As many of you know, I’m a confirmed believer that good athleticism is critical for those participating in athletic endeavors. I and many others have also been finding that the Relative Athletic Scores (RAS) system is a useful tool, though hardly an infallible way of rating a player’s athleticism. Having said that, let’s get to it.
Here are the RAS’s of the Pack’s new crop of rookies:
Round 1, Pick 29, CB Eric Stokes: 9.37
Round 2, Pick 62, Center Josh Myers: N/A
Round 3, Pick 85, WR Amari Rodgers: 5.37
Round 4, Pick 142, OG Royce Newman: 8.72
Round 5, Pick 173, DT Tedarrell Slaton: 7.96
Round 5, Pick 178, CB Shemar Jean-Charles: 4.27
Round 6, Pick 214, OT Cole Van Lanen: 8.49
Round 6, Pick 220, LB Isaiah McDuffie: 7.33
Round 7, Pick 256, RB Kylin Hill: 7.31
To generalize: in relation to when these players were chosen in the draft, I’d say Stokes, Newman, Slaton (barely) Van Lanen, McDuffie, and Hill all had better than expected RAS’s. Six out of eight (not counting Myers) ain’t bad at all. Interestingly, however, the Packers front office appears to be especially thrilled at acquiring both Rodgers and Jean-Charles, who arguably are relatively non-athletic.
We can dig a little deeper into these numbers, because RSA also computes composite scores for one’s size, speed, explosion, and agility.
Eric Stokes has one “poor” grade, agility, though perhaps his elite speed can make up for the deficiency.
Rodgers’ composites reveal no particular strengths or weaknesses – all four composite scores are rated as just “okay.”
Royce Newman’s overall RAS is due in large measure to his “elite’ speed, while he has no poor composite marks.
Tedarrell Slaton, who stands 6’4” and weighs 330, is ranked as having great size; not surprisingly, however, he lacks agility.
The RAS methodology is very critical of Shemar Jean-Charles, as it rates him as “poor” regarding his size, speed, and agility.
Cole Van Laten comes out all good or great, except for his size, which at 6’4” and 305 pounds is well below average for current offensive tackles.
McDuffie is plainly undersized for an inside linebacker, at 6’1” and 227 pounds, but his great speed (4.61 dash time) might be enough to counter it.
Kylin Hill gets good composite marks in all except agility, where he grades out as “poor.” Still, an overall RAS of 7.31 is above expectations for one chosen third from last in this draft.
While we lack data on Myers, we do know his size, which is over 6’5” and 310 pounds, is very satisfactory for a center.
The above numbers are pretty self-explanatory. I think we can conclude that, in his fourth year as GM, Brian Gutekunst continues to value athleticism highly, and much more so that did his predecessor, Ted Thompson.
By this methodology, the Packers’ top “bargains” appear to be guard Royce Newman and tackle Van Lanen. Surprisingly, the only RAS “underachievers,” and each by a good amount, are wide/slot receiver Amari Rodgers and cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles. I say this comes as a surprise because following the draft Gutekunst and his scouting team seemed particularly thrilled at both of these selections.
Unlike last season, when every player drafted by the Pack remains connected to the team, there doesn’t appear to be nearly as much room on the roster for that to happen again.
At the same time, however, many believe that at least three of the new draftees might become starters during the course of the season. Among those that I’m hearing are the most likely candidates are: Josh Myers at center, Eric Stokes at cornerback, Amari Rodgers as a slot receiver (and kick and punt returner).
Others who might be in store for some significant playing time this season, primarily due to the team’s lack of depth at their positions, are: DT Tedarrell Slaton (on likely running downs), ILB Isaiah McDuffie, and CB Shemar Jean-Charles.
First though, these new guys need to make it onto the roster – and it’s a roster that almost every player from last year is currently still with the organization.