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Since I don’t pay a lot of attention to all that pre-draft hype that floats around, I’m not going to try to rate the abilities of the two newest members of the Packers. My focus has always been on which positions should be pursued.

The selection of an edge rusher, at # 12 strikes me as inexplicable. We just invested about $150 million in two free agent edge rushers. Both are still young, and both signed on for four years. When I was advocating going after first-rounders, at whatever position, who could be instant starters, I thought that had become pretty conventional wisdom around the league. Maybe in most places, but not in Green Bay.

Barring serious injuries, either Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, or Rashan Gary is going to warm the bench in 2019. It makes no sense. Heckuva job, Brian.

Does this mean that GM Brian Gutekunst doesn’t see any holes in the roster that need attention? What is he thinking?

Could defensive coordinator Mike Pettine have some photos of Gutekunst that he’s blackmailing him with? Gute has picked up right where Ted Thompson left off – using up top picks year after year for defenders, and letting the Packers’ offense decay. And squandering the talents of an all-time great NFL quarterback.

Rashan Gary 2019 Draft

Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Graphic of Rashan Gary (Michigan) who was selected as the number twelve overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Gary was not in attendance. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, the Packers’ front office doesn’t feel that Aaron Rodgers’ drop in productivity over the last five years has anything to do with his supporting cast. I’ve also seen various TP readers express great confidence in the Packers’ receiving corps, like we’re all set in that department.

You people are banking on a late fifth-round, a late sixth-round, and a never-rounder – none of whom has significant experience in the league – to get the once-respected pass attack humming again? Dream on.

Geronimo Allison not only went undrafted, he didn’t even make the roster initially. He doesn’t have the speed, which they tell me you can’t teach, or the physique to ever become an above-average wideout. After three years, he’s got eight starts and 55 catches to his name. On that basis, what are Gute’s expectations or projections – that he’ll be the next Donald Driver?

Equanimeous St. Brown got 358 snaps last season – out of about 1,100 offensive plays. That barely even counts as experience. Davante Adams got 738 snaps in his rookie season – and still took two full years as a starter before he returned any value to the team.

And St. Brown took the starter job away from Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Let’s not even talk about J’Mon Moore, the fourth-rounder who was unprepared to enter the big leagues.

Darnell Savage, Jr.

Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Darnell Savage Jr. (Maryland) is selected as the number twenty-one overall pick to the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Savage was not in attendance. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The selection of safety Darnell Savage at least arguably addresses one of the Packers’ needs. Even if he works out, the Packers gave up two fourth-round draft choices to move up from #30 to # 21. The Packers have proven over the years that fourth-rounders can quickly become valuable back-ups, and have potential for developing into solid starters – and quite often Pro Bowlers. Think: Jamaal Williams, Blake Martinez, Dean Lowry, Jake Ryan, Richard Rodgers, David Bakhtiari, J.C. Tretter, Mike Daniels, Davon House, and T.J. Lang.

I’ve always been against draft day trades if you are the team seeking the trade. You always get the worst of the bargain, and the Packers gave up way too much Thursday night to move up nine slots. We see teams doing this on occasion for a potential franchise quarterback, or maybe a dominant collegiate pass rusher. But that’s not the situation here.

You tell me, did Green Bay get two of the best 21 players available in this draft?

The Born family held an emergency conference call when that trade and 21st pick were announced. We all concurred: it’s inexplicable. We don’t care how good Michigan’s Rashan Gary or Maryland’s Darnell Savage prove to be. These choices need to be viewed in proper context. Gary doesn’t fill any of the Packers’ pressing needs, and the trade that brought us Savage cost us two fourth-round choices that could also have strengthened, and brought depth to, the team’s 2019 roster.

Gutekunst, President Mark Murphy, and the rest of the suits have repeatedly stated they want to win now. I think that goal slipped their mind last night.

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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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27 Comments

  1. Deepsky April 26, 2019

    I like the Darnell Savage pick.

    The guy ran a 4.36 in the combine and is a ball hawk with great closing speed. You know who else ran a 4.36 in the combine? Nick Collins. You know who was slow – Ha Ha Clinton Dix.

    Reply
  2. Larry April 26, 2019

    Stupid, stupid and stupid opinion wreaking of football ignorance. Seriously Rob, how many fucking times does it take watching bitches like Brice ect. getting torched deep before you realize the FS position is of utmost importance? Did you even bother to watch the Savage highlight reel from last season? Maryland played the ESPN 11 am game many times last season, how many did you watch? Due to my gambling addiction I watched every one. Savage is a beast and getting him at 21 was an absolute fucking steal! There is 1 play to back me up. A WR is wide open, looks like TD for sure. No one within 10 yds of him. Savage uses his burst and forces an in completion. The pick 6 against Ohio St was priceless. That blocked punt showed a player with heart. I could go on and on but you just won’t get it. Savage will be a pro bowler, that’s how good he will be.

    Reply
    1. Robster April 26, 2019

      To clarify, I’m not one who studies film, or becomes familiar with 300 or so prospects, each of whom have about a 3% chance of becoming a member of the Pack – and I provided that caveat in my opening paragraph. Even if I did this, I’ve come to find that professional scouts’ takes on collegiate players are pretty darn accurate as to strengths, weaknesses, and overall prospects as a professional. They don’t just watch game film, they talk to coaches, attend the Combine, compare notes with each other, and often have enough personal contact to get a sense of their intelligence, character, motivation, etc. I find your informed take on Gary re-assuring and encouraging. As to playing time, another reader seems to think three players can be platooned to cover two spots, and kept fresh. Maybe, though I don’t recall young Clay Matthews, J.J. Watt, or Kahlil Mack being rested a bunch, and certainly not on passing downs.

  3. Andy Peth April 26, 2019

    Gary will play plenty, as the Smiths excel rushing inside. Also, BPA is far better than your “Needs, needs, needs!” take. The Smiths are overpaid but adequate. Gary could be terrific. We’ll see.

    According to the slot numbers, we actually came out slightly ahead in the Seattle trade. I don’t think Savage was two fourth-rounders better than other safeties, but he certainly seems like a good fit.

    Reply
    1. Turd Ferguson April 26, 2019

      Terrible take. Lazy argument. Do better.

    2. Stiggy April 26, 2019

      Gary had 3.5 sacks and 20 tackles last year and comes with a pre existing injury.

      Awful fucking pick.

  4. thomas balistreri April 26, 2019

    Savage ready to play if they don’t screw around w him at CB like they always do…not worth losing two 4ths…typically stupid…agreed…Gary? you gotta’ be kidding me?…this guy is Nick Perry 2.0…a tweener that they’re planning on screwing around with…and yes, not NEEDED AT ALL right now w so many holes on the roster…a luxury pick for a loaded roster in the late 2nd round at best…agreed…O line, anyone?, receiver earlier than 6th round? missing 4th rounders REALLY gonna hurt…apple not falling too far from tree…this guy appears to be as dim as his predecessor…hopeless…this is the guy that drafted a punter AND long snapper in same draft…Gute is Ted 2.0….coulda closed your eyes on these first 2 picks and trade machinations and seen Ted in your nightmare…

    Reply
  5. Ferris April 26, 2019

    This draft for me nobody stands out. Kyler Murray at 1? Glad to not be a Cardinal fan. Injury prone Bosa at 2? Duke QB at 6? I’m not sure of an offensive player worthy of a pick at 12. A lot of pre draft idiots said DJ Metcalf, he is still available. Maybe they just picked Jevon Kearse.

    Reply
  6. Keith April 26, 2019

    Player A: 6’4 3/8″, 269 lbs, 34″ arm, 9 7/8″ hands, 4.65 40 yard, 1.62 10 yard, 4.41 20 yard SS, 7.37 3 cone, 36″ vertical, 10’1″ broad, 24 BP
    Player B: 6’4″, 277 lbs 34 1/8″ arm, 9 5/8″ hands, 4.58 40 yard, 1.63 10 yard , 4.29 20 yard SS, 7.26 3 cone, 38″ vertical, 12″ broad, 26 BP

    Player is Bradley Chubb, Player B is Rashan Gary.

    Reply
    1. Stiggy April 26, 2019

      Bradley chubb- 39 solo tackles 10 sacks his last season. 2 10 sack seasons in a row.

      Rashan gary- 20 solo tackles 3.5 sacks.

  7. MJ April 26, 2019

    I agree that Gary will be playing put of position, which is in general a waste of rookie contracts. He is in the same mold as the Smiths, who have shown to be able to play. I wish Gute was right with this pick, which for an edge rusher departs from the Khalil Mack, Von Miller or Matthews prototype, namely 6’3″ and about 250lb. Maybe he’ll be setting a new trend? Maybe he values durability, assuming the bigger guy will be less injury prone, for the same position.

    However, I strongly disagree that, provided he is somewhat capable, he will be warming the bench. Defensive lineman and OLBs get tired more quickly than their direct rivals in the OL, so you need a decent rotation to keep them fresh throughout a game. Even more so if injury strikes.

    My only concern is that we might have reached for Gary. That point I defer to anyone that follows college football: was this guy likely to draw attention or be coveted by NFL managers?
    If the answer is no, we could have gotten the safety at 12 and Gary at 30 without yielding those 4ths.

    Now, regarding the trade up: with 10 picks, how many of those can we expect to make the 53? I this case I don’t feel bad for trading quantity for quality. PS members or bottom-of-the-roster players can be poached from other teams’ cutdowns if needed, since we all go down to 53 men anyway. Not saying 4ths are that, but I would not mind seeing a 6th traded off to get a higher 5th.

    Reply
    1. Howard April 26, 2019

      MJ You are correct in what you say about rotation. The Packers defense has not been strong finishers for a while. Getting bigger OLBs that can also play with their hands in the dirt on third down, and stay fresh is a plus in the fourth quarter and as the season gets into winter. I’ve always said the pressure QBs hate is quick pressure up the middle. Gary can do that, but you do have to say Gary does not have many pass rush moves at this time. I’ve seen people say Gary can stand up, but I’m not sure I’ve seen Gary play without his hand in the dirt.
      It appears Gary was first tasked with setting the edge and taking away the read options while at Michigan. That is not a sexy task as it relates to accumulating sacks. Gary for the most part, but not always accomplished that goal. Something has to be said for a player that will just do the job tasked even though it doesn’t get you the sack stats that all these guys want. Gary received 1st team big ten honors the last two years. That may not relate to the NFL, but others saw his value to the team.
      I have seen Gary as high as the 7th rated player down to the 15th rated. Some sites had Gary as the 12th rated player.
      I don’t think Gutekunst is trying to create anything new on defense, but if you look at the Ravens over the years on defense, I think that is what Gutekunst is trying to create.

  8. Skinny April 26, 2019

    Im fine with it. The game is all about putting pressure on the qb now which ive been telling you guys on here for at least the last two years. The more pass rush coming up the middle the better. And Gary is a freak. Fastest guy of all time at the combine for players over 275 pounds. He can stand up or put his hand in the ground. All the talk about him being Nick Perry is crap. Gary is 2 inches taller and 15-20 pounds heavier and a way better overall athlete then Nick Perry ever was. Packers defense getting off the bus now is pretty damn impressive. Some bad ass dudes on this D. Finally. Hope it all gels.

    Reply
    1. Kato April 26, 2019

      I sort of agree with this. He is definitely not Nick Perry or Datone Jones in terms of athletic ability. However, he does have injury history which scares me

    2. Stiggy April 26, 2019

      Gary does have a good first step. My fear with him is a preexisting shoulder injury… the kevin king type… and a lack of any refinement as a player.

      Noone questions his potential or athletic ability… the question is can he be a type of football player worth the 12th pick in the draft.

      Hes shown he is amazing at the gym… he has not shown he is a standout football player.

  9. GP April 26, 2019

    Packer quarterbacks were sacked 52 times last season–Tom Brady, 21 times, Trubisky, 26 times. Aaron Rodgers performance suffered and he was injured. The Pack play big pass rushing teams for their first six games. Our right tackle is a warrior but injuries have slowed him down, his feet just aren’t fast enough anymore. An offensive tackle who proved that he was a shutdown guy was available. They take him and they could have gotten Randall Cobb’s replacement (from South Carolina) in Round 2. Will Aaron Rodgers ask to be traded after he is beaten into submission next year? Are they trying to get rid of him?

    Reply
  10. Kato April 26, 2019

    I kind of like the Savage pick. I also like the idea of picking a pass rusher with their first pick. I just don’t agree that it should have been Gary. Pass rush is a huge predictor of success on defense in the NFL. Having fresh pass rushers late in games is worth it’s weight in gold. Besides, I think one of the biggest issues heading into the the off-season was a lack of depth at OLB. If one of those big FA starters gets injured, who is behind them? Kyler fucking Fackrell? Some late round/UDFA? Credit them for attempting to rebuild the depth here. Besides, one of those signees are likely to bust out, if not both. Makes it easier to have a potential succession plan. The only offensive skill position player I would have considered drafting in the 1st round was drafted before they picked (TJ Hockenson). Look at the receiving leaders from last year. A lot of them are not 1st round picks. I think they will address offensive line depth and skill position guys with their next few picks

    Reply
  11. Jschizl April 26, 2019

    We didn’t trade back and moved up. Z smith can play inside. Never enough speed and pass rushers on the field. We turned an extra first round and HHCD into a safety that can fly. Disguise will be easier. Amos is a smart player.
    This is for the Future, meaning this team is getting built for winning without the best qb on earth. Defense wins championships, shown many times. We have a qb that threw 2 picks on a broken leg all year. Imagine a defense that protects him by allowing 10 points a game. Aaron will win 95 percent of those games
    plus Jeff Janis is rumored to be coming out of retirement

    Reply
    1. Robster April 26, 2019

      JJ never retired. He’s just being very selective about who he wants to play for.

  12. icebowl April 27, 2019

    Ugh…. Thought I’d check in after this site was sold.
    Sad to see it’s become TotalRobBorn.com – no offense Rob but you don’t stack….
    Signing off
    Go Pack

    Reply
    1. Jason Parker April 27, 2019

      Oh shit, I forgot about you. How many of you people are there lurking about?

  13. J Gando April 27, 2019

    Born…. you are an idiot. Trade in your Packer badge. Done reading anything else you write.

    Reply
  14. Larry April 28, 2019

    It’s sad to see so much ignorance about the Savage pick. This guy is a yr 3 pro bowler. Could be a Collins clone. Go to youtube and watch his highlight plays. It’s easy to play safety when you are on a good defensive team. I can assure you, the 2018 Terps front 7 blew chunks. Savage was indeed their last line of defense.

    Reply
  15. Droolingted April 28, 2019

    Agree on Savage. Could be a great player! Gary, I am starting to warm up to! This guy was rated a top 10 talent! Man, this pass rush is gonna be lethal! Kurts cousin, your time is up! Gonna bury you under the Lambeau turf!

    All you whiners clamoring for a wr surely don’t pay any attention to this team!! How many wr’s does this team need? They have at least 7 on the roster right now! How many dress for games? 5 maybe.

    Reply
  16. thomaslind949yahoocom April 30, 2019

    We don’t care how good Gary or Savage prove to be????????? WTF

    Reply
  17. Barton Smith May 20, 2019

    Excellent article. Although Gutekunst may not be “off his rocker,” he is incompetent. Gary has only a “bull-rush” move and no bend for an edge rusher, a torn shoulder labrum that will eventually require surgery, and a very low Wonderlic score. He will be a “bust.” There were other free safeties who were available to us in the second round whom other GMs rated higher than Savage. I would have preferred that we selected Juan Thornhill or Nasir Adderley. We would not have had to give-up our two fourth round picks for either one. Among other possible excellent players available in the 4th round, we could have selected WR Riley Ridley and ILB Mack Wilson.

    Reply
  18. Barton Smith May 21, 2019

    Gutekunst is incompetent. Gary is a bust. He has a Wonderlic score of 9 (which is very low), a torn labrum shoulder muscle that will require surgery, and only a “bull rush” pass rushing move. Savage was not worth the 2 4th round draft picks. For all we know, he could have been there at pick #30 and, if he wasn’t, Juan Thornhill or Nassir Adderley were there for us in the 2nd round at pick #44. I would have selected Christian Wilkins at pick #12 because we most likely will lose Mike Daniels to free agency after this year. At #30, my selection would have been Dalton Risner, who could play OG this year and eventually replace Bryan Bulaga at ROT. I’d take Adderley in the 2nd round, and TE Dawson Knox in the 3rd. Knox is much faster and more athletic than Sternberger, can block well and has a high ceiling. .

    Reply

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