Packers Morning Buzz: Ranking Green Bay's top free agents
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
With the start of free agency now less than a week away, Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling of NFL.com have their updated ranking of the Top 101 available players. Four Packers make the list; here are their rankings and assessments:
53. Clay Matthews: Matthews can't be blamed for thinking he's owed a couple of would-be sacks that made him the poster boy for mind-boggling penalties in September. He can, however, be blamed for being outplayed by backup Kyler Fackrell the rest of the way.
57. Bashaud Breeland: It was a lost year for Breeland after he hurt his foot just before free agency last offseason, but it's not like he's a totally different player than he was at that time, when he cracked our top 25 players available.
62. Randall Cobb: How much has Cobb been slowed by injuries over the years and how much of his stagnation was Mike McCarthy's system? That's the question teams will have to decide when considering Cobb.
83. Muhammad Wilkerson: Wilkerson has managed just eight sacks in three years since breaking his fibula at the end of a 12-sack campaign in 2015. He's more name than game at this point.
Check out the entire list to see where they rank free agents (such as edge rushers) who could be of interest to the Packers:
In a related story, Wesseling rates each team's biggest draft needs. For the Packers, it's (no surprise) edge rusher, followed by safety and tight end.
More of a designated pass rusher than a well-rounded linebacker, backup Kyler Fackrell recorded more sacks (10.5) than the overpaid starting tandem of Clay Matthews (3.5) and Nick Perry (1.5) combined. With Matthews due to reach the open market and Perry set to hit the chopping block, perhaps the Packers will kick the tires on Chiefs trade candidate Dee Ford. Following the midseason trade of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was so desperate for safety help that street free agents Eddie Pleasant and Ibraheim Campbell saw heavy snaps down the stretch. Can 36-year-old converted cornerback Tramon Williams last as a starter opposite third-year strong safety Josh Jones? General manager Brian Gutekunst's recent claims to the contrary, tight end Jimmy Graham was a free-agent bust in Year 1 with Green Bay. Graham was a negligent blocker, failed to create consistent separation on his routes and no longer has the juice in his legs to out-rebound defenders on 50/50 balls.
You can read up on every team's needs here:
Delaware safety Nasir Adderley, a cousin of former Packers star cornerback and Hall of Famer Herb Adderley, could help solve Green Bay's secondary issues, writes Jim Owczarski:
After playing his final two seasons in New Orleans, longtime Green Bay fullback and fan favorite John Kuhn has retired as a Packer:
A tribute from a former teammate:
The Power Sweep with video of the Kuhn chip block on Julius Peppers against the Bears that Packers fans will always remember:
Richard Ryman has an illuminating story about the Packers' first chief of security:
Another day, another mock draft: While others have had the Packers getting Noah Fant at No. 30, this one has them jumping on the Iowa tight end at No. 12 after his strong showing at the combine. At No. 30, they get Texas A&M offensive lineman Erik McCoy:
The MMQB has a post-combine, updated Big Board of Top 100 prospects. Their No. 12-ranked player: Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Their assessment of him:
An electric athlete at 300-plus pounds, Wilkins was considered a team leader on a dominant Clemson defense and should immediately provide an interior disruptor who can wreck the backfield. He has some limits against the run, but that’s a trade off most teams can live with.
You can see the entire Top 100 list here:
A Packers offseason "wish list" from CheeseheadTV:
The linebacker who broke Aaron Rodgers' collarbone in 2017 is on the market:
And finally .... Rodgers talks about what he's working on with his golf game with regular playing partner Jerry Kelly: