Green Bay Packers April Scouting Report
This is the pre-draft report. I know most of you are tired of all the draft rhetoric, so I will just give you my take on what the roster review seems to indicate. The Packers enter the draft with 10 picks – 1 in each of rounds 1 thru 5, and 5 picks in rounds 6 & 7. But first a free agency update. The Packers have tendered all their exclusive rights free agents. They did not tender their restricted free agent – so anyone can sign him. To date, the Packers have re-signed the following unrestricted free agents; RB Tyler Ervin, TE Mercedes Lewis, S Will Redmond, and K Mason Crosby. The following unrestricted Packer free agents have not been signed by any team; S Ibraham Campbell, CB Tramon Williams, OT Jared Veldheer, OT Jason Spriggs, and WR Ryan Grant. The following unrestricted Packer free agents have been signed by other teams; LB Blake Martinez and LB Kyler Fackrell were signed by the Giants, OT Bryan Bulaga was signed by the Chargers, LB BJ Goodson was signed by the Browns, FB Danny Vitale was signed by the Patriots, and WR Geronimo Allison was signed by the Lions. Everything else will be covered in the text below.
Now for the roster; on offense, the Packers have some needs. At quarterback QB Aaron Rodgers is the undisputed starter. The questions after that are twofold; first who backs him up, and second who succeeds him in maybe four years. Also on the roster is QB Tim Boyle and QB Manny Wilkins. Boyle has been the number two guy for the last two years and probably gets the job for at least one more year. I would not bet on Wilkins staying. The Packers have been showing prospects QB Jordan Love from Utah State and Green Bay native QB James Morgan from FIU some attention. So there is a chance for a draft pick here. At running back; RB Aaron Jones, RB Jamaal Williams, RB Dexter Williams, RB Tyler Ervin, and RB Damarea Crockett are on the roster. For the following season there are no new additions required. For the year following next season there might need to be two new guys added because Jones and Jamaal Williams are up for free agency if they are not re-signed. It is just a matter of if those players are added this year or next. The Packers have been very quiet about Dexter Williams. At full back the Packers signed free agent FB Elijah Wellman. He is the only option on the roster. If GB wants another a late round draft pick at this position may be coming. At tight end, TE Jimmy Graham was released and re-signed by the Bears. The roster now includes; TE Jace Sternberger, TE Mercedes Lewis, TE Robert Tonyan, TE Evan Baylis, and TE James Looney. Sternberger is now the number one guy. Will he be a good fantasy performer? I don’t know but he did catch a touchdown pass in the NFC Championship game last year – so he is a possibility. There are no glaring draft needs at tight end. At wide receiver WR Geronimo Allison is gone and WR Ryan Grant remains unsigned. The roster now includes; WR Davante Adams, WR Allen Lazard, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR Jake Kumerow, and WR Darius Shepherd. The new comers (so far) are; WR Devin Funchess, WR Malik Taylor, and WR Reggie Begelton. Outside of Adams, Lazard needs to show he can do it for another year. Scantling, Shepherd, and Kumerow were very inconsistent. St. Brown was injured and spent the year on injured reserve. The three new comers are unknown commodities and has never played with Rodgers. On the surface there just isn’t much here. Look for maybe two picks here. The best option in the draft if he falls to number 30 would be WR Justin Jefferson of LSU. He might have an immediate impact and be a good fantasy player as well. The offensive line is presently composed of starters OT David Bakhtari, OG Elgton Jenkins, OC Corey Linsley, OG Billy Turner, and new comer free agent OT Rick Wagner. The backups include; OG Patrick Lucas, OG Cole Madison, OG Lane Taylor, OT Yosh Nijam, OT John Leglue, OT Cody Conway, and OT Alex Light. I think Wagner is a one year stop gap measure at best. Lucas and Taylor are the best backups right now – so perhaps two draft picks are coming here. OT Josh Jones of Houston might be a good fit if he is available and the Packers select one early.
On defense there are positions that need depth. The defensive line consists of; DL Kenny Clark, DL Dean Lowry, DL Kingslay Keke, DL Montravius Adams, and DL Tyler Lancaster. That is not many bodies but GB plays at most 3 on the field and most of the time there are only 2. Still Adams and Lancaster did not play as expected. I would look for one pick in the first four rounds. At inside linebacker the roster consists of; free agent new comer ILB Christian Kirksey, ILB Owen Burks, ILB Ty Summers, and ILB Curtis Bolton. Kirksey can play when healthy, Burks still looked lost in his second season when he wasn’t injured, Bolton was showing a lot of promise in preseason before an injury derailed his season, and Summers only played special teams last year – no defensive snaps from scrimmage. So there is a lot of uncertainty from a health and experience stand point. There will probably be at least one pick at this position. Players like ILB Kenneth Murray of Oklahoma, ILB Malik Harrison of OSU, and ILB Evan Weaver of Cal might be good fits. At outside linebacker the roster consists of; OLB Za'Darius Smith, OLB Preston Smith, OLB Rashan Gary, OLB Randy Ramsey, OLB Tim Williams, and OLB Greg Roberts. I think the Packers are set here. Gary will pick up Fackrell’s work load. Ramsey has experience. Hopefully Williams can make a jump this year. And Roberts was on the PUP list this past year. I don’t look for a pick at outside linebacker. At corner back, the roster includes; CB Jaire Alexander, CB Kevin King, CB Chandon Sullivan, CB Kadar Hollman, CB Josh Jackson, CB Kablon Ento, and CB DeShaun Amos. Alexander, King, and Sullivan are all solid. Hollman was a healthy scratch for most of last season – thanks mostly to the health of the others. Jackson needs to show more. I don’t know about the other two. There might be a late round depth pick here. The Packers could also re-sign free agent CB Tramon Williams after the draft if need be. At safety the Packers have; S Adrian Amos, S Darnell Savage, S Will Redmond, and S Raven Greene. Either a depth pick or a multi tasking pick here. If it were the later S Jeremy Chinn of Southern Illinois would be a good addition. Big enough to help at inside linebacker, fast enough to play safety. On special teams K Mason Crosby, LS Hunter Bradley, and P PJ Scott are holding down the fort quiet well. No anticipated picks here. The Packers have 28 open roster spots. A combination of draft picks and undrafted free agents will fill those in. Also, some free agent deals may be affected by the draft either way. Maybe a team wasn’t able to draft the players they thought they were going to get so they can fill in with free agents. Or maybe some teams draft players that make some of those "unfinished" free agent deals unnecessary and those deals dissolve. As of this minute, the preferred Packer fantasy selections are QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Aaron Jones, WR Davante Adams – and depending on how you view it, K Mason Crosby, and the Packer Defense. The next report will be in early May when we see who the Packers selected and how that affects their roster and perhaps their 2020 season plans. As we wait for the draft to start consider that in the early 1920’s the Packers defeated the Minneapolis Marines 7-6. Not a very good fantasy game for either team. But the Packers DID win. In the same way we can also win over this virus if we do our part – it won’t be flashy, but it will be effective. Regardless – I wasn’t kidding about the snacks. Hopefully everything will be different in a month.
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Sunday, September 13th, 2020
OK, the big day has come and gone; your draft is over. You assembled an impressive roster thanks to a lot of time, energy and research dedicated to that task.Tweets by @FFMastermind