Assessing the Roster

Dantés

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With the season officially over for Green Bay, it's a good time to look at the roster position by position.

Quarterback:
  • A. Rodgers
  • T. Boyle
  • M. Wilkins (PS)
Aaron Rodgers' season totals were below his career standards, however there are some mitigating circumstances to consider. Number one is supporting talent (aside from Adams, who was hurt for a chunk of the season, and Jones, his pass catching options were well below average this year). Number two is the reality of a new offense. It's possible that Rodgers has just declined, but it's also possible that with improved supporting talent and a year of experience in the offense he could take off. To-Do List: Given that the Packers have Rodgers under contract for four more season, and are financially bound to him for three, it makes no sense to think about finding a new starter at this point. A day three pick to compete with Boyle is the most they might do here.

Running Back:
  • A. Jones
  • J. Williams
  • T. Ervin
  • D. Williams
  • D. Crockett (PS)
Aaron Jones was a stud this year. He is easily a top 10 NFL running back. He's a great lead back for the offense. Jamaal Williams is a solid backup who can fill in adequately in every facet. Ervin showed enough in his limited opportunities to be brought back to camp as a gadget/return type of player. Williams has enough talent that he may surprise in a second year TC. To-Do List: Jones should be approached about an extension soon-- he's young and hasn't had a big work load. A late round pick to add competition would make sense.

Fullback:
  • D. Vitale
  • M. Johnson (PS)
  • E. Wellman (FUT)
This offense likes to use the fullback, as seen in Vitale's 170 snaps on the season. He further justifies his role with 228 snaps on special teams. To-Do List: This is another spot where the Packers are set, but competition in the late rounds would be fine.

Tight End:
  • J. Graham
  • M. Lewis
  • R. Tonyan
  • J. Sternberger
  • E. Baylis (PS)
  • J. Looney (PS)
Jimmy Graham was a non-fit in this offense from the beginning. He gave it a good effort as a blocker, but it won't ever be his game. His abilities as a pass catcher have declined dramatically. Lewis did an admirable job as a blocker, but at 36 he should be replaced with someone who can make more of an impact in the passing game. Both Tonyan and Sternberger are developmental guys with upside in the passing game. Random note-- James Looney, former iDL, is now listed at tight end wearing #49. To-Do List: There are really two tight end positions-- the in line "Y" spot and the flex "F" spot. It seems to me that the Packers are already working on two "F" type players in Sternberger and Tonyan, and have no good options at "Y." Ideally, they could fill that role with a strong veteran presence. Graham needs to be released if he doesn't retire.

Wide Receiver:
  • D. Adams
  • A. Lazard
  • J. Kumerow
  • G. Allison
  • M. Valdes-Scantling
  • E. St. Brown (IR)
  • R. Grant
  • D. Shepherd (PS)
  • R. Begelton (FUT)
  • M. Taylor (PS)
With so much promise heading into the 2019 season, this position was a real mess. Adams was great as usual, but hurt for a chunk of the year. MVS and Allison regressed majorly after St. Brown got hurt. Lazard was a nice surprise, but that's really the only positive to take away. The offense seriously suffered from a lack of play-makers. It was rare that pass catchers were making plays down the field or with the ball in their hands. To-Do List: An overhaul is necessary here. Adams is clearly safe, and Lazard should be too. Otherwise, both veteran and rookie help should be pursued. MVS and STB should definitely get another shot in camp, but a roster spot is no lock.

Offensive Tackle:
  • D. Bakhtiari
  • B. Bulaga
  • J. Veldheer
  • A. Light
  • J. Leglue
  • Y. Nijman (IR)
  • J. Spriggs (IR)
  • C. Conway (PS)
The Packers boasted one of the best OT tandems in the league again this season. Jared Veldheer was a competent backup, but is also an aging UFA. Alex Light appeared serviceable at times, but also got passed up pretty quickly by Veldheer. To-Do List: The Packers should resign Bulaga, as he's still at the top of his game and finding a good replacement would be extremely difficult. But it would also make a lot of sense to spend a relatively high pick on OT depth for the future.

Offensive Guard:
  • E. Jenkins
  • B. Turner
  • L. Taylor (IR)
  • C. Madison (IR)
The Packers nailed their 2nd round pick in Elgton Jenkins, who could well be one of the league's best in the near future. Billy Turner is solid. He isn't going to a Pro Bowl any time soon, but if he's your fifth best starter, you're doing well. To-Do List: The starters are set. Taylor needs to be let go for the cap savings. How aggressively they add help to the position depends largely on how they feel internally about Madison and Patrick, who also plays guard. If they like those guys and intend to keep Linsley, they are pretty set.

Center:
  • C. Linsley
  • L. Patrick
Corey Linsley is not an elite center, but neither is he a liability. He's above average and has been reliable. Patrick was strong in relief (for a reserve) and has been extended. To-Do List: Linsley could be a cap casualty, but if he is kept then the Packers don't need to do anything at center. If released, they will need to draft another option by the middle rounds to pair with Patrick.

Interior Defensive Line:
  • K. Clark
  • D. Lowry
  • T. Lancaster
  • K. Keke
  • M. Adams
When healthy, Kenny Clark was a dominating force this season. Lowry is not a major impact player, but he serves a role as a run defender (unless we're playing the 49ers, apparently). Lancaster is roster-worthy, but was forced to play too much due to a lack of depth. Keke is a developmental guy who could still pay off, but should not be counted on, while Adams has proven to be a big disappointment. To-Do List: This front definitely needs one more player to push Lancaster & Co. one spot down the roster. Someone with length and interior pass rush ability would be very helpful against a team like SF. Clark needs to be extended, pronto.

Edge:
  • Z. Smith
  • P. Smith
  • K. Fackrell
  • R. Gary
  • G. Roberts (PUP)
  • R. Ramsey (PS)
  • T. Williams (PS)
Gutekunst completely nailed two FA signings in the Smiths, and Pettine helped turn 4-8 sack players into 12+ sack artists who completely rejuvenated Green Bay's defense. Kyler Fackrell thrived in a depth role as he offers versatility that the others do not. Gary flashed, but proved to be every bit the developmental guy that he was projected to be. To-Do List: Because he offers a different skill set, keeping Fackrell would be a nice luxury. That said, it is almost certainly impossible. Gary will be counted on to step up in 2020. A later pick could be used on more depth, but there is already some interesting TC competition on the roster.

Linebacker:
  • B. Martinez
  • B. Goodson
  • O. Burks
  • T. Summers
  • C. Bolton (IR)
Undoubtedly, linebacker was the weakness of the Packers defense this year. Martinez was better down the stretch than he was early (undoubtedly linked to Clark's health), but he's a limited player who depends almost completely on others to allow him to make players. Goodson is fine as a run down specialist. Burks has not found his way yet, and at this point should not be counted on. Summers was a ST stalwart who never played a down on defense. To-Do List: The Packers need to let Martinez walk. Keeping Goodson as a role player would make some sense, but it isn't critical. A big investment here will be necessary, ideally through free agency.

Cornerback:
  • J. Alexander
  • K. King
  • T. Williams
  • C. Sullivan
  • K. Hollman
  • J. Jackson
  • K. Ento (PS)
  • D. Amos (FUT)
Alexander is a stud. Gutekunst really nailed that pick. You could do a lot worse than King in this league, but he is pretty inconsistent. He arrives at "average" by way of being either really good, or pretty bad. Williams played a nice slot corner this season, but his age really showed in the NFCCG. Chandon Sullivan was a pleasant surprise. Hollman almost never played, while Jackson saw the field more but proved to be a big liability. To-Do List: Alexander, King, and Sullivan should factor into the 2020 plans, but more reliable depth is absolutely necessary. Green Bay should take a swing on a sleeper in free agency, and need to keep drafting the position.

Safety:
  • A. Amos
  • D. Savage
  • W. Redmond
  • R. Greene
  • I. Campbell
Amos proved to be exactly the reliable player he was advertised to be, while Savage came on strong after a bumpy start to his rookie year. That means the "starting" duo is stable for the foreseeable future. Redmond is the only depth at a true safety position, and he was a pretty big liability when on the field. Greene showed well early, and Campbell was also a useful player, but we are talking more about a linebacker role when discussing these players. To-Do List: Greene and Campbell can both help out at the linebacker position (much needed), but the Packers very much need to find more help behind the starters at a true safety position.

Biggest Needs to Address:
  1. Pass catching talent (WR & TE)
  2. Linebacker
  3. Interior Defensive Line
  4. Cornerback
  5. Offensive Tackle Depth
 

XPack

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For me,

1. #2 Wide Receiver
2. Inside Linebacker (Replace Blake M)
3. D-Line support for Kenny Clark (Replace Tyler Lancaster)
4. Right Tackle (Bulaga to go FA and Veldheer to be retained as rotation)
5. Inside Linebacker (we really need two!)
 

G0P4ckG0

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1. Wide receiver (speed)
2. Inside linebacker (speed)
3. Wide receiver/tight end (red zone threat)
4. Inside linebacker (speed)
5. DL (run stopper)

In other words, we need more SPEED players on this team.
 

Mondio

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DL, WR, ILB. Not in any particular order, in general I feel bonafide DL and ILB will have to be taken higher than WR if drafting, but I don't care when they're taken, get me the best ones you can. RT to develop fill in the rest with the best available. We could use 2 WR's 2 ILBs.

I think Adams is done on that DL. just a tease, never be anything more and lots of time a weakness. Lowry is ok in run support. Lancaster should be depth. We could use 2 DL too. Williams is aging and slowing, another DB would be good. The needs never run out on an NFL football team.
 

XPack

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3. Wide receiver/tight end (red zone threat)

If we get a #2, then I presume Lazard will operate out of backfield/slot more than now. Add in two high potential TEs we have already (Tonyan and Jace) I think we can put this to a bit later.
 

G0P4ckG0

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If we get a #2, then I presume Lazard will operate out of backfield/slot more than now. Add in two high potential TEs we have already (Tonyan and Jace) I think we can put this to a bit later.
Agreed. I am hoping for a hybrid-type receiver similar to a prime Jimmy Graham/Jermichael Finley.
 

Grode80

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Honestly I think I have my WR a little lower than everyone else. Mine is more like:
1.) ILB try to get Kyle Van Noy or Joe Schobert
2.) run stuffer DT preferably Derrick Brown out of Auburn or Javon Kinlaw out of South Carolina.
3.) WR finally. We can use the draft but we can wait till the 3rd or 4th. Round. I’d be happy to try and target Robby Andersen from the Jets, he’s young and speedy and was one of the only playmakers on a bad offense. Plus we could get him relatively cheap. The more expensive option would be Amari Cooper, but his talent would be worth it by making the receiving corps a sudden strength instead of a glaring weakness.
4.) RG to replace Turner once we let him walk or whatever. Honestly any of the top 5 Guards the Packers could get. I’m more leaning towards Deonte Brown out of Bama though.
5.) another ILB but get him from the draft. Troy Dye out of Oregon or Jordyn Brooks from Texas Tech. Both could go as soon as 2nd round but as late as 4th round leaving the Packers plenty of time to choose if and when to get them.
Bonus. If he falls to them take Tua at QB it was a hip injury that put him out on the season. QBs do need loose hips but it’s still not as bad as a collarbone or Acl injury. Tua could fall all the way to the 3rd round just cause of his injury. But who knows?
 
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Mondio

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If we get a #2, then I presume Lazard will operate out of backfield/slot more than now. Add in two high potential TEs we have already (Tonyan and Jace) I think we can put this to a bit later.
I wasn't not too high on Sternberger. I mean, ok, he's a 3rd rounder? could be worse. But these last few weeks when he was able to get healthy and get back on the field he got better every week. Can work from multiple spots, his blocking was better than I had thought and I know it was only one play, but the way he never quit and kept working on that TD catch was good to see. Do that down in and down out, you're going to get lots of opportunities. Gave me reason for hope with him. Always great to see progress.

I think Tonyan has it physically, not sure it's turned on mentally for him or will. I'd see if Lewis wants to come back, thought he'd retire last year, but go figure, I was wrong. Bring him on back and TE moves down the list I think.
 

Curly Calhoun

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For me,

1. #2 Wide Receiver
2. Inside Linebacker (Replace Blake M)
3. D-Line support for Kenny Clark (Replace Tyler Lancaster)
4. Right Tackle (Bulaga to go FA and Veldheer to be retained as rotation)
5. Inside Linebacker (we really need two!)


What about tight end?

And, since Crosby's contract is up, a kicker?
 

AmishMafia

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1. Michelle Pfiffer in the cat woman suit
2. Mila Kunis in the cat woman suit
3. Jennifer Aniston in the cat woman suit
4. A big lottery win
5. A friend who has a massive lottery win

Just sayin

Bring that many women in and you'll only get a non-stop cat fight!
Yup. If you can swing this Buggy, I will bring the popcorn and beer.
 
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AmishMafia

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Honestly I think I have my WR a little lower than everyone else. Mine is more like:
1.) ILB try to get Kyle Van Noy or Joe Schobert
2.) run stuffer DT preferably Derrick Brown out of Auburn or Javon Kinlaw out of South Carolina.
3.) WR finally. We can use the draft but we can wait till the 3rd or 4th. Round. I’d be happy to try and target Robby Andersen from the Jets, he’s young and speedy and was one of the only playmakers on a bad offense. Plus we could get him relatively cheap. The more expensive option would be Amari Cooper, but his talent would be worth it by making the receiving corps a sudden strength instead of a glaring weakness.
4.) RG to replace Turner once we let him walk or whatever. Honestly any of the top 5 Guards the Packers could get. I’m more leaning towards Deonte Brown out of Bama though.
5.) another ILB but get him from the draft. Troy Dye out of Oregon or Jordyn Brooks from Texas Tech. Both could go as soon as 2nd round but as late as 4th round leaving the Packers plenty of time to choose if and when to get them.
Bonus. If he falls to them take Tua at QB it was a hip injury that put him out on the season. QBs do need loose hips but it’s still not as bad as a collarbone or Acl injury. Tua could fall all the way to the 3rd round just cause of his injury. But who knows?
Well done. My list is very similar except an OT instead of guard. The OT may play G until needed as an OT though.

But my list doesn't match my draft pick pattern. There will likely be a good WR or OT at our pick and I wouldnt sacrafice quality for need. BPA.
 

Dantés

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I'm assuming that they keep Bulaga. They should. If that's the case, then:

1. Pass catchers (mult. receivers and at least one tight end)
2. Linebacker
3. Interior Defensive Line
4. Cornerback
5. OT Depth
 
H

HardRightEdge

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As receiving weapons go, the key characteristic I'd be looking for is a guy who can attack the middle of the field as a priority over a guy who can stretch the field. Attracting the attention of safeties has its own rewards. The YAC that comes with physicality, which Graham hasn't delivered, would be a big add. Among the critiques of Graham's play we can include the fact that DB business decisions are absent.

In terms of free agency, as I said last year around this time, "go young or go home", which thankfully turned out to be the Gutekunst approach. Obviously, signing second contract guys means fewer guys with a longer runways with a cost to go with that.

In keeping with these thoughts, and as mentioned earlier, I would put Hunter Henry toward the top of the list. I'm leaning toward making him the #1 FA priority as I had with Amos last offseason. He's also a very good blocker otherwise I wouldn't mention him. And it's not like you'd want to cover Henry with a LB in any case. I wouldn't bank on it, though. The Graham-Tonyan-Sternberger group, all Gutekunst players, are in the mold of oversized WRs who need to be coached up to block which only gets you so far. While it would be stunningly good to add Henry and Anderson, that would be outside the budget. I'd look for a speed component in the draft though you can't expect a whole lot of productivity out of rookie receivers.

Barring Henry, I'd be looking for a different physical weapon who can be thrown to in the danger zone without thinking he'll end up in the tent.

On defense, I'd put ILB higher on the list than DL. Martinez is not a bad player, but he does not strike me as a smart player. My eye says there's a low read-and-react quotient, with an emphasis on the "read". Something tells me he's not a tape hound. Besides his own play, that can't be anything but a deficit in the defensive adjustment department. This should not be the case at this point for a player with some 4,000 snaps under his belt. I'd put the emphasis on smarts over speed at this position in finding a replacement, and then look for a speedy complement among the incumbents or the draft. We'd prefer both smarts and speed in a 3-down play caller, but that's a hard get.

I'm not averse to retaining Martinez in a complimentary role, but not for second contract starter money which somebody will probably pay even if not the high 8 figures theorized early in the season.

One spot that gets no attention in these discussions is the nickel/slot corner position. Williams had a very good season to my eye in man coverage, under the radar, without any indication of his slowing down. There are stats to back up the eye test. pro-football-reference has him down for 58% completions against with a shallow 9.2 yds average depth of target reflecting the high percentage throws that the nickel corner defends more than at the perimenter.

I don't recall Williams being on the injury report. He had a 74% snap count in line with a nickel corner's full boat. While it may seem odd, I'd say given the other needs, bringing him back would be a priority. At his age, year-to-year, the cost will not be excessive. Absent that, adding a corner with skills specific to that slot would be a heretofore unrecognized need. Josh Jackson is evidently not that guy.

OT is a difficult call. I would not be averse to paying Bulaga if his injury history keeps the cost contained and there is a Plan B not named Alex Light. Bulaga's injury history might keep the cost contained. I don't know what Veldheer's situation might be. It's odd (and fortunate) he came that cheap. I don't think he'll be that cheap again given how he played. Given the reports that Bulaga was unhappy in not being extended after 2018, I would say he's going to test the market. I would not want to be the highest bidder. My gut says the play will be to replace him.
 
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Southside

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The Packers need at least 2 wide receivers with speed and hands. An offensive tackle. An inside linebacker. A run stuffing defensive tackle. A tight end. A running back with speed and a late round quarterback that under achieved in college such as Michigan's QB.
 

hasamikun

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So I dont think that they will resign Blake although I would like that. That means that ILB will be the biggest need in the team. They only have Summers, Burks, Greene on the roster and that isnt good. The FA class there is solid but nothing special so I think that drafting an ILB in the 1st will be the best option. Murray would be a dream but I doubt that he will last that long.
Schobert is an obvious choice for FA cuz he is simply better in pass defense than Blake and a good tackler but I dont know how his standing in Cleveland is. maybe someone can tell if its possible that he hits FA without a resign by the browns.

WR comes next. The draft is incredibly deep at that position so I dont mind a 2nd round pick but if a talent like Ruggs,Jeudy, Lamb,Jefferson drops there( unlikely) tehy should go for it.
FA class looks pretty solid and the 1st choice there is Robby Anderson. Dude was the only thing of hope in a terrible offense/team and with a good QB he can achieve some good things. And dont forget that EQ will be back next season; one young guy I have a lot of hope at. He really showed talent, had good chemistry with Rodgers, is a really good blocker and has safe hands. I am looking at Tae, lazard, Anderson, EQ, MVS and a 2nd rounder and that is a really solid group imo.

Now comes DL if the Packers resign Bulaga. While Lowry and Lancaster showed potential for being really good back-ups, Adams and Keke didnt achieve much. Keke is a rookie so he will take time and he did show some quality but we cant count on that alone and should get Kenny Clark some help to his side so the man can take some more rest. His workload right now is insanely high imo.

Then comes OL. If they dont resign with Bulaga it will the a higher priority than DL but I am positive that they will bring him back on "cheap" 2,3 years deal. OL is not the positiongroup where the Packers should be cheap tho cuz Rodgers isnt that young and he needs the protection. Keeping Veldheer and Bulaga would be a dream and I wanna see a draftpick behind Turner. Although Billy played solid this year, I dont fully trust him. He was the weakest spot in OL and we need some depth behind him.

TE is up there too.Graham will either be cut or retire(his tweet sounded like a farewell but maybe I interpret too much in it).Lewis could be gone but I guess he will be back on another short, cheap deal because he really loved the team and locker room this year and seems really positive. That leaves them with Stern, Tonyan and Lewis which isnt good. Tonyan didnt show much, Stern showes real talent but was injured and Lewis is really old. A real number 1 is needed here but I doubt that the Packers can score on the really good TE class so it will be a draftee again.

Crosby is a safe resign imo. He was really really good this year and we all know how hard it is to fill the kicker position in the NFL. They shouldnt open that hole.
 
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tynimiller

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In no specific order 4 items:

-Find/Draft the hopeful #2 receiving option. I don't want Jones to ever be our second leading receiver again (I would love him to be #3 or #4 however). This could be conducted via FA...but not 100% an option at a price we would want is gonna happen...however we shall see.

-Cut Graham BUT keep Lewis in the TE room. I've said it elsewhere on the forum, Rodgers praised Lewis perhaps more than anyone not named Davante and Aaron Jones this year for a very valid reason. He is not the homerun receiving threat, but dude has sure hands, savvy veteran, leadership and blocking skills any of our tight ends can learn from. IMO if I'm Gute I'm making sure Big Dog walks back into the facility this next year.

-Make the hard decision between Linsley and Bulaga and run with it. Fiscally for this team to hit this 2 to 3 year window you need the money letting Bulaga walk or cutting Linsley creates. IMO you have to do one or the other, the question becomes where do Gute and Co. think they can reload easier at C or RT.

-Drafting the BEST player available at #30 that is either a G/T, ILB, DL, WR...I am not a fan of spending either of our first two picks on a CB, S, RB, QB, TE, DE, OLB or C personally.
 
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