Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers discusses the run game under Matt LaFleur and the state of the running backs rotation. Olivia Reiner, PackersNews
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 draft analysts Lance Zierlein and Chad Reuter of NFL.com identifying the ideal top two (realistic) picks for the Packers and the other 31 teams. (Note that this is not a mock draft and players can be perfect fits for more than one club).
Here's their take on the Packers:
GREEN BAY PACKERS
» Round 1: No. 12 overall -- T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
» Round 1: No. 30 (from Saints) -- Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
New head coach Matt LaFleur relied heavily on three-tight end sets during his season as the Titan's offensive coordinator. If Hockenson is still available at No. 12 (and doesn't go to the Broncos, as my colleague Lance suggested earlier in this piece), he'd be a nice get. Adding him to the mix with veterans Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis gives LaFleur pass catchers and run blockers at the position. Abram is a defensive leader who will step into a starting role next to Adrian Amos immediately, allowing Josh Jones to play nickel.
You can check out their analysis of the ideal top two picks for every team here:
In former Cowboys GM Gil Brandt's listing of the top 150 draft prospects, here's who he ranks in the Packers' first- and second-round slots (but again, it's not a mock draft so position need isn't a factor):
Josh Jacobs, RB
School: Alabama | Year: Junior
Jacobs didn't run at the combine but had a great pro day. The 5-11, 219-pound back ran a 4.62 40 with a 35-inch vertical. He has power to go along with outstanding quickness, and he can even line up as the quarterback in the Wildcat. He started just three games in three years and only posted 251 carries, playing behind very good running backs in his first two years at Alabama.
Byron Murphy, CB
School: Washington | Year: Sophomore (RS)
A three-year player who has played in just 20 games, though he started every one, Murphy has 4.55 speed but above-average ball skills to go with great technique and outstanding competitiveness and toughness. He should be very good in zone coverage.
Deebo Samuel, WR
School: South Carolina | Year: Senior (RS)
Samuel racked up 210 receiving yards in one game against Clemson last season. He returned four kickoffs for touchdowns in his South Carolina career. He will catch all routes and make people miss when they're trying to tackle him. He ran a 4.48 40 at the combine and had 28 total touchdowns in his career. Slot receiver might be his best position.
You can see the entire top-150 list here:
Tom Silverstein writes that if the Packers had waited one more year before giving Aaron Rodgers a huge contract extension, they would have had trade options:
Could the Packers spend a high draft pick on a quarterback? Ryan Wood kicks off our draft position-preview series:
Rodgers talks about the importance of the running game:
The Packers bring in some competition for Mason Crosby:
In his weekly column, Peter King of NBC Sports has a segment in which Hall of Fame lineman Anthony Munoz talks about playing the first four seasons of his Cincinnati Bengals career under coach (and former Hall of Fame Packers tackle) Forrestt Gregg.
Munoz tells King:
“I remember how good he was getting us prepared to play big games. We were playing at Pittsburgh in December the year we went to the Super Bowl. If we win, we clinch the AFC Central. Before we left Cincinnati, he said to us, ‘If you’re afraid of games this big, you stay home. You stay in Cincinnati.’ Heck, I wasn’t afraid. But I was like, Let’s go! I couldn’t wait. We won. We clinched that day in Pittsburgh.
“After I retired, every time I saw him, I wanted to give him a hug. I loved who he was as a man—his credibility, his character, his discipline. One or two years after I retired, we were in New York together. The league put together a team for the first 75 years of the NFL, and Forrest and I were two of the tackles on that team. I kept thinking, ‘What am I doing here? With Forrest Gregg!’ Then I got into the Hall of Fame, and all I could think was, ‘I’m gonna have my bust with Forrest Gregg.’ ”
You can read the entire column here:
And finally: A former Packer makes his way back to the Falcons via the AAF:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt