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 NFL Network analytics expert Cynthia Frelund using her win-share metric (which quantifies a player's value to his team) to determine whether certain standout players in 2018 were "sensations" or "aberrations." Packers wide receiver Davante Adams leads off her list of five players expected to be "sensations" once again.
While I think we all anticipate Adams to be one of the top wideouts taken in fantasy drafts, this note is mostly about touchdowns. Adams has seen the end zone at least 10 times in each of the past three seasons. His 35 receiving touchdowns since 2016 ranks second only to Antonio Brown's 36, and the next closest is DeAndre Hopkins with 28. Next Gen Stats shows Adams was targeted in the end zone 18 times (the second-highest rate in the NFL). Last season, the Packers only crossed opponents' 20-yard line 23.7 percent of the time (ranking 25th), and 15 of Adams' end-zone targets occurred on red-zone drives. The Packers' offseason improvements forecast an increase in red-zone drives, while Adams' use projects to remain exceptionally high. I just wrote an article on projected season stat leaders, but one category that wasn't included was receivers with the most projected touchdowns. My model shows Adams with 12.4 in 2019.
You can read Frelund's list of other projected 2019 sensations and aberrations here:
The Packers' tackling was shoddy in the exhibition opener, and improvement there is a major priority moving forward:
The Packers might just have some depth on the offensive line:
Speaking of the Packers' offensive line, members of the unit dined out together Wednesday in Baltimore:
Pete Dougherty spent more than two hours Tuesday answering fans' questions:
Aaron Rodgers has made no secret of his disdain for what he considers "clickbait" headlines and "fake news" stories about his relationship with new coach Matt LaFleur. Sean Wagner-McCough of CBS Sports tries to put it in perspective:
Meanwhile, they're putting a positive spin on it on "Good Morning Football":
Forget the fog horn: Rodgers has a better idea for getting more noise out of Lambeau Field fans:
They say it takes three years to judge a draft, so NFL.com's Lance Zierlein takes a look back at the 2016 draft and hands out first-round grades. The Packers' Kenny Clark gets a well-deserved "A":
Clark went from good to great in his final season at UCLA and his transition to the NFL was a smooth one. While Clark isn't a dominant pass rusher, he's better than functional in that area and he goes to work as a top-notch run defender. Former Packers GM Ted Thompson, who made this pick, didn't overthink this one at all. He just took a good football player who has lived up to his potential.
You can read about all of the first-round grades here:
Cheesehead TV sizes up the "key battles" to watch between the Packers and Ravens:
Kicking competitions are in a fluid state throughout the NFC North:
Cutdown day isn't far away .... here's your chance to play GM:
And finally ... the Packers' pep rally before the season opener in Chicago is set:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt