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Green Bay Packers June Scouting Report
Mike Hankes
6/10/2020

This report would normally cover Organized Team Activities (OTAs). However, this activity is happening in a "virtual" setting – meaning that everyone is at home and communicating thru their computers. We do have a glimpse of what is happening through one of QB Aaron Rodgers interviews. But it is difficult to see how player conditioning and drills are going – which in some cases provide an idea of what the team might be changing from the previous season. Between reviewing the 2019 season, making the appropriate changes, getting installs out to everyone, and teaching them, they have their hands full. There are a few glimpses from what HC Matt LaFleur (MLF) says that indicate where this is all heading. Please keep in mind that the number of available roster spots is now effectively 55 on the active roster thanks to the new CBA.

 

The Matt LaFleur Packer offense is not the same as the one former HC Mike McCarthy had. It is now a more run oriented scheme as evidenced by 42% of the offensive snaps was running plays vs. 34% for McCarthy in his last year – and will be more so if MLF comments are any indication. At quarterback the roster has; QB Aaron Rodgers, QB Tim Boyle, draft pick QB Jordan Love, and undrafted free agent QB Jalen Morton. It will be between Boyle and Love as to who gets the number 2 job. It depends on who progresses further this off season. It should be noted that Rodgers was not put off about the Packers taking a quarterback in the first round. He was surprised - as we all were, but promises to be a good teammate and help him if he asked for it. It sounds like he learned from his situation with former Packer QB Brett Favre. Interesting to note that Rodgers is about same age when Love was drafted as Favre was when Rodgers was drafted. At running back the roster shows; RB Aaron Jones, RB Jamaal Williams, draft pick RB AJ Dillion, RB Tyler Ervin, RB Dexter Williams, RB Damarea Crockett, and undrafted free agent RB Patrick Taylor. They have seven guys for 3 (maybe 4) roster spots. The Dillion addition reinforces my belief that free agent to be Jamaal Williams could be traded. I would have to conclude that Dexter Williams has been a disappointment. And I don’t think Crockett makes it. Taylor was hampered by injuries last year at Memphis, but he had a very good junior year – so we will see which version the Packers have. Jones is your best fantasy option right now, but don’t discount Dillion. At fullback the Packers signed free agent FB Elijah Wellman and added undrafted free agent FB Jordan Jones from Prairie View A&M. Jones was a multi position guy in college. I would not get too excited about either of these two guys since they drafted a certain tight end. It depends on the roles they want each of them to do. At tight end, the roster now includes; TE Jace Sternberger, draft pick TE Josiah Deguara, TE Mercedes Lewis, TE Robert Tonyan, TE Evan Baylis, and TE James Looney. Sternberger is now the number one guy – and if you absolutely have to have a Packer TE on your fantasy team – this is the guy. Deguara is the Swiss army knife that could make both full backs expendable. We will need to see the guys on the field to get a better idea of how this position shakes out. Wide receiver is the position of interest. Are you still angry about the Packers not drafting a receiver? Factor in these details; if the percentage of running attempts goes up the percentage of passing attempts goes down, Rodgers has said in a recent interview he is good with what they have and LIKES the guys presently on the roster, Packer GM Brian Gutekunst and MLF have both said they like the guys they have, and (the one most keep ignoring) the Packers did add two free agent wide receivers who were stars where they came from – which to me is like getting two high quality draft picks. The roster now includes; WR Davante Adams, WR Allen Lazard – who Rodgers called an ascending player, WR Devin Funchess (UFA), WR Equanimeous St. Brown – who Rodgers also hoped could build upon his rookie season, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling – whom Rodgers had some high praise for – apparently an injury had something to do with his production tapering off late last year, WR Jake Kumerow, WR Malik Taylor (FA) - a star at Ferris State, WR Reggie Begelton (FA) - a star in the Canadian league and roughly half his yards came after the catch - and MLF has singled him out for how well he is picking up the offense, and undrafted free agent WR Darrell Stewart - the second leading receiver at Michigan last year, and WR Darius Shepherd. I do wonder if Funchess makes the team. We will see who from this group emerges and becomes a fantasy option other than Adams. With Rodgers there is a 3 year apprenticeship. Most of these players are just coming into their third year. I was wrong about the offensive line. I said two picks might be coming – but they took three – what do I know? The roster is now 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. The new comers are draft picks: OG/OT Jon Runyan, OC Jake Hanson, and OG Simon Stepaniak, and undrafted free agents: OT Travis Bruffy and OG Zack Johnson. Taylor restructured his contract and so should stay next year. There was a comment that Madison and Light need to make a big jump to stay. If pending FA Linsley isn’t re-signed, Hanson probably takes over next year at center. If the Packers want to run, the guys they have brought in should help. Stepaniak won’t help this year as he recovers from a knee injury sustained toward the end of last season and required offseason surgery.

 

On defense the scheme is the same, the players are changing. The defensive line roster consists of; DL Kenny Clark, DL Dean Lowry, DL Kingslay Keke, DL Montravius Adams, DL Tyler Lancaster, undrafted free agent DL Willington Previlon, and free agent DL Treyon Hester. The coaching staff thinks Keke will take a big jump this year. At inside linebacker the roster consists of; free agent ILB Christian Kirksey, ILB Owen Burks, ILB Ty Summers, draft pick ILB Kamal Martin, undrafted free agent ILN Kyrs Barnes, and ILB Curtis Bolton. I think it will be between Summers and Martin as to who starts next to Kirksey. At outside linebacker the roster consists of; OLB Za'Darius Smith, OLB Preston Smith, OLB Rashan Gary, OLB Randy Ramsey, OLB Tim Williams, OLB Greg Roberts, draft pick OLB Jonathan Garvin, undrafted free agents OLB Delontae Scott and OLB Tipa Galeai. I know who gets three of the four spots. The question is who gets the last one? At corner back, the roster includes; CB Jaire Alexander, CB Kevin King, CB Chandon Sullivan, CB Kadar Hollman, CB Josh Jackson, CB Kablon Ento, CB DeShaun Amos, undrafted free agents; CB Marc-Antoine Dequoy, CB Stanford Samuel, and CB Will Suderland. 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. Dequoy and Samuel are intriguing signings. They might be looking for someone. At safety the Packers have; S Adrian Amos, S Darnell Savage, S Will Redmond, S Raven Greene, draft pick S Vernon Scott, and undrafted free agents S Henry Black and S Frankie Griffin. Redmond is limited and Greene can’t stay healthy – maybe they are looking for someone. On special teams K Mason Crosby, LS Hunter Bradley, and P PJ Scott are holding down the fort quiet well. 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 should be about mini camps. But if we are still faced (as fans) with teams doing things virtually it might be difficult to get anything different to report. I’ll write "something" next month – until then ………

 

End.

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