would the Packers limit their options by going into the draft with a premeditated plan like that?

Reach = bust or unmet expectations

The TKstinator's picture

Exactly.

markgh1's picture

In the first round at 12, just draft BPA or trade back for more draft capital and then draft BPA in the first round. We still have A LOT of holes. We are only objectively 2 deep in a 4 of positions, those being RB, DL, Edge since FA, and CB on the entire team.

Since this is a deep defensive draft, they should be able to add another couple players to get one deep everywhere on defense. ILB still isn't 1 deep with starters, maybe Burks can do it in his second year, and then nothing. Getting two starting Safeties is a must. If done through drafting a CB and moving Jackson over so be it. That would be smart.

Offense, where do you start? Either OL or TE. TE in the first 3 rds minimum. Me, I would go for one of the top two in this draft. You need more than 1 starting OL by the way. Turner will hopefully give you one, but wins aren't built on hope. One starting Tackle and one starting guard minimum. It would be a miracle for Bulaga to make the whole season. I would not considerate imprudent to take 3 OL in the top 5 rounds, that would actually be smart if you are committing to the run and play action. Just having a bonifide TE and starting OL changes your offense big time.
Do they need a RB, WR - slot, return man, even QB absolutely but not until those other positions are 2 deep. 2010 was a perfect example of what 2 deep means and how it pays off.

We are still in a sorry state of affairs, but it is looking better with the team building approach that is being executed.

Bnalbe's picture

I worked on mark murphys vacation home in northern door county. He came to the job site and asked do you know who i am lol. Enough said

The TKstinator's picture

How did you respond?

albert999's picture

Murphy’s a silent dick
probably paid for his kids college SAT’S
Doooooooh

OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

I think people are forgetting the impact a star, all around TE can have on a team.

Eric Ebron cannot be used as an example because he was uncoverable this year, so maybe the problem wasn't with him but maybe the kitty cats offense and QB.

Evan Engram and OJ Howard have been studs, but don't forget, they are not even the #1 or #2 option on their teams! Not bad production behind the likes of OBJ, Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, Sterling Shepherd and Saquan Barkley.

Gronk wasn't drafted in the 1st due to injuries, but went in the first two or three picks of the 2nd round which is semantics. Kelce dropped due to off the field issues. Graham had barely played football as he was a basketball player primarily.

Others who have gone in the first, Greg Olsen, hell of a pro. Tyler Eiffert dominated when he wasnt injured.

Now let's talk about need. There are two things that come to mind, aging big cap Jimmy Graham and scheme. We'll need a well rounded TE, which Graham is not, to step up quickly, like next year. Not to mention, it allows us to run two TE sets and be a power running team with amazing play action to two dominant TEs. Think Gronk/Hernandez.

It's hard to imagine filling the spot at 12 with Hockenson, but if he's truly that good and he's a perennial probowler at the position, you add damn near any players at 12 with that type of ceiling (except a kicker or punter - sorry Sebastian)

Given the FA movement, this helps put is in a win now mode if they view him as BPA and we should roll with it. TE and OT in the first should be our targets.

porupack's picture

Seems there is a lot of angst about a TE at pick #12 I would submit that it would be a synergistic pick, and while perhaps high pick for a TE position normally, Hock or Fant would be like patching a hole in the screen. A good screen with one hole isn't much good. Get the TE and the whole offense will be elevated more than any one other pick likely to be there at # 12. OG/OT is another hole and needs a high pick.

Simmons might make closely the same impact, but he normally wouldn't be there, and he won't play most of the season.

Round 1
Offense
Hockenson or
Burns, White

If above was Hockensen, then
Rapp (S), or Addierly

If above was Burns/White, then
Lindstrom (G) or Dillard (OT), or Irv Smith

Rd 2
If Simmons is there get him, or get best CB Ya-sin, DBaker or S Gardner-Johnson if S not picked above.

Rd 3
Get TE Sternberger if no TE picked above.
Or Winowich if no OLB picked above, or CB if not picked above

We would be well improved with
Hockenson, Rapp, Simmons, and Winowich

or

Burns, Rapp, Simmons and Sternberger

or

Burns, Lindstrom, Simmons and Sternberger
or
Burns, Irv Smith (TE), Gardner-Johnson (S), David Edwards (OT).

point is....most combinations will make a difference in this world of projections.

albert999's picture

EXCELLENT POST my friend!

Minniman's picture

I posted up the thread that I thought that BPA all the way is what GB seem to have prepared for - but this is a great take on the different if/then options on how the draft could fall for the Packers.

The TKstinator's picture

Players can be sorted into “buckets” and in that case positions of “need” can be preferred. But don’t reach.

stockholder's picture

What's wrong with this draft? No player will start. You talked about Simmons waiting. Hoek is not going to start before Graham. Plain and Simple. Development is for the practice squad. Your on a draft Crush. The Crush is Hoek.( Who was considered 3rd rd. before the combine. ) The solution is the DL or inside LB. Which means your best player to start would be White. But might not be there. Rapp has Rapp. Adderley @30 is perfect for FS. Williams is not ideal. And is a CB. So this would be the right pick. Round- 2 Simmons- OK but will be taken. He will start when healed. This is where you want a third starter. Shoot for RG here. Risner should be here. Even Lindstrom. But if you want a game changer. WR /KR is this pick. Not TE/G/T. Harry or Campbell here. rd. 3 is for depth. Take the one who looks like he could start the quickest. The problem with the draft is your avoiding the DL. If you plan to make the play-offs this year. DL must be addressed. You filled the holes but Daniels and Clark won't be enough.

albert999's picture

DK Metcalf will start

albert999's picture

Bosa an Sweat will start

albert999's picture

Ed Oliver will start

PackEyedOptimist's picture

Great post with very similar thoughts as mine. The free agent haul has left Gute with endless possibilities. It makes for the ideal situation: no true "needs." BPA all the way!
I also want to reiterate that WE don't know what the team sees in the young guys. Many of them have been developing and showing their stuff in practice over the past year; they may have just needed that one year to be ready to contribute a lot more. I think this is especially true at WR and Safety.
TE TJ Hockenson and OL Jonah Williams are my current #12 and 13 on my personal Packers Big Board, so I'd have no complaint if Gute picked either one at 12. One thing to remember about Hockenson is that he is very young, and while he doesn't run as fast or jump as high, he shows WAY more flexibility, effort, and football skills than Fant. I've said all along, that I see the same thing from I Smith--he simply looks like a much better football player than Fant.

SterlingSharpe's picture

I didn't like what I saw of Jonah Williams being destroyed by Clelin Ferrell a few times in January when Clemson killed Bama.

I don't want an OT who gets anhialated like that. I'll take Ferrell in a Packer uniform though. Why are we always seeing Sweat or used to see Polite and sometimes see Burns, but nobody is giving us Ferrell?

PackEyedOptimist's picture

I'll also put in my vote for S Juan Thornhill with 44 or 75; I think he'd be a perfect fit on this Pettine defense. I think he's the best flash-in-and-make-the-interception safety in this class.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

All Mock drafts show Patriots making a trade up from #32 to get Fant or Hockenson.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

We just have to hit on our draft picks...too many bad drafts.

SterlingSharpe's picture

You are correct. Hitting on Rodgers (05), Collins (05), Jennings (06), Nelson (08), Matthews & Raji (09), Bulaga (2010) built a great foundation, with Woodson & Pickett great FA additions.

The first pick in 2011 was unfortunate with the broken leg to Derek Sherrod. Then he didn't hit any big ones from Datone to Nick Perry... the duo missed DBs in Randall & Quinten Rollins, Haha laughed his way out.... while continuing to ignore free agency. It's no mystery why the overall talent level in Green Bay was bottom-10 the past few years.

And to think they made the 2016 NFC Championship game still... when Rodgers carried them.

Spock's picture

I'm glad Gute got his FA haul, because it sounds like next year will be "quiet".

CHTV won't let me post the link but there is a story on the Journal Sentinel website by Pete Dougherty that indicates Gute anticipates not being able to make a lot of FA moves in 2020.

I'm hoping the Packers can pull off a monster draft -because we need it NOW.

4thand10's picture

I’m on the angry runs Holyfield train.

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