Season Predictions Lookback
According to my season predictions, the Packers fell short of my prediction of them falling short. All in all, that’s a good thing. Would rather have better draft capital than still not winning the Super Bowl. I had Green Bay finishing 12-5 and losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game. Each team finished 8-9, with Tampa winning their division and losing to the 5th-seeded Dallas Cowboys.
Now each team is looking like they’re losing their starting Quarterbacks. Green Bay has Jordan Love in waiting while Tampa Bay has since signed Baker Mayfield. The writing is on the wall that Green Bay is moving on from Aaron Rodgers…more on that later.
The Chiefs winning is further validation that a QB is the true testament to winning, surrounding him with the best talent typically helps, but is not required – at least for truly great quarterbacks. The Chiefs lost their #1 wide receiver and had the 16th ranked scoring defense (giving up 21.7 points/game). The Packers lost their #1 wide receiver and had the 17th ranked scoring defense (giving up 21.8 points/game). Sure there are other factors, but it’s comical that Kansas City signing MVS – a player that Packer nation didn’t think was worth signing – was used as an argument to KC replacing their #1 wideout’s departure.
The ongoing, inevitable saga that is a HoF regular season QB disgruntled in Green Bay wanting to leave…is still on going. While the media went nuts for weeks, and by some accounts still is, nothing has actually transpired. Rodgers is still on Green Bay’s roster, the only difference is he’s made public what everyone already knew- so is that news?
While the hold up is about compensation, for someone that’s wanted him gone for over a decade, the compensation really matters, while it doesn’t matter at all simultaneously. It matters because every teams’ objective is to be the best they can, at all times, for as long as possible. However, Green Bay just ridding themselves of Rodgers and his contract would be a vast improvement…so, trading him, like Favre, will improve the team regardless. Now, if the Packers can garner a couple of picks, that will help years to come. The Favre trade allowed the Packers some assets to trade up and eventually draft Clay Matthews.
It’s wild to speculate what draft pick(s) Green Bay will siphon from New York, if any, but assuming they get the 13th overall selection or a compilation of others, there’s a likelihood the Packers will us them for a trade of sorts. If the Packers somehow receive the 13th overall pick, I’d expect them to stay put and select the best player available, or there’s a chance if they like a lot of players on the board, they’ll trade that pick and pick the best available at 15.
Should Green Bay get a couple of later picks, there’s a chance they could use them to package and trade up to the mid-to-late 1st round or early-2nd round, where they can then take 2 players between 15 and 35. Those players could and should be a force for the next 5 years adding to an already stacked roster.
All this being said, Green Bay has all of the leverage, as long as they stay patient and just wait. The worst case scenario is they have Rodgers on contract and he has to make the choice to either return to 1265 Lombardi and compete for the starting job with Jordan Love, retire, or demand a trade to anywhere. Should he demand a trade- that will decrease Green Bay’s overall leverage, however would and could increase their leverage between the Jets and themselves because other teams will be more apt to make a play for the 39-year old quarterback.
Potential Draft Prospects
There are a few prospects that are intriguing, as this draft seems like another deep one, meaning there’s tons of value in having as many picks as possible vs. having a few really high draft picks. It also means that everyone may have a good draft, but if you have more picks than everyone, well…
I could list a lot of guys that may be there at 15 – while I don’t think Jalen Carter (DL- Georgia) will fall, if he’s close and the Packers have capital, it may be worth trading up as he seems to be the next Warren Sapp. If you can get a Hall of Fame Defensive Lineman, you can win a (single) Super Bowl with no Quarterback – i.e. Los Angeles Rams with Stafford (Aaron Donald); Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Brad Johnson (Warren Sapp).
There is one kid with which I’ve been intrigued and have since confided in a close friend who just happens to be a diehard Hawkeyes fan as well…that kid is Lukas Van Ness. One thing that rings true, in the NFL, one can never have enough Offensive Linemen, Defensive Linemen, or Edge Rushers. There’s always a need – and if you have 4 great edge rushers, there are plenty of packages where they can be used all at once, and even more importantly, if two are used simultaneously, the rotation is strong.
While he’s raw, he moves like JJ Watt did as a prospect entering the NFL. Couple that with Iowa’s strong NFL pedigree, there’s a potential Green Bay could have the strongest defensive front in football for the foreseeable future, featuring Kenny Clark, Rashan Gary, De’Vondre Campbell, and Quay Walker.
To close out, for those that desperately want a wide receiver with the 1st pick for Green Bay, there’s too much value in using a Round 1 pick on a WR. 1st round selections should be reserved for QBs, OL, DL, Edge Rushers, and CBs. All other positions can be addressed in rounds 2-7 with great value. If you’re deadset on a WR or TE in the first round just look at the players taken in years pass in the 1st round and their position. Then look at those WR or TE taken in the 1st round, the team that picked them, and how strong that team was at the time and following it…there’s a strong trend.