Packers Morning Buzz: Dubious draft decisions send Green Bay sliding in power rankings
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 slipping in post-draft power rankings but remaining firmly in the top 10.
In the NFL.com rankings, the Packers fell from No. 5 to No. 8 (bypassed by the Titans, Bills and Cowboys). Dan Hanzus writes:
Well, that was interesting. Packers fans and football pundits went into the draft expecting Green Bay to add a wide receiver (or two) to help support Aaron Rodgers. Instead, the Packers passed on any receiver from a historically deep class and instead drafted Rodgers' possible replacement with their first-round pick. I may envy Jordan Love's youth, athleticism and bank account, but being Rodgers' teammate at this moment in time feels ... dicey. After taking Love, Green Bay used its next pick on a between-the-tackles pounder in Boston College running back A.J. Dillon. Huh. Cincinnati tight end Josiah Deguara, the team's third-rounder, could add some value in the passing game in time, but this is not the draft that anyone expected. We imagine Rodgers is fine with some social distancing for the time being.
You can read the full story here:
The Packers fared a bit better in the SI.com rankings, falling from fifth down into a tie for seventh.
T-7. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Points in poll: 146
Highest-place vote: 4 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (1 voter)
Season result: 13-3, lost in NFC championship game
Post-SB Rank: 6
SI Draft Grade: B-
Could they have used that first-round pick on a player who’d help them in 2020? Sure. But the Packers still have plenty of talent with Jordan Love watching Aaron Rodgers from the bench this year.
Check out their entire power rankings here:
Found: an NFL expert who doesn't hate the Packers' draft. Here's how SI.com's Andy Benoit grades Green Bay's haul:
Rodgers is still elite. He might not have the dazzling playmaking ability that he possessed a few years ago (particularly when it comes to getting outside the pocket), but he is still one of the three or four best football throwers in the world, and he’s smart. He got better in LaFleur’s system last season, as both quarterback and head coach did a wonderful job adjusting to each other and meeting in the middle, with LaFleur rolling out his scheme gradually and Rodgers reigning in some of his off-beat style dropbacks in turn.
Love has first-round tools, but inconsistent mechanics plagued him at Utah State, as did bizarre bouts of poor field vision. The Packers feel they can clean that up. Mechanics rarely get corrected once a guy reaches the NFL, but one of LaFleur’s specialties and greatest passions is teaching the details of throwing mechanics, and Love is in the unusual position of a first-round quarterback being groomed behind a superstar QB who likely still has multiple years of greatness left in him.
As for the next two offensive picks: The trend right now is to not pay a running back for a second contract unless he is truly special. Aaron Jones could be deemed worthy when his rookie deal expires after this season, but it’s unlikely his sidekick, Jamaal Williams, will also be. Hence the addition of AJ Dillon.
At tight end, Green Bay drafted Jace Sternberger in the third round last year, but considering that “12” personnel is a meaningful part of their offense, and that the recently resigned Marcedes Lewis is nearing his end, it makes sense to invest in depth at this position. And so they nabbed Josiah Deguara. Packer fans may not love this draft, but given it’s long-term investment slant, only time will tell how it went.
You can read the entire grades story here:
NFL Films' Greg Cosell calls this a case of Matt LaFleur sending Aaron Rodgers a clear message:
Peter King of NBC Sports gets to the heart of the matter here:
This overreaction ignores the fact that Aaron Rodgers has thrown a ton of TD passes to talented second-round receivers such as Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams:
Former Packers executive Andrew Brandt, who was deeply involved when the team drafted Rodgers to sit behind Brett Favre, draws comparisons to the Rodgers-Jordan Love dynamic.
There is one parallel that is important here. In the later years of Brett’s tenure, I sensed a feeling around our personnel department that there was, well, too much emphasis on Brett and not enough on our team. I just noticed that when fans and media constantly marveled about Brett, they felt it was ignoring all the work put in by our team as a whole. Current Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst was part of that scouting department then and my sense, from afar, is the same feeling exists in that building now. It is a dynamic in team sports that happens far more than people know, currently on display in the The Last Dance documentary about Michael Jordan’s last season with the Bulls. Scouts, while marveling at the talent of their superstars, get much more excited about seeing their “hidden gems” succeed than they do about stars doing what they are expected to do.
You can read Brandt's entire analysis here:
And finally ...Former Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels can't wait to get back on the field after two injury-shortened seasons:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt