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As the Dust Clears, Packers’ Personnel Strategies Emerge

The free agency deals have slowed down to a dribble, with close to two-thirds of the eligible players having secured contracts. The Green Bay Packers, however, still has several players – or former players to be more precise – that have moved up the list of free agents who are still free.

Davon House is the third highest rated available cornerback out of 27.

Among guards/centers, Jahri Evans is fourth out of 22 players left.

Jeff Janis is rated 10th by rotoworld.com among 21 remaining available wide receivers.

Richard Rodgers is rated 10th out of 15 remaining tight ends.

Ahmad Brooks is 11th ranked out of 22 edge defenders.

Quinton Dial is 12th out of 26 defensive linemen.

Packers’ Apparent Personnel Strategies

What do the above player statuses say about the plans of Green Bay’s front office people?

I’d say that the team has little or no interest in re-signing Janis, Rodgers, Brooks or Dial. If they had much of an interest, it would have been shown by now, as none of the four would cost much to keep on the roster.

Davon House is a different story – based on reports, the Packers have had some talks with him or his agent recently.

Battle Among Guards

Veteran guard Jahri Evans, who’s is now rated among the top remaining guards, is likely to be picked off by another team at any time. While I suspect the Packers might still re-sign him, it seems it would only be for a very low-ball deal.

This suggests one or two things. One is an acknowledgement that 2018 is a rebuilding year for the team, and they’d rather be providing experience to young and rising players than to one who is almost surely in his final year in the league.

The second possibility is that the Packers expect that one or more of the young guys will prove to be a starter-quality NFL guard: Justin McCray, Lucas Patrick, Kyle Murphy or Kofi Amichia.

Of the four, McCray has the best chance of becoming a starter if Evans is not re-signed.

Kyle Murphy was a four-year starter at Stanford, where he was named to multiple first-team and second-team All-Pac-12 teams. He was primarily a tackle for the Cardinal, though he also played some at guard. I had forgotten that Murphy had actually started the first three games of 2017, at tackle, before a foot injury sent him to injured reserve. The Packers got him in 2016 in round six of the draft. Critics have questioned his quickness, a trait that might render him more suitable as a guard.

Kofi Amichia was also a sixth-round choice, taken last year. He was waived in September, signed on to the practice squad, and then signed a reserve/future contract with the team on January 3.

These four young players will be battling it out at training camp for being the top backup guard or for becoming Jahri Evans’ replacement.

Green Bay’s plans for its wide receiver group – which I have viewed for some time as its top player personnel challenge – will get extended analysis in my next post.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. MJ March 27, 2018

    Never underestimate the packers’ ability to overpay for their own underperforming.

  2. cz March 27, 2018

    Good story.

  3. Deepsky March 28, 2018

    I don’t believe this is a rebuilding year.

    The Packers would never have signed Jimmy Graham, Tramon Williams or Muhammed Wilkerson if it were a rebuilding year.

    I think it LOOKS like a rebuilding year because they got rid of/let go Nelson, Randall, and Burnett, but there were reasons for letting these guys go.

    It may also look like a rebuilding year because their secondary is even weaker and they still haven’t resolved their lack of pass rush leaving the two largest holes on defense even worse than last year. I think they have failed to fill these areas not because they are rebuilding, but because they just aren’t a very skilled team in obtaining free agents.

    1. R.Duke April 7, 2018

      They don’t even play the slot machines…

  4. Ferris March 28, 2018

    I need to apply for the Packers GM job. It’s just not that complicated easy cheap moves to help…
    Since the obvious can’t be done (Firing McCarthy) You just need to fill a few holes. Easy…First sign Eric Reid, he’d be a steal, he’s got to be 10x smarter than Ha’Sean and we all know he is a better player. Second do whatever it takes to trade up if you need to to get Denzel Ward in the first round. NOT JACKSON the ONE YEAR STARTER at IOWA. Sign DRC…he’ll be cheap enough. He needs to support those 12 kids so he needs a job.
    Offense….sign Eric Decker, he’ll come cheap and his wife is hot.
    See easy.

    1. tupac March 29, 2018

      Denzel Ward is five foot ten hundred eighty three pounds we’re not trading up much less drafting him…

      1. Ferris March 29, 2018

        And move 88 back to receiver.
        Revis island was 5’11”, Ward is fast and can jump.

        1. Ferris March 29, 2018

          Combine height 5’10 7/8 ” for Ward…. ran a 4.32 and a 39″ vertical