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Which Side of the Ball Should the Packers Be Drafting on?

Randall Cobb celebration

Sept 9, 2018; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) celebrates after scoring a 75-yard touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory credit: Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK

Did you read my take on how the common thread of the remaining four NFL playoff teams is they are all passing powerhouses? That’s a pretty obvious fact, but now let’s merge it with how the Packers have been allotting their top draft picks over, say, the last five years.

From 2014 forward, the Packers have chosen sixteen players in the first three rounds. They have two picks in Rounds 1, 4, and 6 of the upcoming draft.

Of the sixteen, no less than 12 have been defensive players. Making matters worse, three of the four offensive selections have been Jason Spriggs, Richard Rodgers, and Ty Montgomery.

Over the last five years, the only talent coming from the early rounds of the draft, at any offensive position, has been Davante Adams. Wow! Even in the latter rounds, about all the offense has gotten are Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones in Rounds 4 and 5 in 2017, and Corey Linsley in Round 4 of 2014. We still don’t know how well receivers J’Mon Moore, Valdes-Scantling and St. Brown, taken in rounds four, five, and six in 2018, will turn out.

The Round 4 and later offensive draft picks who’ve contributed little or nothing since 2014 form a pretty high pile: DeAngelo Yancey, Kofi Amichia, Devante Mays, Malachi Dupre, Trevor Davis, Kyle Murphy, Brett Hundley, Aaron Ripkowski, Christian Ringo, Kennard Backman, Jared Abbrederis, and Jeff Janis.

Maybe Brian Gutekunst, who’s only been the GM for a year, can reverse the trend. This time around, I’d certainly like to see at least four of the team’s first five choices be offensive (in the player position sense of the word) guys.

Given Green Bay’s record of late-round futility, I’d be okay with trading, say, a fifth, sixth, and seventh pick for one third round pick.

Also, unless Gute is able to get better value out of the latter rounds, more emphasis should be placed on filling roster holes with free agents.

Gute has given ample indications this will in fact be the case. Most FAs have a somewhat proven record of professional performance – so they are less chancy than are players coming out of college.

The Packers haven’t just failed to provide a supporting offensive cast for Aaron Rodgers – they haven’t even attempted to do so via the draft. I got all but tarred-and-feathered when I called for drafting a top=notch receiver in Round 1 two years ago. I was still for that in 2018, and, yes, I’m still for it now. We need Even if any of last year’s three drafted receivers show signs of becoming a starting-quality NFL player (or the undrafted Allison or Kumerow), a first-class pass attack calls for more talented receivers – players with higher ceilings. Greg Jennings and Randall Cobb, both second-round picks, became starting-quality players by their second year. It took longer, however, for Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and Jermichael Finley.

I should mention second-rounder Davante Adams. Though he was chosen to instantly be a starter in his rookie season, he wasn’t ready that year, or the next. I often think of how costly a mistake it was in 2014 for the Packers not to have three starter-quality receivers on an otherwise very solid team. That’s right, the team let James Jones go to the Raiders in the off-season. In my opinion, this cost the Packers a Super Bowl appearance that season.

To complement Davante, and ease his double-teaming burdens, we need to draft a receiver who can crack the starting lineup in Week 1 – not another middle-round prospect.

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Rob Born

Someone else said it first but I popularized it: “Athleticism is important in athletic pursuits.” It took three years, but the Packers finally listened. My new mantra: “Trading down is fine, but never trade up.”

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10 Comments

  1. V January 28, 2019

    Interesting proposition but I’m skeptical Gutes will even take the best players available when it’s his turn. What helps an offense get better more than a strong O Line? Look at what the Colts did in one offseason of drafting correctly, especially early on. This draft is defense loaded but that does lend credence to the idea that the best offensive players may be available when we are on the clock. If we did go offense heavy early, elite combination Guard/Tackle prospects would be priorities as well as an explosive undersized slot receiver next (or perhaps an elite TE prospect).
    Names: (OL) Cody Ford, Dalton Risner, Chris Lindstrom
    (WR) Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin, Andy Isabella, Gary Jennings Jr, Penny Hart
    (TE) T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant

    1. PF4L February 3, 2019

      “What helps an offense get better more than a strong O Line?”

      ^Respect^

  2. R.Duke January 28, 2019

    Te writings on the wall. If Rodgers gets maimed for good they eat his contract. The used car dealers will have to invest more than a paint job and air freshener to get that offensive jalopy back to the track. I agree with a high pick going to offense, either a slot WR,TE or OT. In any event the two pick and the three pick should be offensive people.
    The fours can go safety and RB. Use the free agency period to bag another Guard and a couple of pass rush guys. A lot of work to clean up the malaise in Packertown,LLC.

  3. Andrew Lloyd Peth January 29, 2019

    This might be the most completely wrong article I’ve ever read. Like, ever.

    Wide Receiver is possibly our 2nd deepest position after Cornerback (D-Line is close). It took Adams a couple years to master the pro game, and we now have 4 highly athletic young players (MVS, ESB, Kumerow, and Moore) developing next to him. Be patient. 3 of these guys are already ahead of schedule, for Pete’s sake.

    Meanwhile, we have virtually no edge rushers, no right guard, no tight ends except Tonyan, and no halfbacks with burst behind Jones.

    But you want us wasting high picks on…on….receivers? Aaaauuuugh!!

    1. FTS January 29, 2019

      The majority of Packer fans are obsessed with WR, as well as the screen game. I never understood it.

    2. Ash Paladium February 5, 2019

      Kumerow is awesome but Packers still haven’t figured that out yet.

  4. MMSUCKS January 29, 2019

    I agree with Rob’s sentiment. Granted the rookie WR’s did okay, however, blue-chip players they may actually not be. The last 4 to 5 years prior to TT’s departure, TT, MM, Gute (I am certain he played some role), and Murphy provided the Packers with sub par players on BOTH sides of the ball. We do need to retool with as many “blue chip” players that are available in the draft. There are a few. If Green Bay can get another Julio Jones type, or another Clifton-Tauscher type combo at tackle, they need to go for it ASAP. If that includes free agency fine. What I am getting at is that the best player available at the time Green Bay is on the clock should be who is chosen regardless of which side of the ball that they play on . . . The previous staff in Green Bay including that fucktard Murphy created a need for many new players on both sides of the ball NOW . . . just to be competitive again.

  5. KILLER January 30, 2019

    C’mon, man!

    You’d be “okay with trading, say, a fifth, sixth, and seventh pick for a single third round pick”? You would, would you?

    Go ahead. Call every one of the other 31 teams. You will find exactly zero takers on that deal. Those three picks you generously offer from the 5th, 6th, and 7th are worth 68.8 points as per the standard trade value chart. The final (worst) pick of round 3, held by the Jaguars, is worth 120 points. It is like offering one dollar expecting to get $1.83 in return.

    A more approximate (reasonable) value would be offering the 4th and 5th round picks for the Jaguars 3rd. A little bit of a bad deal for the Jaguars actually. But, that deal, all that really does is give up the 5th round pick in order to move the 4th rounder up 12 — JUST TWELVE – spots!!

    I’ll tell you what, how about the Vikings give you a 5th, 6th, and 7th and, what the heck, an extra 7th, for your 3rd round pick? What? Why aren’t you leaping forward to shake hands on the deal?

    BTW, hi Rob!

    1. PF4L February 1, 2019

      Standard trade value charts are for losers who need a scientific formula invented to express a viewpoint

      What was Jason Spriggs standard trade vale? How about David Bakhtiari?

      We picked up the Saints first round pick, if that pick flops, what’s that trade value worth now?

      What did the trade value say on Ditka trading away a draft and then some on a dopehead?

      It’s about how an individual player ends up performing, not someone’s chart to try to make yourself look intelligent or to tell you how you should think.

      I wonder what Donald Driver’s standard trade value was.

      Moron.

  6. Ash Paladium February 5, 2019

    Defense comes first. Just ask the Super Bowl champion Patriots who held Goff to nothing. Green Bay will never understand this and never win again unless they stop taking the cheapskate route. The always draft the biggest pussies on defense. Perry should give back his Packer paychecks along with Kevin King .Garbage. They should be embarrassed to cash their checks. King has been horrible since day one and has shown nothing. He gets burned by third rate receivers and can’t tackle. Perry is just garbage. Packers need to draft an OLB. They’ve passed on drafting a #1 OLB for how many years straight now? Passed on Watt and previously passed on Myles Jack. Ted Thompson is solely responsible for these crap players on defense. Kenny Clark is garbage too. First round draft pick with a career high “6” sacks. That is a disgrace. Julius Peppers missed three games, is 38 and just retired, but had five sacks. What is Clark’s excuse? These are the tyoe of players then Packers always draft. Weak underperformers who are overpaid.