The Green Bay Packers certainly overachieved last year by going 13-3. With a new head coach, Green Bay’s offense endured quite a few growing pains behind Matt LaFleur. Being a game away from the Super Bowl, many thought Green Bay would go all-in during the draft. Instead, the Packers looked to the future, taking a major blow to their current status. With a roster that was ready to win, they didn’t do anything to push themselves to the top of the NFC, while also making Aaron Rodgers not very happy.
Make sure to check out all of our in-depth power rankings here.
- Overall – 83.397 (7th)
- Offense – 83.02 (9th)
- Defense – 81.525 (13th)
- Coach and Culture – 83.75, (T-10th)
- Home Field Advantage – 87, 4th (4% Defense, 2% Overall)
Quarterbacks – 90, 5th (36% Offense, 27% Overall)
Rodgers barely hit over 4,000 yards as he was helped by the run-game for one of the first times in his career. There have been a ton of quarterback rankings posted and Rodgers is nowhere in the top 10, all because the Packers took Jordan Love in the first round. Rodgers will still be the starter this year and only threw four interceptions last year compared to 26 touchdowns. With a year under his felt in LaFleur’s system, the offense should improve and Rodgers should be his old self where he would make plays on the fly and know where the receivers are going to be at the right time. Although the Packers took Love, Rodgers isn’t going away this year and Green Bay still will be in playoff contention.
The selection of Love turned the draft on its head. He was one of the most polarizing prospects in the draft following a season where he lost a ton of the talent on his offense at Utah State. Love was excellent during his 2018 campaign tossing 32 touchdowns to six interceptions. This last year though, he regressed due to a ton of moving pieces on the offense. He can make plays on the move and continually has plays that remind people of Rodgers or Brett Favre. Green Bay gave Love a fully guaranteed rookie contract, something that was never given to a 26th selection in the draft. Love is the future of Green Bay and could start in 2022.
Tim Boyle was the backup last year and showed that he could be serviceable by how he performed in the preseason. He threw six touchdowns and no interceptions during the preseason last year but could be fighting for a roster spot now with Love added to the fold.
Running Backs – 86, 10th (4% Offense, 3% Overall)
Aaron Jones proved himself as one of the best running backs in the league last year. He had over 4.5 yards per carry and had 1,084 rushing yards. He added almost 500 yards receiving as well. Jones had an astounding 16 touchdowns rushing last year, including a four-touchdown game against Dallas. Not only was Jones great, but Jamaal Williams also added over 700 scrimmage yards. Williams had 460 yards and a touchdown on the ground, but also added five touchdowns receiving as well. Green Bay seemed like they had their running back room in order heading into the offseason.
Instead, the Packers selected A.J. Dillon in the second round. LaFleur now has his Derrick Henry in Dillon. He had over 4,300 yards on the ground during his three years at Boston College as well as 38 touchdowns. With Dillon added, one of Jones or Williams will likely not be re-signed next offseason. Tyler Ervin has carved a role as the team’s return man. He’s a swiss army knife on offense and can be used on reverses, runs, and can catch passes. He has a roster spot pretty much locked up due to his return duties. Dexter Williams was selected in last year’s draft and didn’t produce, only securing 11 yards on five carries. He will likely be cut with the addition of Dillon.
Pass Catchers – 70, 32nd (17% Offense, 8% Overall)
Davante Adams and who else? That was the trend all season last year and continued into the offseason as Green Bay didn’t do much to stop the narrative. Adams was only able to play in 12 games last year and was three yards away from another 1,000-yard season. With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb no longer around, someone was expected to step up and that didn’t happen. Allen Lazard became that second option but was inconsistent in producing in that role. With another season under his belt and his spot a lock on the roster, Lazard looks to improve on his 35 catches for 477 yards and three touchdowns that he had last year.
We have the sure things out of the way, but after that, it’s a jumbled mess. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was expected to make the jump to be the number two receiver but like every other receiver, was super inconsistent. He finished with 26 catches for 454 yards and two touchdowns last year. Equanimeous St. Brown returns from injury this year and the coaching staff is hoping he can take the next step. He is the one piece that could explain why the Packers didn’t feel the need to draft a receiver in April. Devin Funchess was added during the offseason and while he had a great season in 2017 in Carolina, hasn’t proven much since. Jake Kumerow, Darrius Shepherd, and Reggie Begelton will also be in the mix for roster spots.
With Jimmy Graham gone, Jace Sternberger will take over as the lead tight end. While he was injured for the majority of the year, he showed some promise as he was seen getting open consistently. He even caught a touchdown in the NFC Championship game. Marcedes Lewis is back this year and will help tutor Sternberger. Lewis also caught 15 passes and a touchdown last year. He is great at run blocking. Robert Tonyan is another developmental piece and caught 10 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown last year. Josiah Deguara factors in as well but will play as more of an H-back than tight end. James Looney has made the switch from a defensive lineman to a tight end which will be interesting to watch in the preseason.
Offensive Line – 80.5, 14th (24% Offense, 12% Overall)
The left side of the offensive line is one of the best in the league. David Bakhtiari is one of the best tackles in the league. Elgton Jenkins had a phenomenal rookie season and will look to improve upon that this year. Corey Linsley is entering a contract year and will once again be in the middle of the line. The right side of the offensive line, however, is a mess. With Bryan Bulaga now gone, Rick Wagner and Billy Turner will likely battle for the starting right tackle spot. Turner will also battle with Lane Taylor for the right guard spot. Taylor was benched in favor of Jenkins least year at left guard but restructured his contract to stay with the team.
Green Bay spent three-straight day-three selections on the offensive line by taking Jake Hanson, Simon Stepaniak, and Jon Runyan. With Linsley’s contract expiring, the team will need to take a long look at Hanson to see if he could be the future at the center spot. Yosh Nijman and Alex Light are the backup tackles while Lucas Patrick and Cole Madison are the depth on the interior. Madison could be cut this year after he suffered an injury last year and hasn’t developed following his year away from the game. The right side of the offensive line needs to be figured out for the offensive line to be higher on this list.
Run Defense – 74.5, 29th (6% Defense, 2% Overall)
Green Bay ranked 26th against the run last year and will once again be one of the worst in the league again this year. While Blake Martinez wasn’t great, he at least helped against the run. Kenny Clark is stout on the interior but the two around him need to step up. Tyler Lancaster and Dean Lowry had excellent 2018 seasons but regressed last year. Kingsley Keke needs to factor into the rotation more this year for the depth on the defensive line to improve. Montravius Adams needs to have an excellent preseason to remain on the roster. Gerald Willis, Jamal Davis, and Treyvon Hester were all added during the offseason to improve the depth on the defensive line.
Pass Rush – 83.5, T-8th (21% Defense, 10% Overall)
The Packers had 41 sacks last year led by the duo of Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith. The two alone combined for 25.5 sacks last year. Rashan Gary needs to step up in his second year as Kyler Fackrell is now gone. In a rotational role last year, Gary had two sacks. Jonathan Garvin will likely be the fourth man in the rotation as he has a blend of size, speed, and power that Mike Pettine will love. Randy Ramsey and Tim Williams are the ones seemingly battling for the final roster spot. Ramsey was signed as an undrafted free agent last year while Williams was signed midseason off of waivers.
A player to watch is undrafted free agent, Tipa Galeai. Galeai showed promise at Utah State after being booted out of TCU due to off-field issues. He could find himself in a role if the preseason occurs. Kenny Clark deserves some praise on his own. He is an animal on the interior and had the third-most pressures of any interior player in the league. Clark can collapse the pocket quickly and frequently beats double teams. He finished with six sacks last year and the Packers desperately need to retain him as he is in a contract year.
Linebackers – 73, 26th (15% Defense, 4% Overall)
Even with Martinez being one of the most overrated players in the league, the Packers desperately needed linebacker help. They added Christian Kirksey early in free agency but he has been plagued by injuries in Cleveland the last few years. Patrick Queen was right there for the taking when they traded up to take Love but decided against it. Kirksey will start as the first linebacker but the second linebacker spot is a competition between four different players.
The favorite to win the job is Oren Burks who was a third-round selection in 2017. Burks is in a prove-it year and needs to show that he can be used in the future. Ty Summers was a seventh-round pick last year who impressed in the preseason. However, he only made four tackles on the season but was a key contributor on special teams. Kamal Martin was selected in the fifth round of the draft and has a similar skill set to Burks. No one is talking about Curtis Bolton who had a great preseason last year. He was on his way to earning the starting role opposite of Martinez with Burks out due to an injury until he suffered his own.
Secondary – 83.5, T-7th (26% Defense, 17% Overall)
Green Bay’s secondary surrendered the fourth-lowest completion percentage and passer rating in the league last year. Jaire Alexander is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league today and will cement himself into that role again this year. Kevin King finally played up to his potential last year and he led the team with five interceptions. Josh Jackson needs to step it up if he wants to have a starting role or he’ll just be a depth piece. Ka’Dar Hollman is back again this year, while Stanford Samuels and Antoine Marc-Dequoy will battle for the final cornerback spot, both as undrafted free agents.
Chandon Sullivan will likely play in the slot. He was a great addition and surprise last year and had 30 tackles, six pass deflections, and an interception. With Tramon Williams gone, he will take over in the role full time. Sullivan is great against the run and only missed one tackle last year. Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage were both great additions last offseason and are now one of the best safety tandems in the league. The two had a combined 13 pass deflections and four interceptions last year. Vernon Scott and Will Redmond both are versatile enough to play cornerback as well as safety while Raven Greene will likely carve a role as the nickel linebacker.
Coach and Culture – 83.75, T-10th (19% Offense, 28% Defense, 15% Overall)
Even with being one of Sean McVay‘s disciples, LaFleur had growing pains last year. The offense would do great one half then sputter the next, which can’t happen this year. The Packers now have a pissed off Rodgers at their disposal due to not selecting a weapon and drafting his eventual replacement. Green Bay ranks 13th in offensive coach and culture.
Pettine has turned the defense around quickly. Green Bay ranked ninth in total defense last year and with more young players earning key roles, that could eventually rank in the top five this year if they find a second linebacker and some depth on the defensive line. The Packers come in tied for ninth in defensive coach and culture. The team needs to make the most out of this prime position. Green Bay will be much more run-oriented as it was last year and the defense might have to shoulder the load again this year. The issues are glaring on the roster and the Packers are hoping the great spots on the roster outweigh those weaknesses.
Questions and comments?
Hit us up on the Socials:
Check out our Facebook Group where you can read and post articles at The Scorecrow
Reddit Group where everyone can post without fear of being banned at The Scorecrow
Follow Mason Thompson on Twitter @Thompson22Mason
Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images