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Ranking the Top 10 Players on the Packers Roster

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Ranking the Top 10 Players on the Packers Roster

Honorable Mentions

  • LB Blake Martinez – He needs to improve his coverage skills in order to crack the top 10.
  • WR Randall Cobb – He’s better than his numbers suggest, though not quite good enough be inside the top 10.
  • CB Damarious Randall – He'll be on this list in the near future if he continues to play like he did at the end of the 2017 season.
  • RB Aaron Jones – He needs to improve in pass protection, but he is the best pure runner on the Packers roster.

10. OLB Nick Perry

2017 PFF Grade: 80.5

Bleacher Report: 16th ranked 3-4 OLB

It’s unlikely that Perry will ever be an All-Pro player for the Packers, but that doesn’t diminish his usefulness. The 2012 first round pick is excellent at setting the edge and has developed into one of the premier run defenders at his position. While he does have 18 sacks over the last two seasons, Perry is nothing more than an average pass rusher (40 percent of those sacks came in three games). The 27-year-old should benefit from the hiring of Mike Pettine, though it may not necessarily show up on the stat sheet.

9. WR Jordy Nelson                    

2017 PFF Grade: 74.8

Bleacher Report: 40th ranked ouside WR

Let’s start by stating the obvious: Jordy isn’t the player he used to be – if he was, he’d be second on this list. That being said, Nelson can still bring plenty of value to Green Bay’s offense. Few receivers have a better connection with their quarterback than Jordy does with Rodgers, and that’s not something that should be taken for granted. In order to continue being productive, the 33-year-old will likely have to follow in the footsteps of Reggie Wayne and Larry Fitzgerald and move inside. Read Andy Herman’s excellent piece on Nelson for a more comprehensive breakdown on his future in Green Bay.

8. OLB Clay Matthews

2017 PFF Grade: 83.4

Bleacher Report: 15th ranked 3-4 OLB

Matthews is quite effective despite not being as explosive as he used to be. The 31-year-old led the Packers with 7.5 sacks in 2017 and graded out as the 11th best run defender at his position. Clay should get a boost from the switch at defensive coordinator, as Mike Pettine is a big fan of versatile outside linebackers.

7. RT Bryan Bulaga

2017 PFF Grade: 68.9

Bleacher Report: 4th ranked RT

Given all of his injuries, it’s easy to forget how good Bulaga is when healthy. His average grade from his last four seasons with 12 or more games would have been good enough to rank ninth amongst all tackles in 2017. While he is coming off a torn ACL, Bulaga is just 28 and should have a decent amount of good football left in him when he returns.

6. FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

2017 PFF Grade: 79.2

Bleacher Report: 13th ranked FS

Heading into the 2017 season, Clinton-Dix looked as if he was going to join the upper echelon of safeties in the league. Instead of making that jump, Clinton-Dix took a significant step back. He struggled in coverage, took poor angles to the ball, and spent more time watching plays than actually participating in them. There’s no question that the 25-year-old has the talent to be a star, and that could happen if the new coaching staff is better at getting the most out of their players.

5. DE Mike Daniels

2017 PFF Grade: 87.0

Bleacher Report: 4th ranked 3-4 DE

Since 2013, no defensive player on the Packers has been more effective or consistent than Mike Daniels. When the defense as a whole went through the occasional (LOL) rough patch over the past few seasons, Daniels was constantly the lone bright spot. The new scheme and (possibly) a revamped defensive front could lead to Daniels having another career year in 2018. For more on Daniels, read Andy’s terrific article from early February.

4. DT Kenny Clark

2017 PFF Grade: 87.9

Bleacher Report: 17th ranked DT

One of the few bright spots from the 2017 season was the emergence of second-year defensive tackle Kenny Clark. Clark was damn near unstoppable in the running game, where he ranked seventh amongst all defensive tackles with a grade of 88.6. The 22-year-old also showed significant growth as a pass rusher and displayed signs of potentially being an elite interior rusher. Clark is the guy the Packers should build their defense around for years to come.

3. WR Davante Adams

2017 PFF Grade: 83.5

Bleacher Report: 11th ranked outside WR

Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson, and Davante Adams – that’s the list of player to put up 20 or more receiving touchdowns since the start of the 2016 season, and Adams leads that group with 22. Adams is an ascending talent who has cemented himself as the number one receiver in Green Bay’s offense. If he continues his current trend, it won’t be long before the 25-year-old is considered to be a top-5 receiver.

2. LT David Bakhtiari

2017 PFF Grade: 88.9

Bleacher Report: 1st ranked LT

It’s fitting that the player who is second on this list is the one who is tasked with protecting the player who sits atop the list. In five seasons, Bakhtiari has gone from being a fourth-round pick to quite possibly the best left tackle in the game. The 26-year-old is sensational as a pass protector and an improved run blocker. As long as he’s healthy, the Packers need not worry about Rodgers’ blindside.

1. QB Aaron Rodgers

2017 PFF Grade: who cares?

Bleacher Report: does it matter?

<Insert goat emoji>

 

Disagree? Feel free to share your list of top 10 players in the comments below.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (48) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Point Packer's picture

1) Rodgers
2) Bakh
3) Adams
4) Daniels
5) Clark
6) Mathews
7) Perry
8) Martinez
9) Linsley
10) Jeff Janis

ricky's picture

Jeff Janis? Are you kidding? He will be lucky to make the team next season. (Cue "Playoffs?!?" and replace with "Janis?!?"

flackcatcher's picture

Actually, a very strong case can be made for Janis on his special team play alone. If you go back over the last two years, teams kicked away for Janis and he always had two, sometimes three blockers on him. On this PP is right.

fthisJack's picture

no....Janis is not a top 10 player on this roster and will probably be gone this year.

Point Packer's picture

There wasn't an ounce of sarcasm regarding my inclusion of Jeff Janis. None. Nada..

worztik's picture

This is a ridiculous article and so subjective that it’s unreadable!!! It must be the off season but, don’t give up yer day job!!! Just cringin’...

Nick Perry's picture

It's IS the off-season Worztik, they all can't be winners for 100% of the readers. No disrespect meant here but please don't disrespect the writers here at CHTV.

This ISN'T their "Day Job" and many of the pieces here at CHTV ARE subjective. They do it mostly for their love for the GBP which for me is always enough. Just no need to be so critical IMO...

worztik's picture

Nick... Regrets to those that may have been insulted or bothered by my little comment!!! It’s NOT easy to write and I appreciate the efforts that the staff writers put in... I guess I evaluated the article as a subject that is so controversial, or inappropriate, that it shouldn’t have been broached! Again, my sincere appreciation of the articles authors can not be measured... especially if one was to read Wes’ comments in the Packer web site. The subjects with him are rarely about substantive football topics and he pretends to understand the Packer fan base! Sooooo saaaad... thank Nick for keeping me on point!

HankScorpio's picture

Isn't discussing subjective topics what we do here? Not much of what is discussed is objective. For example, if I were to say that: "Aaron Jones ran for 448 yards last year because of his elusiveness, vision, ability to break tackles, sound blocking and great play-calling", only the 448 yards part is objective. The rest is all subjective.

Obviously the writer is expressing an opinion as the starting point for further spirited discussion. I think it is a great idea for an offseason topic, particularly in the lull before FA begins and we begin to get some objective info on how the front office shake up is going to work in practice. There are so many ways to take the topic.

worztik's picture

Nick, What I find really disturbing is that if I write an unpopular critique of an article... it disappears from the website!!! I’m not so vane, can you say vanity, that I go back and read it over and over to appease my “self actualization” stage of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs but, it is censorship!!! I hate censorship almost as much as I hate HRC (Hillary)!!! This happened once before and it mysteriously reappeared after mysteriously disappearing... just redactin’.... ;-€()>

Rebecca's picture

What i find disturbing is bringing up HRC (Hillary). Other than that your comments and opinions are wonderful and I will assume that you are a sweet person, not an asshole like Donnie. Trumpfinheimer the Russian tool, money launderer and psychopath.

worztik's picture

Just the mention of her makes my skin crawl but, I digress...

worztik's picture

Thank you!!! I shouldn’t have brought up HRC....

Since &#039;61's picture

I'm good with 1-5. I would have Jordy as #6, especially when Rodgers is healthy. After that, CM3, Dix, Bulaga, take your pick for the order.
Including Perry in the top 10 shows how poor the rest of our roster is. I would put Linsley in the top 10 and knock out Perry. I would also put Cobb in the top 10 before Perry. Thanks, Since '61

Savage57's picture

I sure hope that Pettine and his crew can find out and fix what made HHCD look like he thought opponents with the ball were carrying the Ebola virus, too.

Bearmeat&#039;s Phantom Downvoter's picture

We have 5 excellent players. Then a BIIIIG dropoff.

1. Rodgers
2. Bakh
3. Clark
4. Daniels
5. Adams

6. Um.... Linsley?
7. Taylor
8. Jordy's corpse
9. Bulaga's other knee
10. Ransdall on non headcase days

Lot of work to do this offseason.

flackcatcher's picture

Boy, 7-10 is a lot closer to the truth that I like. (JORDY'S NOT DEAD!!!!!......yet 0:)

Elishatwerski's picture

I found this to be true as well when evaluating the roster. Bulaga is elite when healthy, but the "when" is key there. It remains to be seen what Jordy has left in the tank. Clay is solid, but no longer a player that needs to be feared. Martinez had an excellent year but was a liability in coverage. HHCD is an All-Pro talent who sleepwalked his way through 2017. So many question marks after the top 5.

HankScorpio's picture

"Clay is solid, but no longer a player that needs to be feared"

I think this is true based on the last few years. I think under Pettine, it could change. Matthews is the best ILB on the roster, IMO. He can still run sideline to sideline, and is relentless and instinctive. He has a knack for big plays that you cannot teach. Unfortunately, he's also the best OLB so he's played there instead of what I think is his more natural position, at least at this point in his career.

Jonathan Spader's picture

There's still potential on the Packers but how hard we have to try to come up with a list of 10 is just sad. Monty, Williams, and Jones have all shown signs of being good. Jones might be great but it's too soon to say. King has the measurables to be great but so did Spriggs.

Josh Jones looked good in his 1st game. Biegel looked good in limitted snaps. Unfortunately at this point we are hoping Pettine works miracles with the defense. Once again we'll be relying on Aaron Rodgers outscoring opponents. The good news is that's been pretty reliable when he's been healthy. I just hope for more in 2018.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Remind me never to rely on a PFF grade again. At best it is a general indicator.

Mojo's picture

Or a Bleacher Report grade.

dobber's picture

Every one of these rubrics has inherent bias, no matter how their purveyors defend them. But for many positions, it's really all you get.

HankScorpio's picture

Heck, even for positions with stats galore, you need some kind of eye-ball test.

I may be dating myself by saying this but Emmitt Smith vs Barry Sanders is a no-brainer comparison, IMO. Barry Sanders was so much better and it's not even close. You'd never guess that by looking at nothing but a stat sheet.

Or Deion Sanders. He was so good that teams avoiding throwing anywhere close to him. That hurt his stats. But made him the greatest cover CB I've ever seen.

I'm not a huge fan of PFF metrics. But there is a reason they exist and are cited when discussing players.

John Kirk's picture

1) Rodgers (not Richard)
2) Bakhtiari (almost went Clark at 2 due to Bakhtiari's average run blocking)
3) Clark
4) Aaron Jones
5) Ty Montgomery
6) Mike Daniels
7) a)Matthews b) Adams c) Perry
10) Crosby

Thank goodness #1 is so strong. The rest is not very impressive 2-10. It's hard to believe that we have that much money tied up in WR and OLB only to have them be two of our biggest needs heading into 2018.

Mojo's picture

Like your list much more than the one presented. I'd probably switch out T-Mo only because he's constantly injured. Outside of a promising end to the 2016 season he hasn't done much of anything.

Perry has to go too. He's good when healthy but he might even more injury prone than CM3.

I'll add Martinez and Linsley and if we have to have a kicker I'll go with Vogel over Crosby. Vogel actually looked pretty good.

John Kirk's picture

:) I almost put Vogel in over Crosby and considered BOTH of them because I really don't think much of the "talent" we have here.

I didn't account for injuries in my list. A healthy 88 is very good and a healthy Perry is solid. Considered Linsley but I believe Tretter is a better and certainly more versatile player so it was hard for me to put him on the list.

Had to go over the roster several times to compile 10 players. Honestly, it was eye opening going over our roster. I kept checking and rechecking thinking there had to be more talent there than what I was seeing. Nope. :(

Interesting to me that Casey Hayward would probably be Top 3 if still here and Hyde cracks the 10 if not in Buffalo. That's a pretty bad indictment of our management to let, not one, but two, what would be Top 10 players go over the last few seasons only to be stuck with lesser players especially in the case of Hayward. You could make the case that letting Tretter go was another borderline Top 10 talent lost. That's not even mentioning Sitton and Lang who would've both been on the list. So, about 5 guys gone in the last couple of seasons that could've been Top 10'ers...maybe, Peppers, too. That'd be 6.

Nick Perry's picture

Such was life with Ted Thompson and Dom Capers. They put a whole new meaning into "Fitting a square peg into a round hole".

I will NEVER understand letting Hayward walk for a 3 year $15 million contract. NEVER!!!

Hyde should have been moved to Safety the moment Thompson threw away one of the best DB's in the history of the GBP (Woodson). But as usual Dom Capers continued to use him in a position he wasn't best suited to play. I always liked Hyde and suggested the Packers draft more players LIKE him...FOOTBALL Players. But as we all know Thompson had a problem with that the last few years. Even some of the "In Ted We Trust" fans we have here started to see Thompson for what he was.

I will NEVER understand letting Sitton go and getting absolutely noting in return. Now Lane Taylor has been decent but lets not try and put him into the same league as Sitton as some do. Probably to make themselves feel better.. ; )

I will NEVER understand LOW BALLING T.J. Lang so badly they allowed Detroit to sign him away with a ridiculous contract offer there was no way the Packers would match. Lang should have been locked up earlier and maybe they tried but IIRC there were no offers prior to his last season. That contract they offered him was a F'ing embarrassment.

John Kirk's picture

As much as I felt Ted was an impediment to winning here, I actually understood letting Hayward go. It had nothing to do with his performance, rather, his availability. He had injuries that seemed to bother the org for how long they were taking to heal. I got the sense they felt he was soft and was in no hurry to return to game action. Plus, with our already huge issue with injuries, and the fact Ted planned for this by drafting who he thought would replace him in Randall and Rollins, I fully understood why he did it.

Hayward was one of my favorite players. He was instinctive but I wondered how he'd do outside trying to run with guys a lot faster than he was. I guess he showed me. The money, though, was INSANE. Based on that alone negates all the reasoning I understood in letting him go.

With Hyde, I thought he was a JAG. I realize he was a football player but he seemed to be just short of making the big play needed as I conjure the inches away vs. SF in that freezing playoff game at Lambeau that would've sealed victory. I have doubts he ever sniffs another Pro Bowl. When I watched him he was invisible but that was only a couple of games.

Sitton...ouch. Supposed racial issue he created in the lockerroom. Still, like you said, no excuse for getting NOTHING.

Pretty clear the last few years of Ted were a total trainwreck...the ones before those were a derailment but not quite as bad. Aren't you glad he's still around to "help" Brian? :)

EDIT: I completely forgot Jared Cook...he could've been a Top 10 guy. We have let an incredible amount of talent go the last few years. That usually catches up with you. What a tough tough task Brian has shopping with little money knowing he needs to spend huge on a car maintenance (12's extension) as opposed to getting some great groceries.

dobber's picture

"I will NEVER understand LOW BALLING T.J. Lang so badly they allowed Detroit to sign him away with a ridiculous contract offer there was no way the Packers would match. "

Read what you wrote there, NP. I think you DO understand.

Jonathan Spader's picture

How you know NP isn't just talking:

Nick Perry says:
January 04, 2017 at 06:37 am
I know many here and on other sites can't stand Hyde. Go to another Packers site where they have a 1st and 2nd half thread where the fans comment and you'd think Hyde was the worst to ever to wear the "G" on his helmet.
I always liked Hyde. Is he a great CB? No, but the word Michelle used, "Gutty" does describe him. He may not be great at any one thing, but he's a lot like a Swiss Army Knife, he does many things and does them well enough.

Calling him a secret weapon might be a bit much. I'd settle for 4 games of doing your job. Keep the QB from having a rating above 75 and I'd be a happy camper. I also believe he's been just a hair away from breaking a punt return.

Like Dislike 6 points (6 like | 0 dislike)

I also like what Since '61 said:

Since '61 says:
March 08, 2017 at 08:49 am
If the Packers were to lose Hyde to FA who would fill his role? He not only helps to solidify the secondary but he is also a reliable punt returner. Looking at 2016 we expected CB to be one of the team's deepest positions and that went poof! shortly after the season started. If the same were to happen to the safety position in 2017 many fans will want to bury TT alive for letting Hyde go as they have for letting Hayward go in 2016. Now we're allegedly reaching out to bring House back. Will w do the same with Hayward in a few seasons as well? I wouldn't go over $4 mil per season for Hyde with only half of that guaranteed, but I would at least try to retain him. If another team wants to overpay him to become a starter then the choice is his. I'm hoping we can keep him because he shows up and he makes plays. Thanks, Since '61

John Kirk's picture

You would be comfortable giving Hyde an average of 6.1 million per, with 8 mil guaranteed, knowing what you knew when we had that decision to make? I'm sure some would say that now, but nobody back then.

61 said 4 million per would be as high as he would go with only 2 mil guaranteed. Buffalo blew that out of the water.

I wonder if NP would have been good with the contract Buffalo gave him?

Hyde represented a lot of Ted's kind of guys. Try hard guys without commensurate athleticism. while I didn't "hate" Micah, I wasn't high on him at all believing he was just another guy out there who had no ability to change games, especially during playoff time vs. better competition, and we had a bevy of those already. Every roster needs some players like him but you can't have a roster full of them.

Further, I'm not sure Micah wasn't the beneficiary of playing for a better D and better coordinator. It's kind of like us adding Malcolm Butler and having him flop here, if we still had Dom. Yes, he looked good in New England under the watchful eye of Belichick but would he be that if he played for our defense and Dom Capers?

I saw Micah a few times last season and vs. Jax in playoffs. I wasn't sure he was even playing that's how little impact he had. In his first 7 games he had 5 picks and 8 passes defensed. In his next 9, he had zero INT's and 5 passes defensed. Those first 7 games where he got fat featured the Jets, Bucs, Denver, Cincy, Carolina (with a struggling Newton off of shoulder surgery Week 2), Oakland with Carr who struggled most of the season and Atlanta early in the season moving from Shanahan at OC to Sarkisian. His hot start which vaulted him into a lot of talk isn't likely to be replicated.

HankScorpio's picture

Nick,

The Packers made a fair contract offer to Lang. Detroit made a crazy one. That's FA. Sometimes the player is a big winner. Lang is a good example.

Look at the Lang situation like this: They traded Lang for Evans and a 2018 3rd round pick. It might help to ease the sting.

https://overthecap.com/compensatory-draft-picks-cancellation-chart/

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

...and millions of cap dollars.

John Kirk's picture

...and lesser performance. Sorry, couldn't resist as that is kind of important, too.

Mojo's picture

HHCD at six? Either I'm missing something or the GB roster is a total cluster %@$k.

Since &#039;61's picture

Agreed. Makes me wonder what the criteria are for making it into the Packers too 10. Thanks, Since '61

Bearmeat&#039;s Phantom Downvoter's picture

The roster is a total CF Mojo.

Elishatwerski's picture

HHCD is at 6 due to a combination of talent, past performance and potential future performance. And no, you're not missing something, this is not a particularly strong roster right now. Though I will say that there is a nice amount of untapped potential beyond the top 5 players.

stockholder's picture

Why players leave and don't want to play in Green Bay. 1. The weather 2. Money 3. Coach 4. Teammates 5. Family 6. Rebuild 7. Fishbowl 8. Press 9. Change 10. Challenge

dobber's picture

Suddenly I feel like we're playing Password. Is Allen Ludden hanging around here somewhere or did I just get a "live" stream of GSN?

John Kirk's picture

Night life is an issue as well as racial demographics and marketing opportunities. Tax burdens aren't doing us any favors, either. WI is top 10 in state income tax and Top 5 combining state and local taxes.

I actually laughed when I read #8. Our press is the softest in almost any sport. Outside of McGinn who isn't mainstream anymore the coverage is softball central befitting a HS team not a professional one.

dobber's picture

Bulaga is an interesting case and we'll have to see what the Packers do with him. ACL injuries aren't death sentences, especially for OL, but Bulaga's injury rate over the years has been troubling and much of it has to do with his inability to stay clear of the trash. I wonder if he's best-suited to move inside to G at this stage (I know, given my previous statement, this seems a little silly)...

Elishatwerski's picture

I don't see any reason to move him inside. The issue with him isn't performance. In fact, he's one of the better right tackles in the game when healthy. The issue is staying on the field.

HankScorpio's picture

Based on 2017, the top 10 list is less than impressive. No matter who you include and how you order them, it doesn't really alter that much. After the top 5 or so, you are debating over which player is less weak, rather than which one is strong.

Fortunately 2017 brought about some real change of significance even before the roster shaping begins. I really do believe that the defensive coaching changes is going to make a big difference. And some of these defenders will be viewed in a different light. I don't think many would disagree that Rodgers taking snaps makes everyone on offense look better.

Elishatwerski's picture

Couldn't agree more, Hank.

Elishatwerski's picture

Couldn't agree more, Hank.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

It's hard to come up with the top 10 not because we have so many great players on our team but because we don't have that many great players on our team or even good players for that matter

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