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Packers Morning Buzz: No compensatory draft picks for second straight year

Stu Courtney
Packers News

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 the Packers coming away empty on compensatory draft picks for the second consecutive year. It's no surprise after a free-agency binge last March that brought them edge rushers Za'Darius and Preston Smith, safety Adrian Amos and offensive lineman Billy Turner:

Under former general manager Ted Thompson, the Packers reaped a bounty of compensatory picks because of their limited free-agent activity. Players drafted with those extra selections include guard Josh Sitton (2008) defensive tackle Mike Daniels (2012), linebacker Blake Martinez and defensive end Dean Lowry (2016), running back Aaron Jones (2017) and punter JK Scott and wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown (2018). They rank fourth in total comp picks since 1994, and through trades will have 10 picks entering the 2020 draft:

You can see the complete list of 2020 compensatory picks and what factored into them here (the Patriots, of all teams, were awarded a league-high four picks):

The full 2020 draft order will be released Wednesday:

The Packers will get a sixth-round choice for Reggie Gilbert, who agreed to terms of a new deal with the Titans:

Mark Schofield of the Touchdown Wire cites one free-agent acquisition that each NFL team should pursue. His pick for the Packers: wide receiver A.J. Green.

The Green Bay Packers need to find a running mate for Davante Adams. They can certainly wait to accomplish that in the draft, and with the deep wide receiver class coming out this season there is a chance a very solid WR option falls to them at the 30th overall selection. Players such as Brandon Aiyuk from Arizona State or Denzel Mims from Baylor are such options.

But when healthy, A.J. Green remains a game-breaker at the wide receiver spot. Green has the size, length and burst to fill the X receiver role in the Packers’ offense, and if the Packers want to maximize what is left of the Aaron Rodgers window, they need to add an explosive downfield element to their offense. Green can work to stretch defenses vertically, while also creating space underneath for Adams and other options such as Allan Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and tight end Jace Sternberger.

The Packers could go in another direction, and address linebacker with either Joe Schobert or Cory Littleton, or tight end with Hunter Henry, Eric Ebron or Austin Hooper. But their best impact could come in the form of Green. A pair of top-flight options in Green and Adams would force the defense to play more two-high coverages, also opening up the running game as well as the middle of the field for Sternberger, who excelled at attacking the seams while in college.

Of course, the Bengals could scuttle this by slapping the franchise tag on Green. You can read the entire article here:

Imagine pairing Green with Davante Adams, whose route-running skills are such poetry in motion that even Chargers standout receiver Keenan Allen is impressed:

Hmm .... so Packers free-agent cornerback Tramon Williams is the only active player scheduled for a tour that takes place during Green Bay's offseason workout program:

By locking up kicker Mason Crosby on a three-year extension, the Packers don't need to use the franchise tag on anyone:

As a result, these adjusted tag deadlines don't affect the Packers:

The former Packers center has voiced misgivings about the new CBA proposal:

With all the CBA talk, it's easy to forget that there are significant rule-change proposals that are scheduled to be taken up later this month at the owners meeting:

ICYMI, here are five options if the Packers choose to draft Aaron Rodgers' successor, via Pete Dougherty:

The "Good Morning Football" gang weighs in on the subject:

In his first post-combine mock draft, NFL.com's Bucky Brooks sees the Packers taking an offensive lineman:

GREEN BAY: PICK 30

Joshua Jones - OT

School: Houston | Year: Senior (RS)

Protection is more important than ever with Aaron Rodgers in the back stretch of his career. Jones is a nimble athlete with outstanding feet and hands as a pass protector.

The rest of Brooks' mock first round is here:

A different offensive lineman goes to Green Bay in this USA TODAY Sports mock:

30. Packers — Austin Jackson, OT, USC: Bryan Bulaga and Green Bay might be headed in different directions in free agency, and nabbing Jackson would prevent a further shake-up along the offensive line.

The complete mock draft can be found here:

R.J. White of CBSSports.com has the Packers trading up to New England's No. 23 spot to grab inside linebacker Kenneth Murray:

GREEN BAY: PICK 23

Kenneth Murray - LB

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior

The Packers have a big hole to fill at linebacker, so they package No. 30 and 94 to get here for Murray, who's talented enough to go 10 picks higher.

You can check out the rest of White's mock here:

ESPN's Rob Demovsky rates the Packers' best and worst free-agent signings of the last five years:

Best free-agent signing: OLB Za'Darius Smith. It's not just what Smith did on the field in 2019 after he signed a four-year, $66 million deal -- although he was often unblockable -- but also the vibe and leadership he brought to the Packers' locker room. His outgoing, energetic approach became contagious and galvanized the team on the way to the NFC title game.

Worst free-agent signing: TE Martellus Bennett. The veteran tight end signed a three-year, $21 million contract and played only seven games before he forced his way out of Green Bay in a manner that became so contentious the Packers tried (unsuccessfully) to recoup the $6.3 million signing bonus they gave him in 2017. The Bennett failure then led to another shot at a veteran tight end, Jimmy Graham, which worked out slightly better but ultimately will go down as a bad signing. - Rob Demovsky

You can find the picks for all teams here:

Datone Jones, the Packers' first-round pick in 2013, was a disappointment in Green Bay and fared no better after signing with the Vikings:

And finally: an odd free-agency decision by the Lions:

Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or scourtney@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt