What to Expect From Each of the Packers Draft Picks in 2020

The Packers selected nine players in the 2020 NFL Draft. But with this unusual offseason that featured no rookie camps, no OTAs, reduced reps at training camps and no preseason games, it is more challenging than ever for rookies to make a contribution to the Packers this season.

Here is a quick look at the Packers nine draft picks and what we can expect from them this year. Keep in mind this is not a long-term prediction but a look at where these players will likely be once the season starts. Injuries to any of these players or to players ahead of them on the depth chart can obviously change some of these predictions in a hurry.

1. QB Jordan Love

Don’t look for much from Love this season. Rookie quarterbacks usually struggle if they see the field, but Love hasn’t had as much preparation time as most first-year signal callers. He has struggled at times in training camp drills as a result.

Love has shown flashes of the raw talent that caused the Packers to draft him, but even under normal circumstances, scouts said he wouldn’t be ready to start this season.

Love also has a future Hall of Famer playing ahead of him in Aaron Rodgers and backup Tim Boyle is also having a strong training camp. The only way Love sees the field during the season this year is during mop-up duty or unless both Rodgers and Boyle are injured.

2. RB A.J. Dillon

A.J. Dillon’s thighs were the talk of the first day of training camp and for good reason, they are huge. Running backs typically have an easier time adjusting to the NFL than most other positions so that works in Dillon’s favor.

The big issue for Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is that he needs his running backs to work well as receivers and pass blockers or they won’t see the field much. That was a factor for Aaron Jones early in his career and it kept Dexter Williams from seeing much playing time last season. How quickly Dillon learns his blitz pickups and receiving routes may determine how much playing time he gets as a rookie.

The fact that the Packers have a lot of depth at running back should also limit Dillon’s carries especially early in the season. Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and Tyler Ervin all look to have roles in this offense. Dillon will too, but not as the feature back.

Expect Dillon to get some carries in goal line and short yardage situations early with his role increasing as the season goes on as he picks up the nuances of his blocking and receiving assignments.

3. TE Josiah Deguara

Look for Deguara to line up all over the field and to play a steady role in the offense. On some plays, he could be a tight end, on others he could line up as a fullback and other times he could be an H-back or in the slot.

LaFleur loves what Deguara can bring to the table and he’s showed the potential to contribute early during training camp.

Look for Deguara to see the field consistently early in the season with his role likely to grow as he learns more of the offense.

4. LB Kamal Martin

Martin has really shined in training camp so far and he may see some game action at ILB if he can beat out Oren Burks, Ty Summers and several other players for playing time. Martin still needs to show he is the real deal in game situations. He has shown he can play both the run and the pass in camp, but that’s not the same as doing it consistently in a regular season game.

Martin will make the team and he will see the field both on special teams and on the defense. He may even be a starter at ILB by the end of the season if he can show what he’s done so far in training camp is the real deal.

5. G Jon Runyan

Runyan has impressed some coaches and reporters with his toughness and determination. The Packers are deep at guard this year, so while the former Michigan star will probably make the team, he may not be active for too many games barring injuries. His best chance to contribute as a rookie will likely be on special teams.

6. C Jake Hanson

Hanson is third on the depth chart at center right now behind Corey Linsley and Lucas Patrick. If he makes the active roster, he will likely contribute on special teams first if he is active for any games. Barring trade or injury, he will likely not see thte field often as a rookie.

7. G Simon Stepaniak

Stepaniak was still recovering from injuries suffered in college and started camp on the reserve list. Between the depth the Packers have at the position and his lack of early reps in camp, don’t expect Stepaniak to see the field much on offense this season if he makes the active roster.

8. S Vernon Scott

Scott has turned some heads in training camp with his hits and coverage skills. Expect the rookie from TCU to make the team and contribute on special teams as a rookie. He could see the field on defense if he continues to progress and/or injuries shut down the players ahead of him on the depth chart, but Scott appears to have a future in this league.

9. OLB Jonathan Garvin

Garvin has gotten off to a good start in training camp and earned praise from defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. At best, he will be fourth on the depth chart at OLB behind Preston and Za’Darius Smith and Rashan Gary. If he makes the active roster, he will likely see most of his action on special teams early, but Garvin has shown some potential.

 

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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Comments (49)

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

August 27, 2020 at 12:43 pm

thanks for the summary Gil. Realistic review of each player. With so little competitive action and limited access, Opening game will be like Christmas morning for most of us. As always, I'm hoping for many pleasant surprises but will be satisfied with a trusty pair of socks and warm sweater. GPG

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 01:31 pm

I am also looking forward to opening day. It feels weird without any preseason games to whet your appetites. Thanks for the comment, mnbadger, always good to hear from you.

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Roadrunner23's picture

August 27, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Thanks Gil, I was initially displeased with the 2020 Packers draft as many of us were.
But after a few months and now hearing about the Packers team building philosophy I have come around. This actually might turn out to be one of the more surprisingly good Packer draft classes in the past decade!

* Love - of course we wont know for several years but he is pretty much as advertised.
A very talented and young QB who is yet miles away from NFL ready.

* Dillon - Big legs, Big talent! But has to learn the nuances to start in the NFL. He will have his moments in 2020.

* Deguara - has looked good so far, smooth route runner, good hands, willing yet unpolished blocker. He will play a role this season and excel on Special Teams i'm sure.

* Martin - looking like they have a keeper with this guy. Tough, physical, high energy and can cover apparently. Reports are he's been the best rookie so far.

* Runyan - again looks the part at LG, tough, physical, good hands, looks like a future starter.

* Hanson - Nagler said "the game doesn't look too big for him at Center", maybe a starter in 2012?

* Stepaniak - I expect a redshirt season for Simon if they can stash him.

* Scott - the kid has made his share of plays in camp at Safety and one beat reporter said "looks like they found a player in Scott".

* Garvin - been hearing his name quite a bit in camp whether it be one on ones or live scrimmages. The kid is long, athletic and has the tools and great vets to learn from!

* Bonus - UDFA Samuels has been making quite a bit of noise at CB as well as Tipa at OLB with his deadly "spin move". Also Lovett could be a "secret weapon" at FB/HB and on Special Teams!

Nostradanus

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 01:35 pm

Like the analysis and the bonus re: Samuels. This draft class was controversial in a lot of ways but all the players fit in with what LaFleur and Pettine want to do with this team in the future. Thanks for commenting, nostradanus.

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Lphill's picture

August 27, 2020 at 01:15 pm

I know Runyan is listed as a left guard but he made quite a few starts at left tackle , I think he could wind up replacing Bakhitari.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 01:36 pm

Most scouts think he's a guard in the NFL, partially due to his shorter arms. I think he could play tackle in an emergency, but his long term future in the NFL looks like it's at guard. Thanks for the comment, Lphill.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 27, 2020 at 06:56 pm

Is it his arms or his feet? Joe Thomas had short arms too. But I don't see Left Tackle foot movement in Runyan. That said he plain shutout Chase Young at LT. That's nothing to sneeze at.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 09:15 pm

You may be right about the feet vs the hands, I have to go back and review some of the scouting reports. Either way, most scouts believe he is better suited to guard at the NFL level and that's where the Packers plan to have him play. Thanks for the comment, jeremyjjbrown. Good stuff.

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Stroh's picture

August 27, 2020 at 09:54 pm

There's always an outlier here and there, like Thomas. But lets remember that Thomas was as proven a commodity as there is at LT coming into the NFL. Its a hope and a prayer that Runyan might become a LT in the NFL. Thomas was drafted in the top 5 overall in his draft class. Runyan was a late rd draft pick. Connect the dots.... Its not that hard!

How much help was Runyan given to shut out Young? Was all the blocking shifting immediately to Youngs side. Did RB and TE help on every down?

Your grasping at straws! We got extremely lucky to get one LT Bahktiari in the 4th rd. That was the needle in the haystack already, don't count on an even bigger longshot to come thru!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 28, 2020 at 12:48 am

I'm not counting or grasping at anything. I said he doesn't seam to move like a left tackle. Also, I don't remember a lot of help against Chase Young. Have you watched the film?

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Stroh's picture

August 28, 2020 at 09:14 am

I was asking the question. Did YOU? If he doesn't seem (not seam) to move like a LT then why the heck are you wanting to project him there?

In case you haven't noticed, the Packers have made it a habit of drafting college LT, moving them inside and getting Pro Bowl OG out of it.

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croatpackfan's picture

August 28, 2020 at 05:22 am

I remember when Packers (TT) drafted David Bakhtiari main concern from fans and "experts" was that his arms are short and that he can not play T because of that. Also, many fans salivated when TT drafted Jason Spriggs. Now, he is plying for Chicago, isn't he?

Let leave Runyan to show what he can through time, than make some conclusions...

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Stroh's picture

August 28, 2020 at 09:22 am

Bahktiari arm length was 34 in IIRC. The generally acccpted length is 33 in or more. And yes there are one off's that don't fit like Joe Thomas, but he was a top 5 overall draft pick, not a 6th rd pick.

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GilMartin's picture

August 28, 2020 at 06:20 pm

Thanks for commenting croatpackfan. Time is the ultimate test. If he can get the job done on the field, the length of his arms becomes irrelevant.

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gkarl's picture

August 27, 2020 at 01:51 pm

Gil,

Good article, no hype just an honest review of where you think the 2020 draft class is at and there chance of making a contribution. Keep up the good work.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 01:53 pm

Thanks, gkarl. Always appreciate the kind words and your comments.

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Cheesey51's picture

August 27, 2020 at 02:52 pm

Thank you for the update and concise objective information.I'm psyched to see the integration of the rookies into MLF & MP system. Keep up the good work,Gil.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 09:16 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Cheesey51. I'm glad you enjoyed the article and thanks for commenting.

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Archie's picture

August 27, 2020 at 02:55 pm

This draft is looking better and better. Even Gute's first draft is looking better. His 2nd draft included 3 studs at the top so that was no slouch either. Methinks Gute has solidified his credentials as a quality GM. Thank god because all success starts with your GM.

LaFleur continues to exceed all expectations as HC.

So, in the end, after a few turns, Murphy may have gotten it right after all.

I'm also glad they had patience with Pettine till he got the players he needed to play his system. And I'm glad we have changed offenses and adopted a more diversified attack. MM's offense was so predictable and so dependent on great plays by QB/WR. Rodgers will look great in this offense this year. I can't think of a single negative about this team at this point.

One other thing - listening to the interviews of the young Packer players - they are very intense and focused on the task at hand. Another tribute to Gute and the coaching staff.

Hail to the chief, Mark Murphy. Who'd athunkit?

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murf7777's picture

August 27, 2020 at 08:52 pm

As a Murphy myself hard to argue...I would say the top is Murphy thou and not Gutey. Murphy put Gutey in the position which I believe you have alluded to.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 09:18 pm

Thanks for the comment Archie. This is rare, to hear fans praise management. I agree with your comments, overall and I like the people running this organization. I hope the success this organization has enjoyed in recent decades will continue.

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MTmind's picture

August 28, 2020 at 09:45 am

It’s refreshing to hear such positivity from a fan and setting realistic expectations from a commentator in the know. A note on the positivity - while refreshing, it may be a little too much. While I’m generally happy with management and coaching, I feel Rodgers has earned a little more attention by them being focused on the “now” rather than looking ahead (my only major criticism, if it makes any sense?). Otherwise, let ‘er rip and we’ll see what happens. In Packers we trust!

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JGPACK's picture

August 27, 2020 at 05:00 pm

Good article. One factor you did not mention is the complexity of the tight end position in the La Fleur offense. It could take some time before Deguara contributes beyond special teams.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 09:19 pm

Very true, JGPACK. What I think will happen is that the coaching staff will find a specific role for Deguara early, the one of two things he does best and knows best and that gradually expand his role from there as he learns more. Thanks for the comment.

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CoachDino's picture

August 27, 2020 at 11:18 pm

Great stuff as usual.

Deguara will be interesting. History has shown a learning curve at most positions including TE add HB and FB in there and he has his work cut out for him. It would be a real positive if he can get some substantial snaps his rookie year.

Dillon from his college highlights and camps reports has the potential to be an all around back as far as rushing and receiving. The learning curve will be pass protection and most likely a determining factor in his snaps. I'm not sure if I just like the thought of a bruiser at RB or if there really is such thing as wearing down a defense.

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GilMartin's picture

August 28, 2020 at 06:23 pm

Thanks for commenting CoachDino, always good to hear from you. I think the learning curve for rookies this year will be different than most years and interesting to watch. I always loved bruising RBs too. John Brockington and Jim Taylor or Eddie Lacy before he slowed down. John Riggins and Larry Csonka also come to mind. Great to watch because it's so hard to stop them once they get going.

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Stroh's picture

August 27, 2020 at 10:05 pm

Daguara will absolutely be big on ST, its on offense that he will be needing time!

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stockholder's picture

August 27, 2020 at 06:38 pm

No rush to judgement from me. Their all packers now. Good job Gil.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 09:20 pm

Thanks, Stockholder. Always appreciate the kind words and thanks for commenting.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 27, 2020 at 06:58 pm

Maybe it's just me but the idea of AJ Dillon coming in in the 2nd and 4th quarters after the Defense has been chasing around Jones of a quarter or three makes me smile.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

August 27, 2020 at 07:30 pm

I think Dillon was a sensational pick. He'll come in to pound out first downs and Goalline. And he's a great insurance policy if Jones goes down for a few weeks still leaving us with quality RB's.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

August 27, 2020 at 07:30 pm

I think Dillon was a sensational pick. He'll come in to pound out first downs and Goalline. And he's a great insurance policy if Jones goes down for a few weeks still leaving us with quality RB's.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 09:22 pm

I am looking forward to seeing him do his thing. We have a well-rounded group of RBs this year and a very deep one. Thanks for the comment, JohnnyLogan.

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Stroh's picture

August 27, 2020 at 10:08 pm

Dillon is going to do alot more than short yardage and goalline. Williams is going to lose alot of snaps to Dillon. Jones and Dillon will carry the running game and Williams will be relegated to blocking RB and ST player.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 28, 2020 at 12:51 am

"Dillon is going to do alot more than short yardage and goalline."

Me too. But it's a tight backfield and Jones is likely still the featured back. I like the idea of Dillon against a tired defense.

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Stroh's picture

August 28, 2020 at 09:26 am

I dont' think Jones is the feature RB. He never has been. Both McCarthy and LaFleur have managed his touches so far in his career. Why would he now be that when they just drafted Dillon in the 2nd rd? Jones will get more action than Dillon or Williams, but that just means a larger share of a time share situation. It's still going to be a RB by committee approach.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 09:20 pm

You're definitely not alone. Seeing that big guy run through a tired defense is very appealing. Thanks for the comments.

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Stroh's picture

August 27, 2020 at 08:30 pm

Dillon's role might be limited, but it won't be due to Williams. Williams is going to see his role reduced significantly as the season progresses. Dillon and Jones will be carrying the load in the running game by midseason IMO. Williams will get some in passing situations mostly blocking. Jones will get about 12 carries give or take a game and will get the vast majority of receptions. Dillon will be getting a good portion of running game reps, maybe as many as 10 carries a game. Williams will get very few touches by seasons end.

Deguara has a lot on his plate and TE generally struggle to see the field much. Deguara will be a bit player this year, having the number of positions he could line up in will work against him. Lewis, Sternberger and Tonyan will get the vast majority of snaps. Deguara will be really limited this season in his contribution, except on ST where he'll be among the most used.

Martin is in a fight for the starting ILB job next to Kirksey. If he wins the job outright he's likely to get alot of playing time. He has to beat out Burks (who knows the scheme inside out) and possibly Summers, tho Summers is likely the backup to Kirksey since the ILB positions aren't perfectly interchangeable, like most think they are.

Only other rookie to have a chance at an impact, other than on ST is Runyan, who has an outside chance to make a run later in the year at RG. That seems unlikely but could be possilbe.

If Rodgers is injured and the Packers aren't in the playoff chase Love would become the likely starter once the playoff are out of the picture.

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murf7777's picture

August 27, 2020 at 08:55 pm

I think Jones will be in the 15-20 range, he is a stud and they need to ride him in the last contract year.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 09:23 pm

I think you're right, murf7777. Probably closer to 15, but that's roughly what he did last year when he played. Thanks as always for commenting.

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Stroh's picture

August 27, 2020 at 10:27 pm

Jones is small and injury prone, that's been proven. McCarthy and LaFleur both managed his touches. He's a really good RB but he is certainly not a stud! He's in the 8-12 range among RB in the NFL. That's not even Pro Bowl unless a few RB opt not to be in the Pro Bowl. Any knowledgeable fan would take Elliot, McCaffery, Barckley, Kumara, Henry, Chubb and probably Cook and Mixon, at least, before Jones. You could probably make a case for Josh Jacobs, Lindsley and Sony Michel as well depending on what type of RB you prefer.

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murf7777's picture

August 28, 2020 at 08:07 am

Wasn’t comparing him to others there can be many studs in the league. Leading the league in TD’s thou qualify as a stud in my book. I suspect he will receive closer to 15 vs 10 runs and 15-20 touches.

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GilMartin's picture

August 28, 2020 at 06:26 pm

Jones does have to be paced because of his size, but he was still the top back on the team last year by a fairly wide margin when it came to carries. I think he will get the most carries again this year IF he stays healthy.

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Stroh's picture

August 28, 2020 at 08:47 pm

Top RB on the team? That was never in question. Partly because Williams is a nice backup. But Williams is the epitome of JAG. He won't get more carries than last year. He'll be lucky to get the same number of carries. They didn't draft Dillon to sit and watch. Rookie RB can easily have a huge impact. Jones will get the most touches for sure. But Dillons won't be far behind, and by mid season it could be close to a 50/50 split with Williams relegated to blocking duties only.

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GilMartin's picture

August 27, 2020 at 09:26 pm

Thanks for the comment, Stroh. Always good to hear from you. I agree, Williams will have a reduced role, although his pass blocking will probably keep him on the field on 3rd downs. If all goes well, Deguara will gradually increase his role over the course of the season but he'll start out doing the few things he does best and picks up the quickest. I agree re: Martin, he has a real chance to start. I can't see Runyan starting this year with Lucas Patrick, Turner and Taylor all ahead of him on the depth chart and the lack of reps this offseason. Still, I really like his future potential and I watched him carefully at Michigan. Can't wait for the season to start.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 27, 2020 at 11:03 pm

I will try to be as concise as possible with this too early prognostication:

Love: 25 snaps.
Dillon: 250 snaps.
Deguara: 250 to 400 snaps.
Martin: 300 to 800
Runyan: 20
Hanson: PS - 0
Scott: 12
Garvin: 15

Love and Runyan get a chance in a real game if it is a blowout. Scott and Garvin gets snaps only if there are at least 2 or 3 injuries at their respective positions or in blowouts. Aaron Jones got 697 snaps last season and Jamaal got 385. Suggesting Dillon gets 250 snaps is a compliment. The crystal ball is fuzzy on Martin because I don't know if he can do it in real games where OCs might target him for confusion. Goodson played 256 snaps and Burks got 57. I am thinking Martin soaks up all of Goodson's snaps and puts Burks on the bench, but Burks does look better and smooth in coverage. There might be enough upgrade here to cut into Greene's snaps, that is, Pettine decides it is worth it to play two real LBs more often.

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Stroh's picture

August 28, 2020 at 09:49 am

Dillon will get significantly more than 250 snaps. RB have a relatively easy transition to the NFL. Jones will get the most, Dillon will get slightly less. If Jones is approaching 700 snaps as you suggest, then Dillon will get approaching 500 or more. They will both be on the field at some times as well.

If Martin is starting and playing alot he will be on the field instead of a Safety for a good amout of them. They want to have 2 ILB on the field as much as possible and if Martin shows he can cover, which is allegedly his strength, the Raven Greene will see a significant decrease in snaps. IMO its the winner of Burks and Martin who will get alot of snaps. THe other won't play much and Greene won't get nearly as many or whoever they would bring in as the 3rd Safety.

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Tabin's picture

August 28, 2020 at 05:59 am

The last draft is very important for the future of the OL. Next season is very likely that Linsley, Taylor and Turner are gone. The team needs Runyan and Hanson to be able to play at starter level. Assuming that Packers bring Bakhtiari back the starting OL should look something like this LT Bakhtiari, LG Jenkings or Runyan, C Jenkins or Hanson, RG Runayn, Patrick, Stepaniak, RT Wagner or a RT from the draft. Bakhtiari is a top LT in the league and Jenkins is a start in the making playing inside. Runyan looks promising in the short sample we have, not much to say about Hanson or Wagner yet.
I am coming around about Deguara's pick. I was very esceptical. Martin looks good. I have the opinion that Burks won´t make the 53, he is a great athlete with a very low football IQ, he sees the plays always late. Like Josh Jones but with a good attitute.
Very happy that Scott is up to a good start. Hopefully this is the year of Josh Jackson too.
Garvin is having a close competition with Tipa for the 4th OLB spot, maybe they keep both.

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ImaPayne's picture

August 28, 2020 at 12:42 pm

Thanks for the info. Tough year for newbies thats for sure. HOpefully bolder legs can learn to catch a ball otherwise a wasted pick.

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