Upside....Which Packers Have The Most of It?

If you're going to draft and develop, you'd better have players with high ceilings.

  It is possible, maybe even likely, that the coming NFL draft will not yield a starting player for the Green Bay Packers.  I keep hearing that any meaningful improvement on the team this year will have to come from players already on the roster taking the next step.

 
Which brings us to the subject of upside.  It's not just a question of who is going to get better.  Upside is the intangible measure of how much better a player is capable of getting.  To a large extent, upside is in the eye of the beholder.  For example, I don't believe Marquez Valdes-Scantling has a lot of upside.  That doesn't mean he's not a good player or that he can't help the team.  More on MVS later.   
 
By contrast, I believe Allen Lazard has a great deal of upside.  Go back to week three against the Saints last year.  With Davante Adams out, Lazard was treated as the number one receiver and put on a show.  He got open deep, and crossing short.  He showed long ball ability and possession skills, he's a great blocker and even gets a jet sweep carry now and then.  The Packers have only begun to develop his talent.  Your opinion may be different.  That's why upside is subjective at best.
 
With that in mind, here is my list of Packers with the most upside.  This is not a prediction of who will improve the most this season.  It is an evaluation of which Packers, over the course of their careers, have the potential to be most improved over where they are now.    Whether they achieve that potential is anybody's guess.  One caveat.  I only considered players who are in the early stages of their development .  The upside for established stars like Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams is self-obvious.  The list is followed by a ranking of Packers with the least upside.  Again, this does not mean they aren't any good or that they should be cut.  It just means they are already at, or near, their ceiling.
 
 

MOST UPSIDE

 
1.  Jordan Love
 
Check out his 2018 Sophomore highlights at Utah State.  He sure looked like he could be an NFL quarterback.  He made plays from the pocket, was mobile getting out of the pocket and accurate throwing on the run.  That season he rolled up 3,567 passing yards and 32 touchdowns with just six interceptions.  With most all of his supporting cast gone the next season, he still threw for over 3,400 yards and 20 scores.  He has had basically no chance to demonstrate and develop his talent thus far, but that is going to change.  He may be the definition of upside.
 
 
2.  Kingsley Keke
 
In his second year, he went from zero sacks to four.  When Kenny Clark missed four games beginning in week two last season, Keke showed indications of  pass rush burst, physicality and creativity.  His stoutness at the point of attack was one reason Green Bay improved so much defending the run as the season progressed.  He still has the ability to get much better. 
 
 
3.  Jace Sternberger
 
His second season was a disappointment to say the least.  Injuries and drops resulted in his simply not seeing the ball much in 2020.  But he had  good enough hands and speed to grab 48 passes as a college tight end in his junior season, his final year in college, and the route running ability to total 832 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns as one of  the top tight ends at that level in 2018.   He just needs to play.  Robert Tonyan is getting all the attention now, and rightfully so after a breakout season, but I'm not sure Sternberger doesn't have more upside. 
 
 
4.  Jon Runyan
 
He was only a sixth round pick last year, but was thrust into action in week one against the Vikings in his very first pro game after injuries to Lane Taylor and Lucas Patrick.   Immediately, he looked like he belonged. He went on to play from scrimmage in eight games without a perceptible drop off in performance.  Runyan played guard all year but may get a chance to compete for the right tackle job in 2021.  He started 25 games at tackle for Michigan and was all Big Ten as a junior and senior.
 
 
5.  Kamal Martin
 
The rookie played 19 percent of the defensive snaps and Pro Football Focus had him rated as the best inside linebacker on the team.  Martin's explosive charges to the ball remind you of Tampa Bay's Devin White.  Martin's immaturity resulted in over running the play several times and missing a tackle for loss he was in position to make.  As he gets more experience and gets his speed under control he has the ability to be a star.
 
          
 

LEAST UPSIDE

 
1.  Marquez Valdes-Scantling
 
He has certainly emerged as a legitimate stretch-the-field threat.  His straight line speed is something opponents have to account for.  He had a nice season in 2020 with 690 receiving yards and six touchdowns.  That's about as good as its going to get.  Which is fine.  He has a role.  But I wouldn't look for greater things.  He actually had more targets and more catches as a rookie in 2018.  He's always going to drop a few wide open throws.  He is what he is, and that's not bad.  
 
 
2.  A.J. Dillon
 
He's going to carry the ball a lot of times and gain a boatload of yards for the Green Bay Packers over his career, and I can't wait to watch him do it.  What you have seen from him in his limited action thus far is what you are going to get..  He's a power back who runs hard with good ability to find the hole and dish out punishment.  He will catch an occasional pass off a screen and make the most of it.  I don't see him having the upside to remake himself in the mode of, say, Jamaal Williams,, who developed lateral moves in the open field, and became a downfield receiving threat.  
 
 
3.  Krys Barnes
 
Certainly the most pleasant surprise of the season, the undrafted rookie went from being cut one week before the first game, to becoming a starting inside linebacker.   Not only that, but he tied for the team lead in tackles, and led the Packers in tackles for loss.  He is savvy enough to run the defense, and Matt LaFleur has praised him for being able to get his teammates in the right positions prior to the snap.  But with just average size and speed, Barnes struggles to cover, takes too many fakes, and seems to get injured a lot.   He's always going to give you great effort, and the Packers could do worse than to start him, but his ceiling is probably low.  There is a reason many feel ILB is still a draft need for the Packers.
 
 
4.  Ty Summers
 
Played just under 18 percent of the defensive snaps in 2020.  His greatest asset is his speed.  He can really move from sideline to sideline and find the ball.  Unfortunately when he gets there, he misses a lot of tackles.  Summers appeared to be set as the back-up ILB to Christian Kirksey at season's start, but quickly fell behind Barnes, and then Martin when the latter came back from injury.  Slow to read and react.  That's largely instinctive and hard to teach.
 
 
5.  Equanimeous St. Brown
 
You look at his size and speed and you just wonder why he's not a superstar.  It's because he's always hurt, and when he's not hurt he can't catch the ball.  In 2020 he dropped about one of every three balls thrown to him.  Expecting him to blossom in this, the 4th and final year of his contract, is probably unrealistic.  
 
 
 
 
 

 

-----------------------------------

Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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4 points

Comments (55)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
NickPerry's picture

April 19, 2021 at 06:31 am

Can't argue much with this list but I would say AJ Dillon could develop into an excellent receiver and solid in pass protection. Boston College ran the ball when Dillon was there, hell they probably ran it before and after he was there too. My point is Dillon just wasn't asked to catch and pass protect much at BC but if you watch his combine and few catches last year, he catches the ball just fine. Personally I can't wait to watch Dillon this year.

Same with Keke and Sternberger though Jace Sternberger better show something very early once players report and STAY healthy. With Big Bobby and Deguara coming back, Sternberger better hit the ground FLYING or he may just get lost in the wash.

I'd still add Savage because I think this guy will continue his raise his game to new levels just like he did the last several weeks of last year. In this defense he's going to be closer to the LOS which is exactly where Pettine FINALLY started playing him towards the end of last season and he was one of PFF highest graded players the last several weeks.

I can't agree more than the Ty Summers prediction. I re-watched that Packers / Saints game from 2020 and watch Summers completely overrun AND whiff on that long Kamara run. You know the one, the one where all 11 defensive players had GOOD shots at Kamara but somehow ALL missed their chance to get him to the ground. Summers miss makes me angry each time.. Like dude, WTF!!

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 19, 2021 at 07:12 am

Agreed NP; I could have written this. I'd love to see Jevon Holland added to the roster just because he and Savage are so similar, and I feel there would be a terrific synergy with the pair.

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splitpea1's picture

April 19, 2021 at 11:35 am

Holland is supposedly a high floor/low ceiling prospect--not that I care. He brings great versatility to the defensive backfield along with kick return skills. We could really use a player like this. Maybe we could get him in a trade-back scenario.

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Coldworld's picture

April 19, 2021 at 06:36 pm

There are two factors. He missed a year with a Covid opt out and he is relatively slight of frame. Personally I don’t care because I think he can be an upgrade in the slot as early as this season. Certainly in multi back sets (which are predicted to be plentiful). He’s no a hybrid ILB, but if he can render the idea of moving Savage into the slot, I think he just made us better in two positions. He may develop into a safety, but he can help now as a center field DB.

I certainly wouldn’t hate him at 29 for that reason. Add in the kick returning as a plus too, because we have a stronger chance to snag a better option/slot type later if that isn’t a primary driver.

It’s all about what can the first pick do for us now as well as down the road this year. I think he can bring benefits in both ways.

2 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 19, 2021 at 06:47 am

Upside:

1. Rashan Gary. I think there is still plenty of room to get even better.
2. Josh Deguara. Looked good, might only play 550 snaps, but he will get better.
3. Ka'Dar Hollman. He can play man. Hope he can learn zone if necessary.
4. Stepaniak.

I am intrigued by Dominique Dafney. Not sure if there's room with Deguara.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 19, 2021 at 07:09 am

Good comments TGR. Hollman is the invisible man--I'd like to know why he gets so little play; the coaches clearly see a problem, but what is it?
I too have high hopes for Stepaniak; I thought he was a steal.

5 points
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Turophile's picture

April 19, 2021 at 08:04 am

Agree with all your additions, TGR. I also have hope for OT Yosh Nijman and WR Malik Taylor.

Of all the players mentioned, the ones that might help the most, are Gary and Keke. Better play of the front 7 on defense can give a nice boost for the team.

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 19, 2021 at 09:21 am

If Keke has increased his lower body strength then there is a good chance he is more of a force.

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splitpea1's picture

April 19, 2021 at 11:28 am

There's room for Dafney. We've seen twice as much of him as we have Deguara, who we're not sure can stay healthy. I think it's an asset to have two of these guys, anyway.

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 19, 2021 at 02:54 pm

If a position/role is important, having a viable back up is not optional. We saw that with Greene and the Hybrid position for the last 2 years.

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 19, 2021 at 06:42 pm

Dafney is the fullback, Deguara will be more multiple. He had an ACL tear, just like Bhaktiari. What the hell does that have to do with a long-term view of his ability to stay healthy?

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splitpea1's picture

April 20, 2021 at 11:24 am

Because he also suffered an ankle injury in his first game, which forced him to miss a couple more games prior to the season-ending injury vs. Atlanta. So he could end up being an injury-plagued player--that's the hell why.

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Since'61's picture

April 19, 2021 at 05:39 pm

Agree TGR especially on Rashan Gary. He has all the physical tools to become a defensive on the Packers defense. IMO he has the most upside of the younger Packer players.

I'm hoping that Runyon, Stepaniak and Lucas Patrick all have upside and can be effective players on the OL.

Thanks, Since '61

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 19, 2021 at 06:51 pm

Gary has to be a starter. Enough of the short-lease bullshit. The guy creates situations like Zadarius. I'm still not sold on P Smith making a come back as a playmaker, but I may be wrong. I really hope LaFleur gets more four man fronts in his defensive scheme preference.We'll wait it out on year Eleven. Who is your team '61, Yanks or Mets?

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Since'61's picture

April 19, 2021 at 08:42 pm

Agree on Gary being a starter or at least getting most of the snaps. I believe that he is reaching the point where he can wreck an opponent's offense and force the OC to focus on stopping him which will create opportunities for players like Z. Smith, Clark and hopefully our ILBS.

I. have been a Yankees fan longer than I have been a Packers fan. Growing up in the Bronx, walking to the original Yankee stadium and watching Mickey Mantle and those great Yankee teams of the late 50s and 60s had me before the Mets even existed. Then watching the Lombardi Packers and here I am still loyal to the Yankees and Packers all these years later. Be well. Thanks, Since '61

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PF4L's picture

April 19, 2021 at 05:59 pm

I'm not sure how good Dequara can look playing 3% of the snaps with 1 catch.

But....if he plays 550 snaps, he'll be doing something right. That's serious playing time. I'm guessing about 50% or more.

As far as Gary....he needs to be declared the starter (period)
If that doesn't happen, i have no choice but to think the Packers don't think he's starter material.
Bottom line....if you are the 12th pick, and your still a bench player in your 3rd year,
You are a bust.

That doesn't mean the man can't play football.
It just means he was a giant reach at 12 like a lot of scouts thought.

-2 points
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Since'61's picture

April 19, 2021 at 08:52 pm

I think that Gary is reaching the point where he will become a dominant defensive player for the Packers. He has made an increasing impact as he has received more snaps. At the least he should be getting more snaps than P.Smith if not starting outright.

Gary like Clark came out as a junior. The Packers brought Clark along slowly and we can see where he is now. They are doing the same with Gary. Coming out as a junior is a factor in a player's early development regardless of when they are selected during the draft. This should be his year. He has the physical tools to be a very good if not great player. We'll see if Barry gives him the opportunity to play. Thanks, Since '61

1 points
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PF4L's picture

April 19, 2021 at 10:42 pm

I'm going to go retrieve a post i made 20 minutes ago (on a website i've been on for 9 years) to someone who declared Gary a success.

I'll copy and paste....if you detect angst it isn't directed at you :)
***********************
PF4L April 19, 2021
I guess that depends on how you define expectations with the 12th pick of the draft.
.
This is his 3rd season. Is he….a starter yet?
.
Is 5 sacks the measuring stick for success of a 12th pick edge rusher?

Call me crazy as F….

But how about we wait until he’s a full time starter, and see how he performs.

What say you Brett?
*********************

I have no personal angst towards Gary. He got picked 12th in the first round...Not his fault...God bless him.

My problem...was the Packers picking him, after signing 2 edge rushers for 118 million, when they could have used that pick...for a need somewhere else.

They did not need him, or need to draft a bench player at 12.

I want him to start, i've been advocating it for awhile. I would have bet money Preston would be gone 3 months ago and Gary would slide into his slot.

It's a situation...that didn't need to be a situation, it was team created.

If somebody doesn't expect almost instant return from the 12th pick...then i'm speechless.

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Since'61's picture

April 20, 2021 at 11:38 am

It's a valid point that Gute overcompensated at the OLB position but it's also true that the Packers didn't have any effective OLBs at the time as well. As I posted at the time I expected the Packers to bring Gary along slowly since he came out as a junior and since they committed a signifcant portion of their salary cap to the Smith brothers.
I don't have any preconceived expectations of what a #12 pick or any other pick should be from Day 1. Every player regardless of when they are selected will evolve at their own pace in adjusting to the speed and NFL level of play. Start a guy too soon and he may get pushed all over the place and lose confidence and become a bust. Others given the chance the chance will gain confidence and develop into a solid player.

In any profession it's about allowing a younger person to gain an understanding of what it takes to play or work at a professional level. It's up to managers and coaches to guide them and give the necessary tools to understand and grow. Some will fail no matter what is done and it's best to counsel them to move on, others given the same opportunity will exceed expectations. For me this is the season where I expect Gary to begin to make a dominant impact for the Packers defense, assuming they let him play.

As far as I'm concerned Gary has contributed in his limited play over his first 2 seasons and Barry should let him take a starting role this season. If that doesn't happen then we need to question is it about Gary or is it about Barry and his defensive scheme. I doubt that we will have the answers until the season is completed.
Thanks, Since "61

2 points
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PF4L's picture

April 20, 2021 at 03:58 pm

I would think after signing the Smith brothers to 118 million that the Packers felt they had 2 effective OLB's before drafting Gary.

Although you may not have expectations for a 12th pick, most people do...hence, why high picks make the most money.

We can disagree on Gary, i'm cool with that. But yea....

There are certain expectations for a player picked 12th, compared to a player picked 112th.

If there wasn't....they'd get paid the same.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 19, 2021 at 07:15 am

Ken, I'm surprised you don't see upside in MVS. He looked like he turned a corner during the playoffs. My complaint about him was that he was always terrible in contested ball situations, but during the second half of last season he started winning those--that was a huge step. I now believe he could take the big step to quality WR2 this year.

8 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 19, 2021 at 06:52 pm

See if Moss can get him to the next tier?

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egbertsouse's picture

April 19, 2021 at 07:16 am

Don’t understand all the love for Sternberger. Don’t see what others see in him; not tough, not fast, bad hands. Plus he is an injury waiting to happen. Otherwise, not much to argue about in this list.

3 points
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CoachDino's picture

April 19, 2021 at 08:32 pm

Your right but I'm one of them. Its just Hope, He's our guy, being pessimistic does as much good as being hopeful yet if there's time on the clock let's have it play out and see where it ends up. He has been snake bit with injuries and Covid. yet as stated even when he did play it was nothing that special. Hopefully he can play up to his potential. I believe he's bigger than Big Bob with a better College Rec Tape. If nothing else play well enough to let Bob go when and if he asks for Money. Then draft an offensive weapon TE in the future.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

April 19, 2021 at 07:18 am

Jon Ronyan is my guy for upside. And I disagree agree on MVS. These two players will be used and often. Both will take the next step. The others won't. And the packers will be in trouble for years if they try to prove otherwise.

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jont's picture

April 19, 2021 at 08:05 am

Boy, I hope you're wrong about Dillon. A 2nd rounder needs to deliver more than a few moments each season; we all hope he'll be a big contributor. I love Jamal, and now GB needs a lot from Dillon.

As for MVS, yes, he is what he is: a good blocker with speed who seems to enjoy having footballs bounch off his chest.

-3 points
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TomFisher's picture

April 19, 2021 at 09:06 am

I am kind of stunned that AJ Dillon is listed with limited upside. He is explosive and powerful and adds yardage on the end of every run. Nothing about his build or work ethic suggests that he will be anything less than at least solid in pass protection, and he doesn't look "unnatural" while catching passes. While I love Jamaal Williams, he was the definition of an average runner. He routinely got what was there and every now and then a little more, but Dillon has the chance to turn darn near every run into a big gain.

4 points
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Swisch's picture

April 19, 2021 at 09:13 am

The thing about Dillon is that in his one game as a feature back he plowed for more than 100 yards against the Titans. Plus, he made an outstanding catch. That's a lot of upside already. If he stays at about that level, while refining his overall play, then he's a star.
If MVS plays about as well as he did in a championship game against the Bucs, then he's well on his way to stardom, as well. Well, well, well. He has shown us he actually has excellent hands. Some of those long throws that come into a receiver's midsection while he's running at full speed are hard to track -- but I think MVS will figure it out.
One thing this article does for me is to show that there's a lot to be hopeful about with the current roster, including those not mentioned such as Josh Jackson. If half of these guys pan out to become above average as starters or better, we've got something good as a team going forward. Then add in ten draft picks this year.
I'm enthusiastic about how our players on offense will progress in head coach Matt LaFleur's third season of honing his system; and how our other guys on defense and special teams will progress with new coordinators. I think a lot depends on putting players in positions to succeed.
My final thought is wondering which players are putting in the effort to improve during this offseason.

4 points
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PatrickGB's picture

April 19, 2021 at 12:18 pm

In that game against the Titian’s it was a slow slippery field. Dillon had the advantage. I did not see enough of him last year to make a decent assessment. Yet I do hope that he comes on strong this year.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 19, 2021 at 06:59 pm

Dillon was under-utilized the last half of the season and it may have cost them the CH Game.

3 points
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Since'61's picture

April 19, 2021 at 09:07 pm

Agree that Dillon was underutilized, especially during the playoffs and I can't figure out why. It might because of his pass blocking or lack thereof. We'll find out this season one way or another. Thanks, Since '61

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 19, 2021 at 09:39 am

It depends what you mean by upside. Is it potential as yet unreached due to the need to unlock untapped athletic ability or put the elements together, to “click” as it were or mental maturation? That’s how I understand the term, but if so it undermines your selections.

I find no reason at all for your proposition that Lazard has upside and MVS does not. In fact MVS, should he really learn routes and become a more versatile player (some signs of this late last year) has perhaps more than anyone.

Of course the thing with upside is it’s existence doesn’t mean it’s reached. It’s a statement that physical potential exists that, if harnessed would make the player better.

Lazard is an asset in my view, just one who is already close to his potential. He runs good routes, blocks very well for a WR has good field sense. Experience will hone somewhat, but he’s not going to get faster and there isn’t a vast amount of room to improve timing, release and route tree. He just needs to be able to be on the field more than he was last year.

As to Dillon, your argument seems to be that he’s reached his potential. I’d quibble given his lack of snaps. Experience will improve him, but if I accept this (and I don’t in the passing game particularly) for the sake of argument, the upside for the team is that he will play more. If he gets close 75% of what he did against Tennessee regularly, he will be an upgrade over Williams. So it’s potential for the team that’s untapped because he was ready but under used per your rationale.

One hopes that a player like Martin has upside. He is a raw player that flashes but is inconsistent yet has athleticism. He can improve in a number of areas, many of which are mental and experiential. Should he do so, his athletic potential will translate much more effectively and he will be on the field more. Should he not, he will likely fade out of the league like Burks appeared likely to having not pot it together.

One would expect even Barnes (who may not have vast upside as often claimed due to physical limitations) to have upside from the fact that the game slows that may show this year. And that’s the point, Barnes (if you believe his athletic testing) and players like Lancaster may be types that were high floor low ceiling because they could do what they will ever do when they came in. They had only upside from gaining NFL experience, thus relatively limited.

One can argue about who has the drive to achieve their ceiling, but only time will tell, but they have to have the tools to be more than they are or aspects of the game they have yet to master. For example Savage is still learning. Safeties are often classic examples of players that take time to put it together. Gary, having gone through a positional change is another. Keke is because he lacked physical strength in his lower body—could he increase that and maintain his explosiveness while becoming a force in the run game.

Those who have already maxed their athleticism and already have the ball and field recognition are the ones who lack upside. That doesn’t mean they aren’t necessarily very good players or key cogs. Just means that they are close to their ceilings.

To make a significant step this year in terms of reaching potential, the player likely has to play. Sternberger thus far has not come close to what we hoped for, and has had terrible health luck. If he doesn’t click soon he won’t play much. He had upside, he hasn’t realized it, but he may not ... that’s the risk. Runyon and even Stepaniak might have a better chance to be players who develop notably this season simply because they are more likely to play perhaps.

So, for these reasons, I dispute what appears to be your concept of upside and it’s application even when a player you identify is one I think does have it.

1 points
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Rudedawg67's picture

April 19, 2021 at 10:26 am

I disagree with Lazard having more upside. I believe what we seen the first two years is what we get. It was mentioned how well he did in the Saints game but I believe that was more of scheme and his route running. When he got open deep it was because he ran a good route and it was good play call selection. The Saints safety came up and was out of position. He was wide open on the play and was going to get run down and then he tripped over his own feet or he would’ve scored a touchdown. At 4.55 forty, he doesn’t have the speed or the quickness to be anything more than a position receiver. I’m still teed he didn’t show more physicality against that Tampa Bay cornerback that tugged on his shoulder pad and got the interception, even though it was pass interference, right before the half of the championship game. He should’ve got up off the ground asking for a flag to be thrown right away.

I really like Lazard because he shows if you work hard you don’t have to be flashy to contribute. His size and route running are his greatest strengths but I don’t think he has much more upside.

AJ Dillon, Kamal Martin, and Rashad Gary all have upside. Just get them on the field more.

Jordan Love should be on both lists. We have no idea what this guy is going to do. His good year he had a lot of talent on the team and his bad year not so much. Being a great NFL quarterback means some of the time you don’t always have the most talented team but you can carry that team to victories and not be the reason for their defeats. I put Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady in the great quarterback category to name a few. Can’t put Patrick Mahomes in that category because he’s had Tyreek hill and Travis Kelce his entire career short as it may be.

2 points
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frankthefork's picture

April 19, 2021 at 10:09 am

Good work Ken. Don't forget Dafney who was a nice surprise and a Sternberger replacement. The TE group looks great for 2021. If Sterny can't get going, he may not be on the roster.

Packers WR group is the weak link with Adams and Lazard as the 1-2 punch and the weaklings 3-6 of MVS, Funchess, EsB and Taylor. This group has serious room for improvement and expect Funchess to be the #3 MVS #4...and hope Gute gets 2 in the draft.

ILB is weak as the DL. Keke will improve but Lancaster and Lowry are not improving so I hope Gute gets 2 in the draft.
The ILB and OLB group can improve via the draft and as you mentioned Martin. Summers plays like a safety and is miscast as an ILB. I hope for at least one Edge or OLB and a ILB to be drafted, so 2 for the Line and 2 for the backers would make me happy.

No mention of DB's but 2 CB's and S are needed to bring more competition to this group and back up.

O-Line is good but doubt Step or Ni can start at LT or RT so draft Eichenberg or any OT in the first 3 rd's... and there's your 10 picks.

2 points
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PatrickGB's picture

April 19, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Agree, Dafney looked better than S-burger. I hope that the injury bug has been vaccinated away.

2 points
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Swisch's picture

April 19, 2021 at 05:29 pm

There seems to be a variety of opinions about MVS and Lazard, and this season should be telling. It's going to be a challenge for Rodgers to spread the ball around. Even if Davante deservedly gets the majority of targets, it's still good to get the other pass catchers involved. A reception really lifts up a guy with energy and focus.
I've been hoping for this draft that we get a different kind of receiver for the slot who is quick and shifty and crafty, Whether that's early or late in the draft is also up for diverse opinions. My outlook has been to be open to selecting a Tyreek Hill-type early, but I'm also good with waiting for later rounds to get a player of this sort.
In any case, I'm glad for other loyal fans here at CHTV with whom to swap opinions, agree or disagree. I gave a thumbs up to frankthefork even though I have much higher hopes for MVS.

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Guam's picture

April 19, 2021 at 10:20 am

I don't share the author's view on Lazard's upside. I believe Lazard is a good player, but that is all he will ever be. He lacks the speed or quickness that separates the great WRs. A very useful #3 WR, but I just don't see much upside.

I hope the author is not correct on Dillon and the Titans game gives me hope that there is considerable upside. I would like to see Dillon get a season's worth of play before judgement is passed on his potential.

MVS is the conundrum for me. I think there is more upside there (route running and toughness catching the ball), but he is also in his fourth season. He needs to fulfill his potential this year or it isn't there and I am just whistling in the wind.

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PF4L's picture

April 19, 2021 at 11:14 am

Anyone remember some guy named Blake Martinez?

What i remember is a lot of Packer fans bitching about him.

He doesn't make plays, his tackles are 10 yards downfield, etc.

Well.....He might have found a place where his role was more designed for him to make plays.

Last season he had 86 solo tackles (tied 7th), 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles,
1 interception, 1FR, 5 passes defended, 8 runs stuffed.
PFF of 75.9

Christian Kirksey....
46 tackles (tied 127th), 2 sacks, 0 forced fumbles,
2 interceptions, 4 passes defended, 1 run stuffed.
PFF of 43.9

Saved 4 million

You make the call.

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Coldworld's picture

April 19, 2021 at 02:56 pm

Martinez was little better in that system than a rookie UDFA. Your point is?

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PF4L's picture

April 19, 2021 at 04:29 pm

Or we could compare Kirksey with Barnes and keep it in house if that makes everyone feel better.

Christian Kirksey....
46 tackles (tied 127th), 2 sacks, 0 forced fumbles,
2 interceptions, 4 passes defended, 1 run stuffed.
PFF of 43.9
Cost = $6.175 million

Krys Barnes...
48 solo tackles (tied 127th) 1 sack, 1 force fumble
0 interceptions, 0 passes defended, 5 runs stuffed.
PFF of 43.7
Cost = $920,000

That's a good point, Kirksey was a waste of about 5 million dollars.
Only slightly better than Barnes.

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Coldworld's picture

April 19, 2021 at 05:26 pm

If Barnes was little different from Martinez, Kirksey plus Barnes was a lot cheaper for about the same level of play. Still needed depth, just saved money. Nothing much to see.

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PF4L's picture

April 19, 2021 at 07:22 pm

I appreciate that Cold.

I look at the overview. What does this team need?

We need...playmakers, plain and simple

We need defensive players to make plays, stop drives.
The 3 interceptions in the NFCCG were great.
But other than that, who made a play?
I think Clark had a sack....that's it. Barely any pressures even.

We get into these NFCCG's and it's the same damn thing sans the Seattle game...nobody is making players.
That's going back to Mike Daniels era and his tough talk, before the game.
Then after the game, it's a whole bunch of zero's in the box score.

Same against the Bucs sans the picks by Alexander and 1 by Amos.

We spent 182 million for playmakers, but get almost....nothing in the playoffs.

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PF4L's picture

April 19, 2021 at 04:30 pm

Well...maybe Gute can try again next free agency.

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13TimeChamps's picture

April 19, 2021 at 04:25 pm

What does any of that have to do with the article you're commenting on?

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PF4L's picture

April 19, 2021 at 04:34 pm

3. Krys Barnes

Certainly the most pleasant surprise of the season, the undrafted rookie went from being cut one week before the first game, to becoming a starting inside linebacker. Not only that, but he tied for the team lead in tackles, and led the Packers in tackles for loss.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 19, 2021 at 12:43 pm

I view upside as a player that vastly improves his production on the field from one year to the next. AJ was barely used last year as Williams took most of the 2nd RB snaps.

I expect Dillion will have much more of the playbook open to him this year and he will respond with chunk plays both running and receiving.

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TXCHEESE's picture

April 19, 2021 at 03:44 pm

I'm stunned nobody has mentioned that Rodgers kid.

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PF4L's picture

April 19, 2021 at 05:08 pm

I think he's finally starting to come around.

But he better watch his A..

He's got that Love kid breathin down his neck.

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PF4L's picture

April 19, 2021 at 06:42 pm

Good read Ken......

UPSIDE....
1) Jordon Love....
I don't want to have to go back to 2018 college tape to be convinced a player has upside. We only know two things about Love so far.
1) Word out of training camp is he needs serious work on both the physical, and mental aspects of transitioning to NFL game.
2) We know that he couldn't displace a UDFA for back duty. Say what you will...that is a flag

2) I like Keke....3rd season...needs to continue climb.

3) Sternberger...Again...i don't want to revert to College tape to substantiate upside. this is his 3rd season, he's caught 12 passes.
The Packers drafted another tight end in the 3rd despite other needs. Which makes me wonder if the Packers are sold on Sternberger.

4) Runyan...incomplete....Did ok, i barely remember him filling in, which means his name wasn't called. A good thing.
I don't think he's his Father....we'll see.

5) Martin....I like him...Ken has it right, Kamal needs more time and reps to get the NFL speed and scheme's down.
I think Martin should be rated higher on this list, easily above Sternberger.
Needs to stay healthy to continue growth.
******************
Least upside....another time.

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CoachDino's picture

April 19, 2021 at 08:46 pm

It's not a flag. It's a Extremely inexpensive guy with years in the NFL and system beating out a developmental (young) QB who on top of everything else was given no chance due to COVID Protocol. There were 3 QBs, at times, on the Roster when Rodgers was a Back-up.
Rodgers and Favre were both clueless for years. Love is a physical specimen, much more so that Rodgers.

What the tape tells you is "what he is capable of" - potential. Very few QBs have tape like he did. As a Scout its a big deal to see a guy do it vs a guy who you hope some day can do it. practice can improve on what you have, it doesn't improve things that you don't possess. (Hgt,Speed, Arm Strength, Special Play making ability to a degree, etc).

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Since'61's picture

April 19, 2021 at 09:49 pm

Perhaps you have not heard of Bart Starr. He had less physical tools than either Favre, Rodgers or Love but learning how to practice and win under Coach Lombardi made him a 5 time NFL Champion and an NFL HOFer.

Bart won and lead with his head and his heart. He was a brilliant play caller and the most accurate passer of his era. He didn't have a great arm and wasn't very mobile but he worked harder than anyone and made the most of his tools. Granted he had the best OL of all time and probably the greatest defense of all time. But he rarely hurt the team and he was excellent in crunch time.

Love is basically a year out of football since he didn't even put on a uniform during the 2020 season. He will probably be our preseason MVP which just means that he is on the same track as Tolkien, Hundley, Kizer, and Boyle at least. If Rodgers has another great season Love won't see much of real NFL action and then be 2 seasons out of football. It's hard to have an upside if you never get on the field. Time will tell. Thanks, Since '61

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CoachDino's picture

April 21, 2021 at 03:58 pm

Much respect to Bart starr and The GB Packers of my early youth. Heck he called his own plays. The game is much different now. Just on Diversity alone. What worked then isn't necessarily going to work now. That's why I hate generational comparisons of who was best. Players should be judged by how good they were compared to their peers at the time. The Players of the 60's, as they stood, would maybe have 10-20% of its players able to play now if that.

Just like Baseball, Boxing and Basketball to name a few others. If it wasn't so then why has the race of players completely flipped since those days.

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CoachDino's picture

April 19, 2021 at 09:02 pm

MVS to me has more upside than Lazard. Hopefully both reach their potential. MVS could be a good or better #2 with more consistency and opportunity.

AJD is tough because how much more can you expect from him? When he was given a chance to play a whole game he was a complete stud. Sure better QB blocking and Rec are areas for rookies to improve but I think the point was with the ball.

Runyan wasn't good - He was kinda Bad, yet he did look like he could belong and if develop[s as a Guard could be an adequate starter. Every team needs plenty of adequate starters. Guard is a good place for one.

Keke did come on but was hurt. It happens. If he's healthy its a huge upgrade over lancaster or lowery.

it's time to draft guys to replace EQS and Ty if they can. If your a draft and develop team than once you see a guy isn't going to be a starter then look for the next one. Thats where a Good special Teams guy can keep a position maybe thats Ty.

I just want to believe Barnes and Martin will develop and be better players in 2021. Unfortunately I'm not convinced yet hopeful. Do you take Jabril Cox or Zaven if available (in the 2nd). Maybe trade up in the second? or take a chance on guys like Browning, Camaron, Moses late day 2 or Day 3?

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HankScorpio's picture

April 19, 2021 at 09:27 pm

I didn't think the two Safeties, Henry Black and Vernon Scott, looked all that bad. I'm looking for more than Raven Greene and Will Redmond have shown. I have a little bit of hope that one or both will provide it.

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Stroh's picture

April 20, 2021 at 05:16 pm

By far thd player with the most upside is Rashan Gary. He's already good, but he has the ability, based on Physical traits and athletic abilities to become an absolute game changer.

Love would quality as well, but behind Rodgers it will years in the making. Keke has never shown to be more than a rotational player.

Martin, Dillon, Savage have some but are nearly maxed our. Dillon is already a stud, he just hasn't been given enough opportunities to show it. That will start this season.

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