It’s been 75 days since last posting. Without covering the obvious, let’s take a dive into what’s happened since the Chiefs hoisted their 2nd Lombardi Trophy.
Let’s look at Free Agency, both additions and subtractions (and some maybe addition BY subtraction). Players lost:
- ILB Blake Martinez – Giants
- OT Bryan Bulaga – Chargers
- WR Geronimo Allison – Lions
- OLB Kyler Fackrell – Giants
- ILB BJ Goodson – Browns
- FB Danny Vitale – Patriots
The ones that hurt most are the first two names. While Martinez was a polarizing player amongst fans, he did provide value in 2 major ways: 1. Availability; 2. an overall good person that truly loved playing here. The other is Bryan Bulaga—while not always the most available, possibly had his best year of his career in 2019. Bulaga was part of the best Tackle duo in the NFL. Did the Packers replace those two (and 4 others) enough to improve heading into the draft? Let’s take a look.
- ILB Christian Kirksey – Browns
- OT Rick Wagner – Lions (from West Allis)
- WR Devin Funchess – Colts (mostly from Panthers)
- OLB Jamal Davis II – Dolphins
- Gerald Willis – Dolphins
Kirksey, while injury-prone by definition, seems to be a productive player when available. If you know me, you know how I feel about players like this. Low value, however, assuming he’s able to play 15-16 games this year, there’s a chance he’s a better fit at ILB than Martinez was for Pettine’s defense…hopefully.
Rick Wagner is a serviceable Tackle and experienced, which is huge. He has 87 career starts coming into the 2020 campaign, which is what you want from an OL you sign from Free Agency, experience.
Devin Funchess is a big-bodied target (6’4” 225lbs) that ran about a 4.5 forty at the 2015 combine. Another sensible free agency pickup that provides nice depth for an area of need, the WR corps.
The 2 players added Tue (4.21) spent most of their time on the Dolphins and their practice squad last year. While you shouldn’t expect anything from them, more bodies and if you get any sort of production from them, outside of special teams, major bonus.
To review, the Packers seem to have a large Net Loss losing Bulaga and adding Wagner. Possibly Loss, Even, or Upgrade in Kirksey over Martinez. Funchess can’t be anything but an upgrade over Allison, unless he finds himself in Rodgers’ doghouse…
Tune back later this afternoon to see the Draft “prediction” blog.