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Projected First-Year Stats for Packers' Draft Picks

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Projected First-Year Stats for Packers' Draft Picks

UCLA defensive lineman Datone Jones. Photo by Brian Carriveau of

Courtesy of Paul Bessire of (who we had on Railbird Central for a pre-NFL Draft interview), we are able to take a look at what kind of production we might expect from the newest members of the Green Bay Packers' 2013 NFL Draft class.

Please note that these projections were not made specifically for the Packers' offensive and defensive schemes and taking their 2013 schedule into account.

"To come up with statistical inputs for rookies, we run a very complex set of algorithms that factor college stats, previous utilization and strength of competition, combine measurables, role and expected utilization of the player's NFL team (in this case an average NFL team) and previous performance of similar rookies at that position in general," writes Bessire.

It should also be noted that the following statistics show what can be expected from each player as a 16-game starter. Obviously not all of these players will start all 16 games.

Consider this an exercise in speculation, but understand the limitations this study provides.

Datone Jones (9th ranked DE by

48.3 tackles, 4.3 sacks, 9.8 tackles for a loss

Considering Jones will likely be asked to start 16 games for the Packers if healthy, these projections are probably not far off what we can expect to see. If Jones can provide four to five sacks as a rookie, that's about as good as can be expected for his first year in the NFL. Anything more would be a bonus. Presumably, Jones will start at end in the Packers' 3-4 defense and then slide inside in their nickel and dime packages. With such depth on the defensive line, however, the Packers might have a deeper rotation than they've had in previous seasons.

Eddie Lacy (2nd ranked RB by

232.0 rushes, 1,065.0 yards, 4.6 YPC, 24.6 receptions, 152.3 yards

Lacy is ranked behind only Giovani Bernard who was the first running back off the board to the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round. Bernard is expected to have a much bigger impact in the receiving game, but their rushing totals are comparable. Perhaps the best news is that Lacy is expected to have the highest average yards per carry of any rookie running back. The Packers would likely be thrilled if Lacy becomes the first 1,000-yard rusher in Green Bay since Ryan Grant in 2009, but considering they also drafted Johnathan Franklin and have DuJuan Harris on the roster, Lacy might have to share the football a fair amount.

Johnathan Franklin (6th ranked RB by

236.9 rushes, 976.4 yards, 4.1 YPC, 32.9 receptions, 257.0 yards

Obviously it will be impossible for both Lacy and Franklin to start 16 games each and put up the kind of numbers published in these projections. But from a comparative standpoint, Lacy is expected to be the more productive back. It might be presumed that Lacy will be more of a power back and get more goal-line and short-yardage carries while Franklin will be more of a third-down back who will be used more on screen passes. Franklin also has a good reputation as a pass blocker, which only adds to the perception that he'll be used more frequently on third downs.

Micah Hyde (6th ranked CB by

64.9 tackles, 2.0 interceptions, 11.2 passes broken up

For an outlet that had Casey Hayward ranked as the No. 1 overall cornerback last season coming into the NFL Draft, Packers fans will probably be happy to see Hyde ranked higher here than most other places. Hyde was the 23rd cornerback selected overall last weekend. His 64.9 projected tackles are among any player ranked in's top 17 cornerbacks, perhaps lending some credence to the notion that the Packers need some more physicality in the secondary and Hyde won't shy away from contact. Sitting behind Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Davon House and Hayward, however, Hyde will have a hard time finding much playing time outside of special teams in his rookie season.

Josh Boyd (45th ranked DT by

24.2 tackles, 1.8 sacks, 2.9 tackles for a loss, 0.5 forced fumbles

If these are the type of numbers Boyd can be expected to make as a 16-game starter, it's probably safe to assume his impact as a part-time, rotational player isn't expected more than minimal. If Boyd simply makes the 53-man roster this season, it will be a major accomplishment. He'll be competing with the likes of veterans Mike Neal, C.J. Wilson and Mike Daniels for some of the backup spots on the defensive line. It won't be impossible to unseat one of them, but Boyd has a tough task ahead of him. The practice squad is a possibility.

Charles Johnson (33rd ranked WR by

60.7 receptions, 681.2 yards, 11.2 YPR

Johnson is a player that's difficult to get a handle on because he played at the Division II level of college football. But the type of numbers he put up at his pro day, including a fast 40 time, make him an intriguing prospect. He'll begin the season as the team's No. 6 wide receiver behind Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross, but it's possible Johnson could climb the ladder a spot or two based upon how he performs during the offseason and in training camp.

Kevin Dorsey (79th ranked WR by Prediction

43.9 receptions, 540.0 yards, 12.3 YPR

Much like Johnson, Dorsey is another difficult player to project, because of the quarterback woes at Maryland this past season. With a player like Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football, however, he could be a much better player. It will be difficult for both Johnson and Dorsey to both make the 53-man roster this season, but not impossible if they show promise. The practice squad might be a more likely spot for Dorsey to develop.

Sam Barrington (25th ranked OLB by

64.6 tackles, 3.1 sacks, 5.3 tackles for a loss

Barrington may have played outside linebacker at South Florida, but measuring in at fractions over 6-1, he probably makes more sense as an inside linebacker in the Packers' 3-4 scheme. With so much depth at inside linebacker currently on the Packers' roster, it will be difficult for Barrington to find any playing time, but if he makes his mark on special teams, that will be his way onto the team.

Jake Stoneburner (15th ranked TE by

19.8 receptions, 262.4 yards, 13.3 YPR

Stoneburner went undrafted but was reportedly signed by the Packers as a free agent. He is only one of three tight ends (out of 30) ranked by projected to have a yards per catch average of over 13.0 yards. With Jermichael Finley's future in Green Bay uncertain beyond 2013, there's an opportunity to find playing time in the future.

Matt Brown (26th ranked QB by

513 attempts, 216 completions, 50.9% completion, 3,162 yards, 17.2 TDs, 20.0 INTs

Undrafted. Obviously Brown won't be starting in Green Bay anytime soon. His highest hopes might be as the Packers' No. 3 quarterback in 2013, but that isn't exactly a stretch of the imagination. If the Packers decide to part ways with Graham Harrell, Brown could be sitting pretty. Learning under the tutelage of Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy is only going to help his development.

Gilbert Pena (33rd ranked DT by

24.6 tackles, 1.7 sacks, 4.6 tackles for a loss, 0.5 forced fumbles

Undrafted. The biggest thing Pena has going for him is his 330-lb. frame. He's a nose tackle type of player, and with both B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett having expiring contracts following 2013, there's an opportunity for Pena to stick around if he proves himself.

Ben Ericksen (48th ranked safety by

50.1 tackles, 4.4 interceptions, 5.0 passes broken up

Undrafted. With safety being one of the thinnest positions on the team, Ericksen faces shorter odds than a lot of other undrafted players in Green Bay. As someone who played at the FCS level of college football at Illinois State, he'll face a steep learning curve as to the speed and intensity of the NFL.

Andy Mulumba (50th ranked DE by

37.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4.0 tackles for a loss

Mulumba played in a three-point stance at Eastern Michigan but he'll need to learn how to stand up and play in space as an outside linebacker in Green Bay. He would appear to be stout at the point of attack, but rushing the passer and dropping into coverage will be the biggest things he'll need to learn at the next level.



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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (24) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

CSS's picture

Brian, any chance Paul could take a look at the productivity of Perry and Matthews as a byproduct of adding Jones? I'm always cynical about rookie production along the defensive line (it's rare), but I do see his presence having a productive impact on OLB numbers. I know it's for entertainment purposes only, just curious.

Brian Carriveau's picture

I suggest hitting Paul up on Twitter @PigskinPaul.

MarkinMadison's picture

Looking at the RB situation, you have to consider MM's comments the other day. MM wants to run the no-huddle. He wants to rotate guys by series, not by down, so that he can keep things moving. Notice also the recent comment that he held off on putting Harris onto the field until he was good to go in pass pro. To beat a dead horse, the Packers will want any RB who steps onto the field to be comfortable picking up the blitz (which is why I never thought they would draft a boy named Christine). If Lacy and Franklin prove equally good at pass blocking then look for them to largely split series, with Lacy coming in for most third and short situations.

Derek in CO's picture

This is absolutely ridiculous. why even bother trying to predict something like this? almost as useful as a mock draft.

Brian Carriveau's picture

It's not simply guesswork. At least based on concrete data with historical basis. When you see that they predicted Casey Hayward to have seven interceptions last season, one of only two rookie CBs predicted to have any more than four, you start to think maybe there's something to their analysis. Obviously they're going to hit on some and miss on others, but at least it's objective analysis.

PackersRS's picture

It's based on something. Doesn't cease to be guesswork.

The fact that they hit some doesn't change it's nature.

There are simply too many incalculable factors that go into a player's performance during a 16-game stretch. Making that calculation about a player that has never had any snaps in pro football and has never had any practices with his teammates? Many who're changing positions for the first time in their career?

I love statistics, love probabilities, but this?


Not questioning the validity of the post, Brian, let this be clear. Quite simply, if there's public, there's media. I am, however, questioning the validity of the subject.

Denver's picture

I'm guessing some spitballin' and dart throwing may be involved in the algorithms as well.
Though reading the article was better than working for a couple of minutes.

Stroh's picture

No chance in hell that Franklin and Lacy both have close to or more than 1000 yds. Lacy's seem about right thou the ypc seem awfully high. Assuming Lacy is more or less the every down RB, Franklin will be lucky to get 1/2 those numbers. I'm guessing closer to 300 yds and 25 rec.

jeremy's picture

You don't read very well do you?

jeremy's picture

This is interesting. Did they do one for Nate Palmer?

Brian Carriveau's picture

No, Palmer was not ranked.

perrin's picture

@Derek: And I'm sure you read AND enjoyed plenty of mock drafts this year. Jeez, there's always one in the crowd... Thanks for the article Brian, we're all champing at the bit for this exciting season to start!!

Derek in CO's picture

I do enjoy looking at mock drafts, but just to look at who the players are, how they are ranked and their skill sets. There is little validity in mock drafts actually predicting who will take whom, in most cases unless you pick in the top 5. Nobody had GB taking Datone Jones and nobody had Eddie Lacy going late in Round 2. I'm simply saying predicting rookie statistics in April even before training camp is like predicting when armegeddon will be or how much snow will fall.

This is not a knock on Brian either, but the guys who actually predict this stuff. I love this blog.

Tracker's picture

Actually a lot of people (including us blog commenters at Acme Packing Company) correctly predicted Datone Jones to the Packers. Along with hitting on a couple other guys (Micah Hyde and Charles Johnson)- so ha. :P

Nononsense's picture

Yeah you missed Nate Palmer and with only 3 real OLBs on the team hes a surer bet to make the roster as any of the other 5th, 6th or 7th round picks or undrafted FAs.

Brian Carriveau's picture

Palmer was not ranked by PredictionMachine.

Brandon's picture

Derek and Co, did you not read a single mock draft? All of the mock sites predicted Jones to us several times.

Lucky953's picture

At his current weight, Jones can't possibly be a 3 down guy over 16 games. They'll need to give him plenty of rest. the NFL is so much harder on you physically than college. He'll need a year in the weight room. If Lacy can stay healthy all year (unlikely IMO), 1000+ yds probably gets us deep into the playoffs.

devil doc's picture

Was PredictionMachine basing these projections POST draft? As you said under Franklin, the idea that Lacy and Franklin are going to combine for over 2100 total yards to me seems a bit beyond far fetched and quite rediculous.

I don't know if we even NEED Lacy/Franklin to surpass 1000 yards with the way that the NFL passing game is evolving, and the Packers having arguably the best QB in the league with Rodgers.

I'd like to see what PredictionMachine would say for the rest of our starters like Rodgers, Nelson, James Jones and Finley. If the numbers for Lacy and Franklin seem this inflated, can only imagine what the rest of our skill players may look like.

PackerBacker's picture

@ devil doc

I think the prediction machine calculated them if they each started individually. It wasn't a cumulative thing. They only each got the stats based on starting RB snap counts.

Unless MM starts running the ball 45 - 50 times a game which is probably just a bit unlikely.

devil doc's picture

That makes more sense, should have seen that too.

My idiot moment for the day right there.

Rockman's picture

Perhaps Franklin will be returning kicks to relieve Cobb

al's picture

go pack go

al's picture

brain what should packers do about safty i think thay didnt draft one because packer have confadence in is it mj ?

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