Packers Morning Buzz: Forget WR – Green Bay's biggest weakness is on other side of the ball
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 SI.com's Conor Orr pinpointing each NFC team's biggest weakness. And for the Packers, it's – thankfully – not another tired take on the wide receiver position.
LINEBACKER: I think anyone who saw the 2019 NFC championship game would side with me here. The linebacker position as a pass-rushing unit has promise, and, in fact, was a top-seven team when sending three-, four- and six-man pressure last year. However, the Packers struggled mightily against the run and were exposed often in man coverage. This would have been an interesting offseason to get younger and faster at the position. Mike Pettine’s defense works best when linebackers can effectively fade into coverage and amp up the theatrics of his simulated pressure looks. The offseason addition of Christian Kirksey doesn’t add much confidence to the unit in terms of a proven pass defender.
You can read the entire story here:
Ah, but leave it to former Cowboys executive Gil Brandt to rank the Packers' receiving corps (including tight ends) second on his list of the nine biggest roster holes across the NFL:
2. Green Bay Packers
RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS
The Packers haven't used a first-round pick on a receiver or tight end since Aaron Rodgers entered the NFL in 2005, and the streak continued this year with the selection of Rodgers' heir apparent, quarterback Jordan Love, at No. 26 overall. Green Bay didn't draft a single player to augment a wide receiver group that struggled to produce in 2019, with only Davante Adams managing to catch more than 35 passes among receivers. Whether Rodgers will have quality targets to work with at the tight end spot is an even bigger concern, with Jimmy Graham heading to the Bears in free agency. Jace Sternberger, a 2019 third-round pick, is the front-runner to step up, but he didn't catch a regular-season pass after spending much of the year on injured reserve. Third-round pick Josiah Deguara from Cincinnati will try to avoid a similarly unproductive fate in Year 1, but it's tough to expect much from a rookie at a position that is notoriously difficult to master.
You can read the rest of Brandt's list here:
Second-year tight end Jace Sternberger says he learned a lot from the departed Jimmy Graham and feels like he's ready to play an important role:
The Packers rate near the top in this fascinating deep dive examining every NFL team's draft efficiency over the last 10 years:
The Packers may be the NFL's slowest team at the skill positions, according to NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah:
The Packers rank 11th with 78.1 percent of their 2019 total snaps and 21 starters returning:
Former Packers edge rusher Julius Peppers applauds Roger Goodell's recent gestures:
Rob Reischel's countdown of the 30 "Most Important Packers" features a player with untapped potential:
Mitch Trubisky spoke publicly for the first time since the Bears' acquisition of Nick Foles:
The Lions seem to be getting a lot of national love. NFL.com lists Detroit as the most likely "worst to first" team in any division:
Adam Scheine writes:
The NFC North is the most flawed division in football. Thus, all four teams can win it. Yes, even the Lions, who haven't won a division title since back in 1993, when they were playing in the NFC Central.
I still give Green Bay the edge over the rest of the field, but the Packers' counterproductive and inexplicable offseason gives them a 10-win ceiling. While Green Bay did play in the NFC title game just five months ago, I don't think the Pack are on the level of NFC adversaries in San Francisco, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Dallas or Philadelphia. Heck, right now, the Cardinals, Seahawks, Falcons and Rams look better, too. But someone has to win the North. Minnesota is trying to win while retooling -- and now Dalvin Cook's apparently pondering a holdout. I see the Vikings winning eight or nine games. The Bears have a great defense ... and the least inspiring quarterback room in the league. Smells like 8-8.
Which leads me back to Detroit. I'm saying there's a chance. A real one.
You can find the rest of the story here:
And finally .... for Packers fans, the wait is over:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt