Post-Draft Packers Position Analysis: Tight Ends

An in-depth look at the Packers tight end position after the NFL Draft. Change is the name of the game.

The Green Bay Packers are in flux at the tight end position. The team released last year’s starter, Jimmy Graham in March. They also drafted a TE/H-Back in the third round of this year’s draft and re-signed veteran backup Marcedes Lewis.

One thing we are sure of is that the tight end position will look different in 2020 than it did in 2019.

Expect the Packers to use a lot of two tight end formations as Matt LaFleur installs more of his offense in his second year as head coach.

Here’s a look at the Packers depth chart at tight end as of now and the strengths and weaknesses of each player and the position as a whole:

1. Jace Sternberger

Sternberger is entering his second season with the Packers after being drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M. Sternberger started the season on the injured reserve but was activated midseason and played in six games for the Packers without catching a pass.

In the playoffs, Sternberger made three catches for 15 yards and his first NFL touchdown.

While he did not play extensively as a rookie, Sternberger showed flashes of potential during his limited playing time. He has good but not great speed for a tight end and good hands. He also has proven to be a willing blocker who wants to improve in that aspect of the game. Scouts had questioned his blocking ability coming out of school because he was not called on to block much in college.

Sternberger is the favorite to start at tight end for the Packers in 2020. He still has a lot to prove, but the potential is there for him to become a good tight end in this league.

“Here’s what I love about Jace Sternberger: I know the game’s not too big for him,” LaFleur told reporters in March. “He loves to compete, and he’s so versatile. Whether it’s inline, or it’s moving into an H-back, fullback-type position. The guy has contact courage. He’s not afraid to put his face on people. He’s a much better blocker than anyone ever thought he was coming out of Texas A&M. I’m just excited for his future.”

2. Marcedes Lewis

The Packers re-signed the veteran tight end during the offseason. Lewis will turn 36 on May 19 and will be entering his 15th NFL season. The former first-round pick out of UCLA caught 15 passes last season for 156 yards and a touchdown.

Lewis’ biggest strengths at this stage of his career are his blocking ability and his experience. He is reliable as an outlet receiver and can still gain yards after making a catch, but he can no longer stretch the field the way he did in his prime with the Jaguars.

Lewis is almost like having another coach for youngsters like Sternberger and Josiah Deguara. He has seen everything in this league and can handle any situation.

3. Robert Tonyan

Tonyan is entering his third season in the NFL. The former Indiana State star has good size and deceptive speed for a tight end. He is a converted wide receiver and his best assets are his ability to catch the ball and to beat safeties or linebackers in coverage.

Last season, Tonyan played in 11 games and made 10 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. Injuries slowed him down a bit and that clearly hampered his development.

This will be a key year for Tonyan. Because the Packers added a TE/H-back in the draft, he will have to step up and prove he has a future in the NFL if he hopes to carve out a role beyond special teams.

4. Josiah Deguara

The Packers selected Deguara in the third round of this year’s NFL Draft. LaFleur envisions him playing a combination of tight end and H-back, similar to the role that Kyle Juszczyk plays in San Francisco.

Deguara is a smart route runner with good hands. He lacks breakaway speed but if he’s installed at H-back or fullback, he can create mismatches against many linebackers with just average quickness.

The former University of Cincinnati star is also a very good blocker which should suit him in an H-back role.

LaFleur is very excited about Deguara’s future. The big question is how much he can be expected to contribute as a rookie this season.

5. Evan Baylis

Baylis made the practice squad last year and was activated for five games last year. He played mostly on special teams and played 12 snaps on offense as well without catching a pass. Baylis has played well in preseason but he must be considered a longshot to make the roster barring injury or an unexpected jump in his play.

6. James Looney

Looney is a converted defensive lineman who has intriguing physical tools that caused the Packers to convert him to tight end. Like Baylis, he is a long shot to make the roster and will need an outstanding performance on special teams to have any chance at all.

7. Jordan Jones

The Packers signed Jordan Jones as an undrafted free agent out of Prairie View. He caught 28 passes last year for 497 yards and four touchdowns. The 6’1”, 250-pound Texas native started his college career at Grambling before transferring to Prairie View. He also may play fullback or H-back and is a longshot to make the Packers.

Summary:

The Packers have potential at this position but no proven commodities. Lewis is best suited as a backup and blocking specialist at this point in his career. Sternberger has yet to catch a regular season pass although he has shown flashes of ability. Tonyan has also had some moments but needs to put it all together and perform consistently to prove he belongs. It also remains to be seen how much the Packers will get from Deguara this season although he is the favorite to start at H-back/fullback.

LaFleur likes to use a lot of two tight end formations so the development of this position will be important to the Packers offense.

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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Comments (78)

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Lare's picture

April 30, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Having used two 3rd round draft picks on the TE position over the last two years, I think their contributions in the next few years will say a lot about Gutekunst's talent evaluation and LaFleur's coaching/scheme.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 12:50 pm

No question their development and how they contribute will say a lot about the drafting process and how the coaching staff is developing those players. Even if one of the two become an outstanding TE, the team will be more than OK. I see Sternberger being the more traditional TE while Deguara will be more of an H-Back. Thanks for commenting.

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TimBackes's picture

April 30, 2020 at 12:48 pm

I'm looking forward to seeing what Sternberger can do without having to compete for snaps with Jimmy Graham, who was a disaster. If he can become a legitimate, reliable target in the middle of the field that will be a huge deal for this offense.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 12:52 pm

It would definitely make a difference for the offense, especially in LaFleur's offense. I saw glimpses from Sternberger late in the season and if he can take a big step forward in year 2, it would really open things up for the offense and help Rodgers. Thanks for commenting TimBackes.

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Coldworld's picture

April 30, 2020 at 01:52 pm

If there is one player on this team I’m counting on to step up, it is Sternberger. In part this is because he no longer has to try to be an Hback, we actually have one that has the skills to be that whereas Sternberger did not and it hindered him. Another reason is that I think he would have been better than Graham last year on many of Graham’s snaps.

It would be nice to see Tonyan back him up effectively. Jordan Jones is an Hback type. Depth behind Deguara in camp is my expectation. True TE is Sternberger and Tonyan for receiving and Lewis blurring into Funchess in one way and the Hback in another.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 01:50 pm

I am also curious to see what Sternberger and Tonyan would do with more snaps. Of course they have to earn those snaps. Looks like we have an H-back from the draft so that helps. Playing H-Back last year got Sternberger some extra work and I think in the long run, that was a good thing. Thanks for the comment.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 30, 2020 at 05:59 pm

If not for his early injuries, I believe he would have displaced Graham at the end of the season as the starter. He has grit.

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Tarynfor12's picture

April 30, 2020 at 06:14 pm

If he wasn't injured and didn't replace Graham, nobody would be trying so hard to make him relevant to the group.

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13TimeChamps's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:41 pm

Damn optimists.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:52 pm

Well he is the favorite to earn the starting position as of now.

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MWendlandt's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:35 pm

He never really bounced back from getting cheap shotted during the joint practice with Houston until the playoffs.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 08:03 pm

Yeah, that was not a cheap shot. Almost forgot about that. Thanks for commenting.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:51 pm

I think that's very possible. Obviously we'll never know, but Graham never was able to step up and do much last season. Thanks for the comment.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 01, 2020 at 01:04 am

You and I have different definitions of “disaster”. I could have gone with “disappointment “, but you can’t convince me that the stating TE on a 14-4 team that was in the championship game was a disaster. I do not understand the need to denigrate players for not meeting expectations.

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SugarCain's picture

April 30, 2020 at 01:44 pm

If Sternberger gets all of Jimmy Graham’s snaps this year: 60% vs 6% he got this yr—Lookout!

Also IF Gary got the same amount of snaps as Preston Smith he would have been on pace for an 8 sack season.. Gary only played 23% of the snaps! How can you judge on a player only playing less than 25% of the snaps?

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Coldworld's picture

April 30, 2020 at 01:47 pm

Well he got injured in all fairness.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 01:51 pm

Very true

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 01:48 pm

Thanks for the comment, SugarCain. If Sternberger gets those snaps, he should be productive especially in LaFleur's offense. The issue is can he earn those snaps? Same with Gary. Here's to hoping they do.

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Tarynfor12's picture

April 30, 2020 at 02:05 pm

I can judge him on being a 12th overall selection and not commanding more than 23% of the snaps. The Smith bro's excuse is not in play this season for Gary and with Fackrell gone there's absolutely no excuse for him to not see the field and triple his snaps this season.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 02:13 pm

If he takes Fackrell's role, he would be up to roughly 40 percent of the defensive snaps (that's what Fackrell had last season). If Gary steps up, I think Pettine will find ways to get him on the field on most passing downs and move one of the Smiths or Gary to a DL position to rush the passer and have all 3 of them on the field at the same time. thanks for the comment, Tarynfor12.

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Coldworld's picture

April 30, 2020 at 02:48 pm

I find it hard to see Gary in Fackrell’s role. In terms of experience, strengths and body type he would be a poor fit and wasted. Preston is probably more suited to drop into coverage. I would expect that to be the role all the others are competing for rather than the source of at least the majority of Gary’s snaps.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 30, 2020 at 06:11 pm

Gary can go from 3 tech to 7 technique and rush from stand up. He and Za will create insane mis-matches and if Kirksey stays in one piece they have another guy who can rip the inside blitz. That said, how dedicated is Pettine to square away the inside game and plug gaps? The opposition had 3rd and longs last season where they ran for first downs. Tighten up the ship, or get shipped out.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 30, 2020 at 06:59 pm

Perhaps so, but Gary can't fill the Fackrell role or the Preston role. Gary can't cover. When Gary (or Z for that matter) are on the field, they are rushing or defending the run. When Fackrell or Preston were on the field, they might rush or drop into coverage, providing uncertainty as where the rush might come from.

So Gary can get more snaps but only by moving ZaDarius or losing uncertainty.

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Stroh's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:35 pm

Out of the 40% of snaps that Fackrell played how often did he drop in coverage? I don't know so asking because the only times I remember seeing him on the field he was rushing. I'm sure he dropped but don't think or know how much that really was.

As far as Gary is concerned he'll have the snaps he played last year, the pass rush snaps of Fackrell had and he'll get some from both Z and Preston. They both played too many snaps last year. IMO Gary will get nearly as many snaps as both Z and Preston. All nearing the 65- 70% total defensive snaps. Gotta keep the pass rushers fresh for the 4th qtr (games and season).

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 30, 2020 at 09:04 pm

All three need to be on the field most of the time. See if Roberts can show up, maybe they take a rider on Clay?

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 08:05 pm

They obviously cannot allow another game like the NFC title game where the Niners just ran right over them. We shall see what adjustments are made this year. Thanks for commenting.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 01, 2020 at 12:48 am

I see Smith, Smith, and Gary in a three man rotation in a perfect world. So that would have them each taking near 650 snaps during the season. That’s like 40 or so each game

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Dzehren's picture

April 30, 2020 at 01:55 pm

Sternberger is designated as the new slot receiver. His draft profile and analysis suggests his best position is in the slot.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 02:01 pm

He will probably take the role that Graham had last year more or less. I expect more emphasis on the tight end position as LaFleur installs more of his offensive system this season. Thanks for the comment.

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Tarynfor12's picture

April 30, 2020 at 02:17 pm

The TE group is in much the same spot the WR group is in, but with Sternberger needing to be Adams without having had play time to deem him the Adams of the TE group outside the 95% of hope that most use to quantify this belief.

If Sternberger trips up to any degree of concern, whether by performance or injury, this along with other depth issues in other positions makes a .500 or worse record a near guarantee.

This team is banking its success on a lot of HOPE.

I hope Sternberegr does emerge the TE this team needs as it has been a long time issue of being properly addressed.

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Lare's picture

April 30, 2020 at 03:39 pm

If Gutekunst is the real deal, players he's drafted and signed as FAs like Sternberger, Burks, Turner, Kollman, Madison, Keke, Amos, Jackson, Savage, Gary, MVS, ESB & Summers should be able to step up and help the team be better this year than it was last year.

And if LaFleur is the real deal, he and his coaching staff should be able to coach these players up to to be better this year than they were last year.

If not, they won't.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 05:03 pm

If Sternberger gets hurt or isn't ready for prime time, there are a lot of potential problems. You then have a veteran best suited for blocking duty, an inexperienced player in Tonyan and a rookie H-back. On paper, not near the top half of the league in tight end talent.

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Coldworld's picture

April 30, 2020 at 06:06 pm

Then again we weren’t last year. Graham was a mistake that kept on taking.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 30, 2020 at 06:18 pm

Deguara is better than Tonyan.

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Stroh's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:29 pm

Different players and positions to be honest. Deguara is the new H-Back while Tonyan is the backup TE. Somewhat interchangable but at the same time much different roles. So I don't see the reason to compare them.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 01, 2020 at 11:28 am

See if Tonyan makes the team.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 08:06 pm

We'll see. He has the potential, but not sure how much of a contribution he'll make as a rookie. Should be interesting.

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stockholder's picture

April 30, 2020 at 09:19 pm

Rd 6 or 7 according to Our lads. Sullivan would have been a better TE . Not to mention the deep threat of obi.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 01, 2020 at 11:34 am

Where did Moss' kid go? LSU was point and click with their WRs. Chase is better than any of this year's draft class.
I liked Sullivan also with one of the six picks and still bag Deguara with the third.

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CoachDino's picture

April 30, 2020 at 10:13 pm

Good Stuff Gil - Thanks
I would venture to say that anytime a #1 at a position goes down the overall talent of the group will easily fall to the bottom half. Not always but due to the cap it would be irresponsible/impossible to have strong depth at most positions.

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Lphill's picture

April 30, 2020 at 03:28 pm

Only the Packers would convert a defensive lineman to a tight end.

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Tarynfor12's picture

April 30, 2020 at 04:10 pm

One could say it has equaled the respect, over the last 8 years, to the ILB position.

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Lare's picture

April 30, 2020 at 04:51 pm

Green Bay payed Graham $20 million over the last two years for his production (or lack thereof). That's a lot more than they payed Martinez & Goodson.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 08:08 pm

Sadly. Tough to think about how much they paid for Graham and how little they got in return.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 01, 2020 at 06:52 pm

Actually, Gil, Graham was above average for TEs in quite a few categories in 2018.. In fact, he had one of the better seasons in Packer history. I particularly respected how he played meaningless games in the cold with an injury instead of just taking it easy.

He declined in 2019. Dropping that bomb when we had schemed him open and threw a perfect strike. Time to go. In retrospect, the GM probably overpaid but that’s not Graham’s fault.

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PatrickGB's picture

April 30, 2020 at 09:04 pm

Actually, I could see why it happened for Looney to make the switch. I see him as more of a blocking TE and inserted in heavy run packages. But I have no idea if he can actually catch a football. He is 6’3”, ran a 4.89 forty and 7.32 three cone with 4.37 shuttle. He learned football from his brother was an offensive lineman. He was 287lbs but was dropping weight. Perhaps last year they thought he could be an H-back.

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Coldworld's picture

April 30, 2020 at 06:08 pm

Well one would hope he can block.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 08:11 pm

Blocking will probably be what he does most as a rookie. Even Sternberger mostly was utilized as a blocker in his first season and that wasn't his projected strong suit. Thanks as always for the comment, PatrickGB.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 01, 2020 at 12:30 am

Ding ding ding.

Converting Looney was the first thing we did. And it was my first clue that we were going to run more and pass less this year.

Let’s say you run 1000 offensive snaps, and you’re in double TE formation half the time. That’s 1500 snaps for TEs, almost 90 a game...And considering injuries you probably need four active each game.

Looney would always be the #2 or #3 guy, always as a blocker. If he catches anything it’s a plus. And as you noted, he’s not exactly an unathletic plodder.

I see the TE situation with Lewis and Sternberger as the two lead dogs with Looney and the rookie rounding out the unit. I know Tonyan gets a lot of love, but he actually hasn’t done much. In the playoff loss, he couldn’t get his guy blocked and what could have been a long play by Jones turned into a loss. He just totally whiffed on a DB. So that’s not one of the guys who I think has a future here.

With Sternberger and the rookie, we can throw. But we’re definitely going to be able to grind sausage with Lewis and Looney.

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Coldworld's picture

May 01, 2020 at 08:39 am

Tonyan is currently more of a heavy receiver. He will be till he can block, I agree. That is one reason I’m wondering how he fits and whether he constitutes real depth or would force a realignment were Sternberger out.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 01, 2020 at 03:41 am

Do a Belichick and let him play TE and DE. Diversify.

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Brandip's picture

April 30, 2020 at 05:24 pm

You complain a lot. Almost every post, you find a way to cry a river or moan about what the Packers are doing, or have done. By all means, become a Bears fan. Good riddance.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:53 pm

It isn't a typical move, especially when you consider how the Packers are not very deep on the d-line. Still, it gives a player a chance to prolong his NFL career if he can successfully make the move.

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dobber's picture

May 01, 2020 at 08:54 am

Tell me what they're risking. He wasn't on the active roster. Low risk with some potential for reward.

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Ryan3468's picture

April 30, 2020 at 05:47 pm

Success of this team, and it’s identity is run first. The run sets up everything else. The shift is to a more physical, and traditional style of football. Gone allegedly will be the spread offense. If we can get away from the finesse offense this year, and become a more physically driven team identity on offense. Everything will improve. Quarterbacks will be clean, as that brunt goes to the run game. Deception is added to the passing game via play action, or just plain quick passes out of what was seen as a run majority set. This will bore a lot of people, but it’s real honest to goodness football. Green Bay and the rest of the league have nothing, but potential right now.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:55 pm

I don't think too many fans would care if the Packers win the Super Bowl and barely throw the ball. There is a change in emphasis as LaFleur installs more of his system rather than the hybrid he ran last year. We shall see how the team fares with it. Thanks for the comment.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 01, 2020 at 09:19 am

I don’t know about that. I got a zillion chickenshit downvotes for saying “run more, pass less”. There are many fans who just love to watch the hero sling it and are upset that we didn’t provide more run fast jump high weapons. They truly want validation of Rodgers greatness and aren’t eager to see Secretariat pulling the plow.

Winning solves a lot of things, but only one team wins it all and if we fall short, even by a little, we’ll hear from them.

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Tarynfor12's picture

May 01, 2020 at 09:35 am

The question that matters most even if one doesn't want to believe it.
Did you WIN the last one?
NO.
Then all that's being done is talking to glorify a teams participation in the season and your best bragging right is close you are to the bottom of the draft which is then used as excuse for not winning in the first place.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 01, 2020 at 11:46 am

I believe the qualifier is Power Running game and the essential FB/TE interplay guy which Deguara provides. I do not believe they will run more than pass unless Rodgers breaks something, but the run % should be around 45%.
If an opponent's pass defense is questionable, then you pass them to death. Every week's Game Plan has to be variable and the team has to be trained to perform in every aspect of offense. I'm more concerned about the run fits Pettine seems to ignore.

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stockholder's picture

April 30, 2020 at 05:51 pm

Graham was a special signing by Gutey. With this pick, We got Nothing Again. Or Should I say #12 got Nothing. So Far the Pack Attack is weaker not stronger.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 30, 2020 at 06:25 pm

You keep referencing the 30 year old A-Rog. He needs a solid running game to execute play-action, the foundation of the West Coast Offense. LaFleur is closer to Walsh than Shanahan in philosophy. Rodgers has to re-hone his skills running the short game and then strike Adams on the post or slugo routes. Mac Carthy is sunning in the cactus patch, that offense was hip in 2003-2010, then the world figured him out. Rodgers could have a MVP year this season, if it exists.

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stockholder's picture

April 30, 2020 at 08:37 pm

I think it resembles Bo's Michigan Wolverines.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:57 pm

A lot of people were disappointed with the direction/philosophy behind the draft. The team's offense will look different now. The new additions may help Rodgers in ways he didn't necessarily expect but we'll see. Thanks for the comment.

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stockholder's picture

April 30, 2020 at 10:55 pm

Gutey shouldn't have traded up. They should have held @30. or traded back. The future of this team hung on getting Receivers for #12. Replacing #12 was a F period. Gutey did nothing but reach all 3 picks.FFF. I especially disagree with the 3rd pick. albert okwuegbunam te, had the deep speed we needed. Not a HB/Te. Rated 6-7 by Ourlads. Al Obi- will make the all rookie team. Truthfully If Gutey wanted to go to the Super-Bowl. It was Defense all the way though. (Just the way the draft fell.) Queen, Before Love! Logan Wilson before Dillion and Harrison OlB. Why 3 LBs Because that what we needed for the future and the super-bowl. Along with a FA DL which Gutey wouldn’t sign.

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Stroh's picture

April 30, 2020 at 06:49 pm

" LaFleur envisions him playing a combination of tight end and H-back, similar to the role that Kyle Juszczyk plays in San Francisco."

Come on man! The hybrid role that you are referencing is an H-Back. The H-Back is a hybrid of the TE and FB roles. Anyone who has paid attention for the past 30 or 30 yrs now knows this. Its not a combination of TE and Hback. Its a combination of TE and FB that defines the H-Back.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:58 pm

I'm saying he may play both positions: TE and H-back. Sorry if the wording wasn't clear. Thanks for the comment.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:10 pm

The Deguara selection is easily the worst decision by Gute. They used a precious top-100 pick on a player with less talent than other available prospects at a position that has less value and indeed will never play starter-level snaps. Juszczyk himself usually plays about 37% to 45% (high of 63%) of possible snaps, though he is a FB. As the comparable most often used, even Juszczyk can only command $5.25M on the open market.

GB took the fit over the talent using pick 94. Lucas Niang, a 6'6", 315 pound LT prospect with 34.25" long arms was selected 96th. Niang should be able to step immediately at RT and perhaps at LT (providing an option to Bakh at $23M AAV), and in any event immediately solves the swing tackle issue for 2020. Lance Zurlein's take:

"Dancing bear with good agility and a great football IQ. He doesn't carry his weight proportionally and looked heavier/slower in 2019, but he clearly has NFL starting talent. Niang is a scheme-diverse run blocker with athleticism for move blocks and technique/leverage to open running lanes with power. He plays with top-notch awareness and instincts in pass pro, but he's an early opener in his pass sets and I'm not completely sold he can meet edge burners at the top of the rush on a consistent basis. The medicals need to check out on the hip, but he's a help-now right tackle prospect who should be a long-time starter." "Had good showings against Nick Bosa and Chase Young in 2018."

Awful pick.

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flackcatcher's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:34 pm

All depends on how Green Bay evaluated their returning talent in the OL. Outside that Deguara is a two for one starter/core player in his scheme. It's one of the reasons Shanahan's system is falling out of favor with NFL teams. Hard to fine these players either in the draft or free agency. Same reason for the scrapping of the west coast. Move FB are rare in Div one these days. Main reason we're seeing more and more run and shoot and option type in the NFL. Even though there is a slight swing back to more pro set in college, it will be awhile before see it in the league.

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flackcatcher's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:52 pm

Of course the downside is teams kill their starting QB. But in college since their replacing them every 3 years, that a price teams are happy to pay. NFL, not so much. Keeping expensive geezers like Aaron Rodgers up right and effective is job one. (Even if Gute has drafted his replacement...)

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Stroh's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:46 pm

I was sure at #94 that Niang would be the pick. I agree he might have been the day 1 starter at RT, or shortly after a la Jenkins. I thought he was the last of the OT that might be a solid contributor as a rookie. The 6th and 7th rd OL they picked are fliers.

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 08:01 pm

If the Packers hadn't traded their 4th round pick to move up and take Love, they probably could have added Deguara in the 4th round but obviously we'll never know for sure. The pick fits the system, but he was a reach in the third round at that point according to most experts. Thanks for the comment.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 01, 2020 at 03:54 am

Wolf took William Henderson in the third round. He started as a rookie and gave the team toughness. He could also catch out of the backfield and intimidate the tackler. Deguara gives them the pass pro and receiving threat guy and the F set up as a TE. There will be match up problems for the defense with him and Jones in the backfield. They can go three TEs sets with Lewis and Sternberger tight in formation and Deguara out wide or in motion. He has a diverse skillset and good film from the Bearcats.

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Coldworld's picture

May 01, 2020 at 08:58 am

Sorry, I just don’t see that all based on what LaFleur is trying to do and his pick as an H back not a TE.

As a TE, he is undersized and not a standout athlete, I agree that’s a dubious basis for drafting him where he was. As a HBack, on the other hand, he has successfully shown that he can do everything.

If you evaluate an apple as an orange, and don’t get a favorable report, the problem is not the apple.

True HBacks are hard to find: ones that have played the role consistently in volume rarer still in the draft. Based on what I’ve read, those who scouted him including the concept of an Hback loved him in that role but had questions about him as a true TE.

If you are going to draft an Hback, your rating of that skillet will be different from a team that doesn’t intend to use one. Position and use play heavily into rankings. Lord knows we have talked about that in the context of the Packers’ perception of the ILB and WR positions recently.

I suppose I struggle to see why you are unwilling to depart from a paradigm that is clearly not LaFleur’s. It’s fair to not like what he is doing but it seems pretty pointless to deny it at this point.

It’s also fair to point out that his transition to the NFL is not a given, as it is with any player. That said, it’s possible this kid plays more snaps than any other draft pick this year and had the most significant impact on what the team tries to do. If so, picking him where they did will seem very rational.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 01, 2020 at 11:49 am

Sorry TGR, but as much as I like Niang,, he’d have been on the bench most of the season. Wagner and Bakhtiari are our starters. Next year is next year.

With our first three picks, we took a blue chip QB, the most powerful pile mover at RB, and the most versatile skill position player on the board at #94. This is offense, offense, and offense....... along with the acquisition of Funchess and Wagner .

This is our offense for the next several years, during the transition from Rodgers to Love.

Lazard, Sternberger, Dillon, Deguara, Love, Turner, Wagner, Jenkins...all in the last 15 months. Add in the resigning of Lewis and the return from IR of ESB and Lane Taylor and you can see that the personnel is Gutekunst/LaFleur more than it is Thompson / McCarthy, although the core of Rodgers/Adams/Jones/ Bakhtiari is a Thompson legacy.

We’ll do something with the offensive line next season. This season is this season, and the pick of Deguara is solid. From what I’ve been able to learn, he’s a tough, competitive, football-smart guy who can block, catch, and run. You can put him on line, in motion, or in the backfield. At #94, was there a better, more versatile skill position player on the board.

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flackcatcher's picture

April 30, 2020 at 07:16 pm

Looking at the picture, my first thought was 'that was a nice shot of Jordy Nelson.' My 5 year old daughter jumps on my lap looks and says 'Woo... Jace...' Me: That's Jordy. Her: NoNoNo while shaking her head at the same. Me: OK how can you tell. Her: Jordy has muscles (pause) he's cute... With that she jump of my lap to go play with her dog. So I asked my wife who she thought this was. Took a glance and without a pause Jace Sternberger. Me: Oh come in (in raised voice) how can you tell. Her: And I quote "Jordy's cuter". Yeah. (sigh.....)

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GilMartin's picture

April 30, 2020 at 08:02 pm

LOL. Cute story. thanks for sharing.

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Bure9620's picture

May 01, 2020 at 05:37 am

I would bet the Packers only carry 5 WRs on the 53 this year. Adams, Lazard, Funchess, MVS and EQ.

And 4 TEs

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 01, 2020 at 11:39 am

Tonyan vs Mooney, or Bayliss?

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