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Projected First-Year Stats for Green Bay Packers 2014 Rookie Draft Class

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Projected First-Year Stats for Green Bay Packers 2014 Rookie Draft Class

Thanks to Paul Bessire of (who we had on Railbird Central for a pre-draft interview) we are able to get first-year statistical projections for the Green Bay Packers rookie class.

Let's get the caveats out of the way. These projections are based upon the assumption each player starts all 16 games on an average NFL team.

Obviously, that's a leap in logic for most most all NFL rookies, but we will note that last year's projection for running back Eddie Lacy was 1,065 yards, 4.6 ypc and 25 receptions, which wasn't all that far off from what Lacy actually produced.

These statistics are derived from a completely objective formula using an algorithm that takes into account things like each player's college production, their strength of competition, NFL Combine measurables and previous performances of similar rookies at the same position.

So without further ado, here's a fun if flawed look at what the Packers' rookies could be expected to do if they started an entire season:

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (3rd-ranked safety by

72.2 tackles, 3.0 interceptions, 6.6 PBUs

Under the assumption of good health, Clinton-Dix likely will start all 16 games for the Packers in 2014, so these projections are probably not as far fetched as some other players. For comparison's sake, M.D. Jennings—the person whose spot in the lineup Clinton-Dix will replace—had 56 tackles, zero interceptions and one pass broken up in 2013. The Packers greatly upgraded the talent at safety, which should pay dividends in the form of an improved unit that ranked 25th in total defense and 24th in points allowed last season.

Davante Adams (12th-ranked wide receiver by

86.2 receptions, 882.9 yards, 10.2 YPR

Adams should be able to carve out a role on a Packers offense in need of receiving help now that James Jones and Jermichael Finley (at least temporarily) have departed. The only question is, how high can Adams climb on a totem pole that also includes Jordy Nelson, Ranall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin and others. His talent suggests he could become as high as the No. 3 receiver a rookie, a role via which Jones put up some pretty good numbers during his time in Green Bay.

Khyri Thornton (39th-ranked defensive tackle by

30.8 tackles, 1.1 sacks, 5.8 TFLs, 0.5 FF

Thornton was not surrounded by very good talent at Southern Mississippi, which limited some of his own production. But perhaps a sign of his potential is his projected tackles for a loss. Among the defensive tackles ranked 29th through 43rd on the list by Prediction Machine, Thornton's 5.8 TFLs are the highest of the group. The Packers hope they've identified a diamond in the rough whose pro production will be better than what it was in college.

Richard Rodgers (21st-ranked tight end by

34.2 receptions, 445.1 yards, 13.0 YPR

Even though Rodgers is just the 21st-ranked tight end, his projected receptions rank tied for seventh, yards rank third and yards per reception rank fourth. His projected 13.0 yards per reception is also higher than wide receiver Davante Adams. Andrew Quarless figures to be the primary in-line tight end in Green Bay, but Rodgers figures to engage an an intriguing battle with Brandon Bostick as the team's top flex tight end throughout the offseason and training camp.

Carl Bradford (8th-ranked outside linebacker by

54.4 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 11.9 TFLs

Bradford's projected 11.9 tackles for a loss rank third behind only Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr among players classified as outside linebackers. In Green Bay, Bradford will encounter difficulties finding playing time at a position that also includes Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Mike Neal and Nick Perry, but he should be a core special teams player as he continues to develop.

Jared Abbrederis (11th-ranked wide receiver by

66.3 receptions, 779.3 yards, 11.7 YPR

Abbrederis has several concerns entering the NFL. Chief among them are the multiple concussions he's reportedly suffered during his time at Wisconsin. Beyond the medical concerns, he needs to get stronger if he hopes to get off jams by the likes of the Richard Shermans of the NFL. But if he's healthy and gets stronger, the value Abbrederis provides as a receiver as well as a return specialist will greatly benefit the Packers.

Jeff Janis (10th-ranked wide receiver by

78.4 receptions, 914.2 yards, 11.7 YPR

Surprisingly, despite being the Packers' seventh-round and last draft choice in 2014, Janis ranks higher than both Adams and Abbrederis in the Prediction Machine listings with more receptions and more yards. Obviously the formula used in the rankings are influenced heavily by Janis' blazing fast Combine times and production in college against inferior competition. The raw skills are there and the ceiling is high, but Janis will undergo a steep learning curve in acclimating to the NFL.

Adrian Hubbard (41st-ranked outside linebacker by

38.2 tackles, 3.9 sacks, 5.7 TFL

From a purely physical standpoint, Hubbard's NFL comparisons include Jevon Kearse, Brian Urlacher and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. Unfortunately, for having all the physical tools in the world, Hubbard underwhelmed at Alabama and didn't have nearly as much statistical production as he could have. Good thing for the Packers, there's very little risk in signing Hubbard as an undrafted free agent. If he lives up to his potential, they get a steal. If not, the financial investment was minimal and they really only lose the time invested into developing him.

Rajion Neal (23rd-ranked running back by

222 carries, 847 yards, 3.8 YPC, 33 receptions, 222 yards, 8 TDs

It was perhaps surprising that the Packers signed two undrafted rookie running backs along with LaDarius Perkins and are reportedly bringing another one for a workout in James Sims. That raises questions about the recovery of Johnathan Franklin and DuJuan Harris from injuries in 2013. But for going the undrafted route, Neal was a productive college running back.

LaDarius Perkins (29th-ranked running back by

206 carries, 689 yards, 3.3 YPC, 35 receptions, 288 yards, 6 TDs

At just 5' 7" and 195 lbs., Perkins is not a workhorse back. But he does have a lot of experience catching the ball out of the backfield and has extensive experience returning kickoffs as well. If the Packers want to relieve Randall Cobb from his special teams duties, Perkins has a shot to replace him.

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Photo: Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams by Brian Carriveau.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

72.2 tackles, 3.0 interceptions, 6.6 PBUs

I'd be ecstatic if Ha Ha had these numbers.

JimTaylor31's picture

With the exception of Ha Ha and maybe Adams and Thornton I think these stats may be way overly optimistic. Be nice but I can't see most of these guys getting enough playing time or in the case of the UDFAs even making the 53 man roster.

Evan's picture

The stats are based on the player starting 16 games. Most won't get that playing time, yeah, but that's the baseline.

JimTaylor31's picture

Gotcha. That makes sense. Thanks.

zoellner25's picture

We all know that HHCD will likely be the only starter of this bunch, but anything over 0 INTs, 0 passes defensed and 99 missed tackles is good with me.

JimTaylor31's picture

LOL!! Wasn't the QB passer rating something like 160 when our safties were primary targets last year? It was something ridiculous. Not too hard to beat that. Those guys set the bar pretty low for Ha Ha.

Nick Perry's picture

I think it was something like 146.8, 14 TD's, ZERO Ints, and like 4 pass breakups. If you watch the TD catch by Dez Bryant in the 4th quarter, you'll see everything you need to know about M.D. Jennings coverage skills. Thank God he's a Bear. Hope he's their starter!

The TKstinator's picture

Imagine the reaction when HaHa intercepts his first pass. Seismic. Volcanic. Euphoric. Ecstatic.

If it's off Cutler, I'd love to hear him say "Same old Jay"

Bearmeat's picture

HA HA! ;)

Clay Zombo's picture

I could see Davante Adams starting at WR for us considering Cobb is more of a slot guy anyway. Be nice to have a bigger better blocker on the field more often and maybe that would allow GB to put Cobb back at kick returner again at least.

HankScorpio's picture

I've been wondering whether they will start Cobb in traditional 2 WR looks, myself. He's obviously among their 2 best WRs. But his size is a limiting factor if you want to run from a 2 WR look with him on the field.

I thought I read good things about Boykin's blocking. So my way to early guess is that he'll start alongside Nelson in 2 WR looks. But Adams has the size you want, for sure.

Jordan's picture

What will be more interesting is whether or not McCarthy calls more run plays that do not give Rodgers the option to audible to pass if the box is stacked.

If you look at Cobb's 2012 rush/receiving stats for 15 games and compare them to Jennings or Nelson, it would appear to me that they want Cobb on the field as much as possible. 80 catches on 104 targets is a pretty dangerous completion rate. I suspect the Packers want to keep their most dangerous receivers on the field as much as possible. Cobb has the threat of running too that teams have to account for every time he's on the field. McCarthy's bread n butter will always be play-action-pass. Fear of the run, opens up the passing game. Fear of the pass, opens up the run game.

Probably the last thing they would do is insult a veteran they want to sign (Cobb) in a contract year by starting a rookie over him.

Adams is going to be taking playing time away from Boykin not Cobb.

HankScorpio's picture

I definitely agree that a) the Packers want to see a lot of Randall Cobb b) sets with only 2 WRs will be the exception, not the norm.

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