Green Bay Packers July Scouting Report
This report is my pre-training camp report. It won’t be long before we see HC Matt LaFleur’s offense in preseason games – or at least a vanilla version of it. In this report I will look at the depth chart of each position, and likely hood of fantasy success. As a side note the Packers evidently had their sights set on DB Jalen Thompson in the supplemental draft. In this draft no team really wants to spend a draft pick they won’t have next April unless a team really likes a player. Thompson was denied another year of college eligibility – but not because he created trouble of any sort. And he was given a physical by the Packers in Green Bay. But the Cardinals drafted him in the 5th round. He was the only player drafted and the only player (that I know of) without some negative things that got him there. He would have been a good depth addition at safety for the Packers. The players who were not drafted are now free agents.
On offense there should be running and passing – but in what mix? We think we know who the featured players will be. We won’t really know what the offense looks like until the season starts. But LaFleur has said that he likes tight ends that can run, block, and catch. The Packers have changed that position group to get more players with the promise of those things as depth. They need running backs that can run and catch – adding a third player with those credentials. And they need wide receivers that can be complementary and be used in ways they can individually be successful. Sound complicated enough? The quarterback group fantasy wise starts and ends with QB Aaron Rodgers. The backups going into camp are QB DeShone Kizer, and QB Tim Boyle – in that order for now. Either of those two would have a lot to prove if anything happens to Rodgers. At running back, RB Aaron Jones is still the clear number one guy – and should be of fantasy interest. RB Jamaal Williams is still the clear number two guy. But the Packers added RB Dexter Williams in the draft and going into training camp is the clear number three guy. How valuable Jones will be as a fantasy player will be determined by his health and the work split between him, J. Williams, and D. Williams. At fullback FB Danny Vitale is the number one guy going into camp. But he will not be a fantasy concern unless they start using him and throwing to him like they did in college. At tight end the clear number one guy is TE Jimmy Graham going into camp – and should be a fantasy concern of yours. But this doesn’t preclude the use of multiple tight ends in various combinations – making it very difficult as we speak to identify any number two guy. However, TE Mercedes Lewis, TE Robert Tonyan, and TE Jace Sternberger will make the roster if healthy. A good bet is that not all of them will be able to be active on game day. At wide receiver, WR Davante Adams and WR Geronimo Allison (if healthy) should be your primary Packer fantasy wide receivers. WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling is the next man up if he doesn’t over take Allison in camp or is used in a three wide receiver look. After that things get a little murky. WR Equanimeous St. Brown, WR Jake Kumerow and WR Trevor Davis all have made impressions for different reasons. WR J’mon Moore should make the roster at this point. The offensive line is in very good shape going into camp. The starting line could consist of OT David Bakhtari, OG Lane Taylor, OC Cory Linsley, OG Billy Turner, and OT Bryan Bulaga. And they have better backups in OG Elgton Jenkins, OG Cole Madison. Fun offensive line stat, Dallas is first in the NFL with the amount of money tied up on the offensive line that counts against the cap with $61 mill invested. Green Bay is number two with approximately $48 mill invested.
On defense if the team plays as good as it looks on paper you may wish to take the Packer defense in your fantasy draft. Guys will need to be flexible, play multiple positions, create turnovers, and play tough to make this team. On the defensive line DL Dean Lowry, DL Ken Clark, DL Mike Daniels, DL Montravius Adams, DL Tyler Lancaster, and DL Fadol Brown should all be pushing for playing time. The Packers show rookie draft pick DL Kingsley Keke on the line as a member of the roster, but he should get some reps from a linebacker position as well – if OTA reports mean anything. That means he is a position outlier from a scheme perspective. So expect him to lineup anywhere along the front. The same could be said for each of the first three outside linebackers listed below. This is a good group from last year and should only be better once they can rest each other during games. Last year some of them only got an opportunity because of injury. At outside linebacker the Packers have OLB Preston Smith, OLB Za’Darius Smith, OLB Rashan Gary, OLB Kyler Fackrell, and OLB Reggie Gilbert. The Packers now have players who are ascending with proven availability and effectiveness. The mystery to me is where that leaves LB Kendall Donnerson. He had some pass rushing credentials coming into the league last year but so far in Green Bay he has gone under the radar. At inside linebacker the Packers have ILB Blake Martinez, ILB Oren Burks, ILB James Crawford, ILB Ty Summers, ILB Randy Ramsey, and ILB Colton Bolton. I have noted how coaches and reporters are talking about how good Burks is doing. He has the tools if the game slows down for him. Crawford has also impressed this spring. We will see how the others do in training camp. At corner back the starters are CB Jaire Alexander and CB Kevin King. They also have CB KaDar Hollman, CB Tony Brown, CB Josh Jackson, CB Tramon Williams, CB Kabon Ento, CB Javien Hamilton, CB Nydair Rouse, and CB Chandon Sullivan. Hollman has stood out this spring and should push for some playing time. Not much is said about the last four guys. The key to improvement at this position is keeping King healthy and for Jackson to improve. Keep in mind that this will be Jackson’s only 3rd season at the position at any level. This will keep Williams fresh as a player and enable him to mentor as the coaching staff wants him to do. At safety the Packers have S Adrian Amos, S Darnell Savage, S Raven Greene, S Tray Matthews, S Mike Tyson, S Natrell Jamerson, and S Will Redmond. S Josh Jones did not report for mini-camp. The opportunity for Jones was there for the taking this year if he wanted to put in the work. Early returns indicate that Jamerson looks to be crawling up the depth chart at safety. Keep in mind that he has experience playing safety in his college days. Also, each safety on the roster this year brings a little something different to the table. So there is a lot to sort out in training camp. Like I said in the last report, I am more excited (and optimistic) than I have been in a while about the Packer defense. My recommendations for your fantasy team include; QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Aaron Jones, TE Jimmy Graham, WR Davante Adams, WR Geronimo Allison, K Mason Crosby, and the Packer defense. Next month there will be two training camp reports. The difference is we should know more. Start getting those grills out, you’re going to need them.
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Sunday, September 13th, 2020
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