Monday, December 18, 2017

Packers draft history 2005-2017 and my grades

The first draft was 2005 when Aaron Rodgers was selected with Ted's first pick.  Hard to beat that unless you're able to draft another HOF QB.  Nick Collins was a great pick and his career ending injury possibly precludes him from attaining HOF recognition.  Draft Grade A+ because of AR12 and because he's still playing at an MVP level.
The 2006 through 2009 drafts consisted of 40 players.  The best being CM3 who's still playing at a high level but needs to be moved around and used on stunts/schemed or allowed to free lance.  A.J. Hawks and B.J. Raji were top 10 draft picks.  I wanted them to draft Raji but wanted Vernon Davis over A.J. back then...  2006 was an ok draft draft grade of B; 2007 still has Mason Crosby but in all reality was a C- draft at best and only produced two short term starters (Jones & Bishop); Justin Harrell is considered a bust my many fans; 2008 produced Jordy who's arguably the 2nd best player drafted during this time period.  The 2008 draft grade is a A- because it produced three starters, two being Pro-Bowl awarded.  2009 was the best draft in this time period because of CM3 and Raji (Pro-Bowl), T.J. Lang (Pro-Bowl) and rates an A.
The 2010-2013 drafts included 36 players.  This period produced a mixed bag in general but does include the bookend OTs and that's a good thing.  Because LT is such an important position, I'd say David Bakhtari is worthy of being labeled the best player drafted.  I think he's a better OT than Chad Clifton was and was selected to the Pro-Bowl in 2016.  2010 draft grade is a solid B+ because it produced three starters, two still with the team.  2011 gets a C because only Randall Cobb has been a viable starter although House has been ok at times on his return to GB in 2017.  The 2012 draft had Perry, Hayward and Mike Daniels as good picks and arguably rates a B+ or B grade.  The 2013 draft had Bakhtiari and actually, four other players that were good picks and contributors during their rookie contracts.  Unfortunately, only Bakhtiari received a 2nd contract.  Letting Hyde leave in FA was a mistake (just like letting Hayward leave).  2013 with four solid picks / starters (but Datone Jones could be labeled a bust) receives a B- or B grade.
The 2014-2017 drafts include 34 players.  The 2014 draft is the key draft in this time frame because it's the group currently entering UFA in 2018 and affects the 2018 focus the most.  2014 draft grade is a solid B+ or A- because of three starters (one being Pro-Bowl awarded) and potentially five starters if you count Richard Rodgers and Jeff Janis.  2015 draft evaluation is at the 3-year point so I think it's fair to grade it and give it a C because Damarious Randall is the only current starter. However, only two of the eight picks were released so that's not too bad.  Ripkowski doesn't get enough PT but certainly could in the future as a lead blocker.  The 2016 draft is looking very promising after year two because of Kenny Clark's play.  Blake Martinez is the second good starter.  All seven picks have earned roster spots so I think it rates out to be a B draft with the potential for a higher grade.  The 2017 draft grade is TBD because it's only year one.
Total number of draft picks from 2005 through 2017 is 113 but the total number of picks that still remain is 37 with only 11 picks from 2013 or before.  The 16 not drafted or FA type includes two starters (I didn't include House because he was originally a drafted player), the punter, and LS.  I do not fault Ted for the Martellus Bennett episode but in hindsight it would be better to have Cook.

Of the 16 not drafted or FA type players currently on the How Built Roster, six will be replaced by the IR guys (five of which are draft picks).  Of the six IR guys, only Bulaga and King are starters and the rest are key contributors.  Brice was part of the nickel / dime alignment and it's possible Rollins can recapture a nickel / dime role too.  Former WR Montgomery is the best receiving RB.  The remaining 10 not drafted or FA type players will most likely be replaced by 2018 draft picks.

I've reviewed Matt Miller's initial ratings of 2018 draft eligible players and will defer to his rankings on 15 December.  Here's his top 32 + pre-bowl list of players in no particular order?:
  1. RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
  2. QB Sam Darnold, USC
  3. FS Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
  4. QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
  5. DE Bradley Chubb, North Carolina State
  6. OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
  7. OT Connor Williams, Texas
  8. RB Derrius Guice, LSU
  9. LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
  10. QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
  11. SS Derwin James, FSU
  12. DE Harold Landry, Boston College
  13. SS Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
  14. QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
  15. WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
  16. LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
  17. DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
  18. DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
  19. CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
  20. CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
  21. CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
  22. OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
  23. RB Ronald Jones II, USC
  24. RB Damien Harris, Alabama
  25. RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
  26. DE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
  27. DT Vita Vea, Washington
  28. WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
  29. LB Malik Jefferson, Texas
  30. DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
  31. TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
  32. DT Da'Ron Payne, Alabama
Here's my pre-draft thoughts...we'll probably be drafting around #20 if we finish 9-7 (which I think we will) so maybe we'll have a shot at the players highlighted in yellow.  Four of them are defensive players Edge type DE or LB with PR ability (e.g., Malik Jefferson) or CB (3)...both areas are needed.  I wouldn't take any of the offensive/defensive lineman and would prefer to trade down in that scenario.  Same can be said for the RB position but not necessarily about the WR or TE (Sutton, Ridley, or Goecert) position with speed being the most desired attribute.  There are eight players (RB/DT/OL) that enable the Packers to trade down from.  Pipe dream draft move is to trade-up to number four pick (Cleveland) to get Bradley Chubb.

12.18.17 (7-7 record)

  • It's Monday and the Falcons can end the Packers playoff hopes tonight with a win.
  • AR12 said he didn't play well vs the Panthers…3 interceptions tells the story.
  • The defense didn't generate any turnovers but they did not allow scoring drives on two of the three interceptions by AR12; still, the defense allowed 31 points and had no answers on covering Greg Olsen.
  • Josh Hawkins played a lot and didn't look that good when it appeared he was playing zone.  He might be an OK #4 CB but he's certainly not a #2 at this point which makes it difficult to evaluate the defense when guys that aren't starting quality have to play significant snaps. 
  • They might have two good CBs in Randall and King but I don't necessarily think they have a 3rd in House.  House was hurt a lot in 2017 and was inconsistent…made a few splash plays.  Playing defense requires at least six good-to-great defensive backs.  Not sure the Packers have any great DBs but I do think they have some good DBs. 
  • I've read multiple blog opinions/comments regarding HHCD's play in 2017 and while I don't think it's been as good as his 2016 play, he's not a below average Safety/DB.  However, I do think that some fans expect him to be able to replace what Nick Collins or Charles Woodson brought to the table and IMO, that type of expectation (Hall of Fame talent) needs to be tempered and should not be held against HHCD…he's good, just not a true centerfielder like Collins (great speed).  HHCD can play half of the field (deep) pretty good…but is also good near the LOS.
  • Josh Jones had two great games but otherwise was inconsistent.  Jones has all the physical measurables but his  knowledge/understanding/execution of his role is inconsistent.  I think the three safety alignment is the way to go and I think Josh Jones is growing into a key #2/3 safety position or hybrid ILB box player.  Speed is the key in my view and Josh has it…and has 220 lb size to boot. 
  • I think the 3rd safety is going to be Brice.  He's like a guided-missile back there and probably plays the deep half better than Jones.  Not sure who's faster between Brice or Jones, both are big hitters too.
  • Morgan Burnett could also be resigned to play the 3rd safety role too…which would mean four safeties capable of being a starter.  I would not give Burnett a significant pay raise but would consider something in the ballpark of his current contract.  Burnett is a very good box player.
  • Do they have a capable four man PR with CM3, Perry, Mike Daniels, and Kenny Clark?  Who's the 4th of those four?  Do the Packers have a fifth PR?...or is that 5th PR currently a DB?  Which DBs can blitz and cause the most frequent QB pressure of the DBs?  Burnett and Josh Jones (specifically Jones) but not sure of anybody else.
  • I've read where some fans think AR12 should now sit the rest of the season.  I don't share that belief and don't think AR12 does either.  
In the above graphic of IR & PS players, the Packers have six guys on IR that will be back on the 53 man (2 OL, 3 DB, RB) - Rollins is the only question mark on worth due to his limitations.  All practice squad players will be resigned for 2018 training camp competition. Here's a screen shot of the current How Built, IR, and PS:
  • Guys highlighted in yellow will be replaced by the corresponding IR player
  • The Packers have the cap resources to allocate 3 WRs double digit ave for one season (2018) - Jordy & Cobb will be FA in 2019
  • Guys with a red line or dash to the right of their name or that are circled in red are pending UFA, RFA, EFA except for Mays and Chris Odom who occupy two of the players that are consistently healthy scratches for the game day roster and could be replaced by a 2018 draft pick
  • Kudos to Richard Rodgers for his play vs the Panthers, he looked good
  • The 2014 draft was a good draft but only HHCD is under contract that's five players that in theory could leave via UFA but I think all except Goodson will be resigned
  • Davante Adams will be playing for the Packers in 2018
  • I'm not sure if Goodson will be a UFA or RFA but I'm not sure it matters
  • I don't know how many 2018 draft picks they have -- guessing 8 or 9
  • Free Agency comes before the draft and can also be used after the draft plus it needs to be acknowledged that FA includes signing your own players whether it's just before the FA start or during the period
  • I would resign Jahri Evans for one more season
  • I would pay Jeff Janis as a top five ST gunner
  • After Davante, Corey Linsley is the next most important resign
  • Morgan Burnett is pending his 3rd contract with the Packers which is unchartered territory (except at QB) but I'd resign him
  • Players under contract that could be extended in-order-to reduce their yearly cap number include Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and CM3
  • AR12's cap number always has to be the number one consideration

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I really enjoy reading Ross' "after further review" blogs because he provides such a good perspective. Plus his use of NFL GamePass and opinions regarding his observations are valuable to me.  I concur 100% with Ross on Hundley.  I will never understand why some fans on cheeseheadTV were so critical of Hundley because they expected him to do well...they did a poor job of managing their own expectations which caused a bias of sorts IMO...regardless, I figured Hundley would have some serious struggles at times...AR12 did his 1st season as a starter.  3-4 isn't bad as a back-up!

Hundley's home/road performance splits continue to just boggle my mind.  

That's another comment by Ross and I definitely concur it's mind boggling!

Ross believes the Browns game was Josh Jones' best game.  Maybe it was...certainly one of his best games during his rookie season.  I think deep safety is a work in progress for him but he definitely came through in the OT with his athletic ability to jump for the ball and secure the interception.  I could be wrong but I think he's the first safety since Nick Collins to have 4.4 speed?  Jones could become a special talent and defensive hope anyway.  I would ensure he's one of the 11 defensive players on-field.  HHCD too.

Damarious Randall is making a Davante Adams-level jump in year 3

I know lots of people expect players to make that 2nd year jump and when they don't (for whatever reason) fans sometimes are too quick to judge and start saying "bust...etc.".  I think players, specifically drafted players, need to be allotted the 3-4 years of their rookie contract to develop.  By year four, you should know what you've got with the player.  If they're just a solid ST player, so be it because those guys are needed too.

With Randall, two things have held him back in the past...injuries (2016) and bad attitude and unwillingness to accept accountability.  He appears to have overcome these obstacles at-this-time (ATT) and that's a great sign in his development.  He really is talented and I think he's they type of defensive back that can play any position back there to include centerfield.

Blake Martinez is a Pro Bowler.

Unfortunately there's only so many MLB/ILB spots on the Pro Bowl roster.  I think the two benchmark guys are Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner...and not sure if they select three.  Blake Martinez has certainly solidified his spot as the main ILB on the Packers.  What I don't know is if he's got the headset to receive the play calls.

Davante Adams is the team's MVP post-Rodgers injury.

The only thing Davante doesn't have is really good speed.  His footwork/foot quickness is exceptional.  His short area quickness is exceptional.  His spin-move phenomenal!  The Packers will be paying him...they know it, and he knows's just a matter of time.  I don't know if he's a top 10 WR but he's clearly the Packers #1 and I think he's destined for being their next WR with triple digit catches in a season. maybe he is a top 10 WR.  All I know is they need to extend him soon.

As I mentioned before, Clay's next contract probably won't be at the $13.2 Million AAV level, but he's still a useful part of the defense.

CM3 is still their most disruptive and main playmakers when he's healthy.  I concur his next contract won't have such high cap numbers...his contract was/is backloaded with high base salary so maybe renegotiation always was the intent?  Clay might not be able to play 16 games in as season but he'll be able to play the majority of them and he is a playmaker!  I also think he's got a lot of gas left in his tank and needs to stay in a roving LB role...he's still their best LB. 

I concur with Ross regarding his assessment of the DL.  I like the five they have but don't really know what Montravious Adams is capable of yet.  I do think they can employ a solid three DL alignment with Lowry as the 3rd guy.  Lowry is a DE/5-technique type player though and will get washed vs the double-team.  The more I see of Kenny Clark the more impressed I am with him. 

They desperately need that 3rd Edge pass rusher...and concur about Brooks.  Maybe his back is still a significant issue for him...who knows, but I agree I haven't seen much from him either.  I'm back to being on the fence regarding Fackrell but also need temper my expectations of him too. I think he's going to be a Rover LB type that needs a schemed pass rush to succeed but also appears to be very aware of where the ball is and has been involved in some turnover plays.  He is a good ST player.

Jamaal Williams is becoming a valuable workhorse and quite productive to boot.  I can't say enough positive things about him and he's definitely exceeded my expectations.  He's making #30 proud. 

If the Packers get more offensive snaps to play with then I'm sure Aaron Jones will benefit from it.  He definitely has a different style of play vs Jamaal Williams and will hopefully get some more touches in the future.  Hot hand wins.

  1. CM3
  2. Mike Daniels
  3. Kenny Clark
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Blake Martinez
  6. Josh Jones
  7. HHCD
  8. Damarious Randall
  9. Kevin King / Boundary CB
  10. Morgan Burnett
  11. ??? DL/LB/DB ???
Right now I don't know who that 11th defender should be because it's situational dependent whether they need to play nickle or dime.  

12.12.17 musings on PackersNews post-game grades

  • Hundley probably could be given a higher grade vs what assigned.
  • Jamaal Williams is proving to be quite the combined rush/pass yards threat with his 3rd consecutive triple-digit yards game?  He's a workhorse that can easily handle 20+ touches/gm but isn't as explosive as Aaron Jones
  • The OL definitely had some problems vs the Browns so the C+ is OK by me.
  • The TE's grade of C- is also OK by me.  I'm hoping they can convert 6'6 basketball player Michael Clark into a TE or hybrid WR/TE
  • Davante Adams definitely deserves an A or A+ and he received great support from Jordy & Cobb, plus it was nice to see GMo get some action and produce in the short passing game.  I'm not sure how much $$$ Davante is going to get but he looks like a #1 WR in this offense so I say pay the man!
  • Defense gave up 21 points which should be enough...and it was.
  • The DL was average so I concur with the C grade.  However, I do think that Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels are becoming a very disruptive duo on the inside which allows them to only play two true DL.  However, when it's not one of those two, then the DL has issues.  I think I'd use more three DL with Lowry vs 2nd ILB with Ryan.
  • The LBs combined grade of C is probably fair but I think CM3 individually earned high marks, possibly an A for his sack and then the hit on Kizer's arm which forced the interception.
  • The CBs held Josh Gordon during the second half.  I'm very happy for Damarious Randell that he's playing so well.  He probably has the best hands in the secondary and IMO he could play centerfield because of his ball skills and range.  
  • The safeties, specifically HHCD and Josh Jones, played very well and I've thought that the position was the strongest on defense and key reason they consistently play three of them together -- Burnett, HHCD, and Josh Jones.  I recently read a comment by somebody regarding this game vs the Browns was Josh Jones' best game.  Maybe...certainly one of his best this season in pass coverage and the interception/jump ball was a terrific play.  Josh Jones is obviously very talented and I think he'll soon be our #2, if not #1 safety...which brings me to HHCD who made an outstanding interception near the end of the first half.  I've read lots of comments on CheeseHeadTV regarding HHCD's regression in 2017 and yes his numbers do indicate decreased production but I don't think the numbers drop is significant.  HHCD's responsibility has mainly been to play deep, sometimes single-high (not his strong suite) and sometimes two-deep (he can cover half the field ok).  HHCD probably has the 2nd best set of hands on defense.  I still think he was a good draft pick and worth his rookie option.
  • The special teams grade of A is spot on.  STs generated several big plays but Trevor Davis' individual effort on his 65 yard punt return was fun to watch!  I don't think there's anything wrong with having two WRs that are basically on the team for their ST skills.

Monday, December 11, 2017

12.11.17 (7-6 record)

  • 7-6 means there's still a chance at the playoffs if AR12 returns
  • I'm hopeful things will workout and we sneak into the playoffs
  • I'd draft defense heavy (again) specifically Pass Rusher (PR/Edge) and DB
  • CM3 looks pretty good moving around but mostly attacking the QB
  • Besides CM3, they need Nick Perry and find another edge rusher next draft / FA
  • Fackrell might be able to play ILB and as a spy / zone drop / delayed blitzer
  • Jury is pending regarding Vince Biegel but I'd still like to see him get more PT; Biegel appears to be a versatile LB that could play in space or rush the QB (hopefully)
  • Damarious Randall is playing good pass defense and is arguably their best at getting the interception; this defense lives and dies on the big play / turnover
  • Josh Jones finally had an interception…a huge turning point in the game
  • HHCD had a good game and nice interception…prevented a Browns scoring drive
  • Jermaine Whitehead is getting PT over Marwin Evans…Whitehead is playing slot as the 6th DB along-side Morgan Burnett as the other slot DB; Whitehead had six? interceptions as a senior for Auburn and has been with the Pack on PS for awhile
  • They have six players listed as CB & five as S & the dime contains a 4s/2cb configuration and the nickel contains a 3s/2cb
  • I hope Kevin King gets healthy and wish him well
  • Davon House was injured and it didn't look good at the time…not sure what his status is but wish him well; he's still a viable CB for next season but still need to invest a premium pick or two as well as Pass Rusher because PR is arguably their biggest need
  • Defense has allowed seven opening drive scores (TDs?) matching the Offense attaining seven opening drive scores; I would like to see a new defensive coordinator in 2018
  • What defensive players do I like and want to keep for 2018:
    • DB (11) - Hawkins, House, King, Randall, HHCD, Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice, Morgan Burnett, Marwin Evans/Jermaine Whitehead -- leaves ~2 open spots for draft picks or Quinton Rollins & a draft pick; Demetri Goodson is JAG at this point; I'm not convinced resigning Morgan Burnett is the best option but he certainly could be considered a high priority by Ted; I like the three safety alignment & think the trio of HHCD, Josh Jones, & Kentrell Brice is the future.  HHCD & Jones certainly are but think both players play better closer to the LOS vs being the deep centerfielder type at safety; without have a reliable centerfielder they need to play two-deep with HHCD being one of the guys…currently teamed with Josh Jones who has great potential as a do-it-all DB; you need athletes at DB and I think the Packers have some that qualify but could use another playmaker or two; Lenzy Pipkins and Donatello Brown don't appear to be anything more than JAGs and are replaceable; DB is the last line of defense so it's arguably the most important position… Randall & King are they top two key CB type (boundary) but Randall is also good in the slot…he's become a good CB and playmaker like he was as a rookie but only better/more experienced now; I agree with those out there that believe that letting Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde leave were mistakes; both have above average ball skills / playmaking skills but think King & Josh Jones offer upside; I think Hawkins has the chance to become a player because of his speed; I also wonder why some people have said he doesn't have slot capability?  Who should/will the 5th & 6th DBs be (Burnett?, House?, a Rookie?, Hawkins?, Whitehead? UFA?); Is PR a bigger need over coverage?  Will Ted shy away from the FA market and will there be any worthwhile CBs available?
    • ILB/OLB (9) - CM3, Perry, Martinez, Ryan, Biegel, Fackrell - ~3 open spots with biggest need being Pass Rusher/Edge LB/DE - need to spend multiple picks on PR; they have not replaced Julius Peppers' production and playmaking; I don't think FA will provide solid options at acquiring an Edge/PR but who knows at this point; Joe Thomas has disappeared and so has Chris Odom; Ahmad Brooks is a pending FA  and might not be worth bringing back/is replaceable with a draft pick?  I'm intrigued by Vince but also by Fackrell especially if he can play as a stack LB
    • DL (5) - The pair of Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels is pretty good inside; I especially like Clark because he might have more upside than Mike Daniels; Dean Lowry is a nice rotation player and third DL when they play three DL (better when he's 3rd); Haven't really noticed much from Montravius Adams; Quinton Dial is worth resigning / extending -- I'm not inclined to spend draft capital on DL unless a potential Calais Campbell was there…or another Kenny Clark;
    • Which defensive alignment do they play the most?...appears to be the nickel approximate (WAG) 70% -- 80-85% if dime; 3dl is < 20% -- best defensive player is arguably Kenny Clark, who can handle double-teams better than Mike Daniels IMO; CM3 might be the most important in the front five/six; if he's allowed to be the 3rd dynamic PR from his rover position he's actually quite dangerous -- good in coverage too running with TEs; Having Nick Perry available at the right Edge position is real important too; need that 3rd PR guy but maybe Vince will pan out as a situational PR guy…or Fackrell or a 2018 draft pick (more likely?)
      • Clark, Daniels, CM3, Perry, Martinez, and if needing a 6th then go with Lowry, Biegel, Fackrell, Ryan (they played Martinez & Ryan a fair amount together these last couple of games) or a rookie draft pick (preferably a premium pick); Fackrell might still surprise in 2018 (potential late bloomer)…he's a good ST player and probably is more than a JAG because he's been at the right spot at the right time a few times in 2017 so why not give him another shot (besides he's still on his rookie deal)
      • HHCD, Josh Jones, Randall, King, & ?? (Brice/Burnett/rookie?/3rd CB) are the nickel and maybe somebody steps into the dime role as a playmaker; Will they bring Morgan Burnett back for a 2nd big contract (3rd total contract)?  I'm also intrigued by Josh Hawkins because of his speed
      • I would draft two Edge/PR guys & two DB playmakers (perfect scenario)
  • What offensive players do I like and want to keep for 2018:
    • QB1 is obviously AR12 and will remain that way until he decides to retire; Brett Hundley is a viable back-up for 2018 unless some team gets froggy with a 3rd or higher draft pick (I might even consider a 4th); maybe spend a day three pick for a number three if an intriguing prospect is available
    • RB/FB (5) - Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Devante Mays, Aaron Ripkowski - Mays is #5 and potentially replaceable/currently in dog-house; Joe Kerridge is currently on the roster as the #2 FB / ST player
    • WR/TE (9) - Davante Adams (must resign), Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, Jeff Janis (#1 ST), Trevor Davis (return guy), Michael Clark (6'6); Lance Kendricks & Richard Rodgers -- it's probably a good idea to invest in a TE unless Michael Clark becomes a factor there…6'6 is very intriguing target size; going more four WR + 1rb could be the main alignment but McCarthy has options; they will need to address the cap space allocation at WR for 2018; having three guys accounting for double-digit million cap space might not be doable…but maybe it is; they obviously must resign Davante, no question!...I'd also consider trying to extend both Jordy and Cobb for two/three years each which would make it much more doable to keep these three WRs together.  Cobb is a good #3 option; they have speed at WR with Davis & Janis plus both play ST gunner
    • OL (9) - Corey Linsley, Bak, Lane Taylor, Jahri Evans, Bulaga, Spriggs, Kyle Murphy, Adam Pankey, Justin McCray -- maybe replace Pankey but maybe not; OL is not a priority need IMO unless they lose both Evans & Bulaga; I'm not convinced they can afford to let Corey Linsley leave either but maybe McCray can handle the role
    • Which offensive alignment will they play the most?...NFI because I expect a change or two at WR/TE…but who knows; they have an interesting crew that lacks speed from the top four spots (Davante, Jordy, Cobb, & G-Mo); I would definitely use 1rb a majority of the snaps because they've got some intriguing options between Williams, Jones, and Montgomery; Ripkowski is an effective lead blocker and load to bring down when he has the ball; the Packers currently have 25 offensive players and 25 defensive players + LS/P/K -- Michael Clark intrigues me because he's 6'6 and athletic (basketball player); Davante has become the #1 option for Hundley but will he remain the #1 option for AR12?...maybe he will…and could become that triple-digit pass catcher/workhorse receiver; could/would McCarthy ever use Ty with either Williams or Jones on-field?
  • My preference for 2018 adjustments to the Packers roster and football management structure (coaching / GM) is for McCarthy to remain as HC, Ted decide to cede roster management/Director of Football Operations to one of the following:

  • Replacing Dom Capers as DC is pretty much a must do for McCarthy but maybe Capers will gracefully retire during the off-season; replacing other defensive staff is an option too;  Maybe one or both of the DB coaches need to be replaced along with Capers?  Same for the LB coaches…
  • Of the 25 defensive players on the roster as of 12.11.17 at least three DBs will be replaced because of returning IR players (Brice, King, and Rollins) which means D. Brown, Pipkins, Goodwin, Whitehead/Marwin Evans could be replaced plus Burnett is a possibility for leaving in FA; It's my opinion that D. Brown, Pipkins, & Goodwin are replaceable and will be replaced by King & Rollins, Brice can replace either Goodwin or Whitehead/Marwin Evans; Burnett's status is the key factor at DB…I would prefer to replace him with another variation of Josh Jones (i.e., size & speed); I also like Brice as #3 starting safety type that can play the two-deep safety role; the speed combination of Josh Jones & Brice is intriguing, plus when combined with HHCD they have three guys that can play the two-deep safety role and they can also play in the box; three safeties playing with one of them technically playing a LB role is in-vogue and the Packers have the players to do it!  The 3rd cover CB is the question mark?...but my money is on Hawkins or a 2018 draft pick; zero DL will be replaced, but a 6th DL could be added if he has PR ability; Edge/OLB/PR is arguably the biggest need; some fans are currently grumbling that the Packers should've drafted TJ Watt and I certainly think it's a valid gripe…I know I wanted the Packers to draft Watt but also didn't question moving down and taking Kevin King because he has special size/speed for a boundary CB…the only issue with him is the shoulder (labrum) which is a valid concern…
  • Of the 25 offensive players, Bulaga, Murphy, and Montgomery will be returning from IR; Monty should replace FB Joe Kerridge or RB Mays because they don't need four RB types because Ripkowski can fill a RB role if absolutely necessary plus he provides good pass protection…he's a four-down player as McCarthy likes to say; I really like McCray as a back-up OL because he's versatile and can play every position on the OL; Spriggs is getting valuable time at RT but prefer Bulaga manning the position; key FA decisions loom regarding Corey Linsley (must?) and Evans but McCray or Murphy could be viable RG unless Spriggs is worth starting at RT and then move Bulaga to RG?  TBD, keep James Campen as  OL coach; offensive coaching staff can stay status quo

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

11.21.17 - Packers are 5-5

  • Packers are 5-5 after being shutout by the Ravens
  • Neither the Bears or Ravens games were televised locally & I didn't go to the bar to watch the games
  • I've seen high/low lights from each game.  Although the Packers' defense looked OK in both games, neither opposing offense was very good. 
  • Packers' offense is QB driven and it's been rough with Hundley at the helm while he's still learning how to steer the ship.  He pretty much lost the Ravens game with his four turnovers (3 int 1 fum).  I didn't know what to expect from Hundley but I also remember Aaron Rodgers' 1st season as a starter the Packers had a losing season…Hundley led Packers are 1-4 and I doubt they win more than two game the rest of the season.
  • Based on recent observations of bloggers at cheeseheadtv and various writers (blog & media sites), fans are not optimistic about the remaining portion of 2017.  I'm certainly not optimistic…and figured we were done when AR12 was hurt.  
  • I hope they can resign Davante Adams but he's not worth top 10 money.  Adams has been the Packers' leading receiver for much of 2017.  
  • Six more games for other players to step-up or down as the case may be.
  • Chtv fans have also clamored for Capers to be fired; as well as Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy.  I'd definitely welcome a change at DC.  While Mike McCarthy is extremely loyal to his coaches…he's fired coaches before!
  • Might have to wait out Thompson's contract but who knows, maybe they'll negotiate something with him to step aside.  My replacement choice is Elliot Wolf or John Dorsey.  I would like to see McCarthy stay.
  • Defensive Player wise…still have work to do at pass rush and CB.  I like what they have at safety even though they don't have a true centerfielder type.
  • Offensive Player wise…everything revolves around AR12; don't really have a back-up plan at QB unless Hundley improves drastically. 
  • This was/is supposed to be Hundley's audition time for a starting role with some other team in 2018.  It's not going so well.  He's caused a lot of sacks and has way too many turnovers.  At this point the Pack will be lucky to recoup a 5th for Hundley in a trade or compensatory pick.
  • The OL went through some early season injury struggles at OT and when things finally look to heal then Bulaga goes down with an ACL.  Justin McCray has been a significant find for the OL because he looks serviceable at all five OL positions.  Apparently, Jason Spriggs looked bad at RT.  I'm sure he'll get another shot to look bad vs the Steelers.
  • Right now it's starting to look like the Packers will be drafting in the top 15 and I'm hoping they'll have a good shot at drafting an EDGE player…maybe Arden Key, Harold Landry, one of the Clemson guys (Clelin Ferrell or Austin Bryant), or maybe Sam Hubbard of Ohio St.  I'd be OK with a top rated CB too. 
  • The Packers should draft at least two EDGE players and one of them has to be within our top two picks (if not both).  I wouldn't draft a safety unless he was a true centerfielder type with very good speed.
  • Offensive draft pick should be a skill player with breakaway speed…likely a WR.  The GM has a significant cap allocation decision to make at WR.  Davante Adams will require a cap number approaching what Nelson & Cobb are getting in 2018.  The Packers can't keep all three at those cap numbers.

Monday, October 30, 2017


  • Basically have had two games with Hundley at QB and things haven't looked so good…Brett has accuracy problems but hopefully he can correct them.  He's a good athlete and has a strong enough arm.
  • Hopefully Morgan Burnett will be healthy enough to play Monday night vs the Lions (on 11.6.17).  I agree with those that believe HHCD is very dependent on Burnett…but I also think HHCD is a better box player vs deep safety or single-high deep safety (i.e., centerfielder).
  • Josh Jones…why haven't they used him to blitz off the edge much since his 2-sack game?  I'm not saying all the time but I don't recall seeing it much recently…he has explosive speed…as does Kentrell Brice.
  • 2nd half defense vs the Saints was brutal…but then again, they were facing Drew Brees and the Saints have a pretty good RB duo.
  • I recently read a quote of some NFL personnel guy saying that Ty Montgomery is a fraud as a RB.  I disagree with the assessment but I'm also a fan…I think Ty can play but I'm thinking he's best suited as a pass receiving RB and think he could be used with Aaron Jones (who looks really good after having two 100+ yard rushing games).
  • Blake Martinez!...he's becoming a good ILB/MLB…and looks like he's able to play all 4 downs.  He still scares me a little in pass defense but he's usually around the ball and has good awareness…excellent tackler.
  • If the defense fails the rest of the season, will McCarthy fire Capers?  That seems to be the #1 question / comment of fans out there…  I think they can use more defensive talent but also think there's a serious communication / understanding of scheme (defensive play calls) issue(s).
  • Basically two games behind the Vikings in the standings ATT…with one game remaining with them at Lambeau…which will be hard to overcome.
  • I'm not optimistic AR12 will play again in the 2017 season.
    •  Probably means >.500 record
    • Top 15 draft pick in 2018?
  • They need at least one more pass rusher…but the more the merrier.
  • When will they play Montravious Adams to see if he can offer some inside pass rush?

As of 10.30.17 the Packers have 12 pending UFA + 9 R/ERFA:
  • Of the 12 UFA, only Morgan Burnett, Davante Adams, Corey Linsley, and Davon House are starters.
  • Linsley will cost considerably more than his rookie contract but arguably the number 1 priority resign.  IMO, the positional importance on the OL goes LT is #1, then C is #2.  but the other three cannot be slugs.  Jahri Evans was a good FA acquisition and wouldn't be a bad option to resign in 2018. 
  • The amount of injury the Packers incurred at OT in 2017 was unprecedented for the Packers (at least that I can remember).   Fortunately, Bak and Bulaga appear to be regaining their health for the 2nd half of 2017.
  • Justin McCray appears to be a solid back-up OL that has starting potential which IMO is why Barclay was released from IR.
  • How much $$$ will Davante Adams cost?  Is he worth paying $10m/yr ave?
  • Can/will they restructure/extend CM3, Jordy, and Cobb?  If not, will they release any of them?  IMO, 2017 is the last season we see Jordy, Cobb, and Adams together.
  • Can Geronimo Allison become the 3rd WR to replace Cobb or Adams?  I don't know…and I'm more intrigued by Michael Clark because he's 6'6/217 compared to G-Mo's 6'3/202
  • The Packers have approximately $12.2m available cap space as of 10.30.17 that they'll carry-over into 2018.

  • 13 drafts by Ted Thompson with his best being his first because of AR12.  Nick Collins is arguably his 2nd best pick (or CM3).
  • My biased draft grades:
    • 2005 - A+
    • 2006 - C
    • 2007 - C-
    • 2008 - B+
    • 2009 - A-
    • 2010 - B
    • 2011 - C-
    • 2012 - B-
    • 2013 - B-
    • 2014 - B
    • 2015 - C
    • 2016 - C
    • 2017 - ?