Packers Morning Buzz: Green Bay puts two on list of top-10 compensatory picks
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com ranking the top 10 most impactful compensatory picks of the last decade. The Packers didn't receive any compensatory picks this year because the only significant free agent they lost in 2018 was tight end Richard Rodgers, and they added defensive back Tramon Williams.
But historically, the Packers have reaped a bounty of compensatory picks (due to former general manager Ted Thompson's reluctance to sign free agents). They still rank tied for second for most compensatory picks (42, tied with Dallas behind Baltimore's 50) since they were first awarded in 1994.
And they have used those picks to land two players who rank in Bergman's top 10. At No. 6 on the list is linebacker Blake Martinez, chosen in the fourth round (No. 131) in the 2016 draft. Bergman's assessment:
One of the game's up-and-coming front-seven studs, Martinez has in just three seasons developed into a tackling terror in Green Bay. A Packers starter for the last two years, Martinez's 286 combined tackles are the most in the league since 2017. PFF regarded him as the league's 17th-best LB in 2018, and it wouldn't surprise if Martinez was regarded along the likes of veteran greats Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly and upstarts Leighton Vander Esch and Darius Leonard in a few years' time.
And checking in at No. 1 on Bergman's list is defensive tackle Mike Daniels, chosen in the fourth round (No. 132) in the 2012 draft. Bergman's assessment:
One of the league's best interior linemen absolutely deserves top billing on this list. Not only did Daniels earn a $41 million extension in 2015, he lived up to the investment. The Packers defensive tackle made his only Pro Bowl in 2017 and has been a consistent run-stuffer on Green Bay's defensive line since joining the club in 2012. Playing in the same league as Aaron Donald and the same division at one time as Ndamukong Suh, Daniels rarely gets the credit that those interior linemen do, but he has done what no other compensatory pick on this arbitrary ranking has: Performed at an above-average or elite level for the same team over an extended period of time. It's a low bar, but he cleared it.
As if that's not enough, leading Bergman's honorable-mention list is Packers running back Aaron Jones, chosen in the fifth round (No. 182) of the 2017 draft.
You can check out Bergman's entire top-10 list (and Daniels' reaction to it) here:
The Vikings reaped a good harvest of compensatory picks this year despite also signing two big-name free agents in 2018:
The Packers still will enter the April draft with 10 selections, thanks to three picks acquired through trades. Here's where they fall:
Pete Dougherty looks at how Matt LaFleur's offense empathizes the outside zone run and how it could help revive the Packers' attack:
Tom Silverstein makes a case for and a case against players as the Packers prepare to upgrade their roster:
Ryan Wood traces the intricate web of connections that helped LaFleur mold his 24-man staff:
The Packers should avoid the shiny-object temptation of available stars Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell, writes Tom Oates for the Wisconsin State Journal:
Acme Packing Company makes a case for OBJ over Brown:
Aaron Rodgers is on record as saying he wants to be coached, and running back Aaron Jones assures all that the Packers quarterback is "coachable":
It would be interesting to see what Jones could do if he stayed healthy enough to play 16 games:
This does not reflect well on Jimmy Graham' 2018 season:
Clay Matthews once again comes through in the clutch:
And finally: "Lombardi" offers an intimate look into the life of the legendary Packers coach: